Kikimora and Satyros Writing/Art Competition!

Howdy people, MiFi0 here to finally announce the competition I’ve been talking about for at least a month now.

The competition will run for 30 days, ending on the 2nd of May and Art and Writing will be judged separately for obvious reasons. Now let’s get into the rules.

Rules for Writing:

Must involve Kikimora and/or Satyros as major characters (main character or main love interest etc.).
Whichever is not a major character must be involved somehow (side character etc.)
Story must end in a “good end” (can involve suffering, but at least end with them in a good place).
No NTR.
No re-use of already written/published stories.

Rules for Art:

Must involve Kikimora and/or Satyros as the main focus of the art.
No gore/NTR.
No re-use of already drawn/published art.

One submission per category, per person. This means you can enter in both Art and Writing, if you so wish. Outside of this, go for broke. I wanted to leave it as open as possible for people.

How to enter:

Submit your story to me via the TFT Discord  preferably via PMing it to me directly. If you don’t have or want to use Discord, you can use the Contact Page on the site and in that case please make sure to mark that it’s for this competition and use a valid email address so I can get back to you.

When will the competition end:

Sometime during the 2nd of May. Judging will go for two weeks following, with the results announced on the 16th of May.

Prizes to be won:

In an inebriated state I declared that the prizes would be as follows
1st Place – $50 Steam Voucher and one free Humble Bundle Key from my long list of unclaimed keys
2nd Place – $20 Steam Voucher and a free Humble Bundle Key
3rd Place – A free Humble Bundle Key

Click here if you wanna see all the keys I have up for grabs, I seriously have so many unclaimed keys. The prize pools are separate for Art and Writing, but the prizes for each place are the same for both.

How will the judging work:

Entries will be judged by a group of four judges who will not be participating in the competition. Art and Writing will be judged separately.

Have fun guys and if you have any questions at all about the competition, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Discord. 

This competition brought to you by my tradition of getting drunk and making poor financial decisions that I still follow through with when sober.

Adrift Character Spotlight – Cole

”We won’t know until we try.”

Curious yet cautious, childish yet responsible, smart yet dorky, genre-savvy yet not self-aware.

He’s easily the protagonist I’ve had most fun writing in my life, even though ”fun” doesn’t mean ”easy”. When writing a protagonist, I usually live by two golden rules: ”Do Not Create A Mary Sue” and ”Do not create a Hero Archetype”, as I strongly dislike both, but they tend to seep into my works easily.

Because of that, I was quite nervous when creating Cole; breaking my usual pace of making one big character sheet for myself before I even lay down the first line of the story, I thought that he would come out as a huge mess. And even after all these chapters, I still do wonder if I am doing it right. So I’ll say I am quite glad of where he ended in the poll; not the most popular character, yet not the most unpopular either.

From the very beginning, the base idea that gave birth to Cole was, to put it like this, ”My own concept of the Everydude”, which may not match the Trope Conventions or even its conventional archetypes. But that idea was hard to balance on story, as if I steered too much towards my own concept, I could had ended up with an Self-Insert Protagonist (something I utterly despise), but if I went too far into the Everydude side, I would’ve ended up with a Kind of Indistinct and Rarely Interesting Type of Oxymoron (or K.I.R.I.T.O. for short, tee hee), who is so tailored to appeal to all audiences that he’s got no personality of its own beyond ”The Hero of this Story™”, so the big struggle was keeping him on a middle point between the two, and have him show his traits rather than tell the reader about them.

That aside, as the only member of the cast (besides Mizelle) without any real knowledge of the societies and common knowledge that the others have. But at the same time, he has his own knowledge; his own set of skills. And while these don’t turn him into an ass-kicking badass, they prevent him from becoming a useless bag of tag-along, constantly in need of others’ protection.

Similarly to Zalura, if I had to use one word to describe Cole that would be ”Ingenious” (Not Ingenuous, that’s something else). He’s no genius or gifted all-knower, all he has is the simple skill of understanding that which surrounds him through analysis, trial and error, and in doing such, learns how to make use of it, or even what wholly different use said medium on a way mayhaps not yet thought of. And this applies to everything; from the functioning of an Unit, to Haudrica’s behavior, to the purpose of the Phylactery. All of these are questions he has, and that he does not expect to get an all-encompassing answer, but a tiny fragment of plausible truth which in time gives place to other questions.

All of that WOULD make him a rather intellectual and philosophical type of character…. emphasis on WOULD. He simply does not take himself, or even his entire situation, with the degree of seriousness most people in such situation would show, and while he knows when to get serious, if the situation doesn’t call for it, he will usually regard what surrounds him with the same kind of eagerness and childish curiosity as your average gamer exploring a new open world map. And this leads us to another of his traits; his genre-savviness. 

Games, movies, manga, anime, and to some extent, books and novels (and I admit this is the part of his character that strongest resembles my own self; write what you know, after all). He has enough grasp of fiction to draw parallels with his own ordeal, which in time serve to give him some psychological grounding that spares him the more basic fear of the unknown a non-savvy person would show in such situation. However, he is not so savvy as to being self-aware, or consider his situation as silly, or maybe even unreal. And yes, such savviness creates ”an expectation of the unknown”, which he yearns to explore for the sake of answering the very simple questions of ”What lies over there? What is that? Why is this here? How did this happen? What does this do? Who were this people?” whose answers will only serve to fuel his curiosity even more.

But, like with all the other members of the cast, this is but the base; the basic concept from which he will develop as a character.

So, once again I ask the questions (albeit some slightly different ones): What is that you find engaging in Cole? Is he a proper protagonist? Do you feel he is a relatable character? Is there something specific of him that’s the main point of interest? Any details in particular you might want to know about him? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this at the comments.

Cloud Server Upgrade!

Soooooo, I did mention last month that we’re a pretty big site. I recieved a nice mail yesterday from the hoster telling me that we were basically over 170% database capacity, things like that don’t happen overnight, so I am happy they didn’t start throwing a tantrum last year. Thumbs up.

However this is forcing me to upgrade the server sooner than expected. There is no bigger hosting package on the level I purchased, so we’re now going to get hosted in the cloud. Things that are awesome about this:

  • Unlimited database size (eff yes!)
  • Webspace upgraded from 30GB to 40GB (thats not an issue… yet but nice to have)
  • Dedicated server memory (more)
  • Dedicated server CPU cores (MORE!)

I already flipped the switch on the upgrade, which will be performed by support obviously, not me. I checked and there should be no downtime, so the impact for you guys should be minimal. Worst case the namespace won’t properly switch over for a while (different IP) but that should also be nearly instant since it’s served by the same hosting company.

Important warning for all authors and artists – Please don’t do anything on the site until this upgrade is complete (I was told about 2 days) because anything added during the transition period may get lost in the transfer! Do not upload stuff.

This would have all been virtually impossible without the Patreon support I have recieved and I want to give a big fat thank you to everyone. Now you can actually go and say that you did this.

Cross your fingers, we’re going in dry.

~SnowDrakE

New Artist – ehrrr

Hiya, ehrrr here. I draw things, 95% of it being fluffy girls. So if you’re a mofu connoisseur, do be sure to give my gallery a peek.

me irl

Also despite being lazy, I also take commissions! So if you’re interested you can take a peek at my Twitter for any posts related to open slots, or simply drop me a DM if y’can’t wait. I’m always willin’ to discuss the benefits of fluff!

Adrift Character Spotlight – Haudrica & Mizelle

             ”That was a close call.”                                              ”I’ll loop your head off your shoulders!”

To be naïve or to hold a grudge, to yearn for companionship or to want nothing but solitude, to desire new experiences or to shun all that’s different.

To seem as perfect opposites, yet being rather similar.

And curiously enough, I didn’t envision Mizelle and Haudrica to be such way from the get-go, but ideas started rolling on their own, and I kind of rolled with them. However, there is much more to them that what initially may seem, and I plan to slowly unravel it as the story follows its course.

Also, I… kinda did not expect them to end up in a draw at the poll, and it did not feel right for me to just do them individually one before the other. So I will detail them both individually and together (as that also matches their usual relationship in the story).

In a manner similar to Zalura, both of their names were made on the fly; the first name-esque words that popped up in my mind. And while their designs seemed as such even for me at the beginning, after a while, I began to realize my own source of inspiration in both of them.

Haudrica is the easiest one; I based quite a bit of her race’s insectoid appearance and war-like behavior off one of my favorite space-faring game races: the Mantises from FTL. They were always a favorite of mine, and there’s one particular fan design that I liked a lot and was undeniably of inspiration (similarities are clear as day, specially in the attire) but I wanted to create something different to the usual space bug race, so I took more than a handful of cues from whom I consider the best artist/mangaka ever to draw insectoid characters; Nakamura Regura , whom I’ve always liked for the way he/she skims the edges of the uncanny valley but never going fully into it, and I think this feeling went quite a bit into the narrative as well.

From the very first mention of her name (by Desri), Haudrica is portrayed negatively, and her first meeting with Cole is enough of a big scare to him to actually make him fear for his life and realize the grim side of the situation he is in; his first crash against reality that dimmed the glittering cover he had mentally put all over his newfound situation. And while, initially, Haudrica showed no change or development of her established behavior, Cole saw enough glimpses of something else to wonder if there was more to her, and so did she, but on a lesser scale.

And while I cannot fully detail what I am trying to do with her character-wise (as that would be Spoilers™), I’ll just say that she’s barely past the beginning of her character arc; there’s still a lot to come with her.

On the other hand, just as Zalura was alien to Cole, but he could still relate to her in some ways, Haudrica is the exact other way around. Although she seems ”humanoid”, enough of her non-human traits are featured up front to create that sense of strangeness, of ”xenophobia” if I may use that term; she’s different enough to create certain aversion, but it’s not these physical differences that create such feeling, it’s her behavior, and the outright hostility she shows towards almost everyone, for reasons unclear.

For Mizelle, on the other hand, the sources of inspiration for her design took far more mind scrying for me to pinpoint it (there could have been so many different ones!), as I initially thought I had done my usual ”kitbashing” of different ideas (and unlike with Zalura, there were so many possibilities here…), so while I was looking for reference material for .less to do his epic work, I found THIS…. I have no doubt I must’ve seen that pic at some point, and then buried it within my subconscious so deep I totally forgot about it, but the resemblance is too great, and I had seen other pics from that artist on my Tumblr, so I’m pretty sure that’s at least the main source; there may be more than that.

Her first meeting with Cole is not just her saving him from what would’ve been some severe injuries (and having to look for a different place to sleep), but his first encounter with someone who is, not only rather ”human-esque”, but physically appealing to him; remember, he had just told Desri moments ago that he was ”more of a cat person”, and now all of a sudden, what could easily pass for a ”cat person” in the more literal sense had shown herself in front of him. But, as her shy and scaredy personality is revealed (as well as her close bonds with Haudrica), Cole starts keeping some distance from her. Not out of fear of death by sharp objects, but out of his own desire of not wanting to scare her or make her uncomfortable. But she is actually the one who approaches to him instead. And through a series of similar exchanges with her, a certain amount of mutual trust begins to build between them, until they are comfortable with each others. This concept of the ”extremely shy girl having a more extrovert hidden side”  was something I wanted to try out for a long time, but that’s just the surface of her character (I’m drawing the line here, Spoilers™).

However, there’s much more to her than a behavioral counterpart to Haudrica. Despite this seemingly outwards weakness, she is capable of holding her own; between her telekinetic powers, fast-learning of new skills and sheer determination to understand the world and people around her. And yet, her ignorance of said world and people also put her in the same level as Cole; they are, in a sense, both newcomers, learning on the go, making mistakes and trying to piece together what everyone around them takes for granted. And yet, when it comes to common knowledge of life, even Cole surpasses her in a few things, as he DID live on a society before, while Mizelle will show certain amounts of ignorance of even these most basic things once in a while.

So, once again I ask the questions: What is that you found interesting on them? Was there something specific that was your main point of interest? Any details in particular you might want to know about them? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this at the comments.

P.D. While the picture may give out that idea, Mizelle isn’t left-handed; just flipped the pic as I thought it would be weird for them both to be looking to the same side. And sorry this took so long. Real Life ensued….

New Artist – Manosdetrapo!

I am proud to present our newest hosted artist, Manos! She had her gallery page up for a few days already if you paid attention but by now the design and the uploads are fully done and over with, so time for a proper introduction it is.

colooooors

You can find more stuff on her Gallery Page and also she is open for commissions! From what I hear this is an artist that I can highly recommend if you are looking to get some artwork or design done.

Adrift Character Spotlight – Zalura

TaH-kO tuTu’Hm?

Short-spoken but thoughtful, stoic but caring, strong but womanly.

She’s the very first character that Cole meets, but also one I feel I have not given as much story time as she deserves. And because of that, I never imagined she’d be the one to top off the charts.

Everything about her; appearance, name, personality, speech pattern and behavior, were designed completely on the fly on those few sentences where she is introduced. Even her alien speech was put down at random at the beginning (although later I created a more logic method to write it in a way it looks like an actual language, and not just gibberish).

No word sums up her character better than the ”Alien”; Both in the sense of a foreigner, and a creature from outer space. Her size, her tongue, her accent, her strikingly different looks to anything Cole had ever seen, but also different from every other character he meets later. She is an initial source of culture shock for Cole, but at the same time, she is the very first friendly face he encounters in a most hostile and equally alien environment, which I believe sets the baseline tone for the story.

However, unlike the rest of the characters, I am still not clear on what was that inspired her design. I have always liked strong women, and quad-arms, but I believe there is much more than that at work here. Mayhap my brain just did some kind of on-the-run character kit-bashing, but I also like to think that there was something more complex behind her. One thing I have it clear on, however, is her accent.

In my own personal experience, no matter how well you learn a foreign tongue, you will always carry some kind of lisp. And even if it is a foreign country that speaks your native language, it will never be the same; you will ALWAYS carry that foreigner’s accent with you. So, what would happen if the difference between your native tongue and a foreign one you speak is not the different pronunciation or words, but the physical means which your body uses to produce it? How would that affect your skill to communicate? Would learning such language be even possible? That was the main thought behind Zalura’s accent and linguistic limitations.

So, now I ask the questions: What is that you found interesting on her? Was there something specific that was your main point of interest? Do you have any questions about her? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this at the comments.