So this has been a long time coming apparently. Since hhhori a.k.a. shindoke wants to take the passive aggressive route, I’d rather have everything open and clear so that there is no misinterpretation.
Early this year hhhori had conducted herself terribly in Discord including stalking other users, active harassment and her fanclub joining in, riling up people and more. After being confronted with her bad behaviour, she went a bit off the rails, making a parallel community and threaten to take all the artists, which didn’t turn out so well in the end as I hear, and generally being very hostile.
She left the TFT Discord on her own in a huff after being told to stop harassing other users, subsequently I banned her from entering the Discord again and made it final. There has been tons of other reports of drama surrounding her, I won’t get into many details but she has been removed from multiple other Discord servers, so I believe this is not a special case, she is just a very hostile person. However I believed that the website and the Discord are two different things and I won’t let that misconduct bleed over into my hosting and stay professional on this.
She never asked to be removed from the site. I never remove anything that I host unless there is a damn good reason for it like with MamonoMore a.k.a. EstebanVonChucha, which was the only other time I was forced to take action. The artist retains full control over all their work.
With that in mind, she still did not have enough balls or remorse to contact me directly to resolve anything or have that mess handled.
Cue her twitter:
And this is what she did to her Gallery:
Which is ultimately fine. I take this as an official request to be removed from TFT and I am actually glad not to be affiliated with her anymore. As of today, TFT will not host hhhori/shindoke in any shape or form going forward.
A very challenging character to write; I always wanted to have an android/robotic character with an actual personality in a story, yet avoid the usual tropes they usually come with, as well as avoiding both ends of the spectrum (making him too robotic or too human-like). So, instead of taking the risk of trying to create something entirely new or working with an established trope, I decided to explore one particular theme I’ve always liked with this kind of character: the sentient machine, previously bound by its restrictions or directives to perform certain tasks or obey certain individuals, suddenly finding itself both outside of such constraints and being allowed to develop a personality of its own; struggling every step to make sense of the world it now has access to and the mystery of its own emotions, yet never being completely free of from its intended purpose.
As the oldest survivor of the Phylactery, he does his best to provide both his wisdom and skills to prevent the group from struggling with the same obstacles he had at the start. However, he’s unable to understand certain parts of other beings’ behavior (biases, hatred, love, depression) as he simply unable to quantify them with a clear reasoning through a machine’s logic. This serves as his own Achilles Heel, preventing him from fully understanding the ”Why?” behind a lot of things, such as Cole’s curiosity or Haudrica’s grudges, unable to realize that living beings are just illogical at times.
Unlike the rest of the cast, however, his journey is less about survival and more about self-discovery, as he wasn’t ”born” with his sapience, he was granted it at certain point, and had to thread ahead with no guidance other than his acquired experience, and he bears the scars of this endeavors, both intrinsically and outwardly.
However, despite of his acquired sapience and experience as an independent being, his original programing remains a central part behavior; he’s a Service Droid at the core, and even though he would be more than able of surviving on his own, his original program creates within him a compulsion that vies him to gather other survivors and help them, not as a leader, but as an advisor. It was this that led to him to settle on the NVSC9 and making it everyone’s subsequent home. The same applies to his never-dwindling loyalty and devotion to his Mistress, whose existence gives his life a ”goal” to work towards, far beyond day-to-day survival, but that he choose to keep (mostly) secret from others.
The main idea behind his character is rather simple; something familiar and human-like, yet at the same time not quite human. You could say he threads the outer edges of the Uncanny Valley, never going in or out of it; human enough to be relatable yet robotic enough to feel ”off”, with his unnatural dialogue and behavior being key points. (Btw, like most of the cast, his name is completely random; first cluster of letters I could punch as I wrote…)
Undoubtedly, the hardest part of writing him is his dialogue; he’s second only to Zalura in dialogue difficulty. I try to use as little contractions as possible, and try to employ a rather ”verbose lexicon”, which shows a character that learned his language not from other people, but from a great number of classical literature and the like, yet not so overly complex that readers can’t understand him.
I usually phrase, rephrase and rewrite his sentences a lot until they ”feel” right (and I DO admit I mixed a bit of ” The Spock” trope in his character, and not entirely unconsciously…) and then trust my proofreaders to give it a ”normal people’s words” check.
So, as usual I ask the questions, this time chiefly the second one: What is that you find engaging in Tetlekar? Is his dialogue understandable, or did I go overboard? 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.
I’ll keep this brief since I don’t think very many people care at this point. I wasn’t sleeping, I wasn’t eating well, I was suffering from near constant anxiety attacks, I was losing friends and I let my grades slip. Instead of ignoring what was bothering me I decided to grow up and face it. I deleted all my stories and commissioned art off my computer, so unless someone archived my stuff it’s gone for good, in conclusion just forget I ever existed, I was never anything special.
I wish I could have been less of a drama queen about all of this,
Judging for both categories was done by 4 judges (Myself, Bob, TwoHeavens and AnonMD) and the results are as follows:
Placing was done by a round table discussion from all four judges until a unanimous decision was reached.
1st place – Ehrr
2nd place – Axem
3rd place – A.D.I.D.A.S
Scoring for written submissions was done through four categories: Technical, Tone, Plot and Characters each given a score out of 5, which were then added for a total score out of 20 for each judge. Final scores were the average of all judges scores for the piece.
AcetheWriteFag (12.67 points) Pundalin (12.33 points) JadedWidower (11.67 points) Moongrim (5.33 points) C Nile Skeleton (3.33 points)
Please don’t hesitate to contact the judges for further feedback and a breakdown of the scores from any of the judges.
I will be contacting the winners shortly to get their prizes out to them.
Most of all, I would like to thank everyone who has participated in the competition, writers, artists and judges alike. It started as a drunken plan one evening but I’ve really enjoyed this competition. It was my first time running anything like this so sorry if things were not as organised as they possibly could be. I’ll try to do better in the next one I intend to run in a few months from now!
I was contacted by the Admin of the russian MG community on VKontakte (russian facebook basically) and they are celebrating their 5th anniversary today!
What does this mean for you? Mainly, they are launching their own Discord server today. Some of their members also speak english and there are some english channels to accommodate visitors, so if you are curious, check them out.
You will find their link permanently added to the Links page.
So this was one busy week for me and I am proud to finally announce some upgrades to TFT!
First off, I have retired the Search Stories page from the menu, since it wasn’t widely used. However I have a solid replacement that I scouted a month earlier and now grabbed… I present to y’all the Library
This is a fairly big upgrade to the way you can browse stories and it is necessary due to the sheer amount of content we have now. 1091 stories and growing. The Latest Stories listing is a bit nicer on the eyes and also shows banner artwork, but it worked better when we didn’t have several hundreds of entries. Furthermore, the content filters are nestled in a nice dropdown menu in the left corner, which is why the Search Stories page is now obsolete.
Downsides there that I am not terribly happy about is that the Tags and Author column isn’t searchable, which is a performance limitation. I can enable it but I have seen page load times increase to over 20 seconds and for the amount of traffic we get it is simply not doable. I don’t want to set fire to the server just yet.
Another sideeffect of the implementation is that I can now offer a wider Gallery view without the right sidebar to all hosted artists. If you want to have a look, .Less has already requested the new layout. Poke me on Discord if you want to transition, takes less than 2 minutes but it may make some design changes on your side necessary.
Last but not least, the servers were paid for another 3 months. This upgrade plus the hosting was funded almost completely by Patreon, so this is again a big fat thank you for all our supporters!
A huge thank you to the 8 writers and 3 artists who entered the competition! Submissions are now closed so it’s time for the judging to begin, which will be completed on the 16th of this month and results should be announced that day barring any issues.
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.
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.