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.
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.
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!
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….
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.
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.
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.
So, finally, after almost three years of writer’s blocks, constant rewriting and re-rewriting (and sometimes even re-re-rewriting), Adrift is finally at its 10th Chapter, which may not seem much to all the cool folks in here with stories spanning well over that number, it is a first time milestone for this pro-procrastinating me.
Adrift began as what I like to as a ”Inspirational Dam-Shatter”; suddenly, you have an idea, and you think that idea would make a nice story, but it’s kinda late that day, so you just open Wordpad and write it down for later, but as you write it down, you keep thinking of new things that would go well with it, so you put them in there as well, then you think of a main character, of an intro, of another character, of scenes and this keep going on and on and on…. until you realize it’s 6:30AM, that you’ve already written the first chapter and half of the second and you were supposed to be sleeping eight hours ago to avoid falling asleep on a test you had next morning at 8:10AM (OH SH1T!) Real story, btw….
This is not the way I usually write my stories; I usually spent long, long periods of writing ”world and setting guides” and ”Character Sheets” and looking for a bunch of reference material and such, which in the end becomes quite a hassle when the ACTUAL WRITING begins (because I tend to overdesign), but Adrift had none of these (at first, there are a couple now…). All ideas were put into paper without much additional thought or carefully crafted references, and this happened to the point that I didn’t even fully think out the characters at first; all of them were created on the fly in such way that it was AFTER reading my own stuff (even months later) that I figured out the ideas and inspirations that had given birth to them. And I believe all this improvisation and lack of overdesign that has helped Adrift to keep going in my mind.
But well, I’m already 3 paragraphs in, and I haven’t even mentioned the cool stuff yet (as usual with me 😛 ).
So, as a way to celebrate this milestone (and as a Blatant Display of Pretentiousness on my part…. sorry), I decided to conduct a simple poll to know which of the characters of Adrift are found to be the most interesting, or maybe even favorites.
Which Adrift character do you like/find interesting?
Cole (15%, 8 Votes)
Haudrica (19%, 10 Votes)
Zalura (27%, 14 Votes)
Desri (8%, 4 Votes)
Mizelle (19%, 10 Votes)
Tetlekar (12%, 6 Votes)
Total Voters: 24
This poll will be going on for two weeks (until Jan 27), you can vote for up to 3 characters, and once the final results are counted, I will post a picture (My infinite thanks to .less for creating them. Epic stuff, dude!) of each character starting from Most to Least along with a sizable amount of (probably) spoilerless trivia regarding how each character was conceived in my mind, and what kind of source of inspiration led to them (I will also answer any spoilerless questions asked in the comments about them).
Anyway, thanks you very much to all those who enjoy this story and to those who’ve helped me with it, and please forgive this blatant display of pretentiousness on my part and for my blatant over usage of the word ”said” in all my works.
P.D. I just found out I quite like using the word ”Blatant”.
UPDATE: OK, the poll is closed. I’ll say I’m pleasantly surprised by the results in more than one way. Expect the first picture within the current weekend. And thanks to everyone who voted.
So far I have been running the site completely on my own, but I have to concede that we’re getting a little too large for me to fund solo. Note that I will always keep the site running to the best of my possibilities, however some of my decisions turned around to bite me in the arse a little bit.
I am still adamant that I want to keep the site ad-free. I personally hate advertisements and even though a lot of you told me that I should try running ads, I am still not really on board with that. TFT was originally intended to reflect what I like in a site – reasonably easy to use and nothing intrusive, no ads or popups.
Yet even with the pretty solid hosting package I am paying for which is enough to keep small to medium companies up and running, we’re kinda hammering the hosting a little bit. The reason for that is this:
So the bottomline is, this is amazing. We’re still somehow managing to grow and I think it might even go beyond that.
Now the Patreon comes into play. The Patreon will allow me to upgrade the servers even further if necessary (and to be honest, the hoster could actually poke me any month now if they get fed up with it) and also it will finally allow me to fund events and tournaments again, which is something that we dropped almost completely in the last year but that’s a bloody shame.
If you have some spare cash around and want to throw it at this site, by all means. I am grateful for anyone who wants to support the community. If you cannot afford it, please don’t. I am happy if you enjoy using the site, reading or scraping the galleries for pictures that would make your grandma scratch you off the inheritance.
Bookworm’s a tall, shut-in, Anubis who likes shit nerds enjoy. She gets bullied by her friend Knucklehead for collectin dolls (figmas) ‘n watchin Chinese cartoons. Nerds need to be crushed, so please bully her. With, like, headpats or somethin. I don’t fuckin know.
Now for main attraction, Knucklehead!
She’s a certificated nerd crusher* and strong heck dog. Deadlifts 500 lbs for reps and can crush 2 large watermelons between her thighs. A rude brood with some fuckin ‘tude!