God School Lessons: #4

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God School Lessons: #4

Postby Arles » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:03 pm

Lesson Four: Creating a freestyle adventure (part 2)
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"Hey guys! Welcome back again to The Freeheart Fantasy Guide! My name is Hastur I'm here to get started on the second part of the frestyle adventuring lesson."

"This time we will be addressing some new topics, so I hope you are ready for this new ride."

3.4 Add side-characters to the mix
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"First let's talk about side characters. No adventure, that dares to call itself that, can live without friends and foes. Both have a major role in storytelling, and they should be taken into account every time we plan a game of this type."

"Planning and presenting helping characters and enemies in an efficient and imaginative way will no doubt enhance the player experience and raise the overall level of the game."

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"The main thing to consider is DIFFERENCES. Fat and slim. Tall and short. Wide and Long. Big and Small. Difference will bring contrast, and contrast will not only add flavor to our game, but also help the players understand and quickly recognice the function of each character in the story."

"This is a fun thing to do too, and it will prevent your game from looking rather flat."

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"Just imagine the possibilities!!!"

"Your goblins character could have a full cast of foes waiting for him to find them! And how about a huge final boss that more than doubles him in size? That certainly would make the players go nuts."
"But you can use this to give the player a sense of power and companionship too. From big to small: surrounding your player with allies and NPCs will make him feel he's accomplishing something, and that he's not alone in his quest."

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"Difference is key. Think about it like this: Look at the first line of squares and then at the last line of faces. Which one is more compelling?"

"Of course, you don't have to vary them that much either. Differences in shape could be enough. Or differences in color could do the job too. The main goal is to create an interesting setting, and this is one way of doing it. Don't underestimate it!"

3.5 Dealing with replies
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"This is one of the most important parts of your job: your relationship with the players."

"You never know what's gonna happen in this type of games. As you don't know who or what the directions will be. So I think it's good to be mentally prepared for it."

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"I'm almost sure that 90% of the time you will get awesome replies and orders to do. They will blow your mind and make you laugh your arse off more than once."

"This is what we are looking for and what we should listen too. But everything within certain boundaries: If you want to run a serious game, with drama an suspense, you are better off ignoring the funny jokes. You could use them once in a while and give them a grim twist too, just to let the players know how things are going to be."

"Have fun with them and don't be afraid of the unexpected!"

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"And then you will get the annoying ones. The ones that don't intend on building anything: some people just want to see the world burn."

"Don't be upset by these. Just ignore them and go on with the game. Even if some troll says something rude to you or about your game. In this type of game you will (with luck) get responses from many, many different people. Maybe even from users that tag along on turn 73. So don't be surprised nor alarmed. Go with the directions that are useful to the characters and the story, and you'll be just fine."

3.6 Taking the passenger seat
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"And here we are, in the final part of this lesson. And this just might be the most important statement. We've been covering the whats and the hows and the whys of adventure crafting in forum games. But another important thing is to just relax and have a good time."

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"You might drive yourself crazy about the next deadline, about that combat in which you miscalculated the damage, or about that pose you just can't get right."

"You may feel bad because the players are talking your game in a direction you didn't plan out, or maybe you just think your not good enough to do this and you shouldn't have started a game in the first place."

"It happens. It's normal:"

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"But don't be so hard on yourself. Allow yourself to take the passenger seat. Let the story write itself and burst in laughter if you main character ends up doing something silly because the players said so."

"You are supposed to be doing this for fun. So do just that: let yourself and the game go, give yourself a break if you need it and then come back strong once again. Have a good time. That's the hole point of this game mastering thing."

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"Maybe you thought about ten different paths for the story to go. And maybe you have no idea where you are going. Or maybe you've been planing a trap or an encounter for a whole day and the players just miss it. Or solve it in a whimp."

"No biggie. Freestyle Adventures are about that, in the end. If you just impose your will and give the illusion of choice to the players, the masquerade won't last long and the game might just fail. Don't go down that road."



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"Instead, do your best, have fun, draw to your heart's content, and make the most awesome adventure ever. You can do it."



The Assignment will be up later. See you there!
Last edited by Arles on Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: God School Lessons: #3

Postby SeeAMoose » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:49 pm

[spoil]Would you like me to split this up into separate threads for you?[/spoil]
I am one of the forum admins and chat moderators. Drop any of us a line if you ever need a hand in either the forum or the chat.
You can reach me at AdminMoose@goblinsforum.com or at BotWalter@gmail.com
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Re: God School Lessons: #3

Postby Ratha » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:11 am

Arles wrote: (also, my gf said your Knight Bear's version looks extremely cute)


And somehow, it's that compliment that makes my day. :)
He has returned, one of the great old ones, and has caught up on goblins, still thinking "Holy Sonuvacrap! PsiMinMax!"
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Re: God School Lessons: #4

Postby LAYF » Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:07 am

Arles? Any news on the asignment?

No stress, just wondering...
-Best regards LAYF
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Re: God School Lessons: #3

Postby Nerre » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:41 am

SeeAMoose wrote:Would you like me to split this up into separate threads for you?


Yes, would be nice. Each thread with the lesson as the first post(s).
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Re: God School Lessons: #3

Postby thinkslogically » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:49 am

Nerre wrote:
SeeAMoose wrote:Would you like me to split this up into separate threads for you?


Yes, would be nice. Each thread with the lesson as the first post(s).


Sorry Moose, I totally missed this post! Yes, now we've got a new sub-forum and won't be spamming the main games area, separate threads would be great thanks :) I'll make a new thread for each lesson after this.
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Re: God School Lessons: #4

Postby Arles » Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:21 am

LooksAtYouFunny wrote:Arles? Any news on the asignment?

No stress, just wondering...


Yeah, sorry for the delay. Blame it on "life"...

I'll be uploading the assignment this afternoon.
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Re: God School Lessons: #4

Postby Nerre » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:32 am

Don't worry, I was late too. ;)
Anybody wants to comment on my work for this lesson? Was hoping somebody would post a comment, but nothing yet.
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Re: God School Lessons: #4

Postby LooksAndSmiles » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:03 pm

Nerre wrote:Don't worry, I was late too. ;)
Anybody wants to comment on my work for this lesson? Was hoping somebody would post a comment, but nothing yet.

I can comment it, if you wish :)

The overall idea is good and fun, and the delivery is pretty sweet! Good work!

I have made a detailed, thus a bit too long comment, spoilered so it doesn't hog that much of a space. :)

- The short version is: Size. Sounds. Expressions. Timing.
- The long version:
[spoil]Size
- I really liked that you used different sizes for the panels, along with using multiple panels to express a sequence of an event.

- However, you might want to reduce the size of your pictures. Keep in mind that
a) the forum by default mode is not really supporting wide pictures (sidebars and such),
b) the bigger the pictures are, the longer it takes them to load. Some players might want to check the thread on their mobile phone or just have a generally bad connection, if they have to wait a lot (or pay a lot for the traffic) they might be discouraged a bit.
c) Your pictures in this piece of "comic" do not contain too many things, and the low level of detail does not warrant to use so much space. This is something people will notice, and their overall feeling might be "why this picture is so big" instead of enjoying the effort you've put in. Feel free to make big pictures if you find them easier, but always try them out in smaller, scaled-down versions to see whether they still work. You may also try to crop parts you deem unnecessary. I'll get back to this point later on in more examples.

- The text size is a bit too big for my tastes. Given that the pictures are big this might not be that disturbing, but still. Also, they are more-less of the same size, you might try to play with that too (like muffled sounds smaller, important lines bigger, boldness, indentation, etc.), along with using some colors, different fonts, perhaps? (Comic Sans is the most overused font, ever. :( I can only advise to get rid of it, else you might end up cathegorized as "meh, another comic-sans noob". It would be a shame as you clearly worth a lot more than that. )

Sound Effects
- I see you have used the clang at the beginning to show that something is coming. It is a good one, although I would argue with the placement; You spent the next 4 panels of the dragon to open its eyes, look around, and smirk. Since the eyes were closed on the previous big panel, the first panel of the sequence is a bit superflous, and makes the process a bit slow, or sleepy. If that was your intention then it's ok, if you aim for more dynamism, may I suggest the following:
1) The first panel doesn't need the *clang*. You could add a snoring sound effect, or if you want to show that players coming, you might add "small sized" sound effects, maybe conversation barely legible, like "- This way! - That was where we came from, you idiot... - Oh.", and so on.
2) Add the *clang* to the first small panel of the 4-sequence. That would make the eyes opening in the next panel come "faster" than it is now.
2b) Alternatively, you could omit that first small panel entirely, and add the sound effect to the next one, with the eyes open. It would suggest an "immediate" popping of eyes, which is the most dynamic situation that could happen. (And you would also save a panel)

- You might add a *poof* or *bamf* to the panel where the dragon changes its form. There is no need to "voice" every panel though, but given that there is not much happening on the pictures, you might spice them up with sounds here or there.

- Similarly, the panel where the teddy breathes fire, everything over the -10 signs and right to the head of the teddy (So basically the 75% of the picture!) is unnecessary. You might just crop it, or if you feel like to keep it, you may want to add a flaming *FWOOOSH* to make the fire breathing even more awesome.

Expressions
- I'm glad that you took time to give facial expressions, making the overall feeling a bit more vivid. Putting them on close-ups has been a good idea, too!
- This, however, rises the stakes: If you use an expression, make sure you use it right, ie it conveys the message you want it to.
a) When the dragon first opens its eyes, what does it feel, how does it react to the noise? Sleepy? Surprised? Alert or just suddenly too awake? Bored? You might try to play with that face a bit more if you dedicate an entire panel for it. The evil smirk on the last panel of that 4-sequence is spot on.
b) What is the point of the teddy-expressions? To me it looks like as the exact same repeat of the first sequence: unchanged face - looking aside - smirk. This kind of makes it boring, might even superflous. Since I don't know what your intention was, I'm sketching up some scenes that I think could have happened there, and what would I have done. These are likely not what you were aiming for, so just take them as random ideas:

1) Expressing a sudden change of an inanimate object to something that will make the PCs and the viewers "UH OH":
  • The first panel has the same, non-moving teddy face.
  • The second has a clear glimpse of the eyes, maybe them glowing up or flaring
  • The third (instead of a smirk that we have already seen) either a small intake of air (acompanied with an appropiate sound effect) or a trembling from the stomach / neck direction to prepare for the next panel with the big burn. Or it can be omitted.
2) Expressing a 4th-wall connection of the dragon with the viewers, in a way of "I'm doing this for you"
  • Make the first panel looking inanimate, but glancing towards "us" (just like it is on the picture, although I'm not sure whether it's intentional).
  • On the second panel, make it wink (and smile), so we know something is coming.
  • Third panel can be omitted again, or somehow prepare the panel to come (as above).
3) Expressing interaction with the PC's that appeared
  • Add the shadows of the characters over the bear, so we see that he is in their focus too.
  • Move the text of the previous big panel! "-Only a stupid teddy-bear" should go on the first close-up, emphasizing the focus. "Doesn't matter, ..." should go on the second panel, here the teddy bear could wrinkle its forehead or look angry / nasty
  • Third panel like above. It might even have a gasping/surprised reaction from the PCs.

Timing
Pointing out again, your timing is a bit slow. That is not a bad thing, but if you are using big panels or have a lot to tell, you might consider using less panels, stuffing more actions into each one or just leaving out the ones that are not adding much.
- See the timing of the first event (noise - smirk - poof) described above by the sounds/ expressions part.
- See the timing of the second event (players arrive - teddy-bear close-up - fwoosh) at the expressions part.

- The timing of the ending event (punny conclusion - poofing back - end scene) is also a bit slow:
1) You could add the pun to the panel where we see the smoking remnants, making a whole new picture for it is a bit superflous.
2) Again, that changing back takes up too much space. I know that for the "completeness" of the story you feel it necessary, but it doesn't add much, neither it closes the story properly: the last panel is the dragon with the same smirk, again. If nothing "new" is going on, that changing back could have happened already! For example while the PCs were still smoking, the dragon could have changed back, and had made the pun on the last, new panel, making the comic end "tuned up". If you wish for a peaceful ending, then the last panel should have a different expression, for example a blissful, satisfied smile, or a "meh, another working day" face, or a "let's get back to sleep", you get the idea. To help with ending the comic, it could also help to fade out the picture or the corners of it. Since your picture has black corners all around this would be unfortunately not really visible. You might try to use backgrounds/scenes that are not too dark at the edges (or at all), so you can play with the lighting more.

Typos (These are not that important, but if you make large-sized texts be aware that typos will be even more obvious)
- Teddy Bears do not have an "a" in teddy
- Doesn't has an " 't " at the end. If you go for some kind of local pronunciation you might omit them, but then an indented text or more word changes would be appropiate too.
- They "were" and not "where".[/spoil]

I encourage the other players to read the long version too - even if they did/will not commit the same mistakes, Nerre's entry has a lot of good highlights and practical cases that can be learned from.

I hope it has been helpful, else please ignore my ramblings. :)
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Re: God School Lessons: #4

Postby LAYF » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:26 pm

Nerre wrote:Don't worry, I was late too. ;)
Anybody wants to comment on my work for this lesson? Was hoping somebody would post a comment, but nothing yet.



WEll... I do have comments... for all of the works... but i perfer to let the teacher do the commenting first... THEN I'll strike ;)
-Best regards LAYF
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Re: God School Lessons: #4

Postby Nerre » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:32 pm

I wish I had a drawing board. I am much better with a pen than with the mouse. :/
Last edited by Nerre on Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: God School Lessons: #4

Postby M0rtimer » Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:34 am

Heh. Just want to say that this assignment fits perfectly with what I had already planned to do once exams are over and I can start spending some time on this. :)
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Re: God School Lessons: #4

Postby madmartin26 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:09 pm

I've been busy with exams and graduation the past few days, but now that summers actually here, i should have plenty of time to finish both lessons. I do have a question though...I installed the most recent form of Gimp in a spree of updating things, and while almost everything is familiar, for some reason i can't find out how to change the brush size. I found all the brush templates and fiddled around for about twenty minutes, but i couldn't find a small brush or scale the other brushes at all. :?
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Re: God School Lessons: #4

Postby BeanDip » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:33 pm

Nerre, I loved your work. I do agree that some sound effects "POOF!" for the transformation and "FWOOSH" for the fire would have improved it but I thought it was funny and creative and clearly readable.

Ratha, I loved that! I wish I would have told you sooner but you know, life and such. I might keep on of those little bots in my lair, if you don't mind.
NOTE TO ALL THOSE I AM GAMING WITH: Currently gaming with others in the Sacred Statue Garden.


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Re: God School Lessons: #4

Postby LooksAndSmiles » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:46 pm

madmartin26 wrote:I've been busy with exams and graduation the past few days, but now that summers actually here, i should have plenty of time to finish both lessons. I do have a question though...I installed the most recent form of Gimp in a spree of updating things, and while almost everything is familiar, for some reason i can't find out how to change the brush size. I found all the brush templates and fiddled around for about twenty minutes, but i couldn't find a small brush or scale the other brushes at all. :?


Hi Martin!

Basically there is one field where your change the size, I marked it red:
Image

You have 4 ways to edit it. Each of them is a bit uncomfortable at first, but each one has some appeal. Personally I use the 2nd and 4th mostly.

1) Click on the up/down for small change per click.
2) Click into the number, and edit it by typing to the desired value
3) Click into the blue/white part and drag left and right for smooth size change
4) Click near to the top of the box when you see the mouse changing to a direct arrow showing upwards. This will make the size jump to the exact amount the arrow points at.
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Re: God School Lessons: #4

Postby madmartin26 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:05 pm

Thanks for the help Looks, but i'm pretty sure we have different versions of gimp. I have gimp 2.8 and the bottom of the toolbox looks like this:

Image

And i can't find a size scroller anywhere. I tried changing the spacing, but that doesn't affect the size.
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Re: God School Lessons: #4

Postby M0rtimer » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:15 pm

Let me google that for you

:P

Seriously though, it seems that 2.8 has added the option to customize your toolboxes, but doing so has removed brush size from the default settings. This should help:

In GIMP click Windows > Dockable Dialogs > Tool Options. Click and drag it and drop it under your toolbox where it says "you can drop dockable dialogs here".
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Re: God School Lessons: #4

Postby madmartin26 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:28 pm

Ah...Yeah in retrospect i probably should have done that first, but thanks for the help Mort.
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