#001: Insert Coin

koobismo

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Nov 21, 2014
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disayle31 said:
You sure know how to pique interest, Koobs, though as a longtime fan of yours mine was already high. Who are these guys (and the girl)? What exactly are they trying to accomplish? Who's "they"? Who's the guy with the shovel? I wanna know! And I know you'll answer these questions by telling a real kickass story. The line about YouTube pranks had me laughing out loud. I'm definitely looking forward to see where this goes!
Thanks, Disayle, much appreciated! I hope I've paced it all in a satisfying way, but there's definitely a sizeable set of mysteries, small and big, to unravel as we progress - with a bunch of clues laid out for the most perceptive readers.

chozo_hybrid said:
Is it intended to be a long term comic? Or is that undecided? The one thing I wasn't a fan of was the fuzz filter (is that the right word?) or whatever it is. Gives it a textured kind of fuzzy look to me making it weird on the eyes in some instances, not a deal breaker though. I like kind of Tell-Tale Games style it has going, I look forward to updates :)
Thanks, Brent! The comic is intended as a rather long term thing, though with a finite, pre-defined storyline - I'm actually pretty open to moving the pieces around in this one, based on feedback, but I'm adamant about where I want to end it all. I've also prepared two "doomsday scenarios" in case it was about to get cancelled way early, allowing me to wrap it up much sooner, if need be... Thus is the fate of a pessimist, always preparing for the worst-case scenario! Alas, here's hoping it will be cool enough to keep up your interest throughout its entire run. So far so good.

As for the fuzz filter - do you mean the overall visual noise, or rather some specific elements (like the backgrounds) in select frames? I did end up increasing the contrast of the noise in the first part of the comic several times, and might've overdone it a bit.

RatGouf said:
Maybe this is a sign I'm insane but some of her facial expressions remind me of Nicolas Cage....
I am indeed a follower of the One True God Nicolas Cage, so it might've just been my love for his awe-inspiring facial formidability seeping into the frames of this comic. I shall not apologize, though, as this spontaneous creative outburst is but giving testament to The Wildest of All Faces, The One Who Gawks.

Firefilm said:
On behalf of No Right Answer, I dig your art style, love the intrigue, and welcome you to the site.
Holy shit, people I know, talking to me, enjoying my stuff! On behalf of myself, you're awesome, thank you and this whole place is really neat.
 

Teoes

Poof, poof, sparkles!
Jun 1, 2010
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This is definitely interesting! I too like the style and want to see where the story is going. Looking forward to reading more.
 

Pinkamena

Stuck in a vortex of sexy horses
Jun 27, 2011
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I'm curious about how this is made. At times it looks hand drawn, but other pictures looks like a cel-shaded 3D model overlaid on a photograph gone through some photoshop filters.
 

chozo_hybrid

Jund 'Em Out!
Jul 15, 2009
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koobismo said:
As for the fuzz filter - do you mean the overall visual noise, or rather some specific elements (like the backgrounds) in select frames? I did end up increasing the contrast of the noise in the first part of the comic several times, and might've overdone it a bit.
Glad to hear it's long term :D I think the overall visual noise one is what I meant, I feel it was overdone, but thanks for responding to everyone's constructive feedback here.

Hopefully no doomsday scenarios will be needed.
 

Guffe

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Jul 12, 2009
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Alrighty then, let's get this one going!!!
as about 70% of the people writing here_ You've caught my interest! :p
 

Arean

Windwalker of Shaundakul
Apr 24, 2008
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Dropping by for the obligatory "okay, you piqued my interest".

But really, this kind of long-form comic is gonna be a nice addition to the site, I think, and the visuals so far is right up my alley.
 

Alfador_VII

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Nov 2, 2009
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Yeah like this idea, some sort of "Doc" and and an AI drone messing with a girl's mind.

Also Shovel Knight!
 

Jandau

Smug Platypus
Dec 19, 2008
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Bah, typical casual behavior - needs a full VR neural interface to handle Shovel Knight. Shameful...

Seriously, though, good start, looking forward to seeing where you go with this. :)
 

Jacked Assassin

Nothing On TV
Jun 4, 2010
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koobismo said:
RatGouf said:
Maybe this is a sign I'm insane but some of her facial expressions remind me of Nicolas Cage....
I am indeed a follower of the One True God Nicolas Cage, so it might've just been my love for his awe-inspiring facial formidability seeping into the frames of this comic. I shall not apologize, though, as this spontaneous creative outburst is but giving testament to The Wildest of All Faces, The One Who Gawks.
No need to do such a thing as I would have enjoyed it for Rule 63 anyway.
 

Lightknight

Mugwamp Supreme
Nov 26, 2008
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Oh, very cool. You're monitoring the responses to your art work. It's going to be great to see you discuss some of your future works if they're also this good. I'm really happy you're contributing here. Thanks!

It's also quite telling how good you are at hooking your audience in when I look back and see so many people come in here to say the exact same thing. That they saw/read it and there was something that just grabbed a hold of us and made us want to know more.

Very interesting take on a realistic shovel knight, by the way.
 

koobismo

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Nov 21, 2014
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Teoes said:
This is definitely interesting! I too like the style and want to see where the story is going. Looking forward to reading more.
Guffe said:
Alrighty then, let's get this one going!!! as about 70% of the people writing here_ You've caught my interest! :p
Arean said:
Dropping by for the obligatory "okay, you piqued my interest". But really, this kind of long-form comic is gonna be a nice addition to the site, I think, and the visuals so far is right up my alley.
Thank you, Teoes! Thank you, Guffe! Thank you, Arean! Glad to hear that, thanks for welcoming me around here and welcome to the series yourselves! It will most definitely be a bit...specific, as is most of the stuff I've ever done, but I do hope that you'll keep enjoying it throughout!

Pinkamena said:
I'm curious about how this is made. At times it looks hand drawn, but other pictures looks like a cel-shaded 3D model overlaid on a photograph gone through some photoshop filters.
All your observations are in fact correct, Pinkamena. It's a big mess of techniques I've set up to deliver a look that I like, mostly by trial and error. I do try to keep it more uniform than not - but there are definitely some differences between frames that come from a 3d render being post-processed and overpainted, and ones that include more grounds-up manual work or bits and pieces I've ripped from my shitty old camera or some other legit source.

The general setup is that I'm posing and rendering actual 3d models - characters with hand-sculpted faces, my own model creations, stuff I've collected in my library over the years, when I still had enough money to buy up commercial licenses for various model collections, etc. - joining them up with painted stuff, photographic details and textures, and then pulling it all through my pipeline, which consists of heavy filtering (I've got effect macros set up that take between 3 and 10 minutes to process a single frame of the comic), overpainting with my Wacom tablet (equally shitty as my camera, as its plastic casing is rather unelegantly falling apart) - which I skip on frame elements I don't think need it (hence the difference in backgrounds you've noticed, probably) - and finally applying detailed postwork on top of all that. I tried to take all my experiences with developing Marauder Shields into account when coming up with this process, avoiding all the obvious traps and horrible timesinks that I've endured (and am enduring) on that project.

All in all, I try to make it look good and present the story well, but I'm always the first to emphasize that I am in no way a proper, trained and fully realized artist. Hell, I still struggle with understanding perspective! In the end I just make pictures to visualize the stuff I've written, which - to me - is always the clue of it all and at all times my primary concern. Seriously, I obsess on whether or not a single word reveals too much of the upcoming plot. Wish I was joking.

Due to all that, any critique one might throw at me is extremely valuable, and although it might not be heeded in full (I do have a rather specific taste when it comes to comics, preferring the "heavier" styles, so to speak), it will definitely be accepted with glee and taken under advisement. In short: if you want to kick my ass about something, do so, please. The more detail you give, the bigger the chance I can improve. This goes to all of you fine folks.

Similarly, if you want to make sure I keep doing something I'm doing well, do let me know what exactly is it.

chozo_hybrid said:
Glad to hear it's long term :D I think the overall visual noise one is what I meant, I feel it was overdone, but thanks for responding to everyone's constructive feedback here. Hopefully no doomsday scenarios will be needed.
Roger that - no promises (I need to see it before making any decisions), but I'll try to look into downplaying it a bit while still keeping the specific art style I have in mind. Also, dude, you have no idea how much I need this feedback - both in terms of improving on this series and my psychological comfort - so do indeed pile it up whenever you have some to share, negative or positive! Always greatly appreciated!

Alfador_VII said:
Yeah like this idea, some sort of "Doc" and and an AI drone messing with a girl's mind. Also Shovel Knight!
This one couldn't start any other way, including Shovel Knight was a must. I have bits of the soundtrack stuck in my head at all times nowadays.

Jandau said:
Bah, typical casual behavior - needs a full VR neural interface to handle Shovel Knight. Shameful... Seriously, though, good start, looking forward to seeing where you go with this. :)
Sir Jandaue, I demand satisfaction! How dare you accuse anyone of casual behavior in a webcomic that actually has the word "hardcore" in its god-given title! For shame! We shall duel, and with shovels!

Thank you and do keep watchful, the VR neural interface is very much relevant to the overall plot, not just a gimmick to put some characters and references together (though it is that as well, obviously).

RatGouf said:
koobismo said:
I am indeed a follower of the One True God Nicolas Cage, so it might've just been my love for his awe-inspiring facial formidability seeping into the frames of this comic. I shall not apologize, though, as this spontaneous creative outburst is but giving testament to The Wildest of All Faces, The One Who Gawks.
No need to do such a thing as I would have enjoyed it for Rule 63 anyway.
Now you're just taunting me to change her name to Nicoletta Cage, aren't you.

Lightknight said:
Oh, very cool. You're monitoring the responses to your art work. It's going to be great to see you discuss some of your future works if they're also this good. I'm really happy you're contributing here. Thanks!
My pleasure! Though, on the other hand, don't thank me yet, you might have enough of my poking and proding for more detailed feedback ("And which frame would that apply to?") soon enough! I'm definitely here to ask, be asked, poke, be poked and discuss anything. The only thing I'll try to avoid will be spoilers, but anything else is fair game.

Lightknight said:
It's also quite telling how good you are at hooking your audience in when I look back and see so many people come in here to say the exact same thing. That they saw/read it and there was something that just grabbed a hold of us and made us want to know more. Very interesting take on a realistic shovel knight, by the way.
Thank you! There's a fun story connected to that "realistic" Shovel Knight, actually, as its a mix of two models I've prepped for, well, that super-awesome Baldur's Gate-like roleplaying game I totally developed and obviously certainly and totally almost finished right after college (fair warning: don't set out to make RPGs on your own in entry-level middleware as your first game dev project). I've dusted it off, swapped the textures, added a few details here and there, morphed a few others, and, voila, the Shovel Knight plus sombre, a'la noire!

P.S. Holy shit, my replies. Towers of text.
 

Aerosteam

Get out while you still can
Sep 22, 2011
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Uh... is anybody going to translate that binary code? I would do it myself but there's a possibility it's just gibberish...

Edit: Oh hey, somebody already did!

Edit: Damn it.
 

chozo_hybrid

Jund 'Em Out!
Jul 15, 2009
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koobismo said:
chozo_hybrid said:
Glad to hear it's long term :D I think the overall visual noise one is what I meant, I feel it was overdone, but thanks for responding to everyone's constructive feedback here. Hopefully no doomsday scenarios will be needed.
Roger that - no promises (I need to see it before making any decisions), but I'll try to look into downplaying it a bit while still keeping the specific art style I have in mind. Also, dude, you have no idea how much I need this feedback - both in terms of improving on this series and my psychological comfort - so do indeed pile it up whenever you have some to share, negative or positive! Always greatly appreciated!
With an attitude like that, you should do well here. It's ice to see, well anyways, I look forward to next comic.
 

Quantum Glass

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Mar 19, 2013
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koobismo said:
Glad you went for translating it, Quantum Glass, I wondered if anyone would bother. :D Did you do it "by hand" or rather used one of those OCR screen-scan thingies?
Curse your decision to include easter eggs!

But yeah, I typed it up by eyeball.

Goddamn it, how long have we had software like that?
 

koobismo

New member
Nov 21, 2014
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Groverfield said:
Shovelrim?
Shovelwind! [http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Morrowind:Shenk%27s_Shovel]

Aerosteam said:
Uh... is anybody going to translate that binary code? I would do it myself but there's a possibility it's just gibberish...
There's always the possibility THE WHOLE COMIC is just gibberish, not just the binary code!

(It's not)
(Or so I hope)

Tigerlily Warrior said:
Nope, me too!
That makes three of us!

chozo_hybrid said:
With an attitude like that, you should do well here. It's ice to see, well anyways, I look forward to next comic.
So far, loving it around here. Need to gain the courage to stop my lurking and actually start posting in threads other than this one, but, y'know... Soon.

Quantum Glass said:
Curse your decision to include easter eggs!
But yeah, I typed it up by eyeball.
Goddamn it, how long have we had software like that?
I'm not sure how long it's been around, but I did find out about it a couple of days after typing up a 30-page printout for some work-related affair. Also, beware, beware, there will be more easter eggs incoming, references and whatnot!

I eat them scrambled
I eat them rare
I'm an Easter Egg connoisseur!
...what, it almost rhymed.
 

Grimh

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Feb 11, 2009
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koobismo said:
Thanks, Grimh! Marauder is still ongoing, three years in. I absolutely suck ass at delivering it in the time I allocate myself, but, hey, there's many factors to blame for that, from the amount of work one ep takes (I kind of overcomplicated my process along the way), to the fact that it doesn't pay the bills, hence being pushed completely aside when things get tough. Anyway, if you're up for it, you can read up to Episode 62 right now, with the third act already ongoing and the finale of our finale already playing out. As soon as the second episode of "Game On, Hardcore" goes up, I'll jump onto creating Marauder Shields #63!
Yeah man, totally understandable. Such things take the time they need to take.
I've now caught up on MS and I gotta say you've done a fantastic job.
I'm looking forward to see what you've got in store for it, and this.
 

koobismo

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Nov 21, 2014
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Grimh said:
Yeah man, totally understandable. Such things take the time they need to take.
I've now caught up on MS and I gotta say you've done a fantastic job.
I'm looking forward to see what you've got in store for it, and this.
Thanks, man! Glad to hear you like it, seriously. After spending so much time on something, one always risks losing the ability to see whether its any good - it's one of my constant worries. Anyhoo, very glad, will deliver more. :)

Now, if my goddamn ancient PC stops getting stuck, so I can just get those damn renders ready and play a bit of Pillars of Eternity, that would be sooo nice.
 

koobismo

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Nov 21, 2014
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'sup? Finally managed to read this, and I join the ranks of those intrigued about the comic. Since it's intended that we don't yet know shit about what's happening and who everyone is and what they're up to... yeah, I'll be back to learn more!

Never played Shovel Knight, though I did recognize him (or whatever it is that looks a lot like him). Curious who or what we'll meet as the story progresses. I like the art, it seems refreshingly un-webcomic-y (totally a word) - not that I read too many webcomics or anything and would know, actually...

Anyways, best of luck with this, hope it'll work out the way you want it to! :D



PS: I just finished downloading Pillars of Eternity, but I more than need to go to sleep. Maybe tomorrow I'll get the chance to learn that MY anctient PC isn't able to run it properly... (-_-)'