#011: Tap Y To Ask Questions

#011: Tap Y To Ask Questions

Get it while it lasts! This episode of "Game On, Hardcore" takes us back onto the land, where adventures await.

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Last episode next week?
Not enough views?
That's a damn shame! I was really enoying this. Hope it works out for you and best of luck for the future!
Keep GamingOn!

What? Awww...
Of the new content at Escapist this was definitely the most interesting and I was really quite curious as to how will it all play out.

Damn, that sucks :(
I've been following your work since the early days of Marauder Shields and I'm looking forward to the game you are working on, but this comic was also very interesting. But I kind of understand the low numbers, this long form format doesn't really lend itself to sharing around and becoming viral like the typical "two guys on a couch making jokes about the game of the week" format that seems to dominate gaming related comics.

I just hope you don't let this setback demotivate you (too much). Your work (both the story telling/writing and the art) is great and I'm looking forward to whatever you'll do in the future :)

The art was good.

I really tried to like this... but either I'm as dense as a rock or the things i need to see to get interested in this are too deep for me to grasp.

The lady who's name I forgot is playing the pronoun game.

*ping*

But I'm sad to see this comic go. The art maybe wasn't the best (a bit wonky for a realistic style, just a bit), and clashed a little with what was going on maybe, but it was fun and unlike some other new comic I won't name you understood it was for a large part a visual medium. I liked the format, the a-typical framing, it really did click with me.

Not sure if this is helpful as feedback, but I barely noticed this was on the site since the thumbnail on the frontpage doesn't really identify it too well. The other webcomics usually put their name as part of the thumbnail so it's easier to tell but for all I knew this could have been a random Escapist article or podcast or something.

Then again it would be too depressing to blame low viewership entirely on a thumbnail so I doubt that's it. As you said, it's a complicated situation and there's a lot of little factors that probably contributed.

Damn, that's disappointing. I too was curious to see where this was going, seeing as you were the hero Mass Effect 3 needed... but didn't get. (I have to confess I didn't really follow Marauder Shields, it sort of hurt at the time.)

I will have to say, like a previous comment did, that somehow a new installment being released didn't really catch the eye as it should have on the front page. Several times it had been up for quite some time until I noticed it was a new one. Also, this may not have been the ideal distribution method for "slow-burn" work such as yours, unfortunately.

All the best going forward.

I can't imagine what went wrong. New content is always a welcome sight to me. Maybe the build was too slow, I dunno. Well, I thought it was a good comic while it lasted. I'll just take the classic internet stance that everyone with a different opinion is wrong.

That's quite a shame, but it's nice to be appreciated as niche. That said, the bigger let-downs I guess was the art, it's so cheesy, like someone took some photos and threw on an edge finding filter. Also, maybe the pages are a bit too long, but it's either that or an even more stunted narrative; then again, the benefit of shorter pages is that content can be released at higher frequency, keeping people more easily invested, because they don't have to recall last week to remember what happened.

tl;dr: frequency of pages too low.

Guffe:
Last episode next week? Not enough views? That's a damn shame! I was really enoying this. Hope it works out for you and best of luck for the future! Keep GamingOn!

Yeah, unfortunately. The numbers didn't really climb as they were supposed to (har, har!) after the first three-four episodes, and they kept low all throughout the run - the interest was low despite positive feedback (which makes it hard to course-correct to reflect people's interest, because, hey, people say they like it, they just don't read it), and at some point the good folks at the Escapist had to concede that no miraculous climb-up will ever occur. I actually agree with the verdict here, as painful as that is - as much as I like the idea for the series myself, I can't pretend that we've amassed a sufficient enough audience to warrant someone spending money for it. Eh.

I will remain at the (much comfortable) position then, that we were the elite few - makes for great alcoholic toasts. :D

dangoball:
What? Awww... Of the new content at Escapist this was definitely the most interesting and I was really quite curious as to how will it all play out.

Thanks, Dangoball, much appreciated. :)

One of my primary goals - one I scribbled out on a hundred of page corners :D - was to "make it different", not just in terms of the story and concepts, but how it felt and how it compared to other webcomics throughout the net. Truth is, I'm not that wildly interested in how most (not all) webcomics go about their content, and hoped there would be more folks feeling the need to shed the sameness as much as I did.

In the end, I feel that it was, indeed, quite different, so a thumbs up for myself in that regard, pat on the back, spank on the buttocks. Whether that "different" translated into "interesting", and whether it was actually good is for other people to judge - looking back I can point out definite mistakes and storytelling crutches that would be better to avoid, but felt like something I must do at the time (i.e. one rush-job on exposition I laid out after the criticism of episodes 2 and 3 carrying not enough content, some of the dialogues being write-ins just before the publication, which made them feel worse than something that I would actually iterate on, etc.). All in all, I myself really like the result, despite considering it imperfect. Wish we had the chance to get better and climb towards my favorite bits, but, hey, reality.

TheBigOne0305:
Damn, that sucks :( I've been following your work since the early days of Marauder Shields and I'm looking forward to the game you are working on, but this comic was also very interesting. But I kind of understand the low numbers, this long form format doesn't really lend itself to sharing around and becoming viral like the typical "two guys on a couch making jokes about the game of the week" format that seems to dominate gaming related comics.

Thanks, man! The demotivation is indeed a factor, as I've been struggling with some Stuff That Shan't Be Named for a while, and it's pretty easy to slip into a... less-energetic place - but I'll try to keep it in a jar. ;) There was a nice article about the number of independent projects that actually make it in the world of creativity (the percentage, of course, being miniscule), highlighting that loads of absolutely awesome stuff would never exist if their authors gave up after a failure, or a dozen. I might've not saved it for future reading, but I have kept that one deep in my memory.

Plus, there's always the option of using The Omega 13 when really desperate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fdcIwHKd_s

You're definitely right about the comic being in a pretty specific format, difficult to share over the interwebs. In fact, I'd go as far as to admit that most things I like are rarely shareable, and those that are, are often so for very subversive reasons. So, yeah, add that one to the count of possible factors.

TheBigOne0305:
I just hope you don't let this setback demotivate you (too much). Your work (both the story telling/writing and the art) is great and I'm looking forward to whatever you'll do in the future :)

Thank you. :) Not just 8 letters and a space, but an actual nod and smile at the screen here.

List:
The art was good. I really tried to like this... but either I'm as dense as a rock or the things i need to see to get interested in this are too deep for me to grasp.

If not liking something is a sign of being dense as a rock, I'm probably the densest of boulders, as I often ignore or actively disapprove of many things considered quite awesome by people I know to be great judges of quality. Risking a public lynching, I will, for example, say that I am neither a big fan of Guardians of the Galaxy, nor Frozen.* There, now you can all carry me on your bayonets, you bastaaarrrr--- [dies]

(*- Quick ass-saving note: I recognize them as work of quality, I simply didn't enjoy either all that much, ending up at "meh, whatever, what was that Reddit noise all about?")

But, yeah, the point I'm making is that if at any point any creator decides that it's his audience's fault for not liking something of his, he is probably an ass. There are many aspects to consider, including that of author's capability and compatibility (a major thing for me, as I can come off as contrarian simply due to the selection of things I like or dislike), but in the end the question's whether enough people gave a crap to continue. I think there's absolutely nothing bad about disliking "Game On", is what I'm saying, nor is there about not finding it all that attractive, yo.

Cowabungaa:
But I'm sad to see this comic go. The art maybe wasn't the best (a bit wonky for a realistic style, just a bit), and clashed a little with what was going on maybe, but it was fun and unlike some other new comic I won't name you understood it was for a large part a visual medium. I liked the format, the a-typical framing, it really did click with me.

Thanks, Cowabungaa. Thou shalt be toasted with this beer in my hand, right now. A solid gulp.

And, yeah, I do agree that the art might've been better at times, there's a big difference between the frames I actually took a bit of time on and the ones rushed out when the clock was running out - but I'm still pretty proud of the result, seeing how I'm an absolute amateur at this stuff. All in all, taught myself some new techniques over the run, got to conceptualize an older StarChild, made Ecco The Dolphin look scary, created a dragon with L.O.D. problems... A few things off my bucket list. ;)

QuadFish:
Not sure if this is helpful as feedback, but I barely noticed this was on the site since the thumbnail on the frontpage doesn't really identify it too well. The other webcomics usually put their name as part of the thumbnail so it's easier to tell but for all I knew this could have been a random Escapist article or podcast or something. Then again it would be too depressing to blame low viewership entirely on a thumbnail so I doubt that's it. As you said, it's a complicated situation and there's a lot of little factors that probably contributed.

Oh, sure, definitely helpful, dude. I agree that might've been an additional factor, albeit not a primary one - in fact, I was thinking about the ways to spice up the thumbnails and front-page presentation since episode 6, just haven't got to it... My train of thought was: "let's introduce all 4 protagonists and the dragon first, let Jenn slip into the armor from her hospital clothes and then put them all together on the coolest poster ever for everyone to see how cool they look in full gear." Jenn was supposed to strip a female Master Chief (with her little holographic nude dude - Corto - protesting vigorously) off her Mjolnir, by the way.

As for blaming it on a thumbnail being depressing... Nah, I'd take "it was all because of the thumbnail and episode titles" over my own fault any time, any place, any project. :D

StatusNil:
Damn, that's disappointing. I too was curious to see where this was going, seeing as you were the hero Mass Effect 3 needed... but didn't get. (I have to confess I didn't really follow Marauder Shields, it sort of hurt at the time.)

I will have to say, like a previous comment did, that somehow a new installment being released didn't really catch the eye as it should have on the front page. Several times it had been up for quite some time until I noticed it was a new one. Also, this may not have been the ideal distribution method for "slow-burn" work such as yours, unfortunately.

All the best going forward.

Thanks, StatusNil. I'll still have the next episode to say goodbyes (and will remain lurking around here - as I always did - and commenting sparsely on topics of interest), so I'm not going there yet, but your observation definitely goes up to my post-mortem.

This is sad. I was really enjoying the comic. I was intrigued by the story and the art style was unique - reminded me of cel-shaded graphics in games. It was a bit slow-paced, but it's a shame people couldn't stick with it.

I was interested to see where this comic was going. Sorry to see it go. Though admittedly for the past two or three weeks it seems The Escapist has had some DNS issues so I couldn't get to the site at all without going through Google's cached mode and it just wasn't worth the effort for the most part to do so. It's only started working for me this week. I'm sure I wasn't the only person who couldn't access the site, which certainly couldn't have helped the comic viewing numbers...

Good luck with your future endeavors!

I blame the Catalyst. It first killed the creators, then it killed Shepard, and now it killed "Game On, Hardcore". (jk)

In a serious note, I'm sad about this. I was really enjoying the comic. I hope that you have more success in the future.

Sorry to hear it. I wanted to like the series, but really I've been reading it out of habit more than interest. My biggest problem, if you are looking for feedback at this point, is that I don't know the characters, don't know what's going on, and don't know why I should care.

I mean, it seemed like we were following this girl, trying to piece what is going on, and then suddenly there was a shift to a bunch of Sim people, and nothing happened there either. It feels like you are building too many things up without grounding the things you've already introduced. I can't even recall the name of the main character as I'm writing this. That's not a good sign.

A real shame the series is ending, just as our protagonist was getting answers, too!

It's rare that I get into anything with a slow burn... usually I prefer episodic content. I think the closest was Burn Notice, which used each episode to tell a self-contained story (to develop characters and ease in new viewers) and hints at a larger story (as a hook), only breaking that mold for a season finale.

Eh, whatcha goin' do? Better luck with the next project!

Bums. I was enjoying that, and loved the art

Aw, sorry to hear you go. If you do continue it on a separate site, give a head's up. I'd gladly keep reading this unique story.

Wha? WHA?!

Ah, great, now I feel guilty for tuning out of this series for genuine *Real Life* reasons, and only recently bringing myself back up to date. This is honestly one of the more stylish webcomic worlds that I've come across in a long time, and I'll be very sorry to see it go. I was looking forward to the slow build of answers mixed with more questions... Dammit website statistics! *Shakes fist*

Well Koobs, you're a man to watch regardless, so I look forward to the final episode and (even if it maybe takes me a day or so to do so) you can bet that I'll be joining in the post-ep foruming. And I'm still tuning in for Marauder Shields :)

...

*Reads comment above*
*Discover that Koobs doesn't like Guardians of the Galaxy*

...

Okay, I take all the nice stuff I just said back, you're - I'm kidding :) Personally loved that movie but - eh, if you step back, it is a fairly standard chase-the-MacGuffin plot. Nothing that special about it besides "Marvel made a movie with a Raccoon and a Tree as main characters."

That's a damn shame. I was really enjoying this and looking forward to where it was going.
I really hope you get to continue this somewhere else.
Best of luck mate!

Damn, I was really interested in seeing where this was going... Guess you can't get everything you want, I suppose...

That's too bad man, best of luck to you.

QuadFish:
Not sure if this is helpful as feedback, but I barely noticed this was on the site since the thumbnail on the frontpage doesn't really identify it too well. The other webcomics usually put their name as part of the thumbnail so it's easier to tell but for all I knew this could have been a random Escapist article or podcast or something.

I agree, it can be hard to tell what's what on the front page a lot of the time. With new content showing up out of the blue I'd like them to fix up the front page and organize it in a sane way to let users know what are articles, podcasts, comics, and editorials. It's too jumbled right now and things can't go on name recognition if I've never seen it before.

Sorry for the tough break. I really did enjoy these and the world you've set up sounds like an interesting one. Hope you can revisit it.

You were a good bloke m8 and I hope the future treats you better

There was so much else to see and read... Damn you fickle internet market! Damn you to HELL! :c

Already?

That seems...absurdly quick, in all honesty. Really sad to see this comic go. :<

I'd rather see Full Frontal Nerdity die than this comic.

JCAll:
I can't imagine what went wrong. New content is always a welcome sight to me. Maybe the build was too slow, I dunno. Well, I thought it was a good comic while it lasted. I'll just take the classic internet stance that everyone with a different opinion is wrong.

As long as that classic internet stance goes my way, I'm all for it. :D All in all, I think that a complex, multi-tiered answer would have to be issued to the question of "what went wrong?" (one I'm actively chasing in this topic, as you can see) - and I believe the slow build did play an important part in it, yeah. Lessons to be learned, everywhere.

Devieus:
That's quite a shame, but it's nice to be appreciated as niche. That said, the bigger let-downs I guess was the art, it's so cheesy, like someone took some photos and threw on an edge finding filter. Also, maybe the pages are a bit too long, but it's either that or an even more stunted narrative; then again, the benefit of shorter pages is that content can be released at higher frequency, keeping people more easily invested, because they don't have to recall last week to remember what happened.tl;dr: frequency of pages too low.

Oh, my process uses whole sequences of filters and whatnot along the way, but I'm afraid that most of those cheesy pen-lines you refer to are, well, my own handiwork. :D I wanted to go for a bit of a cel-shaded feel, or rather a mix of cel-shaded with some old comics I enjoyed as a kid... Many of which were printed with outstanding contrast, making the black lines stand out, often thickening them in the process as the ink spilled on the cheap-ass paper. I know it's really nothing special when you have thousands of pro artists surrounding you with magnificent art all the time (damn you, Internet), but, well, after some asking around over the last three days, I'd say the style itself wasn't unpopular. Personally, I'd give myself three funny pictures of Pres Obama making a thumbs up out of five, as long as we're playing in the "amateur" category. :D

The frequency is definitely something I'll be putting in the post-mortem - it actually surprised me how much was lost (even for my friends) when I carried a thing from one week to another. Also, props here to Grey, who at the very beginning slapped me for not making this a twice-a-week affair. But, hey, other commitments.

Debber:
This is sad. I was really enjoying the comic. I was intrigued by the story and the art style was unique - reminded me of cel-shaded graphics in games. It was a bit slow-paced, but it's a shame people couldn't stick with it.

Thanks, Debber! Appreciating your enjoyment of it, and this nice comment. If you're active on some social media - from Facebook, to Twitter, to Tumblr, to DeviantArt - do follow me somewhere. At this point I have no idea what will become of the series, but if there will be a chance to ever resurrect it in one way or another, I will (and will try to improve it with the lessons learned now).

COMaestro:
I was interested to see where this comic was going. Sorry to see it go. Though admittedly for the past two or three weeks it seems The Escapist has had some DNS issues so I couldn't get to the site at all without going through Google's cached mode and it just wasn't worth the effort for the most part to do so. It's only started working for me this week. I'm sure I wasn't the only person who couldn't access the site, which certainly couldn't have helped the comic viewing numbers... Good luck with your future endeavors!

Funnily enough, I've been running into some DNS issues...with my own site. Kept blocking me out. I'm unsure this premature demise could be blamed on technical issues, though, as they would hit other series as well. As it stands, it was "Game On" that didn't arrive at solid numbers. Also, thank you for your wishes, good luck will be needed!

CaitSeith:
I blame the Catalyst. It first killed the creators, then it killed Shepard, and now it killed "Game On, Hardcore". (jk)

D:

CaitSeith:
In a serious note, I'm sad about this. I was really enjoying the comic. I hope that you have more success in the future.

Thanks, CaitSeith! I have a few things in the oven - including my lil' game - and need to make a solid count of what I can, should, and can afford to finish and bring out next... Alas, regardless of what the next thing will be, some success would be nice. :D

Kian2:
Sorry to hear it. I wanted to like the series, but really I've been reading it out of habit more than interest. My biggest problem, if you are looking for feedback at this point, is that I don't know the characters, don't know what's going on, and don't know why I should care.

Sure, thank you for the feedback. Lots of people have extremely differing - and often exclusive - ideas about how to improve what they're reading/watching/playing, but I try to sift through it all and observe trends to get an (somewhat-shallow-sometimes) understanding how all of this works with different kinds of people. So, yeah, very much appreciated, even at this point.

I'm one of those dudes that really, really like slow-paced unveilings and I do recognize - even more so today - that it's not an entirely popular thing. :D The point to actually start caring wasn't far off from where we ended up - I just hoped we would get there on the promises of the concept and the otherness of the events shown.

RelativityMan:
A real shame the series is ending, just as our protagonist was getting answers, too! It's rare that I get into anything with a slow burn... usually I prefer episodic content. I think the closest was Burn Notice, which used each episode to tell a self-contained story (to develop characters and ease in new viewers) and hints at a larger story (as a hook), only breaking that mold for a season finale. Eh, whatcha goin' do? Better luck with the next project!

Thanks, man! I am actually quite the opposite - ever since discovering serialized content, I can't be all that bothered with fully episodic stuff, at least as far as TV and comics go. Whenever I catch a show that follows a formula that goes back to the status quo at the end of the ep, I get disinterested pretty quickly... Just goes to show how differently we all approach this culture stuff, huh.

Al_:
Bums. I was enjoying that, and loved the art

Thanks, Al! Glad you did, here's hoping the comic will have a chance to bounce back in one form or another.

stringtheory:
Aw, sorry to hear you go. If you do continue it on a separate site, give a head's up. I'd gladly keep reading this unique story.

I will, Stringtheory! Right now I'm in a bit of a chaotic place, not yet sure how I could afford continuing it on my own (it really takes a bit of time to deliver an episode), but I'll keep searching - if I'll find a good option on how to continue, I'll spam around the forums. Also, shameless plug: might want to keep in touch via some social media or my site for smaller updates too.

The_Darkness:
Wha? WHA?! Ah, great, now I feel guilty for tuning out of this series for genuine *Real Life* reasons, and only recently bringing myself back up to date. This is honestly one of the more stylish webcomic worlds that I've come across in a long time, and I'll be very sorry to see it go. I was looking forward to the slow build of answers mixed with more questions... Dammit website statistics! *Shakes fist*

*Shakes fist in unison, then quietly sits down in the corner*

The_Darkness:
Well Koobs, you're a man to watch regardless, so I look forward to the final episode and (even if it maybe takes me a day or so to do so) you can bet that I'll be joining in the post-ep foruming. And I'm still tuning in for Marauder Shields :)

Thanks, dude. :) Much appreciated!

The_Darkness:
*Reads comment above* Discover that Koobs doesn't like Guardians of the Galaxy* Okay, I take all the nice stuff I just said back, you're - I'm kidding :)

Weeeell, it's not like I felt tortured while watching it, I enjoyed it - just not *that* much, not nearly at the level everyone told me I would. It was fun, but little else to me - very possibly due to the amount of hype that I got blasted with beforehand (with a smaller fault in the fact that I really liked the comic when I was a bit younger and didn't really feel the surprise some did of this being a part of the MCU). If everyone puts "I am groot!" on everything for a long while before you get to watch the movie, the whole one-liner joke becomes nothing but tedious. :D But, again, fully recognizing its qualities - chose it as an example of my subjective weirdness on purpose!

PsychicTaco115:
Press F to Pay Respects. You were a good bloke m8 and I hope the future treats you better

*Taps F repeatedly*
*Presses G to gurgle down a sorrowful cup of tea*

CrazyGirl17:
Damn, I was really interested in seeing where this was going... Guess you can't get everything you want, I suppose...

Aye, tell me about it. ;) There's still a small flicker of hope I'll get to finish it elsewhere, but definitely not with my current financial state. :D Onto the future, as they say.

Redlin5:
There was so much else to see and read... Damn you fickle internet market! Damn you to HELL! :c

We're all just gears in the machine, maan. Gears in the machine...
*slides back behind the collar of his imaginary trenchcoat, sucking vividly on his imaginary cigarette, drenched in imaginary darkness of his imaginary cyberpunk apartment*

Camaranth:
That's a damn shame. I was really enjoying this and looking forward to where it was going. I really hope you get to continue this somewhere else. Best of luck mate!

Johnny Novgorod:
That's too bad man, best of luck to you.

Houseman:
I'd rather see Full Frontal Nerdity die than this comic.

Solaire of Astora:
Already? That seems...absurdly quick, in all honesty. Really sad to see this comic go. :<

Rylot:
Sorry for the tough break. I really did enjoy these and the world you've set up sounds like an interesting one. Hope you can revisit it.

Thanks, guys. Sorry to group you like this in the answers, but I'm assuming I'm getting close to the limit here, this post is getting humongous as it is (plus, I need to sprint to the vet with my dachshund in a sec). :) I really should've replied as the posts started coming in.

Thank you for reading, thanks for the wishes, and thank you for the sad faces here - all mean a lot. It's actually funny how much one cares for a nod from absolute strangers, no? I'll try to update you folks as soon as I know what will be the ultimate fate of the series. So, Camaranth, Johnny, Houseman, Solaire, Rylot... Tip of the Rift to ya'. ;) And, of course, there's still the next ep to close us off on the Escapist.

The Wooster:
Sad to see you go, Koobs. You had a genuinely interesting thing going on here.

Thanks, dude. I'll track you down one day to have that beer or something.

.. Wait, what? Awww . .. :( but, I tuned in for these. Sure I didn't comment on every single strip, but I still checked it out.

Really sorry man, but please don't give up on your dreams. Expand on your talent and go places with it :) I think a series like this has serious potential plus I never felt it sucked whatsoever. I even grew curious and wanted to know what happened next. I think the real issue wasn't the comic itself, but how unaware everyone else was of the series.

Which is unfortunate but trust me, if you keep going ... you'll get far. I believe in you ^_^ and rooting for yah!

Aw shit, dude... And I was having so much fun reading these... Now, I feel like I was reading a[n extensive] prologue to something bigger than I could think of that's, at least, as consistent as what was presented here in these Game On Hardcore episodes at this point...

With that said, I do hope this could be continued in some way, shape, or form... Was not expecting this to be as niche as the numbers would indicate, though... (Now, I'm reminded of those anime adaptations that only adapt a few of the several or so novels in the series in question... Or what happened to the TV series version of Constantine..)

 

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