Friday, August 10, 2018

Dreamkeepers App Scavenger Hunt!

Your phone could be more fun with the free Dreamkeepers app.   Read the comic free anywhere, pick a favorite visual theme, and now with the latest upgrade, win hard-copies of the graphic novel saga in the Dreamkeepers App Scavenger Hunt!

Follow the clues, and if you guess correct you‘ll get a code key.  Email that code in the subject line to: DKScavengerHunt@latticerose.net  for a chance to win a prize.  This feature and the app development is brought to us by the fabulous Matt Dieck ( xir1111011 )

Here are the clues to the hidden Dreamkeepers App spots- each clue will award a prize to the first person who discovers it.

For instructions on how to guess, see our video: https://youtu.be/lr3XT7vUjL4


Enjoy the read, and happy hunting!

1. The first appearance of, "Poor" and "Judgement"
2.  This marker/signage, with its simplistic design, is only designed to be gazed upon by one creature at a time. Without it, however, Anduruna's transit system wouldn't function.
3.  The creators, peddling their wares
4.  Chester Copperpot, Esq.
5.  A glass of lemonade
6.  Two brave, young, sword-wielding warriors
7.  Almost par for the course
8.  A pink tree, betwixt cousins
9.  A trombone case, and a clarinet case, beside each other
10.  34 . Q, primer
11.  A pink seashell, next to a warning
12.  Eerie Excursions
13.  Don't hug Lilith, she's scared
14.  According to ThinkGeek, the message of ultimate disambiguation. In this context, the largest display of it.
15.  '-.-. .... .-. --- -. --- .-.. --- --. .. -.-. .- .-.. .-.. -.-- --..-- / - .... . / ..-. .. .-. ... - / .- .--. .--. . .- .-. .- -. -.-. . / --- ..-. / -... .- ... -
16.  The starfield used for Miriel's character theme
17.  The starfield used for Kalei's character theme
18.  SBWBU'T GJSTU BQQFBSBODF (1)
19.  "A nine foot mollusk? Seriously?"
20.  Cooking with a rodent… in a vacuum
21.  This small, innocuous recurring creature is seen now and then along Mace and Whip's misadventures. Find its first appearance.
22.  The creators, standing around
23.  UGxlYXNlIHRhcCBvbiB0aGUgRmFzaGlvbiBEZXNpZ25lcnkgcG9zdGVyIG9uIHBhZ2Ugc2l4dHkgbmluZQ
24.  JUOC (3)
25.  Calvado's Castle Case
26.  Ghost, at the bottom of the stairs
27.  z svokufo glnv uli gslhv dvoo-gl-wl drgs

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Q&A Week 12

29 How did you come up with the names for the characters?
Many came from our research when starting the series.  A few Mesopotamian names, since their mythology featured dream guardians protecting the sanity of the dreamer.  Lilith, Naamah, and Igrath were presented as a trio of sisters in one of the myths I read.  The Mokoi was from aboriginal folklore, a spirit that a shaman could dispatch to kill his enemies.  The demon tree Malangi is also aboriginal, and Logos is from the western tradition.

And then there's Bill. 


27 Why did you agree with and trust Geo to write a (canon) book based on your comic? In fact, what does it take to impress you enough to publis

Geo's book started as a simple personal project that reflected his own interests.  He didn't begin with the goal of publication, and we treated it like other fanfiction:  Basically ignoring it.  Not out of apathy, but because we've got a very full plate.  However over the years, he continued to build his narrative, share with readers, and it organically gained a following.  As his work gained prominence, he realized there was a market that would be interested in a hard copy of his book.   So he contacted us to inquire if and how such a thing might be permitted, and whether an official licensing deal was possible. 
At that point I read through the completed initial draft of his novel, to provide feedback on lore details.  Since his work was entertaining readers to the degree that a print run was viable, and since I also enjoyed the book and felt it made a good addition to official DK lore, we agreed to license it. 

Part A, reader interest, is totally out of my hands.  That's between the author and their potential audience.   Part B, my own interest, is something I don't think I can articulate a formula for.  Paint by numbers writing to please me probably wouldn't end up pleasing me anyways.  I've just gotta be honest when something crosses my radar, and try to do a good job of managing Dreamkeepers.  Not all fanart will get a licensing deal, but all of it can bring enjoyment to readers without the need for my approval.  I just hope people have fun and write for the right reasons. 


26 Are powers in any aspect hereditary? For example is a kid more susceptible to get a high level power if one of their parents does?

This used to be a topic of much debate in Anduruna, and other ancient cultures.  Some Dreamkeepers believed power intensity was hereditary, and tried to breed for it- placing high expectations on their children.  Sometimes a kid could meet those expectations, and sometimes there was just no way, no matter how hard they tried.   And every now and then, a potent power wielder would just come out of left field. 

So it appeared to Dreamkeepers that  power intensity might be hereditary, but that tendency was littered with counterexamples.  So the canon answer?  Power intensity is not consistently hereditary, but it can be at at times, and there's a cultural predisposition to believe this is the case.


24 What is one thing that hindered you most when learning art?

Art college.


23 How did you guys get into furry fandom?

After deciding to make Dreamkeepers a comic, we took it around to a few preliminary conventions- anime and comic conventions.   A few people said, "Oh look, a furry comic.  Neat."   So as soon as I realized there was a whole genre of people who liked cartoon animals, I figured it made a whole lot of sense to present our work to them.   We started attending furry conventions, and here we are!

Having too much fun.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

License to Wonka


"He's fictional," they said.  "You can't be Willy Wonka when you grow up," they told me.     Well watch this.  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2083757038/dreamkeepers-skirmish-shadow-wars-of-anduruna/posts/2255639  #DREAMS #DreamsComeTrue

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Q&A Week 11

What are your thoughts on immortals, cliche?
Immortals?  Those people don't know when to quit. 


How common is it for DK's to have the power of full flight (using wings, etc.) and what sort of regulations must they obey?
The number of DKs who could fly under their own power is pretty small- figure less than 2% of the population.   And of that group, only a subset has the time and resources to go through the licensing process.
There are mandatory flight courses that require completion certificates which can take up to a year of weekly classes to complete.  Most of those classes consist of desk work, with a handful of test glides and flights being held in specialized gymnasiums with safety nets installed.  In addition to Central City fees required to register and take the courses, teachers charge variable rates for their instruction time.

After the expensive and time-consuming process of getting a flight license, the flier must then observe all Anduruna regulations.  When inside the city walls, they must use predetermined takeoff and landing sites, and log their departure and arrival times at those locations.   An automated system will coordinate their permitted flight times to ensure nobody collides with anyone else.  Although with the number of fliers, this has only happened a handful of times in history even during the unregulated days.   Registering a flight plan incurs a small administrative fee.   There are also fees for any items being logged for transportation, and dozens of rules corresponding to garments and approved satchels or packs for carrying items of various classifications.  You can't just carry something all willy nilly.

This means that most fliers are either wealthy, or they have to be serving as specialized private couriers to help justify the expense of flying.

The result is that a lot of licensed flyers will use the takeoff and landing sites- since it's rather obvious to see when someone doesn't- but they'll often skip the flight plan login and fee, and just fly off.   It's not enforced very closely, except by other, more zealous, licensed flyers.  So it's usually possible to fly whenever you want as long as you use the predetermined takeoff and landing points, and don't run into a snitch. 

Outside the city limits is another story- it's still illegal to fly without a license.  But if you have one, you can soar essentially anywhere you like as long as you don't leave the overall Anduruna region. 




What districts are our guard trio originally from?
Bill grew up in a more mainstream region of Theophanies, Damon is from Norvondire, and Woods is from the farmland just outside the city wall to the south. 



What made Vi abandon her fashion dreams? (i suspect this is plot vault)
...Plot Vault confirmed, sorry.   ^ ^;




How long can Nightmares live for and what happens to their bodies when they die and respawn?
Nightmares can live anywhere from 10 years to several centuries, based in part on the sort of body they are capable of spawning.   Once they die, their spirit is returned to their plane of origin, and the body at that point is just decaying matter like any other dead body.  It has no relation to whatever they spawn into next.



How does the Troika determine Power Intensity ratings (is it "eye-balled", is there an objective measurement or a test, etc.) and are non-destructive utility Powers (such as Bobby's light orbs, Nainso's "ignorance field", and Whip's autokinesis) automatically ranked lower on the Intensity scale or is it possible for them to be ranked as high as a 6?
They tried developing objective measurements, but due to the totally differing nature of some powers, realized that they were dumping way more time and effort into categorization and measurement than the utility they could potentially get out of it.   So the Troika basically eyeball powers for rating. 
They started measuring powers based on general combat effectiveness.   If one guy with no training could potentially take out a fire team of shock troopers singlehandedly, they'd peg his power at a "2."   Combat effective, formidable, but generally not enough to handle an entire platoon alone.  Each rank above that is another order of magnitude higher, so the progression isn't linear.

Nondestructive powers are just pegged onto this conceptual scaffolding, even though they don't necessarily cause damage.   Take Nainso's ability, to direct focus.  At a level 2, he can direct the focus of a handful of characters rather effectively, especially if they don't notice the influence.  If he were a level 6, he could murder someone in the center of a crowded stadium, while every person was obsessing over a sleeping ryuu-neko on the sidelines, and nobody would ever notice or remember him. 

So it's a rough measure- not used to precisely categorize anything, but serves to give Troika commanders a quick 'n dirty impression of what sort of punch a soldier might be packing.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Q&A Week 10

45 Why do the twins admire Igrath so much?
Indi and Digo grew up in a large family, which would avidly watch Fallguard matches, and of which one brother was a Toll Wars veteran, who served with Igrath.  This made the Fallguard champion turned war hero turned Guard Captain Igrath somewhat of a household name- but he was always a distant and unattainable hero.
Indigo was teenaged when a devastating scandal rocked Anduruna.  Igrath was accused of murdering his own wife, and became fugitive #1.  But conspiracy theories flourished on the illicit online chats, and around dark street corners- theories that fascinated the girls, both validating their hero and affirming their suspicions of authority figures. 
While others eventually succumbed to the repetition of the news broadcasts and decided to believe Igrath was an evil liar, Indi and Digo stubbornly clung to their convictions.  That not only was Igrath a hero, but a martyr.
Plot Vault encompasses the details, but when their career finally brought them into contact with Igrath, it was literally meeting a childhood hero.  He was everything they had built him up in their mind to be, with one addition- he was also vulnerable.  Blinded and alone.  They took it upon themselves to rebuild their icon, and never settle for anything less.


35 Are there any strong lvl 6 powers that left a mark in the andurunan history?
Probably many that I haven't made up yet- and one for certain in the year 1201.  The details are currently Plot Vault.


33 Do Indi and Digo have identical voices, or do they sound different from one another?
They have a slightly differing cadence and inflection to their speaking patterns, but the voices can be identical.  They're also expert at mimicking the other, when trying to ensure their counterpart gets the blame for something, or teasing anyone who thinks they have 'em figured out.


28 Does Namah scream like a real gecko?
Not really, but she does scream.  If she heard a gecko scream, that would probably become a goal for her pretty fast. 


27 What are the characters birthdays?
We haven't previously set exact dates, but we'll make up a few for the non-Plot-Vault mains:


Lilith- Martius 3, 1212
Namah- Novemberis 6, 1213
Bast- Apru 5, 1211
Igrath- Januarius 8, 1180
Scinter- Maius 12, 1181
Tinsel- Februarius 7, 1193

Friday, July 13, 2018

Guest Blog: How to Create an Amazing Brand on a Micro Budget

Many thanks to Ashley for reaching out and offering to share a guest blog with us, despite my e-mail reply lag.  Enjoy her article!



Startup companies have it rough in terms of competing with already well-established
conglomerates in their industries. That’s what makes branding such an effective tool; it
separates you from the competition and gives your business an identity.
However, there’s a common misconception that proper branding requires tons of overhead.


The truth is, you don’t need a big budget to craft a successful brand. In fact, the critical
aspects that go into creating your image don’t require money at all! Whether you’re just
starting your business or are looking to reshape its identity, follow these six tips for success.


How to Create an Amazing Brand on a Micro Budget in Six Steps
  1. Know Your Customer Base
  2. Choose Your Words Wisely
  3. Tell Your Story
  4. Utilize the Right Content
  5. Invest in Some Swag
  6. Enlist Influencers


1.Know Your Customer Base
The word “niche” gets thrown around a lot, but it’s a lot more important than you might think.
Understanding your target audience and keeping the focus on them is a vital aspect to any
businesses success these days. You need to know what they want, what they think, and
how they like to spend their money.


Then, all you have to do is give them what they want. Shape your brand identity around them,
in the look and operations of your online business. You’ll give be able to build an instant
connection between your customer base and your brand, which is something that big
corporations just can’t achieve.


2. Choose Your Words Wisely
Large business have the funds to craft multi-faceted branding strategies, but your business
can be just as effective by taking advantage of key messaging. Ideally, you’ll want to craft
one key message that communicates everything potential customers need to know about
your brand, and have all your other communication complement that core message.


Take the time to consider what it is your business does for customers. Are you eco-friendly,
or sourcing your materials sustainably? Does your personality shine through in your creations?
What sets your product or service apart from similar ones? Most importantly, how do you want
your brand to communicate with your audience?


Don’t overdo it. Providing your audience with too much information at once can overwhelm them.
Keep things as short as possible while relaying key information, and spread out details into
individual social media posts and newsletters. Take the time to ensure that your social media
posts and product descriptions all match your tone.


3. Tell Your Story
The color and design of your logo might be important, but the story behind it is what attracts your
customer base. Think about why you want to start this business in the first place, then try to
incorporate that into your logo through messaging, colors and any other way possible. Your story
tells customers something important about your business, giving personality to your brand and
helping clientele identify with it.


Don’t be afraid to have an “About Us” page or simple blog on your website that spells it out for
your customer base. This can be intimidating, but if you think of it as a way to hone in in your
message, it will actually be very simple to write this copy. This step can give context to your brand,
and increase buyers’ trust in your online store.


4. Utilize the Right Content
Whether in video form or blog posts, content marketing is king. Sharing relevant content with your
audience builds a stronger brand while encouraging users to connect with your business. It sets
you up as an authority in your niche, providing value to potential customers at the same time as
it draws traffic to your site and gets eyes on your product.


If you’re short on ideas, consider a guide to how your products work, or a few videos that help
explain your mission and purpose. Keep the focus on education and entertainment for the greatest
success here. Be personable, concise, and think about how you can relate or connect with your
audience.


Need more? Check out our in-depth post on writing content that converts.




5. Invest in Some Swag
Branded products are an inexpensive way to give people what they want: cool stuff! Who doesn’t
want a t-shirt, coffee mug, or stickers with cool imagery? Promotional items for your business can
really help spread the word, but also solidify a more personal relationship with customers and your
brand. If you’re starting an online clothing store, this can be a perfect chance to show off your styles
and build some buzz around your brand.


Don’t be afraid to have fun and get creative with your branding here. You’ll want to create something
that you can share with customers and collaborators, that they will want to use often, and that will
spark conversation about your online business.


6. Enlist Influencers
Influencer marketing is right up there with content marketing in importance. It allows your business
to collaborate with someone who already has a well-established audience to give your promotions
a boost. There will always be a small group of influencers within your niche that understand your
audience, and they can help you create valuable content that reaches a broader range of people.


It’s worth trying, especially at the start. You might even find another eCommerce business just
getting started, that would be willing to promote your products so long as you promote theirs.
This requires minimal effort, yet effectively increases your network and potential revenue.




You don’t need a hefty budget to create an amazing, identifiable, and trustworthy brand image.
Remember to keep the focus on connecting with your audience, and you can’t go wrong.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, and refer back to these tips anytime to help get your
creative juices flowing.



Thursday, July 12, 2018

Q&A 9

35 What kind of ships does Anduruna have? Sailing or are they all spring powered? What's the largest they get? How far do they travel out?

I haven't developed much in the way of specific ships yet- Grunn's old ship is what we've seen the most of, and has an old spring-powered wheel system, in addition to sail rigging.   Some boats have spring powered props or water wheels, some use windmills to wind their springs, some use good old fashioned oars, and some would use pure sails.  Some, like Grunn's whaling ship, use a mix.   We're going to see more ships in more detail before too much longer.

31 Where do you guys get your inspiration for all the different stripper outfits and clothing?

Stripper clothing is easy, just subtract and you're done!  A lot of the more saucy outfits come from Whip's inspiration bin.  I like to make up variations on coats and other 'normal' clothing as well.  We've had a couple readers create real-world wardrobe accessories based on commissioned art.

33 How did the orphans feel about Paige, and how did they react to her death?

Paige was generally liked, and the orphans are feeling disconcerted about her death:  http://www.dreamkeeperscomic.com/GNSaga.php?pg=352 
http://www.dreamkeeperscomic.com/GNSaga.php?pg=391
Their reactions are tempered by the fact that Randy is directly manipulating their impression of what happened, and instructing them what to think about it.  Plus they have no reason to believe they're immune from a similar fate.  Dealing with their own problems means ostentatious displays of grief are somewhat of a luxury.

32 We've seen the houses in Anduruna but with how diverse DKs are, i was wondering if there were some aquatic habitations, underground ones or

There are some underground habitations in Anduruna, especially in the mining areas and the foundations of the larger towers.  Some congested areas of the city built up and down at the same time. 

Underwater dwellings are possible elsewhere, but don't factor in to the general civic infrastructure of Anduruna.

23  How tall are or the characters in feet?

An old ref sheet provides the answer!   https://www.deviantart.com/dreamkeepers/art/Volume-1-Scale-Sheet-143207864

Newer references may have shifted the relative proportions of characters somewhat, but I think we can peg Tinsel at right around 6 feet for a solid reference point.