Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween


The 13th annual Dreamkeepers Halloween Fanart Contest is on display. The spooktacular entries made judging a horrifying ordeal- but we have arrived at this year’s winners:


A Collector’s Edition signed Skirmish deluxe game goes out to the Best Art grand prize winner, with more prizes to the other winners and runner-ups. Plus we’ll get in touch with raffle winners in the coming days, and every single entrant may have a sticker: https://www.deviantart.com/dreamkeepers/art/Trick-or-Treat-Indigo-768350338

IF:

You tell us where to send it! Everyone who wants their prize, send your mailing address to Dreamkeeperscomic(at)gmail.com by Nov. 15th, or your prize vanishes like a ghost.

Thank you to all the artists and authors who brought the fun this year. Thanks to you, the gallery is all treats, no tricks: https://www.deviantart.com/dreamkeepers-fans/gallery/67379644/2018-Halloween-Fan-Art-Contest

Enjoy, check out our free Halloween Prelude, http://www.dreamkeeperscomic.com/HPrelude.php?pg=8
and have a Happy Halloween.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Skirmish Mob Rule Pillow Fight

Skirmish backers brainstormed and voted for your new desktop- and here it is!   All the Skirmish leader-heroes engaging in the ultimate pillow-fight.   Click here for a 4K download:  http://www.dreamkeeperscomic.com/images/DKsitebits/Gallery_Custom/Desktops/Mob%20Rule%20Pillow%20Fight%204K%20Desktop.jpg

Plus Skirmish reviews are emerging- some great, and one negative from before the game was manufactured.  Is the psychic right?  What did you think of the game?  We'd love it if you would hop over to this website, and leave accurate feedback, so the world knows what you backed:  https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/226723/dreamkeepers-skirmish-shadow-wars-anduruna

And if you know anyone who wants to get in on the action, first edition games are available to the public here:  http://dreamkeeperscomic.com/skirmish.html 

We're shipping copies every week!  Thank you to everyone for playing.

BGC- Golden Sanity Umbrella


We're ready for your vote: http://biggeekycouch.com/

Big Geeky Couch is back with a new format, which involves the audience proving one of us wrong.  Enjoy the new video, follow my instructions, and leave a comment:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKKiZ8f1ZgE

Monday, October 15, 2018

Convention Protection Petition

Recent atrocities have driven me to write this petition: https://chn.ge/2IZ7vDk  via @Change

For those out of the loop, check the Metokur videos or Boneitis' Rekieta Law interview.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Skirmish Unboxing Contest Winners

The unboxing contest concludes- time for prizes!  
I couldn’t choose just one, so I’m changing the rules of this contest at the last minute. Dictator-for-Life Dave has spoken. Instead of one, I decree TWO winners. They were both simply too good- Lord Kiyo with his Puppetmaster entry, and Zeph with his 90’s Commercial entry. Loved them.  
And more decrees! Every entrant is getting a runner-up prize, because they are fabulous people who deserve it.  
Kiyo entered earliest, and gets to choose the Skirmish character we feature. Then I’ll send him and Zeph an exclusive Skirmish shirt featuring that character! (Message me with size and color preferences.)  
Everyone who entered will get a sticker of this exclusive design, because I was blown away by everyone. Kickstarter-Message me with your latest delivery address.  
Check out all the entries, and feel free to use ‘em if any friends are curious just what this Skirmish thing is all about.  

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlSnhKnHvJg Lord Kiyo- Puppetmaster. I’ve never seen this done with a plush before- it was equal parts creepy and adorable for me.
  • https://www.deviantart.com/the-diamond-paw/art/How-To-Unbox-Skirmish-761466563 Diamond Paw- Pure magic, quite literally! The white gloves were a perfect touch.
  • https://www.deviantart.com/yaminokitsune/art/Skirmish-debalage-entrance-761858806 YaminoKitsune- X marks the spot, and the commentary on this treasure hunt makes it a fun one..  
  • https://twitter.com/Foxyverse/status/1034509464420933635 Mancoin- Whip has found an alternative use for the packaging materials.  
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=U_TGCbkEKkQ Zeph creates the best Dreamkeepers commercial I’ve ever seen! Still jazzed from the soundtrack and cool camerawork.  
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIlojYmjPbE&feature=youtu.be “Because nobody likes Tinsel-” I lol’d.  
  • https://m.tiktok.com/v/6587380682790538502.html?utm_campaign=client_share&app=musically&utm_medium=ios&user_id=6569873210271498245&tt_from=copy&utm_source=copy Screams aplenty- the Golden Ticket winner discovers her pass to funland.  

I’ve been distracted printing Firebrat, but Wave 2 Skirmish merch is next on the docket. We’ll update with news at least monthly until it’s delivered. Skirmish games are now for (limited) sale publicly at http://www.dreamkeeperscomic.com/skirmish.html so if you have friends interested or Christmas gifts on the mind, this is the place. We put 30 in stock for sale, over half are already gone.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

13th Annual Dreamkeepers Halloween Fanart Contest



Bursting from the rotten ground, thirteen years to the day, it rises again. The Dreamkeepers Halloween Fanart Contest is upon us!

For the 13th year, we have something exceptional in store. The Grand Prize Winner of the “Best Art” category will receive a Collector’s Edition Dreamkeepers Skirmish boxed game set, signed by Dave, Liz, and the game developers Michael & Spencer.

Grand Prize winners in the other categories will receive a plush Whip to mollify their terror, or a signed Hardcover Prelude Collection for battering ghouls. Winner’s choice.

Runner-ups get a Dreamkeepers button pack or Troika sew-on fabric patch. And everyone- every last entrant- gets a free Trick-or-Treat sticker. But be sure to claim your prize via e-mail by November 15th, or it vanishes like a ghost!

Catch entry instructions and rules here: http://www.dreamkeeperscomic.com/HalloweenRules.html
Sample terror from the first Twelve Years here: http://dreamkeeperscomic.com/Halloween.html

And now for some Grave News.

This will be the last year to enter submissions for the Writing Category in the Halloween Contest. We’re considering an entirely separate contest for Dreamkeepers fiction in future years, so we’ll retire the Writing Category from the Fanart Contest in 2019. Ye be warned!

And for more Grave News- we’re having a first-ever sale on Amazon! Hardcover Prelude Collections, normally upwards of $50, are over half off. Volumes 1 and 4 are going for $13.00.


Why a suddden sale, you ask? Amazon has switched to monthly billing for their long-term storage fees. So we’re clearing inventory, and going forward will have much smaller batches of books available at any given time. Volumes 2 and 3 are already out of stock on Amazon.

Get ready for a month of chilling art, comic fun, and high-quality games. Let the contest begin.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Goals, Contests, and Printing

No time for fluff- we have news!

Music to my ears- Stretch Goal 0.5 unleashed:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nikolasalbrecht/dreamkeepers-volume-5-soundtrack?ref=user_menu
Live orchestra recording will happen, and CDs are coming!

The Scavenger Hunt on the free Dreamkeepers app is complete!  Prizes have been found.

Also, Skirmish backers- the Unboxing Contest is live:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2083757038/dreamkeepers-skirmish-shadow-wars-of-anduruna/posts/2300910

Plus Vivid Publishing's Firebrat is going to print in full color: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2083757038/firebrat-graphic-novel-the-true-meaning-of-christm/posts/2293375

Thank you to the composer, app developer, game developers, authors, and the backers who are bringing so much awesome work to life. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Faction War: Goldenblood, Episode 0



The latest Faction War story arc is going live- "Goldenblood."  Above are NPCs players may encounter.  Spectators are welcome: https://discord.gg/JPDxxPQ  Below is the Episode 0 storyline intro.



GOLDENBLOOD

Episode 0: Breaking Boundaries

Anduruna. Norvondire District Tower. Major Maur’s office.

“You’re insane.”
High in a tower, Dawn light stabbed through Major Maur’s office. Lieutenant Axewing showed no reaction to the bald insult, back straight, face grim as a reaper.
“Two platoons,” Axewing repeated.
“You don’t need two platoons, you have my decision. Dismissed.” Maur sighed, turned to his desk, began rifling through papers and restoring right angles. The nerve- a simple fugitive, one bimbo, did not merit such a vast outlay of lethal manpower. To think that the request had been delivered in such an arrogant... Presently he realized Axewing remained. Maur clenched a fist.
“Lieutenant, if you are so bold as to defy my-”
Axewing raised one arm, dropped a fat envelope onto the desktop, sending memos fluttering. Maur picked up the envelope, and a glossy photo dropped out. He felt his spine turn to water.
“I found this on your desk, before you entered. From her.” Axewing’s voice was terse. “Looks like she has blackmail on everyone, doesn’t it?”
The Major rammed open a desk drawer and stuffed the vile packet out of sight with trembling hands. “Is- did anyone else see this?”
“Sir, I can promise you on my honor this is the only copy.” Axewing’s voice was sharp. The threat was clear.
In short order, the paperwork to deploy two full platoons of shock troopers, complete with demolition teams, was completed. Axewing would have absolute command once the formation left Anduruna territory. The grim falcon left the office with his commission in an iron grip.
Only later when his mind cleared did Maur stop to consider why Axewing would want such a massive, heavily armed force. A quick look at his personnel files revealed an ugly connection… But surely the man wasn’t that vindictive. That vengeful. It had only been his wife.
Maur produced a flask, indulged in a rare shot of burning, joyous illicit fermentae. Picked up the commlink on his desk.
“Yes… Yes. Patch me through to the special unit. Quickly.”

Outside northwest Norvondire Sky Road. Starfall foothills. Near Devil’s Spine.

Thrown to the ground, clothing askew, Swift landed in a patch of dry leaves with a chuckle. “Ya know, it’s almost as though I wouldn’t carry my only trump card in my back pocket.”
The bristling Neon glared down at her, his fluorescent mohawk a satirical counterpoint to his bulging arms. A gust of mountain wind made the trees whisper around them, like an ocean of ghosts. It was lawless out here, but there were still rules. Supposedly. Hopefully he followed them, because kicking off her stay in Tamarack Hollow by murdering a sentry would make things awkward.
She writhed suggestively on the ground before rising to her feet. Playing with fire was a tough habit to break.
Shafts of dawn light raining through the leaves cast a glowing rimlight on the cords in the Neon’s neck. As she brazenly rearranged her clothing, his nostrils flared.
Better to push the limits now, and if there was peril, expose it on her own terms. She continued to fiddle with her clothing, tightening things that didn’t need it.
“Of course, you didn’t actually check my back pocket. Maybe you just don’t have enough experience with this sort of thing.”
Swift flounced past the massive guard, deliberately dusting him with a tail waggle. She leapt atop a mouldering fallen loveleaf trunk, her fur a bright orange in the deep forest gloom.
“So- you taking me to camp, or you gonna try your hand at searching me again?”
The Neon raised one arm. Swift tensed in her crouch, ready to fight back this time, leap, draw her-
He was holding her dagger.
“All weapons must be checked in before entering camp,” he squeaked. The voice was astonishingly high, with a lisp. “Springers must be unloaded at all times. We shall provide you a receipt for all collected items.”
Based on his speech, Swift suspected that her attempts at seductive teasing had been entirely misplaced.
“My name is Dreadlock,” he continued. “Welcome to Camp Tamarack, and I hope you have a very fabulous stay.”

Tamarack Hollow. Trading Camp. Ivy’s Overlook.

Perched on her favorite overlook, Ivy Bones looked down at Tamarack Hollow. Her camp. Her responsibility. Morning fog cast a heavy shroud. Treetops rose resolutely above the mist, vessels in a silky sea, with looming Starfall peaks eating most of the horizon line beyond. The pure blue of their slopes was a perfect imitation of the concealed sky. Woodsmoke and the crisp tang of Starfall trees spiced the chill air.
The camp itself would be quiet for another hour- mostly. The trading post was littered with stray early birds, contemplating their lot, indulging in vice and solitude. Her lodge lay silent, and the cabins & tents dotting the hollow were dark. A few shrieks echoed up from children, chasing each other around the teepees.
Ivy grinned at that- Trigger was a light sleeper. He was probably cursing in his pillow now. Bitching at the kids was one of his favorite ways of passing the time. It was hard to believe, sometimes, that all the camp residents were actually outcasts. Banished from society, deemed too dangerous, too sinful, for city life. But it was true.
The fog was heavy now, but soon it would be burned away.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Newsletter: Skirmish sales, Figurines, Music Success.

https://preview.mailerlite.com/t1x0z8

Burning Red Engines



What can cause a story to be retroactively expunged from a FurPlanet anthology?

One author’s work caused a firestorm of controversy, pious wailing, and gnashing of teeth. But how dangerous can a piece of fiction really be?

The author KSchnee has responded by sharing their work with the open world, so you can see for yourself here:


Personally, I love danger, controversy, moral abominations, and terror in fiction. I can’t think of a better place for those things.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Fully Funded!


Fully Funded!  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nikolasalbrecht/dreamkeepers-volume-5-soundtrack

The Dreamkeepers Soundtrack is officially a go.  Secure your copy of the limited-run CD, signed art print, and help boost that stretch goal- a live Orchestra recording in Budapest.  Let's do things no webcomic has done before!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Soundtrack Kickstarter

Your ears can take you to entrancing vistas- and Nikolas Albrecht has compelling soundscapes in your future.



After composing the Volumes 1-4 soundtrack, the maestro returns for Volume 5 (with exclusive early access to the story script). And, if goals are met, the tantalizing prospect of a live orchestral recording by top-of-the-line professional musicians in Budapest. 

These are the same artists who can be heard on the tracks of major motion pictures and video game productions- and now there's a chance they can bring never-before-heard Dreamkeepers music to life.

So check out the rewards Nikolas has on offer, close your eyes, and imagine a thousand adventures in a million places.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nikolasalbrecht/dreamkeepers-volume-5-soundtrack

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Q&A 13

45 Are powers developed randomly, or is each Dreamkeeper "meant" to have the particular power they have?

Powers are loosely connected to a core element of their personality or intrinsic characteristics- so I don't think random is the right word.   I suppose the answer depends on whether you think we're fated to be the way we are.

38 Do powers leave behind any distinguishable marks or effects on the body? Can you tell by looking at dreamkeeper that they've used their abil

Generally no.  If somebody sneakily uses their power, drops the halo, and then strolls back into the room with their buds like nothing happened- there's no obvious visual marker to give them away.  They might be tired looking if they were channeling a volume of power near the limits of their endurance. 

As with most Dreamkeepers lore, there can be exceptions to this rule- especially if a character's power involves changing their appearance, like the Indigos.

31 Can projectiles based powers be redericted to shoot from other limbs? For example, can Bast throw fire from his feet or *ahem* other extremi

Usually yes.   Some powers might *require* the use of hands- but most do not.  It's just easier to guide one's focus using physical gestures, and hands are the most intuitive instrument.   But if say Bast wanted to incinerate someone to his left, he could leave his hands down and do it with a peeved glance.

28 What is the minimum age requirement for drinking fermentae

21.

28 What is the next great frontier for DK merchandise now that we already have card games, plush toys, and soundtracks?

The big one for me:  VOLUME 5.  Dreamkeepers has leveled up from Skirmish and Wayward- but I've got to refocus on the main attraction, and knock out the next graphic novel. 

That said, there are a few things in the works that don't require much of my time. 
Faction War, the free online DK roleplay system, is soonest- I've upgraded the game mechanics and I'll run one last test game this September. Then future story arcs will be in the hands of the players and mods.

Nikolas Albrecht is launching a Kickstarter this September to compose & record the Volume 5 soundtrack.  We've just licensed an indie company to create limited runs of 3-D printed DK figurines- plus Liz may create handcrafted goodies once Skirmish figurines are done.

A couple years back I wrote a novella that needs a few hours of final editing, and then I can start sharing that on the side, along with illustrations that have also been done for it.

The video game engine continues to be upgraded in the background- faster surface reflections have been integrated into the rendering gamut.

So, some backburner items and mostly-completed endeavors- but the big thing is to rock out on Volume 5.

FACTION WAR: Round 2

Create your original Dreamkeepers character, join a Faction, and get ready for action.  The DK community is launching another roleplay story arc, slated for a launch date of September 13th.

The game system has evolved from our alpha test earlier this year.  There's now a solidified skills list with interlocking strengths and weaknesses- plus inventory.   Purchase armor, sniper weaponry, a ryuu-neko companion- some items will aide in combat.  Others will give you superior command of terrain, or even an edge when it comes to blackmailing and other social tricks. 

The new Faction Wars Discord server is here:  https://discord.gg/UCxh7CX

Slots for new players are limited. 

Moderators will get the final call on who can participate in the story arc which launches Sept. 13th. 

Requirements include submitting a finalized character sheet to them, and demonstrating activity and responsiveness in the server. 

There's a Free Play room for people to get the hang of things, and for players to roleplay even if they're not in the official Story Arc. 

So jump in, create a character or two (It's way simpler and faster than most rp systems) and prepare for war!  I'll see folks in there tonight. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

BGC- White Donkey


The latest Big Geeky Couch review with Dave, Boneitis, Chad, and Keith- thank you to Dan Lee for the great suggestion, this is Terminal Lance: The White Donkey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNe_BzxsDok

Big format change coming for the next BGC!

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.