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121761 No. 121761 ID: 395c02

Welcome to the Quest Advice thread Mk. 2! Anyone is welcome to offer advice or ask questions about the amazing world of interactive storytelling!

Check the wiki page for additional information and tips: http://tgchan.org/wiki/Advice_for_Running_a_Quest

Old thread (Advice may be outdated): https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/15880.html
19 posts omitted. Last 50 shown.
>>
No. 123444 ID: 334b68

IF YOU FEEL THE NEED TO ASK "IS THIS QUEST DEAD" IN ATHREAD LAST POSTED IN LIKE A YEAR AGO:
1. IT IS
2. DON'T POST

>>
No. 123452 ID: caf1de

urge to post is this thread dead in every non graveguard quest rising
>>
No. 123480 ID: 334b68

>>123452
I'll fuckin' ban you if you do it

edit: while getting my staff rank to show up on my posts is apparently fucked, this is not an empty threat
>>
No. 123509 ID: dbf422

Hey, weird question but could I just test the dice rolling system here? Last time I tried to roll I utterly embarrassed myself in a quest by getting it wrong. I couldn't figure out if it was "dice xdy" or "dice+xdy" (without quotation marks).
>>
No. 123511 ID: 33cbe7

>>123509
The FAQ covers dice syntax on tgchan.
https://tgchan.org/kusaba/news.php?p=faq
There's also a thread on the /tg/ board you could use.
>>
No. 123514 ID: 7fad5d

>>123509
You can also use the /moo/ board to test stuff in general.
>>
No. 123522 ID: dbf422

>>123511
>>123514
Thanks you two.
>>
No. 123523 ID: dbf422

>>123511
Though I should point out that the FAQ doesn't include that it goes in the email field. That's probably common knowledge, but that's what I had messed up.
>>
No. 123528 ID: 3abd97

>>123523
It does.
>The desired expression should be put into the email field.
>>
No. 123533 ID: dbf422

>>123528
Figures I had to fit in one more mistake.
>>
No. 123967 ID: c66305

To the mod who banned ClockworkFountain and I on ITQ,
I would like to put forth an apology and hope I might offer an explanation as to what I was doing. I’ve read old posts where quest characters would have letter correspondence between each other and I was trying to do something similar to that. I was not intending to break any rules. When I was given a warning the first time I was not intending it to get as far flung as it did. And when I was asked a question by Clock, I was legitimately trying to answer him based on what my quest character would do. I wasn’t trying to start a whole RP on that thread and I wasn’t intending it to blow up the way it did. I hope this gets us unbanned, at the very least I ask you in an Clock as I dont think he deserved that. Thank you and again sorry if it seemed I was breaking rules, that was not my intention.
>>
No. 124441 ID: 416751

how do you change the icon on the browser tab?
>>
No. 124449 ID: 671537

>>124441
The mods change that, the details are in this thread >>66907
>>
No. 124717 ID: 4cef42

To the person that permabanned me from all boards and called me "a horrible person": I have no idea what I did wrong. The last posts I remember making here are a suggestion on Acid Soup and posting a link to a clip from Spaceballs on FRACTAL's quests. May I at least receive an explanation for my ban? My ID was d887c0.
>>
No. 124718 ID: 394bd8

>>124717
It looks like it was a spambot ban that happened to catch your IP address as well. It should be resolved now.
>>
No. 124720 ID: d887c0

>>124718
My endless thanks.
>>
No. 124936 ID: bd5c42

Hey, I have an etiquette question. I recently resurrected one of my quests that had fallen into the graveyard by starting a new thread for it. I now want to get people talking in its disthread, but the old thread was never replied to by anyone but me and has fallen into the depths of the disthread archives. Is it more proper to start a new disthread and not resurrect the dead one, or to use the same one to avoid cluttering the archives?
>>
No. 124939 ID: e2ea73

Probably just use the old one. I find it's really hard to predict what will get people talking.
>>
No. 124982 ID: 31eb45

How much activity is a reasonable amount to wait for before making a dis thread?
>>
No. 124991 ID: 4f1cbc

>>124936
There's really no need to make a new dis thread unless the old one has gotten large, or you're reorganizing. If you make sure your quest thread links the dis thread, readers will be able to find it when they need it.

>>124982
Some authors wait until one is needed (ie, suggesters start trying to discuss stuff, or ask for one) other authors start one up preemptively (so it'll be there when needed). Either is fine!
>>
No. 125003 ID: b0b5d0

I'm planning to start my first quest fairly soon and I was hoping to get some advice on how to navigate something I want to do. What I want to happen is that the main/player character outright lies about something, it will become pretty obvious fairly quickly that at the very least what the character tells the reader isn't the whole truth, but I'm a bit concerned I'll drop the ball writing it in some way so tips dealing with this would be very appreciated
>>
No. 125012 ID: e2ea73

The trick I feel is establishing that there can be a disconnection between what the character's saying and what's actually going on. For example if it contradicts something they'd previously said. Also if it's a lie their telling to someone else, you have the option of showing their internal state to the suggesters, which can suggest something's off.
>>
No. 125364 ID: 7969eb

Hey dudes, if I was thinking of doing a quest by having several smaller updates carried out on Saturday/Friday nights, college and work permitting, would this be feasible on tgchan? I'd be keeping the sessions to the same nights at roughly the same time with a twitter to announce it all.
>>
No. 125366 ID: ceb185

It could work. Tgchan's usually a little slow paced so you might get less suggestions per update, but generally when people see a quest is updating frequently, they'll check it more often.
>>
No. 125369 ID: 4f1cbc

>>125364
Updating in sessions once or twice a week? Yeah, that's fine, there are plenty of quests that update slower than that.
>>
No. 125555 ID: ad4798

General tips for maintaining readership/getting a consistent amount of suggestions? I know that’s a very broad question, but I feel like it probably has broad solutions.
>>
No. 125564 ID: f1cb5f

>>125555
These are probably still a bit vague but as far as getting good suggestions goes, I think the big four are:
1: Make decisions important. The suggesters need to feel their input matters.
2: Make decisions nuanced. Try to avoid making The Obvious Correct Choice an option.
3: Make information available. One piece of advice I've always liked is most of the information you need to know should be in the last three updates.
4: Reward interpolation. This is in tension to #3, but leave chances for better options where the suggesters have remembered other bits of information or have come up with a better plan.
>>
No. 125574 ID: 8049ed

>>125564

To expand on that, make sure there is actually something to suggest before waiting for suggestions.
Also that there isn't just one glaringly obvious path forward, that kind of situation tends to get one reply of 'do the obvious thing' followed by silence.
Balance that with too many paths forward though, too much choice tends to be a flaw in city builder quests that can paralyze discussion.

Early on expect to get the four basic text adventure commands a lot:
Look at thing, use thing, take thing, check quest log.

Try to be wordy enough that 'look at thing' and 'quest log' are mostly taken care of by the story posts. We need context and motivation.

and finally, update despite a low response! A common mistake is to assume questors will do the writing for you. Give your characters some initiative. Whatever character is the focus at the time should essentially be a questor that always posts.
>>
No. 125988 ID: 9125e0

How do I make my text blacked out?
Some how I still dont know!
>>
No. 125998 ID: 891b91

>>125988
Use spoiler tags, assuming you mean something like this

Read this for details: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/news.php?p=faq
>>
No. 126019 ID: 9125e0

Thanks man
>>
No. 127211 ID: daffb0

Here's a bit of general advice that occurred to me recently: if your quest isn't directly about solving a mystery, be a bit careful about how you present mysteries.

Often for the purposes of plot or atmosphere, you might want to put in mystery elements that aren't really meant to be solved. Perhaps the quest is supposed to be more of a character-driven drama or be about solving smaller more immediate challenges, and you might want a larger mystery in the background set it all up. Alternately, you might have smaller mysteries, like how exactly some supernatural element of the story works, or what your antagonist's motivations are, or what happened in a place or person's past.

Usually you'll want your readers to have some interest in things like this, but often you won't want them to be the focus or to interfere with your quest's pacing or slow things down - the "/quest/ spends five updates just asking a character questions" problem. A thing to be aware of is that tgchan, unlike some other interactive adventure sites, is descended from old /tg/ culture and draws a lot of its inspiration heritage from tabletop games (and a certain class of video games), with the basic result being that we tend more towards being a bunch of nerds who like to puzzle things out and assume everything has an answer if you look hard enough. So, if you present unknowns, and it seems even slightly like whatever's unknown could possibly be relevant or interesting, you'll get a bunch of suggesters going oh jinkies gang and jumping into the mystery machine to obsess over it. If you don't intend for a particular mystery to be focused on, you might want to think about how enticing you're making it look, or consider whether someone without your special knowledge of the plot might think that it could be important.

This is partly why quests so often start with the protagonist in a place that's strange to them, so that they and the readers learn things at the same pace and you're not immediately bogged down with your main character answering a ton of questions. When new characters get introduced, there's also a tendency for them to also not know much, or to be cagey for some reason, or for there to be some sort of time pressure or danger that stops them from simply sitting down and explaining things. This doesn't always have to be the case, but it's something to keep in mind when you make your own quests.
>>
No. 127323 ID: fb2a85

One easy way to solve it is to have directed questions like in ace attorney or LA noir.
A checklist of clues to ask, and an order to ask to open people up.
Another solution is to have quick updates.
It’s fine to have non image updates, that’s just talky talk.
>>
No. 127505 ID: 70be57

There is an old quest that I would like to continue updating but a longer period of time has passed making that quest a ghost town. Is there a way for me to update that quest or do I need to create a new thread for it?
>>
No. 127506 ID: 5fc3a0

>>127505
Report the OP post in that quest thread, saying you'd like it revived, then a mod will (eventually) move it out of the graveyard and into quest where you can post again.

Hopefully quickly, as it's worth noting that the auto graveyard function doesn't discriminate against threads that were just recently moved out of the graveyard, and thus would move that thread right back into the graveyard again.
>>
No. 127797 ID: 7dc36a

How frowned upon is it to delete your own suggestion?
I ask because I know how to do it and have done it multiple times before. Sorry.
>>
No. 127798 ID: b1b4f3

>>127797
I frequently delete and repost to edit them, provided nobody's responded.
>>
No. 127806 ID: 891b91

>>127797
I can't speak for anyone else, but I wouldn't mind it, personally. If I were to notice it happening, I'd just take it as a sign that the suggester changed their mind, and remove the suggestion from consideration for the next update.

That being said, I'd say it's a good idea to make your best effort to ensure you're satisfied with the content of your suggestion before posting it.
>>
No. 128322 ID: 93878c

Question for those a bit more versed in board etiquette than myself.

Is it taboo to ask for someone else to do quest art for my quests? I really can't draw for the life of me, but I somehow feel that asking someone else to do this would be rude, I just don't want the quality of my quests to suffer because I never graduated from stickmen.

And if it is acceptable, how would one go about this? Do I just call to the masses for help in the dis-thread? I really don't know.
>>
No. 128351 ID: 2735ca

>>128322
Asking for free art is generally considered rude, yeah. For a quest it would be extra rude, because you're asking for a lot of free art, not just one piece. There are cases of people doing art for another person's quest, but generally they pay for it as a commission or get it as a patreon reward. When quest art is done for free, either the artist and quest writer are good friends or the writer has established themselves as good enough already that the artist is a fan of their writing and wants to facilitate more.
>>
No. 128355 ID: 891b91

>>128322
In terms of having someone else do art -- yeah, I'd say your best bet for having someone draw for your quest is to either pay someone (which will probably get pretty expensive over time, considering the sheer volume of images involved) or find someone who is willing to collaborate with you on it (which, as >>128351 says, has to be done with care so as to not come off as rude, and probably requires being good friends with the artist anyway).

That being said, I strongly encourage you to consider doing the art for your quest yourself. I understand the concern about the art quality harming the quality of the quest overall; I don't want to demean the value of having nice art, but art quality/skill honestly isn't crucial for a quest to be good. It's a nice thing to have, of course, but by no means necessary. Dorf Quest and RubyQuest, for example, both used fairly rudimentary/simple art styles and still enjoyed enormous popularity. Generally speaking, what people want out of a quest, much more than high-quality art, is interesting characters, setting, story, etc. Visual art factors into this somewhat, but not as much as writing does, in my opinion. A boring story with amazing art is still boring, and an interesting story with rudimentary art is still interesting.

This raises the question of why image-based quests tend to enjoy more popularity than text-based quests, but I think that has much more to do with the presence of the art than its quality. Having actual panels showing the environment, what is going on, what the characters are doing, etc., adds a visceral quality that is difficult to reproduce with text alone. For this purpose, stick figures are often as effective as the most polished art. (It might be ironic that I'm advocating this, considering that the general perception of my quests' art seems to be that it's very high-effort, but that's really just a symptom of my own tendency towards perfectionism. I don't think it should ever be considered a standard for other people to follow, because there are a lot of downsides to my way of doing things.)

Additionally, running a quest is, in my opinion, an excellent crash course in improving your art, and pretty much guarantees that you will improve, since it constantly challenges you to draw things you aren't used to drawing. Just look at Dead Dust; maybe other people's opinions on this will differ, but I see a rather stark difference between the quality of art I was putting out at the start of the quest and the quality of panels I'm putting out now. I've seen great examples of this in other artists' quests, too, but I think it would be polite to avoid naming names, since I'd prefer not to hurt anyone's feelings.

There are always shortcuts, of course, all of which are completely legitimate, and often a good idea, to use. One option is to reuse art assets: The Witch Who Lost Her Panties makes great use of paperdoll-style character assets for most of its panels, for example. Related to that is the use of pixel art, which lends itself very well to asset reuse; The Herd does this to great effect. (NOTE: If you go the pixel art route, I highly recommend using an image editor that is specifically designed for it, such as Aseprite.)

So yeah. This post kind of turned into a huge wall of text, but the main point I want to get across is that you have options. So don't be too hasty about counting yourself out as a possible artist for your quest.
>>
No. 128362 ID: 98e742

>>128355
Thank you, that's helpful.
>>
No. 128391 ID: afdebc

>>128322
Collaborations between two or more authors / artists providing different parts of a quest happen fairly often. (Usually arranged between existing friends and acquaintances- as established, asking someone out of the blue to art for you is rarely works out too well).

Unfortunately, they tend to have a even higher fatality right than most quests, since you're adding in scheduling and cooperative problems on top of everything else.
>>
No. 128439 ID: 7fd053

>>128322
I wanted to chime in as an artist who has tried making my own quest, drawing for existing quests, and doing a whole new quest as a collab.

I draw Nice Save and Toastline writes it and I think its the longest running collab? I don't know how to measure that lol.

I prefer collabs to personal projects so I seek them out. I worked with Toast to come up with the whole concept and stuff after I'd known them for a bit and knew we had similar interests and goals. If you want to truly collaborate, I suggest creating something from the start with that in mind, with the artist. It gives you both ownership in the project.

As far as meeting artists that would be interested, I used to hang out in tgchan irc a bit, but I think I got the most useful connections from assorted discord servers we both hung out in. In the end it was more about doing a project with a friend than finding a partner for an existing thing. Which is really just echoing >>128351 a bit.
>>
No. 128547 ID: 91e45d

Thanks to everyone for answering my question, your advice was most certainly helpful.

And so, of course, I'm here seeking more.

I want to write a quest that would contain characters and material that belong to other authors, like, a lot of stuff from other people.

I've asked permission from a few, but there are too many to individually ask all of them for permission.

So would it be acceptable to use characters and material without asking? I don't mean to mock or disrespect in any way, I simply want to include them in a quest of my own. And of course I would credit all original creators.

I've checked, and it would legally fall under fair use. But I really don't want to do anything that would make people angry.

All I could find in the site rules was a thing that talked about 'Writefagotry', which sounded a little different than what I have in mind.
>>
No. 128548 ID: 2007b6

>>128547
Legality aside, it'd at least be more polite to make a reasonable effort to personally ask everyone involved. Compile a list, compose a simple form letter, ask on the IRC channel for anyone whose contact info you can't find on the wiki. To avoid having a missed contact stall the whole plan, maybe frame it along the lines of "unless you reply by such-and-such date I'll assume you either approve or don't care." http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff1600/fc01546.htm
>>
No. 128562 ID: ab1fe9

>>128547
As a creator, I'd say it depends a lot on what you intend to use them for. If you're planning some silly parody party quest, for example, you can probably go ahead. Beyond that, though, it's questionable.

Some people are very personally invested in certain characters of theirs and wouldn't want anyone else to use them at all. I don't think we have anyone like that around here, but what we might have is people who are like that to a lesser extent, who'd allow things like fanart and short comics and fics, but wouldn't want anyone to use them for anything more extensive or "serious". Some people aren't so personally invested but have put a lot of effort into how a character is perceived, and something that could disturb their characterization would be objectionable. For example, if you took a character who's supposed to be appealing and sympathetic and put them in a story where you had them do something ugly and horrible, that would be a huge problem, because people might go back to the original story and then not be able to look at that character without the association you added to them. And some people might not object specifically to a character being used but just with having their work generally associated with anything that includes certain themes or story elements (usually things along the lines of violence, sex, drugs, horror, specific political ideologies, etc., but you never know).

If you're doing anything that wouldn't be really obviously just a dumb fanficcy "take none of this seriously" quest, I'd suggest trying to personally contact everyone whose characters or material you want to use, and forget using anything you can't get permission for. Beyond being the right thing to do, a lot of authors might be willing to tell you things about how to authentically write their characters that aren't obvious.

>>128548
Using the "unless you reply" tactic is acceptable when dealing with hostile bureaucracy or things you should have a right to do anyway, but if you're using it on individual people to get permission to use things that are unequivocally theirs, it isn't. Like, a lot of people might not even check their messages that often, or might have changed what account they used, or happen to be away from a place they could check for a while. In any of those cases or anything like them, you'd basically just be acting like kind of a manipulative scumbag.
>>
No. 128565 ID: 270774

definitely seconding >>128562 — if someone doesn’t reply or you can’t get ahold of them you should NOT use their stuff, rather than going “well if you don’t get back to me in time i’m just gonna assume you’re fine with it.” i can’t speak for everyone, but i would be PISSED, and i personally know very few creators who would be okay with someone using any aspect of their work without permission, even for a silly parody work (sometimes ESPECIALLY for parody, honestly.)

every creator is going to feel differently about this, which is why it’s vital to make every effort to contact each of them individually and ask. and if you can’t reach someone, find a way to make it work without using their intellectual property when you have no idea how they feel about it.
>>
No. 128584 ID: c8d230

>>128548
>>128562
>>128565
I'd like to see a response any clearer than that. Okay, I'll use nothing without express permission.

Thanks all.
>>
No. 128599 ID: 2007b6

>>128562
Yeah, that's a fair assessment.
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