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123379 No. 123379 ID: 891b91

Wherein we discuss dead dust, and possibly other sorts of dust as well.
484 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 133281 ID: 0e57d8

>>133278
Thanks for being even handed about it. I'm not so sure if I can keep that interest either, and honestly am just leaning towards tapping out. Plenty of other things to do. And what I mean by how it seems like a lot of the mystery is dead or dying I suppose really does reflect more on the character themselves, as it had seemed to be a core element. You say that it's not, but it was the thing that seemed to be most front and center up until now. The way I had interpreted everything, it was all more of side issues that woukd influence that. Since it's not, it all feels like a sudden jar.

I also admit that part of my umbrage is due to it being a flashback, yes. I'll admit I'm biased against them in stories in general- what something was and has already happened is never as interesting to me as what is or could happen, even without supposed context. I'd rather focus on the now and the future, instead of the past. I have the same issue with flashbacks and whatnot in books and film/animation, too.

At any rate, the quest really doesn't seem like it's what I was hoping for- that being a mystery of the self and what makes people people, combined with a central concept of 'discarding your past to create your future.' This is apparently going in another direction, so. I guess my interest is reset to nil, so maybe when you get back to present day and get more into current events I might get back interested in it.

But to me, Penny was far more interesting than Siobahn will ever be simply by default.
>>
No. 133285 ID: a0dfd2

>>133278

Skipping what preamble I wanted to write, and going to play counterpoints, now.

>Revealing Siobhan's identity
>Quest relies on gaining some knowledge

I understand why you wanted to do this, but as the other anon says, you've taken away a choice from the questers; one of our possible actions was to independently attempt to research who or what we were -- and was something very, very strongly hinted by Millie, then cautioned against by Roz, essentially baiting the questers.

Thus, when suddenly we, as the questers (and not yet Siobhan / Penny), know this identity without any involvement beyond simply reading -- and hence why the anon refers to it as an exposition dump -- it sort of ... well, frankly, it completely removes any sense of triumph or reward we might have gotten, had we instead snuck onto a Holo terminal and pulled up information -- such as from that vial.

On the topic of the vial, that was our very first hint at who we were, and a major point for some time that was discussed at some length, before mysteriously disappearing shortly before the bathing interlude.

Now it's presence and function in the quest are inherently moot, at least topically, lest you're planning to have some residue or serial code that can be used at a salon to recreate it, though I cannot imagine what good that would do beyond place us in a very bad situation, given what Siobhan confesses to with that one job.

>Q&A vs Sex Scenes

Moving onto this one, rather than the brushing off of subliminal manipulation of responses.

It's rather hard, personally, to even read the updates when nigh everything after the first ... 8 updates is porn. Yes, Siobhan is answering our questions, and yes, some questers are horny, but ...

... the only way I can describe it is being disjointed. Siobhan is having an inner dialogue with voices in her head and dealing with a situation that is growing progressively outside of her comfort and control (and has in the past, according to a piece of exposition that feels contrary to former actions) -- all whilst engaging with Mike sexually. It reminds me heavily of the earlier situation with Omen, and what disparate opinions that raised.

The result is cognitive and emotional dissonance, and it starts eroding the suspension of disbelief, whilst making it simultaneously harder for the reader to filter out what's in the events of the scene, and what's Siobhan's response -- or her reactions to our suggestions.

>Things will be different, but in the future

Discounting that we have to eventually reach Chapter 0 to remain cohesive, before moving on to Chapter 2, this is not terribly reassuring. To explain, and sort of frame why I'm even doing this, it is largely because such has been your general statement throughout. The majority of your responses have been some effect of "Dead Dust isn't what you expected it to be," or "it will be different in future chapters" -- so I suppose I lied earlier, and I am going to address that it feels as though many of your responses have disregarded quester concerns, even if such was not your intention.

As for why I and others have voiced these concerns, I can only speak for myself, but I will say this: if expectations are being failed repeatedly, then perhaps Dead Dust is not presenting itself sincerely -- that is to say, the quest, from its beginning to where we are now, has not followed what some of us have taken as clues, hints, overtones, or other suggestions as to Penny's situation, Red Shelf, dust, and, again, the mysterious vial upon her person.

I'll go back and refer to one of the earliest comments in this thread:

>>123380

Many of us equally took Dead Dust to be a mystery as you've stated, and provided suggestions based on the details we were thus given -- including the actions and reactions of characters, such as the divide between those wishing to stay with the Vesper Society (who sought to establish ourselves and make contact with Q) and those pushing to escape (who felt Cider was too cultish).

And splits like that have occurred repeatedly since Dead Dust began.

>Is the mystery gone?

Here's where I'll agree with you, and say the other anon was too heavily focused on Penny's former identity (as Siobhan) -- however, I think that, from what I've already outlined, it's very understandable how they would have reached this conclusion. Nigh everything we've encountered insofar has been a question of who we were -- from the usage of taffa as literally opens the quest, to the Vespers and Cider, to our discussions with Roz over Millie's change in personality after learning about her former self. Even we the questers insisted that we wished to find out, regardless of the outcome and despite Roz's warnings against doing so.

Thus we were given, and listened to, Omen.

And when suddenly everything in Chapter -1 takes away one of the central pillars of our motivation -- the learning of Penny's former identity -- it can be very hard to mentally reorient ourselves and our expectations.

To put it into perspective, imagine playing a game where the central plot and most interactions were about finding The Artifact. If suddenly halfway through we're given the thing we've struggled for after days and days of playing this game ... it becomes hollow. There's no sense of achievement or progress, or even a victory over having accomplished what we set out to do, and it sours all that time spent working toward something. Similarly with games where a character you've heavily invested in is removed later on, quite abruptly; all that work vanishes, and the player is left with nothing and little recourse.

I understand that this is only as it appears on the surface, and there is a much deeper mystery with the so-called Blades and Omen's existence, but that it appears at all should be of concern.

>Numerous unresolved threads

This is where I'm going to segue back through several former points again, as you've rather hit the proverbial nail, here.

I think what the other anon is trying to say is that, as I'd laid out, a vast portion of our interactions later on focused on who Penny ultimately was before using the raw taffa. Not her situation, not what she was doing in O-Town (or how she got there), nor the zombies or even the situation on Red Shelf; all these had become a given, immutable.

Even when other topics were brought up or oddities became available, there was almost always an overriding concern -- be they the shadow monsters, the strange false sun, Preston's bizarre reaction to Moira's card, the tentacle twins and the drugs, the Vespers sigil, our mysterious coma thereafter, Cider's level-headed matronly nature, Roz's bubbling personality and bosom, Mint's doldrums, Millie's crypticism, Penny's unresolved sexuality, the sudden presence of Omen, the Gordian Knot, the need for escaping from the bathhouse, or the chanting before we got mind-stabbed.

Yes, there were countless bits of unresolved plot and so much that I'm leaving out in even that list, but each time was there always something else driving us, or characters who did not present the necessary hook to "catch" questers with.

And I'll go ahead and admit: I was wrong when I said Penny likely wasn't part of Delaney. We've learned now that she was intimately involved with Mike -- literally, and figuratively. More, Preston might have been her neighbor -- who probably freaked out because he thought Mike would know he'd been going down to O-Town for shady dealings.

But that's just it -- all of these appearances were played as either being perfectly normal, or we the questers had very little reason to actively question matters. We hadn't the basis to do so, beyond what pieces we had to work with.

Going back to the topic of the mystery: there's no sense of revelation or epiphany, here. Instead of being amazed that we now know who llama-guy was, or that this isn't our body, or why we presume ourself "human" -- yet cannot rationalize why others do, too -- there's only that sense of hollowness I'd spoken of.

It becomes just a detail. Something now divorced from the moment.

Hence why the anon called it an exposition dump.

>Reboots?

Contrary to everything I've said, I sincerely and earnestly hope that you don't. Dead Dust is salvageable, and you've shown yourself immensely talented both in art and storytelling in the prior chapters. Withholding my own criticisms of sex as a distraction or even discomfiting, we're still gaining information critical to the world, to Siobhan, and ultimately to Penny, once Chapter 2 starts.

But I think, personally, that equally critical will be ensuring that what knowledge we will then hold must not be able to be used with any immediacy. Let it build character drama, friction between ourselves and the Vespers, and a situation that places us in even more dire jeopardy; let Penny/Siobhan be faced with her actions and her past, as much as her revelation.

There is still discovery to be had in this quest.
>>
No. 133287 ID: 3994a2

>>133285
I guess the best place to start is to state outright what I think my mistakes have been.

The sex is starting to become a significant regret of mine. As time goes on I've started to increasingly regret incorporating sexual content into the quest. I really thought that I could keep a good balance going and keep the story compelling, but it seems like I was overly optimistic about that. I think if I could do it over I wouldn't have tried it in the first place. But then again, I know people on Discord who state outright that they aren't interested in smut, but then tell me that they like the way I've tried to balance things, so I feel lost as to whether it's actually a major problem or not.

Pacing has also been a consistent demon I've wrestled with when running this quest. There have been various points where I've gotten hasty about introducing new plot points, because I felt like I'd let certain scenes drag on too long. I think I probably should have planned those segments better, so that I wouldn't feel like things were getting long in the tooth and that I need to introduce the next big plot point to keep things interesting.

I've probably also failed at considering about the meta-aspects of the quest -- for example, you mentioned the quest failing expectations, or perhaps presenting false expectations. If I'm to be completely honest, when planning this quest I haven't though much about what expectations I'm creating, because so much of my planning and writing goes through the lens of trying to "simulate" the people and powers in Penny's world. This means that, for example, when Millie tries to entice Penny into thinking about who she once was, while Roz says it's a bad idea, there isn't an intentional subtext of "this is the primary mystery and you guys need to hyper-focus on this"; instead what's going through my head as I write it is along the lines of, "Millie really really wants Penny to do ____" or "Roz is terrified of what learning about the past can do to people." That's not an excuse for neglecting the metatexual aspects of the quest, but instead just an admission that I have neglected them to a fairly extreme degree. So I ended up being pretty surprised by the degree to which people objected to the Siobhan reveal, because from my perspective I always viewed the question of who Penny was prior to taffa poisoning as a springboard into bigger, deeper aspects of the quest -- I saw it as the starting point, not the goal. I've done a bad job of communicating that, though.

>The majority of your responses have been some effect of "Dead Dust isn't what you expected it to be," or "it will be different in future chapters" -- so I suppose I lied earlier, and I am going to address that it feels as though many of your responses have disregarded quester concerns, even if such was not your intention.
It wasn't my intention, no, but I don't really know what else to say in response to some of these concerns. If someone tells me, essentially, that what they want out of the quest contradicts the core of what I've been aiming for since the quest began, then maybe this quest really isn't what they're looking for. As I said in another post, the alternative is to scrap the majority of what I have planned, at which point it makes more sense to just reboot the quest or start a new one entirely. When I've tried to reassure people about the future of the quest, my intention was to point out that as the quest is currently planned, their concerns will be alleviated, or at least I think they will.

>Dead Dust is salvageable, and you've shown yourself immensely talented both in art and storytelling in the prior chapters.
I appreciate the compliment, but I'm beginning to have a lot of trouble seeing how to salvage the quest, if I take all these criticisms to heart.
>>
No. 133288 ID: 3994a2

I guess all of this has left me feeling like I'm at an impasse. If it's not too much to ask, I'd appreciate it if everybody who either is or has been interested in Dead Dust would weigh in on how I should proceed. The way I see it, I have four options:

>1) Stay the course and keep pursuing the quest the way I have been, so far.
>2) Attempt to make significant changes to the quest's design to accommodate the concerns that have been voiced so far (as well as any other concerns that might come up), without rebooting it.
>3) Completely redesign the quest and reboot it.
>4) Shelf the quest indefinitely and move on to another project.

To be clear, this isn't a vote to decide the quest's future, at least not directly; but I want to get an idea of where general opinion stands before I commmit to any particular plan of action.
>>
No. 133289 ID: b5fb67

>>133288

I need to catch up! I'm interested, but I just haven't had the time.
>>
No. 133290 ID: c82427

>>133288
1
>>
No. 133291 ID: 0fae41

>>133288
1. "Salvageable" implies something is already broken, and DD is not.
>>
No. 133292 ID: e7c7d3

>1)

I wish I could engage with >>133285
more directly, but I think it pretty much comes down to what I feel the driving force and mystery of the quest is. Differences of opinion, really. Nothing more.
>>
No. 133293 ID: e51896

1.
>>
No. 133294 ID: e24163

Part of the problem is that solutions 3 and 4 are basically nuclear options that would obliterate all of the work you've done up to this point AND the reader's participation.

I'm leaning 1 and 2, but a more 'nerfed' version of two, because while some people have legitimate concerns, attempting to shift gears when you've already talked about how this whole chapter was planned from the start still seems quite drastic to me. We haven't even *gotten* to the parts in this chapter that are the real nitty gritty - Siobhan's 'death', what the hell happened to everyone in the suicide room, that kind of thing. But I trust in teegee's own writing direction, and there are still plenty of mysteries worth examining and pursuing. There's no need to restructure things when we haven't gotten to the best part of this chapter yet.
>>
No. 133295 ID: e24163

To follow up - I don't think there needs to be a retcon, necessarily. By 'nerfed version of 2', there's always stuff and new mysteries to be added in the future rather than the past.
>>
No. 133299 ID: 1da365

1
>>
No. 133300 ID: b1b4f3

>>133288
1. I thought a few things were brought to light in a way that "spoiled the hunt" so to speak, but most of those just led to more questions. Like, we found out where her body came from but not why it's tagged, and now we're wondering why it makes her horny. We found out a lot of "common knowledge" stuff but also found out that it's not normal to think "human" implies a specific shape, so that raises questions. It's a lot of the same kinds of give and take that we would find by pursuing questions on our own.
It's mostly her previous identity and its connection to Delaney that got blown wide open. Plus... we're not really capable of doing much of anything in the intermission aside from interrogating Siobahn and watching her fuck Delaney. The porn is nice, of course.
>>
No. 133304 ID: 4286b4

1

I'm quite pleased with the recent developments. I believe that Siobhan's reveal was well-placed and that, while giving us good understanding of Siobhan's personality and relationship with Mike, it keeps the rest of the circumstances involving the transition to Penny well-hidden, so there's much yet to be discovered about the past.
The recent sex scene has been tasteful and enjoyable, and it's interesting to see the passion Siobhan used to share with Mike.

Keep up the good work!
>>
No. 133305 ID: 882d70

1. I don't see any apparent faults in what has been laid out so far, outside of what We, the readers/suggesters, have chosen to do. We're a fractured base with different goals in mind, yet seemingly united with a tendency to chase after shiny rocks. There have been several decisions in which we seem to have panicked or forgotten the goal of which our previous decision intended to follow; thus leaving loose threads.

As for the sex: I think it best to get through these scenes with 100% focus. It satisfies the horny-minded while getting through the scene quicker. This, and preserving any exposition/story for after, should make this easier for the non-horny.
>>
No. 133306 ID: f56a2b

>>133288
1
>>
No. 133308 ID: e2f5cc

Alrighty. Just gonna put my two cents into this because why not.

First thing is that I pretty much completely agree with >>133285, at least in conclusions if not reasonings.

I guess I'll follow that up with my own primary issue with Dead Dust, and that's the utterly borked mystery element.

I know you believe that the mystery is fine, and honestly I'm sure it is on your end, but listen. Dead Dust has been running for two years now and what exactly are the mysteries we more or less have a handle on right now?

We know what Taffa is and does.

We know what happened to our memory and why we woke up where we did.

We know who/what Delaney and Vesper are.

We (more or less) know why the llama guy was spooked by Penny.

We know about Penny's past life which is... Something I'll get to as well.

I’m certain there are some minor mysteries we’ve solved that I’m forgetting, but compare the five things I outlined, with two of them being more worldbuilding than anything, and look at the immense amount of shit we have absolutely no idea about.

Let’s go over another big mystery that I feel is a microcosm of Dead Dust’s whole issue, that mystery being: What the hell is up with the Vesper society?

At the start of thread two (chapter 1) we know that something isn’t quite right with the group, and I at least got very light cult vibes which proved to be more or less accurate as is revealed later, but that mild revelation raises many far, far bigger questions than it answers.

And that’s about it, if memory serves.

So what I’m trying to say here is that you give us so many enormous mysteries that I’ll freely admit are highly interesting with absolutely no fucking clue how to solve any of it.

Again going back to the Vesper society, what conclusions other than it being some sort of cult can we draw using actual facts in regards to what’s going on behind the scenes? None. Because we spent the majority of a large thread and got absolutely nothing than more questions.

That’s all Dead Dust is frankly, a whole load of questions with about three relevant answers in two years of running.

While that’s my primary grievance out of the way I definitely still have more to say, like about Omen.

I’m not going to mince my words here, handling Omen the way you did was fucking stupid.

Taking things from the top, lewds honestly just don’t have a place in Dead Dust. I’m not going to lie to you and say I dislike the lewds (except Omen) but it’s frankly silly to believe that /quest/ won’t try to bang anything that will consent especially when you lean into that angle so hard.

Which is something that comes at the major expense of entirely halting the primary mystery element, and I’d say it outright hinders the mystery since instead of giving us any time at all to property think things over with Penny (which is a major issue with the pacing, but is also the only real problem with it) we instead put all our attention of banging someone.

And that brings us back to Omen, who primarily is a complete cop-out in terms of what she does in the narrative along with being a completely out of place sex scene with an eyeless monster clone of Penny instead of Roz, and I, with all the legitimate sincerity I can muster, will be well and truly amazed if a single person would honestly say they wanted to fuck Omen before Roz, so completely cucking us out of screwinging the hot sharkish thing is a bit of a dick move, but I’m also willing to believe we’ll see her again on friendly terms.

But getting back on track, I’m frankly baffled you didn’t back out of/delay the sex scene with Omen after the level of debate the idea of sexing her for information sparked, and I’m honestly just confused on how and why you thought people would focus on both the lewds and the information at the same time, since sex and complex info dumps are basically polar opposites along with losing an amount of suggestors (including myself) that were highly likely to be some of the ones attempting to make sense of the entirely of the miniscule amount of currently usable clues.

Now to be fair, I like the pacing of what I saw after the Omening and the foreshadowing of the dude from the beginning of the thread was legitimately excellent, and the scenario made it reasonable to not have time to think about what just happened along with providing a good mystery of “who are these people?” while also giving enough clues to have something to go off of (or at least more than the other mysteries), but it’s all unfortunately wrapped in a decision I honestly just cannot wrap my head around: The Blades.

Giving your protagonist actual superpowers a year and a half into your story is a bold move, especially when the existence of superpowers much less Penny having them wasn’t hinted at in the slightest, and even more so when said superpower is absurdly useful in the story.

Like, I am legitimately curious as to why you thought giving Penny invisibility was a good idea. It obviously opens up a lot of possibilities both lewd and story wise but it goes completely against the normal and downright vulnerable Penny we’d known for a year and a half, and again even if you planned this all along I don’t recall any sort of real foreshadowing to this.

I also dislike what Blades existing seems to imply for the world, but I’ll be honest and say I skipped most of that particular spiel.

You know what I hate as well? Leaving off the cliffhanger of Penny basically kicking the bucket to go into a flashback chapter that reveals the only mystery that had any substantial clues to it!

Chapter -1 was a mistake through and through (except mike, I’m straight and I know that ratto is hot as hell.) basically from minute 1. I know that Siobahn (I’m calling her Penny from now on) is supposed to be a bitch, but saying the suggestors are stupid basically every time, even if it’s in character, just feels like it’s you, Teegee, doing the insulting. Especially when it comes to the characters thinking they’re human, cause that joke got grating real fast.

There’s also the issue of taking exactly four updates until they started fucking, and don’t say “Oh, but you had the choice of not having sex” since as sated before, /quest/ can and will attempt to fuck everything that consents.

And then you go and do the exact same thing you did with Omen and try to mix (really good this time, i’ll admit) sex with a ham-fisted info dump mixed in. I already went over my main problems with this strategy before so I won’t repeat myself, but I do honestly wonder why you tried this again after it went so poorly with Omen.

And while this is really tiny, the way you write Mike and Penny makes it seem like you’re trying to force the impression of a long relationship, and even though it takes me out of the lewd bits I have no suggestions on how to fix that.

So, in the end, my personal take on matters is that you should drop chapter -1 since it’s rotten from its core and pick up from where thread 2 left off and provide hints and clues rather than more god damn questions. And while I’ll personally say you should drop the lewd element, you’re the one who decides that sort of thing. What I mean by that is to not poll lewd or not lewd since you know the answer you’ll get.

But before I go, I just hope you realize that continuing exactly as is won't work no matter how many people vote 1, since eventually you are going to have another kerfuffle on your hands if you don’t make changes, so I guess this is a vote for 2.

And please remember I do this out of love for what I saw in early thread 2 (which was Roz. Mike/Roz porn when?) and because I know Dead Dust is both something special and can most certainly be fixed.
>>
No. 133309 ID: 5fc3a0

1, I like the quest a lot and see no reason for it to change!
>>
No. 133310 ID: adb916

1.
I saw reference to 'this quest has been running for two years' which I feel is an irrelevant point. I do not know how far out Teegee's plans go, but it doesn't make much sense to get 3 chapters into a 15+ chapter book, see that the basics of the world have been explained, and conclude that nothing else interesting can be presented/happen in the later chapters.
>>
No. 133311 ID: cdabe3

>>133285
>>133308
jesus christ
>>
No. 133312 ID: cdabe3

oh, and 1
>>
No. 133313 ID: 4a4205

>>133288
1!
>>
No. 133314 ID: d63ea8

I'm just stopping by to wish teegee well.

I don't keep up with Dead Dust, but from what I've seen you are both a talented writer and artist. I hope you hear this, and I hope that whatever choice is made, it can help you out.
>>
No. 133315 ID: e7c7d3

Going to try my very best to not start drama, (Or continue drama?) Just going to try to point out something that I think is a bit of miscommunication.

This kind of highlighted it for me:
>I know that Siobhan (I’m calling her Penny from now on)
Trying to infer from some of the other posts as well, it seems like the problem is arising from chapter -1 is Siobhan's connection to Penny. Mainly, seeing them as the same person. Primarily that Siobhan is answering Penny's past, and thus ruining the amnesia mystery.

Thing is, Siobhan and Penny are NOT the same person. Trans-humanism is a pretty big theme going on here, what with people being able to change up bodies with dust and transfer to different bodies. Us looking at Siobhan's life here is more akin to us seeing what Penny's mother did rather than Penny's direct past. The only real connection between the two people is the body, which as Siobhan answered fairly early on can fairly easily be transferred to different people. She didn't even have that body for most of her career.

So there's still a lot of mystery as to Penny's background. Was she formed When Siobhan OD'd on taffa? Was she transferred in and Siobhan transferred out? Is Siobhan dead? I feel that the mystery of Penny is still ongoing, with further twists thrown in through exploring some of the grittier aspects of trans-humanism. Mainly, what is the self, and what does that mean for someone with no memories.
>>
No. 133316 ID: e7c7d3

Also, fan theory here, I'd guess this is why everyone calls themselves humans. At some point humans got the ability to start changing forms up with dust. Now ages later, this became such the norm that society as a whole has forgotten what the original human form looks like. But the label "human" stuck around cause the change was gradual enough that coming up with a new label just really wasn't brought up.
>>
No. 133317 ID: 470289

1
>>
No. 133319 ID: baed16

I honestly feel like a lot of people are trying to be overly nice about the issue as to spare feelings, but I may also be wrong and just not who this quest is for. I'm voting for 2 as a practical choice, but I feel like (and I suspect others as well) it'd be rude to demand changes to your artistic vision despite my disagreement with it, so there's a part of me leaning towards 1 and just letting the chips fall where they may.
>>
No. 133320 ID: 864e49

>>133288
Big 1 from me dawg.
Truth for me was that what got me in was the art and what kept me was the world and characters. The world you created is very unique and I'm looking forward to learning more about it and that characters are interesting and hopefully get even more fleshed out.
As far as I'm concerned finding out about Siobhan's identity didn't remove that much mystery and has actually added some, there are dozens of quests that start off with amnesia (it's a site trope), and many of them do have the "find out about your past" thing so doing something different with it is actually kind of welcome.
And as for the sex, it's fine. I can see why people don't like sex and exposition at the same time and it is hard to do right but you're not doing a bad job of it at all. It's not that different then exposition during a giant gun fight and it's immensely better than exposition and nothing else.
And besides its not like Sio's thinking about war atrocities while blowing Mike.




All that said I would also like you and everybody to remember two thing.

One:
This site is full of people with different ideas, view points, interests, expectations and understandings about what a good story is and how stories should be told. Critiquing a author for bad or lazy story telling is one thing but complaining to the author that you don't like their story or method of story telling (or worse making demands) just annoys all of us that are enjoying it and stresses out the author.
If you end up not enjoying a quest then yes it is sad and frustrating but if everybody else seems to be enjoying themselves then maybe just accept it and move on to another quest.

Point the second:
YOU ARE DOING THIS FOR FREE, PRESUMABLY IN YOUR FREE TIME, PRESUMABLY FOR FUN, YOU OWE US NOTHING!
If this is the story you want to tell and how you want to tell it then do it.
Getting engagement is nice and feedback is good but if people start making demands you are within your right to ignore them.
>>
No. 133321 ID: 8fab7a

I have no big problems with the quest as-is.

First of all, whoever said this was Penny's only past life that needed investigating? :P

(Cripes, just the body itself seems to be a potential plot point!)

Secondly, a quest might be collaborative storytelling, but every quest author has a significant investment in their quest and all rights to set the pacing and plot, as well as any and all world building details. They don't have to be tyrants about it and giving agency to your participants is a big part of questin', but, uh, this is free entertainment, so maybe try to take what enjoyment/influence you can get from it? I mean, yeah, if you really don't like the direction of a quest and want something different, A) offer feedback to that effect (as happened here), B) don't be pushy about it (eeeh on what happened here) and C) move on and pay someone else to give it to you cuz' you probably ain't ever getting exact specifications otherwise. Optional: D) make it yourself.

And when offering feedback, focus on what you feel will improve the experience. Do not hammer the author. Trying to dissect what 'went wrong' is a surefire way to give creatives heartburn. Go with 'I think this could improve the experience' and do respect that they might disagree (and would not be wrong to, this being their creative project). Good critiquing's hard.

Thirdly, a fair amount of 'tell' goes with the Quest format because of the glacial pace imageboard/forum games suffer, particularly in lore and story-heavy quests like DD. We were always meant to pursue (or be pursued) by the mystery, even if we had no clue yet as to what the mystery was, and to that end a bare minimum of relevant information (and the occasional red herring) will always be aimed at us. Compare and contrast these moments to the 'Core Clue' game mechanic in RPGs like Trail of Cthulhu.

There's also a separate point to be made here: We're often only 'told' about stuff we actively ask about. So our access to Siobhan's brain right now is a bit like the info kiosk from Chapter 1 - a time-limited offer to peruse, and you gotta ask the right things to get her thunkin' about lore nuggets that can potentially be used to inform later interactions. I know not everyone pays close attention to all these nuggets, but I personally treasure these 'infodump moments' as chances to explore the world and gather information. They're in no way jarring to me, cuz' it's always on us to be clever with our questions. Good/interesting questions gives us good/interesting information, yeah?

If someone disengages because of the sex (fair) or just bein' discouraged by a sudden gear shift or revelations that didn't fit their conceptions of the quest (sort of fair), then yeah, this game/story might not be for them or have taken a disappointing dip. At least right now! Who knows if it'll hit a better rhythm or story mood in 2, 5 or 10 months' time. Quests always have high points and low points and those points can be at different times for different people.

Frankly, imo, you're fine, teegee. Your production values are ridiculously high. The quest is fine, your approach is and has been fine, the sex is fine, the art is more than fine, the plot remains interesting and so forth. You don't seem to suffer for active questers, so while you might be losing a few to prequel blues and can chew on the above feedback all you want, don't take sour grapes as sheer truths. You can't please everyone and interest will always wax and wane. I don't always comment on every update myself.

But I have no intention to abandon reading your quest(s) any time soon and don't see a need for revamps or redos or whatever the heck. Put me down for 1.
>>
No. 133322 ID: 7d9195

>>133308
>at least in conclusions if not reasonings
Which conclusions?
>Dead Dust has been running for two years now
The amount of time a quest has been running for is irrelevant to the story plot and pacing.
>look at the immense amount of shit we have absolutely no idea about
I'm looking at it. What I see are opportunities to learn about this world and our current circumstances. I see this as a positive thing.
>What the hell is up with the Vesper society?
We already learned plenty about this non-profit organization, its goals, its structure, etc.
>far, far bigger questions
Which questions?
>absolutely no fucking clue how to solve any of it
You'll have to be more specific about which mystery you need help with.
>it being some sort of cult
Define a cult.
>what’s going on behind the scenes [of Vesper]
We know that Cider is one of the blade-wielders and that she leads Vesper together with her friends. For more details, we'd have to ask her about it.
>Dead Dust is frankly, a whole load of questions with about three relevant answers
This is normal, since Penny only woke up a short while ago, and the world is vast and complex. As time passes, we'll eventually get to the bottom of it. Of course, this requires patience.
>handling Omen the way you did was fucking stupid
This doesn't sound like objective criticism.
>lewds honestly just don’t have a place in Dead Dust
So you don't want Roz lewds then? Btw, didn't you suggest an Omen-Roz-Penny threesome?
>expense of entirely halting the primary mystery element
I disagree. Even during lewds, the plot has progressed because we were able to get answers to important questions. And even if we didn't, it wouldn't be an expense in any way but valuable quest content.
>instead of giving us any time at all to property think things over with Penny
I'm pretty sure that over the past two years we've had plenty of time to think things over and discuss them in this thread. Do you expect Penny to do the thinking for you?
>a completely out of place sex scene with an eyeless monster clone of Penny instead of Roz
So if it was Roz, then it wouldn't be an out-of-place sex scene?
>I will be well and truly amazed if a single person would honestly say they wanted to fuck Omen before Roz
I honestly wanted to fuck Omen before Roz. Couldn't say no to that tongue :p
>cucking us out of screwing the hot sharkish thing
I'm sorry to hear that you feel you got cucked. On the bright side, the rewarding information and access to power that we obtained were well worth it.
>I’m frankly baffled you didn’t back out of/delay the sex scene with Omen
The choice won the vote. It would be railroading to disregard it.
>sex and complex info dumps are basically polar opposites
I've re-read the segment with Omen and I failed to find these "complex info dumps" that you speak of.
>along with losing an amount of suggestors (including myself)
This is a very interesting claim that you made. Shall we back it up with data?
https://i.imgur.com/5kRKLC2.png
Here, I made a graph with update dates on the X-axis and the number of suggesters (ignoring the single post suggesters) on the Y-axis. So from this graph we can see that the number of participants during Omen's sex scene was pretty much in line with the quest average. And a bit lower participation later on being attributed to the speed of updating catching a few suggesters off guard. In other words, it would seem that the data does not support your claim.
>the existence of superpowers much less Penny having them wasn’t hinted at in the slightest
There were at least two hints. The first one was when Cider hinted that there's something special about Penny's dust structure. The second one when Mint said that Penny wasn't fuzzy.

Sorry I'm only replying to half of your post, but I don't wanna spam too much.
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No. 133323 ID: ac70ae

1
>>
No. 133325 ID: ac70ae

What I wonder about folk that express a aversion to "exposition dumps" is whether they've thought how all or most of the info in those "dumps" could be worked into the quest in a way "natural" to them and just how much longer the author would have to make the quest to do that.

>>133322
>Btw, didn't you suggest an Omen-Roz-Penny threesome?
Did they suggest that in-quest or here, in the quest discussion? Because all I'm finding here is them wanting Roz-Penny sex over Omen-Penny and expressing a desire to see Mike-Roz porn.
>>
No. 133330 ID: 0fae41

>>133325
>Mike-Roz
It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it.
>>
No. 133331 ID: 3994a2

>>133308
>look at the immense amount of shit we have absolutely no idea about.
There's a lot of mystery in Dead Dust, so there's a lot of territory to cover; and a lot of groundwork to lay before said territory can *be* covered. It's a long quest and I knew it was going to be a long one when I first started it. That isn't to excuse instances where I've gone a long time without updating, and various points where I could've handled the pacing better, but at the same time, your principal frustration here seems to be that so many mysteries haven't been figured out yet. The only thing I can really say to that is that it's by design and that these things won't remain unresolved forever. (I suppose your response to that might be that it's poor design, but even if that's the case it's a design we're locked into unless I drastically revamp my plans for the quest.)

>That’s all Dead Dust is frankly, a whole load of questions with about three relevant answers in two years of running.
I'm sorry, but I think the length of time the quest has been running is kind of an irrelevant point -- we all know questing is a notoriously slow medium, which is exacerbated by the fact that none (or at least most) of us are doing this as a career or even as a side gig. Questing is my hobby, and as such it gets pushed to the backburner when I'm busy with real-life concerns, as well as when I simply need a break from it. That's going to mess with the pacing, unfortunately.

>Taking things from the top, lewds honestly just don’t have a place in Dead Dust
As I stated in an earlier post, I'm sympathetic to this view, and for a good while have felt some unease or worry about including lewd content. However, I've received so much positive feedback about the sex scenes (and the exposition done during them), including from people who have stated outright that they don't have any interest in lewd content, that it convinced me to stay the course in terms of delivering that kind of content.

>completely cucking us out of screwinging the hot sharkish thing is a bit of a dick move
It's unfair to call the lack of sex with Roz a dick move on my part, considering that I didn't take any steps to prevent it from happening. (I also take umbrage with the notion that any narrative decision a quest author makes can fairly be considered a dick move.) From what I recall, there was very little in the way of suggestions to get intimate with Roz, despite there being ample opportunity to do so. I don't think that means people didn't want to get down and dirty with her, but it does mean that, for whatever reason, they chose not to do it. (Perhaps because of Penny's reluctance? But even that was influenced by suggesters.)

>But getting back on track, I’m frankly baffled you didn’t back out of/delay the sex scene with Omen after the level of debate the idea of sexing her for information sparked
That was because the strong majority of feedback I received in response to that controversy basically said, "hell yeah, go for it". Granted, I recall most of that was in discussions on the Discord server, rather than here, but since you're on the server you might be able to look it up if you'd like (I believe most of it was in the quest discussion channel, although some might have been in DMs as well).

>and I’m honestly just confused on how and why you thought people would focus on both the lewds and the information at the same time
Similarly, I received a lot of feedback saying that this strategy worked well, including from people who have no interest in sex scenes (as I stated earlier). I was skeptical as well, but when I have a majority of people saying that it works great, I'm apt to listen to them. (Maybe there's a discussion worth having about how much I should listen to feedback about these things?)

>Giving your protagonist actual superpowers a year and a half into your story is a bold move, especially when the existence of superpowers much less Penny having them wasn’t hinted at in the slightest, and even more so when said superpower is absurdly useful in the story.
>Like, I am legitimately curious as to why you thought giving Penny invisibility was a good idea. It obviously opens up a lot of possibilities both lewd and story wise but it goes completely against the normal and downright vulnerable Penny we’d known for a year and a half, and again even if you planned this all along I don’t recall any sort of real foreshadowing to this.
As >>133322 pointed out, there have been some (admittedly subtle) hints, at least in the sense of suggesting that Penny is special in some way. I suppose you're right, though, that there wasn't any major foreshadowing (that I recall, anyway) hinting at the existence of the blades. Maybe there should've been, but I had always intended it to be a surprise, both for Penny and for the audience; significant plot/backstory details required for it to be thrust upon her unexpectedly, rather than being something she gradually discovers about herself. (Granted, there are ways to both foreshadow something and still maintain surprise, but in this case I simply didn't even think to do it, and I'm not sure how I would have done it.)

>I also dislike what Blades existing seems to imply for the world, but I’ll be honest and say I skipped most of that particular spiel.
I don't mean to be dismissive, but if you dislike that aspect of the quest, I don't think you're going to be happy with the quest long term no matter what I do, short of redesigning the quest on such a fundamental level that it'd become a new quest entirely. I guess to use a crude analogy, your complaint here is akin to saying you liked Clark Kent more before you found out he was Superman. (Not that this is a superhero quest per se, but hopefully you get what I mean.) The blades are an integral part of the quest's concept itself and can't be divorced from it without completely changing the quest in terms of its core concepts and themes, and wiping out an enormous chunk of the backstory and setting.

>You know what I hate as well? Leaving off the cliffhanger of Penny basically kicking the bucket to go into a flashback chapter that reveals the only mystery that had any substantial clues to it!
Are you sure it revealed that mystery? I suppose I can't blame you for disliking the cliffhanger aspect, though, since that's a matter of personal taste.

>I know that Siobahn (I’m calling her Penny from now on) is supposed to be a bitch, but saying the suggestors are stupid basically every time, even if it’s in character, just feels like it’s you, Teegee, doing the insulting.
This surprises me, honestly, because that really wasn't the feeling I was going for, for the most part. Maybe a few curt responses here and there, but as far as I remember I never had Siobhan call suggesters stupid outright, so I suspect you're reading too much into it. Regardless, I'm sorry that you got the impression that I'm insulting suggesters. I don't believe that bad or stupid suggestions really exist, and I certainly don't want anyone to feel bad about any suggestion they posted. That being said, I don't really know how to resolve that issue, since the only alternative is to stop writing in-character, or I guess to never write protagonists with snarky attitudes.

>Especially when it comes to the characters thinking they’re human, cause that joke got grating real fast.
While I've made jokes about it on Discord, the whole "characters believe they're human" thing isn't itself a joke, it's an important plot detail. I'm sorry if it got grating.

>And then you go and do the exact same thing you did with Omen and try to mix (really good this time, i’ll admit) sex with a ham-fisted info dump mixed in. I already went over my main problems with this strategy before so I won’t repeat myself, but I do honestly wonder why you tried this again after it went so poorly with Omen.
Again, I've had a lot more people tell me they thought it was fine, or even worked great, than I've seen people complain about it. It was enough that I ended up ignoring my own doubts about it multiple times (which maybe I shouldn't have done).

>So, in the end, my personal take on matters is that you should drop chapter -1 since it’s rotten from its core and pick up from where thread 2 left off
To do what you're asking, I'd have to scrap Chapter -1 AND declare Chapter 1 non-canon, and start over from where Chapter 0 left off. I have no way of explaining why without delving into a shitton of spoilers, though.

>and provide hints and clues rather than more god damn questions.
I've been providing hints and clues at pretty much every opportunity to do so, but maybe they're too subtle. As for avoiding more questions, do you really think that's possible without doing a flat-out lore dump? I could explicitly spell out the meaning of every event as they occur, but that'd leave people with very little to speculate and theorize about.

>I know Dead Dust is both something special and can most certainly be fixed.
You say that, but you've also spent the majority of your post telling me, in effect, that the core of the quest and everything I have planned for it is bad, and that really only the initial premise is worthwhile. To be clear, I'm not putting words in your mouth, but that conclusion is the logical consequence of many of your complaints, when considered in the context of what I have planned. So, fixing it according to your complaints would mean scrapping the majority of my plans and ideas for the quest and making it into, effectively, a totally different quest -- one I'm not sure I would actually have much interest in running.
>>
No. 133332 ID: 3994a2

>>133314
Thank you!

>>133319
>I honestly feel like a lot of people are trying to be overly nice about the issue as to spare feelings
I hope they aren't, because that doesn't really help anything. I'd rather be told straight-up about problems, even if it hurts to hear them. That being said, I'm not sure what gives you that impression, since a lot of the negative criticisms voiced recently have been pretty incisive.


>>133320
>Critiquing a author for bad or lazy story telling is one thing but complaining to the author that you don't like their story or method of story telling (or worse making demands) just annoys all of us that are enjoying it and stresses out the author.
I agree, but I think there can be a pretty fuzzy distinction between objective criticism and complaining about something not meeting one's preferences.

>YOU ARE DOING THIS FOR FREE, PRESUMABLY IN YOUR FREE TIME, PRESUMABLY FOR FUN, YOU OWE US NOTHING!
>If this is the story you want to tell and how you want to tell it then do it.
>Getting engagement is nice and feedback is good but if people start making demands you are within your right to ignore them.
All true, but the flipside of that coin is that this is an audience-focused medium, so I'd say that makes me obliged, to some degree, to try to produce something they find compelling and worth their time.



>>133321
>advice on giving critique
These are all good, but there are a couple more I would add: First, be organized. Some of the criticism I've received lately is organized in a somewhat jumbled manner, to the point that it becomes difficult to parse the salient points. It's much more useful if related issues are grouped together.

Brevity is also helpful -- I know it's tempting to express criticism in an organic, poetic manner, but it's so much easier to work with criticism roughly along the lines of, "I think X is a problem because of Y; I suggest you do Z instead."

>You can't please everyone and interest will always wax and wane. I don't always comment on every update myself.
You're right, and sometimes the number of suggestions can be a poor measure of audience engagement.
>>
No. 133333 ID: 3994a2

To everyone who voted: thank you, it's really helpful to get an idea of where the general sentiment lies. I've read all of the criticism that's been posted so far (both positive and negative) and given it all serious consideration. I think I've reached a decision on what I'm going to do:

1. I won't make any fundamental changes to the quest. The biggest reason for this, frankly, is because I simply don't want to change what this quest is at its core. I understand there are some people who want Dead Dust to be something different from what I envisioned, but my core vision of the quest is one of the aspects I'm happiest with and I want to keep it that way. It seems that most people following the quest are happy with it as well, so that further solidifies my decision.

2. I won't change my approach to introducing mysteries and dropping hints. This largely goes hand-in-hand with 1), because the quest concept is tied pretty tightly to the various mysteries present in the quest and when/how clues get introduced.

3. Chapter -1 will continue. There are major plot events that depend on Chapter -1, to the point that they would not make sense if this chapter didn't exist. (This largely pertains to events in Chapter -1 that we haven't gotten to yet.)

4. I will scale back sexual content. I expect the majority of the audience either thinks this isn't necessary or will be sad to hear about this change, but my main reason for doing this is for a while my gut feeling has been that I've been making a mistake to include so much emphasis on lewd content. Until now I've ignored this gut feeling, simply because so many people had overwhelmingly positive things to say about it (including people who told me right out that they weren't interested in porn in quests.) However, that feeling has persisted, so I'm going to listen to it more often, if only to silence it.

In practice, this mostly means that extended sex scenes like the one currently ongoing and the one with Omen must justify their own existence within the context of plot, if they are to happen at all. That's not including the "do exposition alongside a sex scene" strategy I've used in the past, which I intend to mostly abandon (unless, again, I'm convinced that it really is a justified approach for a particular situation.) Lewd suggestions will still be welcome, but if or when sex occurs in-quest I don't intend on spending more than 1 or 2 updates on it, and there is a chance that it may even only get one panel or just an offscreen mention, depending on the situation.

I will, however, finish out the ongoing sex scene in Chapter -1, especially since it was already nearly finished anyway.
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No. 133334 ID: 03269b

If the physical form can be manipulated so effectively that crafting them is an art form, then is mind/memory alteration also a thing? is it as accessible as body augments?
>>
No. 133335 ID: 4286b4

>>133333
>I will scale back sexual content
Hard mode? Challenge accepted!
>>
No. 133336 ID: 8fab7a

Glad to hear it, teegee.

>>133334
Some answers can be found in the thread. Mind wipes - selective enough to state the date after which you want memories kept - are available legally through the salons, as Siobhan described earlier.

(And illegally through raw taffa.)

Outright memory alteration seems either non-existent or cutting edge / the purview of Blade powers from what we can tell so far.
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No. 133339 ID: 7d9195

>>133334 >>133336
>is mind/memory alteration also a thing?

>>/questarch/920579
>We seek to help you create genuine memories, rather than the soulless, artifically-constructed ones they force on our kind in hospitals.

>>/quest/970106
>they put in a block that makes my memories of the old body look like this one
>>
No. 133340 ID: 8fab7a

>>133339
Er, well there you go. Seems like I have memory issues of my own.
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No. 133341 ID: 4f51b2

>>133333
Do some of this apply to flora and other of your quests?
>>
No. 133343 ID: 864e49

>>133333
Aw but you do sex scenes so well.
Oh well at least there's still Arzfayz.

>>133341
If Arzfayz doesn't get the D I will be a very sad Asshat.
>>
No. 133344 ID: 3994a2

>>133341
I'd say it applies on a quest-by-quest basis, but going forward in general I'm going to put more thought into whether lewd content (and what degree of lewd content) belongs in a given quest. In a quest like Arzfayz, which is explicitly meant to be lewd from the outset, I think extended sex scenes are fine. For other quests, such as Flora and Null and Void, I'll probably follow the same standard I set in >>133333 -- lewd content may occur, but it will be brief and limited unless there is some clear justification for drawing it out.

That being said, I think a big part of why I chose to include sex scenes in the first place was temptation on my part. It's common for me to feel some desire to lewd the fuck out of characters I've created, and so there's a fairly significant temptation to let that bleed into my quests. In the future I'm going to try to channel that temptation into art outside of the quest proper, which is really what I should've done all along.

>>133343
>Aw but you do sex scenes so well.
Thank you, but unfortunately I need to follow my gut feeling on this one, if only because I get discouraged when I receive negative feedback that seems to confirm that gut feeling was right.
>>
No. 133346 ID: 4854ef

Aw man I missed that there was a vote in the first place.
>>
No. 133572 ID: db51d2

>>133344
my take on this: write opportunities that tie sex into the story and character dynamics more. For example, the scene with us fucking the spooky brain ghost adds a lot to the dynamism of that scene. the sex with our boyfriend helps sell some chemistry between the characters.

however, some of the tiddy stuff with roz felt excessive, possibly even a bit pushy on her part, which I don't think you intended.

the sex in the quest works best when it's purposeful, so lets lean into that.
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No. 133573 ID: e51896

I'm thinking of possible future planning here, but I have a feeling that after Siobhan and Mike is done, Mike might be open to talk about what was bothering him earlier and his problem client.

That said, I feel it will be a very bad idea at that point to have him talk about work and what was bothering him after they're finished. The reason being is that we know that we woke up the llama with that loud noise, and he is probably curious about what Siobhan and Mike is up to and could be listening in with his ear against the wall, especially considering their bed is resting against the wall that is connected to the llama's room. If after sex Mike is willing to talk, we need to tell him he doesn't have to worry about talking about work, because otherwise he could reveal some confidential secrets that the llama could get his hands on, especially since we don't know if he could be a spy or not. I have a feeling that he has a huge role as to how Siobhan got to losing her memory, and we should try to be careful to make it so that it wasn't because of Mike unintentionally revealing secrets at work to the person on the other side of the wall.
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No. 133768 ID: dccdd0

Wow teegee killed off a lot of quest. I think this is the only one they're still doing.
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No. 133769 ID: e7c7d3

>>133768
I mean, a lot of people have inactive quests going on. I'm always happy to see this one to update though
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No. 133774 ID: 9aaeef

>>133768
Teegee said the rest are on hiatus, after this DD thread Flora is going to get updated, maybe WAA WAA is death though, shame we need more quest about Kobolds.
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