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File 159358910114.png - (876.77KB , 1000x1000 , lasttracediscussionheader.png )
133296 No. 133296 ID: e24163

A place for theories, fanart and critique.

Please let me know what you think about this quest of mine - feedback is greatly appreciated!

I will also answer meta questions that cannot be answered in-universe, so feel free to ask if there's something on your mind. Questions that can be answered in-universe will be politely declined, to prevent spoilers.
Expand all images
No. 133297 ID: e24163
File 159358975126.png - (102.30KB , 800x800 , Arginespritebase.png )

An old sprite of Argine. She still has her old ear design here, before I got advice and feedback from friends that the way I was drawing her ears were completely impractical. Whoops!
No. 133298 ID: 9f00f4

Where have I seen Nickel's species before? It looks familiar!
No. 133302 ID: ac70ae

I think she's partially based on the skut from Brom's Enemy Quest, going by her tri-eyes. Her ears resemble either Penny's from Dead Dust or a neumono's and her outfit is one of the options for Penny that failed the vote. Her tail, I don't know where it's from.
No. 133303 ID: e24163

All correct! Though, I won't give too much away this early on into the game. I'm glad folks are picking up my references, though!
No. 133307 ID: e19a40

As a SAI, will we be able to hack computers? If we can, what interface options do we have?
This ability could mean we are able to interfere with potential spying devices introduced in Argine's body.
No. 133348 ID: e7c7d3

Sounds like Nickel's partner has no eyes, also is apparently from the same batch as Nickel. My guess is that there's going to be a bit of Omen in her. Also possibly that one species from that one older quest. Lapek I think they're called? I'll reserve judgement on that front though, especially since I can't remember names
No. 133350 ID: ac70ae

>Also possibly that one species from that one older quest. Lapek I think they're called?
Lazureks from Journey by Lucid. They had no eyes and big ears and used sonar to "see."
No. 133351 ID: ac70ae

Does Nanoweaver look like a cross between a Chupian and a Belenosian to anybody else?
No. 133356 ID: e7c7d3

Thanks! I knew it started with an L
No. 133359 ID: 2aa5f0

So how do we, the SAI, hack doors or interact with things in quest? Do we need to green text what we want to do like
>open door

do we need to put it in brackets as in
{hack computer}
[lock hatch]
(download entire kid's bop album to Commander Ozone's phone)

or do we just type open door and disable security normally?
No. 133360 ID: b58f66

For the current prompt, it was really just meant to be the readers trying to guess who locked it, and the story would take care of the rest.
No. 133361 ID: 2aa5f0

can we still replace Ozone's music library with kids bop versions of all their songs just to spit her if we get the chance? Give her a real reason to hate us.
No. 133434 ID: dea6dc

Hey folks, I'd like to ask for your feedback on the current stealth section - which I will most likely be concluding in the next update.

Perhaps it's a bit transparent of me to talk about it, but this quest is very much a means for me to improve in all aspects, in both art and writing/pacing. Though, I would like to know what the general preference is for how I handle the 'hostile territory exploration' aspect in future. While the current section is only four, five update's worth, I am unsure if this is 'too quick' or even too slow pacing-wise for everyone's tastes, so I would like to know your thoughts on that. Things are intentionally a bit quicker due to this being the prelude thread building up to the main threads, but it is still an important opportunity for me to iron out any potential issues before later.

Compared to other quests like Unnatural Selection, I don't believe I'm updating fast enough to really capitalise on the 'game-like' feeling with each action to maintain a decent pace in such a section. To remedy this, I could simply change it to be *just* the 'map', having actual pictures to highlight specific moments or new areas. If I were to go with this method, I would probably improve the visual quality of the UI elements to compensate. Alternatively, I could stick with the current style, but try to incorporate more 'moves' into it. I'm not as sure about this one, but hearing your preferences and suggestions would help me determine a solution.

This feedback will primarily be applied to the sector exploration - I'll ask about system feedback in future as necessary, so that I can craft a system that's mutually satisfying for both me and the readers/players. Thanks for participating in the quest so far, everyone!
No. 133435 ID: b1b4f3

Sticking to just the map would definitely solidify it as a game-like section.
I feel like this encounter went a bit slow. The protag stood there and waited for two full updates, which was too long without an action. "waiting" should produce a faster update with less text IMO.
No. 133436 ID: dea6dc

Thanks for the feedback!

It can be pretty hard to gauge the speed of encounters when writing quests, since updates can take a variable time to happen. Sorta like playing chess over mail. I'll keep the suggestion to make 'wait' updates simply a position update in mind - that'll speed some of the busywork up.
No. 133562 ID: 894f15

Hello again folks! Probably should have posted this earlier, but Last Trace's normal updates are temporarily suspended as I work on panels for the upcoming beach day. In addition to that, due to real life resuming, my update speeds will take a bit of a hit, but I'll still try to continue updating as usual. Thank you for your patience, everyone! I'm glad I have a good readership behind me.
No. 133564 ID: 9d9214

good luck. See ya on beach day.
No. 133848 ID: cfc80f

Regarding the AP-reactive concept I put in the thread proper, it's only more complex mechanically in the initial setup of acquiring materials and the means to get them into the right shape. Once things are in place it's just a matter of production and assembly. Might be a somewhat longer-term goal to do so, I'll grant, since at the very least it would require premade jackets and tips, plus a way to smelt the core metals and cast the alloy to size. And then, of course, measuring out propellant charges and seating the rounds into their casings. But that's something that could be done in downtime conditions instead of taxing Argine's poor brain with active precision field manipulations in the middle of combat. And depending on availability, the process could be streamlined through more advanced automated production facilities.
No. 133856 ID: a5addd

Hey folks, saw a suggestion early on that gave me... ideas. So here's a fanfic, courtesy of me.
Sensory Input - NSFW. Featuring best girl, Diagram. Hope you don't mind, Cross.
No. 133857 ID: f56a2b

This is pretty good.
No. 133868 ID: 894f15


Thanks for the story! Although I don't intend for Last Trace to have any NSFW content in the future, it makes me happy that people like my characters enough to write stories and draw art about them , regardless!
No. 133936 ID: bded1a
File 160250595095.png - (632.48KB , 1000x1000 , judiphoto.png )

Here's the undoctored image for the photograph in the 60th image. Before I started questing, I didn't know how to shade at all - I've gotten at least some mild proficiency with it now, even if I have little clue where to put lighting at times.
No. 134403 ID: a092dd
File 160655877770.png - (20.02KB , 1000x1000 , preludethreadcelebration.png )

And that there's a finished thread! It's been a hectic year, but I'm glad to have finished the Prelude before November like I asked myself to. The first chapter (episode? Dunno.) will happen soon, sometime during December after I take a break.

For now, I'll reflect on the experience while it's fresh. Starting this quest has been quite the journey, and I'd like to thank the people who had helped me out along the way! (Full credits will happen eventually after I finish the quest, and you bet I'm going to make that detailed.)

Prelude Credits:
AceOfSpades (Lead Editor, military consultant)

Testpattern (Map assistance and design tips)
Teegee (Panel & Character assistance and general advice)
Arhra (Symbol Design Advice and Feedback)
Salf (Detailed Critique and Story Feedback)
LonelyWorld/Alphalurker (Character Design assistance)

...And you, the suggesters and readers, for being here to witness everything unfold!

Overall, this prelude was in part also to get me acclimated to a preferable artstyle that balances style and effort relative to panel speed, as well as learning the intricacies of forum-based storytelling. I definitely had a few slip-ups now and again, including some panel art errors or rushed anatomy, but overall I feel like I did a good job for my first ever thread on this site. While I don't know how long it'll take me to finish future threads, I'll say that I've got plenty in store for readers ahead and the drive to hopefully see it through to the end. I hope you'll all be around with me as I gradually reveal the secrets of the setting I've created!

From this point onwards however, future readers reading this discussion thread may wish to be wary of spoilers from both discussions and my own thread-based reflections.

Feel free to ask me some questions, though I think once everything's over, I may go and make an ITQ-styled questionnaire in this thread where people can ask the Last Trace cast non-spoiler questions and they'll elaborate. For now though, it's too early to say much more.
No. 134405 ID: e51896

So Argine doesnt get a blanket or pillow for her bed? Poor girl. I wonder if they were taken away because she tried to use them to escape before.

(Unless that is her blanket on the floor and not a rug)
No. 134406 ID: d63ea8

Fantastic job Cross!
No. 134533 ID: a721f3

Heyo, since Pastebin is unlisting a lot of NSFW pastes, I'm going to leave an AO3 link for the fanfic I wrote before. The board doesn't let me post txt files, which is a shame.
NSFW as usual.

No. 134943 ID: 5e21b8

Hello Readers,
In the coming months, life's picking back up again for me. While I was able to thankfully put out a nice big update recently, regular updates are going to be slowing down as commitments fill my usual schedule. Mind you, I'll try to sneak in an update or two over time! Thank you for understanding.
No. 135809 ID: 5bf1bd

Hey folks, thanks for sticking around with me throughout this year! It's been a pretty long journey to getting Chapter 1 completed, and I'm glad to have gotten it done. I'm still hoping to improve my speed and regularity of updates, but that'll come with experience. The next thread's going to be a bit of a departure from the main threads, but I promise it'll be short enough that it won't detract from Argine's little quest for freedom.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you all stick with me in future!
No. 135815 ID: 96c896

It's great so far! Keep it up!
No. 135910 ID: 5bf1bd

Phew! Now that's a short interlude over. Hope you folks enjoyed it, we'll be returning to our scheduled programming quite soon. As usual, please feel free to theorize about the future events of the quest in here!

I'll probably hold back from elaborating on things in this discussion thread until the conclusion of the quest which I intend to see through. I feel like part of the fun of Last Trace is picking up on the multilayered references in the story, and the traces of important tidbits here and there.

Hope you folks keep on keepin' on!
No. 135918 ID: 15a025

That was an interesting intermission. Looking forward to how things will play out.
No. 136293 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163323407884.png - (622.93KB , 1024x1024 , servericon1.png )

Hey folks, just letting you all know that I now have a proper Discord Server and Website set up where you can see other content I create, such as short stories or art.
Do check it out!

No. 136721 ID: 73aaab
File 163991248912.png - (615.06KB , 2736x1824 , arginemodelsheet.png )

Hey hey, folks! It’s been a year since Last Trace started, but we’ve finally arrived at one of the most iconic features of many quests - an opportunity to design an outfit for the protagonist.

Last Trace will be having a total of at least four different Paper Dolls, with outfits themed after the bosses that Argine’s beaten so far.
The first theme is of course - the Stealth outfit.
Outfit submissions are open til the end of the thread, though late submissions are still welcome!
No. 136730 ID: 3328c7

Full-blown Burka but with night-googles and black military boots for running underneath.
No. 136738 ID: 9a2966

Someone give this soldier a shirt, at least.
No. 136742 ID: e646d8
File 164020107078.png - (101.75KB , 2736x1824 , LightRefractor.png )

Behold! The Light Refractor!

>It's OP

Yes. So?


No. 136743 ID: e646d8
File 164020118303.png - (481.49KB , 2736x1824 , stealth.png )

Here, have this shitty GIMP-less, photoshop-less hackjob.
I call it the Sam Fisher ripoff Tacticool Wraith

Role: First strike/Low light/Low acoustics/Ops where combat is to be avoided
+Low acoustic profile
+Very dark color scheme for dark areas
+Highly mobile
-Lightly armored

It is said that special forces always like to have speed, surprise, + force of assault. This outfit is built to help give the wearer the first two of those. Every piece is muffled but flexes well, so that the user has the best shot to hit hostiles while they are off-guard. This does limit armor, but ideally the hostiles would be defeated before they are aware that there's somebody to shoot at.

Pictured accessories:
-Undersuit: Makes the user's exposed surface area dark, except the facial area close to the eyes. Usually this is muffled clothes with a tight fit (balaclavas are popular), though some favor dye. Both are provided to the user.
-Wraith vest/legwear (pictured pocketless): Lightly armored. May have pockets to store ammo/gadgets/other items. Some users prefer pouches, backpacks, or some combo thereof. Customized to accomodate user.
-Helmet w/ FLIR: Lightly armored, though primarily deflective. Helps muffle combat rolls. FLIR gives high visibility with low light. FLIR is slightly away from the eyes to allow full peripheral sight to be used. FLIR may be rotated up mid-op for higher visibility of lit areas, or removed if light is expected for the whole op. If ears are allowed through, they are usually dyed.
-Pads: Reduces impact while the user crouches or lies flat. Muffles melee hits.
Pistol holster(s), Blade sheath(es): Sewed to legwear. Some users prefer dual pistols or blades, legwear is customized to accomodate.
-Tacbelt: Extra storage for ammo/gadgets/other items. Used if the user has to rappel.
-High-grip gloves: Useful if the user has to climb over surfaces or freeclimb. Muffles melee hits.

Should be pictured:
-Stealth boots: Boots + those feet = how do I art that? Though they have slightly less durability, they highly muffle the user's footfalls across all surfaces. Muffles melee hits.

Extra accessories that could be added:
-Shoulder pads: Muffles combat rolls.
-Helmet radio: Allows for more quiet comms compared to a regular radio.
-Rifle holster (back): Useful for if the user has to climb with a rifle.
-Torso/arm/leg pouches: Extra storage for ammo/gadgets/other items.
-Backpack: Extra storage for ammo/gadgets/other items.

Accessories provided based off of climate/hazards:
-Overcoat/Thermal legwear
-Gas mask
No. 137402 ID: 73aaab

Phew! After a long while, Chapter 2 of Last Trace is finally complete!

I feel like I've improved a lot as an artist, but obviously, there's still far more to do coming up in the future.

As for the costume contest, the first Last Trace fan-designed outfit has been chosen! Using a combination of elements from the currently-submitted outfits, Argine'll be clad in some nice new digs starting next main thread.

Hope everyone sticks around in future for more Last Trace!
No. 137403 ID: 9a2966

Congrats, and best of luck with the next chapter!

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