Mar 25, 2019
It's the rating game! Yeah! This Quackcast was inspired by Emma Clare's newspost on Friday about rating levels. On Drunk Duck we have 4 rating levels so they're nice and simple: “E” for everyone, “T+” for teens, “M” for mature, and “A” for Adult! We talk about why ratings exist and how to use them.
Topics and Show Notes
But why do ratings exist? Well it's complicated actually…
The main reason is that all cultures have various taboos and things they consider inappropriate to be viewed in certain situations so most countries have ratings systems set up to cater to that. Ratings are partly used to restrict access to some material (eg. stopping children from seeing violent or sexually explicit content), and partly as a way of marketing material: ratings let people have a good idea of the content, so parents will snap up any child rated material for their children to see and adults will know that higher rated things will be more appealing to them. Ratings such as “NC17” and “MA+15” were invented so content creators could sneak in more of what adults want to see in films (sex and violence) and still avoid a higher more restrictive rating which would mean they have less of a market because there are less forums to display and advertise higher rated work.
Ratings on the duck
We only have four ratings levels. These are based on old style film ratings, we do this to try and avoid confusion. Higher ratings mean you have a lot more freedom in what you can show but less freedom in who you show it to: “A” rated work is ONLY visible to adults (not kids) who are logged into the site. Theduckwebcomics is one of the few webcomic hosting sites that allow creators to post very sexually explicit material. Work is self regulated, we expect creators to be responsible adults here. The rating of a comic can be changed by us upon request, but we prefer to ask the creator to do it themselves. Here are our ratings:
Open to everybody. Non-offensive material in text or imagery. Appropriate for both children and adults.
Content is suitable for teens or older. Mild violence, slightly mature themes. No obscenities, graphic violence, sex, or nudity.
Content contains mature themes that might not be suitable for children. May contain occasional obscenities, limited graphic violence, implied sex, mild nudity. No sexually explicit material, no graphic sexual acts, no Hentai, no unrelenting violence, or non-stop obscenities.
Content is sexually explicit, exceedingly violent, or an excess use of obscenities. Must be logged on to view.
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Blighted The Odyssey: The spirit of exploration, taking you far out into the deep black starlit ocean. St Elmo’s fire glows around the mast and yards, swirls of glowing plankton cling and drift away from the sides of the hull as you venture further into the unknown, disappearing into the darkness…
Topics and shownotes
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Sunstrike and Bluemist An Origin Story - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/mar/18/featured-comic-sunstrike-and-bluemist-an-origin-story/
Emma Clare's ratings newspost - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/mar/21/rating-your-comic/
DD ratings list - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/about/
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/banes
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Blighted The Odyssey - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Blighted_The_Odyssey/, by Alpharie, rated M.
Mar 18, 2019
There are many kinds love. Love is a great thing to include in your story for all sorts of reasons: it's an easy way to develop characters, give a character something to strive for, it's universally relatable, You can use it for tension, all sorts of things! There are different kinds of relationships you can use as well, not just heterosexual or homosexual relationships and the common trope of showing the beginning of a relationship, you can show crushes, established relationships, platonic relationships, relationships collapsing and exes coming together. For this topic we were loosely inspired by Tantz and Emma's great newsposts about romance and platonic love. We chat about luuuurv and tricks like lurv triangles!
Mar 11, 2019
What is Social Marketing? Basically its word-of-mouth and viral marketing smashed together and weaponised: Marketing companies hijack hot-button social issues and hitch their client's brand to them in clever campaigns (“We can be better”, etc). The purpose isn't really to make a brand seem progressive, modern or new, rather it's another way of getting it trending on social media that's guaranteed to work, unlike the legion of hit or miss but mostly failed “Viral” campaigns. Whether people say negative or positive things about this issue is irrelevant to the marketer, as long as people are talking about the brand is all that matters. Free advertising is the goal, but it has a social cost.
Mar 4, 2019
The entire team is here this time, no one was cut… So we're chatting about CUTTING, as in cutting out scenes to make a story cleaner, leaner and less flabby, but also NOT cutting because in a webcomic you don't have to, and when you cut badly you end up with a “D movie” effect where story scenes don't follow, don't make sense and plots seem to go nowhere or happen for no reason.
Feb 4, 2019
A huge thank you to the fantastic Amelius, creator of Charby the Vampirate! We mined her great newspost on the topic of the comic hiatus for this Quackcast. When you're reading a comic and it goes on Hiatus it's an awful thing… suddenly all progress stops and you don't know for how long it will be gone for. Some authors are great, they'll reach a point where they can't work anymore for some reason or they'll take a little break, but they will tell you they're going on a hiatus and when their comic will return- and Lo, it comes back exactly when they said it would. Crappy authors will say they're going on a hiatus and never return.
Dec 16, 2018
On the 18th of December people who post things with nudity on Tumblr will be kicked off the site. That means all the adult bloggers, comicers and things that made that journalling site stand out above the rest of the vast sea of blog sites and image hosts are being screwed out of what they helped build up! The reason of course is to make the site more attractive to advertisers and so it can more easily fit the standards of puritanical companies like Apple and Google who have taken it upon themselves to scrub the world clean of anything that defines us as adult human beings.
Dec 10, 2018
We mined Tantz's Saturday newspost for our discussion topic: Strong characters and how to write GOOD ones! What is a strong character? Well it has nothing to do with physical ability, power, command, or anything so obvious and trite. Strong characters are well rounded and well realised, they're often active and opposed to reactive, they make things happen, the story hinges on them. Failed attempts at “strong” characters or obvious and often result in Mary Sues, whether male or female. People hand them traits that they THINK will make the character strong: make them a general, make them a great fighter, make them royalty etc. The problem comes when none of that is ever logically backed up in the story. You can't just title a character something or have other characters talk about how great they are without having them demonstrate a reason for it, or else all you have is a pathetic paper tiger and a really shizzy failed part of your story.
Nov 25, 2018
We're all back together this week and we're chatting about audience expectations for characters versus the intentions of the creator. Which is more important? Well it's a bit of a balancing act… You don't want to pander to your audience because that's not fun and they won't enjoy it anyway, but by the same token you shouldn't just do whatever you feel like regardless. As a creator you build up a contract between yourself and the audience; if you betray that by subverting their expectations with characters in ways that are very “OUT of character” just because you feel like it then you can start to lose their respect and attention. Killing off characters all of a sudden can be a big responsibility too, try not to take that lightly.