The Vast Error Thread

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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by burnt2ashleys » Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:25 pm

Oh man, the author of the hit webcomic, Vast Error, replied to me! I'm currently farting right now, this is so cool! For real, though, that was very thought out, very good. I'll just write this quick, so as to clear up any misconceptions and tidy up everything, put a bow on it, and send it to kingdom come because holy shit I wrote a lot these past couple a days.
-
Admittedly, a lot of these questions felt a bit rhetorical, like there wasn't really much to be stated with it. This isn't taking the piss out of you, but it does make reading these posts kind of hard to navigate in terms of where the actual point lies. Let it be known that I'm trying my best, here.
And you'd be right, because I wrote as much! I wasn't, and am not, trying to "start shit" here, only point out some stuff and give some of my opinions, is all. Like I wrote to chalupa, I don't have all the information, it would be foolish of me to make assumptions.
Even Homestuck itself has a fluid art form, taking to Andrew's whims. Granted them being ANDREW'S whims is an important distinction, but within Homestuck itself these styles have been noted as being "symbolic renderings". It may very well be the case, that the use of this style falls under similar circumstances. That what we currently view the comic as is not how things ACTUALLY ARE, but how we are "meant to be seeing" them. But that choice wasn't made by you. It's something to consider moving forward.
I will keep that in mind as I read, and I eagerly await any art shifts in the future, for reasons I already stated.
Functionally, VE is not about the constant organic build when it comes to how its characters are presented and how beats of their stories play out, and if that isn't your cup of tea, that's more than fine. But the way you phrase it here makes it sound as though it's lesser to Homestuck in this capacity.
For this, I'd like to say that that was not my intention (Homestuck and VE are, obviously, different, and I just wanted to point that out), and I wholly agree with what you wrote.

Lastly, and this one I won't use the quote function: "VE is a comic that is focused more on it's archival ends than it's serialized means. "
This one is something I got no opinion on, as I'm not a storyteller (yet), so I can't say which one is the better way to conduce one's story creation process. That written, I hope you the best in you're endeavors, Austin. :olliesouty:
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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by Barraskewda » Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:35 pm

One way I think homestuck struggles with is it's villains, Eridan, Caliborn and Gamzee are all entertaining villains which make you feel really good to root against. But the thing is they never get a satisfying comeuppance when its their due time to get their comeuppance, they either get off way too lightly or not at all.

Since act 2 is over we've set up the 3(technically four if you count the eyeball man thats harassing WN) antagonistic forces in Edolon, Pozzol and Talald. So far it's very easy and fun to root against them which, while I'm not sure is the actual point, does feel good to do so because well they come across as obstacles for our main cast.

Will they, if they choose to carry themselves as antagonistic forces, get a good comeuppance that makes keeping up with them and rooting against them feel good? Again this all depends on those three REMAINING antagonistic forces within the story but I would personally like to see it happen.
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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by ANCIENT_HOLIDAY » Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:59 pm

Honestly the sheer number and prevalence of side characters really give Vast Error a pretty unique feel as a troll-based fanventure.
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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by Tarty_ » Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:08 pm

I'll drink to that. Suppose it's not so much a VE thing as much as simply a consequence of the lack of the traditional end-of-the-world SBURB element, which has always been a bit of a pet storytelling peeve of mine. Apocalyptic stories are fine but it's hard to write people reacting to the end of all the know and love.

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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by austinado » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:07 am

PilotBlackSmith wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:02 am
I read like 400 pages I think
I didnt like the drama and most characters but the art and production value are stellar
But its NOT FUNNY so it gets a 5/10
Talk to me when you get to the "you let me casually sit on your couch, therefore granting me dominance over the situation" bit, only then can we discuss comedy.
Sylandrophol wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:10 am
hot take but sova and albion should kiss
I take back everything I've said thus far, the comic doesn't really start to get good until this happens.
egg wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:11 am
The clear love and care that the author seems to put into this weird troll comic that is shown through their detailed and concise replies to criticism without any form of strawmanning or underhanded tactics whatsoever have taught me that there is probably value in this, and so I will begin reading it.
I'm glad you think so! Honestly, in the past I haven't exactly been known for my amazing responses to "critique", but truthfully I think this is one of the few times I've really had the chance to speak like this in regards to it. I mentioned in an earlier post that I always feel very put on the spot or taken out of context when it comes to a lot of things people take from me and how I respond to less enthused fans. But personally, this is because I feel like a lot of VE critique either has been purposefully destructive or in bad faith. Which seems very presumptuous of me, I'm sure, but when a bulk of the critique comes from other petty fan adventure authors, people with a pre-established beef, or just people who aren't really willing to give you or your work a chance on principle? There's only so much good to glean from it.

For example, I've made a couple posts in the past on Twitter about how people who worship at the altar of early Homestuck kind of suck. These posts were made under in response to people on a few select platforms who harass me, my co-workers on VE/HS, and my friends for making VE in the first place and were obviously putting on a sort of guise of superiority to allow for greater scrutiny. Obviously, saying people who like early Homestuck more alone is ludicrous, I'M one of those people, believe it or not. While many others agreed, some thought this was a way of me using a get out of jail free card to rally people against those who think late HS/VE is bad. And some people responded with those presumptions, and I either shut them down with a dumb joke or blocked them outright.

I made the post because sometimes I do get so bothered about something that I feel the need to speak up. Not really about the work itself but for the real lives of people attached to it, and how they feel when they have to hear some of these things. A lot of times when people enjoy something or someone, they like to see the persona of the person rather than the person who is actually there. I come off as abrasive and kind of like a smart ass online sometimes, a funnyman of sorts even, but I also have always had major issues with wanting everybody to like me regardless of whether or not I even want them to do so. The problem is that I can't hide behind irony as a cover and I've learned that I'm not good at keeping my mouth shut when it comes to things I care about. Consistency and honesty are things I value, not just in my own life but to offer to others as well as a content creator. I never want to stay silent when there's something that I feel is wrong is said, but recently I've learned some things just can't be helped.

I've made various posts and genuine as possible apologies for certain issues people have with the comic, which also have fallen under fire by different groups of people for one reason or another. It doesn't feel good to find, and it doesn't feel good to have people shit on your character for it either. Especially when you're accessible enough to see all of it regardless, only adding fuel to the fire. Recently, after seeing some major VE hate tossed around, I think I finally kinda woke up to how tired of dealing with it I was; because I didn't really feel the need to comment to those I'm close with and I didn't feel upset. It took total indifference and lethargy for me to finally see that looking at all of this stuff and letting these people get to me isn't healthy.

So I've kind of resolved to just speak my mind for me when I deem it necessary or when I have genuine input to give. I like doing this here thusfar, since it's not something I feel can be buried or dogpiled on like on Discord, as one-sided as Tumblr, or as volatile as Twitter. I think hearing all of these opinions, regardless of how much I actually agree or not, has been some of the best constructive criticism for the comic that I've gotten since it really began. I hope you enjoy it!
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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by austinado » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:26 am

Leddy wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:20 am
I've actually really enjoyed Vast Error for what it's given, the focus on characters and explaining the world and giving out these little bits of information we'd not otherwise get suits a very good niche for me, as it's a lot of what I wanted and was most dissapointed about not getting in Homestuck, I don't want another Beta Troll scenario where half the cast is irrelevant or one dimensional, they're not only making the cast interesting, but they've got an entire host of side characters that are interesting or intriguing in their own rights, it's been fantastic so far!
Thank you so much! I think you've really hit the nail on the head with what we're trying to accomplish here and I'm glad it's been as wonderful for you as it has been for me to make it. I really just want to make a story where character and development takes precident, and VE through both literal and figurative means within itself makes that happen. In the end, it's very much about catharsis. Both for me and the team, and the readers.
ANCIENT_HOLIDAY wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:59 pm
Honestly the sheer number and prevalence of side characters really give Vast Error a pretty unique feel as a troll-based fanventure.
We really wanted to make Repiton feel a lot more lived in and notable as a (dare i say) society. In order for the world to have stakes and for you to care, you can't just worldbuild, you also have to give a reason as to why you care about this world being saved. Cosmic conundrums are always fascinating but I wouldn't really call them "relatable", so we instead opted for an ensemble troll cast. Which also works against a point that The Exemplar and even White Noise himself brought up: that the Main 12 are the most important and the only ones that matter. This is fundamentally untrue, and always something that bothers me about "chosen one" narratives. What makes the others any LESS special, realistically? What makes one life greater than the other? These are things I want to explore.

The coolest thing about this cast though it's one of the things that recognizes VE's past and present best. With the characters being a mix of old faces from prior VE drafts (Sestro, Hamifi, Turnin, Moon Boy), background character designs turned into fully realized people (Edolon, Pozzol, Talald, Rodere, Sabine, Glomer, Cinare, Seinru, Noxious, Endari, Necron, Oricka), and characters made by VE team members and fans (Rypite, Sirage, Gerbat, Cretas, Secily, Yeshin, Mshiri, Bytcon, Husske, Raurou, Cadlys, Crytum, Hayyan). It's a manner of still keeping it our own but also allowing for expansion and the fan integration that MSPA was built upon. A fine compromise if I do say so myself.
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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by aspiringWatcher » Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:19 pm

Given the last update I really don't like what's going to happen in the next one in Tazsia's flashback.

Especially given how it all ties together with what transpired between her and Arcjec.
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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by Tarty_ » Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:54 pm

austinado wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:07 am
But personally, this is because I feel like a lot of VE critique either has been purposefully destructive or in bad faith. Which seems very presumptuous of me, I'm sure, but when a bulk of the critique comes from other petty fan adventure authors, people with a pre-established beef, or just people who aren't really willing to give you or your work a chance on principle? There's only so much good to glean from it.
A word to the wise here, the sort of "they hate us because they ain't us" attitude is something that's deeply damaging. Even someone with preconceived biases or past history can offer insight. There's always going to be people operating it bad faith out there, it's best not to get worked up over it. Best case scenario, you learn something or they learn something, worst case scenario, they look like an idiot for having posted something emotionally driven and poorly thought out and you waste some of your time. Not saying that you are sounding like that, but god it's a bad road to go down so better safe than sorry.
austinado wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:07 am
I made the post because sometimes I do get so bothered about something that I feel the need to speak up. Not really about the work itself but for the real lives of people attached to it, and how they feel when they have to hear some of these things. A lot of times when people enjoy something or someone, they like to see the persona of the person rather than the person who is actually there. I come off as abrasive and kind of like a smart ass online sometimes, a funnyman of sorts even, but I also have always had major issues with wanting everybody to like me regardless of whether or not I even want them to do so. The problem is that I can't hide behind irony as a cover and I've learned that I'm not good at keeping my mouth shut when it comes to things I care about. Consistency and honesty are things I value, not just in my own life but to offer to others as well as a content creator. I never want to stay silent when there's something that I feel is wrong is said, but recently I've learned some things just can't be helped.

I've made various posts and genuine as possible apologies for certain issues people have with the comic, which also have fallen under fire by different groups of people for one reason or another. It doesn't feel good to find, and it doesn't feel good to have people shit on your character for it either. Especially when you're accessible enough to see all of it regardless, only adding fuel to the fire. Recently, after seeing some major VE hate tossed around, I think I finally kinda woke up to how tired of dealing with it I was; because I didn't really feel the need to comment to those I'm close with and I didn't feel upset. It took total indifference and lethargy for me to finally see that looking at all of this stuff and letting these people get to me isn't healthy.
This feels like something I should address, one abrasive e-funnyman to another. You can't bottle up things under a layer of apathy forever. Sooner or later that apathy is going to come out, leaking it's disgusting sticky apathy fluids all over the place. It's best to take action, or you'll end up regretting it in the future. Let me just throw my rusty chipped two cents into the ring. The Vast Error readerbase has gotten big, a lot bigger than you expected certainly, you said it yourself. So now's probably the time to rethink how you approach community interaction, how the community acts and your attachment to it. Hit up some people you trust or otherwise respect in private and take what they have to say on board, or hell even me. I got time.

As for other criticisms people have brought up, I'd posit a lot of it simply boils down to writing inexperience. Inexperience isn't always a bad thing mind you, it comes with enthusiasm and new ideas, yet it's still your first big project all the same. Draw from a pool of inspiration, read more from various sources. Fiction, art studies, analysis of stories, whatever. Vast Error draws a lot from cyberpunk and late 20th century sci fi with some fantasy inspirations, hell I could probably come up with a recommended reading list for that shit. Another huge one is history. Worldbuilding needs a foundation of history, the rise and fall of societies, how power dynamics function and groups of people change over time, and all the fun stuff like the wars and weird improbable things that happen and change the course of existence forever. So I'm just saying, an aspiring writer's creative horizons have to be broad, and you can't exact go too broad with wanting to improve, y'know?

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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by egg » Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:27 pm

I read it and I think it's not for me (I'm more of an action-y pew pew game mechanics with drama on the side kinda guy) but still masterfully crafted all the same and I can see how someone could like it.
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I didn't expect there to be actual hentai in the Hentai Dungeon though :(
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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by Leddy » Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:33 pm

egg wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:27 pm
I read it and I think it's not for me (I'm more of an action-y pew pew game mechanics with drama on the side kinda guy) but still masterfully crafted all the same and I can see how someone could like it.
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I didn't expect there to be actual hentai in the Hentai Dungeon though :(
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Yeah this was actually really bad one for me and my 16 y/o eyes
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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by hamifihekrix » Sat Nov 23, 2019 7:54 am

so when are we gonna find out more about vellia, arguably one of the best characters in vast error.

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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by Deageon » Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:35 pm

hamifihekrix wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 7:54 am
so when are we gonna find out more about vellia, arguably one of the best characters in vast error.

Image

[i only want to know more about her because, shockingly, i want to write a fic about her. please i just need a little bit of food. perhaps a little bit of sustenance.]
I may not entirely like vast Error sometimes but god damn, even the secondary or background characters are cute as fuck.
also midriff....good...

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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by hamifihekrix » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:51 am

Deageon wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:35 pm
I may not entirely like vast Error sometimes but god damn, even the secondary or background characters are cute as fuck.
also midriff....good...
above nothing else, i feel like most people should be able to enjoy the character design in vast error, even if they don't like anything else about vast error. there's a familiarity of the characters being trolls while also being a completely unique feel to all of the characters that's separates them from homestuck's cast, at least to me.
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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by Deageon » Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:41 am

hamifihekrix wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:51 am

above nothing else, i feel like most people should be able to enjoy the character design in vast error, even if they don't like anything else about vast error. there's a familiarity of the characters being trolls while also being a completely unique feel to all of the characters that's separates them from homestuck's cast, at least to me.
Yeah I'll always like the effort put into designign unique characters and stuff, even though I think a few of the side characters were fan submissions, those are still obv unique and neat
Also it helps that half of the characters make me do that cursed emoji face + heavy breathing, fuck, some of these corporate trolls got me feeling real capitalistic if u get my drifyt

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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by hamifihekrix » Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:49 am

Deageon wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:41 am
Also it helps that half of the characters make me do that cursed emoji face + heavy breathing, fuck, some of these corporate trolls got me feeling real capitalistic if u get my drift
look i'm not a capitalist but i'd let hamifi rope me into losing all my money and being financially in debt if you know what i'm saying
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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by Momo » Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:57 pm

8/10 too much vasted and error.

In full sincerity I am really very enthusiastic about all of this. I think VE is a great answer to Homestuck and is a very of-its-time piece of fiction that captures what young people are going through right now. The themes of surveillance, the world dying around them, how said world presses in on the characters with clear and focused intent compared to the unfeeling, convoluted, ambivalent reality of Paradox Space... it's good stuff.

There have been very fair criticisms of its tendency to grab cultural artifacts thoughtlessly (originally naming the compecados Wendigos, Murrit's dialogue) But I believe Heather, Austin & Co are empathetic enough people to work on this element and interrogate it. Vast Error is ultimately worked on by a broad range of people who want to come together to make something good, and I believe in them.

Fully admitting to my bias and nepotism though, (inb4 ethics in MSPFA journalism) I know these folks on a personal level and I have all the expected personal attachments to them, they are friends to me before they are Producers of Content. But putting that aside and trying to remain objective; the work has flaws, maybe even the occasional Severe Flaw, but there is something special going on here, and it is worth a shot if you think it may be for you.
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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by austinado » Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:29 pm

I will be responding to folks again later tonight after I take care of a few other things. I have a burger waiting for me this time, and it is beckoning.

NOTE: I have "house sauce" on this burger. All sauces that are like "special" or "den" or "all-american" or whatever, it's always 1000 island. Do not be fooled.
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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by rookie1978 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:55 pm

Leddy wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:33 pm
egg wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:27 pm
I read it and I think it's not for me (I'm more of an action-y pew pew game mechanics with drama on the side kinda guy) but still masterfully crafted all the same and I can see how someone could like it.
Spoiler
Show
I didn't expect there to be actual hentai in the Hentai Dungeon though :(
Spoiler
Show
Yeah this was actually really bad one for me and my 16 y/o eyes
wait why is a troll looking at human porn isn't that impossible
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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by egg » Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:59 pm

rookie1978 wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:55 pm
Leddy wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:33 pm
egg wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:27 pm
I read it and I think it's not for me (I'm more of an action-y pew pew game mechanics with drama on the side kinda guy) but still masterfully crafted all the same and I can see how someone could like it.
Spoiler
Show
I didn't expect there to be actual hentai in the Hentai Dungeon though :(
Spoiler
Show
Yeah this was actually really bad one for me and my 16 y/o eyes
wait why is a troll looking at human porn isn't that impossible
It's troll anime.
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Re: The Vast Error Thread

Post by rookie1978 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:09 pm

egg wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:59 pm
rookie1978 wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:55 pm
Leddy wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:33 pm
Spoiler
Show
Yeah this was actually really bad one for me and my 16 y/o eyes
wait why is a troll looking at human porn isn't that impossible
It's troll anime.
ah, that makes sense
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