PDA

View Full Version : Is this the right format for Erfworld?



random11
2007-01-10, 03:14 AM
From what I'v seen so far, Erfworld has potential, I might even add potential for greatness. But is it in the right format?

It's not just the OOTS, all the comic strips I know that are released page/X days have one thing in common: a page starts something and ends something. It might be a plot end, a twist or a punch line, but it is some kind of an end.
Erfworld on the other hand, is closer in the plot style to "regular" comic books like most things from marvel or any manga book.

If you are a comic book reader, imagine getting your new "spiderman" and reading it one page each day. No matter how good the comic is, it will get frustrating very fast.

I just want to make something clear: So far I like Erfworld, and even if I don't get some of the puns (English is not my main language) I do enjoy it. The only thing that bothers me is only the format.

Om
2007-01-10, 12:44 PM
Well its a valid question and, if I may be so arrogant, one that I asked when the strip was first announced. I think its also something that everyone involved in Erfworld behind the scenes (Rob, jami & the Giant) have been aware of from the beginning. There's no doubt that carrying a story with only two updates a week is difficult. It disrupts the natural rhythm of the story as it unfurls piecemeal.

But I've been very impressed by just how well the creators have managed to deal with this issue. Each "page" of the comic contains enough humour, of varying degrees of subtlety, along with enough plot movement to make you hungry for more. But more importantly Erfworld seems to be a more "intelligent" comic, one that rewards a number of rereads. I dare say that if posted in blocks, like the first six, I would briefly skim over it and as a result miss much of the layered humour.

random11
2007-01-10, 03:05 PM
I like the humor, and since I reread even long books to fully enjoy them, I have no doubt I wouldn't miss the jokes in a block format (the first few pages that were published togather are a fine example)

The problem with the format is the taste I'm left with after I read.
With OOTS and any other similar comic, after a good page I'm left with a feeling of "WOW", With Erfworld, I'm left with a feeling of "is that all?!"

For the same reason,I noticed that the more pages gathered in this comic, the more I enjoy reading it from the beginning.

I wonder how many other fans feel the same?

WampaX
2007-01-11, 01:30 PM
Erfworld on the other hand, is closer in the plot style to "regular" comic books like most things from marvel or any manga book.

If you are a comic book reader, imagine getting your new "spiderman" and reading it one page each day. No matter how good the comic is, it will get frustrating very fast.

There are webcomics out there that already update one page at a time in a comic book style (Girl Genius springs to mind). Its not a new idea, and some of those comics do fairly well.

OOTS is not that kind of comic and when the Giant took the story in that direction for a bit (the origin of the world), there was alot of grinding of teeth. I didn't mind, though, as we got some more of the story's tapestry woven into place.

Erfworld is basically the same. Its going to take time. Rob, Jami, and the Giant all knew this going in and I can only speculate that having it as a contrast to the OOTS was one of the main reasons for it being here. To offer those that come to the Playground another avenue of entertainment.

As to whether this is the appropriate format for Erfworld . . . can't say. Its tough right now and a little frustrating having to wait 2-3 days on an update, but I'm patient and content to enjoy the story as it comes. Its kind of nice that I can't just blow through 32 pages in no time at all. :smallwink:

Fenix
2007-01-11, 05:45 PM
I agree with random (and have mentioned it already somewhere :) )

Om
2007-01-11, 06:09 PM
The problem with the format is the taste I'm left with after I read. With OOTS and any other similar comic, after a good page I'm left with a feeling of "WOW", With Erfworld, I'm left with a feeling of "is that all?!"Well each to their own. When I finish a page of Erfworld I can't wait until the next. I know the feeling that you describe, after recently stopped reading Goblins due to the snail's pace, but it doesn't bother me with Erfworld. This is most likely due to the content we're getting per page which is enough to satisfy me until the next update.

Of course there's also the fact that this is a webcomic and differs for a paper comic/novel. It probably wouldn't be much fun reading Spiderman one page at a time but then you're dividing a single issue. With Erfworld the opposite is happening, ie the "issue" is being built from the ground up with individual scenes coming together in what can later be compiled into a single issue/book.

And then there's cruel reality. I'd like to get Erfworld five times a week but that's simply impossible. How could the format be changed without considerably increasing the workload of the creators?

jami
2007-01-11, 06:42 PM
And then there's cruel reality. I'd like to get Erfworld five times a week but that's simply impossible. How could the format be changed without considerably increasing the workload of the creators?

If we were doing this full time, you'd comics five days a week. Sadly, at this point in our lives, if we tried that, we wouldn't be able to afford to update. Damn day job. :smallmad:

MinusInnocence
2007-01-11, 09:48 PM
I agree that the format seems odd for Erfworld's style but I've come to accept the humor as the sort you see on British syndicated TV shows. Lots of chuckles and a handful of zingers, and all along the plot is advanced. Ok, so maybe there isn't much of a plot on Mr. Bean but the analogy still works.

Anyway, if you think of it in these terms it's ok that we only get bits and pieces. At least they follow a coherent order, and if it's been too long since the authors referenced a particular plot point it's not like you can't go back and refresh your memory.

Kjata
2007-01-12, 03:29 AM
All i know is a sarurday update would be really nice Jami and Rob. Waiting 5 days for an update is frikken torture, would it kill you to updat thrice a week?

You can tell by my bitching your comic is awesome.

jami
2007-01-12, 09:07 AM
Thank you very much! We wish we could update more often as well, but we're both still tied to our day jobs. Maybe someday we can work something out.

You know, I've been thinking (hmmm... that's what that burning smell was). The slow pace of updates gives you guys a chance to go over every detail of the page and try to find all the little things we have hiding around. I also have to admit that a lot of the things that people are finding are new to us, happy accidents that we didn't realize we were putting in.

Either way, I really enjoy reading all the speculation and all the discoveries. I've never had anyone respond to anything I've worked in this way and it's really fun (so much more so now that I've broken my own site *sigh*).

Anyway, our big hope is that when it's all released, this first chapter will be something you can sit down and read through and maybe find some more things that you never saw the first time you read it through.

random11
2007-01-12, 11:41 AM
And then there's cruel reality. I'd like to get Erfworld five times a week but that's simply impossible. How could the format be changed without considerably increasing the workload of the creators?

I don't know if 5 times a week will solve anything, in fact I fear it will turn things worse because of the preasure it will put on the writer.
What I prefer is splitting the comic into short logical chapters instead of pages, and reading them once a week or even once in two weeks.

An example to chapters will be
chapter one: pages 1-3
chapter two: pages 4-6
chapter three: pages 7-10
chapter four: pages 11-13 (even if page 12 in not connected)
chapter five: pages 14-16+

since it's usually 3-4 pages each time, once a week or once in two weeks shouldn't change the preasure, and I think it will make the reading better.

Ulrich_Brew
2007-01-12, 05:40 PM
If they update too much, they will burn out, if they update too little moral will fall among the loyal. I personally visit every 1-14 days, that way when I come back I find pleasant surprises, IE 5-6 New comics.

AlisdairM
2007-01-19, 03:09 PM
Erfworld is an interesting project, and I think is growing strongly into this format, as more strips are available.

One reason this format DOES work well for Erfworld is the sheer level of detail in each and every strip. How many threads have we seen already breaking down each panel of a strip, pulling out the references, obvious and hidden. If we had more frequent updates, there would be no time to savour those threads, and I feel something would be lost.

Meanwhile, the project grows with Hamstard, and I'm still trying to work out:
http://www.thefool76.com/

I agree it is a torture waiting 5 days for a fresh strip, and I'm not sure the rapid-arrival of the follow-up helps, so perhaps spacing the two updates more evenly would help. On the other hand, it really does boost the anticipation each week as well, so that could be just another aspect of the Erfworld magic.

TheFool76
2007-01-19, 03:48 PM
That is my personal website you have stumbled across there.
It has no real bearing on anything related to Erfworld other than the fact that I'm the guy who setup the Hamstard site. (The coding that is, all the graphics and content are Jamie and Rob's )

Aside from my role of keeping partiallyclips.com from bursting into flame, I have a few side projects of my own (In various states of completion)

Probably the most complete one is the 'Gamers WebTop (GWT)' I have which is an online way to do a square grid minatures type thing. I wrote it to help keep our DM sane in the epic D&D game I'm involved with. (We meet online in a MUD and trying to verbaly describe things for combat is ... painful)

All of that stuff is in what I would call an Alpha state but if anyone wants to poke me about it, just PM me here or something.

DiscountNinja
2007-01-19, 04:33 PM
I'm liking the way it's being told so far, I enjoy waiting a day or so for the next update, I would get so much less enjoyment from a webcomic is I was able to read through a black of comics that might take a month of regular updates in 5 or 10 mins.

Scudboy
2007-01-23, 01:25 PM
Ah, wish I'd noticed this thread (down to the Girl Genius comparison) before I posted to the main story thread. I'm just going to deal with the slow-movingness by resisting clicking on the (big, red, candy-like) side-link for Erfworld until four new pages have built up every two weeks.

Erk
2007-01-23, 11:53 PM
I would love a third day a week. One more day would not cut in on our "decipher stuff" time, but it might help allay some of the people complaining about the speed. Maybe we could have half-sized strips on saturday? Or, uh, worse drawn ones? or something? *puppydog eyes*

Darth Paradox
2007-01-24, 03:57 PM
Hm. Maybe Rob and Jami can put up some sort of Milholland-style "pay our salary in exchange for full-time comics" thing. Short of that or making a living off of it some other way, though, they've been fairly clear that three pages a week is not forthcoming any time soon.