Reflective Blog Task – Collaborating With Fans

Blogging my gained knowledge from class is a very interesting thing – something I haven’t really done before. In my final assessment for CIU111 (Overview of Industry) I have to write three reflective blog posts, each one on one of the weekly lectures that we have received in class during this trimester. This post will focus on our lecture two weeks ago, on collaborating with fans.

Related image

Old DA logo

I thoroughly enjoy interacting with other fans of media works that I myself am a fan of, as well as communicating with the fans of my own work, be it fan art/fiction or my own personal stuff. The fans are a large community of people who, for lack of any simpler term, stalk the social media profiles of creators, looking to comment on art, talk with other fans or simply discover the next big project of the creator. There are many places to do this, like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and my personal favourite at the moment; DeviantArt. The popular art sharing website allows fans to follow each other, and the profiles of any famous artist who has an account, as well as keep track of popular trends in the DeviantArt community, through DA headquarters.

However in the lecture, I took note of three subtitles in particular:

Crowdfunding

Fan Approval

Fan Response

These three titles stood out for different reasons.

Lets start with crowdfunding. I first heard the term when watching a video from YandereDev, talking about his different solutions to speeding up the creation the game currently designated ‘Yandere Simulator’. In this video, YandereDev talks about how he plans on using a crowdfunding service such as the website Kickstarter, a site that is purely for crowdfunding projects. YandereDev’s video was the first time I ever heard the term ‘crowdfunding’. On Google, the definition of crowdfunding is as such – “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.” At the time that I watched the video from YandereDev I didn’t pay much attention to the term, not really seeing how it related to me. When it was mentioned again in this lecture, I came to realise that crowdfunding is

important-information-barbados-1

With this revelation in play, I paid more attention to what crowd funding is and how it does truly relate to me and the Animation industry, and see it as a future  way to fund projects once I have completed my degree.

yuki_no_hana_cover_by_frostieheart-dagsgv9Fan Approval and Fan Response are things that I have always recognised as important, but not really from a creator’s perspective. Fan approval amongst the fans is heavily based on comments and other responses to the creative works of the fans. I have received my fair share of positive and neutral responses, as well as constructive criticism on my own fanfictions and fanart, as well as an overwhelming amount of no response. As an example of this I shall use my own fan fiction story, Yuki no Hana (translates to; Snow Blossom), which is my current work-in-progress on FanFiction.net. My constant reviewer to this story, presea221, often asks questions in their reviews that make me realise when I have erred in my typing or thought process and had to re-evaluate my story to fit in forgotten points, such as when they brought up a character they couldn’t wait to see and I noticed that I hadn’t planned for that character to show up, even though he was integral to the main plotline.

However in the industry, fan approval and response is quiet different to the interactions between fans. In the lecture I note that fan approval applies to pre-existing media, where a continuation of events in a piece of media is carried onto the next. It gets the audience involved with a media work in a way that brings the final product out in a form that the majority enjoy. Of course, one cannot please everyone, and most of the time there will be at least one person expressing their dislike of a particular aspect of the presented media. This is a part of the ‘fan response’.

wildhammer-fact-checkerFan response isn’t just negative comments however. As stated in the lecture, it is positive feedback, which sometimes can help with the decision making process when working out both where the story goes, and what happens to characters. The fans can also point out discrepancies in stories, like at BlizzCon2010 where someone stood up to point out a problem in the lore which had been overlooked by developers, or they can find bugs and glitches, an example of this being YandereDev who puts out his debug builds to his audience and asks them to email him bugs and glitches with his game, which he then fixes. Blizzard Entertainment, after BlizzCon2010, fixed the lore by putting correct characters in their places and adding an NPC, the Wildhammer Fact Checker, as a reminder to not make the same mistake.

I, too, have also had my own stories thrown into my face (nicely) as reviewers point out problems with my versions of events and where I forgot certain parts of the lore I was already writing around. My unofficial beta reader, Defiance-of-Fate, will often point out mistakes I have made in a chapter before I post when I show him the document from my laptop or Samsung tablet. Defiance-of-Fate and I often go over my chapters before I post them to make sure that I still adhere to the plotline of the game/book/anime that I am writing fanfiction for, as well as not contradicting my own plotlines that I create for my stories.

world_of_warcraft___worgen_warlock_by_sandara-daf35cgThis lecture on ‘Collaborating with Fans’ also assisted me a great deal with my assessment for my CIU210 (Media Studies), where, also two weeks ago, I had to get up in front of the class and give a presentation relating to the weekly lecture for that class. Coincidentally the topic of that lecture was about Audiences, Fans and Fandoms, which had several overlapping points with this class’ lecture. I was able to draw points from this lecture into my presentation, especially when I was discussing fanart contests and events. One particular event that I brought up was the Celebrate the Classes event that happened on DeviantArt on August 19 – 31. The image to the left of this paragraph was commissioned from one of my favourite artists on DeviantArt, by DeviantArt for Blizzard Entertainment for this event.

All up, the lecture on Collaborating with Fans was quite interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It drew my attention to terms and services I had previously ignored. Now that I know their use, I shall endeavour to act upon the knowledge.

See you in a few days for my next post!

~Icetail~

References
– About — Kickstarter. Kickstarter.com. Retrieved 1 December 2016, from https://www.kickstarter.com/about?ref=nav
– YandereDev, A. (2016). Yandere Simulator: Past, Present, and Future. YouTube. Retrieved 1 December 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0yXtJuF1SI
– Week 10: Collaborating with Fans – Self-Directed Practitioners. Medium. Retrieved 1 December 2016, from https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-10-collaborating-with-fans-c2cfff5d64fe#.cmnh2k5mz
 – DeviantArt Headquarters. (2000). DeviantArt. Retrieved 1 December 2016, from http://hq.deviantart.com/
Wildhammer Fact Checker. Wowhead. Retrieved 2 December 2016, from http://www.wowhead.com/npc=51596/wildhammer-fact-checker
– Red Shirt Guy – World of Warcraft Red Shirt – World of Warcraft convention. (2010). YouTube. Retrieved 2 December 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fziRzD05yI 
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