A Day in the Life Of... Concept

Hey everyone,

Firstly, I sincerely hope this is the right place to post, and formatting. If it isn’t, sorry!

For the last few months now, I’ve noticed that a lot of the announcement posts, particularly asset releases, have been met with mixed emotions. Now, I’m not at all saying that people don’t have a right to express when they’re disappointed or hoping for something different—believe me, I’m the first to hop up and down when something happens (or doesn’t happen) that I disagree with (except in my personal case, I’m acting entitled). It’s more that I’ve noticed, at least for me, that it’s easy to only see one perspective (mine as a writer).

It got me thinking, though, that as writers (and readers), we put a lot of effort and time into our stories coding, requesting/making art, writing, promoting, etc (or in the case of readers, time and gems, etc) that a lot of the time we feel it isn’t rewarded. At the same time, though, it is easy to forget that the same amount of work is put into Episode (like creating assets, approving overlays/ backgrounds, coming up with new tools that don’t always get the desired response).

My proposal, for anyone who is interested, is for people to submit articles that are along the lines of ‘a day in the life’. In these articles, a writer or reader would post their typical day involving their story/ reading, to give a perspective to the Episode team on just what each individual pours into their stories. Similarly, I’d also love to see the same from Episode team members, so that we can appreciate what they do beyond the surface of what we see. For example, with overlay/background approvals, all we get are the approved/ rejected emails, but, unless I’ve missed it, don’t see the person/ people behind the screen or just how many they have to do. Do they have a target they have to meet each hour/day? Do they have a checklist they have to follow? Do they have to confer with someone else before they can okay it, where that person may be busy doing other Episode work. For outfit creators, where do they draw their inspiration and just how do they manage to code them so that they fit characters and their animations? Does each outfit have to be done individually, or has some amazing template been made that could one day be available to writers? (These aren’t the best examples at all, but the first that pops into my head.)

I think it may help people (at least, the me’s on here) who may or may not forget everyone has to put in effort, no matter which side of the app you stand on, to get a better appreciation of the work that’s put in—sort of to humanise everyone when it’s so easy to forget people can be hurt by comments made. More so, it would help my curiosity as to how things work, given this is the most coding (writing my stories) I’ve ever done, and that’s with templates and a platform already made available :’)

If you are interested, please do drop your thoughts below, and/or even a summary of how long you spend on your story/ reading. I’ll post mine later, too. :slight_smile:

TLDR: Would you like to participate and/or see a ‘day in the life’ type post (on here, or maybe even on Episode’s official Instagram if they approve the idea), that showcases the effort readers, writers, and Episode staff put in on a regular day? :slight_smile:

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Hello everyone, me again…

Here is my submission of sorts, depicting a typical day working on one of my stories. There are a few things to note first, though, which I’ve hidden just before the post (I think I’ve hidden it) in the hopes of not having a wall of text. This post is meant to be somewhat funny and should be taken with a grain of salt :slight_smile:

Summary
  1. This is based on days I am not at work (whereby, if I’m not completely exhausted, I start the process at 4/5pm).
  2. Fridays are my edit days (to match the release of assets each week—Aussie time) and Wednesdays are usually days I try to work on art for my stories (which takes 6–8 hours, depending on the piece. Sometimes longer, sometimes just a couple of hours.)
  3. I, and this is the first time I admit this, have OCD. One of my current habits involves deleting a line/ several lines of coding despite them being perfectly good and re-writing them. I know it doesn’t make much sense, even to me, but the part of my brain that screams ‘something bad will happen if you don’t’ has me doing it anyway, which makes coding take even longer again than it should. It’s a recent habit, and will hopefully go away in favour of something far less unproductive, but that’s the nature of it.
  4. I also was born with congenital hypothyroidism (not to be mixed up with hypothyroidism developed in adults). This doesn’t really affect my writing other than I’m constantly tired. I sleep in late when I can (for work, it’s early 6/7am wake up), which you’ll see in my entry, but not strictly because I’m lazy (which yeah, I kind of am). I ask that you do not judge my sleep schedule. I am an adult, and I know what is ‘normal’ for me as an individual.
  5. My schedule may seem extreme for some, but that’s just because I do pour everything into my projects. I’m a perfectionist even when I’m nowhere near perfect. I know some people would say it’s not worth it, but with all the effort put in, it is still enjoyable. As much as I like to complain, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t want to. This isn’t an exaggerated (but slightly dramatised) account of my average day, because doing so would defeat the purpose.
  6. Please, please, please do not compare your day to mine or anyone else’s. It’s not a competition or a measure of competence. Some authors can write and code amazing, well-directed stories in just a matter of weeks, whilst others, like myself, can take years. I only just finished my first story last month, after starting coding eighteen months ago. Granted, during that time I was revamping after my initial mistakes, revamping again to make the directing better, learning to code, looking up tutorials, making art, looking for backgrounds, and, the biggest peeve of all, trying to write and code on an iPad. Now I have a laptop on hand and am more comfortable in both my coding and art style, so it takes a little less time to produce an episode. The point is, it can take time for some, and no time at all for others, and that’s absolutely okay. Some people live, eat, and breathe Episode, whilst for others, it’s just a hobby that can be done when we find the time and energy.
  7. The content isn’t meant to be offensive in this, and I do apologise for any horrible grammar mistakes made. As you can see, my days are full, so I’m writing this in a hurry. I will hopefully find time to edit if it is unreadable.
  8. Finally, and this is VERY IMPORTANT, please do remember to not sit for extended periods of times. Exercise is important for many reasons, one of which involves avoiding DVT (deep vein thrombosis–aka blood clots). Now, I’m no doctor so this isn’t official health advice, just a warning from my experience. With the pandemic still ongoing, it can be easy to forget to move around; please make sure, where possible, to get that exercise in. Your eyes, too, will also thank you for not having prolonged screen exposure :slight_smile:

A day in the life of an Episode writer:

-The script has been mostly written and a few scenes have already been coded. There are only a few more to go before the initial draft (excluding music, background characters, menu, title page, credits, etc) is complete. I may have forgotten a few things as I have the attention span of a goldfish.

Before midday:

  • Teeth need to be brushed, showers are to be had, and fantasising about Episode boys needs to be put on hold (at least in dreamland.)
  • Because I live on a farm, I have a few things that need taking care of before I can even contemplate starting.

12–1pm:

  • Park myself in front of the television with a nice hot cup of tea. Currently, this means watching Degrassi: The Next Generation from season one and wondering how on Earth I was supposed to not fall for Sean (hellooooo bad boy) yet also ship Emma and Spinner. This also brings a little bit of distraction as I walk down memory lane (clear box pages ala Paige anyone?) and start planning a 00’s based Episode story despite having a few needing my attention.
  • Open Instagram, forum, and Episode portal. See quite a few messages, comments, and other notifications. Feel amazed that I have so many incredible friends putting up with me… and then deflate. Most messages contain ‘(episode number) ???’… I was proud I’d just released an episode the previous night. Is that not enough? Decide whether I’m demotivated enough to leave it for later, or to reply because at least they’re reading my story and seem excited about it.
  • Finally, with the computer ready and the five or six tabs open (several Episode writer’s portal so I don’t have to flick between the art catalogue, characters, costumes, and coding, plus the document which I write on), the fun can start!
  • Start by remembering why I’d stopped coding in favour of sleep the night before then remember it was because I was trying to code a party scene.
    • Party scene=too many background characters to create and place, plus their outfits. Costume party scene=ready to have the entire thing on zoom to be done with it, or off the extra characters horror movie style. The latter sounds more appealing.
    • Begin search of forums and Google for a blessed soul who’s already created a template.

1.15pm:

  • Found an actual template that works with my background and is in Limelight with new animations included. Must save so I don’t lose it.
  • Realise tea is cold. Must refresh.
  • Remembers it’s lunchtime. Time for a well-deserved break.

2–4pm:

  • Spend a good hour or so getting a couple of scenes perfect. Pat on the shoulder for turning off the movie last night and committing to writing out the draft scenes, and, since I was feeling extra motivated, making note of the actions that were suitable. Saves spending ten minutes plus looking for that one action I saw on a friend’s story but now can’t find the name of.
  • Tea is cold again. Oops.

4.15–5.30pm:

  • Tea is now hot, and this time, I won’t forget it’s there. Filled up with snacks, stare-down with one of the cats is over—she won, again—and stretching complete. Back to work.
  • Start on the final scene… and realise I need an overlay I’d forgotten to include. To search for one or make one?
  • Spend FOREVER looking through the forums for an appropriate overlay. Find titles of posts that much—but they’re for completely different things. Find one that could be used with a few tweaks, no credits needed. Thank you! You still get a shout-out for saving me. Download overlay… and it’s blurry (or, like yesterday, hasn’t got a transparent background). Slam head on the keyboard, open up tablet.
  • Find the background corresponding to the overlay and start erasing it. There are too many details to remove, and the edges are getting a bit sloppy. Hand starting to hurt, lights fading, energy… leaving…
  • Sneak a look back at the overlay offered on the forum. Download again, then remember instantly why I was creating my own.
  • Create overlay… and stick with it. Uploaded, done, dusted, if it looks bad, tough.

5.30–7.30pm:

  • Prepare dinner, spend time with family, round two of cat staring competition.

7.30pm:

  • Check emails in vain hope the overlay will just happen to have been approved… I’ve already submitted and had the others approved in the hopes of publishing by the weekend. No luck. Kick self for forgetting it.
  • Back to work. Start by screenshotting some of the more exciting scenes. Forget to turn off the ‘debug element thing.’ Take a screenshot again. Wait, why are those characters naked? That shower scene was ages ago. Decide whether to add in their clothing to that scene for the sake of it, or replay the scene where they get dressed in their proper clothes. Take another screenshot, scanning for the inevitable grammar mistake. Cut image to size, add text, add a filter then decide it looks better as the original (this isn’t a selfie, despite my character’s protests), and post to Instagram… AFTER figuring out all the tags to use that will hopefully get people to read the story. Please, please read my story! Maybe I should add another sneak peek, just in case?
  • Answer more messages, most of which ask when x episode will be out.
  • Go through Instagram, find a few demoralising posts about ‘problematic writers’. Decide if I want to leap in and defend and receive backlash or block the drama.
  • See a sneak peek of a story… that looks familiar. The scene/art/characters look like mine… but it’s not my story. Hyperventilate because this isn’t the first time copying has happened. Turn off Instagram, because it’s not time to get demotivated.
  • Mood dampened as doubts about whether all this is worth continuing if it’s just going to happen again. Quick check of reader count… mood not helped, even though it shouldn’t matter.

8.19pm:

  • Check email again… Maybe it’s been approved? It does happen sometimes.

9pm–12am:

  • Time to hash out this final scene! Plough on like there’s no tomorrow. Start to enjoy the familiarity of placing characters and getting the speech bubble right (why does it have to move when I preview it! It was perfect! Try again…).
  • Add in animated overlay. Fingers crossed, after several attempts, it works.
  • It does! Yay! Now to have it repeat for the time necessary in the scene.
  • Gasp. Error. Why is there an error? It just worked! Why—oh, I forgot to add ‘overlay’ before number 12 of 24 corresponding overlays… and copied the entire thing fifty times just to be safe. Great. To retype it all over again or go through every tiny error.
  • Went through entire thing, fixing each individual error, highlighting refusing to work. Still an error. Whyyyyyy—oh, forgot the ‘in’ for timing.
  • Deep calming breaths. Deep calming breaths.
  • Finally, crumpled tissues surrounding me, it works. Time to continue coding,
  • The story actually doesn’t look too bad… It’s relatable even. Allow a small bubble of pride to come forth… Hopefully, readers will enjoy this, maybe even enough to share?
  • Done. Should get to bed, but it’ll only take a second to add in the credits, right?
  • Add credits, but remember I still need to do the points system tally. I really should be in bed…
  • Done. Music and everything else can wait until tomorrow.
  • Check messages, again, and look for overlay approval email, again. Maybe there’ll be a surprise in the morning? Remember I still have to help a friend with their story, and push away the guilt of forgetting in favour of this one.

Finally…
Sleep and dream of Episode characters, ready to do it all again tomorrow. Pat self on the back because, at the end of the day, I’m slowly achieving my dream of writing a novel (even if it’s in Episode format).

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Great idea!

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I support like this idea!

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@Raitlyn @Faith.episode.cats Thank you so much both of you! I was a little worried about posting this :slight_smile: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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