I personally think spotlight is horrible and cannot be trusted.
I agree with you. I believe characters are just supposed walk in and have their whole body showing. Spotlight gets in the way of that and you don’t really know what’s going to happen next.
Yeah and you cannot see multiple characters at a same time. What if they have to kiss or something?
That’s exactly what I’m talking about. The list of things you can do with spotlight is nothing compared to all the activities you can do with the others.
I feel like that the reason for spotlight being included on episode , is because of their competition like the Choices app. Choices is similar to the episode spotlight, except there was no animations at all in that app. Even though I’m not a fan of spotlight, I think spotlight can be beneficial to beginner authors that don’t know much about directing yet. It’s also beneficial to authors that are into writing than directing. Spotlight allows the authors to write very descriptively , which many authors are not be able to do since episode is all about visuals and directing. And Episode spotlight also saves a lot of time rather than to code all the zooms and animations.
I like your way of thinking about this. It is very true authors can be benefited by this technique.
I’ve not written here, but I personally don’t see Spotlight that way. I think a lot of writers truly underestimate what they can do with the style, mainly because it’s ‘alien’ to them. However, I believe when you think outside the box and adapt, as with most things, Spotlight has no limitations. It’s challenging, different, and unorthodox to the norm that is Cinematic, which I think can actually help an author improve their writing skills.
You can’t exactly represent some things visually, which is a challenge to the writer. And… that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The spotlight style was designed for an advanced, descriptive, vibrant level of writing opposed to cinematic. You’re not relying on a cinematic environment so you have to rely on your words, which is a challenge - which is also a benefit. If you think about it, you’re actually focusing more on the writing itself, which is actually a good thing in my opinion.
I believe that one could actually improve their skills by writing some short stories in Spotlight first to give their writing quality a boost. Even writing a story in Spotlight, and then converting it to Cinematic may have a huge difference. And if you’re really good at it, you’ll be able to translate that level of writing into a cinematic environment. I think doing this makes a huge difference, with that translation of detailed and advanced writing out of practice.
Thing is… almost no one does this. Most hop straight into cinematic. Most won’t think of the possibilities of learning from more than one source. Most only attempt to do what they can see, and not attempt the ‘what if’?
So, what if they did what I suggested?
Well, by doing this, I think one could become a significantly improved writer because they develop an organized and clear initiative for a quality story, with both the great elements of Spotlight and Cinematic for either one you choose. You’ll also gain more skills and knowledge for whatever style you choose to write in. I also believe learning the animations/character expressions is a lot easier in Spotlight than Cinematic as-well due to the nature of it.
Sure, it may take more time this way, but think about it. Why focus all at once with both directing cinematic and the plot, when you can take the time to develop the story by splitting your story development into parts of a whole, and putting full focus to each part one at a time?
You develop a process and a pathway for great storytelling.
I agree! Spotlight isn’t a bad hint in certain ways! It does challenge the author as well but I fairly believe spotlight was created due to choices’ character placement template.
I don’t love spotlight, but I don’t mind it.
Lol gurllll you are back!
I was going to write a long post about why I love Spotlight, but then I came upon this one and I don’t think there’s much I can add here (:
Spotlight is a style that not only pushes writers to focus and improve on their writing, but it also allows them to focus more on coding and complex branching, which I love to see in stories. I actually prefer the old Episode Spotlight style compared to the one they’ve introduced now. The one without the animations like in Black Absinthe and The B-Team.
If I still had the app and some time, I would make a “customized” Spotlight style and upload the character portraits as overlays (I’d design the characters however I want or edit Episode characters, non-animated). I’d love to see more people doing that so we could read stories with completely different characters, all drawn differently. But I admit that I’m being a bit too idealistic here.
I agree with you. I just love the challenge the style brings to the table by pushing the writer even further through the unfamiliarity. If I were to write right now, I’d write some stories in Spotlight to gain some practice and if I wanted to, I’d translate it them to Cinematic. I’ve seen very few authors do that, rather unintentionally or intentionally, but I do notice the bits and pieces of that level of writing style when they do that. I believe it truly makes a difference if one masters it.
I prefer the old Spotlight as well. I even created a suggestion about it if you’re interested:
And no, I don’t think you’re being too idealistic actually. That’s the ‘thinking outside the box’ I’m talking about. I’ve thought of something like that as well, but I don’t write at the moment. I think that kind of idea is actually a very creative one, and if made into a reality it would be something that wouldn’t have been seen on the app before, at least from a long time spanning all the way back to the old/original Spotlight style… No one has done something like that, but it technically wouldn’t be impossible.
Also, speaking of this, this thread might be of some interest to you as well:
It sure would be something interesting to experiment with.
Oh, thanks for sharing! I support your feature suggestion completely and I went ahead and started downloading the characters from the second link in case I decide to write a story on Episode again some day.
So you’ve never written a story on Episode before? That’s a shame, I would’ve loved to read it if you had one, you seem to know a lot about storytelling and your posts on the forum are always a breeze to read. I know a few writers (mostly guys) who don’t want to write on Episode because they don’t want to bother with all the coding that comes with the cinematic style and the animations. Even Joseph Evans admitted that the thought of animating every line of dialogue “is a daunting and exhausting one”, and I don’t blame anyone for thinking that way, it is quite the workload for something that is already as difficult as writing a compelling and thought-provoking story.
Thank you, you’re right. My only fear with going ahead with that idea is that the quality of the characters’ portraits might decrease significantly once uploaded as overlays. I thought I was being too idealistic by imagining a day where many Episode authors will start designing their own characters and “customized spotlight” would become a common thing to see on the app. But maybe a better word for that would’ve been “ambitious”? Who knows, after all everything has to start somewhere. The more I think about it, the more I want to go ahead and do it… All I need now is time sigh
Hmm… Regarding the quality reduction of the overlays, I could see how that could be a problem as you mentioned. Though considering the concept would be similar to the old Spotlight format, maybe the solution would be to make sure they are exactly the same resolution/size as the stock characters were from the old Spotlight, since they were made for the app, after all.
And yep. I have never written a single story here despite following Episode and the community for a long time. Not one. But you know what? While I do have my reasons for not writing here, I’ll admit that you’ve given me some inspiration and motivation… I suppose a little experimenting in writing wouldn’t hurt to see where it could lead. And as I always say, I do love challenges so it could be something for me to look into.
Thank you for your support and your comments; I truly appreciate them. I’ll take it into consideration and think about it in the future.
And you’re right, we do all start from somewhere. A little ambition never hurts to get started.
Surely it can’t hurt to try. I shall upload the original Spotlight character portraits and see if those decrease in quality (and how much) before I decide to upload some edited Limelight characters and whatnot. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll ever have the time to design my own characters from scratch for an Episode story. But hopefully it’ll inspire someone out there to do just that?
If you’ve written and published stories anywhere else, please let me know. I’d love to read them. And you’ve given me a surge of inspiration and motivation as well, it’s only fair that I try to do the same. Whatever your reasons are for not writing on Episode, I respect them, but I do hope that you’ll eventually take on the challenge regardless. And in case you need any help with the more daunting tasks of coding or anything else, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to help in any way I can
Maybe just describe the kiss?
Personally, I’d much rather read a beautifully described romantic scene than two awkward animations pasted together for a few seconds