Some questions seem to be popping up more than others, either on this site or in other places, so I thought I’d make a FAQ page to help answer a few of them preemptively.
Q1: God, preemptively is such a fun word.
A1: That isn’t a question, but yeah! Try needlessly injecting it into conversation next time you’re talking to someone. It makes you so feel smart and capable. That’s like, what, four syllables?
Q2: What is this?
A2: Game By God: Sludge Reformation is an ongoing mystery-themed web serial. Unlike a traditional novel, it updates chapter by chapter, the author operating under the assumption that stories are best experienced via the medium of slowly-released, poorly paced, tortuously short chunks.
Q3: When does Game By God update? Is there a consistent schedule?
A3: Game By God updates every Wednesday and Saturday. Currently, there’s no exact update time for when I post on those days, but I do always get the chapter up sometime before the self-imposed deadline of 3:00pm AKST. Chapters (including interludes) have a minimum word count of fifteen hundred words, although they almost always end up being significantly longer than that, usually ending up somewhere around two or three times that amount. The minimum word count can probably be expected to increase over time as I get more experience.
Bonus chapters also happen on occasion, with no set schedule. Unlike regular chapters, they have no minimum word count (although they’ll probably end up meeting the 1.5K goal the vast majority of the time anyway).
Q4: Are you actually [Other Established Web Serial Author]?
A4: No. This has become a semi-frequent accusation (I usually take it as a compliment), but Game By God: Sludge Reformation is the first work I’ve published online outside of messing around with a bunch of short writing prompts and an old unfinished Fullmetal Alchemist fanfiction that was deleted more than half a decade ago.
Q5: Is this prediction I have about the story true?
A5: Maybe, but I’m not gonna say so, at least most of the time. I love seeing discussion and guesses about the future of where people think the serial might go, but it’s fairly important that I don’t respond to any of it, even to deconfirm stuff, lest people focus on the instances where I don’t deconfirm and take those predictions to be accurate.
It’s worth saying that nearly all comments mean a lot to me, even in circumstances where I don’t respond to them because of this or some other reason. I have a lot of appreciation for both positive and negative reception to my work, and I read every comment I get, usually many times. The fact that anyone would take time out of their day to read and then say something about what I’ve written is really awesome to me, and I appreciate it a lot.
Q6: Can you switch the site to Brick Nozick? Anything else hurts my eyes.
A6: I get that this is a meme, and I’m normally not the type of person to get bothered by this type of thing, but please stop making Brick Nozick jokes. I’m not going to start deleting comments over it, but it’s really annoying and I’m sick of it. Nobody likes Brick Nozick, nobody is making this request sincerely, and I’m absolutely not going to do it, even for a one chapter joke or something.
I’m totally fine with making shitposty type comments or stuff like that — I like to do it myself, in moderation — but Brick Nozick jokes aren’t funny and clever and I would sincerely, sincerely appreciate it if you’d all just let the gag die. My readers are super cool folks for the most part and I haven’t had any real problems with them but this is the one aspect of my community that I wish would go away forever. I’m aware of the Streisand Effect and my general attitude so far has to been to try and ignore it as to not bring attention to how much it bothers me, but it isn’t working, so I’m going to be sincere about this. Please, please stop.
Q7: How can I contact you?
A7: If you need to talk to me privately for some nefarious reason, you can reach me at my email address, “firstname.lastname@example.org”. (Yes, it’s real.) You can also contact me via private messaging on my Reddit account, “teddy_teddy_teddy”. I’m much quicker to answer stuff posted on my WordPress, so if it’s a story related comment/question that you don’t think actually needs to be made privately, I’d recommend leaving it as a comment on korridor.rip.
Q8: Is the Art Corner real?
A8: Yes! Feel free to send art to either the email address or Reddit account listed above. I’ll put almost anything up; there is no bar for quality. (Not that I’ve received anything other than professional-level work so far, of course.)
Work will not be posted if it includes racism, sexism, or anything else that’s either obviously or obscenely offensive (this includes, yes, Brick Nozick).
Q8.1: Who is Dictator Moneetabarango?
A8.1: Dictator Moneetabarango is the crazed autocratic leader of a Canadian-based micronation who gained access to the administrative powers of this website a little while back. While I don’t necessarily approve of his methods, he does provide a valuable service to this website, and I’m glad to be associated with him (and I’m not just saying that because of the fact that he has threatened to have me executed.)
Due to the nature of the serial, avoiding spoilers is a pretty big deal. If a comment in an earlier chapter threatens to spoil or otherwise damage the reading experience of potential readers in later ones, Dictator Moneetabarango will edit and translate the comment to ROT13, as well as leave a note stating how far along one should wait before attempting to read it. (In situations where the the comment is blatantly intended to purposefully spoil people, Dictator Moneetabarango may delete it altogether. The exact metric for this is up to his discretion, so I wouldn’t risk anything!)
Readers who wished to decode any such comments are advised to use this site:
Q9: Do you have any serial recommendations?
A9: Game By God: Sludge Reformation looks like a good read.
Q10: I meant serials written by other people. You know that, right?
A10: I’m only teasing, sorry.
Q11: Well, it wasn’t funny.
A11: Come on. It wasn’t that bad.
Q12: I get that you’re trying to be cutesy, but this type of thing really isn’t as interesting or clever as you think. You can just have a F.A.Q. page without doing… whatever the hell this is.
A12: I thought I’d have some fun with it. The serial itself has fun toying with the meta stuff, so I don’t see why the side-pages have to be any different.
Q13: Because there’s a reasonable expectation that someone can just make a basic fucking question and answer page without constantly needing to prove how “hilarious” and “random” they are. You’re not funny, you’re not special, and all you’re doing is annoying people. Readers might have a small amount of very simple questions about scheduling and contact info and it helps to have a page to answer those so everybody doesn’t need to keep asking. It doesn’t require your incessant commentary or “jokes”.
A13: I’m sorry. I thought some levity would be nice.
Q14: Oh, fuck off. Don’t try to make me out to be some miserable killjoy just because I’m asking you to take something seriously for five goddamn minutes. You always do this.
A14: Look, I’m having a tough week. If you don’t want to talk right now, that’s fine, but you don’t need to start this up again.
Q15: I’m starting something up again?
A15: Yes, you are.
Q16: I’m not the one who wanted to do this. This was all you. Don’t put your shit on me.
A16: You said you were fine with it. I guess I assumed that meant you weren’t going to start hurling insults at me because I wanted to try and make you laugh.
Q17: There we go, like fucking clockwork. What a big damn hero you are, doing all this for me. It’s this constant martyr shit that I can’t stand. If you want to keep making an ass of yourself, that’s fine, but don’t pretend that it’s some noble act done on my behalf. This is why the serial’s going so poorly.
A17: You said you were enjoying it.
Q18: Yeah, and I was lying. Because I’m not. You’re a fucking hack. It’s not total shit, but every single time you have the potential to write anything that isn’t a complete waste of everyone’s time, you decide to start waving your arms around like an idiot and pull the most insipid eight-grade level garbage I’ve ever seen. “Woah, the characters in this web serial are talking about web serials. Man, this shit’s so deep, bro.”
That’s you. That’s what you sound like.
Do you seriously think this type of shit impresses anyone? Because I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t. Interrupting the story to make extended unoriginal meta-jokes doesn’t change the fact that you lack any real command of the English language. It doesn’t get rid of your shitty pacing, your underdeveloped characters, or your near-literal plagiarism of an entire setting and concept. People have played Danganronpa. They’re going to know.
You can’t write good dialogue. You can’t write good mysteries. Nobody cares if you haven’t missed any updates if all the updates you do put up are total horseshit. The fact that anyone is still reading isn’t commentary on your improved skills as a writer; it’s just a testament to the fact that people on the Internet will literally read anything.
And I know you know this too, because you keep joking about it. “Oh, if I say I’m a shitty writer in advance, that excuses it. That makes it okay, because I made it funny!” You’re like an insecure high schooler making fun of themselves before their bully gets the chance to, thinking it’ll take the pain away. It’s pathetic.
But here’s the difference; you deserve ridicule. Because you can improve, and you choose not to, again and again and again. And I’m supposed to sit here and watch, and not only that, but I’m meant to applaud it in order to satiate your ego.
Not anymore. Fuck you.
A18: I get that you’re upset, and I’m going to take that into account, because this last week has been tough for both of us and I know that I said stuff nearly as bad to you when my sister died last year. But I didn’t deserve that. You need to take that back. I’m not asking you to say that I’m a great writer, because I’m not. But don’t spew shit in anger. We’re supposed to be a team.
Q19: Then why do you keep doing this?
A19: Because, as much as you like accusing me of lying, I just want to see you happy. And I know I’ve seen this stuff make you smile before. If you don’t want to read it, I’ll stop showing it to you, or… I don’t know. I know not every joke is going to land, but I keep throwing them at you, because one of them needs to, right?
I want to see you laugh again. You never laugh anymore.
Q20: That isn’t… it’s not about you, or your writing. You can’t magically solve my problems with these stupid jokes. I don’t want to get into this right now, but I haven’t felt genuinely happy in a really long time. And I shouldn’t take that out on you, and I didn’t mean all that, and I’m sorry. I’m sorry. That was just… dumb angry stupid bullshit.
But all this doesn’t feel right to me anymore.
A20: All what? Us, you mean?
Q21: Yes? No? I don’t… I don’t even know anymore. Things don’t make me… feel, at least not the way they used to. I still love you, but… it’s not fulfilling. It’s not giving me what I need.
A21: I’m not? This relationship isn’t?
Q22: No, it’s… it’s everything. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I can see that I’m lashing out at you, and I don’t want to. You’re the only person that gives me the strength to go out at all anymore, but even then… I don’t know. I always feel tired, I always feel stressed… the things that used to make me feel happy and alive just don’t anymore. I used to have passion about my interests, and now it’s… I don’t know. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
A22: I know you don’t want to hear this again, but you need to talk to someone. Please. I’ll go with you, or I won’t, if you’d prefer. I’ll set up everything. If you don’t like the first person, we’ll keep trying with others. As many as it takes, but you have to try. Please.
Q23: You know how I feel about shrinks. They don’t… oh, don’t start crying. I’m sorry. I’m sorry, just… I didn’t mean that, about the writing. You know I liked it. It’s cute, that first interlude. It’s funny that By points out the flaws inherent in her own medium. Come on. Stop crying, please.
A23: It’s not about that! You sound just like my sister did, and she… it was the same shit she was saying. The exact same shit. Please, just talk to someone. I can’t help you. I want to help you so much because I love you but I’m deluding myself by trying to pretend that I can, and it’s not helping anything. I don’t know what’s wrong with you, I don’t know what they’ll say. But you need a professional. Maybe you just spend a year talking to someone, maybe it’s just some dumb pill you have to take, I don’t know. But you need to do it. I don’t want to lose you because your brain chemistry was fucked up and we were too dense to go and get you basic treatment. Please. I can’t go through this again.
Q24: I’ll go, fine, fine. I’m sorry. I love you. I’ll do it.
A24: You mean it? Please, don’t just say it to shut me up. I want to see you happy again. I know it’ll be awkward and weird for a little, and we’ll switch people if we need to, but… I need you to try. You deserve it.
Q25: I’m serious. As much as it takes. Schedule it first thing tomorrow morning, okay? As soon as possible. And we’ll go to as many as it takes. I’ll fix this.
A25: Thank you. I’m sorry for tearing up, it’s just… I can’t stand watching you go down that road. Not again.
Q26: No, you’re right. I’m not thinking straight. I’m sorry. And I didn’t mean all that earlier, honest.
A26: I know. It wasn’t you talking.
Q27: I love you.
A27: I love you too. I only want to see you get past this.
Q28: We’ll get through this. I’ll… I’ll take whatever they need to give me, if they’re going to go that route. In a few months, we’ll be laughing about this. I’m sure of it.
A28: I don’t know that much about it, but I don’t think they just toss that stuff at people without any sort of examination or discussion. And it’s good, for when you need it — and there’s not anything wrong with needing it — but maybe you won’t. Either way, you shouldn’t be scared about it.
Q29: I mean… I guess, looking back, I do fit into a lot of the boxes. It would made sense, if it was something with my brain. I know I don’t like talking about my father, but… depression was very common on his side of the family. It definitely fits.
A29: Why are you smiling?
Q30: You know… thinking back, maybe I should’ve been taking this stuff preemptively.
A30: …You’re such a dumbass.