So it’s been a little over a year since I started Darkborn. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to post anything here. I can’t believe it’s been a year already. Those that may have been following might have noticed a lack of updates to Darkborn in the last couple of weeks. I wanted to make a little post explaining why that is and what the plan is from here on out.

One of the reasons it took me so long to even get Darkborn going in the first place was that I really wanted to plan the story out. My previous webcomics really lacked in that department. Due to an extended bout of procrastination (shakes fist at MMORPGs) it took me about a decade to really get going. The drive was never gone, it’s just -really- hard to get yourself to work on something when all you want to do is draw… or play a game. Planning isn’t that fun. Despite all that, and many dead-end ideas in-between, I finally got to a point with Darkborn I was happy with.

When Darkborn launched I was really proud and happy to finally have an ongoing project again. However, several months in I started to notice a few issues and there was this nagging bit of doubt growing in the back of my head. I kept producing a page each week hoping I’d get over the hump or figure something out.

At this point, though, I feel that some facts have come to light.

  • First thing I realized was that the story was moving very slowly. I may have taken the “show don’t tell” mantra too literally. In my attempt to provide information about the world of Darkborn I ended up jumping all over the place to “show” these things. I also really didn’t want to show too many of the “secrets” too soon. But I think this caused me to drag the story out too much in some ways. With a weekly update this was just too slow.
  • I feel that Azia’s primary goal of searching for her parents was too much of a focus and not really a great hook in the end. A big portion of the story was based on this and I feel that it just made things drag on. It wasn’t really interesting.
  • The really big one for me was the format itself. I started to become really frustrated with trying to convey these scenes I had in my mind in still frames. To me I saw things a lot differently in my head than I was able to put to the page. I think in time that caused me to get a little bored and frustrated. It also didn’t help the slowness of the story as I would try to add more frames to show what was going on, sometimes with very little text.
  • Finally the time involved. A page could take me twenty hours (give or take). That’s basically a part time job. Any other projects I wanted to work on had to take a backseat. It was becoming rather draining.

With a weekly update all these things just made the story seem to crawl and if I’m honest, I think the lack of readership showed that. If I could create more than one page a week maybe it would have been better, but that’s simply impossible. Now I don’t want to sound like I’m whining due to hard work or anything. I enjoyed producing Darkborn, but I just felt the benefits weren’t adding up. In this era of streaming video content, I think a webcomic is a hard “sell” as it is. Even I would rather just watch something online than read my own webcomic.

All that said, what is to become of Darkborn? Well, I feel it’s best if I take a break. I’ve already started to work on other ideas. While I sort of burned out on Darkborn my drive to make stories hasn’t gone away. If anything this was a good learning experience. I think for me I need to pursue the one thing that I always dreamed about and thats animation.

I’ve already invested in Moho and Lightwave 3D. I recently bought a few training series for animating characters (it’s fifty hours long… @_@) I have several new ideas on the table and I have been testing out visual ideas.

There is a lot of planning, experimenting, and learning that I need to do. Maybe nothing will come of it and in another decade I’ll be in the same spot, but I’m not going to give up.

I want to post my progress when I get to a point I feel I’m getting somewhere. So I hope that you continue to keep an eye out and see what comes about.

Till then, see you soon!