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Sounds like things STILL haven't been great....

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IrwinFletcher
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Sounds like things STILL haven't been great....

Post by IrwinFletcher » Wed May 29, 2019 12:05 pm

In honor of the one-year anniversary of Fred's last blog post on the front page

On March 27th, Paarfi wrote:
His mother's dementia has grown worse, as has his father's Parkinson's, and his father-in-law had medical problems late last year that have now left him struggling to walk. Fred and Sarah spend a good amount of time driving them to doctors and providing the care that the disabled elderly need. Fred's immediate family continues to have serious medical problems of their own that are expensive: with time, with the cost of health insurance, and with the high costs of what insurance doesn't cover. Sarah works fulltime, Fred has had to take a part-time job in addition to the comic, and they still struggle to pay the medical and regular bills every month. This not only takes extra time for his part-time job, but it also forces him to spend days drawing artwork for sale when things are really tight, as happened over the last few days with the Ashe drawing. And that time is time not spent doing other things, like the vn.


Okay, if things are genuinely that bad, than Fred should probably consider putting MegaTokyo on long-term hiatus and returning full-time to the world of corporate graphic design.

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paarfi
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Re: Sounds like things STILL haven't been great....

Post by paarfi » Wed May 29, 2019 12:42 pm

IrwinFletcher wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 12:05 pm
Okay, if things are genuinely that bad, than Fred should probably consider putting MegaTokyo on long-term hiatus and returning full-time to the world of corporate graphic design.
Fred never really did corporate graphic design as far as I know. He was an architect before going full-time with the comic. But he's been long enough out of the architecture business that he's convinced that door is long closed to him. As far as doing graphic design, Fred often talks about how he's not a "real" artist, and that he struggles to do things outside of his particular characters and niche, which may make graphic design difficult. Sometimes there just is no good solution. He's doing his best; he hasn't given up; and someday, hopefully things will improve.
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Skulkraken
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Re: Sounds like things STILL haven't been great....

Post by Skulkraken » Thu May 30, 2019 12:59 pm

Is going back into architecture really that far out of reach for him? Shouldn't he have friends or colleagues still active in the field who'd be able to vouch for him based on his past work? I'm kind of confused on why Fred is so convinced that he can't do it anymore.

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Re: Sounds like things STILL haven't been great....

Post by paarfi » Thu May 30, 2019 2:46 pm

Skulkraken wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 12:59 pm
Is going back into architecture really that far out of reach for him? Shouldn't he have friends or colleagues still active in the field who'd be able to vouch for him based on his past work? I'm kind of confused on why Fred is so convinced that he can't do it anymore.
This suggestion has been made to him a good number of times, and he's firm and consistent with his feeling that he's been out of it for too long and it's not a realistic option. Certainly CAD systems have changed dramatically since then, if nothing else. He knows the business and his capabilities, and I don't think it's unreasonable to trust his judgement on this.
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Re: Sounds like things STILL haven't been great....

Post by Concerned_user » Thu May 30, 2019 3:23 pm

Why would anyone admit that they could go back to a regular 40-44 hour work week at a mundane full time job, when they can draw 2-4 pages of a comic a month and have total freedom from accountability? In a real job you can't keep living off excuses and personal reasons.

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Re: Sounds like things STILL haven't been great....

Post by paarfi » Thu May 30, 2019 3:32 pm

He's doing the best he can. I'm sorry that's not good enough to please you.
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Skulkraken
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Re: Sounds like things STILL haven't been great....

Post by Skulkraken » Thu May 30, 2019 6:11 pm

paarfi wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 2:46 pm
This suggestion has been made to him a good number of times, and he's firm and consistent with his feeling that he's been out of it for too long and it's not a realistic option. Certainly CAD systems have changed dramatically since then, if nothing else. He knows the business and his capabilities, and I don't think it's unreasonable to trust his judgement on this.
Sure, the tools used in the trade might have changed, but is that really so insurmountable? How would it be any different than if the art tools Fred uses to make the comic were to have a revision or patch released that substantially changes things? If asked, would he be able to actually say *in what way* the field of architecture has changed that made him feel that way about returning? As in, specific things that he might be able to take action on or seek help with?

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Re: Sounds like things STILL haven't been great....

Post by Concerned_user » Thu May 30, 2019 7:10 pm

Skulkraken wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 6:11 pm
paarfi wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 2:46 pm
This suggestion has been made to him a good number of times, and he's firm and consistent with his feeling that he's been out of it for too long and it's not a realistic option. Certainly CAD systems have changed dramatically since then, if nothing else. He knows the business and his capabilities, and I don't think it's unreasonable to trust his judgement on this.
Sure, the tools used in the trade might have changed, but is that really so insurmountable? How would it be any different than if the art tools Fred uses to make the comic were to have a revision or patch released that substantially changes things? If asked, would he be able to actually say *in what way* the field of architecture has changed that made him feel that way about returning? As in, specific things that he might be able to take action on or seek help with?
I wouldn't bother continuing to wonder about it. There is no point leaving a fairly lucrative job where you work from home, make your own hours, do as much or as little as you see fit, answer to nobody but a select die hard fans who won't ever leave you, in favor of working a regular job. Megatokyo will run for the next 20 years in part because of this fact.

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Re: Sounds like things STILL haven't been great....

Post by Concerned_user » Thu May 30, 2019 9:44 pm

Concerned_user wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 7:10 pm
Skulkraken wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 6:11 pm
paarfi wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 2:46 pm
This suggestion has been made to him a good number of times, and he's firm and consistent with his feeling that he's been out of it for too long and it's not a realistic option. Certainly CAD systems have changed dramatically since then, if nothing else. He knows the business and his capabilities, and I don't think it's unreasonable to trust his judgement on this.
Sure, the tools used in the trade might have changed, but is that really so insurmountable? How would it be any different than if the art tools Fred uses to make the comic were to have a revision or patch released that substantially changes things? If asked, would he be able to actually say *in what way* the field of architecture has changed that made him feel that way about returning? As in, specific things that he might be able to take action on or seek help with?
I wouldn't bother continuing to wonder about it. There is no point leaving a fairly lucrative job where you work from home, make your own hours, do as much or as little as you see fit, answer to nobody but a select few die hard fans who won't ever leave you, in favor of working a regular job. Megatokyo will run for the next 20 years in part because of this.

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Murren
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Re: Sounds like things STILL haven't been great....

Post by Murren » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:44 pm

Skulkraken wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 6:11 pm
paarfi wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 2:46 pm
This suggestion has been made to him a good number of times, and he's firm and consistent with his feeling that he's been out of it for too long and it's not a realistic option. Certainly CAD systems have changed dramatically since then, if nothing else. He knows the business and his capabilities, and I don't think it's unreasonable to trust his judgement on this.
Sure, the tools used in the trade might have changed, but is that really so insurmountable? How would it be any different than if the art tools Fred uses to make the comic were to have a revision or patch released that substantially changes things? If asked, would he be able to actually say *in what way* the field of architecture has changed that made him feel that way about returning? As in, specific things that he might be able to take action on or seek help with?
There are some interesting considerations I thought of. At my job, where I work as a drafter (drawing architectural plans), I could see how someone could feel that there is less opportunity for them if they have not kept up with some of the changes. I don't really know that much about it, but I can think of 2 possible reasons: 1) Changes in building code. Apparently when my brother was in school for architecture (which was around 2006), there was only 1 binder for building code. Now there are like 8 huge binders. Here in California at least. It's unbelievable how much there is to consider with building code. So I can see how not keeping up with those changes could seem like a significant disadvantage. (Now, with that said, we have 2 architects at our office, and one of them doesn't do anything but design the outside appearance of the buildings, draw pictures of them by hand, and sometimes present them to the city. He doesn't really use CAD. He doesn't lay out the inside of the buildings, and to be honest, we don't have to stay strict to his drawing either, so if he drew some windows that weren't to code (which he doesn't do), we would just change it. (Oh, and for some reason, this architect refuses to stamp our drawings, so we have to have another architect to stamp our drawings). We have another architect at our office, who basically works as both an architect and a drafter. He uses CAD a lot. We have a lot of buildings, so he designs some of them too, and often draws elevations in AutoCAD. However, I am not sure if these situations are typical for an architect. I think the first architect I mentioned formerly came from a job where he had a lot more power over designing the whole building, and I think he does have a good deal of knowledge about building code. At our office, it's more of an assembly line setup, so each person essentially only does a few specific things. This may be atypical for the field, I don't know.)

2) Changes in CAD (computer-assisted? drafting) programs. I mean, my office still exclusively uses AutoCAD, (which some people consider to be archaic), but with newer programs like Revit, and (ArchiCAD?), (and SketchUp), and... well, there are countless others, but those are the only ones I actually know. But I can see how not knowing those programs could seem like a major handicap.

And perhaps there are other reasons as well. I am sure Fred knows a lot more about the field than I do.

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Re: Sounds like things STILL haven't been great....

Post by Rapierman » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:37 pm

I once thought about being a programmer, back in the 1980s. I even took programming classes in high school and at this technical school. I would have loved to have attended the University of Texas and major in computer programming.

Alas, I could not do that due to finances, and I didn't have a job nor was I able to get one to support that effort. I ended up working for Uncle Sam, but not in the field that I wanted. Ever since the 80s, my skills have deteriorated to the point that they're probably useless, and the world has moved well forward of what I learned. My chances are nil at this point.

I imagine Fred's in the same predicament, so to expect him to just pick up the pencil and go at it again is really asking too much.
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Murren
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Re: Sounds like things STILL haven't been great....

Post by Murren » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:47 pm

Being somewhat relevant to this topic, I wanted to post my thoughts on a particular issue. It was just something I was thinking about (and is related to a comment made earlier in this thread) so I wanted to write my thoughts on the issue.

In regard to the support (financial and otherwise) Fred is getting and has gotten from fans (and from customers/clients), I think there are three separate areas which all are, in my opinion, separate. I will list them in order of severity, from least severe to most severe.

1) The comic.

2) Megagear Store orders.

3) The visual novel.

I personally just started supporting Fred on Patreon a few months ago. I did not back the visual novel (I have never played visual novels), and I have not bought anything from the Megagear store.

In regard to the money raised for the visual novel, and the situation of that, backers very very much have grounds to be angry about what happened there. I was just browsing these forums, and kind of got "caught up" on what's going on there. Anyone who backed that has very much justification to be upset about it.

In regard to Megagear orders, I think people do have some justification to be upset, given what I have heard to be a large backlog of orders that have not yet been shipped, for a long time. In my opinion, it's not as severe as the Visual Novel situation according to the knowledge I have, but still decent grounds for being upset to a certain degree.

But in regard to the comic, and in regard to the comment about "die-hard" fans who are supposedly blinded or scammed because of their willing support, I do not think we Patreon supporters of the Megatokyo comic are in any way out of line to be happily supporting in the way we do. Personally, I'm only giving a quite small amount. I imagine most of the other Patreon supporters share the following characteristics with me:
I love the webcomic Megatokyo, and want to see it continue to have pretty regular updates, and I am very glad to see a way in which we can directly support the comic now instead of having to buy prints which would in turn halt the comic. After a few years (before Patreon support was introduced) in which we sometimes would go a few months without a new comic, I personally am VERY glad to see updates on a more frequent basis than before. And, in knowing about Fred's situation, I personally have a good deal of compassion, especially having gone through a family health crisis just last year - and again, backers of the visual novel have VERY much justification to be very upset - but as someone who was not personally affected by the visual novel situation, I am lucky in that regard, so I am not affected by that. But those who are in the same situation as me - that is, those who support the comic through Patreon (and did not back the visual novel) are, in my opinion, not in any way out of line to be willingly supporting Fred and the Megatokyo comic through Patreon support. It's not a big pain to my wallet at all, and I am happy to support the comic and to support Fred in this difficult time. Again - backers of the visual novel have gotten very unfortunate results - but those who didn't back it, are in a completely different situation, so, in my opinion, we (that is, I and anyone else in the same situation as me) are not doing anything irrational or out of line by choosing to support in the way we do.

I guess most people here probably already agree with me on this. I just wanted to post my thoughts.

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Re: Sounds like things STILL haven't been great....

Post by Concerned_user » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:44 am

Murren wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:47 pm
Being somewhat relevant to this topic, I wanted to post my thoughts on a particular issue. It was just something I was thinking about (and is related to a comment made earlier in this thread) so I wanted to write my thoughts on the issue.

In regard to the support (financial and otherwise) Fred is getting and has gotten from fans (and from customers/clients), I think there are three separate areas which all are, in my opinion, separate. I will list them in order of severity, from least severe to most severe.

1) The comic.

2) Megagear Store orders.

3) The visual novel.

I personally just started supporting Fred on Patreon a few months ago. I did not back the visual novel (I have never played visual novels), and I have not bought anything from the Megagear store.

In regard to the money raised for the visual novel, and the situation of that, backers very very much have grounds to be angry about what happened there. I was just browsing these forums, and kind of got "caught up" on what's going on there. Anyone who backed that has very much justification to be upset about it.

In regard to Megagear orders, I think people do have some justification to be upset, given what I have heard to be a large backlog of orders that have not yet been shipped, for a long time. In my opinion, it's not as severe as the Visual Novel situation according to the knowledge I have, but still decent grounds for being upset to a certain degree.

But in regard to the comic, and in regard to the comment about "die-hard" fans who are supposedly blinded or scammed because of their willing support, I do not think we Patreon supporters of the Megatokyo comic are in any way out of line to be happily supporting in the way we do. Personally, I'm only giving a quite small amount. I imagine most of the other Patreon supporters share the following characteristics with me:
I love the webcomic Megatokyo, and want to see it continue to have pretty regular updates, and I am very glad to see a way in which we can directly support the comic now instead of having to buy prints which would in turn halt the comic. After a few years (before Patreon support was introduced) in which we sometimes would go a few months without a new comic, I personally am VERY glad to see updates on a more frequent basis than before. And, in knowing about Fred's situation, I personally have a good deal of compassion, especially having gone through a family health crisis just last year - and again, backers of the visual novel have VERY much justification to be very upset - but as someone who was not personally affected by the visual novel situation, I am lucky in that regard, so I am not affected by that. But those who are in the same situation as me - that is, those who support the comic through Patreon (and did not back the visual novel) are, in my opinion, not in any way out of line to be willingly supporting Fred and the Megatokyo comic through Patreon support. It's not a big pain to my wallet at all, and I am happy to support the comic and to support Fred in this difficult time. Again - backers of the visual novel have gotten very unfortunate results - but those who didn't back it, are in a completely different situation, so, in my opinion, we (that is, I and anyone else in the same situation as me) are not doing anything irrational or out of line by choosing to support in the way we do.

I guess most people here probably already agree with me on this. I just wanted to post my thoughts.
I don't think anyone disagrees with what you said as you surmised, its just how the patreon says at 2000 bucks per month support he will give 4 comics per month, which is again misleading. It is a bad trend of saying give me X amount and I will give you Y results, when Y will always be less than advertised. Its not tough to stop this bad behavior either. You say 2000 bucks will give you 2-3 comics knowing its the most realistically sustainable.
Also saying people have a right to be angry about purchasing from a "store" giving money and getting nothing in return is rather obvious. Any business that operated like that would be shut down and should be. Small or large. So that combined with the VN and the patreon point I made, adds up to people being taken advantage of over someone elses life struggles.

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Re: Sounds like things STILL haven't been great....

Post by paarfi » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:28 am

Concerned_user wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:44 am
I don't think anyone disagrees with what you said as you surmised, its just how the patreon says at 2000 bucks per month support he will give 4 comics per month, which is again misleading.
Doing 4 comics a month is Fred's intention and his goal, not a guarantee. He is trying his best to meet that, and hopefully he can start doing that more regularly. People who give to Fred's Patreon understand this. They are supporting his efforts to achieve those goals. Even if he falls short more often than not, that support enables him to put out more comics than he otherwise would, and that makes supporting him worthwhile.

I assume from your repeated posts here that you do not support Fred on Patreon, and that's perfectly fine. But many of us value Megatokyo and think it worth supporting, even if Fred's aspirations often exceed his ability to deliver.
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