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Your OC has discovered a magical portal to an underwater world. Participate for 60XP

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Topic: Hello!

Howdy Ittermat,

We're so exited to have you here.OMG I have the social anxiety too X.X

what type of role playing do you currently do?

Also making people smile is a great goal Big Smile

That is really cool that you do art for Shari Lewis. How neat! You're famous!

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Thank you Ittermat!

MaskedDragonNamedLin, glad you approve of the roadmap!

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Every one to three months I give an update on what changes have been made on and what changes to expect in the coming months so I can be fully transparent with our community here. This post includes major changes since our last Developer update in March.

A LOT has been going on so let's just get into it...

Legal updates

We have a new end user license agreement. By using this website you agree to comply with it. This new language was added to protect the intellectual property of PaperDemon.

🐇 Scaling and Optimizations

If you're on the mailing list, you know we are expecting a flood of new members within the next month or so in part due to the permanent roll out of Eclipse on DeviantArt. Many members are upset that DeviantArt's parent company Wix, is taking the site more toward a professional portfolio experience, a direction that isn't desirable for artists and writers who are there for the community, leaving them looking for a new home.

(If you're a recent member of the DeviantArt exodus, welcome btw! 👋)

In order to help us better handle the increase in traffic, I've made several optimizations to the site including:

  • moving artwork images to Google Cloud storage so that our hard drive doesn't get full

  • caching some of the json api responses. Main homepage and art homepage are cached for 3 minutes.

  • consolidating the two node apps ( and ) into one under

  • running the node app in 🥜 cluster mode so they can be served across multiple CPUs

  • database index and selection optimizations

I've also added a feature that allows me to disable new account sign ups later if needed. If by chance, the site gets crazy popular all of a sudden, disabling new accounts might be a necessary thing to do temporarily. But people who want to join can always join our mailing list and get notified when sign ups reopen.

I also highly recommend everyone join our discord server because if the site goes down for whatever reason, that's the best place to get updates on outages and status of the site.

🐛 Bug fixes

There's a lot of them that have been fixed over the last few weeks.

🐛 fix (app) navigation in safari

🐛 fix (news) blank articles in safari

🐛 fix (subscriptions) initialize follow component with correct user id

🐛 fix (writing) newest writing missing homepage

🐛 fix (user) can't save handles

🐛 fix (art) submit slashes in description

🙏 Thank you everyone who took the time to report these bugs! Because we're expecting a lot of new people soon, I've created a new Public Bug Tracker so you all can see what bugs have been reported and what are currently being worked on. If something doesn't look right with the site, please report it in the bug tracker.

⭐ Profile updates

A few weeks ago I released brand new profile pages. This is part of an ongoing effort to move away from a PHP front end and instead to an Angular node app. Piece by piece, I've been rewriting this code to make it easier for me to maintain long term and provide a much more interactive user experience.

These new profile pages load quicker, show your socials more prominently, look more consistent with your art gallery pages, and are easier to navigate.

A couple of features were removed from profile pages. It always sucks to remove things but removing things frees me up to focus on adding other cool stuff (like art RPG features).

Profile skins removed

This feature was only available to premium members. The profile skins were poorly maintained, buggy, some were broken, and were completely unusable on mobile. Rewriting these to work well on mobile would have taken a lot of effort which would take away from other planned features we have coming (such as the Art RPG features). And very few people currently pay for a premium membership anyway. I'm open to feedback on paid features. But we're most likely going to focus on paid items for our ARPG, rather than create paid features like this one.

Chatbox removed

This was a little chat widget that appeared on profiles for premium members only. It was rarely used by members who had them and didn't provide users with notifications. I've gone ahead and removed it, rather than spend the effort to rewrite it for the new backend and front end.

⭐ Blog updates

Your personal blogs have been migrated to our new front end and now have a more updated look.

Blog comments have disabled temporarily while we do some upgrades to the comments system. Existing blog comments are likely not going to be migrated over.

Some blog features (such as archive links) have been removed and the UI has been simplified. You'll no longer be able to post a description of your blog. This was removed because it's rather redundant with what you have on your “about me” section of your profile. Often times, many users got confused and thought this was used for the body of the post (but it was just the description of your blog instead).

The extra blogs feature (premium only feature) was removed because it wasn't used. It's removal also allows me to simplify the codebase.

Other updates

Some improvements were made to our moderation tools to allow us to better run Art RPGs.

There were also quite a few other usability, UI tweaks, and backend code refactorings to the site which aren't really worth mentioning here. But needless to say, I've been a very busy code monkey. 🙈

What's coming

I'll be doing more migrations of images to Cloud storage (including comic images).

As you may have noticed, the comics and writing sections are looking dated compared to the rest of the site and are lacking full support for experience points, tags, and mobile friendliness.

I'll be merging the code base that powers blogs, comics, artwork, and writing to allow us to deliver more features to you down the road. This includes a new front end for comics and writing. This is what most of my energy will be spent on in the coming months.

Related to that, the codebase for comments across art, writing, blog, and comics are similar but not the same, making the code unweildly. I'll be merging the comments systems for all of these together so I'll be in a better place to start adding some nifty Art RPG features.

And with a new comments system is likely to come an updated notifications system to move it to our new front end.

Holy cow. You made it all the way to the end. You deserve a cookie 🍪

Thanks for your support! As always, reply if you have questions.


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Hello Amber. Welcome to PaperDemon! I'm looking forward to seeing your traditional and papercraft work. How cool.

Also Sailor Moon FTW. We've got a few hard core fans here.

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This guest post was contributed by Nathan Suess, a member of World Forge Writers, to help writers plot their novels and comic stories.

In screenwriting, storyboards are commonly employed to help organize story elements and ensure that everything is contributing to moving the story forward. In conventional filmmaking, creators have roughly two hours to tell a story, so it’s necessary to be extremely economical about what makes it into the story.

While other media don’t have the same constraints, the practice of storyboarding can still provide immense value, whether by helping writers play around with the pacing of their story, visually trace various plot lines, or ensure that each beat of a story is advancing some aspect of plot or character development.

Anatomy of a Story

If you’ve ever looked through a book on screenwriting, you’ll know that there is no one way to map the plot points in your story. Everyone has their own thoughts on how best to identify major story elements. Basically, most conventional stories have a Beginning, which revolves around the protagonist’s normal world (whatever normal means in the context of your story) being upset by some event or action that requires them to venture into uncharted territory.

As you might have guessed, the Beginning transitions into the Middle, where the protagonist makes progress towards a goal, whether that goal is finding love, avenging a murdered lover or parent, destroying a magic ring, getting into college, winning a drum corp competition, recovering one’s memory, or making it home for christmas. Whatever the goal is, the Middle involves the protagonist moving towards the goal, but ends with them running into an apparently insurmountable obstacle that stands between them and that goal: the death of a mentor or guide, the revelation that their lover’s killer is their long-lost twin, failing a class because of drama at home, recovering their memory only to learn that they were a notorious international assassin in their previous life, or finding out that every plane is grounded due to a blizzard.

Whatever the obstacle that shatters the audience’s false assurances about where this story is headed, this transition from the Middle to the End of the story leads the protagonist into what is often referred to as the Dark Night of the Soul, the moment where the hero must come face to face with whatever insecurity, flaw, or other barrier is preventing them from achieving their final goal. This is the crucible in which the protagonist is transformed into the character they need to be in order to accomplish the story’s finale, whether comedic, epic, or tragic.

In The Princess Bride, this would be when Inigo and Fezzik manage to revive Westley and hatch a plan to steal Buttercup from her marriage to Prince Humperdinck. In The Lion King, it’s when Simba confers with the great Mufasa in the sky and decides to go back to Pride Rock to face Scar. In Macbeth, this would be when King Macbeth’s growing paranoia compels him to order the execution of MacDuff’s entire family, in turn causing the latter to muster an army for the final confrontation that leads to Macbeth’s demise.

Whatever the final outcome, the Dark Night of the Soul at the beginning of the story’s third act is what sets the story on a collision course with that outcome. And, naturally, the story ends with the climax and final resolution where the protagonist faces down their obstacle or enemy, balance is restored (though the protagonist’s “normal” life is often forever altered or lost), and the world is now a little bit better (or worse) for the story that has just been told.

The Power of Plotting: Why storyboards are useful

As a writer, I love crafting the beginnings and endings of stories. I have dozens of premises for worlds, characters, plots, and final showdowns whirling around in my head at any given time. It’s the middle bit that tends to slow me down, and I imagine this is the case for many other storytellers. Finding a path from Point A to Point B that is meaningful and engaging can be tricky, and that’s where storyboarding is an incredibly useful tool. It can help you look at the macro view of your story, how it flows and interweaves multiple plots into a cohesive tapestry, how characters develop and grow (or distort) along the way, and how it balances action, dialogue, and exposition.

Once you’ve identified the section you want to work on, a storyboard can let you analyze your work from a micro perspective, breaking down every sequence into its own individual story arc, identifying the actions that drive your story and characters forward, and identifying problem areas where the story drags or where info dumps abound. With a storyboard, I have been able to occasionally rearrange entire events within my story to see how that changes the pace of the story and shakes things up for my characters.

Storyboards provide the perspective and flexibility to organize your thoughts and offer a framework around which your imagination can build a cohesive, well-structured story. Naturally, as you grow comfortable with your own style and the structure that storyboarding provides, you can feel free to diverge from the conventional methods and experiment with totally new styles.

To make it easier for you to get started, I've created a Google spreadsheet Storyboard template to help you start plotting your story now.

Go crazy! And always remember to have fun and do whatever makes the most sense for you. Now, get creating!

Photo by Nong Vangon Unsplash

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Lots of little things going on. Much of this was already announced in the weekly newsletter but just incase you missed it.

Privacy Policy update

Our privacy policy was updated because I enabled some demographic tracking features in Google Analytics. If you want to opt-out of this tracking, you can use this browser add-on to do so. This will get announced in this Friday's newsletter.


🎥Video art hangout thingy jiggy

As more countries and US states go into a state of social distancing, shelter-in-place, or lockdown, that means more of us are feeling the strain of isolation. That's why I've organized a video meetup next Wednesday, April 1st at 2pm PST / 5pm EST / 9pm UTC* via Google Hangouts. (See in your timezone). Bring your sketchbook and join the video call. We can keep it casual and just chat while drawing. You can also disable your camera and join with audio only if you prefer but I'd love to see your lovely faces!
*Despite the day, it is not a joke. I swear!
Click the button below on Wednesday Apr 1st at 2pm PST

🏆 Art+Writing Challenge updates

This week begins the third element in our Elemental Magic challenge series, Fire. Note that you have until the end of April to submit any of the four elements so don't worry if you're behind. You can still catch up! 

🕹Art RPG updates

Things are trucking along. Shyftlock and I have outlined the basic stats that will be used in our art RPG and have started drafting the content for the initial 6 challenges of the game. We're also making progress on prototypes for the game.
​You'll be able to create your own original characters (as long as they meet some basic requirements) to use for playing in the game. After creating your character, you'll participate in art challenges drawing your character doing various activities. These activities lead to new powers and loot. The initial character species will be elves but we plan to add more at some point in the future after we get the basics figured out.


That is all and if you have questions, feel free to reply below.


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We just updated the site code for PaperDemon. Here's a look at what's changed.

Updates have been slow over the last several months as I was gearing up for the Dragon Mall Quest launch. Going forward, I've decided to focus primarily on product development. So expect more updates in the coming weeks.

🐛 Bug fixes

  • Many users reported a bug with replying to comments in the comments inbox page. This has been fixed.

  • Viewing art on mobile was jenky creating a horizontal scroll bar. It's now been fixed.

  • [For moderators] Creating user logs link is fixed

⭐ Feature additions

Most of these are fairly small...

🔞 When entering the Red Curtain, if you're logged in and choose “Don't warn me again” then you can enter the Red Curtain more quickly going forward. You can also change this in the settings page.

I've made links to the manage art submissions page easier to find. Many users were asking questions about how to see all of their art from both Red Curtain and PaperDemon and didn't realize this page existed. It's now easier to get to with new links from the menu and profile page.

Added a “subscribe/follow” link when viewing another member's art gallery. Now you can more easily follow them. We'll be adding more links like this elsewhere soon so you can keep up with your favorite member's submissions. However, it doesn't work well on mobile yet. I'm working on a fix.

[For Admins] Improved admin tools. At some point in the near future, I'll be getting new admins on board to help me manage user accounts. So I upgraded some of the tooling to fascilitate this.

⚡ Other updates

There's now an important notice about galleries when submitting art. We are going to remove galleries at some point in the near future in favor of tags. For this reason we aren't adding any new galleries. You can learn more about this upcoming change on our Tags wiki page.

Lots of behind the scenes work on upgrading our subscriptions system.

That's it. Thank you!

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Sorry I didn't see this message until just now!

As of right now, no other stories were claimed except the one you claimed. So you're the only artist participant. So as long as you complete the challenge, you'll be the owner of a shiny premium membership!

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Greetings PaperDemon's. For the month of March and April we are running a creative challenge around the theme of elemental magic. (I can't believe it's March already. We just started 2020. What the hell?)

How to participate

  • For each week in the month of March create a work of art or 100 word drabble using the prompts provided. By the end, you'll have four works total.*

  • If you'd like critique on your drafts, it's best to submit them before Thursday each week for Critique Thursday.

    • Artists can request for critique by marking this during the submission process or sharing their draft to the #critique channel in the discord.

    • Writers will need to pop into the discord server with a link to their draft in the #critique channel.

  • Submit your work to before April 30th, 2020. If you're submitting artwork, tag it with the tag pd-elemental for 45XP per artwork

* If four works of art in a month is too much, you're welcome to modify the challenge to do less. You can also play catchup and post later. But to earn XP on an art submission, it must be posted by March 31st.



Week of March 2nd

Some concepts related to water are healing, ocean, ice, and snow.


Week of March 16th

This one stumpts me at first but air can be interpreted in many different ways. My first thought was mindfulness and focusing on the breath. But you can also interpreted as things like wind and spirit.


Week of March 30th

Probably the most obvious of the elements to portray. But it can also be interpreted as energy, lightning, lava, or the sun.


Week of April 13th

In addition to plant life and rocks, this can also be interpreted as minerals, metals, earthquakes, and planets in space.


I've put together a Pinterest board for you with some images to help inspire you or provide reference. Be sure to follow us on social media to because as we find new images will be sharing them there. We're on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Did you find something inspiring? Post it to social media and tag us or reply to this post with a link!

More tips

You can take the prompts more literally or you can interpret them more abstractly. It also doesn't necessarily have to have anything to do with magic. It just sounded cool as a challenge title!

Try to come up with some sort of theme or story element or character, consistent visual style or border that would tie them all together. For example, you could draw one of your original characters in four separate scenes. Having four works of art that follow a theme can help you get more interest and repeat customers of your prints. Many people like to collect series of things. You could even make it into a quadriptych.

Alphonse Mucha has done several series like this. One of his most famous is four seasons.

Alphonse Mucha Four Seasons

Spice it up (18+ only)

We haven't done a Red Curtain themed challenge in a while. I definitely welcome and invite you to take a kinky approach to this challenge.

One idea is thinking about the elements as emotions in relationships. For example fire could be interpreted as passion or anger. Earth might be interpreted as support, safety, or strength.

I look forward to seeing the creative direction you take this.

Image attributions: Iceberg by enriquelopezgarre from Pixabay. Fire by adrian schüpbach from Pixabay. Clouds by Free-Photos from Pixabay. Death Valley by Free-Photos from Pixabay.


Article updates:


  • Members are excited about this challenge but they'd like more time. You requested, we listened! Challenge extended through end of April.
  • Deadlines and times for the elements have been updated.

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So far we've only had one artist sign up for our Big Bang Challenge. I'd love to see more participation in this event so I'm extending the deadline for claiming a story to Feb 15, extending the posting deadline to Mar 14, and sweetening the deal...

In addition to earning 60XP for each art submission, every artist who submits an entry will get a free one month premium membership on

Additionally, one adult participant will be randomly selected to receive a copy of the 2020 PaperDemon Erotic art calendar. This particular part of the prize is only offered to adults. Minors can still participate in the challenge and receive a premium membership as long as they are at least 13 years of age, but they will not be eligable to receive a calendar.

How to participate in the Big Bang Challenge

  1. First, read through the synopses posted in the PaperDemon Contest and Events forum which begin with “Big Bang 2020” for any stories that pique your interest.
  2. Posts will include suggested characters and moments which you may choose to illustrate - however, what you end up illustrating is entirely up to you! The bullet pointed suggestions are only that; suggestions.
  3. Claim a story by replying to the post of the story you wish to choose. You will need to have a PaperDemon account to do this (it’s easy and free to set up!). The deadline to claim a story is February 15, 2020.
  4. Read at least five thousand (5,000) words of the story/stories that you have claimed. You are welcome to read more than that, but it is not required.
  5. Create! You have until March 14, 2020 to work on your art. Submit it to the PaperDemon art gallery with the tag pd-bigbang-2020. Artists will earn 60XP for each entry submitted.
  6. Post a link to your art in the forum thread attached to the story you claimed. All art must be posted by March 14, 2020.
  7. Feel free to communicate with the writer of your claimed story should you have any questions. You are also welcome to send the writers drafts, or even early peaks of your finished work. This isn’t required, but feel free.

Claim a story

Learn more about the Big Bang challenge