Poll Comic Studios is different than any other studio. Writing for branching stories and reader participation comes with unique challenges. As the lead writer for a project, your job is less to make specific statements and more to ask interesting questions.
WHO WE'RE LOOKING FOR
Fast-paced, flexible authors. Writing a poll comic is less like being a traditional author and more like being the Game Master for a pencil and paper RPG: there are a bunch of people around a table throwing down ideas. Your job is to amalgamate as many of the ideas as you can while keeping an eye on the bigger story. You need to provide enough setting for people to contribute to the game, but keep it loose enough that you can adapt to the group's suggestions. You won't be able to get all of the ideas to work together, but it's important that everyone feels like their contributions are meaningful.
Authors must be 18+ years old, but there are no other hard limits. We want a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. The following groups go to the front of the line:
GENRES AND THEMES
Pitches for every genre will be considered. We're focusing on PG-13 projects at the moment- we want a working relationship with someone before opening up to R material. PG-13 can still deal with heavy subjects, but it has less room to be shocking.
By default, you own the characters and stories. We own the visual designs and page layouts. You give us an unlimited license to distribute the content digitally, with print licenses being negotiated after the first story is completed.
If you use open ended poll questions to develop your setting or characters, we ask that you put several of your characters or organizations into the public domain as a way of recognizing the role the readers have played in their development.
This is a paying opportunity. At the time of this writing, profits from Patreon are split 50/50, with 50% going to the writer and 50% going towards marketing and similar expenses. This rate may change. At the time of writing, we have about $30/installment pledged on Patreon. Payments are made after Patreon bills supporters and are based on actual Patreon income from that month (which may be lower than the listed profit at the time the writing is submitted). For this sample, that would come to about $0.07 per word. We may reject installments that are excessively long or excessively short.
If the story gets enough votes to be completed, we will run a short crowdfunding campaign to cover the costs of making a final draft. Net profits from that campaign will be split similarly.
Responsibility for marketing the story will be shared between Poll Comics Studio and the author. Our hope is to cross-pollinate the audiences each writer brings to their respective projects and make all of our networks more robust.
1. You send us a script of the actions that need to be visually depicted, including character and setting descriptions.
2. We send you the sketches.
3. You write exposition to go between the sketches (and request any changes to the sketches that seem appropriate). You write the poll questions.
4. We update the google form with the new installment.
5. We send out a weekly e-mail that includes a list of all updated games.
6. You have access to the poll results as they come in.
7. When there is a strong enough of a lead, begin working on the next installment. Based on past seasons, 50-70% of e-mail votes happen in the first 48 hours.
One installment a week is awesome, but we expect the average to be closer to one installment every other week.
After a story is finished and a final format decided on, you'll be able to revise the story (decide what exposition stays, finalize dialogue, ask for any additional art and/or ask for changes to the current art, etc).
FORMAT- ACTIVE GAMES
Each installment consists of images interspersed with text. For an example, view this installment of a currently abandoned story.
The sketchy nature of the art makes adjustments easier (future installments might introduce details that require a change in character design; later plot developments might require changing character expressions earlier, etc).
The exposition between the images lets you give more information to readers than would normally fit into the story, letting them make more informed votes and letting you flesh out the character and setting. Past experiments also shows that reading the exposition makes readers more likely to write in-depth comments.
Most stories include a multiple choice poll to determine what happens next and an open ended poll to flesh the world or characters out.
Active games are, by nature, unpolished. Think of them as rough drafts- they're WIP. They can and will be revised. Most of the exposition won't make it into the final product (but makes for great bonus material in kickstarter campaigns).
FORMAT- FINISHED GAMES
After a story has concluded, it will be fully rendered. This might mean being drawn and printed as comic pages, or it might mean being made into a YouTube animatic. It depends on the nature of the project.
If a story has enough subscribers, we'll run a kickstarter to cover costs for high quality rendering and gather readers for the next chapter. By default, most stories will be inked in black and white. Distribution of the finished game will vary depending on the project.
The nature of our production cycle means that we'll have more active games than can be finished. This is the spaghetti method: we're throwing things against the wall and seeing what sticks. Games that attract the most attention will be given priority.