Published by Suisei at 01/02/2021 à 15h45
A few months ago I announced that I was starting to develop an online platform for publishing and reading webcomics and webtoons named TGCM Comics. So I give you here some news about the progress of the project.
The development blog
To start, note that I've opened a development blog that I update as often as possible (in French). It is accessible at this address: https://tgcm-comics.blogspot.com.
My schedule being very busy, I won't be able to put all these news on Tipeee and Patreon with all the translation work involved, so feel free to have a look at this blog from time to time to keep you informed about the progress of the project.
Note that it has a suggestion box, so if you have suggestions to make in terms of features or ergonomics, do not hesitate to share them in the comments of this section, this does not require any registration.
Reminder about the concept
The last time I mentioned it in news I made a very brief presentation of the project.
I'll give you a more complete briefing here.
The idea is to propose a platform that takes the opposite of what currently exists, in particular 2 flaws that make the despair of independent webcomic authors.
Popularity rankings: they are based on the number of cumulative views per page, the number of comments, the number of likes and mathematically favor the authors who arrived first on the platform and/or who post in large quantities and this at the expense of the quality.
In addition, about half of the Internet traffic is due to bots and not real visitors, so these statistics are skewed by default.
Icing on the cake. Such a system is easy to hack from both inside and outside. So, it's unfair in more than one way and it creates an unhealthy competitive atmosphere.
This kind of mechanism will therefore not exist on TGCM Comics and will be replaced by the random playlist principle in order to guarantee an equal rate of visibility for all comics and leave the reader the real choice to read/discover what he or she wants.
Most creators/developers of webcomic platforms try to make a living out of it and create a business project around it.
The problem is that webcomics, especially in the French-speaking world, are not profitable, therefore to try to make ends meet, these platforms sometimes use questionable methods of financing and obviously to the disadvantage of the authors and which cost them more money than their art brings them (paying to appear on the front page of the site, paying to be able to display links to crowdfunding pages and other support systems).
For my part, I'm developing TGCM Comics on a volunteer basis and I'll take care of the financing of the hosting. I have enough means with my dayjob for that. At the very least, I might place a small rectangle of ads to try to amortize the cost just for the principle, but that's all. The income will surely be derisory, let's be realistic.
The objective is not to make the platform financially profitable but to allow authors who are struggling to build an audience elsewhere to do so while publishing their comics at their own pace, without stress. I would like it to be a small garden for them and for them to feel good there. If this goal is achieved then that's where the victory will be. :)
So I want to develop an interface as pleasant and efficient as possible for everyone, take care of accessibility and also make a platform as eco-responsible as possible by choosing a green hoster and optimizing my code so that it consumes as little energy as possible and does not load unnecessary data to your browser.
So, the idea is to offer a platform where both authors and readers will feel at home.
Progress of the project
Now that you know what it's all about, I'll give you some news about the progress of the project.
Blog and author details
I started with the spaces that will allow the authors to express themselves and give their news.
Each author will have a presentation sheet which will contain a short biography, the list of the publications on the platform as well as all the external links.
Each author will also have a blog where he will be able to enter his news either with the good old BB code from the 2000's or by using an WYSIWYG interface. His external links will be recalled in small at the top of the blog.
Private messages and friend system
As I'm going to need it to contact the authors to let them know when their comics will be validated I also developed the private message system that will look like this.
It comes with a system of friends. Far from me wanting to imitate social networks (I hate these platforms) this system will be used mainly to choose who you allow to send you private messages. Only members of the site with whom you will be friends and the administrators will be able to send you private messages. In short, it is an anti-spam and anti-harassment security system.
Submit a comic
I don't expect to be very demanding about the level of quality required to post a comic, but I don't want TGCM Comics to become hyper-saturated either. To submit your comic book, you will have to go through this form which, once sent, will notify me by email. Don't worry, I won't ask you to be the new Alan Moore or the new Jim Lee. If the art is correct, the layout is clear and the text readable (and interpretable by the machine translation system) it will do the job. :)
The list of genres is currently not complete. It will be enriched by the time the first version of the site is online.
The comic settings
Once your comic is approved, you will automatically get the author status and you can edit various settings at your convenience.
One of the setup screens allows you to change some of the information that you have already entered in the submit form.
The following will allow you to indicate if you want the publication to be automatic or not and if yes, to set the days and hours of publication of your pages.
Then you have the translation settings. On this screen, you will be able to translate the title as well as the synopsis of your webcomic and also ask for your pages to be translated automatically or not. The automatic translation will not start at the same time depending on whether you send pages with text or empty pages.
And finally, I also developed the chapter manager for a series. If you chose to publish a one-shot or an extract, a single chapter will be created and instead of the chapter list the pages manager will be displayed directly.
So, everything I have just presented to you is already developed.
Currently I'm working on the pages manager and this is the biggest piece of the whole project at least the most complex one.
That's all for today!
I still have a lot of things to show and tell you, so we'll meet again very soon!
Have a nice week! :D