Rundown (8/14-8/20) Natalie’s Changing Her Schedule Again…

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  • Reading time:25 mins read
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Wherein I discuss my new Nigma Box work balance, The Embrace of another neggest of Gamindustri, the resurrection of a thrice-killed corpse, Steam’s purity policy, the return of Bop Louie and friends! 

This past week, I have tried to adopt a more disciplined schedule when doing things for Nigma Box. This was seen with my four-day production timeline for TSF Series #004-3, which I released 2 weeks early because I could. Less than 10 hours after finishing that project, I began work on Verde’s Doohickey – Session Extra (an alternate universe continuation novella). Production has been going swimmingly, and I am having so much fun bringing these characters to life in a whole new way.

I originally planned on releasing all four parts on a monthly basis, but after finishing the first installment’s rough draft, I decided to make Verde’s Doohickey – Session Extra my top priority. Why am I doing this instead of getting out my Mice Tea review or doing some interim Student Transfer Scenario reviews? Well… the answer is a bit complicated.

Video games are one of my favorite things in the world, but lately I have been struggling to get invested into them, for two reasons. One, when I am writing something original, something that comes purely from my mind, I feel like I am accomplishing something greater. I feel like I am creating ‘art.’ And while it might not be ‘good art,’ it is something unique and all my own. Something too distinct for someone to do a ‘better version.’

Two… When it comes to video games, much of the reason I play them is to produce a review. To summarize my thoughts, analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a work, and summarize them. However, I have been becoming increasingly unconfident in my ability to review games, analyze them, or frame my analysis in a nuanced or creative way. I feel like I am doing something inherently wrong and dated with how I have been approaching my game reviews. I rarely feel as if I can succinctly capture the essence of something a fraction as well as other people, such as Hazel to ThorHighHeels to Amelie Doree.

Furthermore, I have been questioning my approach. The ‘validity’ of text reviews like this, as opposed to video reviews that, objectively, do a better job of capturing what a game is like to play. Which is before getting into the fact that I have so many contemporary blind spots in the medium. There are so many contemporary games that I know so little about that I question if I even have the vision needed to properly analyze games… in general.

I feel like the only thing my reviews are good for at this point is highlighting more niche or obscure TSF visual novels. While I love those things to death, I also don’t want my entire experience with the medium to be relegated to that sub-sub-genre. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of games I want to experience, but… what good is playing video games unless you do something with it? Unless you use that experience for something?

This is, of course, a toxic ideology for anyone to have. The enjoyment of leisure should not need to be commodified into content, but I think about it almost every day. When I do my Dragalia Lost dailies, I feel like I should be streaming them, just so they are preserved. When reading TSF comics, I feel like I should finally launch TSF Showcase and start writing essays about… the micro-level triumphs of Remedial Sex-Ed by SigmaGal or some other crap. When I write my fiction, I think about how it is not a comic or not a visual novel. Something with at least two additional dimensions.

I am under no obligation to create stuff, this is not my job and I don’t make money off of it (I spend hundreds of dollars and hundreds of hours a year on this site). But I have been doing this for so long that… I feel like it is. Without Nigma Box, I don’t have much else in my life. I want to produce quality content that I am proud of and that I can release on a regular basis. Because, like it or not… I’ve made that my purpose in life.

So, um… Verde’s Doohickey – Session Extra will release every Wednesday in September, work on the Mice Tea review will begin after the retail release comes out, and I have lots of ST Scenarios lined up for review. Detachment looks neat. I’m not 100% sure if I want to try messing with the Fellas’ Necto-verse. I need to see if Whodunnit and Axiomatic are good— and after that, I… shit, I still need to do that Dragalia Lost mega project. ARGH!

Also, I need to emphasize how much I am loving the writing process for Verde’s Doohickey – Session Extra. It captures so many things that I love to see in TSF media, but so rarely get to experience. It is a slow-burn post-body-swap story about people learning to get to grips with their new bodies while confiding in other people in the same damn predicament. Something goes beyond the transformation, and… it is probably the horniest thing I have ever written. I hope other people will enjoy it a fraction as much as I do.

It has been a few months since Embracer made a big acquisition, so it should come as no surprise that they picked up more mid-shelf developers at the shoppe and left the industry a little smaller in the process. Who are these developers? Well, this warrants a list and some brief synopses! 

  • Bitwave Games – A Swedish ‘modern retro’ game developer who is probably best known for the 2020 puzzle platformer Wunderling DX. They are currently working on re-releasing B-tier classic games, including the memetic 1989 ‘classic’ Zero Wing.
  • Gioteck – A British gaming accessory producer who mostly dabbles in controllers, headsets, and related accessories. Which is more of a vertical integration, but I suppose Embracer wants to cover all of its basis.
  • Limited Run Games – These folks kind of speak for themselves. They produce limited quantities of niche and independent games, yet have grown large enough to have their own showcases every year. They have gotten some flack in recent years for some of their practices, but I will admit that there is an inherent good to games getting physical releases. They are set to join Embracer Freemode, a division set to focus on more retro gaming, which aligns with Limited Run’s recent trend of reproducing games for older systems.
  • Middle-earth Enterprises – This is the holding company that owns The Lord of the Rings IP and… okay, this is getting scary now. Not only does Embracer own the third largest comic distributor in North America, but they now own one of the most influential works of fiction around. This probably cost them an arm, a leg, and at least one little brother, and I have to say that this is one of the most egregious acquisitions they’ve made to date. It shows that Embracer has long-since past the point of wanting to secure a stranglehold on the mid-shelf video game industry, and wants unprecedented power over pop culture.
  • Singtrix – This is a small tech company founded by some of the original creators of Guitar Hero, who recently launched a karaoke system designed to enhance one’s voice and make them sound better than they actually are. The product itself seems more like a novelty to me, but it appears that this acquisition was more so Embracer could nab the “innovative team of five” behind the project. They want to use their technology and network, which is often the ‘point’ of a lot of tech startups. Amass connections, tech, and talent, before taking a millions dollar payday.
  • Tatsujin – This marks Embracer’s first Japanese acquisition, and they settled on what is extensively a licensing and port house for various games developed by Toaplan. A Japanese developer mostly known for their scrolling shooters before shuttering in 1994. I would say that this is an odd acquisition, but really, this is more of a throwback to when Embracer was picking up whatever B-tier forgotten IPs they could across Europe. 
  • Tripwire Interactive – The developer behind the popular Killing Floor and Rising Storm series, in addition to the surprise 2020 hit shark ‘em up, Maneater. As a 100-ish employee studio that was trying to branch out into publishing games like Chivalry 2, it’s not surprising to see them fall under the Embracer umbrella. Or, more specifically, the Saber Interactive umbrella, because Embracer really wants to grow that division. Also, they had some abortion controversy last year regarding their CEO, but he is not involved in this transaction, at all.
  • Tuxedo Labs – A Swedish developer behind the recent hit voxel-based destruction sandbox, Teardown. A title that, just based on its trailer and screenshots, looks like it would strike a chord with streamers and their audience. Because, deep down, I think everyone, man, woman, or child, loves seeing construction vehicles break down buildings within a semi-realistic physics system. They’re a developer who shipped a banger, got money, and then settled down under a bigger company for security and funding purposes.

There is also another acquisition that will be announced at a later date for “commercial reasons.” 

As for how much this all cost, taking all of these announcements when combined with the secret announcement, the upfront costs were a resounding 6 billion SEK, or approximately 557 million USD. On one hand, I have to ask how Embracer is managing to afford all of this, but their sales have generally gone up with every acquisition. With their pre-existing capital, combined with how gaming as a whole experienced a boom during the pandemic, it makes sense why they can keep affording to do this, but that doesn’t mean I like it.

As for how much this all cost, taking all of these announcements when combined with the secret announcement, the upfront costs were a resounding 6 billion SEK, or approximately 557 million USD in upfront costs. On one hand, I have to ask how Embracer is managing to afford all of this, but their sales have generally gone up with every acquisition. With their pre-existing capital, combined with how gaming as a whole experienced a boom during the pandemic, it makes sense why they can keep affording to do this, but that doesn’t mean I like it.

Film and TV have already suffered from great consolidation in the past two decades, and with every passing month, it seems that gaming is getting closer to that end goal. The corporatization of art forms and mediums is all but inevitable and while there was one time I was championing Embracer for ‘saving’ rare or obscure IPs and giving them new life, those days have long since passed. 

Now, I bad-mouth Embracer for buying up seemingly every company they can, because I do not trust a capitalist system where power is consolidated into fewer and fewer corporations, but they are not that bad. 

For one, they actually value video game history and are currently building a video game archive for the sake of preservation and education. So I don’t see them letting their history rot away, like EA, Ubisoft, and most other big publishers.

For two, based on an article from The Ringer about the recent consolidation of the games industry, Embracer is an “anti-consolidating consolidator.” They are hands off with development, but encourage synergies between their subsidiaries, sharing projects and data to maximize productivity while “connecting the dots” between studios. Plus, based on an anecdote from Keith Warner, CEO of New World Interactive, they keep their subsidiaries’ bank accounts flush with cash. Which I’m sure is a huge relief for management and employees alike.

With Embracer, they really have not done much that I dislike. (Except for the 2019 8chan AMA. That was wack.) Rather, I dislike them for the power they have, and for what they represent

However, I still find them more preferable and less suspicious than, say, Tencent. In the aforementioned article, Tencent chief strategy officer, Eddie Chan, spoke highly of acquisitions and defended the current trend, using arguments like this:

  • In the current economic climate, acquisitions are just a “natural” part of the business. 
  • Acquisitions are good for employees… assuming they are stockholders or are given stock options as part of this deal (which they often aren’t). 
  • Acquisitions are good because they create a new cycle of the next generation of game studios.

All of these are true to an extent… but these are arguments that, to me, were clearly created as a means of defending a position. Ones that exist to perpetuate a status quo and assume that things are and will continue to operate optimally. Even if they just remain hands-off for now, that might not be the case five or ten years from now. Companies can change far faster than most like to admit, and all it takes is for the top to be shuffled about just right. 

Also, on an only tangentially related note, the complete shitshow that has been the Warner Discovery merger has solidified my belief that larger mergers and acquisitions are… just outright bad things. The destruction of art for tax breaks, the mass exodus of workers, the cancelation of projects for the sake of providing additional compensation to executives. It’s all a cartoonish rendition of the inherent evils of M&A. While the industry may be different, corporate culture is something that spans across industries, and I simply cannot trust anyone with that level of power. For once power becomes overwhelming, it poisons even the most righteous of individuals. 

…I should have named this installment ‘The Pursuit of Power is Poisonous’ but I’m not going to.

Taking two steps back to Embracer, let’s talk about one of the more prolific pieces of modern vaporware, Dead Island 2. Originally announced at E3 2014, the title is notorious for its rocky development history. First it was being developed by Yager of Spec Ops: The Line fame. An alpha of this version of the game leaked back in 2020, and while… an alpha, it was shaping up to be an actual game. However, the publisher, Deep Silver, chose to cut ties with Yager back in July 2015

In March 2016, Sumo Digital announced that they had taken over the project, where I assume they started over from scratch. I say assume because I do not believe that any footage, screenshots, or concept art of this version of the game ever surfaced. Deep Silver reiterated that the game was still in development in May 2017 and July 2018, only to announce a change of developers on August 14, 2019. This put Dambuster Studios, the studio behind Homefront: The Revolution, on the project and… Deep Silver has been quiet about the title for the past three years.

However, on the third anniversary (give or take a few days), a new listing for the game appeared on Amazon, complete with box art, screenshots, and a blurb describing the game. Based on these snippets, it appears that the game has not undergone a dramatic conceptual shift, as it is still a comically inclined zombie-killing FPS set in Los Angeles. 

Whether or not it resembles the original Jager version in terms of structure remains to be seen. Personally though, I think it would be lowkey hilarious if the game turned out to be the same game that people played back in 2014. Same environments and animations, just spruced up slightly. 

Anyway, Dead Island 2 is set to release for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, and PC on February 3, 2023. 

…I was under the impression that Steam had accepted its place as a platform where people could host pornography. My Steam Queue has been lousy with smut for years at this point, and I assumed the days where Steam was planning on removing games like HuniePop were a thing of the past. But nope! Steam is still restrictive with what content is hosted on their platform, but they seemingly only exercise this power when it comes to ‘adult’ games with an anime aesthetic and characters who resemble minors.

Earlier this year, they rejected Full Metal Daemon: Muramasa, which is supposed to be one of the best visual novels of the 2000s, due to its complex and adult subject matter. And now, they are rejecting… Chaos;Head Noah? A Science Adventure game? 

…They are rejecting a game that has been released on various consoles for 14 years, that has gone through the ESRB, PEGI, and CERO rating systems. A title that, from what I understand, contains no sex scenes.

When I first heard this news, I was inclined to believe that it was just misinformation. But then I looked at the source, realized he was a localization coordinator from PQube games, and then Spike Chunsoft tweeted that Chaos;Head Noah was coming to Switch. 

Could they overturn this decision after additional review? Yes. Is this an example of inconsistent standards considering the litany of sex games on Steam? Most likely. Do I think that this ban should even be allowed? Well… no. 

I think that every game that has gone through the process of being rated and registered by ESRB, PEGI, or CERO should be able to be hosted on Steam, regardless of the content. Those organizations will outright reject something if it is blatantly offensive or hateful, and while they are flawed, I trust them a helluva lot more than whoever is approving this stuff at Valve.

Also, the SteamDB for Chaos;Head Noah updated after this kerfuffle went down, so I’m somewhat inclined to believe that this matter will be worked out, eventually.

SUNSOFT is one of those developers who never truly went defunct, but just sort of stopped making games after a while. The western video game canon recognizes them as a prominent NES action game developer, having made Batman (1989), Blaster Master, and Journey to Silius. But their actual legacy runs a lot deeper than that and… it’s a bit staggering to look over their list of games. Because while there are a lot of ‘hidden gems’ on there, they also have a startling number of shovelware licensed titles, mostly Looney Tunes, and took on publishing duties for dozens of titles. 

Come the early 3D generation, they weren’t really able to compete, as demonstrated with titles like T.R.A.G.: Tactical Rescue Assault Group – Mission of Mercy and Master: Blasting Again, and Monkey Magic.

After doing a re-release of many of their NES titles back in 2002, they more or less closed off operations. The only products they have done were remakes of the Famicom game Ikki, occasional mahjong games, and the abysmal WiiWare reboot Blaster Master: Overdrive

However, apropos of nothing they announced their intention to get back into game development. First by releasing Ikki Unite. A remake of a legendary kusoge with a cult following of sorts in Japan, but is basically unknown in the English-speaking world. And then by re-releasing Gimmick! and Ufouria: The Saga, two highly regarded, and exceptionally cute, late NES platformers. 

Part of me is a bit confused why SUNSOFT is releasing these individual games piecemeal like this, instead of doing something similar to the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection. Even when considering the rights issues, they definitely have a library that warrants a massive re-release of their older titles. But I suppose that these smaller ROM dumps and enhancements are safer investments in a sense, and easier ‘impulse buys’ for people.

Sorry if I seemed a bit ‘unnerved’ in the intro here. These Rundowns are basically personal therapy sessions for me, and I like to keep my readers engaged in what is going on in my muddled spaghetti-like psyche. 

Until next time, seeya!

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This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Sarah Canham

    After having binged Verde’s Doohickey and the Malice of Abby Q within the last 3 days because I really enjoy your style of writing. I have to admit I find myself very excited to see a continuation of the former, even if I’m like half a decade late to this specific party.

    Very much been enjoying your literature, especially the writing on Jad so far in things.
    It feels very nice to see some “TG Media” that has actual transgender tones to it, something I feel is sorely lacking in the majority.

    1. Natalie Neumann

      Thank you so much for reading my first two novels, and for your kind words! ^^

      I did technically write Verde’s Doohickey 7 years ago— almost 7 for Malice— but I went back to them and re-edited them in 2020 as part of a re-release. Originally, they were not hosted on Nigma Box, as I felt I could not post them without any visual assets, and I didn’t have any sprite art experience at the time. Because of this, I’m not even sure if anybody actually read them before the re-release. So, in a way, you really are only two years late to the party, haha.

      It takes some digging around to find TG media with more overt transgender tones. With Verde’s Doohickey, I was going through a lot of gender-related issues, and I funneled a lot of my anxieties into that novel. I think I went on a tear about that in the post-mortem Ramble…

      Also, if you haven’t checked it out, you might want to read an essay I wrote on TG/TSF media, Natalie Rambles About TSF. It’s gotten a pretty good response from people, including CaptainCaption and Espeon of re:Dreamer fame and jcjace from the Student Transfer team.

      If you want to see some more… explorative TSF fiction, I would also like to plug TSF Series. It’s an anthology series of short stories and novellas where I play around with TSF concepts and try to put a slightly more creative or thorough spin on them. I try to keep a good level of variety between installments, and I like to think it’s something that TSF fans will enjoy.

      1. Sarah Canham

        Maybe so, but I’m sure I’ve known about this site to some degree during 2020 so I should’ve probably noticed, though I only starting regularly reading about 10-ish months ago, I think. Things going under my radar is a speciality of mine though.

        I actually happen to be going through my own typical phase of transgender related problems, so I found that the stories actually happened to very relatable (not sure if relatable is the right word but it’ll do) in that regard, and I thoroughly enjoy having some sort of medium to run them through, which might be why I found em so great to read. Though it’s also possible that reading the exact type of thoughts and emotions via text actually fuels it

        I happen to have read your “rambles on TSF” essay, it was cool to see and I could probably write responses to each section just as long with my own thoughts on that extrensive trope/genre as I’ve pretty much “lived it” for nearly as far back as my conscious memories go. But I’m an introvert so I settled for a 2 line comment that totally showed my enthusiasm. (And continuing that theme, this one somehow took 4 hours to do, wheee)

        The main thing that I think I come to TG media for is to vicariously feel out my transgenderyness and emotions regarding it, so I specifically look towards things that best provide that, also I tend to get easily grossed out by some of the more… extreme(?) you can find there and have been traumatised by some things like the manga Remake Touko. *shudder*
        I’ll take a prod at the TSF-series as my favourite TG story (Maidenswap from ST) and many other good things have come from nigma box so far, so I should probably realize that your recommendations are likely to down well.

        1. Natalie Neumann

          I’d figure that transgender-related problems are pretty common among a lot of my readers, and TSF fans in general, and I try to draw upon some of the problems I’ve experienced, and that I’ve seen echoed by others, in order to inform my work. Well, ‘problems,’ in addition to ‘fantasies.’

          Ah, I somehow forgot that you left a comment on Natalie Rambles About TSF. My memory is bad sometimes. :P

          I know that a lot of trans people go to TSF as a means of emotional escapism, though for me, I have spent so much time with it that it has just become part of my interests and core personality. I mean, I have only been confidently writing about TSF stuff since 2019, but it has been an fascination of mine since 2008 (my trigger as Ranma 1/2, which is a pretty vanilla answer).

          I had never heard of Remake Touko before you brought it up. I read through the first (and only?) volume. While the last story is technically TSF, the comic itself is predominately in the ‘gore’ genre, but if someone just read the two TSF chapters, I could see why they would be traumatized, because the ending is quite intense. I have a pretty thick skin for this stuff (except for when it involves jamming crap in someone’s brain) so I was able to enjoy it for what it was. However, it was a very mean and bitter comic that paints a cruel world, introduces magic, and uses the magic to intensify the cruelty rather than mend it. There might be some moral there, but I’m not entirely sure based on how bitter the author’s notes were.

          Maidenswap is still probably my favorite route in ST, but I think it is a bit ‘cute’ how you say that “many other good things have come from nigma box so far.” I just shout out other creators and hope that people check out their works… but I should do MORE of that. Unfortunately, I have a LOT of other stuff I want to do, and there are only so many hours in the day!

        2. Sarah Canham

          ‘fantasies’ is a very interesting question, I wonder if those thoughts and feelings come across in the same way that despairs and woes do. It feels easy to pinpoint a line and say “that’s a thing, I’ve felt exactly that before” with some things like dysphorianess, but I’ve never considered positive/fantasy type things in that regard.

          I more or less got into TG from a youtube video of an episode of to love ru featuring a bodyswap between two characters. And that 9 years and approximately 10-11months ago is what started the rabbithole. A glorious one indeed that I would consider it now one of my past times, partially because I stumble across content that broaches what I’m after so rarely.

          I am genuinely sorry for bringing that manga into your life, as that mentally damaged me. I came out of the book feeling actual pain in my stomach from what I had seen and thought I had somehow managed to gain another dysphoria just from having read it when I still felt it for about week later. It conveniently disappeared, as I suppose things do, but it was an incredibly unpleasant feeling and definitely far beyond what I can take in terms of “weird stuff”. To balance the universe and karma I’ll mention Remix Heart, a manga which when you look behind it’s typical ecchi scenes is a super cute and fluffy story with an adorbs protagonist that I love to bits.

          Maidenswap was really fun, the storyline was great (and so goddang long for what I was expecting, even if it was my first venture in ST) the interactions were great but my main takeaway was probably Cassie. She just seems to be my perfect ideal as a transgender individual and I loved reading about her and everything. It’s favourite TG based story just because of her alone, everything is a side dish to that main course.

          I appreciate being called cute!
          Though I was mostly referring to the novelias I have recently read, the ST stuff and your actual musings on the subject itself. I find your discussions of transgenderness to be as interesting if not moreso then the typical TG content I tend to find and I think that is probably what I most enjoy out of nigma box, though I’ll certainly nom up the rest too. Also I apologise for eating your dayhours with my comments, lol.

          1. Natalie Neumann

            I’m pretty sure that most people truly get into TG/TSF through YouTube. I started with Ranma and then I fell down a bunch of rabbit holes of small channels with similar names posting scenes from movies and TV shows that featured a TG sequence or body swap. I think the channel naming convention featured “Jade” and “True” and would be mutated into combinations like JadTru1487 or something. But this was like 2008-2010, so the details are foggy. Hm… Was Jad Novus’s namesake a reference to these channels? Maybe it was… and I did not realize it until just now! :O

            As I said, I have a pretty thick skin and have seen a fair share of awful things. I am an odd person in the sense that it takes a lot for me to be ‘damaged’ and when I do, I typically wind up being okay with it a few years later, or view it as more farcical and silly. Such as one hentai a friend showed me that involved eggs and buttholes. I will say no more.

            Remix Heart is a bit longer, 25 chapters, but I’ll add it to my manga list. HakuNeko ho!

            With TSF stories, I tend to accept anything, no matter how weird or if it appeals to a specific type of TSF fan. I like stuff that is cute and wish fulfillment, and I like stuff that is a lot darker. To me, it keeps TSF interesting, but I understand that it is not everyone’s cup of tea. I probably should try to do a better job of recommending works based on factors like this. Because while I can gel with most things, that is not the case for other people, and there’s nothing wrong with having preferences or looking for a specific vibe.

            “I appreciate being called cute!” – Based on the way you write and present yourself via text, I’d say you’re pretty cute. ^^

            I do not talk about being trans that much, partially because it really does not impact my life a ton, as I am a homebody who does not leave her room very much. I got support from my family, spent all my money on facial surgery, and now I’m just biding time before I get to have bottom surgery. However, 3 years ago, I did write a 9,000 word essay “Natalie Rambles About Being Trans, Autistic, and Weird.” If you want to read my musings about trans stuff, this should suffice!

            “Also I apologise for eating your dayhours with my comments, lol.” – Don’t worry about it. I like talking to people about TSF stuff, gender stuff, and my work.

        3. Sarah Canham

          I genuinely do not know where or what led to the video I had, but I always remember having found it and from it’s recommendations I ventured into things like Three degres off centre productions, whose Identity Theft movie was a funtime. Riskingly, Suits and Such and ofc Transformingmorpher with the Random Transformations series 1-100, which was great for introducing various creators of TG media and such.

          I can respect your thick skinness, I’m probably fairly thinskinned but I think that the medium in that it’s provided also has a lot to do with what I can or can’t take. Actual imagery is probably the worst, though I think I’m better then I was. I’d like to think I browse TG stuff with a generally open mind toward various things but honestly I can’t lie that there are definitely things I have a strong preference towards.
          Remix Heart is a glorious manga, absolute favourite despite having it’s flaws. Mai is a super cutie.

          I have spent most of the last 10 years honing and perfecting my online typing, speech and persona based off the myriad of anime girls, manga girls or just in general any characters and tropes I liked I would emulate and utilise for myself. I like to think with the time I’ve spent and dedicated to the act, that I successfully pull off the feel of an extroverted confident gal online, although it falters outside of informal conversations like instant messaging. I struggle to write much in the way of formal stuff and end up spending far longer then I should do even on stuff like this. But I shall still take the compliment of being cute, it is mine forever!

          I’m sure I’ve been aware of that post before, but I hadnt read it til now. Was an enjoyable read, do like stuff like that, I rarely to get hear musings of trans stuff. I take it by “bottom surgery” you mean the.. gross parts down there? I actually sent an email off about that to the GIC (Gender Identity Clinic, british NHS thing for trans stoof) after I had a meeting and the conversation about the process super ewwed me out and I responded by saying I would prefer to have none at all, male or female. After reading about Jad’s decision to have electrolysis (which is it me or is it kinda odd for a guy who doest consider/realize their transgender to get?) I decided that I should probably do something regarding my own treatments that I put off, because procrastination is something I’m good at.

          Also re: your last comment, then I shall continue to message as I please til I get told off for spam, as I thoroughly enjoying speaking to you. :p

          1. Natalie Neumann

            That generation of YouTube artwork compilers was something I never paid much mind too. I used to amass an impressively robust DeviantArt collection, scouring the platform for whatever I could, but switched to a personal collection. It is tricky for me to gauge how many files I have that are just TSF, as I keep all artwork in the same directory, but before counting my dedicated ‘comics’ sections, it is in the range of 40,000. The grand total is over 70GB. I have considered sharing my collection, but a lot of artists don’t like it when you repost their work, so… I don’t know how I should go about doing that.

            Let’s just say that, when you were browsing places like Paheal Rule 63 (which used to be a dedicated site separate from the Rule 34 one) you need to develop some sort of tolerance for people being screwed by a horse. I started browsing there around age 13, so… yeah.

            By bottom surgery, I mean a zero-depth vaginoplasty. I’m not interested in having sex with anyone, so I would rather not go through the process of stenting, or anything as intensive. But yes, it is all gross stuff.

            By “none at all, male or female” I’m assuming that you mean you are referring to genital nullification? I considered getting that, but something about the images that I was shown made me feel that was not right for me.

            The electrolysis thing was a remnant from the original 2015 draft, and during the 2020 re-edit, it was my policy to stay as true to the original version as possible. However, after going through genital electrolysis myself, I knew it would be wrong and cruel to have Jad go through the genital process. As such, the 2020 version claims that Jad only had facial electrolysis performed. I personally have never undergone facial electrolysis. I’m a natural redhead, so my facial hairs tend to be rather light and fair.

            With regards to surgery, it is best to try and do things as quickly as possible, especially given what I’ve heard about the British wait times…

            Feel free to keep it up. My site has comments for a reason, and you’re a plenty pleasant person.

        4. Sarah Canham

          By none at all, I meant in a literal sense. How it’s shown in ecchi animes, just a blank area with no nothing or anything. Just “flesh und skin”. Ultimately you could taking the private parts, removing them to make an area that’d be no more private than say your leg or stomach. I looked up that genital nullification thing, I don’t think that’d be what I’m after though lol.

          During the last year since I had a GIC appointment where I freaked out over it, I’ve become more and more founded in my belief over what I want. And “if yer gunna do something, go all the way!” so I plan to get the full package or whatever. Possibly also part of my now failing asexuality as I realize that I want to be able to offer my partner in my relationship gross lewd things and do them with him. And also I think no matter what happens, I’ll probably always harbour feelings of dislike towards that stuff, so I would rather be a girl with a dislike for her girl parts then a girl with a dislike for their out of place boy parts. Though I will admit at this current period in time, I remember little to nothing about the processes and different types of surgery.

          I really need to push forward and contact things regarding my facial electrolysis, like tomorrow. I have a very strong complex regarding facial hair and beard shadow and often end up hurting my skin because I will try hard to remove the hair. So it’ll probably do me a world of good to get rid of it medically, it’s a bit of nuisance that travel to the clinic will cost what it does and isnt covered by ye olde NHS, but I’m sure I can work it out.
          I didn’t even know genital electrolysis was a thing, it certainly wasnt offered and I asked about legs/arms at the time.
          I would say to Jad to get rid of it all! Death to the betrayers of smooth skin! Though right now I think Jad just needs a dang hug and to sob it all out.

          Kinda jealous about the redhead thing, my hair colour is unpleasant and I have since dyed it blonde and enjoyed it much more. But I really wouldnt mind having gotten my mothers redheaded genes too, it looks pretty.

          1. Natalie Neumann

            Sadly, you won’t be able to have nothing down there, as you need a urethra to pee. A ‘traditional’ vaginoplasty is a pretty intensive procedure with about six months of recovery, and a lot of therapy involving stents of increasingly larger sizes. I was part of a Discord community with a few other transwomen who had/were undergoing the procedure a few years ago, and it did not seem fun. But once its all over, I’m sure it’s well worth it.

            Facial electrolysis is highly sought after by a lot of people with darker hair, but it can be quite expensive. My genital electrolysis cost over $1,000 for session for five sessions, and I’d imagine it would not be too different for facial stuff, but I’m not sure. It depends on the clinic. However, it should not be that many appointments (I think 3-5 if you go for longer sessions). Depending on your hair, laser removal, which is typically cheaper and less intensive, might be another option.

            Genital electrolysis is a thing, and recommended for certain bottom surgeries… but not zero depth vaginoplasties. So I kinda wasted a lot of money and went through the worst dysphoria of my life for… patchier genital hair growth. Seriously, nothing makes you hate having balls more than seeing them swell up to twice their size and covered in bruises.

            With Jad… just wait and see. The Dominance of Abigale Quinlan will wrap up by August 31st. You can pretty much gather where the story is going based on the chapter names. :P

            EVERYBODY is jealous of my red hair… People have been praising it since I was, like, four-years-old. :P

        5. Sarah Canham

          I don’t consider it sad!
          I’m at the stage of simply accepting things for what they are, and if I want to be what I want to be then I’m either gunna have to get surgery or find a convenient tv remote-esq doohickey, and that latter aint happened yet so I’ll take the formah.

          I’m a bit worried about the pain and stuff, but one must beyond to the end of the tunnel I guess. Though I suppose I’m still a ways off. Yay British wait times and stoof, though I believe I once read somewhere that you want to have been on hormones for a good while and my hormone “treatment” has been a disaster. It’s been 2 years and 6 months and I have seen zero affects with bloodtest results showing that my hormone levels have been entirely unchanged. So I’m extremely happy that my prescriptions were changed finally after so much faff, really hope the results appear this time, lol.

          I think facial electrolysis is something I really need, saying this as I’m feeling my cheeks as I write this because of hairs, I have exceptionally good genes for growing stubble and beards it seems. Happily the sessions here will be paid for the NHS itself, but the travel there by train is likely to be some £500 quid or more which I have somewhat struggled to deal with regarding muh own cash, but I have a plan now for that.
          I wasn’t aware of genital electrolysis, which makes me wonder if the GIC mentioned it at all to me. It’s entirely possible if it was recommended for certain surgeries, as my brain has since deleted the memories of that meeting. It certainly sounds unpleasant, why do all transgender treatments seem to involve such huge pain? aha

          The chapter names of Dominance have felt somewhat spoilery tbh, but I’ve always been overly sensitive to things like that. So I’m kinda used to it and try to avoid em when I can. But yeah, I think have an idea where it’s going as a story. I’ve got email notifications set-up, and more or less know to expect chapters at 12:00 hours my time, which I eagerly await to read through.

          I definitely don’t blame em! My hair is the most important thing to me, and I’ve never liked its “turdy brown” colour, it always felt dirty and unwashed regardless of whether I did or not. Ever since changing the colour I’ve felt so much happier and confident about myself when things like visiting the nearby convenience store or pharmacist.

          1. Natalie Neumann

            Based on what you are saying, I’m guessing you are still relatively early into your transition. I’m 6 years on HRT, have been presenting at female for 4.5 years now, and got FFS back in December 2017 (there’s a pic of me on the about page by the way). If you want to talk about more personal transition-related stuff, I would recommend contacting me on email (check the About page) or Discord. If you are part of the Student Transfer, Press-Switch, or re:Dreamer discord, you should be able to find Natalie Neumann there and DM me.

            Wait, how has HRT had zero effects after 2.5 years? At that point, I would’ve probably tried increasing my doses on my own…

            I am surprised that there is not an electrolysis closer to you (As site admin, I can see your IP address, so I know the general region you live in) and £500 for a train trip sounds absurd. You could get from New York to Los Angeles by train for less than $400. I guess this is why people say it was a bad idea to privatize British Rail… In that case, laser might be a better deal, but I am far from an expert in this field.

            Genital electrolysis is recommended by SOME surgeons. Not all. And I have no clue what is preferred in Britain.

            Pretty much all of my chapter names are spoilery. Except for Psycho Shatter 1985… which is probably a bit too nasty for me to recommend to someone like you.

            I think you might need a specialized type of shampoo/conditioner. My hair was always frizzy and greasy until I switched to a higher quality shampoo. :P

        6. Sarah Canham

          I sentcha an email with muh discordz, I think
          Should’ve done.. probably, hopefully, maybe.