Community Create-a-Side

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Community Create-a-Side

Postby A.B.C. » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:34 am

So, while we wait for the Kickstarter goodies and that magical date of June 6, I feel like we could play a fun little game that won't be especially work intensive or take too long, something that I feel a lot of Erfworld games seem to do.

The premise is kind of simple; the Erfworld community gets together and makes a side! While I don't have a process in mind yet, I'm sure I could whip something up if people are interested. (Or we could make one together! This is a community effort, after all.) Making a side probably involves giving it a theme, making all the units, giving them names and designs and stats in the typical Erfworld manner, deciding on a way the side "plays" Erfworld (Jetstone likes infantry, Charlescomm does a lot of turtling + merc work), making the casters and warlords and rulers and their histories, personalities, etc. What wars are they in? What sides are they allied with? Which did they stem from? And then we get to design all those sides, galore!

Of course, since there are no definite canonical rules for Erfworld, we'd be mucking around a little bit and just generally having a blast with the flavor side, although if people want to play this side on say, New Erf or something, I'm sure it would be easy to spice up all that fluff with stats. The possibilities are endless!

So, yeah. Is anyone interested? I feel like this would be a fun little fan project that wouldn't require a lot of effort and would still be sustainable for quite a while.

Just an idea that's been floating around in my head for a bit. I feel like this can either be incredibly fun, or flop terribly. :P
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby The Colonel » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:13 am

My Idea for a process is like the /TG/ create a setting. Every post sets a precedent about the side. You cannot contradict previously set precedents.
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:50 am

Cool idea, lets. Can we design several sides then?

Because I've often, not always, but often, played as The Steam Gentlemen. Name should be pretty indicative of the flavour of their units- 19th century alt-history, with a bunch of Tesla thrown in. Funnily enough Diwigibles are a new addition to their roster.

They are not a Royal side- and incredibly uptight about not being one. Meaning, they "act" Royal, they respect Royal sides more than non-Royal sides- unless a Royal side doesn't behave "regal" enough, whatever that happens to mean at the time. Highly classist, in other words.

In the good ol' tradition of Victorian pulp and its echoes in Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the Steam Gentlemen have a history of crazy Warlords- either mad inventors (Graf Zeppelin put together the first Diwigibles), intrepid explorers (Living Stone) or at least wannabe explorers (Lord Kelwin), and downright bonkers acid gurgling nutters that speak in broken song lyrics (Annie Le Nox). Depending on the timeline, one of their warlords is a promoted Metal Golem called Till Lindemann. Sometimes they manage to get a boringly normal, competent warlord like air aces Klaus Witz and Rick Hoffen.

The Industrial Council that rules the Steam Gentlemen is boringly sane however. They favour economy boosting policies like city building and upgrading, and the main strategy that the IC prefers is to pursue an overwhelming production advantage. They favour the Mancy disciplines of Moneymancy and Dirtamancy, and depending on the timeline, two competent casters (Dirtamancer Baldrick and Moneymancer/dabbler-in-all-trades Siemens) sit in the Council as well.

The SG units however aren't quite the typical cheapo mass-disposable units. They tend towards more expensive than the average, fast moving, hard hitting, and with the exception of the Diwigibles, somewhat fragile side. Special abilities are common. Lower class infantry have econ boost abilities like building, harvesting, fabrication. Higher class units have all sorts of combat/magic skills.

The SG would prefer not to go to war, and if they do they rarely go alone as they cultivate some diplomatic relations. When they fight, the SG often find themselves in air battles and hit and run strikes. Their Diwigibles have allowed them to expand that portofolio to air siege as well.

Some units which after various campaigns became iconic:

The Navvy is the basic infantry unit. Not too impressive combat-wise, but they can work on cities to ease their building/upgrading. They can also help build/harvest from terrain upgrades like mines, roads etc.

The Gyro Scope is the SG cheap flying unit used for scouting.

The Otto Motor is the mass-produceable flier fighter unit. Looks like an early airplane. Fast, good offensive skills, may also carry one extra unit around.

The Diwigible is a new addition, very expensive, but very resilient against damage, capable to dish quite a lot itself, fast, and crucially siege abilities that match the Purple Dwagon's. (I guess you may call it a Purple Megalogwiff :P)
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby A.B.C. » Tue May 01, 2012 1:06 am

WOW. Guys, we can go home now; Bland's got this down.

In all seriousness, though, I've been mulling over how this would work, and I think I've come on a slight little hitch. Say if I were to come up to Bland here and say something like, "I think those units don't fit in with the theme of the side. (Also, they SUCK.) They're out of The Steam Gentlemen." That'd be just a teeny bit awkward. So maybe the process can be a kind of "side workshop" of sorts, where people could come in with their own factions in varying stages of completion and throw them up in the air for ideas and help from the community? Then they integrate the ideas they like and maybe even work them into a fanon setting with all the other sides we have?

For instance, I could instead walk up to Bland and be like, "Hey, Bland! You know what'd be really cool? A poorly made nineteenth century train that kamikazes into enemy walls as motherboopin' SIEGE." And then Bland could work it into his side if he wanted to, or not, and while people are at it, an artist could waltz up and draw up one of his units, and a gamer could come along and make an interesting little scenario with a side the Gentlemen are at war with, and then a writer could drift on by and write up a little story about the battle and Bland could do whatever Bland's good at for all of them and it'd all be fun and games.

And then, going with the Colonel's /TG/ (which I'm not really familiar with, but sounds solid enough) idea, we could also build a little community side that doesn't "belong" to anyone where we could all pitch in ideas no matter how goofy, and have a blast coming up with wackiest, Erfiest kind of side we can think of.

These are all ideas, mind you, that probably have a lot of holes in them; I'mma go mull on a Side Checklist to make this all seem official while all y'all read it over. Thoughts on any of this?
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Tue May 01, 2012 9:19 am

A.B.C. wrote:WOW. Guys, we can go home now; Bland's got this down.


:lol:

Normally I'm more into rules and setting up details and the like, but right now I'm in a kick ideas around phase, so I thought I'd contribute an outline of a side rather than a process of creating one.

A.B.C. wrote:Say if I were to come up to Bland here and say something like, "I think those units don't fit in with the theme of the side. (Also, they SUCK.) They're out of The Steam Gentlemen."


What do you mean? The Navvies are seriously awesome.

A.B.C. wrote:So maybe the process can be a kind of "side workshop" of sorts, where people could come in with their own factions in varying stages of completion and throw them up in the air for ideas and help from the community? Then they integrate the ideas they like and maybe even work them into a fanon setting with all the other sides we have?


This was my impression of what you were after.

an artist could waltz up and draw up one of his units


yes please

and a gamer could come along and make an interesting little scenario with a side the Gentlemen are at war with


ditto

and Bland could do whatever Bland's good at


everything and not much.

we could all pitch in ideas no matter how goofy, and have a blast coming up with wackiest, Erfiest kind of side we can think of.


There was a game called Disagreement of the Titans that almost got off the ground recently, where I was up to do just that. The side was called Boopboopistan and its signature unit would be a gaunt, Don Quixote-like knight riding a flight-capable ostrich; only, instead of a lance, the knight would wield a half-brick in a sock.

==============

Seriously now, I like the idea of a side workshop. I do get the tension that will happen if one submits their "baby" as it were, this remains to be worked out. For example, I'd say NO to the kamikaze train ... but I wouldn't want that to discourage collaboration because I like surprises and I genuinely appreciate good ideas that are not my own. Likewise, HerbieRai could present his pet side, the Evil Imaginationland. Or you could present your pet side etc. And us folks will kick ideas about it around. Could be interesting, even if, maybe because of, the tension involved in seeing others mucking about into something created to which some, not much but some, attachment exists.

I say, nice idea for an experiment, lets.
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby A.B.C. » Wed May 02, 2012 1:42 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:This was my impression of what you were after.


Oh, derp. Um...well...I was just elaborating on the plan I had THE ENTIRE TIME!

Anyways, here's a very arbitrary, kind of simple and obvious checklist of things a side could have. The idea is for them to be guidelines, to fill in any missing holes sides might have and provide a little more structure. Feel like I've missed anything? Feel free to add!

  • Basics
    • Theme
      • (EDIT) Logo
      • References?
    • “Play style”
      • Offensive/defensive inclinations
      • How does the side pay upkeep? Conquest, diplomacy, raids?
      • How does the side stay alive? Bigger armies, alliances, hiding?
      • Spammer/Elitist? Brute Force/Technicalist? (EDIT: Mass units or elite units? Raw stats or special gimmicks?)
    • Units
      • Appearance
      • General stats (Probably nothing specific, unless you’ve got a particular system in mind.)
      • Specials
      • Connotation (Are they respected? Ignored? Mocked?)
    • Cities
      • Proximity to other cities
      • Previous ownership, if any
      • Approximate Level
      • Terrain
    • Philosophy
      • Opinion on the Royals?
      • On the Titans?
    • History
  • Characters
    • Role (Ruler, Warlord, Caster, notable infantry...)
    • Personality
    • Backstory
    • Relationships
      • With characters in the side
      • And outside it
    • Appearance
  • Relations
    • Alliances
    • Enemies
    • Origins
    • Relative power/size

Alright, enough talking. It's time to get this show on the road! If Bland would be so kind as to give some physical descriptions of his units, that'd be great because...
Image
(First-time drawing an Erfworld face, and I want more practice! It's very simple and quick, but I feel like I've done my best to reflect Xin's Book 0 lineart style. :D Now, to be actually as GOOD as Xin...)

I'll be mulling on my own side, but here's some food for thought for the "community" side! I had a brainwave about that comment about Haffaton, where it was said that once a side has too many cities, production or Schmucker output would start to slow down. Well, what if there were two massive superpower sides caught in a stalemate based around this kind of gimmick where, if one side actually conquered the other's cities, their production would actually start to fall and would quickly lose the upper hand? (This is assuming they don't do the smart thing of splitting off or razing the city or something like that. Why? YOU decide!) Y/N? Stalemate status quo smells like a mighty fine setting for all the other sides to polarize over a big conflict, although now that I'm blabbering I envision capitalist pig Erf-US v. communist devil Erf-USSR, which I feel from my lurking has been done here before...
Last edited by A.B.C. on Wed May 02, 2012 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed May 02, 2012 7:00 am

Nice illustration. Inkscape or what else did you use?

On the ErfUS vs ErfUSSR: hasn't actually been done yet, so that's fresh.

Right-o, lets fill in some of the questionnaire ...

  • Basics
    • Theme:
      the name (Steam Gentlemen) says it all. 19th century schizo tech, with some Tesla thrown in.
      Logo: the Balls of Governance, based on the steam governor mechanism pictured here:
      Spoiler: show
      Image

      • References:
        Jules Verne, obviously. Herbert George Wells. Mary Shelley. Conan Doyle. Rudyard Kipling. Charles Dickens. Alan Moore.
        Tesla, Edison, Brunel, Stephenson, Watt, Siemens, Daimler, Hertz, Conrad Dippel, Galvani, Volta, Faraday, Ampere, Foucault, Erasmus Darwin, Otto Lilienthal, Zeppelin, Benjamin Franklin, Lumiere brothers.
        Clausewitz, Bismark, Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, Napoleon Bonaparte.
    • “Play style”
      • Offensive/defensive inclinations:
        "expansionistic": as long as there's no opposing pressure they will try to get a foothold in a territory, to best leverage their units' speed advantage and the econ-building skills of their basic units. Once opposing pressure is met they become
        "cautious". Having more expensive and somewhat fragile units means they try to focus fire so as to overwhelm a target with minimal casualties to themselves
        "attrition-seeking": relying on an early massive expansion, they switch to a strategy of attacking targets of opportunity and slow pushing to hopefully starve an opponent out
      • How does the side pay upkeep? Conquest, diplomacy, raids?:
        strong econ at first, then diplomacy preferably.
      • How does the side stay alive? Bigger armies, alliances, hiding?
        a mixture of alliances and strong armies. The Steam Gentlemen rarely go to war alone.
      • Spammer/Elitist? Brute Force/Technicalist?:
        units tend to have good firepower and a smattering of special abilities. Not sure I understand the various options here, but probably technicalist would fit best
    • Philosophy
      • Opinion on the Royals?:
        the pinnacle of class, refinement and ability. Royals Rule!
      • On the Titans?:
        the Royals are here. Need more be said?

On the units thus far mentioned

Navvy
A muscular dude carrying a shovel and always appearing slightly inebriated.
Average stats of a basic infantry unit, with some penalty to offense.
Building special, makes building/upgrading cities and other structures easier. Also may increase revenue from resource points like mines.
The backbone of the SG early strategy but as often is the case, an individual Navvy is considered "lower class" and not worthy of great consideration.

Gyro Scope
Roughly speaking, Wall-E's head with two propellers attached, one on each side, spinning in opposing directions like on a Chinook helicopter.
Fast scouting unit. Sees far, sees well, moves efficiently. Not good for offensive or defensive, but that's not its purpose.
Scouting special.
They are automata, and as such having a particular feeling about them, like respect or mockery, would be weird.

Otto Motor
A combination of WW1 two-seater plane and an Otto Lilienthal glider.
Fast, good firepower. Being a two-seater, allows one other unit, beside the pilot, to be carried around.
Ranged, its guns can send projectiles at a distance.
The pilots are well regarded. It's a very gentlemanly fight, air combat, it is.

Diwigible
The Kirov airship in Red Alerts 2 and 3 is actually a good start. Replace the Hammer-n-Sickle with the Balls of Governance and remove the face (but keep the bombs!).
Fast (unlike the RA Kirov, incidentally) and very resilient against damage. Not quite as strong offensively when compared to its size, certainly not the bane of buildings everywhere in the manner of RA's Kirov, but good enough as a fast Siege.
Ranged, sonic Siege, unit carrying capacity.
A new addition to the arsenal, and regarded as a costly weirdness. The SG have yet to integrate it properly in their doctrine, as the unit is expensive enough to discourage its most natural use (tanking); usually, a lone Diwigible will end up protected by other units rather than the other way round.

I'll get to other parts of the form soon enough- or y'all may take a swing if so inclined.

I'll also get round to some drawing myself, of the above units and previously mentioned characters.
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Tue May 08, 2012 5:20 am

*ring* Is this thread dead?

Oh cool. In that case I'll start uploading pictures of SG units and related items. Starting with something easy, my rendition of the Balls of Governance, the emblem of the Steam Gentlemen.

Spoiler: show
Image


The Diwigible will be next, tomorrow.
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby A.B.C. » Tue May 08, 2012 6:58 pm

AAH. Sorry, sorry, it's my fault for not posting- I've been cramming furiously for AP exams and Gobwin Knob has been fulfilling my single Erfworld post quota for the day, but that's no excuse. That being said...

I like yo' Balls. :D

I've been thinking about the big backdrop war between the two big superpowers of the create-a-side Erfworld, and just recently an idea popped into my head of the capitalist pigs being actually pig-themed, with accompanying top hat and monocle to boot. And communist devils and imps...?

Besides that one concept that's been rattling around in my head for a while, nothing much to show for my absence. Once my last test (European History) is done on Friday, I'll be able to get some sketches and more defined ideas up and running. In the mean time, I'm pretty sure Bland is not the only member of the community here. Contribute! Rejoice! Have fun!
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu May 10, 2012 8:26 am

Sorry for the one day delay, here's the Diwigible

Spoiler: show
Image


(aka a shameless Kirov Airship rip-off). Graf Zeppelin is next.
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby MarbitChow » Thu May 10, 2012 11:45 am

Throwing out some quick notes...

Side: Chess-T
Capital: Chess-Shire
Logo: A pair of rook towers, as viewed from directly above.
Play style: diplomatic, eye on the long-game.
Pay Upkeep: Acting as neutral hosts for diplomatic parleys; acting as envoys / observers to verify treaties; mercenary services
Livery: Black and White

Chess-T units are predominately female, with the exception of the King.
In addition to standard units (pikers, stabbers, archers) who are pawn-class, the side makes heavy use of trained birds that are spawned in Rookeries, special structures that exist in each Chess-T city.
Casters are referred to as Bishops: Master Hippymancer, Thinkamancer, Foolamancer, Shockamancer
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Fri May 11, 2012 6:06 am

MarbitChow wrote:Chess-T units are predominately female, with the exception of the King.


It's good to be the King.

Anyway, I'll continue with my sketch-spamming of this thread. I present you- Graf Zeppelin:

Spoiler: show
Image


Incidentally, another sketch of Graf Zeppelin was the first one I drew for Erf games, ever. While I've yet to reach the 10000hours of practice to get good at this stuff, I like to think I improved a little since then.
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sat May 12, 2012 12:33 pm

*rriiinng!*

So then, a Navvy:

Spoiler: show
Image


a bit "sweet bro and hella jeff" I'm afraid. Still learning.
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby A.B.C. » Sat May 12, 2012 1:42 pm

I KNEW IT. There IS a Homestuck fan somewhere on these forums! Ahem.

And Bland, there's no need to be modest. That stuff is good! We shall achieve our 10,000 hours together, eh?

Took a stab at Chess-T's Pawns, and the results are...middling.

Image

It started out as a stylized pawn, but then as I added more human aspects to it, the Pawn turned into more of a generic Erf unit with a really round head.

I noticed MarbitChow hasn't mentioned Knights yet, and while those are certainly easy enough to envision, I started wondering how could the way knights in chess "jump" over other units be incorporated into Erf? Horses with the flight special? Leapfrogging knights? :D
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sun May 13, 2012 8:13 am

I faffed about a bit with a Chess-T coat of arms. I don't think I understand the "two rooks, from above" properly (it doesn't look good imo).

Spoiler: show
Image


Of course, rather than a shield a better background would be a breastplate, now that I think of it ... will redo.

A.B.C. wrote:Took a stab at Chess-T's Pawns


Well, I like the stylization, especially since it's something I'm hopeless at. Case in point, Baldrick:

Spoiler: show
Image


Baldrick is wearing a sheep's-bladder jacket, with matching dung-ball accessories. Hair by Crazy Meg of Bedlam. Notice how the overpowering aroma of rotting pilchards has been woven cunningly into the ensemble.
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby MarbitChow » Sun May 13, 2012 9:07 am

BLAND, your concept art for the Chess-T logo looks great, and you're absolutely right that it would look much better on a breastplate.
The main thing you failed to take into account is that I think like a 13-yr old boy, or, if you prefer, Homer ("Busty St Clair, Chesty LaRue, Hootie McBoob") Simpson.

I've got no real artistic skill at all, but this is the idea I was trying to convey:

Spoiler: show
Image
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Mon May 14, 2012 8:13 am

Lemme take another swing at the Chess-T coat of arms:

Spoiler: show
Image


two versions even. Double the fun!

PS: possibly work-dubious. Treat with caution.
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby A.B.C. » Tue May 15, 2012 12:04 am

Oh, that's so wonderful. I wonder how the mannered Steam Gentlemen and these crass folk are going to get along?

Some more basic stuff for capitalist pig side. I've kind of been holding back on the ideas on this one so that people could jump in with ideas without fear of stepping on anyone's toes, (feels like I'm beating a dead horse here, but persistence always wins at the end of the day!) so if anyone has anything at all you'd like to contribute, feel free.

Theme: Capitalist Pigs
  • Logo: A pig's head wearing a top hat and a monocle.
  • References: Cold War U.S., probably will include Cold War Presidents and other similarly important figures

“Play style”
  • Mainly defensive, with policies of containment on their mortal enemy, the Communist Devils.
  • Pays upkeep through a massive economy powered by many cities; so many cities, in fact, that their income starts to decline when they capture more.
  • While a formidable force on their own, the Pigs have also gathered a massive conglomerate alliance as they have stockpiled forces to deal with the Devils.
  • Many elite units with lots of special abilities, although most of those abilities end in KABOOM. Research is always being done for...special-er abilities.
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby MarbitChow » Tue May 15, 2012 12:17 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Lemme take another swing at the Chess-T coat of arms

Nailed it! The first one's perfect. :D
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Re: Community Create-a-Side

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Tue May 15, 2012 6:04 am

Another satisfied customer.

A.B.C. wrote:Oh, that's so wonderful. I wonder how the mannered Steam Gentlemen and these crass folk are going to get along?


Well, the Chess T are royals, so the answer is either "swimmingly" or "contemptuously".

Let's upload a quickie sketch of an Otto Motor.

Spoiler: show
Image


Basically a silly car with wings. Second seat not visible, it's where the pilot would be.
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