Dev Log: On Hate(ers)

Update, 9/19/2019: My experiences ended up culminating in me writing this in-depth essay on my observations, feelings and analysis of toxic people, usually known as haters or antis. Hope that sharing my thoughts can help someone!

Today, while fulfilling some delayed backer rewards, I came across one particular backer who had apparently been sending me messages full of hate for quite some time. Now, there are at least 20- 30 of these people that have dedicated their life to spreading their negativity about me, and I normally just go on with my life. But I was quite surprised at this one because I couldn’t really imagine how someone I had barely ever talked to could spew so much hate?

These are a series of messages that they sent to me, without me responding in between, (except the first one where I said I couldn’t do a refund), that continued on their own between January 2019 and September 2019. The reason I am showing them is because I wanted fans who were interested to understand the kind of messages I was receiving from people, and why I’m pursuing legal action. I think that a lot of creators and probably celebrities must get these kind of messages, and I don’t think it should be something that’s hidden in the dark. It should be talked about. People are just people, and I don’t believe anyone should ever be treated like this. And I sincerely hope this person can get help. (Click on the picture to see all three screenshots)

I think what’s interesting about this particular person is that they took a very aggressive stance towards me based off the fact I was falsely accused by a former artist that had been with us for a few months of non-payment (I have plenty of proof towards otherwise, in fact they made more than any other artist I’ve worked with, but that’s for another post I’m preparing in the future).

They also saw me explaining the truth behind campaign and game delays as “throwing my team” under the bus. They twisted everything that they heard to fit some kind of specific vision of me being evil, and themselves, some sort of champion of justice…All the while I hadn’t even been seeing those messages.

No matter what you think someone has done (I mean, short of big ones like murder), mercy, understanding and love is a better tool to resolution than throwing hateful words around. Yet, this person had never actually come to talk to me about any of this. They just started lobbying names and cursing at me without actually taking the time to get to know me. Most backers and fans, however, just took my explanation as “Ah well, projects just go wrong sometimes, but thanks for trying to fix things” and it’s a stark, but welcome contrast to me versus how the vocal minority thinks.

For my part, I really do hope this person is able to pursue legal action for their $15 (even though I have fulfilled their rewards they no longer want), because I’d love to have the opportunity to speak for myself on a fair playing field that isn’t just hateful yelling. Anyway, I guess I just wanted to shine a light on the ugly reality of what I’m experiencing, because chances are that your favorite artist is getting messages like these, too. It’s why your support is so very important to people’s whose works you enjoy.

- Ajané

Starting Over As Not ADS, But As Ajané

I have an announcement to make.

My role as ADS’ team leader is over. I’ve decided it’s time to transition into a solo artist. Simply put, the creative team has been long gone, and after a series of health problems this past summer, I realized can’t make things work the way they were (and they weren’t working well anyway, as they weren’t sustainable).

Things had changed around me, and I made strides to change the company, but I hadn’t made the necessary changes for myself. In this blog, I decided to go into the full history of what led me to where I am today, and why I’m transitioning from being the leader of ADS (which is now officially just another name for my collaborative works) to just myself, just Ajané, with a focus on sharing my creative works through Patreon.

What Will Happen to the Old Patreon? Well right now, I’m locked out of it, and Patreon Support is trying to help me get back in. But when I do, I’ll message those patrons privately and let them know what’s going on and talk with them. I’ll save any content on it, and then eventually disable it.

History: I started my professional creative career as the leader of Aeon Dream Studios back in 2015 - an indie team of three who began work on Mystic Destinies: Serendipity of Aeons (MDSOA), an otome visual novel over the course of 3 years.

After MDSOA was nearly completed, we created campaigns for a spin-off sequel Mystic Destinies:Echoes (MDE) and released a demo for a sci fi visual novel, To the Edge of the Sky (TTEOTS) around Spring 2017. The response was unprecedented and while we worked on completing MDSOA through spring and summer, the demand kept growing. The team went through its first changes as our first artist left, and another writer came on.

We finally decided to give into the demand and make a full game and yet another crowdfunding campaign to fund it. I hired more freelancers to help out, and we split into two teams. The next two years would have me mainly on the To the Edge of the Sky team while I helped out with Mystic Destinies: Echoes.

But although we had the support of our fans, it soon became clear we had taken on too much, and delay after delay followed. Our budget stretched and stretched until it was finally drained. The core creative team had essentially disintegrated by that point, leaving myself, two unfinished games, unshipped rewards, and all of the unfulfilled promises that we had made together.

I put the company on hiatus and tried to recover some funding, but it wasn't enough to do more than to give TTEOTS an unreleased update, some artwork, and finish off some MDE tasks. Without active releases, updates, and a plethora of upset fans and new anti fans, revenue streams slowed. Faced with a plethora of health issues after a major period of stress, no budget, and no team, I faced answering the question of whether I could truly ever continue to create games, whether I should continue my career as an artist, and whether I could truly fulfill all those delayed promises.

The fact was, that I believe my destiny is to be an artist, and share so many more stories with the world. And I didn't want to throw away all the blood, sweat, and tears of my team anymore than I wanted to disappoint fans and not make good on my word. So I racked my brain until I came up with a solution that might be my best chance at earning the funds needed to make good on those promises: Patreon.

That's where you come in. With your help, and switching over to episodic releases, I hope to be able to continue to create, now as a solo artist: in order to fulfill ADS' promises, as well as share my future new stories and worlds. In return, I'll share with you everything I'm doing creatively, as often as I can, and make Patreon the nexus of everything I do creatively.

I intend to keep releasing projects I collaborate with freelance artists with under the Aeon Dream name, but the former team is gone, which is why I'm simply using my name this time. That team is over, but the things we created back then stands as evidence of our time together, and I want to preserve it somewhere other than on my hard drive. So, I'll also make Patreon a public archive of everything the former Aeon Dream team had created together.

I hope you'll help me fulfill ADS' promises, and help me get a new start, so that I can show you new and amazing worlds and stories in the future.

Wishing you love, light & eternal understanding,

Ajané