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File: 1350916873272.png (289.1 KB, 600x686, 144243 - artist-himanuts Drago…)

*chan Staff Fanfic Face-off 501

#Event

In the interest of inter-board relations, http://writeoff.rogerdodger.me is hosting a fanfiction contest between the staff of Ponychan, efchan, and MLPchan.

The site staff will be given one week, starting Mon, 29 Oct 02:00 UTC, to write fanfiction based on a prompt determined in the hours prior. Each site is allowed up to five participants, and participants for each site must be active staff as of 21 Oct 2012.

When the writing is done, the stories will be posted anonymously to be judged by the community.

Which site has the best writers on staff? Who will succumb to creating a GeneralZoi OC abomination? What wacky adventures can our *chan overlords concoct for our pastel-coloured equines? If there are answers to these questions, they're probably somewhere around here.

See the site FAQ (http://writeoff.rogerdodger.me/faq) for a quick overview of how these things normally go down. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Good luck, and I hope everyone has a good time. All bets are open.

Anonthony!EEEEEEEE2c 502

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Very excited. I have a good feeling about my chances—despite being on 2 strikes with EqD for my current story in progress. =[

503

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This one looks like it could be fun!

No idea what the theme’s going to be—but that’s part of the fun…

I will try to participate—it’s a busy week for me, but I’ll see if I can submit something.

May the best pony (or other) win!

504

File: 1350928605413.jpg (25.24 KB, 458x458, 1308561050810.jpg)

As it happens, I have that week off college.
I've been waiting on an excuse to write something.

!!Spike 505

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Huzzah! Activity on the board!

Looking forward to this. I'll try not to let anyone down.

Anonthony!EEEEEEEE2c 506

File: 1350965621134.png (32.82 KB, 440x499, AJ - ask AJ - Twilight....png)

>>505
>!!Spike is the only one of us who has thumbs
>Unfair advantage!

Anonymous 509

Prompts start today, yes?

510

Lemon Loaf!blOomEzgeU 511

Space bears attack Equestria and enslave the human race. Yes, human, because they were all living underground hiding from the ponies. The ponies are caught in between the two.

…I'm going to bed.

512

Prompt submissions are open for ~20 more minutes: http://writeoff.rogerdodger.me/event/5-chan-Staff-Fanfic-Face-off/prompt/submit
Prompt voting will start afterwards and last for one hour: http://writeoff.rogerdodger.me/event/5-chan-Staff-Fanfic-Face-off/prompt/vote

The writing will begin in about an hour and a half. Good luck to the participants!

Bags 513

10:59 PM - Trip: "Rainbow Dash is a giant cunt for a day"

Anonthony!EEEEEEEE2c 514

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Drat.

"Hell is Other Ponies."

I was not rooting for that prompt to win.

!!Spike 515

File: 1351504123021.png (90.6 KB, 258x258)

I want to post on Ponychan's thread, but they block Tor.

Anonymous 516

>>515
There is an easy way
Get Advance onion router, latch your browser, and use a proxy with a 6000-7000 port. You might need to use a couple, but you can get it to post like normal. Use the most anonymous ones possible. Done.

Also, as a thank you, your name shall be "Mr.Prissicot".

Anonymous 517

File: 1351538803478.png (Spoiler Image,135.09 KB, 415x319, fvkvmkgjfmgfvbghjhgjhh.PNG)

Anonthony!EEEEEEEE2c 518

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This is quite a challenging prompt, I must say.

Good luck to everyone!

519

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>>516
Not exactly a fan of using a third party program for my third party program. Thanks, though!
This post was edited by a moderator on .

Less than 8 hours left 552

If you're no where near finished, it's time to pull something out of your arse and get the submission rolling in. Any participation is better than none!

Anonthony!EEEEEEEE2c 553

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>>552
Mine is done.

Anonymous 554

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>>553


>Submissions received: 1.

>7 hours left.

Bets:
100 times placed bits on efchan
10 times placed bits on Ponychan
3 times paced bits on MLPchan

Ion-Sturm 555

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>>553
>Announces entry is done with name and trip
>Only one entry
Damn, I'll never be able to put who's is who's together!

Anonthony!EEEEEEEE2c 557

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>>555
The gallery isn't open yet!
I suppose it's a moot point anyways, since mine will clearly be the best.

Tom' the /♥/ bringer !tHOMASuvlQ 563

File: 1352089129872.png (37.88 KB, 118x119, shrugs.png)

1 week was far from being enough for me, especially during my exams. Too bad, heh.

Anonymous 814

2 days left for voting?

892

>>814
Yep.

If you haven't read the stories yet, there's just over a day left until the voting ends.

Check out http://writeoff.rogerdodger.me/event/5-Hell-Is-Other-Ponies/fic/gallery for the stories.

Present!PeRFeCt9JM 915

I said I was just posting this on ponychan but Pav convinced me otherwise. Have copy spam!

Fluttershy and the Monstrous Prophecy: Wow, way to take up half the contest's word count! The first thing that hits me about this, other than the slow pacing of the opening, is Scootaloo not having time to watch Rainbow Dash. If anyone was going to get distracted from the whole "screwed up wrangling animals" thing, it would be her, in this situation. I mean, she does notice Rainbow at least, but it seemed weird to hear her say that. There are a lot of tense issues and other structural problems, not to mention far too much in the way of explaining things from the show. I don't find Applejack's yelling at Fluttershy to be terribly in character. I really have no idea why she's saying these things to Fluttershy at all. Twilight's speech doesn't really ring true, either. This story is all over the place: Derpy cameo, random Scratchtavia cameo… I really have no idea what's going on. Most of the Zecora rhymes leave something to be desired. But seriously, why is Applejack coming down on Fluttershy? It's forced and it keeps this story from working.

I'm gonna give you some advice: You really should have tried something less ambitious for your first story, especially in a contest setting. I can't even give you credit for the length, because the payoff was not worth it. I'm not going to vote this based on what could have been, but what is there.


Solo: An interesting take on Daring Do. The pacing is a bit fast once we get into the adventuring part. Did she save herself with tickling? I do like how you used the prompt in the opening, but I felt like the "I wanted to be alone and now I would be" part didn't resolve that quite right. Still, not bad.

Rainbow Dash and the Temple of Doom: Wraps up a little quickly, but this is fun and more along the lines of what I was expecting from the prompt.

Three Weeks: While their dialogue is far too British, I found this overall enjoyable and laughed quite a bit with it. Points for wolpertinger, and the olive was a surprisingly effective running gag. The letter is a bit of a letdown, but as I said, enjoyable overall.

No Man's Land: So, pony WWI? But are there also humans in this? I'm not certain why this is necessary, though in some ways it's kind of neat. This is definitely the best use of the theme, though in total it just seems to be a scene rather than a story. A shame.

Shouldn't be too hard to figure out a top five… out of five…

Three Weeks
Rainbow Dash and the Temple of Doom
No Man's Land
Solo
Fluttershy and the Monstrous Prophecy

Author of "Solo" 916

File: 1352669500208.png (101.56 KB, 325x333, DD6.PNG)

>>915
Mm. Yes.

If I hadn't thought it would end up ballooning to over 10k words, I had planned a lot more in-depth adventuring half, and a slower, more paced realization for Daring of her mistake in haste to be alone and away from other ponies.

If I had it to do over, she would have been saved by others, not herself. The Professor, perhaps, feeling something was wrong about this impromptu expedition and setting out after her, perhaps with some help from the class.

Disappointed in my placement, but after spending time and care in the first half and rushing the second half, I can't complain.


And now I await Pav's take on it..

Reviews! Pav Feira!ToolDoTeR. 918

File: 1352671431594.png (503.68 KB, 852x469, paul_ryan ima_so_nice.png)

Like I told Present, the fact that there's two duplicate threads on two duplicate boards clearly means we must make duplicate posts. That's just logical.

Fluttershy and the Monstrous Prophecy
Only a few paragraphs in, and noticing that this might need a quick rinse cycle through the Training Grounds. It’s not hampering the enjoyment of the story or anything, but there’s a few punctuation derps, missing the word “back and forth” in the first sentence (*has a moment of silence for the poor hook*), Lavender Unicorn Syndrome, and so on. Still, we typically give grammar a free pass what with the time limit and all, so I won’t rag on it too much.

Third-person omniscient narrator isn’t terribly common and can be a little tricky to write sometimes without making it disorienting. So far this doesn’t feel too confusing, and the tone-matching of whomever’s head we’re in is working nice for me. There are occasional awkward moments however; there’s a few points where we see multiple characters’ thoughts in a single paragraph, and this is typically disorienting. Granted I’m not an expert in omniscient stories. Still, perhaps consider being only able to see into one pony’s head at a time, and only switch at scene breaks, as that’s sometimes easier to read.

“Pegasus” should be lowercased; likely another victim of Word’s auto-correct “help”.

So far, the story is doing a little bit of… not sure what the proper term is, retreading exposition? Explaining that RD wants to join the Wonderbolts. Explaining who the CMC are and what their shtick is. Since your intended audience is fans of the show, that’s really not necessary. Readers will just glaze over that part, and you never want your readers glazing.

A little bit of explanation Lavender Unicorn Syndrome since you guys likely don’t lurk round the /fic/ parts. The idea is that phrases like “prim pony’s prissy pet” and “the little white filly” are distracting; it takes the reader’s mind a bit of time to figure out the reference. Even if it’s only a fraction of a second to get the reference, it still interrupts the reader’s flow. It’s preferred just to stick to “she” and “Sweetie Belle”. As the author, it may feel like you’re being overly redundant to drop “Sweetie Belle” after “Sweetie Belle”, but it’s actually pretty transparent to the reader.

Also a few emotional-related tells here and there. “She was terrified.” or “The situation frustrated Fluttershy.” Best to avoid these whenever possible and demonstrate the emotion through more expressive means, such as body language. And you do the latter at a number of points, so it’s not an issue of know-how, but more an issue of carrying through all the way. Not an easy issue; plenty of us still grapple with this one.

The ferret references are amusing me :P Hmm, this escalated suddenly. I know that AJ here is just being concerned for the well-being of her little sister, and everypony’s scared, but all the same Fluttershy really had no idea that there was an emergency at the time when she was at Rarity’s—she just thought that the CMC were running amok. For AJ to be verbally lashing out at Fluttershy so much is plausible but a slight stretch of character, and you even point this out yourself. She keeps blaming Fluttershy for things that Fluttershy would have no way of knowing. Even in an emergency, I’d like to think that AJ is a bit more rational than that.

I do like the whole vibe here. Turning rampaging critters (and well, larger-than-critters) into a natural disaster is pretty clever, and I’m liking seeing how the different refugee groups are managing. The part here where Lyra is pleading to go find Twilight to save them all is moving.

Gah! There’s no more! Damn. Well, I can’t blame you for not finishing the story on time; I’ve certainly been there myself. Besides, churning out 12k in a week is already impressive. Trying to churn out around 25k in a week for Parts 1&2 would’ve been pretty hardcore. Hmm *scratches his head to decide if he should read the fairly extensive Part 2 summary.* While I can’t fairly include it in my score since it’s “not really written”, this summary is legit and clearly not a tacked on, eleventh hour afterthought, so it only seems fair to peek at it. Ohhh. Oh oh. Okay, now I see what you’re doing with Fluttershy. I guess the mild departures from canon personality are a necessity to pull it off, and you’re giving as strong a justification as you could realistically muster, such as making AJ fearful for the safety of her family.

Overall, I really liked this one. While a little rough around the edges, there’s a lot of creativity in the source(s) of the emergency. There was good thought that went into how different ponies and refugee groups would react, as well as planning out the interconnected scenes and the impact of those scenes (ex. Rainbow rescuing Fluttershy’s animals and then Fluttershy having a misunderstanding later when she sees the empty cottage.) With a little polish and enough time to complete it, this could be really nice.


Solo
Ah, another double-hyphener. What you want here is an emdash (—, hold ALT, 0151 on the numpad, release ALT). If you use em as much as I do, that keystroke’ll become second nature soon enough. “Professor” should be capitalized when it’s used as an honorary like as in “Professor Horase”. Also a bit of its/it’s confusion.

Wow, what an open college. If I’d tried to pester my TA to get my paper graded quicker, the response wouldn’t be terribly friendly. Then again, I went to a large college that wasn’t located in Equestria, so I suppose there are some differences. This is also an interesting first-person perspective. I’ve known perhaps one other person, aside from teachers, who actually cared about history, but I can relate to that “how can they not see how awesome this is?” feeling, so to me as a reader it’s interesting seeing that applied to something I don’t normally care about. And of course, that feeling makes sense for a pony like Daring.

I do understand that a Daring Do fic can’t be all boobie traps and explosions. And were this a longer piece, I think I could better appreciate the setup that you were building. As it was, the pacing just felt a bit slow. Going through the numbers, it’s something like 3.0k in the college, 0.9k to reach the temple, and then 2.1k for the rest. Like I said, it was good worldbuilding, so that’s not my problem. It just felt like a bit much for a story this relatively short.

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I got a little disoriented during the golem fight. It took me a second read to catch where/when the hole was, and that the golem was large enough to plug the hole entirely with its massive hoof.

The first-person narration was engaging and didn’t do much to knock me out of immersion, with the possible exception of the pacing issue I mentioned. I’d quibble that the artifact in question might’ve been overbilled a bit; for this to have minimal (if magical) security and some sort of magic fog “entrance is here” signal, it seemed a bit easy for a highly-sought-for-millennia relic. But a lot of points—the call to action, the impromptu solution pulled from a seemingly-useless early scene, the moral—felt very nicely constructed and were enjoyable. Nice job.


Rainbow Dash and the Temple of Doom
The narrator feels inconsistent at times, toying with being third person limited on Rainbow Dash. The third section of the fic opens with words like “minutiae” and “rapt”, which clearly aren’t Dash words either, mixed together with phrases like “supposedly really great because it meant that something or other”, which is blatantly Dash. It would probably be best to decide one way or the other on this, if it’s going to be a Dash-driven narrator, or a more independent one.

This was pretty robust, and I’m sorta at a loss for what to comment about it. All the elements of the story arc were there, and aside from the narrative issue I mentioned, the execution seemed solid. I guess my biggest issue would be with that with the short length of the fic and how it played out, Rainbow came across as slightly Sue-ish. Specifically, Rainbow caused an issue by not listening, her friend doesn’t believe her at first, Rainbow is proven right and friend apologizes, Rainbow makes a grab-pull for a solution and ends up saving the day, and in the end Rainbow doesn’t really learn the intended moral. She has a few conflicts—Twilight not believing her, and being a bit scared—but it just feels a little unbalanced and not as engaging as it could be, in regards to her characterization. Still, this one was solid.


Three Weeks
Hmm, it looks like you’re using emdashes correctly, but unless it’s getting late and my eyes are going, you’re hyphenating with endashes? Like “number–one assistant” rather than “number-one assistant”. You can stay with hyphens for that. Aww, Spike’s always away on royal business. :( Oh dear, Twilight is making a… must-not-make-TF2-reference…

“Did you ask Pinkie Pie?” Oops, two speakers in this paragraph here. As a rule, one speaker for one paragraph. Eww, Rarity likes olives? Worst poni gonna worst. Some of these elements—like checklists and parenthetical asides about fish—are fairly non-standard, but since we have a pretty solid third-person limited narrator on Twilight, it’s working for me. “Coo-ee”? That sounds more like AJ than Twilight IMO. Though wait, Twilight did say coo-ee in one episode, didn’t she… you’re gonna throw that in my face, aren’t you… I still say it’s more AJ…

Everyone has their own threshold on this, but italics use is coming across a bit heavy to me. Rarity generally will be the worst offender because it is simply just so, dare I say, important toward hearing her inflection within the words on page, so her italics get a free pass to a certain extent. But then you’ve got a bunch from Twilight and narrator italics as well. All things in moderation; the more you use the italics, the less impact each one will have. Besides, this is typically one of those things where if you’re writing the dialogue right, you don’t really need the italics since people will already be reading it in the pony’s voice.

Coffee with extra sprinkles? Hehe I do like how Twilight spaced out there, reminiscing on old research papers. “Rarity looked a bit worried. She could tell…” Woop woop, careful. This has quite clearly been limited on Twilight’s perspective throughout. Suddenly headhopping into Rarity for a paragraph can be disruptive to the flow. If you want to keep the (quite amusing) joke about alliteration, you can have Rarity mutter that aloud or something external like that.

Oh, hmm. So, there’s a good setup here, and some great characterization particularly on main character Twilight. The moral is a good one—one that I can directly relate to, being a fair bit of an introvert offline myself. So that’s all solid. But the reveal here is completely anticlimactic. After weeks of nearly complete non-communication, minus ordering takeout from Pinkie, and including not answering her door, Fluttershy suddenly drops an “oops, sorry,” and we’re already at the Dear Princess Celestia. Might’ve simply run out of time on this one. It just needs more in that climactic scene. Have Fluttershy reveal her need for alone time. How does she feel about revealing this? How do her friends reveal to realizing they’ve been pushing her too much? Rainbow seemed the most insightful on the matter; did she know Fluttershy better than Rarity did? If you take the time to flesh out that one scene, this can be a really nice one.


No Man’s Land
Digger sounds a bit articulate for being rudely awoken at four in the morning. “He took one of the buns in his hands, his other sliding the handkerchief with the other bun closer towards Digger, the pony’s eyes as big as saucers as he watched the treat near him.” Careful with sentences like this. There can be a desire sometimes to stuff a little too much information into a single sentence, since we’ve got Perkins doing a few actions and Digger reacting to one of them in this sentence. There’s nothing inherently wrong with long sentences like these; just remember to mix it up a little. I’ve seen a few authors get phobic of short sentences, and that can get exhausting to read.

Goodness, it’s one thing for someone to wake up their squadmate at 4am for a special breakfast. It’s another for an officer to hijack the intercom and say “hay guise I play song 4 u ok”. I can imagine music—well-intentioned if ill-performed—could be a nice reassurance during wartime, but so is uninterrupted sleep. Bagpipes on the loudspeaker? Now both sides will want his head.

I mostly gave this a free pass for throwing us in the middle of a HiE war, but if you’re explicitly referencing Ponyville, be careful. If this takes place in the past, you have the lore in Family Appreciation Day that needs to be accounted for. Of course, this might also take place in the future. While I can appreciate a story that doesn’t answer every question, just be careful that what limited exposition you give isn’t of the “more questions than answers” variety, as that’ll just frustrate readers. Like, you’ve apparently got British and Germans fighting here? But no explanation about how that came to pass. Going more vague might actually work better than offering a non-explanatory answer like “Who’re they fighting?” “Oh, the Germans, obviously.” “Well wait, hang on a minute…”

Admittedly, I don’t read many warfics, let alone HiE. This was a nice scene, and I did like it as a scene, contrasting peace with sudden onslaught and carnage. But for me, it didn’t really stand up as its own story. We’re teased about exposition right up through the final paragraph of the story. We’re built up with these characters of Perkins and Digger—who are fairly nicely characterized for OCs in such a short piece—but then they become dwarfed by the war action (though again, I don’t read many warfics, and I can easily see that as being a deliberate “war makes the individual feel insignificant” motif). The story feels like it ends on rising action more than on a climax, leaving it feel unresolved and a bit unsatisfying in that regard. There’s nothing wrong with just having a scene or vignette, but if this wants to be a story, I don’t think it can end where it did.

Anonymous 919

>>918
Thank you for the feedback.

As above, I really strained in the second half to finish.

When I got to the expedition section, I had also wanted to repurpose the opener to be winter, to make the trek longer and more interesting, with winter scenes/hazards creating a greater sense of isolation for Daring. But by that time, the deadline loomed and re-crafting the intro would have created more problems than it solved.

With more time, I would have wanted to include more about what the Equorum's importance was, and greater defenses.

I was a bit hesitant to go with first-person, but I figured I had nothing to lose in trying it. None of my other stories had used it and it was a fun challenge.

Anonymous 920

>>919
>>918
I wish the `hide` feature over there worked with auto-update, for exactly situations like this. Oh well.

Anonymous 927

The results are in!
1st place - Three Weeks by BlackButterfly (6.67)

2nd place - Solo by Anonthony (6.00)

3rd place - Rainbow Dash and the Temple of Doom by !!Lyra (5.43)

4th place - Fluttershy and the Monstrous Prophecy by Moony (5.14)

5th place - No Man's Land by BritishArmy (4.33)

http://writeoff.rogerdodger.me/event/5-Hell-Is-Other-Ponies/results

932

File: 1352705902588.png (20.61 KB, 450x450, Black_Butterfly_11.png)

Yay~!

>>918
>>915
Thanks for the criticism. Very good points there.

You’re quite right—I am British, I do abuse italics a bit too much, it does jump around a bit too much, and the ending is rushed (because I had a really busy week in which I was ill as well, but was determined to submit something: so it’s a one-draft wonder written in a couple of hours on Sunday night).

(And yes, Twilight is indeed making a ponified Sandvich, and: hey—I like olives!)

I’m glad some other ponies seemed to like it, and that it gave you a giggle. I might fix it up.

Present!PeRFeCt9JM 934

>>932
You should, it was fun! And I suppose, in hindsight, it does feel like a first draft, but also not a terrible first draft.

Umm... 1017

Hey, Roger.

Okay, this is a bit awkward for me, but I was wondering if you know how I could find Sparky from the "Deal with the Devil" write-off. I don't even know which thread he's likely to be in at any given time.

I want to use his art when I submit the story, hopefully getting it into EQD, but it needs some fixing before I do. Maybe I'll spot Sparks in the next write-off, but if you see him before then, mind sending him my way?

Thanks.

(I put "sage" here now, right? Sage.)

1021

>>1017
If you check the website field (that's what it's there for!), Sparky's Fimfiction account is http://www.fimfiction.net/user/Sparky_Darks and all his other accounts are linked there as well.

1030

>>1017

Thanks for the contact info, Roger.

Embarrassingly though, I have no idea what the "website field" refers to or where to find it. I know, I know, I'm an idiot and it's likely right under my nose. But if you could point me in the right direction, and keep showing me that remarkable level of patience you've had, this thunder-dunce would appreciate it.

Thanks again.

1043

>>1030
On the result listing page (http://writeoff.rogerdodger.me/event/4-Deal-with-the-Devil/results), people who gave a website have a dotted underline beneath their name and a link to the given website.

Admittedly it's a little hard to see. I'll see about changing that (while keeping it unobtrusive).
This post was edited by its author on .

1064

File: 1353013842523.jpg (353.33 KB, 1680x1050, L5jxh.jpg)

Damnit Roger. I've spotted the pattern. The system on your site loads switches my name between "Ion_Strum" and "Ion_Sturm" with every refresh.
Hate you.
Soooooo much.
So much.
:P


Edit: Also, why do I no longer have a Prompt Skill rating? Is it only for the latest event?
This post was edited by its author on .

1082

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>>1043
Oh, reminds me actually, *le bug report* I noticed during the last competition that if you enter a website, submit story, edit story, website is gone.

>>1064
Mine too :I All that power's gone to his head.

1090

>>1064
I deleted the prompts from the Hearth's Warming event because people kept asking me about them (despite the rules being very quite explicit about the veto). You don't have any prompts now, so no prompt skill.

>>1082
Mm. The module that handles that doesn't recognise HTML5 input types (in this case, url) by default, though I thought I had applied a patch to it that fixed that. Ah well, fixed now. Thanks for the report.

>All that power's gone to his head.

I have no idea what you guys are talking about.
This post was edited by its author on .

1091

File: 1353095897258.gif (1.95 MB, 217x165, k8TOB.gif)

>>1090
I thought Prompt Skill was in reference to your average score for submitted stories (since one would assume it means how skillful you were while writing within the prompt's guidelines). What is it calculated by?

1093

>>1091
If you hover over the table heading it tells you.

1094

>>1093
I only have a bronze on my profile for the Scoreboard. My "What Lies Beneath" entry, Darkness, was the winner, but I submitted it anonymously. Could that be changed so that the gold medal is displayed?


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