Writing, Editing, and Proofreading (Small Projects Are Free!)

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Demetis
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Re: Writing, Editing, and Proofreading! (Small Projects Free

#16 Post by Demetis » Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:29 am

Cipher recently edited my demo script for Green Tea Latte and I definitely can definitely vouch for his services.
Over the whole process, he provided excellent communication, finished the task fairly fast and his work is of really high quality. He improved the flow of the script and made everything more consistent. I'd gladly work again with him in the future.

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Re: Writing, Editing, and Proofreading! (Small Projects Free

#17 Post by Googaboga » Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:35 am

I'm afraid I'm leaving a negative review. There's the caveat that this was totally unpaid work.

He joined as an editor for a nano project I was also part of. It's not great but, as often happens with games being made in one month, we ended up not having time to everything we wanted. I let him know, not that we needed more work or that we needed work faster, that for the rest of the project he only had to do basic proofreading for errors instead of all the effort of editing. It went, well, terribly. Getting to change the script was what mattered. The rest of the team's situations or the project as a whole were not meaningful factors, as far as he described at that point. Being associated with the game as it was was asking for too much. That kind of stipulation wasn't mentioned when he asked to join. He left the team, in what could be read as a dismissive way considering the context, when I reaffirmed that editing couldn't be done.

I made it clear I wasn't happy with his way of handling an understandable setback and things changed. He wanted to rejoin the project on our new terms to finish what he started. Even though just a couple days ago the project was something he thought very low of based on the unasked for opinion sharing, I did give him another chance.

He worked quickly, very nicely offered to do even more work after nano was over, and tried to find ways to make the process easier. I was ready to write off that first interaction as some kind of mistake.

The scripts he was meant to proofread were filled with literally hundreds of changes when I checked them. He admitted that there weren't many grammar/spelling errors, he was just trying to improve the script. So despite the painful process we went through to let him know he couldn't be an editor and him rejoining on the promise of being a proofreader, he edited the scripts again. That's a problem because the scripts were already programmed in a way that made it so I was gonna have to fix every change he made to the script manually. That's why we stressed that only the most fundamental errors needed to be highlighted. Not only did we mention that situation directly, but he himself said he would stick to basic proofreading and adding a few contractions. I really couldn't believe it when I checked the docs and nearly every other line had rewording or restructuring.

I wasn't able to do anything with the scripts he edited in the time left so none of his work made it into the project before it was released. Because of that, much of the script didn't get any proofreading since we had been counting on him to do it. And despite all that, I still intended to say various good things about working with him. It was gonna be some highs and some lows. I think that's pretty even. However, it didn't go well. And it was another unexpected bout of unpleasantness. When I first checked the scripts and then let him know it was too edited for me to use, he took some responsibility for going overboard without realizing. It was only when I mentioned it again after he wanted me to leave a review in this thread that he seemed to decide it wasn't something he should be criticized for to any degree.

There were only two points he mentioned as reasons for why. It wasn't his responsibly that we weren't able to use the way too edited scripts, which it absolutely was. That was the whole point of changing his position from editor to proofreader. And how I once said that he could make some other changes. I did say he could make some changes and use his best judgment, but only because I assumed he wouldn't forget everything that brought us to this point. Plus, again, he said he'd stick just to basic proofreading and adding some contractions. That was directly after I said it was okay to make some changes. Also, when it first went down he made no mention of being mislead by my directions or being confused as to why I'm not okay with what he did. He gave the impression that it was a mistake on his behalf.

You could decide that I was too harsh when it was brought up again and that's what set things off. I can't see it that way, though. Since we both seemed to agree that it was at least somewhat of a misstep earlier, I didn't feel any need to push the issue. I said without anger or insults that if I did leave a review it couldn't be entirely positive because of that problem. And also mentioned good aspects of the experience.

To that he gave a rebuttal listing the two strange excuses mentioned above. He also had defenses for other things. But those were things I didn't and don't hold against him, so it's not really relevant. I explained again. It was straightforward about the fact that it was a problem, but I again highlighted good things. I mentioned that I knew he didn't mean for this to happen, I said it was good that he really cared about trying to improve the script, I said because this happened with a nano project it's more of an issue than it otherwise would've been, and I said straight out said that it's not a that terrible of a thing (which was honestly a lie to make him feel better. Not sticking to the one thing we asked for is definitely a big screw up, especially after everything that happened beforehand).

My explanation of the fact that he did something he wasn't supposed to do and how that caused us problems was just dismissed and he still pushed the blame on me. He hasn't gotten in touch since. That was about ten days ago. I'll point out that there were issues with getting things finished in terms of the project. It wasn't perfectly smooth. That's not an excuse for the problem at hand, though. Not being able to finish proofreading would've been understandable. Going far beyond proofreading still isn't.

And since that head scratching attitude is a habit and not a mistake, I'm leaving a review. It's just not something I can look past again. Of course, my one opinion and experience aren't the only things that matter.

Now, that's all communication stuff. I don't know if I should mention the content/quality of the changes. Things ended poorly between us and the alterations were never used. I'm not sure if I have a right to talk about stuff that's kind of his private work at this point. Obviously, I mentioned things that happened just between already, but bringing up how someone spoke in general isn't really the same as their body of work. That's what I think, at least.

For those wondering, the game worked on was "My Magical Divorce Bureau!!".
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Re: Writing, Editing, and Proofreading (Small Projects Are Free!)

#18 Post by Cipher » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:19 am

The original post has been updated, here's the change-log:
  • Word choice has been changed significantly and it is now much more straightforward.
  • Resume moved to Portfolio (it's getting long, sorry!)
In addition, I've written a response to Googabooga's testimony. Screen-caps of several e-mails have been added for proof, because I would rather not have this be my word against his.

When that testimony was first posted, I gave Googa several days of warning before reporting it to staff. On the deadline day, he approached them first - and they [more specifically Taleweaver] refused to look at the e-mails I had as proof of defamation because I have opened myself up to criticism. I was also condescended for using such terms as "defamation" and "slander" because they are legal terms [it would be a waste of time and money to pursue legal action, but that's still what it is and they communicate the severity rather well.]

Although it's been four months since then and a number of things [projects, searching for summer employment, stress, and health issues] have kept me from replying, I don't feel it's ever too late given the situation. Googa's post is rife with half-truths, blatant lies, and exaggerations that reflect badly on me and my services; they may have affected my livelihood, and I cannot stand for that.

Suffice to say, I never intended for this to blow up as it did. I would to formally recognize, as I did in my response, that there are some things I did wrong and/or could have done better. I would also like to recognize Googa's right to post a negative testimony, as there are definitely negative aspects to the experience that cannot and should not be ignored - even if his post contains language and accusations that exacerbate them or are fundamentally untrue/half-true.
Last edited by Cipher on Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: Writing, Editing, and Proofreading (Small Projects Are Free!)

#19 Post by FulminisIctus » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:41 am

I just wanna leave a quick review since I'm really happy with Cipher's work that he did for me over the last couple of months. He edited pretty much all texts that are representing me and my business, including my YouTube and Patreon descriptions, as well as my whole website and my commission post. Since I'm not a native English speaker I really needed the help to make sure that everything sounded professional and he achieved that easily. He was also pretty fast, while still being thorough. All in all I'd definitely recommend him and I, myself, will keep him in mind for my future projects!
I'm a composer and sound designer! You can find more info about my services - and if I'm free to take on a job at the moment - by viewing my commission doc (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1i0Z ... sp=sharing)!

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Re: Writing, Editing, and Proofreading (Small Projects Are Free!)

#20 Post by dfbreezy » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:40 pm

Cipher has been a key element to the literary success of projects by Epic Works. His exemplary work for Aniam's route has received much praise, even more than what I did for Alacria *grumbles*.

He has been slated for multiple future works with our studio, as well as our writing head for his clarity, drive and talent. He's one of the few writers in our industry who isn't an egotistic prick and that makes him valuable.

I'd recommend you to take him up while you can because he isn't going to be free for long if i have my way. The early bird catches the worm after all.
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Re: Writing, Editing, and Proofreading (Small Projects Are Free!)

#21 Post by Googaboga » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:17 pm

It’s been a long time since I had my experience with Cipher, but after going over the explanation he gave I can’t ignore it. There's are things that are just too incorrect to let slide.

If this is old news that has no bearing on how things are now, please add the proper context to the original response and I’ll delete this comment. If you still wanna insist that way of framing works than my input is very relevant despite the time that has passed.

And if I think his misrepresentation isn’t okay what about how I misrepresented him? I’d like to know about it as well. What parts were the lies? I honestly have no idea what he's referring to.
Despite his almost immediate follow-up I felt that he was trying to push me out and soon left.
We were the ones being pushed into a corner because he didn't share crucial information on how he does things ahead of time. We never thought to have him leave. We just wanted him to proofread instead. But he then made it clear that way of working together was not acceptable. He had to edit the script or he didn’t want to put his name on it. He wanted to find a way to make editing work rather leave out right, but we already mentioned that we just didn’t have time to let him do that. Him editing was simply not a possible reality under any circumstances.

And, as he himself says, I explicitly stated that the first message was not meant to push him out. We never would've had him leave the project early if he hadn’t been fully against the idea of proofreading, which was the only role we could use then. Since we didn’t have time to let him edit nor were we going to try forcing him to be a part of a project he wasn’t happy with, there was no other way to work with his needs other than to say okay, you don’t have to be a proofreader and we’re sorry it didn’t work out.
In response to my resignation, I received a long and scathing e-mail. Not only did it seem he would actively discourage others from hiring me, but he went on to insult me and my philosophy. Finally, his prior e-mails made me feel like we couldn’t discuss any issues (again, I felt shut out) - so it came as a shock when he noted I could have discussed things with him. This premature backing-out was genuinely my fault, and I worded things in what could have been seen in an arrogant way.
There’s nothing wrong with giving a negative review to someone who treated you impolitely and is someone who will quit a project if things aren’t suited to their needs even over those of the project while not including an advanced warning that they have such stipulations. That second part alone warranted a bad review but I was still going to look past that and just part ways ‘cause it was a small job. Leaving in an unacceptable way after that made it ridiculous. If he didn’t want a harsh criticism or people to want to avoid working with him, he shouldn’t have behaved that way. I didn’t make up the things he did. If you want to say that I still should’ve phrased it in a more professional way, fine. That’s doesn’t put us at equal fault, though. Harshly pointing out bad actions isn’t as problematic as actually doing unprovoked bad actions.

The only excuse for the way he chose to exit the team I can gather is the whole ‘I was being pushed out’ thing. But, again, we wanted him to proofread and it turns out he had a way of working that didn't allow for that and we were left with no other choice than to accept him not wanting to be a part of the project as it had to be. If he really did want to proofread above having to leave the team, there was no way at all to tell.
Rather than get angry (or even refute these claims), I tried to reconcile with him. I didn’t want to return to the project because of his threats (I have more self-respect than that), but because I still felt bad for leaving in the first place. Above all else, though, I wanted to be the bigger person. He accepted my apology. Despite some initial reluctance, I returned (1/2) to the project. (2/2)
There were no threats. I didn’t insist he come back or else/demand an apology or else or anything. He earned a negative review but instead of going public immediately, which would’ve been well within my right to do, I kept it private initially. I told him how unhappy I was and how I didn’t intend to ignore his actions and gave him a chance to respond before doing anything further. That's not an unfair thing considering it was only happening because of the mistakes he made in handling an understandable set back in a game jam.

Again, the major strike against me with this is that I shouldn’t have let the way he behaved get to me and used softer words to describe the ways in which he wasn’t good to work with. But he was still, in fact, not good to work with from the experience I had.

Nothing about that situation makes him the bigger person. He unpleasantly bailed on a project because simply proofreading instead of editing was unacceptable, then he apologized after I wasn't okay with the overall experience. Trying to make it better/finish the job he started showed he was better than the arrogant way he made himself seem, not better than anyone else.

Although, this is subjective, since he it turns out that he thinks amending for that clear mistake means he’s the ‘bigger person’ it rings quite hollow. Unless you think you didn’t do anything actually bad I can’t see how you can come to the conclusion that apologizing for skipping out on a project (one that you asked to be a part of in the first place) for avoidable reasons and needlessly hurting someone’s feelings in the process makes you bigger than the person you hurt.
When NaNo ended, my scripts couldn't be used at all. I owned up to the fact that I may have gone overboard, even though I did not feel that was the case at all.
I still have the Google Docs. On March 27th, at the end of the game jam, there were two scripts I wanted to add his fixes for. One doc is reported to have 1,028 changes, the other 661 changes.

He promised he’d rejoin the project as just a proofreader and I told him I’d have to go into the already coded script and change every fix by hand. A generous estimate is that 150 were actual errors, the other 1,500+ were optional edits. Some full sentences were reworded. In no way can it be argued that wasn’t going overboard for what was supposed to be last minute proofreading.
You will notice that the "good things" he mentioned come across as very backhanded.
Those were not meant to be backed-handed. This time I did use softer words when explaining the problem. Saying he was enthusiastic and doing what he could to try making the script good are pretty much the only positives with the way he did that task. There aren't better things that I just chose not to include to be petty. He had a small, straightforward job that he ignored or lost track of then he did whatever he wanted. So many times we said we wouldn't be able to add edited scripts into the game. That was the entire crux of the original falling out. And the game was ultimately released with no proofreading.

He offered to make up for it by doing more after the release and that was very nice. I told him that. But the conversation we were having at that time was about the fact that he let us down with the second chance we gave him. To be blunter than I was then, him being a member of the team made the game worse (If he hadn't come back at least someone else would've gone over the scripts a little when they had a bit of extra time). The extra stuff he offered to do may or may not have ended up being great, but it would still have been his third chance 'cause he wasn't there when we actually needed him. The effort of everyone else on the team to really successfully complete a game jam were wasted to a degree 'cause of the avoidable errors in the text. That's not good.
I tried to walk away as the bigger person once I calmed down.
Him ‘walking away as the bigger person’ was dismissively saying I was skewed and implying I’m just impossible to reason with.


I have no intention of saying this is the usual, however it did happen and acting as though we were the ones pushing him out, that there were some kind of 'threats', that it's just a matter of opinion on whether he went overboard or not, and etc aren't interpretations I can accept without speaking.

Finally I’ll repeat that all this only needs to be here as a defense if he's still claiming the framing in that original response to me is how it fully is. If he doesn’t feel that way anymore or just doesn’t care to insist about it anymore, than this isn’t needed.
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Re: Writing, Editing, and Proofreading (Small Projects Are Free!)

#22 Post by JessieK » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:58 pm

I've worked with Cipher a number of times now as he's helped me improve my project Hexilith. Not only was he a polite and able worker but he also has helped me a lot in his free time (unpaid) to assisting me on improving my writing overall.
Cipher kept me not only constantly updated on what he was editing but also was happy for me to back up my original works and have both me and my co-writer skim through is edits and reverse any changes he had made via google docs.
Lastly Cipher seemed to have a genuine interest in the project, taking time to learn the characters before editing and learn about the overall theme and style of the game.

I am still working with Cipher and have no reason to doubt his talents.

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Re: Writing, Editing, and Proofreading (Small Projects Are Free!)

#23 Post by TheForeverLoneWolf » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:23 am

After meeting Cipher quite a few months ago, he's been a staple around Watercress, both within and without our projects. His primary work with me personally has been with our community interaction/building, podcasting, and organization. Not only is he an outstanding editor and worker, but he has an excellent moral code that he tries to uphold. In fact, he and I are attempting to hold a talk at VN;Conf on ethics within the English Visual Novel industry.

If you want a great, timely editor that will give you critique, and if you are interested in improving your abilities and practice, hire him.
Please check out this Visual Novel! Lishy is awesome.
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Feel free to check out some of Watercress' previous or current works. Here's a link to our website, and here's a link to our subreddit for Avitus, our main work in progress!

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Re: Writing, Editing, and Proofreading (Small Projects Are Free!)

#24 Post by TuttyTheFruity » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:25 am

Cipher was an editor for our latest VN, "Ah! My Girlfriend is a Demon Summoned from the Depths of Hell!". He was responsible for reviewing and editing about 45k words of script, a task which he was able to do within a week (important given the circumstances of the game jam). He was also allowed the opportunity to perform some minor voice acting for the project.

On both counts, he was accountable, reliable, and easy to get in contact with, meeting deadlines with ease. He also proved himself to be proactive in identifying tasks to be done. This is a trait that's not as common among contributors, but it's a valuable trait to look into, particularly if you're a larger team already dealing with a lot of hands on deck. Having someone who can jump in based on experience quickly without too much hand-holding, particularly for the large teams we use, is a huge relief to any leader already stretched thin between other aspects of the project.

Circumstances as they were (multiple writers and a strict deadline), there were some curious editing decisions, but nothing to take strong issue with. Overall, Cipher's a guy who knows what he's doing and is proactive enough to identify the needs of a project and to commit to rectifying them. From the perspective of an overworked project lead, Cipher was a solid addition to the team and is a good recommendation to pretty much any project, large or small.
Check out our Maximum Monster Month submission, Ah! My Girlfriend is a Demon Summoned from the Depths of Hell!

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Re: Writing, Editing, and Proofreading (Small Projects Are Free!)

#25 Post by Cipher » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:58 pm

Hey everybody, I recently had the privilege of being a speaker at VN Conference 2018! My talk and the full playlist are linked below for any interested parties.
See here.


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Re: Writing, Editing, and Proofreading (Small Projects Are Free!)

#26 Post by TheForeverLoneWolf » Sun May 06, 2018 2:56 pm

Cipher joined Watercress this year for our NaNoRenO2018 game! We decided to make three games for the jam, and Cipher was our editing lead for the project. Not only did he manage the team, he also edited a very large portion of the 65,000+ words we had written. As with all NaNo projects, we ran into hiccups with the project, and Cipher did a great job managing them. Our writing team missed some deadlines, and Cipher spent long days ensuring we'd have our scripts for our voice actors out on time (he even wrote scenes for us when we requested it)! He also was in constant contact with myself and other leads - communication is easily one of the most important aspects to releasing a game on time. We owe a lot of our release to Cipher, and I'd easily recommend him to anyone looking for a good person, good worker, and good dev!
Please check out this Visual Novel! Lishy is awesome.
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Feel free to check out some of Watercress' previous or current works. Here's a link to our website, and here's a link to our subreddit for Avitus, our main work in progress!

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Re: Writing, Editing, and Proofreading (Small Projects Are Free!)

#27 Post by swampie2 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:47 pm

5 star review. Cipher worked with Somnova briefly as an editor, and his work was fantastic. Changes were always for the better, both in correcting grammar and spelling mistakes as well as pacing and broad story structure, and he was very amenable when disagreements occurred over edits. He even typed up small reports for each of our writers who opted in detailing repeated mistakes and things to improve on. I'd have him back in a heartbeat.

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Re: Writing, Editing, and Proofreading (Small Projects Are Free!)

#28 Post by Feinerine » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:00 am

Cipher worked with me on Caladria Chronicles and Caladria Adventurers: Girls Side. He did a quick and thorough job on the projects, managing to complete them all before their due dates. He's a reliable worker, someone you can trust when it comes to working on your visual novel. I would recommend him.

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Re: Writing, Editing, and Proofreading (Small Projects Are Free!)

#29 Post by arty » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:45 am

Strongly recommend!

I hired Cipher to edit the WIP script of my game White Monday. It was difficult for me to approach people about it, because my VN is quite untypical both in style and topics. But this guy right here was my rescue.

He made me a great offer for my available budget and in general was very polite and considerate. Communication worked nicely and was prompt. As soon as we had figured out the details, he immediately started working. And he worked really fast! It only took a couple of days and we're already done with all revisions.

When I had concerns about his edits, he explained them to me and was also open to my own suggestions. He even gave me some general tips and hints, and told me what he thought of the plot and pacing, which was also very helpful.

Generally, I liked how many suggestions there were. I felt like I got what I paid for! And even with all the changes, he preserved the style of the draft - it doesn't feel like he "rewrote" my story, but instead worked with and improved what was there to its best potential.

He also took into consideration the mood and tone/characterization I was trying to achieve, as well as fixing grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. All of these things were very important to me, because my native language isn't English and I was worried about not getting my intended messages across.

A big thanks again!!

In summary: 10/10, I'll be commissioning him again.
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Re: Writing, Editing, and Proofreading (Small Projects Are Free!)

#30 Post by Ragnos » Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:47 pm

A few months ago I looked for an editor to join our small team for our ever-growing game called "Uni".
I'm quite picky when it comes to hiring people to work on a project and I gave Cipher a shot. He is extremely professional and communicates with our team very well. Together with our writer, the game's script has been excellent; I dare say that I think there is no one else out there that can match Cipher's editing prowess, and should a problem arise things are quickly and easily sorted out without a problem.

If you need a professional editor who works fast and gives suggestions to your project Cipher is definitely the guy you want.


Edit: We just finished our work with Cipher, and I cannot recommend him enough. He's probably one of the best editors you'll find.
Last edited by Ragnos on Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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