Tuesday, December 19, 2023

The Fatal Frontier Audiobook - Advert / Promo

The Fatal Frontier
I seriously can't get enough of The Fatal Frontier audiobook. Both my wife and I currently have this on re-play in our Apple Books app, joining other sci-fi books I have a tendency to cycle through -- like Becky Chamber's The Wayfarers series narrated by Rachel Dulude, and James S.A. Corey's The Expanse series narrated by Jefferson Mays.

Matt Vancil has said he intended for this to be a stand-alone, but he definitely created a vibrant world and characters with a lot of sequel potential. Maybe that'll change. I hope so. When Brian S. Lewis was tapped for the audiobook he initially had reservations since many of the main characters are female. However, his range and effort are extraordinary. I have zero problem getting sucked into his narration.

I love helping out, and as you know I'm all about making derivative art. In this case -- I wanted to create a Teaser/Promo advert for The Fatal Frontier Audiobook. Matt and Brian were both impressed and encouraged me to share it.

The internet seems to fight over a 1:1 ratio vs 9:16 ratio, so I made both:

9:16 Ratio - https://youtube.com/shorts/63w2myM4BFI?si=psUaKCSpfuEFSatE

1:1 Ratio - https://youtube.com/shorts/Qpr3qe-RmP8?si=eZ1a64gXR5bkM3TI

If you didn't back the KS or pick up your copy already, now's a great time to support Matt Vancil and Brian S. Lewis' brilliant audiobook. Available through Audible or Apple Books apps; eBook and print available through Amazon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

GIF Take - Carrow "yyyep"

#JQ3e01 #yyyep

Title: JQ3e01 Carrow yyyep

Clip Source: https://youtu.be/EIHeE9ij8Ms?t=258

Zoom: 3.0

Clip Speed: 110%

Transition: Smooth Cut

Font: Albertus / Bold / Dropshadow 


I didn't like how the clip jumped from the end back to the start. 

My solution was to cut clip in the middle, move the front cut to the back, and then link the original end/start frames with a smooth cut. 

The subject lent it self to this -- the background is static and Carrow leaves the frame so the end result appears like he's re-spawning.



Thursday, January 26, 2023


ZOE fans are the best fans!

As of this morning, the ZOEfannet giphy collection at www.giphy.com/zoefannet broke 400 million views. Wow!

The current sets use the following hashtags:

#TGTO. The Gamers [The Original]
#TGDR. The Gamers: Dorkness Rising (alt. #dorknessrising)
#TGHOF. The Gamers: Hands of Fate
#TGHAH. The Gamers: Humans & Households
#TGN1. The Gamers: Natural 1
#TGTS. The Gamers: The Series
#TGTSM. The Gamers: The Shadow Menace
#TGLFR. The Gamers: Lodge's Firefly Rant
#DHSOL - Demon Hunters: Slice of Life
#DarkDungeons - Dark Dungeons
#JourneyQuest - JourneyQuest
#StandardAction - Standard Action
#MVBP - Matt Vancil's Bullshit Patreon
#LibCabbage - Liberty Cabbage
Most GIFs are also searchable by an actor's name as it's listed in IMDB (but as one word), such as BrianSLewis, ScottCBrown, EmilieRommelShimkus, MattVancil, etc,...
# # #

In recent months, GIPHY has cracked down on GIFs that violate their G-Level 1 content rating. This includes profanity, sexual content (including innuendo and partial nudity), violence, threatening imagery, weapons, and drugs.

That unfortunately includes a lot of ZOE/DG content. GIPHY doesn't allow users to contest their rating and any GIFs flagged as PG, PG-13, or R are removed from GIPHY's public search database.
Bye bye Hunk yelling D-E-D :(

I've started cross-posting some of these GIFs to tenor at https://tenor.com/users/zoefannet.
I prefer GIPHY over Tenor for a number of reasons, but so far, Tenor doesn't seem as draconian in their content policy.

 Thanks for reading,
~Seth / Linkmaster General

Friday, December 23, 2022

The Gamers: The Ampersand

You guys! You. Guys.
Look what my wife made me for Christmas!

A one-off with a cricut.
Hmm... do other fans need to own this too?
Take my survey!

Monday, January 31, 2022


This is still in the proto-formation stage, but I wanted to put a stake in the ground and claim Jan. 31, 2022, as the launch of Onwaaard!

O - N - Double U - Triple A - R - D. Onwaaard!

Although ZOEfan.net has been a great space, I've grown to realize 1) my interest and support has been dominantly with The Gamers and JourneyQuest, and 2) there are other films, webseries, and creations not produced by Zombie Orpheus that have also captured my interest (LARPS, AFK, Standard Action, and Liberty Cabbage to name a few). Looking toward the next 3-5 years, I'd like to create something that is useful to them and their communities. 

The next weeks and months will be hopefully be full of sculpting this idea into something tangible and wonderful. I hope you'll enjoy it.  

All the best,

Seth / Linkmaster General

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Solving the Rude Mechancial Cipher [SPOILERS!]

The Webseries Rude Mechanical (link to YouTube) launched on Sep 14, 2011, as a replacement to ZOE News. The biggest change was the addition of a captivating Hopjockey storyline where cast and crew played meta-versions of themselves and featured Zoe Adastra (Trin Miller) as the CEO of Zombie Orpheus. 


Figure 1 - screen shot of cipher page from Rude Mechanical episode 10
Figure 1. Screen shot from e10.
Beginning with episode 10, they began broadcasting static pages [Figure 1], continuing through each episode until the series became too difficult to maintain. 


At the time, a group of us on the now defunct ZOE Phase II Community Forum pored over these for hours. Together, we cracked the first cipher and the start of the second. Unfortunately, the show ended before all the pages could be revealed.


Flash forward to December 2016. The cipher creator, Greg Rubin (featured talking about the cipher key with Zoe Adastra in Episode 10), posted all 19 slides in a Facebook album (link to Facebook). 


By then the ZOE Phase II forum had been down for years and we weren’t able to reconnect. I did go through my notes and with a helpful nudge from Greg, I was able to finally crack the second layer and reveal the secret message. What follows are the steps and solutions to the Rude Mechanical Cipher. 


 * * * * * * * * * *SPOILERS!* * * * * * * * * *



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Slides 2 through 11 include 3 letters (exception, slide 11 only had one). Written out in order they are: 

F C S C G I B F I S G E Q S T Q C X D Q X D R M M Z E X S V R 

One of our forum group realized this was a Vigenere Cipher which uses a three-letter key to encrypt a message. Obvious now, the three letter key was ZOE. The solution:

G O O D S E C R E T S A R E P R O T E C T E D I N L A Y E R S 

Here's an online Vigenere Decoder (external link) if you'd like to try it out yourself.



I stumbled across this before we had unlocked the Vigenere cipher. I was trying to keep the images in one place so opened a Photoshop file and dropped each images as a new layer. When the new image replaced the previous one, my eye caught something, but I couldn't make it out. After a few trials, I discovered that the first sheet (the one without the letters) was the Key for the others. I’d toggle between 1 and 2, then 1 and 3, and so on discovering that each revealed a 4 x 4 pattern. Like this. [GIF 1].

GIF toggling between slide 1 and side 2
GIF 1. Toggling between slide 1 and slide 2

My wife suggested I make the Key 50% transparent and it revealed a much easier to read static image [Figure 2].

Figure 2. Much easier to read!

Repeating this with the Key over the other 18 slides unlocked

  • 16 sets of 4x4 characters, 
  • one 4x4, different than the others by having the grid strongly defined, and
  • one final slide that looked like an incomplete crossword puzzle. 

Studying the grided slide, it didn’t take long to see there were 16 characters 0 to 9, then A to F [Figure 3].

Figure 3.


Examining the last slide: it wasn't a crossword puzzle, but a 16x16 template with certain squares that needed to be punched out to isolate individual characters [Figure 4]. 

Figure 4.


The next task was to number each of the 16 4x4 sides in order 0 to 9; A to F, and then place each 4x4 group on a larger 4 x 4 grid corresponding to the characters in the grided slide (example, top row: slide 3, slide B, slide F, slide 8…). Like this [Figure 5]:


Figure 5. 16 slides set in a 4x4 grid.

Placing the punch-out over the final 16x16 revealed the start of the message [Figure 6].

Figure 6. The message revealed.


This unlocked 64-characters the message. Rotating the punch-out clockwise, unlocked another 64 characters and again and again -- revealing all 256 character of the message.

The final message reads as follows:







At the time of this writing, the URL provided doesn't exist. If it ever did, I'm not sure what it revealed.

Congratulations to ZOE and Greg Rubin for making a creative project that, for a time, brought a few fans really close together to solve a common goal.

~ Seth / Linkmaster General

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Give the gif that keeps on gif-ing...

I've set my sights on building a database of searchable The Gamers GIFs. More for my enjoyment than for any practical use, but I intend to house them on giphy (maybe others like tenor too, but definitely giphy). The first batch, currently in progress, is The Gamers: Hands of Fate (#TGHOF).
I may catalogue all The Gamers and JourneyQuest historical documents.

Enjoy -- https://giphy.com/zoefannet