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Swamped Talk
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Dragon Fogel
 Swamped Talk
Post: #1
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Swamped

Swamped is a text adventure I write about an ongoing struggle between two factions in a nameless swamp populated by ferocious beasts. I update it daily.

Since I update it so often, catching up can be a pretty big time investment. If you're attempting to do so, feel free to talk about your progress in this thread.

Of course, feel free to talk about anything else Swamped-related. You can ask me about the world, about choices I made, come up with your own fan-characters, whatever floats your boat.

Please use discretion when discussing spoilers, at least until it becomes clearer how far along people who use this thread are. In particular, some important things happen when the rain comes, and I wouldn't want to spoil those events for new readers.

There's no reason for this | Or this | Death is inevitable | You can't challenge fate | The smallest change | I'm overwhelmed
I'm serious | It makes perfect sense | Easy as ABC! | I can't even explain it | Cleaning up someone else's mess
I suck | I rule | I've got it made | Really, I'm serious | This bugs me | It's all lies | I want to believe | Beauty is a curse
04-19-2017 05:21 PM
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btp
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #2
like a wild, sexy Dick Cheney

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I am 100% ready for the Clancy-spin off adventure where he tries to make it big in the Holly-Woods.
04-20-2017 12:35 AM
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Zephyr Nepres
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #3
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Considering Crosswinds has like, rank, do greblings get discriminated against often?
Also please make swamprats cards and stuff, I would be 100% down for that.

Does really cute mice people, vibrant characters/backgrounds and the most adorable art style you've ever seen interest you? Read Great Haven.

Have you ever wanted to save a bunch of kids from dying horribly in a nightmare dreamscape? Read Lucidstuck
04-20-2017 10:49 AM
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btp
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #4
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Okay so question for everyone, what do you imagine the swamp looks like?
Example images would be helpful.
04-20-2017 02:36 PM
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Dragon Fogel
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #5
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(04-20-2017 10:49 AM)Zephyr Nepres Wrote:  Considering Crosswinds has like, rank, do greblings get discriminated against often?

I haven't fully fleshed this out (a lot of the worldbuilding I just make up as I go along), but here's a rough summary.

In the not-too-distant past - let's say, around a century ago - humans carried out extermination campaigns. Usually what happened was that a village was struck by a plague, and the survivors blamed the "filthy greblings", and rode out to the nearest colony and wiped it out.

However, as the pace of these attacks picked up, there was an act of divine intervention. (At least, that's what everyone says it was.) In the wake of it, the purges were stopped completely, for fear of reprisal from Reth. There are still small bands of humans who occasionally make random attacks, but they're not acting with authority from any city or kingdom.

That's not to suggest greblings are treated with respect now. Many of the old stereotypes still hold, and few human cities are willing to allow greblings to live there. There are plenty of humans who will still hold greblings in open contempt, they just won't cross the line into violence.

As for Crosswinds, well, the Marshguards are primarily outcasts. Their leadership has had to take a strong stand against prejudice for a long time, just out of necessity. When you're taking in deserters from both sides in a heated conflict, you need to make sure they're not always going for each others' throats. There are Marshguards who privately gripe about a grebling having so much influence, but they won't dare say it if they think an officer would overhear them.

There's no reason for this | Or this | Death is inevitable | You can't challenge fate | The smallest change | I'm overwhelmed
I'm serious | It makes perfect sense | Easy as ABC! | I can't even explain it | Cleaning up someone else's mess
I suck | I rule | I've got it made | Really, I'm serious | This bugs me | It's all lies | I want to believe | Beauty is a curse
04-20-2017 07:23 PM
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Zephyr Nepres
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #6
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Do wizards actually exist or are they all like Long?
What does darkwood actually do?
Are Long and Rider on equal footing in terms of pure physical strength?
Has it been particularly difficult with a text only adventure?
Is it hard keeping up with so many characters (there's like, a hundred)?
What is Marshall's sexuality?
What exactly is the call of the swamp?
You have one of the rare adventures that seems to adhere almost completely to what the readers suggest. Have there been any specific moments where you tried to avoid suggestions (like the original flamethrower suggestions and the mallows)?
Where do you find most of your inspiration from?
Is Lisa Black the best cards player in your universe?
Does having different Toms and Johns confuse you often?
Who's your favourite character (either personality or to write for)? Mine's probably Corvus. He reminds me of Davos from Game of Thrones (very humble). Stacey is also great.
Do you have bigger plans for Swamped in the future?
Any advice you can give to a novice writer such as myself?

Thanks for your time.

Does really cute mice people, vibrant characters/backgrounds and the most adorable art style you've ever seen interest you? Read Great Haven.

Have you ever wanted to save a bunch of kids from dying horribly in a nightmare dreamscape? Read Lucidstuck
04-20-2017 08:46 PM
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Dragon Fogel
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #7
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That's a lot of questions. I'll take a few right now, and get to the rest later. Putting it in a spoiler tag to avoid taking up too much space in one post.

Spoiler :
Do wizards actually exist or are they all like Long?

Wizards are capable of using real magic, but a few decades ago, they seemed to just disappear. No one's sure of the reason.
However, magic definitely still exists. It's just that outside of wizardry, most magic tends to take effect on its own. This has been happening for a long time, but it's a lot harder to deal with a magical problem when you don't have wizards around.

What does darkwood actually do?

I haven't given a lot of thought to it, since it's something made up in a suggestion. So, I'll handle it the way I do in the adventure: making something up on the spot.

As seen in the adventure, darkwood burns very easily. Beyond that, there are rumors swirling around it in the criminal underworld that it's magical, and can enhance someone's inherent abilities. The strong get stronger, the fast get faster, the smart get smarter. This is just rumor, though, and most of the people spreading the rumors have no idea how exactly you're supposed to trigger the enhancing effect.

Whatever the truth is, the Marshguards (or at least their leadership) don't want anything to do with darkwood, despite their criminal ties. Fire is dangerous enough in the swamp without adding possibly-magical wood that can burn even when soaked into the mix.

Are Long and Rider on equal footing in terms of pure physical strength?

About the same, probably. They're both soldiers who make physical training a priority. Of course, just being strong doesn't mean much without the skill to back it up - that's where Rider excels.

Has it been particularly difficult with a text only adventure?

I've been writing daily for years now. So, I'm used to writing.

The biggest challenge with Swamped is that it's serious in tone and I update it every day. Most of my previous adventures that I updated this regularly for an extended period of time were extremely silly, so I could just have anything at all happen.

That wasn't an option here. For Swamped, I have to keep most things plausible within the world - or if they're implausible, it has to be in a way that advances the story. (The desert gateways are an example - they're strange, so I present them as something that the characters find strange.)

Is it hard keeping up with so many characters (there's like, a hundred)?

Not so much. Most scenes only involve two to three characters actually talking, and when a character reappears, it's often due to suggestions.

I write scene-to-scene, and what I generally do is try to make the characters within a scene distinct from each other. That tends to make them stand out from the cast as a whole. The rest is just trying to keep them in-character.

What is Marshall's sexuality?

Marshall is pan.

In the Swamped world as a whole, sexuality isn't really a contested subject; it's not considered unusual in any way that Marshall has two fathers, for instance.

I'm not a particularly romantic person myself, so I probably haven't given this the level of consideration it really deserves. But that's the answer I have right now.

I'll get to the rest of the questions later. Thanks for your interest!

There's no reason for this | Or this | Death is inevitable | You can't challenge fate | The smallest change | I'm overwhelmed
I'm serious | It makes perfect sense | Easy as ABC! | I can't even explain it | Cleaning up someone else's mess
I suck | I rule | I've got it made | Really, I'm serious | This bugs me | It's all lies | I want to believe | Beauty is a curse
04-21-2017 05:41 AM
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btp
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #8
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(04-21-2017 05:41 AM)Dragon Fogel Wrote:  I write scene-to-scene, and what I generally do is try to make the characters within a scene distinct from each other. That tends to make them stand out from the cast as a whole. The rest is just trying to keep them in-character.
I've noticed that since we've introduced Corvus, Marshal has started to become a little more...whiny. I suppose it gives him a lot of room to grow as a character. Not sure how much of a "coming of age" aspect there will be to his story.

Quote:it's not considered unusual in any way that Marshall has two fathers, for instance.
Actually, this has never been asked or addressed in the adventure, but does Marshal have a biological mother?
(This post was last modified: 04-21-2017 11:17 PM by btp.)
04-21-2017 02:32 PM
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Dragon Fogel
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #9
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Okay, had a rough day and I feel somewhat drained, but I'm going to try to answer some more questions.

Spoiler :
What exactly is the call of the swamp?

It's more or less a homing instinct. Except it's one that drives you towards a swamp that you've probably never seen before.

You have one of the rare adventures that seems to adhere almost completely to what the readers suggest. Have there been any specific moments where you tried to avoid suggestions (like the original flamethrower suggestions and the mallows)?

I use suggestions if they help me think of something, and I skip them or subvert them if they don't.

One interesting case was this update, where I didn't actually follow any of the suggestions. But, thinking through them and why I didn't think they'd work led me to the plan I actually used. So even though I didn't directly use the suggestions, I consider them an important part of how that update came together.

I don't know how that came across to the suggesters at the time, but that was my thought process.

Where do you find most of your inspiration from?

This is a complicated question.

I think the big influences on me overall were Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, and the Suikoden RPG series. The latter, in particular, is all about large-scale military conflicts with a focus on characters; each game has 108 major recruitable characters, and the stronger games in the series work on developing them all, even the ones who aren't that important in the overall plot.

Suikoden 5, in particular, really goes in-depth on its characters. The actual plot of the game is a bit weak, but the characterization is amazing. It's definitely been an influence on how Swamped has shaped up.

I think the Discworld books that focus on the City Watch have also been a strong influence. In particular, I feel like there's more a few touches of Sam Vimes in Corvus once he starts being a main viewpoint - both characters swore off alcohol, both tend to downplay their own achievements, both value the people who work for them.

Is Lisa Black the best cards player in your universe?

Pretty much. She does have incredibly good luck, but she's also got skill. Her lucky moments haven't just happened - they've been more along the lines of, she carefully considers her options, picks the one she thinks is best at the moment, and the luck of the draw made her plan work out.

Lisa definitely doesn't slack off. She figures her luck could turn bad at any moment, and plays with that in mind.

Does having different Toms and Johns confuse you often?

The only mixup I've had so far was blending Tom Fifth and Tom Eighth together. I think this is because Fifth was introduced in a suggestion and not actually seen at the time, and I was thinking of the rude guy on the barge as Tom Eighth before naming him in the adventure, so I didn't have a concrete idea of either of them. Then the rude guy blended together with the inventor and I didn't realize I had mixed up the numbers.

There are a few other continuity errors I've noticed on rereads. None of them are very major, and I could probably come up with reasonable explanations for them if pressed. For instance, I initially referred to the giant underground lizards as "burrowers" and later "tunnelers", but this is easily explained as two different terms for the same species.

I'll try to finish up the questions tomorrow. Thanks for taking an interest, everyone!

There's no reason for this | Or this | Death is inevitable | You can't challenge fate | The smallest change | I'm overwhelmed
I'm serious | It makes perfect sense | Easy as ABC! | I can't even explain it | Cleaning up someone else's mess
I suck | I rule | I've got it made | Really, I'm serious | This bugs me | It's all lies | I want to believe | Beauty is a curse
(This post was last modified: 04-22-2017 05:06 AM by Dragon Fogel.)
04-22-2017 05:05 AM
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Zephyr Nepres
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #10
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I'm sorry you had a rough day! Please don't push yourself or anything. Only choose ones you want to answer (or not at all, I don't mind)

Does really cute mice people, vibrant characters/backgrounds and the most adorable art style you've ever seen interest you? Read Great Haven.

Have you ever wanted to save a bunch of kids from dying horribly in a nightmare dreamscape? Read Lucidstuck
04-22-2017 03:36 PM
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btp
 RE: Swamped Talk
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like a wild, sexy Dick Cheney

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Will we ever see the legendary "Double Jump" move in Swamprats?
04-22-2017 06:28 PM
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Dragon Fogel
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #12
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Okay, let's see if I can finish polishing off these questions.

Spoiler :
Who's your favourite character (either personality or to write for)? Mine's probably Corvus. He reminds me of Davos from Game of Thrones (very humble). Stacey is also great.

I like having Crosswinds barge into things. It was interesting seeing another side of them as Yvonne. I'm not sure if I've kept their voice consistent over time, but I do like the character a lot.

Razor is also a lot of fun to write for, and I think that's gotten more true as more sides of him have been revealed.

Do you have bigger plans for Swamped in the future?

I'm working on a draft of a novel. For this first draft I'm mainly just rewriting the adventure in third-person, but when I get far enough with that I might think about changing it to an entirely different story in the setting.
Although, I only recently hit the early rain in the draft, so I'm way behind the adventure in that. I may need to think about it.

Any advice you can give to a novice writer such as myself?

The most important advice is to keep writing.

More specifically, don't wait for inspiration. Swamped came about not because I had a well-designed setting, but because one night I said to myself "I'm going to try to come up with an idea for a setting and do a quick write-up about it".

Here's that write-up. Note to new readers, this spoils some significant things. If you haven't read as far as the rain arriving, definitely skip over this.

Spoiler :
It was never peaceful in the swamp.
Even now, when there was no actual fighting, the Bogknights and Marshguards lived in unease. Each expected the other side to break the truce immediately, and each planned an immediate attack once the rains stopped to catch the enemy by surprise.
But for now, Bogknight and Marshguard alike shared a common foe: nature.
The swamp was unpleasant enough in the dry season. Crocodiles lay in wait for anyone foolish enough to step into the muck; on the ground, mossbeasts hid themselves among the foliage. And of course, there was always the risk of murderflies.
But in the rain, it grew worse. Hunting was impossible - not only due to the torrential downpour, but moreso due to the ferocious rainspawn who inevitably followed it. Even if a hunter could survive them on his wits, it would be useless; there would be nothing to hunt, for the rainspawn would get to it first.

As you can see, there's not a lot of detail there. I worked out a few more things before deciding to start the adventure, but not that much. Most of what I have now was developed through the process of writing about it.

Actually, this has never been asked or addressed in the adventure, but does Marshal have a biological mother?

It hasn't come up because, in-world, it's just not an important question most of the time. In general, adopted children grow up knowing they were adopted and they don't give much thought to who they were born to.
I haven't really given much thought to how adoption actually happens in that framework, though. That's something I could stand to develop better.
As for how that relates to Marshall specifically... well, that's something that might come up in the adventure. That's all I'll say for now.

There's no reason for this | Or this | Death is inevitable | You can't challenge fate | The smallest change | I'm overwhelmed
I'm serious | It makes perfect sense | Easy as ABC! | I can't even explain it | Cleaning up someone else's mess
I suck | I rule | I've got it made | Really, I'm serious | This bugs me | It's all lies | I want to believe | Beauty is a curse
(This post was last modified: 04-25-2017 04:07 AM by Dragon Fogel.)
04-25-2017 01:28 AM
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Tuesday
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #13
 

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DF, would you mind me mirroring Swamped somehow? For my own rereading sanity at least, haha.
04-29-2017 08:55 PM
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Dragon Fogel
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #14
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I've got no problem with that. Thanks for the offer!

There's no reason for this | Or this | Death is inevitable | You can't challenge fate | The smallest change | I'm overwhelmed
I'm serious | It makes perfect sense | Easy as ABC! | I can't even explain it | Cleaning up someone else's mess
I suck | I rule | I've got it made | Really, I'm serious | This bugs me | It's all lies | I want to believe | Beauty is a curse
04-29-2017 09:01 PM
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Tuesday
 RE: Swamped Talk
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Also, I lowkey ship Yvonne and Strings. Just. Yeah. :'D
04-29-2017 09:22 PM
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Zephyr Nepres
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #16
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I highkey ship them :p

Does really cute mice people, vibrant characters/backgrounds and the most adorable art style you've ever seen interest you? Read Great Haven.

Have you ever wanted to save a bunch of kids from dying horribly in a nightmare dreamscape? Read Lucidstuck
04-29-2017 10:38 PM
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Tuesday
 RE: Swamped Talk
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I kinda ship this mysterious Simone with Yvonne too tho...
But cute piano playing scene...
Can't I just. Ship all of it.
04-29-2017 10:55 PM
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☆ C.H.W.O.K.A ☆
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #18
i'm rad as hell, and i'm not gonna take it anymore

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not gonna lie i think they should be a couple too
04-29-2017 11:16 PM
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Tuesday
 RE: Swamped Talk
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I'm v. curious for more info on Yvonne's people... right now, I imagine them as reptilian!

Also, outside the Marshguard Petting Zoo (capitalized because it's Important) inhabitants, are there plans for anyone to somehow be saddled with a pet? One of these innumerable poor souls could use a pet.
04-30-2017 03:23 AM
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Zephyr Nepres
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #20
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How do you feel about people coming up with new wildlife? I like making up fictional creatures but if it gets too deus ex machina after a while just shout.

Also animal nerd Rider is absolutely one of the greatest things in the adventure so far, aside from maybe Swamprats and bird calls.

Does really cute mice people, vibrant characters/backgrounds and the most adorable art style you've ever seen interest you? Read Great Haven.

Have you ever wanted to save a bunch of kids from dying horribly in a nightmare dreamscape? Read Lucidstuck
(This post was last modified: 05-18-2017 09:56 AM by Zephyr Nepres.)
05-18-2017 09:54 AM
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Dragon Fogel
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #21
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Yeah, feel free to suggest creatures, I'll use them if I think I can.

There's no reason for this | Or this | Death is inevitable | You can't challenge fate | The smallest change | I'm overwhelmed
I'm serious | It makes perfect sense | Easy as ABC! | I can't even explain it | Cleaning up someone else's mess
I suck | I rule | I've got it made | Really, I'm serious | This bugs me | It's all lies | I want to believe | Beauty is a curse
05-18-2017 03:36 PM
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Tuesday
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #22
 

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I think it would just be mean for Marshall to ever meet another swamphen but I'd like if someone else did
05-18-2017 03:41 PM
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Dragon Fogel
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #23
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Just a reminder that our timeline is pretty close to catching up to this update, before Yvonne's Exciting Adventures.

People may want to bear this in mind as things converge.

There's no reason for this | Or this | Death is inevitable | You can't challenge fate | The smallest change | I'm overwhelmed
I'm serious | It makes perfect sense | Easy as ABC! | I can't even explain it | Cleaning up someone else's mess
I suck | I rule | I've got it made | Really, I'm serious | This bugs me | It's all lies | I want to believe | Beauty is a curse
05-20-2017 01:05 AM
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Tuesday
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #24
 

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I'm excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
05-20-2017 04:54 AM
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Dragon Fogel
 RE: Swamped Talk
Post: #25
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Well! Here we are.

Feel free to discuss your options in here if you feel like you have too many thoughts to fit in the main thread.

There's no reason for this | Or this | Death is inevitable | You can't challenge fate | The smallest change | I'm overwhelmed
I'm serious | It makes perfect sense | Easy as ABC! | I can't even explain it | Cleaning up someone else's mess
I suck | I rule | I've got it made | Really, I'm serious | This bugs me | It's all lies | I want to believe | Beauty is a curse
05-24-2017 03:46 AM
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