Here we are again, cool cats. We're kicking off the new Cloudflash year with the standard "it's a new year" obligatory news post. As we all saw, nothing really happened last year, but I've got a good feeling about this year... maybe! My trashed property is coming along at uh... some sort of pace. I'm hoping I can live in it within 1-2 more months. When it's done, that'll be one less thing I have to worry about and/or spend time on, which will bring me closer to being able to work on Cloudflash again. But wait, there's more! I've got a 2-for-1 bargain on goals here - I finally got a job as an electrician apprentice. It was many years ago that I went for that pre-employment electrician schooling. Quite frankly, I nearly gave up on it since I was feeling like I wasn't very employable with my lack of relevant experience and long delay with actively seeking a job. But, I guess all I needed was for my previous job to piss me off enough with its incompetent workplace for me to apply for a new job. My new job seems promising so far, so yeah.
Anyway, back to matters involving my free time. For the uninitiated, I've been working on a 2D isometric MMO project called Re:Spite, which is a game like Endless Online in some regards. It features deep character customization, an open world to explore, artwork and pixel graphics made by your ol' pal Danno, and heaps of potential. It's basically been using up all my creative motivation - I recorded 428 hours spent in 2018 working on art and graphics for the game. I also spend time making maps and designing features, though I don't keep track of the time spent on that. I was originally hoping to just work on the game casually after its public release last year, but I keep finding myself unsatisfied with its present state. Whenever we release an update including new features, new equipment, new areas, new monsters, new artwork - I just look at it and think to myself, "This really isn't enough, is it? The game is still way too basic." That being the case, I've had to keep putting in a somewhat dedicated effort. Well, I say "dedicated", but I barely put in more than 1 hour a day on the game (on average), which really isn't asking that much, is it?
Long story short, I still have a lot of work ahead of me, though I remain hopeful. The game almost has all of the most basic functionality implemented. With our next update, we'll likely have a party system, crafting system, and inn functionality. After that, we'll need to bring in the trading system and weapon equipment, which would be followed by classes and skills. When that's all good, perhaps we can start finetuning the combat system to at least make it slightly interesting, then I think we'll be in a good position to work a little more casually and to bring more creativity to the game.
Here's a little look at the NPCs I've drawn for Re:Spite to date. I gave it my best shot to make clean, good quality artwork, resulting in a journey of self-improvement as an artist. Too bad my newer works make my older ones look a little crappy by comparison. I went back and made some edits to some of the older stuff, but I'm tempted to completely redraw some of them.
Well, here's hoping this is the year I actually redesign Cloudflash. I'd really like to make it less of an eyesore with its extremely outdated HTML coding (which was never even compliant to begin with).
Well, things never seem to go exactly as planned. Fixing up my trashed property has been a disaster. It's been draining my energy and eating up all my free time for the past few months. A month or two ago, it was at a point where it seemed like the most troublesome parts were over and that it should be smooth sailing for the rest of the job, but everything ended up taking way longer than it ever should have. I haven't had time to make art, play games, spend time with my wife, or properly look after myself. My job has involved repetitive motions on my wrist all day, every day, causing my wrist to be in pain even when I'm not using it; however, I haven't been able to take any time to try and treat it or do exercises to strengthen it.
I'm hoping things will change soon. Maybe another week or two will be enough for my trashed property, but I dunno, it just keeps dragging on and on forever. I really want to have time to make art again, though there might end up being some delays due to my wrist's condition. Well, despite that, I did draw a bit this past week; I started preparing some new things to post on Cloudflash's anniversary in August. So, I mean, it's possible for me to draw; doing so is good for my mind, which has been deprived of creative joy for so long. My wrist doesn't really appreciate it, though.
When I started Cloudflash in 2004, I was 15 years old. It was just 5 years prior to that when I discovered the joys of the internet - using dialup unsupervised, typing in random URLs just to see if they exist, in constant search of cool sites with free games, chatrooms, and cheat codes. While I was at it, I also kept my eyes open for "free website makers" so that I could make my own website and be part of this wonderful world wide web. When I was 14 or 15, I learned how to type fast and make basic webpages in HTML as part of my high school education. Computers and the internet had also evolved greatly since my first time online - the timing was perfect for me to start up Cloudflash in a small, dark corner of the internet.
Anyway, 15 years later, Cloudflash is still a thing. It's been part of me for half of my life to date (yes, I'm 30). I scrapped and removed many of my projects throughout the year due to lack of entertainment value, but their sacrifices have allowed me to improve my abilities and this website. Cloudflash might've never reached the quantity of "cool stuff" or the popularity I imagined it could back when I started it, but I'm still happy with it for what it is.
This year, I've got 4 new Cloudflash Mix comics and a 34 page head start on a new chapter of An Improved Society. I'll update An Improved Society: Reversal casually, I suppose, since I'm not really in a good position to be making guarantees!
Attempting a Redesign
Cloudflash's hosting was set to expire on December 1st, so I finally decided to switch to a cheaper host. That being the case, I'd have to transfer all the files over to the new host for Cloudflash to function. Anyway, I figured instead of transferring thousands of files, I'd take this opportunity to redesign the site and clean things up in the backend. Cloudflash is now much cleaner and no longer has its embarrassing 2007-made appearance! I didn't have time to get everything up and running by the big move's deadline, so I'll just add things in gradually until the site is fully restored. For now, I at least made all the comics function properly, though I'll still be tweaking things to improve it throughout the coming weeks (hopefully). Please excuse the glitches and illegible font colours throughout the site.