Next on the made-up niche internet holidays list, November 21st is Eevee Day. I just happen to have a new eevee drawing to post, and it's a big one. This one was actually rescued from the depths of my hard drive -- I started drawing it in September 2010 and pretty much forgot about it until last week. So I gave it an overhaul, now it's as good as new. I've got plenty of other half-baked doodles lying around, aging like fine wine. But perhaps given the timing, I should just draw another eevee. That sounds like a novel and imaginative idea.
Sorry there's been a lull in activity here. I've been very busy, both with work AND with video games. I bought a used copy of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, and then GTA V came out, and now Pokémon X and Y have been released. I think I'll probably be distracted for awhile.
I guess I should probably write up some first impressions, given the nature of this site. The graphics on the new Pokémon games are really nicely done in cell-shaded style, and the 3DS keeps impressing me with what it can do-- it looks very smooth. The game also seems to go out of its way to appeal to fans of the older generations. There are subtle things like snippets of music reused from older games, and obvious ones like the fact that the forest near the beginning of the game is nearly identical to Red and Blue's Viridian Forest in layout.
For these new games, the developers have finally decided to take advantage of their 600+ creature backlog by offering a wide variety of monsters to capture in every area. Pokéballs are a precious commodity in the low-income early section of the game, especially since I keep having to spend money on the new customizable clothing. I guess I picked a bad time to decide to catch 'em all.
The older pokémon have also had their cries revamped. They are still recognizable, but blend in much better with the newer ones. A part of me will miss the old 8-bit screeching, though. The exception to this change is pikachu, who now uses its anime voice. It sticks out like a sore thumb and sounds really weird when you have two of them battle one another.
Overall, the game looks to be the best new one in awhile, even if poison can no longer hurt you outside of battle. Kids these days.
As for GTA, I haven't spent much time playing but am entertained so far. Graphics are great (though like most HD games I can barely read the text on my old gaming TV) and I like seeing the multiple main characters interact. I kinda skipped out on GTA IV, so I can only really compare this one to San Andreas (which might be appropriate). The world definitely seems more alive. While I was playing, some lady called me over to help her friend who was in trouble. I followed her around the back of a nearby house, and... was killed by two guys with guns. Totally unexpected.
In my two nights playing the game, there's really only been one significant thing to complain about, and that is the fact that you can't invert the X and Y axes separately in the control settings. No matter which way I set them, one axis feels off. Really screws with my aim. Hopefully I'll adjust after some more playing.
I guess I can review these further next time, since I'm not too far into them yet. Um... maybe I'll review the now-five-year-old Banjo-Kazooie game as well.
Sup? I read somewhere that females are more likely than males to lead off blog posts with a greeting. Weird.
Anyway, I've been pretty occupied over the past couple weeks and haven't finished any new art things to show off. However, I made a few tweaks to the site codewise that I've been meaning to do for awhile. Going off what I said in the last post about wanting to add a preview of the latest art to the front page, I decided to take the updates box and turn it into a big preview image. It's funny how the updates box stealthily became a permanent feature of the site -- it was originally supposed to be temporary, showing up during long hiatuses or when something particularly important happened. Anyway, the new look brightens the site up a bit, so I'll keep it around. I also updated the next/previous/etc navigation buttons. The old triangles never really jived too well with the "rounded rectangles" look of the rest of the site. The new ones are a bit better, and I'll be adding hover states to them soon.
Another thing I fixed that's been bugging me for a couple years now is the username and password fields at the top of the page. In most browsers they're fine, but for reasons known only to Microsoft, the password field would show up one pixel higher than the username field in Internet Explorer. I've dismissed it in the past because I figured people browsing a hip and trendy site like this one will be using only the latest and greatest web browsers, but IE10 is hitting the mainstream now and it has the same problem that IE9 did.
Lastly, I made a bunch of fixes to the Remix'd section. Somehow it's slipped under the radar for awhile and a lot of the changes made to the regular comics area were never made in there. Additionally, the first nine remixes weren't loading at all. Everything is all better now.
You'll be seeing some more changes soon when we enter October, as the site is set to automatically switch over to the Autumn theme (unless you've overridden it in your forum settings). Been waiting all year to see if this works properly.
P.S. The site's been having a lot of downtime lately. Dunno why. It's free hosting, so I'm not gonna complain.
This week features another change in plans. I drew braixen, one of the newly-revealed 6th-gen starter evolutions, because I thought it was kinda cool. Like a lucario that won't impale you. So far I can say the sixth wave of pokemon looks much better than the fifth, but that's not particularly difficult to accomplish.
You'll notice that I linked you to a dedicated art page rather than to the image directly like I normally do. I figure that since I'm uploading more art than anything else lately, I'd polish up the process a bit. Over the past few months I've been gradually building a database and putting these pages together for my older art, but I'm not quite finished yet.
At some point I think I need to maybe add a front page indicator for new art, maybe a thumbnail that appears above the latest comic (or in this case, whatever image happens to be subbing in for the latest comic). By the way, if you've got any suggestions for site design or features, there's a forum for that. Yes, despite the advent of social media and the latest communication trends, I refuse to let my love of internet forums die. Does that make me old? (Don't answer that.)
On Tuesday night I drew a mew. I'm not sure why I did that, rather than working on all those great things I said I was in the middle of last week, but there ya go. I'm happy with the background, and I'm happy with the mew, but I'm not sure they go together that well. Like the giant eevee from a few posts down, these things happen because a lot of my drawings happen without much planning. Excessive planning slows my momentum, which leads to things like taking a year or more to post a comic.
Anyway, this weekend I played Saints Row 3 instead of getting further work done. Gotta hurry up and finish that game because everyone says Saints Row 4 is pretty great. I'll also probably get the new Rocksmith game next month, so I can continue putting off learning guitar, but with more songs and features.