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I was hoping to have enough done on VGE4 to throw together a trailer by the second annual "Fuck CE-Rap Day" (July 13th!), but that's probably not in the cards at the rate I'm going.
I've finished half of the story scenes for VGE4, and what's left shouldn't be too complicated. However, motivation is a fickle thing. When I rock, I roll. When I stop, I crash. At least I'm not buried under depression the way I was this time last year. I've started a new job assignment and that's keeping things kind of fresh while I wait out the summer semester. I should be doing a lot more animating than I'm doing now.
To that end, I've decided to take some timely advice from @MysticSkillz and start a Twitch channel. Maybe it can help focus me if I stream some of my work every once in a while. I just have to remember to keep spoilers off the screen. ...and wear pants if I use a webcam. ...and clear my browser history. Naturally.
Feel free to drop by and offer some encouragement. ... or berate me for taking so damn long to get this thing done. I'll take anything I can get at this point.
...just don't expect it to be terribly exciting. This is a long and super-boring process. Also don't expect regular scheduling. It's going to be one of those "when I feel like it" things.
Tomorrow evening, maybe?
-- UPDATE: This was a really really REALLY good idea. Truckloads of productivity. Gonna have to do this more often... --
I probably could have posted this update a few weeks ago, but I thought it would be best to make sure 2016 got tapped twice in the chest and once in the head before I showed back up again. I'm sure a majority of people would agree that it's been a bad year.
I'm sure an alternate-universe version of myself somewhere met his goal of having VG Exiles Episode 4 done by the end of the year. I'm sure he's celebrating having already broken ground on his new series. Maybe he's already gotten into the choreo on VGE5. Maybe he's already got FAIL 3 out.
Too bad I'm not him right now.
I find myself having a really difficult time carrying momentum. I haven't made significant progress since my last update and that realization just seems to create a feedback loop of misery and failure. I sat at a full stop for well over a month and any motivation I ever gathered would just fade away as quickly as it appeared. It doesn't seem to matter that I'm sitting on something super-cool that's never been done before. VGE4 has been in the works for going on six years now and I'm SUPER tired of it. Mostly I'm tired of the memories and it doesn't help that I have a minimum of a couple month's worth of work left to do on it. I really REALLY want to put it behind me and I can't allow myself to skimp on the production. It's a bad situation all around.
Hopefully, I can get some traction in the next couple of weeks when I start school back. It was a good boost during my last semester, but it didn't last very long. It's not hard to think of other things I'd rather be doing during my between-class time than animating a project I'm less-than-enthusiastic about. Hell, I'd consider it a victory just to bring myself to open the program at least once each day.
I find myself spending an unhealthy amount of time playing Titanfall 2 and wishing death upon my ex-partner. It's been almost two years since that whole fiasco ended and I still don't have closure. I still can't get past it. I want that fucker dead and buried and forgotten. Even the fact that I'm stil letting this bother me even now bothers me.
...and it's not even like I'm swamped with projects anymore. I'm doing a collab right now, but that's hardly a serious drain on my time. Also, I've cancelled all of my unfinished side projects. So I'm not sure what's holding me back anymore. It can't just be my burning desire to pull a "Negan" on CE-Rap. It can't just be fatigue with VGE4. It's gotta be something else and I just can't nail it down.
Anyway, enough rambling. VGE4 will be done when it's done. I'll just have to make better use of whatever motivation I can muster in 2017 and hope that I can at least get it done before Trumpageddon kills the internet.
In the meantime, I've decided to go ahead and share what remains of a couple of my old projects. They have been completely and permanently cancelled, so I suppose there's no harm in putting them out there for those of you who still bother to check this page out. I'll start with just one for right now -
Duck King vs. Shen Woo
Fair warning, this is beta as hell and the VCAM might be fucked up.
It was going to be a standalone tag-team fight from way WAY back. Like "I made it when CE-Rap disappeared for months on end during Hurricane Sandy" way back. So, super-old and super-primitive. In more recent times, I was not yet willing to scrap it and instead wrote it into the storyline of a new series I had planned. Eventually, I realized that it was just too obsolete and make the whole story much too convoluted. I couldn't let myself worry about this project when I had so many other things with much higher priority.
It's several months down the drain, but I'm ready to accept that now. I'll cannibalize whatever bits I can and trash the rest. So, I guess take whatever enjoyment you can out of it. It's now officially abandoned. My way of saying "Sorry, I don't have another screenshot of VGE4 because motivation is lacking and I'm sick of acting like I'm making progress when I'm struggling to get even the simplest of tasks done. So here's ...something?"
- - - - -
Oh, and I probably won't be releasing VGE4 on Newgrounds when it's done, anyway. This site has gotten so uptight with musical copyright issues that I no longer feel that it's safe to continue releasing videos here. Doing so might even jeopardize my earlier releases. VGE1 was already taken down and I can't risk having a site full of flagging busybodies descend on all of my old videos. I just can't take that chance.
So, this will remain as a very occasional blog until such time as I get back on my feet and find a new place to host my work. I'll let you guys know when that time comes. In the meantime, Newgrounds is dead as a venue for any of my future projects. Sorry, Tom Fulp. I know you have your reasons for this copyright crackdown, but I just can't get behind it. The era of "Everything by Everyone" is done.
- - - - -
Please wish me luck, folks. I definitely need it.
September 20th will be the five-year-anniversary of the release of VG Exiles Episode 3... Kind of hard to believe it's been that long. It seems like only yesterday that I was Skyping with my art director and putting together big big plans for the future.
...which sucked. Fuck those days.
Right now I'm much more interested in finally getting VGE4 done. I'm still hoping to have it finished by the end of the year. No promises, though. I have so far underestimated the level of intricate detail work I would be compelled to do and even the "simple" story scenes are turning out to be super-complicated. That's not a bad thing, it's just a time-consuming thing.
I'm back in my classes now and have plenty of time for animating between them and my work shift. As shitty and depressing as my last semester off was, I've decided that I must remain continuously enrolled until I meet my academic goals. Summers, winters, everything. I can't afford to fall back into that hole again. So, day-by-day I chug along. Some days are more productive than others. At least now I'm thinking more about the projects and less about whatever little bullshit distractions I put up for myself.
I think it will also be helpful that I've already begun animating VGE5. I'll be able to jump straight into the choreo for VGE5 as soon as VGE4 drops. ...or maybe I'll do another FAILtality. ...or maybe work on something entirely new. So many choices...
I had hoped to be a bit further along with the VGE4 story scenes by this point, but I'm not gonna kick myself too hard over it. Any progress is good progress given the last few years. I'm just glad to finally be back in the race, even if I'm still hobbling along with a twisted ankle.
If I could go back in time and tell my VGE2-era self that I would be doing some of my most intricate sprite work ever for a chess game between two characters in a story scene, he wouldn't believe it. Then he'd probably go for his shotgun thinking I were an alien trying to kill him and take his place. He's paranoid like that.
Fortunately, I would have already fled the scene whilst performing the Curly Whoop. That's probably why I should never be granted the power of time travel.
...aaaaanywho... back to the grind I go.
Apologies in advance if this post starts to lose cohesion. I've already started drinking to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the day I finally stood up for myself and told CE-Rap to fuck off. It didn't happen immediately, but July 13th was the day we had our final confrontation and I put into motion the process of forcibly extracting that mooching, sociopathic douchebag from my life and home.
I'm enjoying a pizza, having a few drinks, and writing a news post. So far, so good.
I've had a year to process that entire period of my life and I can't say that the rage has abated. Before I met and lived with the dude, I had never experienced depression. Not one day in my life. Now, post-Rap, that's a daily struggle. I have a much harder time bringing myself back to the animating table since he poisoned it for me with his controlling, manipulative, self-serving bullshit. That's not some shit you just forgive and move on from. It drills in deep and it corrupts everything. I can still animate like crazy and enjoy it, but CE-Rap took something from me that I so far have had limited success recovering. Those scars run deep.
I have no idea where he is or what he's doing. I like to think that he took a wrong turn on a mountain road somewhere on the way back to New York and got mauled to death by a family of bobcats, but that's probably just wishful thinking. More likely, he just found some other sucker to mooch off of and is currently putting them through mental and emotional upheaval for his own benefit (as sociopaths are wont to do).
That said, I occassionally check his DeviantArt page for signs of life. Mostly because the moment I catch the faintest whiff of him online I'm going to pulverize whatever remains of his tattered, beshitted, fucking reputation. He's probably not stupid enough to ever use that name again, but I remain ever watchful. Woe be to the poor bastard who shows up bearing a similar artistic style.
Fire and fury. Blood and death. My entire, ENTIRE force of hate shall descend upon him. One year, two years, fifty years, doesn't matter. The name "CE-Rap" is forever fucked. If he ever comes back, I will find him, I will destroy him, and I will give his broken corpse the proper public assfucking that he so thoroughly deserves.
You're fucking done, Carl. Done.
My personal guarantee.
- - - - -
On a less fire-and-brimstone note, I'm almost finished with VG Exiles Episode 4. I've got all the story sets ready to go and I'm just waiting for the voiceover crew to get their lines back to me. Once I get those, it might be a quick as a couple of weeks before I have a working prototype. Story builds way quicker than fight choreo, even with custom spriting.
I used to rely on artists to deliver the complicated story stuff, but now I have the sprite editing skills I need to do it all myself. It may not be quite as pretty, but it'll get the job done. Full lip-synching, full custom motions, everything. I can do it all now. All by myself.
You guys will be able to see what the future holds when VGE4 eventually drops. It represents five years of developement packed into one single movie and I think it bodes well for the future of the series. I can do anything now. Absolutely anything.
- - - - -
VGE4 takes place a few months after the events of VGE3 and you just might notice a few new faces wandering around Panoptichron...
VGE4 is coming soon. I can't promise any specific dates, but it's on the way.
Well, Pico Day has come and gone. As I write this, there are likely still people at the office partying it up. I, however, have just finished the 11-hour drive back to Kentucky. I'm ready to take a double-shot of NyQuil, pass out, and enjoy the final few days of the vacation week I had set aside for this
This was my first Pico Day and it was quite a bit more than I had expected. I'm normally not too great with large social gatherings so it was a bit overwhelming. I had never met any of these people in person before and really only knew a handful of them by reputation. All of which was far greater than my own. I might be able to animate the shit out of some sprites, but right then I was surrounded by some real top talent. Lots of animators, musicians, voice actors, and other people of great ability talking about a myriad of different subjects about which I had little to nothing to say. So, a lot of my time at the beginning was just wandering around looking at things and trying not to look like too much of a dope.
I definitely got the sense that I DESPERATELY need to learn how to draw something. It's kind of hard to be asked what you do and not be able to show an immediate example. "Sprite animator" is not exactly the kind of answer I want to give in that situation. Especially when I haven't done anything to warrant recognition over the last few years.
Still, despite my awkwardness, everyone there was SUPER COOL. I chatted up @TomFulp a few times and I must give him props for being a spectacular host. I know crazy events like Pico Day have to be a major strain and he handles it like a fucking champ.
Anyway, it took me a little while to find a groove. But that groove did come.
I met and chatted with a whole lot of awesome people and I won't get into all the details here. Not trying to write a book. I will say that I definitely look forward to doing this again. Next time, though, I'll be much better prepared...
Oh, and also...
The fighters are finally revealed and I promise that this will be like nothing you've ever seen before.
Time for me to get to work!
(...after a good night's sleep, of course. I'm fuuuuuuuuuucking exhausted...)
Okay, so... I've decided to go to Newgrounds HQ for Pico Day weekend. @MysticSkillz talked me into it...
That's right. An irrelevant sprite animator who hasn't had a major action release since 2011 will be making the trip to Philadelphia in a sad attempt to rekindle a defunct animation hobby. I mean, who gives a shit, right? We all know that web series like the VG Exiles fall off the radar and get lost. After four and a half years of a bad partnership and lots of hype with little substance, what good could possibly...
. . .
. . . .
. . . . .
BOOM! FUCKING SCREENSHOT!
Yes, that is a three-story-tall dragon with a kunai jammed into its snout. Boy, does he look pissed...
After four and a half years of delays and sidetracks, VG Exiles Episode 4 is finally happening. At this moment, I have ten seconds' worth of choreo to do before the end of the fight. That's it. Ten more seconds and this half-a-decade-in-the-making fight will come to an end.
Now, I still have a long way to go. Finishing move, scripting, voices, story scenes, lip synching (yes, I said "lip synching"), and all that. I very highly doubt that this will be ready for upload by the beginning of May, but I can most certainly have the fight section spit-polished and ready to pimp out by then. Maybe it can show up on the Pico Day stream. Maybe not. Maybe I can just screen the fight for those in attendance...
At the very least, it should keep @Tom Fulp distracted long enough for me to swipe some office supplies.
So... see you guys in Philly, maybe?
I'm back in school now. I've become a non-traditional student at the local tech college and I'm pursuing a diploma in HVAC. I guess this is what happens when your life turns sour and you decide that enough is enough. You make drastic changes.
Now, one might think that going back to school would leave less time for animating. That might be true in later semesters, but right now this has turned into a major boon for VGE4. I have a solid two-hour block between the end of my latest class and the time I have to roll into work. That is time that I have dedicated to animating and it has been amazingly helpful. I've been getting way more done in the college library than at my own desk at home.
I just go in, find an isolated spot in a corner somewhere, and animate on my laptop. It's quiet and there aren't any distractions. Just me and Flash. Getting stuff done.
Anyway, just thought I'd give you guys a small update. I had kind of stalled over the last month with my animations, but this new block of dedicated time is reinvigorating me. I might need to start going there on my off days just for the productivity boost. It's way easier to get stuff done when you're not at your home computer being distracted by games, food, YouTube, alcohol, a bed five feet away, and porn.
So... yeah. VGE4 is coming. No release date in mind, but it's being worked on.
. . .
After two embarrassingly long years, the RANDOM SELECT COLLAB is finally done!
Check it out!
- - - - -
I am grateful to everyone who took part. They exhibited extreme patience with my ...delays... over the last two years and I cannot thank them enough - MysticSkillz, Ills10, HeartlessKarma, and weyden.
You guys are awesome!
...and it feels good to finally be back.
(Oh, and, of course, fuck CE-Rap.)
Time for some real talk, people.
Among my strongest character flaws is a tendency towards wrath. I'm the guy who will happily burn down an entire village just to get back at one douche living in it. Looking back on these last four years, I wish I were enlightened enough to walk away. I wish I were zen enough to view it as a learning experience and move on. That's definitely something I need to work on.
For now, however, I'll just have to settle for smashing CE-Rap in the nuts with a sledgehammer. Here we go.
- - - - -
Way back in the olden days on 2011, I was stuck in a very troublesome predicament. I had just parted ways (amicably) with 3XStudios, the man behind the artwork of VG Exiles 1 and 2. We had both agreed that the professional separation was for the best, but I still had no artist. I still had no way to bring a non-sprite detailed story into a sprite movie. I couldn't draw worth a crap and was left with an unfinished VG Exiles 3.
Then, CE-Rap came along. We hammered out VGE3 and formed a strong professional relationship. Well, as professional as it gets for hobby work.
...and looking back on it, it didn't take long for things to start sliding downhill. Because artwork was such a time-consuming and difficult thing to do for free (the series made absolutely no money and I'm poor), I was very receptive to any ideas he would bring to the table. If he wanted to put something in, he pretty much got it every time. My reasoning was that it's entirely too much work to heap on somebody without giving them some creative control.
Unfortunately, he started abusing that control.
It started as minor changes - stuff that hadn't been scripted and finished already on VGE3. A change in attitude here, a planned character use there. When he discovered that I never actually had a plan for the series but rather made it all up as I went along, he wasted no time writing out an entire series plotline. It was this giant, convoluted "lore-heavy" saga that extended from ten years before the current team to however the fuck long it would end up being in the end. He kept established canon in mind as much as he could, but he wrote a hundred times what could ever be displayed in the video format.
Eventually, the plot changed so much that it became necessary to scrap the entire series and start over. I resisted at first, but once again cowed to the dozens of seemingly rational arguments he had in favor of that action.
You see, Rap was a manipulator. He was a silver-tongued bullshitter who knew how to talk his way in and out of any situation with lawyerly precision. He saw (and even described) himself as a super quick-witted guy who was always forty steps ahead of whoever he was working with. He was above. He was advanced. He always felt that other people were too slow for him and he eventually realized the problem was that he was so fucking brilliant that "normal" people couldn't keep up. He was always the smartest motherfucker in the room and could make no mistakes. He could work out all the possible future consequences of an action, and therefore always knew the best route. Not just "knew", KNEW. Uppercase. He was the professional. He was the head-down-eyes-forward-self-driven-uber-rhino-badass and he KNEW WHAT THE FUCK WAS UP. He was FOR REAL. He was UP FRONT. He DOES NOT BULLSHIT. (...and his real name is "Carl", not "Carlito" as he claims. Because obviously the first personal detail you're going to learn about him is complete and utter bullshit.)
Now, you take a guy like that who lives up his own asshole and partner him with somebody like me.
I've been told that I write with an air of "authority". It creates the impression that I'm more knowledgeable, assertive, and confident than I really am. People who know me IRL know that's not the case at all. I'm insecure as fuck. I constantly second-guess myself. I look for flaws in my own reasoning and I am acccommodating to a well-reasoned counter-position. I value being wrong. I value being mistaken. This makes me vulnerable to bullshitters and manipulators. I've been taken advantage of a few times because of it.
...and THAT'S where I've been for the last few years - in CE-Rap's World of Bullshit.
The original Exiles canon was the first to go. It had to be rebooted to meet Rap's new story. We worked through a good 75% of the fight scene for a brand-new VG Exiles Episode 0. (or rather "1" this time.) We swapped Ken out for a souped-up version of Vice from KOF. We changed the setting. We changed the setup and the story. We did custom spriting. Everything was looking good.
Then Hurricane Sandy happened and Rap disappeared. While he was gone, I created FAILtality 2 and stuck his name on it. I organized the Random Select Collab with other fine animators. I started up new solo projects knowing that everything would have to go on the back burner when he returned.
...and go on the back burner they did.
It wasn't long after Rap's return that we got back to work. He was a big Captain America fan and had to make himself part of the Random Select Collab after learning that I had drawn Cap and the Hulk. We spent a few months putting that together before stopping at around 75%. (Never to be completed...)
You see, Rap now had a slick new plan - making money. Advertising. Sponsorships. Partnerships. YouTube revenue. Making a living off this, son! Doing this for money! (Some of you might be seeing the flaws in this already and you are 100% fucking right. More on that later.)
Nooooowwwwww, The VG Exiles reboot was no longer good enough. The Exiles is copyrighted by Marvel. The sprites, sounds, and music we use are also third-party owned. If we were going to monitize this, we had to eliminate all of the copyrighted material. It had to be "our" series. So we could sell the fuck out of it.
XEUS WAS BORN.
Xeus was a once-again rewritten version of the VG Exiles with all-new content. It was still based on video game characters, but those featured were amalgamations of already existing ones. Take Jon Talbain, mix him up with some Ifrit from Final Fantasy, some whatever the fuck from Skyrim, give him fire powers, and call him SOVENSBANE. Take Stryker, mix him up with some Solid Snake, some Stargate, make him a couple of decades older, and call him JACKSON.
That kind of shit.
Needless to say, this turned a relatively simple flash series into a nightmarish clusterfuck requiring custom EVERYTHING and the next two decades to produce. That would take money. Lots of money.
Fortunately, we had a mutual contact in California. This guy had gotten into the toy business and was doing pretty well for himself. You know, the kind of business that Rap could latch onto like a leech and suck dry for support money while we went around selling our Xeus humunculus to any internet group who would show it and pay us.
He wanted us to move out there and get started CREATING THE FUTURE. By this time, he had me hook, line, and sinker. Full assortment of stars in my eyes. I was ready to commit to the great California Quest!
...buuuuuuuuut he wasn't. He was still neck-deep in shit from Hurricane Sandy. I was eight hundred miles away in Kentucky. What could I possibly do?
Well, I could rent a large SUV, drive all the way to New York, pick up him and his stuff, drive everything back to Kentucky, and let him move in with me. ...and that's exactly what I fucking did. Because I'm an idiot.
August - December 2014.
Rent free. Utility free. I'm buying his groceries. I'm buying his metric ton of cleaning supplies. I've given him a cell phone and now I'm paying to put minutes on the thing. I upgrade my cable internet to the best possible speed so he can stream hi-def videos while he does whatever the fuck he does all day instead of watching DVD's like a more considerate person might. I'm paying extra for his subsequent data overages. I'm working in a warehouse. So... needless to say... I'm going broke. He's not paying for shit. He deeply regrets not paying for shit. Wait, scratch that. He deeply regrets that I CAN'T HAVE A PAYMENT AT THE MOMENT. Not that he can't pay. There's a difference. The former is a "gift" he can't give, but shouldn't be expected to. The latter is his failing and fuck knows he's not gonna word it like that. Because lawyer.
By that time, Xeus had been put on the back burner as well. Mortal Kombat X was due to drop in April, so we had to drop everything and do FAILtality 3. With FAILtality being easily the most successful thing I had ever done, Rap felt that releasing one on the heels of MKX would propel us forward and get the ball rolling for the California move. That's right. His plan was literally
I mean, how the fuck else were we going to get out to the west coast? Rap certainly hadn't shown any ability or desire to carry his own weight, so where was this miraculous windfall of money coming from? We didn't know, but Rap ASSURED me that it would all work out. All we had to do was take this extremely complicated set of FAIL scripts we had written and cram eight months of work into an impossible five. ...and when I say "impossible", I mean literally fucking impossible. I did the math. He gave no fucks. We just had to make the attempt - even if it meant working for five solid months with no real breaks and 1.5 hours of sleep a night. Unpaid.
So there I am - slowly losing my bank account. Working a production schedule in which he gets to tell me when to work on flash and when to go to bed between my normal work shifts (which are paying all the fucking bills). I have a manipulative, egocentric, (and I suspect sociopathic) prick setting the rules in MY FUCKING HOME. All in the name of "brotherhood". Rap was the BOSS. He had made himself so. (Hell, no sooner had we decided on the name Rhino Rex Studios that he appointed himself as the CEO of the "company".)
By this time, I had lost complete control of absolutely everything. In my desire to make him feel welcome both in my flash projects and in my home, I had surrendered the captain's chair. My desire to give him creative control for his hard work was not reciprocated. If I didn't like an idea, I was "not seeing the bigger picture" or "not imaginative enough" or "not really committed". If I wanted "my" idea done, I had to argue against his counter-idea that he had already built a giant tapestry of support for and could argue with his usual manipulative lawyer bullshit.
By the time Christmas rolled around, I was done. I was out. I officially walked away.
...and he stayed.
For the NEXT SEVEN MONTHS he continued living rent-free in my home. I didn't have the heart to kick him out. By his own statements, doing so would result in him going back to a Hurricane Sandy relief shelter and living in squalor.
...and still he remained controlling and manipulative. He ruled the roost. I continued going broke. I eventually had to stop buying his food because I couldn't afford it. I couldn't afford decent food for myself, either (the positive upshot of this was that I turned it into a weight loss game and dropped fifty pounds).
I went through multiple mental and emotional breakdowns. I would have these moments of lucidity and fire off an angry email, but I was always willing to be walked back into the fog by his silver-tongued lawyer bullshit. Our personal relationship rapidly deteriorated. We eventually reached a point where we couldn't even interact (except for that one time where he blew up his own fucking computer and spent three hours dressing me down for it).
The end finally came one night when he knocked on my bedroom door and asked me to clean the kitchen. I flatly refused. An argument began. It escalated. I went to shut the door between us and he shoved his way in. At this point I'm just repeatedly telling him to get the fuck out of my room. Then he puts his hands on me. That kind of "arm touching yeah-whatever-dude" male dominance bullshit. I shove him. He comes back and now we're nose-to-nose UFC style about to come to blows. I tell him to take his swing. All the reason I need to throw his ass out of my home. After many more angry words he finally walks out, determined to use whatever legal recourse he can get to remain in my home, including paying part of my rent so he becomes a "tenant" and must be formally evicted.
Thankfully for me, my landlord and her husband live one floor beneath me and heard everything.
The next morning, I'm looking into eviction possibilities and Rap comes at me with the whole "we BOTH went too far" line of bullshit. If ever there was a time for him to stand up and admit he was wrong about something important, that was it. And he failed.
As it turns out, you don't have to actually strike somebody to be charged with assault. Him pushing his way into my room was assault. Him putting his hands on me was assault. His nose-to-nose escalation was assault. He did it and I had witnesses.
Interesting tidbit - when you give somebody the option of GTFO or go to jail, people tend to GTFO.
Now, he's gone. His shit is gone. My home is mine. My future is mine. ...and if there's anything in this universe resembling cosmic justice, CE-Rap will spend the next twenty years chewing a tunnel through the base of Shit Mountain.
- - - - -
That grand finale happened back in July and I've been struggling to get back on my feet ever since. I'm fighting like hell to come back to flash, as it was pretty much the only thing I ever did that amounted to anything. I've decided that I'm not going to let this mooching fuckhole ruin the only good thing I ever did. That said, I am un-cancelling the VG Exiles. It will return. Just not in the same form it would have taken with Rap and most definitely not soon. I need to perfect the art of sprite-based storytelling and be able to do the entire thing on my own if need be.
To that end, I am going to finish some older back-burnered projects while getting started on my brand new series. It will be hugely story-driven and will help me build the skills I need to bring back the VG Exiles on my own.
I'm a brand new man, now. I'm the Captain. Time to take back my ship.
(This is, of course, the abridged version. There is a LOT more. Some of it WAY worse. I will answer any questions that I feel I am able. I will also post a link to this journal in every future journal I do until I get tired of trashing CE-Rap's already beshitted reputation. Why? because fuck you, Carl. That's why.)
I should have written this entry months ago.
I don't know why I've been putting this off. The fact is that I have had a really hard time animating as of late. For various reasons, a lot of the joy I used to take in the process has been largely sucked out. I'm not dead yet, but I'm far from healthy. At this point, I feel that talking about it a bit might help me get back on my feet.
CE-Rap and I have gone our separate ways creatively and now I'm back to working on my own. The events that led to me walking away are largely responsible for my current state of demotivation. Long story short, my joyful hobby became a tortuous "professional" effort. I surrendered my control and became little more than a tool, trying to meet other peoples standards, schedules, and expectations. I realize now that such "professional" attitudes are a kiss of death for the hobbyist. The more disciplined results might have looked better, but what good is having a better product if you have to sell your soul to get it? Once the joy is gone, nothing else matters. You might as well just be putting in more hours at your shitty day job.
Anyway, I'm done with partnerships for a while. For the forseeable future, everything I do I will have to be able to do on my own.
Exiles is still dead. Even if it hadn't already been reworked into oblivion, I still cannot produce it anymore. I don't have the artistic talent necessary to continue from where VGE3 left off. It's just too much of a production.
That does not mean that everything that had been planned for the Exiles must necessarily be scrapped. The whole thing about the Exiles was that I could produce fights between whatever characters I wanted and I could have a multiverse angle to stitch it all together storywise. Now that the whole Exiles premise it toast, I'm simply going to take some of those badass matchups I had planned and do them as one-shot stories. Sooooo... single-serve badass fights that would have existed anyway with the Exiles, only in a more streamlined form.
Now that my involvement in the Sentinel Destruction Collab 2 is over, I will prioritize the Random Select Collab. (The original entry I had for that was a joint effort with Rap and now unusable.) I must animate a new scene for that. That won't take long if I can find a groove with it. ...hopefully.
After that's caught up, the immediate future will be about getting some closure on other unfinished business. As of this moment, I have multiple unfinished projects. Those that CE-Rap and I worked heavily on together shall forever remain in the vault. However, I still have three fights of my own that have significant progress made and require only to be finished.
After that, the one-shots. Possibly intermixed with a new series I have in mind to replace the VG Exiles. More on that later.
Anyway, that's the situation for better or worse. I would appreciate any motivation or encouragement you guys could send my way. I have a long trek ahead of me and my shoes are already worn out.