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R1665's News

Posted by R1665 - 2 days ago


Well, my yearly "Fuck CE-Ray Day" stream didn't go quite the way I had planned. There turned out to be way less alcohol, way more productivity, and way less explanation of the last year than I had planned. ...but that's okay. I got this big-ass news post to fill in the gaps.


Honestly, "Fuck CE-Rap Day" isn't really about him anymore. He may still be a human garbage bag filled with diarrhea and leaking out the bottom, but I feel that there's really only so many times you can piss on a grave before you start needing to move on. I happily killed his entire online art career, stranded him eight hundred miles from home, and provided consultation that very well might have left him homeless and sucking dicks behind a Waffle House for heroin money. 10/10 would ruin again. I'll still crush him if he ever shows up, I just know he's not going to. He's effectively dead. The honest truth is that he ain't shit and I'm at a point in my life where there aren't a lot of pieces left to pick up.


The productivity slack of the last year and a half or so has been more about my IRL career than anything. I got into the HVAC trade and life has taken many twists and turns from there. I started out as a helper in a commercial HVAC company in Louisville. It was a busy job with slightly better pay than my last job and a two-hour commute. It was all about getting the skills and time in that I needed to get my license. Unfortunately, that ride ended after seven months. The company had made some unwise business decisions and wound up having to lay off pretty much all of their helpers. Eventually, that wave hit me and I got served my pink slip with five months of work experience still left to go before I could be considered a prime candidate for hiring. Not good.


What followed was two months of unemployment and staying on the knife edge of being broke. Looking back on it, I should have enjoyed it more as the vacation it was, but I was in no place mentally or emotionally to effectively use that time. I kind of just treaded water.


I did get into a small local company afterward, though. On paper, it was exactly the kind of job I wanted. Close to home and no commute. However, the pay was shit and the work was more about just getting through the day than anything else. It wasn't hard, but I hated every second of it. It really only paid marginally better than my unemployment did, so I was basically just trapped there until I got in the time needed for my license. I wound up staying there for seven months and my depression reached all-time-high-gun-in-the-mouth levels. Needless to say, I wasn't getting a whole lot of animation done. As I believe people with depression already know, sometimes it takes all of your energy just to hold your shit together.


Thankfully, I held that shit together long enough to get my license.


Now, I'm two months into this new company in Louisville. I still have a commute, but it's only 90 minutes round-trip and the money is good. It's very hard work at times but I don't hate it. I'm getting my shit back together and the crippling depression is nowhere to be seen. PLUS, this new job has some perks that may help my animation drive tremendously.


It's summer crunch time right now and it's not at all uncommon to work twelve-hour days. Sometimes the shit really hits the fan and I'm clocking 14-16 hour days. Summer has the potential to be three months of non-stop "get up, go to work, come home, shower, sleep, repeat". So, animation productivity ain't gonne be much right now. However, the payoff to all of this life-wrecking work in the summer is the relatively chill remainder of the year. Some of that time will be spent in the office having nothing to do but wait for jobs that may not show up at all.


Every other company I'd ever worked for always had a "Time to Lean, Time to Clean" mentality where any lapse in productivity was answered by handing out bullshit busy work. Not this one. The busy period brings in so much money that they absolutely do not give a DAMN what you do in the off-season as long as you're at the office and on-call. That means a lot of time for a lot of guys to sit around, watch videos on their phones, and gripe about how boring it is. I have seen this in action. I have been paid to sit around the office all day and do nothing. It's real.


...but I have a laptop. Also Flash. ...and lots of animation to do.


So, in the off-season, it'll basically be me sitting in the office all day with little to do but get Flash shit done. It's almost like being paid to animate. It's not, but it's almost. ...and right now that off-season looks to be about six weeks away. Ten at the latest. Then it's ON.


===============


So, that's my life right now. I'm in a healthy place mentally and emotionally with a very bright light now currently visible down the tunnel. The last eighteen months of bullshit is drawing to a close and I'm ready to finally start making up for lost time.


I've just got two story scenes left to do on VGE4 and some cleanup before it's done. My motivation is up and now I'm just waiting for my stars to align on my work schedule.


As I showed in my recent Twitch stream, I am also knee-deep in a collaborative VGE spinoff alongside Earoist and DrTerryDactyl - two extremely badass animators who I'm proud to have teamed up with.


VG Exiles: Out of Pocket


This all-new series isn't really a spinoff of the "main" VG Exiles story. While it takes place within the same kinda-sorta continuity, it is completely separate from the main series and the two shall never intersect. This new series will focus on the "smaller" game and sprite styles (Like Mario, Sonic, Megaman, etc.) rather than the "bigger" established fighting game sprites of MK, SF, KOF and such. As you can imagine, it will require stylistic and technical developments for everyone involved. VG Exiles is about to enter a new frontier and I hope those of you who are still around enjoy seeing all the wild places we go to with this.


In case you missed the seven-hour-long Twitch stream, I'd like to leave you this little test sequence that was built live and will be used in the first episode:



Crazy shit's coming, folks. Hang tight.


R1665


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3

Posted by R1665 - 6 days ago


Here, listen to this while you read...


Those who have been following me for a while know that July 13th is a very special day for me. I intend to celebrate it this Saturday with a buttload of streaming over on Twitch. There may or may not be alcohol. There may or may not be gaming. There may or may not be incitement to spew text-based diarrhea on the deviantArt page of a very special someone who totally deserves it.


But what there will TOTALLY be is a big reveal of a brand new project that you're not going to want to miss if you're a fan of the VG Exiles! (Sadly, not yet the release of Episode 4, but still suitably badass.)


I've been off the radar for quite some time now and I intend to lay it all out both during the stream and in a much more detailed news post afterward once I regain my senses post-inebriation. It's not all despair and procrastination. Okay, it's mostly despair and procrastination. But that's past despair and procrastination that's mostly gone now. Things are kinda' better these days. I'll explain later.


So, be sure to drop by my Twitch channel this Saturday and watch a dude who is literally years behind on projects awkwardly try to show you stuff you should be excited for all the while being glad that people cannot reach through their monitors and slap him for not getting shit done when he should. There's cool stuff coming soon and Saturday's the day to drop by and get filled in on it.


Also, please enjoy this completely random picture that probably has nothing at all to do with the stuff I'm working on.


iu_38657_2320195.gif


See you Saturday...


R1665


1

Posted by R1665 - November 22nd, 2017


Over the last two weeks, I have done the following -

1.  Effectively ended the current semester.
2.  Left my job.
3.  Gotten a new job in my field of study.
4.  Began regular animation streaming on Twitch.

I'm getting up on that high again.  Life is once again an adventure and I'm finally feeling more like my old self.  I don't know what the next few years will bring, but I know it's not going to be the same as the last few.  Definitely an improvement.

VG Exiles 4 definitely won't be out by the end of the year, but I'm getting closer now.  Bit by bit.  Little by little.  You might even see some of it come together if you visit my Twitch channel.  Regular friday nights with the possibility of additional weekdays during this semester break.  On my Twitch channelHere.

Allow me to pimp it one more time for good measure - Twitch channel.

There, I'm done.  For now...

R1665


4

Posted by R1665 - August 24th, 2017


It's been about six weeks since my last news post and I must admit that develoment on VGE4 has been less than ideal.  The glorious and productive high of "Fuck CE-Rap Week" was pretty much the last time I had the energy to put any real work into the project.  Sure, I did a little here and there, but the marathon animation sessions and Twitch streaming were the first things to go once both mother nature and my workplace decided to spend six weeks punching me in the dick.

Joining the first shift at work made animation easier at first.  I had pretty much the whole day after work to do whatever I wanted.  However, my workplace entered peak season pretty much immediately after that last news post and everything has since gone to hell.

First of all, summer.  Fuck summer in Kentucky.  It's just the most awful kind of hot, humid, sticky, swamp-ass bullshit that leaves you wanting nothing more than to strip down to your sweat-soaked underwear and stand spread-eagled in front of your air conditioner like a reptile trying to sun itself until you pass out and sleep standing up like a horse.  That kills productivity.

Next, I have the sleep-murdering combination of workplace peak season and the current fall semester.  I've had to drag my sleep-deprived ass into work at 4am each Saturday for no worthwhile reason.  That leaves me only half-charged through the weekend.  Plus, it kills Friday night for animation.  My school schedule leaves me with little sleep time Monday - Thursday.

I COULD get a lot more done, but between the Saturdays fucking up my sleep schedule and the hot-ass climate keeping me in the one air-conditioned room I got (the one with the bed), I've been doing little more than coming home and crashing between work shifts and classes.

I'm hoping this Saturdaty shit goes away in the next couple of weeks.  That would be a step in the right direction.  Until then, I'm probably not going to be getting the kind of animation productivity I would have otherwise hoped for.

Oh, hey, look at that.  It's the end of the news post.  Crashing in 3... 2... 1...

R1665


Posted by R1665 - July 13th, 2017


Those of you who have been following me for a while might know the importance of July 13th.  Today is the second annual "Fuck CE-Rap Day", a personal day of festivities wherein I celebrate the excision of the sociopathic human cancer blob known as CE-Rap from my life.

Gonna get some pizza, some booze, play some games, do some animation...  whatever I feel like.  Hell, I might just stream some of it later on tonight over on my Twitch Channel.

Drop by later on tonight if you want to watch a lightweight get hammered and attempt to animate or play video games.  I'll be using that channel to show progress on VGE4 in the coming months, so be sure to follow/subscribe.

I don't have a regular schedule yet and the process of sprite animation is boring as hell, so be forewarned.  I do usually have some kick-ass music playing, so there's that.

Anyway, have an awesome day!  ...unless you're CE-Rap.  Then you can spend the day huffing cattle farts on Fuck You Ranch.

R1665
 


Posted by R1665 - May 30th, 2017


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?

R1665

-- UPDATE: This was a really really REALLY good idea.  Truckloads of productivity.  Gonna have to do this more often... --


Posted by R1665 - January 1st, 2017


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.

R1665


Posted by R1665 - September 17th, 2016


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.

Also, SCREENSHOT!
 

2320195_147409268312_screen2.png

Still beta.

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.

R1665


Posted by R1665 - July 13th, 2016


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.

2320195_146846873642_tumblr_nnkk3nTEvq1rnk8peo4_540.gif

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...

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VGE4 is coming soon.  I can't promise any specific dates, but it's on the way.

Stay tuned.

R1665


Posted by R1665 - May 8th, 2016


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...

VGE4 SCREENSHOT!

2320195_146276360552_scr01.png

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...)

R1665