There's going to be a big update for March, but it's not quite ready just yet. Keep an eye on this page as well as CE-Rap's over the next couple of weeks...
...I would like to clarify something that might not be evident to anybody not involved in VG Exiles production meetings:
I am no longer the sole "owner" of the VG Exiles. I was at first, but all of that changed when CE-Rap came aboard last year. His contributions since then have been exponentially greater than simply providing artwork to tell the story. Before his arrival, my story planning was little more than having a few fights planned out with no real long-term strategy. I didn't even have an ending in mind. My fly-by-wire methodology worked out great when there wasn't much to show, but the ever-growing complexity of the storyline made this impractical and it wasn't until Rap got involved that the whole VG Exiles timeline, from start to finish, was truly hammered out. It's not just me making it up as I go along anymore. Rap's involvement has produced a brain-explodingly intricate path for the series that also accounts for all previously established canon. We've added more fights to the lineup. We've completely changed planned character involvement and plot lines. We've changed EVERYTHING over the last year. The path that was set for the VG Exiles has changed to the extent that it can no longer be called "my" series.
It's OURS now.
Up until this point, I was very much a sole operator in everything I could get away with doing on my own. It made it easier to manage and control in all respects and success or failure hinged upon my own actions alone. The problem with that was that I could only be as effective as my own interest allowed, and that is very much subject to fluctuation. How many content creators can we all name that came and went, their careers built and lost purely on their own waxing and waning interest? How many burned out as the weight of sole responsibility and accountability grew ever heavier? How many disappeared through simple lack of motivation and direction?
The answer is "far too many".
Both Rap and I now have a vested intellectual controlling interest in making sure that this series continues to grow and develop. We won't LET each other burn out. We won't LET each other quit. We continuously challenge each other and won't settle for staleness or mediocrity. The long-term benefits of that working relationship cannot be understated.
Basically, it's the reason why you're going to be spending the next decade watching the VG Exiles series unfold. That's right - I said "decade". We've only just begun.
No longer is it a case of "R1 is running the show and getting some talented folks to help him." That view is outdated. This has become a true group effort. CE-Rap is now just as much an "owner" of the series as I am. To that end, future productions will reflect the unified group dynamic rather than the individual. If we were making money on this, one could almost mistake us for a bona fide production company. We will explain precisely what this means in one week, when we reveal our team logo.
That said, any of you reading this blog entry to follow my progress should be following CE-Rap's Page with just as much interest. If following the VG Exiles is your goal, then you'll need to keep an eye on us BOTH. The notion that Newgrounds is "mine" and deviantArt is "his" is also outdated. Now, since he's a full-time illustrator, CE-Rap's focus is indeed more towards the DA page. However, he's made it clear to me that he will now make more of an effort to utilize his NG page for the purposes of the series. This includes blog updates exclusive to Newgrounds. My updates will link to his and vice-versa.
If you care enough to comment on my ramblings, then his ramblings need to be your next stop.
That said, the changes that have gone on behind the scenes are about to show up on stage for all to see. It will start with a new center of operations for the VG Exiles. As much as I love Newgrounds, this project is blowing up such that this limited user page will no longer be able to contain it. Very soon, we will be establishing a group page on deviantArt and all future VG Exiles-related news will direct there.
For those who may not know, a deviantArt group page is a platform for a group of like-minded artists to share their work and interests, while also increasing their fan base and getting better known in the deviantArt community.
"Why deviantArt"-you may be thinking?
Honestly, the capacity for creator/viewer interaction is limited here on Newgrounds. You make a comment, I respond. That's really as far as it goes and there's no real dialogue without the feeling that one may be cluttering up the space. In addition, Newgrounds is a flash portal, and other forms of media are never going to get equal standing or exposure here. There is an art portal, yes, but it will never be able to match the flash emphasis of Newgrounds. That's just the way it is. DeviantArt will allow us to expand our options while allowing us greater communication with fans, contributors, or anybody else who may want to stop by. It's really the only place we can go to get this type of communication AND multi-platform media capacity.
The other great thing about the deviantArt group is it will feature TONS of exclusive content. In addition to the blog updates, you'll also get to see original artwork, flash vids, tutorials, character bios, and MORE-all of which, again, will be uploaded EXCLUSIVELY to the group. For this reason, it's imperative that those reading this get a deviantArt account if they haven't already. VG Exiles-centric news will be shown there from now on rather than here on my page alone. My own monthly updates will remain, but they will focus on general stuff I do on my end or my thoughts on certain production issues (like that AS3 ragefest from last month). It's going to become more of a soapbox shout-out area than the spot for official VG Exiles news. You can expect to get more-or-less monthly updates from BOTH of us now on our NG pages and frequent production updates on the dA page.
Lastly, in addition to our deviantArt group, we will also feature an official YouTube channel. All future episodes of the series that premiere on Newgrounds will be uploaded to YouTube by us and to THIS new channel. We're consolidating the production and going in-house across the board, so we want to be sure the videos are viewed through our centralized channel. This channel will also feature some exclusive content such as creator commentary on previous episodes, fan Q & A sessions, special trailers, and MORE. Another important note is that we plan to feature upgraded versions of previous episodes. These upgrades will add some polish to all the episodes to date, giving them a unified look and quality feel. It won't matter if you've seen these episodes thousands of times before. When it's all said and done, it'll feel like you're watching them for the first time. The specifics on these upgrades will be given later on as we get closer to the release date.
These upgraded episodes WILL NOT be uploaded to Newgrounds. NG will retain the original versions of the earlier vids. We're not big on revisionist history, but we feel that a facelift is acceptable for a new release on a new venue. They will only be available on our deviantArt group and our YouTube channel. Again, new episodes will still be presented on Newgrounds, but will ALSO be featured on our group page and our YouTube channel.
This has been our focus since the beginning of winter, and is what our production will be centered on for the month of February. News regarding the 3.5, the changes to it, and its release date will be expressed when our group has its official release, which, as of right now, is slated for early March.
I will be updating this entry throughout the month as the pieces fall into place. Get excited, folks. This production is about to gain a few levels and learn a few new skills.
(Good lord, this was one long freakin' update... If you managed to get through the whole thing, give yourself a cookie. You deserve it.)