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R1665's News

Posted by R1665 - April 2nd, 2013


Yep. You read that right. I'm officially announcing the second installment of Mortal Kombat FAILtality!

I know that this hasn't exactly been the most fruitful period in the history of this page, but I can assure you all that I have not been without a project. I continue to be without regular contact with CE-Rap and I've met this dry spell in the only way I know how - by building "non-main" projects. That's what happened with the first FAILtality. Had there not been that eighteen-month delay in VGE3, that video would not have existed.

I started FAILtality back in late November / early December soon after contact with Rap was first cut off. Progress was briefly suspended in favor of SENTINEL DESTRUCTION, but I was back on the ball soon after. It has taken considerably longer to produce the sequel than the original, but it shows. FAILtality set the bar and FAILtality 2 will raise it. Trust me. You know you've made gold when you can just sit and watch a scene loop for twenty minutes while cackling like a madman...

I do not have a release date set, but I will be trying like hell to get this out in the wild before Injustice: Gods Among Us drops on April 16th. So.... very very soon.

As before, I would like to offer a scene preview as my way of saying "thank you" to those of you who continue to check out this page during these periods of drought. In defiance of my screenshot policy, this one isn't going on the front page. It's just for you guys.

You guys ever wonder what happened to Rain? Time to find out!

R1665

Mortal Kombat FAILtality 2


Posted by R1665 - February 16th, 2013


I might have been skunked for 2012, but 2013 is going to be the year of the Flash if I have anything to say about it. First up is SENTINEL DESTRUCTION. The final construction of this flash has been my focus for the past week and I am satisfied with the way it turned out. I'd never constructed a collab before so this was a real learning experience.

Release date: February 19th.

The news with CE-Rap is not good. First Hurricane Sandy in late October left him and several thousand others without power for weeks. Then a nor'easter came through right afterwards and froze/flooded everything, leaving us out of contact even longer. We had finally re-established email contact last week and were poised to finally get together over Skype and finally sort this shit out. Then Nemo hit and dumped three feet of snow on the entire east coast, cutting out power AGAIN.

So.... I am back to not having a clue what's going on. We'll update whenever we can.

Three months without contact may have halted our combined progress, but I haven't been without something to work on. You guys know about Sentinel Destruction now, but there just... might... be... another secret project coming out soon.

Stay tuned!

R1665

Sentinel Destruction


Posted by R1665 - January 23rd, 2013


 

 

 


Posted by R1665 - November 7th, 2012


I wish I had something more concrete to report, but it looks like we're going to be skunked for 2012. Rap and I had big plans that included the beginning of a new and quicker project, but I haven't heard from him since Sandy hit. As you guys may or may not be aware, Rap lives in NY and the situation up there is less than ideal. There is still much of the area still without basic utilities and there's supposedly another hurricane/tropical storm heading in that direction.

This communications blackout is nothing new to us considering that we went through the same thing when Irene hit last year. I don't worry for Rap's safety because he's one of the smartest people I've ever met and he knows how to take care of himself. He's been through stuff like this before. However, I have absolutely no idea of his current status. The best I can do is sit tight and await his contact while trudging along with other projects.

I'll add a note to this entry when comms have been re-established, but there probably won't be another posted update until we have something substantial ready for next year. Sit tight, boys and girls.

R1665


Posted by R1665 - August 19th, 2012


Well, had things gone according to plan, these "official" updates would be on the deviantArt group page. However, since that page (and the content that will be posted therein) is not yet ready to go live, such updates will need to remain here, I suppose.

Anyway, there are some big changes coming to the VG Exiles and I'm not sure how much I should elaborate here considering that the game plan is not yet finalized for the future of the series. I will say, however, that this has not been a wasted year. Not by a long shot. I know how it looks when months go by and there is little activity here. It looks like the project is stalled or slowed. "Maybe R1 and Rap are getting sidelined by life and finding it difficult to get to work..." "Maybe they're taking an Alvin-Earthworm-styled extended hiatus..."

Let me reassure you guys - shit is getting done and it is getting done damn near every night.

In fact, it is getting done to a degree that nothing like it has ever been done before. It is getting done such that I'm not entirely sure Flash can handle the sheer volume of content this project holds. I'll put it this way - the fight I have now is, at this unfinished point, far greater in content (and filesize) than any other completed fight I have ever done. There are visual and choreographic aspects that have never before been done in this medium and I would have thought them to be nigh-impossible a couple of years ago. One of my worries now is that we may be setting the bar so high that we won't be able to keep raising it in future installments. That sounds like bragging, but it's really not.

------------------------

Anyway, as you all should be aware from my past updates, the series is getting a bit of a reboot and you should all be prepared for some dramatic changes to the established series canon. Some subtle, others massive. Some characters may be different from those who have already been shown. Some characters may be replaced entirely. Plot points change, FIGHTS change, history changes. Everything is getting upgraded. That is going to be ridiculously obvious when this current project drops, but we feel the need to make sure you guys know what is coming.

If this post sounds rambling and incoherent, it is because it is late and I still have a lot of work to do. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and animate a fighter being slammed into the ground multiple times at high speed...

R1665


Posted by R1665 - June 15th, 2012


I was going to save this for the first of the month in order to get back on a steady update schedule, but there's no sense in letting a good rant go stale.

You know what really gets under my skin? These random Flash ads people put in their movies and games.

I can't stand these damn things. It seems now like every other crudely-built cookie-cutter flash being submitted to the portal exists solely to shove these unnecessary skidmarks of e-capitalism down our throats. Earlier today, I ran across one such (exceptionally) offending flash and gave it the zero bomb it deserved. I had seen another twenty advertisement-saturated flashes before it today, but this one drew my ire in that it displayed ads after every significant act. Loading the flash? Long advertisement. Win the level? Here's an advertisement. Lose? Here's another advertisement before you hit the retry button. Bear in mind that each level could be won or lost in less than ten seconds. One or two ads could slide, but thirty? SHEEEEEEEIT...

I really do wish that this shit would go away for normal users. Now, I can understand how Newgrounds would want or need ads on individual pages within itself. This site is expensive and it costs money to keep it running. I get that. What I don't get is why every dipshit who can draw a stick figure or code a dress-up game needs to churn out garbage to turn a few cents profit.

The idea of users having the option to include ads has some theoretical merit - an original content creator could be compensated for their diligence and creativity with a share of the profits earned from views. Makes sense on paper. The reality, however, is that the focus easily shifts from making exceptional works that can draw in some well-deserved money to making mass-produced garbage for no other purpose than to make those few cents before losing any and all relevancy. People still play Infectionator. Mario's Random ATV/defense/avoider/dressup/jigsaw/spot-the-diff erence game hasn't been clicked since it dropped off the portal. Both have advertisements, but only the former is worth the time spent viewing them.

I would really like someone to tell me exactly how much ad revenue is generated by your average shovelware horseshit game before it drops off the portal with its 500-600 total views. Is it really worth the loss of personal integrity that comes from forcing your audience to sit through a spiel about whole-grain cereals or this weeks new free online MMO game that nobody ever plays? I really do honestly want to know.

-------------------------

Now, I don't feel that all advertising is bad and I do distinguish between random flash ads and actual sponsorship. Every so often, I'll catch a YouTube advertisement for a movie trailer or something else that I actually think is interesting. Sometimes, I'll see that the official sponsor of something I like specializes in the kind of items I want to see or buy. For example, I might see a movie that was sponsored by Machinima or something, and then decide to visit because, hey, it might have more of what I was already looking for. They are directly sponsoring a production that I would find appealing because both the production and the products being offered by the sponsor appeal to the same demographic. It's targeted advertising and it's the only kind of advertising that works. Direct, relevant sponsorship can be honorable and bring about great things.

That said, who the FUCK is hanging out on this site and coming to the sudden realization that what they need to make their lives complete is a Swiffer Wet Jet? Are they suddenly going to rise from their computer chairs and go get the new $5.99 Philly Cheesesteak Melt from Arby's?

Anyway, rant complete. Discuss.

R1665


Posted by R1665 - May 10th, 2012


Pan-jump update

^----- NEWS. Go check it out and then keep in touch for the "official" release of the group page.

Also keep an eye on CE-Rap's Newgrounds Page.

Also go play with THIS just for the hell of it.

It's link day!

R1665


Posted by R1665 - March 19th, 2012


Back in 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast and I lost contact with "Carlito".

A couple of months later, he got back in touch with me over Skype and told me what had happened.  Evidently, Sandy had destroyed pretty much everything he owned.  He lost his home and almost all of his posessions, including his computer.  He was living in a group home for displaced Sandy victims and his main means of income - professional illustration - was crippled by the loss of his computer.  He was in a very bad situation with little hope for recovery.

...and I was eight hundred miles away.

It just so happened that I had just finished building a new PC and my old one was now sitting unused in a corner.  It was the ASUS that I had built VGE3 on while simultaneously Skyping with him for over a year.  It wasn't a high-end gaming computer, but it could certainly run Photoshop well enough to let him get back to commissions and pull himself out of the hellhole he was in.  With that in mind, I reformatted the hard drive, reinstalled Windows, packaged it up, and shipped it to New York along with a new monitor.

However, I had apparently forgotten to ship the power cable along with it.  (Remember that, it's gonna be important.)

Anyway, he receives the computer and tells me that there was no power cable.  He also tells me that he tried to plug it up with one of his other power cables and that it wouldn't turn on.  Reason unknown.  However, he did now have access to a laptop and my computer would not be needed after all.  I considered the matter closed and forgot about it.

Fast-forward three years.

Now, he's living in my home.  He has his new custom-built "God Machine" PC.  We had already professionally parted ways months ago and he was now living in my spare (and bigger) bedroom.  Tensions are present.  The relationship is strained.  I've stopped buying his food and supplies, but I'm still going broke trying to pay the bills for two people.  He contributes nothing.

One day, I find a note on my door saying that we need to discuss something and that it won't be pleasant.  I have no idea what's going on.  The next day, I ask him about the note and he suggests that we go for a walk.  We walk outside and get into his car.  He drives down the block and parks in an empty lot.  It's late at night.

Turns out, he drove me out there so he could yell at me without disturbing the neighbors in my apartment building.

- - - - -

Evidently, he had decided to plug up that old computer from three years ago.

According to him, he plugged it up with the power cord from his "God Machine" and walked away.  He came back to a loud noise and found that the old PC had somehow... somehow... shit out and fried the motherboard on his God Machine.  No further details were given.  Don't ask me how the fuck this happened or even could have happened.

Given his state of mind at the time and his stated impulse to shove his thumbs in my eyes and crack my skull open, I didn't ask for further technical details.  Instead, I was forced to listen as he spent the next two hours telling me what a shitty person I was and how I didn't appreciate him as a "brother" or understand what he was going through.

According to him, I was indirectly responsible for what happened to his computer.  I had sent him a faulty PC.  It was just another example of how my flea-market-and-thrift-store ways resulted in me giving shoddy gifts.  I had to acknowledge it.  I had to OWN it.

...and it was all me.  There was no mention of why he decided to plug up a computer from three years ago that he didn't need and already knew wasn't working from three years prior.  Not one word about his own direct responsibility and his own negligence in plugging up such an apparently dysfuntional device on the same circuit as his God Machine.  It was MY PARTIAL RESPONSIBILITY TO OWN.

...which is kind of like giving somebody a stack of money and then getting berated because they got a paper cut from counting it.

I don't know if his story was true as stated.  As stated, the BEST CASE SCENARIO is that this douche did something stupid and couldn't handle it.  He was the genius forty-steps-ahead chessmaster and he couldn't possibly have done something so retarded.  He, for damn sure, wasn't going to acknowledge any fault for his situation, much less own it.

So, here's this fucktard.  He's living in my home, on my dime, for free (despite the partnership having ended months ago), plugging up a three-year-old PC (for reasons not given) that I FUCKING GAVE HIM (also for free, in good faith, and functional when I sent it) into a wall outlet that I'M PAYING THE FUCKING ELECTRIC BILL FOR.  His shit explodes and I HAVE TO TAKE A VERBAL BEATING FOR IT.  ...ain't that some bullshit?


...and you know what the most irrational part was?  I waited another two or three months to throw his ungrateful, narcissistic, manipulative ass out of my home.  That should have been the last night I ever saw him.  Even after all the bullshit of the last few years, I was still soft-hearted enough not to want to throw someone out on the streets.  Even if that person was a toxic prick.

THAT mistake I'll own.

R1665


Posted by R1665 - February 5th, 2012


---------
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.

R1665

(Good lord, this was one long freakin' update... If you managed to get through the whole thing, give yourself a cookie. You deserve it.)


Posted by R1665 - December 22nd, 2011


...is a bitch. Seriously.

I decided a week or two ago that my next great priority should be to finally learn AS3. I must say that my learning experience so far has been less than spectacular. As with Flash itself, my learning technique involved getting a guide book and taking it from start to finish. For Flash, that technique worked like a charm. However, this same method seems considerably less effective for me with this AS3 training.

Now, I am only on the fourth chapter out of twelve (done very part-time), but I'm seeing some serious red flags here. First of all, the way AS3 is formatted pisses me off. A lot. The way my guide book is introducing me to the format pisses me off. A LOT. I can thumb through the book and see a lot of cool stuff ahead, but I know that this book will likely be inadequate for giving me the proper instruction for doing it. That REALLY pisses me off.

The problem seems to be in the innate nature of coding. It has to be done perfectly or it just doesn't work. Flash itself isn't like that. With flash, you can always find a workaround to a problem or do anything multiple ways if one particular thing isn't working for you. It's flexible like that. Script, however, is NOT flexible. Not at all. If it's not exactly right, it's exactly wrong. No wriggle room. Keep that in mind.

This book I am using does a decent job of teaching little aside tidbits and nuances of the coding environment, but fails on the real meat of the job. It offers a grossly inadequate level of comprehension. You can sit somebody down at a computer, tell them what to type, and watch the end result appear, but that does not mean that the person doing the typing actually COMPREHENDS what they are doing.

Without comprehension, you're just wasting your fucking time. It's all meaningless keystrokes.

...and that's all I've been doing for the last two chapters.

Book: "It's time to learn Technique X! Open exercise file 4. Notice how blah is blah blah blah. Got to line 4 and type blah blah blah. Copy line 4 and paste to line 5. Change blah in line 5 to blah. Export. Now that you have a solid understanding of Technique X, it is time to move on to Technique Y..."

Me: "What? Back the FUCK up, Hoss! I didn't learn a goddamn thing! I just followed instructions! Where's the comprehension?!"

With my flash lessons a few years ago, I could stop after any chapter or lesson and just play around with the program to see how things worked. I could take any part of it and do it a little differently just to see how that would change the presentation. Wanna know what that looks like in ActionScript? I looks like this - "Error 1855 - Your shit doesn't fucking work."

It certainly doesn't help that the language of AS3 seems unnecessarily convoluted. In AS2, you could go to a button and write code that basically said, "push button, go here". Nice and direct. Push button, shit happens.

What does that look like in AS3? It looks like this - "Make button push an event. Make event listener to wait for button push. Make event handler to wait for event listener to say it's done. Make event handler say 'go here'".

In other words, AS2 = Brain makes hand move.
AS3 = Mouth says hand should move. Ears hear mouth say the hand should move. Ears tell brain to move hand. Hand moves.

It's really fucking redundant. Who came up with this shit?

------------

I'm going to start back from the beginning tomorrow after I cool off. This crap is getting to me.

/rant

R1665

ActionScript 3.0