A lot has happened since the last time I added a new post in the author blog. My first "weaponized" painting was completed, ol' Wardos suffered a heartbreak, I launched a Minecraft Realms server, and two of my most monumental pet mice died. I even happen to be reorganizing whole sectors of my room right now. Watch this, I'll assemble the shelves.
Wow, that was hellish. Towards the start, I mean. I got carried away and loaded numerous things onto it once the boards were on pins, listening to Spyro music.
Anyway, I think it's time for some more exposure on the situation with Minecraft Fans.
Still going! Writing and drawing this webcomic is still very much on my agenda, but there are obstacles. For one thing, the motherboard I chose and was looking at online turned out to be too big to fix in my Zalman case, basically. Now it's not listed on the website so all the specifications displayed there are also gone. I think it was... intel? An intel PC part?
Either way, I can still find more parts to get, and hopefully buy this time - the only thing is that I need a more experienced person's guidance while doing it. I happen to have way more money saved up for a motherboard than I really needed to, and am almost at $600 in that account now. Only thing is, at that point I didn't realize that I also immediately afterward needed to secure a CPU. Which is less cheap. Significantly. But I think that once I get my ass into gear and find those guys so I can get their help browsing for the RIGHT processe- holY SHIT THE hail landed in my room! Okay, the weather is a bit crazy. It's storming around here and some hail ice bounced off where the window comes in and landed all the way on the left side of my desk. Whatever, on to the next part.
No doubt you've heard about this. If you care about legacy Internet creativity at all. Flash is being killed off. All the games, movies, and toys and stuff that package in the .swf format will be apparently unsupported by 2020. Ouch, that 2020, what a year. Climate change destroys first world countries, political foundations break, and Trapped 5 gets removed.
Now, that sucks, but the problem facing me right now is less about those, and more about how I'm going to make Index 1, and if I want to make it at all. My plan for Index 1, when I finally got the Actionscript 3 to make it, was, you guessed it, a .swf file. Comicfury supports those and I planned to make use of it with a custom archive for all the Minecraft Fans pages which took proper care of the way its story is separated into chapters. Problems I imagined not doing this would cause are things like: giant divides between numbers that look like they're meant to flow together, two universal page numbers that are out of sync, inside-chapter numbers clashing with global numbers.
But I'm pretty sure I've found a way to deal with that without using the Index anyway.
I'm also worried that Adobe's discontinuation of Flash content will fuck with the programs people used to make it with. Like Macromedia Flash 8 and Adobe Animate CC. I use that to draw! It's how my style is maintained!
Luckily, AACC is pretty recent, and can export to HTML5, meaning I'm pretty sure Adobe still wants to keep it around and I'll still be able to get and use it. MF8 on the other hand... I might want to hold on to my copy, just in case.
Last thing. Minecraft Fans has a lot of story, and many stages and functions that still need ironing out, but the drawn project I can't stop thinking about is Crack Putty. I like... really want to get back into that. (I can't yet. Not until I've acquired Adobe Animate and pushed out an early Minecraft Fans phase.) MF has a whole bunch of far future storylines that I've already thought of, and one of them has a really cool trailer I keep imagining. But I keep thinking about the start of Crack Putty Season 2, and now that freaking thing has a trailer as well, despite most of the time having no story, aside from ants. I don't remember why I put this part about Crack Putty here, I'm just gonna keep it. Well, see ya later. I don't know what to say next. I'm gonna go chow down on random bargain bin items and watch Raocow videos.
While I've been in the two week break from Cobbledump, I've motioned to be working on all the other things that I could be creating and that are actually way better uses of my time, and this webcomic is one of them.
Finally, I have a definitive very-beginning to Minecraft Fans with all the timeframes and introductions sorted out. As of today, the frameworks for none other than the first 5 pages of this comic series have been written. There is now a solid base to get two or more weeks of comics out, when I finally have the resources to draw this thing. I'm hoping and thinking that will be within two months, because the power supply has been screwed into my empty tower, and even though David left I've still got somebody to help me assemble this thing. Although the piece of paper I had listing my full present and future inventory of computer parts has been officially declared Dead. I left it in dad's car and haven't seen it since.
I'll write a new one.
This whole "I'm writing down the bare bones of scripts" thing is pretty exciting for me. It means my idea feels less like an idea and more like a plan, and today the way I approached it made me feel like it's just kind of something that's going to automatically happen by consequence of running out of things to do in a day. So it's likely that tomorrow I'll run out of non-creative things to do and then have five more comic skeletons typed out half an hour after I decide to do something that is creative. All because that's just how it appears to happen now. Nice.
So I've been thinking about the comic-posting schedule a bit. Minecraft had these things called Secret Friday Updates (or Seecret Friday, if you want to get really faithful), where Notch would put random things in the game without really notifying anyone, and back in Alpha that was kind of a big deal. To me it's a big deal, even though I technically don't have legitimate nostalgia for it.
But I can't really use that, because I'm not sure I want to only update on Fridays and updates to my comic every week shouldn't be secret. Overall Minecraft Fans is about Minecraft, but these don't really apply because it's not a game. All that aside, I think I want to update this on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, much unlike Crack Putty which was really loose on its update times. Is two a week enough? It is for me...
I feel pretty bad though. Bad because I've wanted to be drawing webcomics again for what is now a long-ass time and I hardly have anything to show for this gigantic hiatus, and in the mean-time I haven't even been completing anything all that good, I'm mostly just updating frustrationey, mundane shit. Shit that is not comics, and therefore is nowhere near as cool. If I was a great programmer I would have least finished Proto-Square and entertained a fair bunch with that, but I'm not even good enough to remember to use my rubber debuggy or recreate Mario-quality jump physics. I'm getting there...
I also have to give up on my animation Death From Minecraft, and animate something easier and less copyrighted in Flash instead (all unrelated to this comic).
Now if you'll excuse me, I am now required to hand-feed my mice. I've got three more of them.
Whoops. Here I am again, about... Five months later, apparently? For some reason it's really hard to find the date stamps on these posts, but I know it's been a long time since I updated all of you because I can hardly even remember the second post.
If you like following the development of this comic at all, I imagine you're wondering why. Why has work been getting done so slowly on Minecraft Fans? Well, first off, this is NOT because of me orphaning any serials or being unable to get work done indefinitely. I know damn well that I want to continue and start getting comics rolling again, even in 2017 when I purposefully return to making Crack Putty after MF's first "phase". It's not that Minecraft Fans has seen little love from its creator because I can't give it.
It's because of this:
This is my whiteboard. I use this to contain information and reminders of things that came from my head but that I'd rather look at. It also acts as something of a 'conductor' for what tasks I have to complete sooner or later. It's also got plenty of other shit that you can see half cropped-out at the sides. The important thing, however, is those eight rectangles directly under the -=TASKS=- header.
This photo is from right after I cleaned it out, and replaced the six large, ugly rectangles with eight much better smaller ones. Right now, they do contain items, and finally Minecraft Fans is one of them. Last week the six previous rectangles were all full of annoying crap that I was trying to get out of the way, and it was very annoyingly beaurocratic for me (even though I'm the one who is coming up with all the rules). One rectangle was filled with something to the effect of "you must practice Road Code tests". One rectangle was telling me to rifle through my C: drive folder and organize my photographs. Four boxes had somehow found a way to be filled with voids. The purpose of the voids was to use arrows to point and box #1, and make me look at and remember the "ROAD CODE SHIT!!" instead of missing it.
That's how I ended up using my Task Board. The concept of putting things I need to complete on a board is not extremely new to me, and I got the idea from MInecraft. I just didn't expect that I'd end up restricting myself from completing all the major, important projects until stupid things like "mouse blog needs more love" and "edit this Wardhouse video" were completely over with.
No more of that. I'm going back to what really counts. Gigantic creative projects and artwork. All the good stuff I can think of is in the eight new boxes right now, and now I'm only being held back from animating or pencil-sketching by the low amount of space left on my desk.
I have a new tower.
My new upcoming PC that I keep talking about is yet another step closer to finally being built.
When that computer is built, I'm finally going to have Adobe Animate and access to Actionscript 3.
Then I'll be able to draw Ron Curman digitally.
I don't want to draw anybody from Minecraft Fans in Flash yet, because Flash 8 is something I'm gonna have to get used to not using, and Adobe Animate handles differently even in the very basics of drawing things. So what I'll want to do is wait until I have the new program and then see how my human-drawing ends up then.
For now, I'm going to keep doing the basic stuff, writing scripts and sketching things on physical paper, but today I want to see a lot more progress, and draw some character models in a sketchbook to finally get the people "out" of my head.
Minecraft Fans is not ready yet. I can not fire up production and start making a comic about what happens in Carbannibas every week, and after what I've planned and promised, I can't wake up tomorrow and decide to pick Crack Putty up either. I made my decision to get a lot of work done on this project throughout June. Shock and horror: It's July! Of course this means I didn't get much work done. The Adobe trial is over so I can't practice drawing the characters. My dad is way South of me so I couldn't get his help building my new computer. (I also happen to have just come back from there a week ago.) Things like that demotivate me so I've ended up distracting myself from outlining more plot in the rtf file. It's been so long since I did anything to further my plan that in spite of what I know, it feels like I haven't done anything. So all it means is that I'll only be living for a while because I just can't make any more comics yet.
This might be a problem.
See, back when I was still making comics every week, I think I had a real sense of purpose for my days. This was especially apparent during story arcs like the one with the ants. Sure, sometimes the stress that came with a few story arcs sucked. Fatal Expression's hidden protestors one was making me doubt myself and had a depressing air of artist to execution failure. The Discount Putty series about well known stick characters was near a time of desperation that caused me to hiatus it and forget my ending. The latest ant one got screwed over by the two year anniversary deadline. But if I could easily and without any push of deadline make any of those happen again as early as next week and fill those days with comic crunch time, I think I would actually be happier right now. That's some freaking focus, you know? I think drawing comics would be my favorite job in the world ever if it wasn't so hard. It's one of the best ways for a single person to just... create.
My current situation, as I see it from this perspective, from within my present-day mind and body, is one that kinda sucks. I've been having feelings of dread whenever I haven't been wishfully coveting a world that doesn't exist, on top of some existential dilemna I get. I'm not very happy with my own life. I can maybe explain that some other time, but I just tried and I couldn't get it out. The important thing about all of that is how every now and then, I actually GET creative urges. Every now and then I'll suddenly rationalize to myself "Man, I really want to make something right now. I should find something to work on," and then I do basically anything that isn't painting, hand drawing, or finishing that freaking animation. Which is frustrating. I should move away from working on the projects that have caused me to write those last two sentences until I've actually got the important stuff done. And more to the point, I think now more than ever is a good time to drown out everything with not beer or The Internet's Finest, but with another kind of addiction, one I've built up over the last 3 years. The addiction to making comics. I know I can't really make anything for Crack Putty or this very website right now, but I should work on Minecraft Fans in a way that makes it feel like I already am. If I don't, I'll probably die. I think I made some bad decisions in 2013 and so on about the way I work, when I work, and for how long. Things could be so different. But honestly, I think my comic serials are about the most well-secured creative venture of mine to date. I'm basically just comparing real comics I came up with using my imagination to alternate IRL timeline versions of my comics that are... well, ALSO from my imagination, just more recently and they're not real. Imagining things... I don't know if I can ever do justice to what I imagine. I wonder when I'll finally create Depression Land.
Between all that, my annoying physical illness, ugly friendship problems, social isolation, a lack of fulfilled feelings, a painful awareness of my distance from the fantasy I'd like to live in, missed oppurtunities, weird videogame depression, and inner conflicts of self and morality, I really do think right now I'm in a bit of a scrump.
Hi everybody. My name's Edward Carter, but I plan to become a guy named Hindbodes sometime during the earlier weeks of this comic (even if only somewhat). I've doubted for a long time if using two of my real names on an Internet site was a good idea, so I've made the credits of this site attribute to Hindbodes instead.
So, first thing up; this is the first comic I'll ever make that doesn't merely last a good while and show actual aspects of quality, but one that contains an actual, tangible canon and story. It's about a guy, the island nation he lives on, and a videogame. Minecraft, obviously.
I've been pretty nervous about this one for a while. I think I've got some good ideas and a well thought-out constructed world in mind, but I know that there are still a lot of ways I can screw this up. The stakes are pretty bad, too, because I've grown really attached and would feel awful if the project failed. More attached than with that other Minecraft comic I thought of, which was invented earlier but really should contain better art and therefore is coming later. I have decided that as part of my job to make this a comfortable production for myself, I'm going to ditch the old Crack Putty schedule and do something along the lines of "update this every Friday". Why? Well it's because I think I'll somehow be less stressed about it if there's a definite time this has to be updated and not a stretchy deadline. Think about it! With Fatal Expression I could get both comics done each weekend and then relax the moment Monday came, knowing that I didn't have to do anything until at least Thursday. With Crack Putty, working towards a comic each week was like having an annoying school project constantly worrying me about the end of each week, and often forcing me to throw together something half-assed. I'd rather just base all my work around Friday so I can have a time I definitely need to work in, and then apologize when I post a comic late.
Second thing; this is going to take a while. Definitely. The first hurdle so far is designing the web pages. It's ugly, no? As you can tell it's not done yet, and when I've finally got Comicfury's bizarre editor to behave I'll be putting some nice background images around the site to actually make it Minecrafty. You know what else kind of sucks? This computer. I absolutely intend to get a new one before I start actually making the comics. This time it's going to be a desktop PC, and I'm going to build it with computer pieces. It can't be that hard...
I have an old copy of Flash that I've been using for...well, about as long as I've been using Flash at all. It's not very good for a lot of things, and it can't make any use of Actionscript 3. Luckily, I've found a newer version of Flash (they call it Adobe Animate now for some reason) that I'll be able to use to create the comic index with Actionscript 3. I'll be buying this program some time after the new PC is taken care of.
That comic index I came up with had me sweating for a while, because I totally became unsure of whether I actually had the skills necessary to build the damn thing. I'm not in such a panic now, because it seems like all I have to do is figure out some basic button stuff, but this would be a lot easier if I could possibly have done it in AS2...
So that will also put things further behind.
Obviously I need to start drawing the characters too, to make sure they appear in the comic properly and don't go completely fucking out of whack with the consistency. Other than that I've got a lot of this comic planned out so it won't take as long as it would, had I tried to come up with everything today (instead of 1.5 years ago).
Last thing; on the main comic page and beginning right now is the big white box called Index 1. That is the beginnings of (did you guess?) the manual comic index I came up with that I'm going to build in Flash. All it does is act as a small interface that you'll be encouraged to use to get to each comic and chapter - instead of the automatic archive. Problem is, there is actually a normal chapter system, but I don't trust it. Hopefully I can find a way to put both "Load My Place" and Index 1 on the front page. I call it Index 1 because I'm likely going to make at least one other comic index in the distant future.
That's about all I can remember to say about Minecraft Fans right now. If you have a question, please comment; if you want to see the start of the series while it's still coming out, please subscribe. Bear with me, this is going to take a while, but I know I'll get it ready eventually. I don't want to have paused Crack Putty for no reason.