Thursday, October 1, 2015

Zehkiflorn Web Design Warmup

A third of the year on comicstuffs like Syphilis Rice, another third on general preproduction headpurgery (and prettying up Hitting Stuff at a Building), and here on the last third I was starting to wonder why I was feeling depressed. Upon sitting down to do some actual animation work, the pen started scraping paper molecules off the index cards and osmosis siphoning them directly into my bloodstream, converting them into some kind of animation-based antidepressant. Wow, it's like doing what you love makes you happy or something.

The original 2007 BarfQuestion website
When I say I'm back to animating, that probably sounds like I'm doing work on that Zehkiflorn reveal trailer I said I was already working on. It was a bit intimidating, diving straight into something like that after 66% of a year with little to no animation, so I'm working on the website redesign instead right now. That might not sound like something that would entail a whole lot of animation, but this heavily interactive iteration of Tales of BarfQuestion is tailored specifically to murder data plans. You're welcome.
 Looking back at the history of the website, you can tell I did not much care for web design outside of my shaky, initial efforts. The sketchbook design from 2007 is, I think, where the current comic page comes from. It will never die. It is unable to die.

The short-lived original original comics page where you had to manually click links to the individual image files for each comic.
The site's second form was a big step down. After four hours of searching my archives and the internet, it appears that fortunately all evidence of its existence has been wiped from history. Merely a collection of links to basic pages circling a malformed, poorly proportioned BarfQuestion that looked pretty damn pleased with itself to be standing in a spotlight, unaware that it was the star attraction in the "Biannual Unwarranted Displays of Hydrocephalic Enthusiasm" pageant. This version had all the terrible- bad art, advertisements, those previous two things I mentioned and nothing else. Certainly not discussion forums. I see you starting to correct me, and I'm telling you to forget about it. Those never happened.

After Sketchbook Doodlytimes and Monetized Freakshow Spotlight came Phase 3, or as I unaffectionately refer to it, BarfStar Runner. I think this was the ultimate low for me. I wanted (needed? seemingly at gunpoint?) to redesign the site on a whim and I remember throwing it together in a weekend. Zero original thought, and generally the kind of minimal effort involved in BLATANT PLAGIARISM. Unfortunately this has been the longest running design and serves as a monument/power plant for efficiently generating a steady stream of shame.

The start of something not-suck...?
I'll finish up animating the new (and first good) design this month, and when bug testing finishes up on Hitting Stuff at a Building, Danielle will be coding it in Javascript + HTML5. It looks like it should be mobile compatible as well, but its bandwidth costs will certainly not be. I've seen a disappointing trend in web design to just link together all your social media accounts. This approach is safe and ensures you'll remain compatible with all the technological trends, but I'm going in much the opposite direction. I don't want to see the internet continue to devolve into a featureless newspaper, filled with inane details about personal lives and videos of people playing video games. I think it important that the internet remains a bizarre carnival of unchecked creativity.

(while I was digging around looking for the old website designs, I found these creepy sprites from a 2007 Smash Bros style game Komix Games and I almost made before before making SpermRider: Seed of Destruction instead)