I’m pleased to announce that I’ve begun work on my next website, and it’s going to be very cutting edge. Perhaps it’ll work. Perhaps it won’t. I’m willing to take the risk to try something new. The content of this site will mostly be comprised of things taken off Psycho-ward.org. However, a good portion of what is on Psycho-ward.org will not be on the site. Think of it not so much as my old site redesigned, but my old site reincarnated. A new mind, and body, but the same soul. I have a name for it, but the name will remain secret because I haven’t registered it yet. I’m really excited, and I hope I complete it before I move to college.
Einstein versus Newton. Who would win in a fight?
Yes, such a high-brow topic has been degenerated into a low-brow fight at Psycho-ward.org’s latest poll. Vote and give your opinion under Poll Comments.
I’m not particularly proud of this Majestic comic, but I do like the second panel a lot. Here it is, Majestic #12.
I have made a new Majestic comic! It’s the first new one in months. Title: Roaring Rampage.
By the way, I’m now happy after I was depressed about being so bad at ARC. I fired up an old game called Virtua Squad and went on a civilian shooting spree. Ahaha!
I haven’t mentioned my latest Bottom of the Barrel comic on this weblog, have I? I don’t feel like writing much, so enjoy that.
On a whim, late Monday night, I decided to end my comic, The Perfect Villain. Actually, it wasn’t a whim. This thing has been building up for a long time. However, the decision to actually end the comic was a sudden one.
If you’ve been following me and my website for quite some time, you can see that something like this was bound to happen. I’ve taken a few hiatuses, and have been lacking in updates. The biggest hint was when I tried to make Majestic my main comic. In fact, Majestic has been listed above TPV in my Comics drop-down menu ever since then. Majestic’s just a plain better comic than TPV. I’ve liked it better. Others have expressed that they like it better.
So, why is TPV not as good as Majestic? I used to think TPV didn’t live up to its full potential because I didn’t update it consistently. Yet, I hardly update Majestic at all, and I still consider it better. Inconsistent updates weren’t the reason nobody read TPV. To understand this, I have to delve into why I didn’t update it consistently.
The whole second in command contest was the worst mistake. I consider my first comic to be the worst comic, but I can understand it since it was the first. There was still room to improve. However, the second in command contest didn’t give room to improve. It introduced too many characters, making it impossible to develop any of them. Meanwhile, with the concurrent storyline, I was getting perhaps a little development going with Goemon. For the longest time, I lamented having too many characters. It made it harder to think of new comics since I didn’t have any real characters to drive the plot.
I already planned to kill off the characters, to make the story tighter. However, on Monday, I changed my mind. I decided it would be better to kill the comic. I hadn’t actually considered the option before, weighing the costs and benefits. In the end, I decided to kill the comic because it wasn’t just the characters driving the comic down.
In fact, the comic was driven down from the beginning. Originally, The Perfect Villain was intended to satirize villains from game and movies by creating a character that didn’t have their major flaws. I wrote a few strips based off that, but didn’t actually get around to using any of them. (Actually, I did manage to incorporate making fun of the “dark” theme of many villains.) Instead, I went into the Evil Lair Idea, and the comic devolved from there.
I effectively limited myself by deriving the title first, but what really limited me was the plot. The plot was never great. Hey, it’s a sprite comic. The plot can never be great. The comic became the equivalent of rambling. And if you’ve read some of my entries, you know how I despise rambling. The comic had no direction. One step in front of the other, with no destination in mind. Perhaps things would’ve turned out differently if I’d stuck with my original idea and not had any plot. But hey, that’s what happens when you improvise from square one.
The seeds have been there a long time. Yet, why did I suddenly decide to kill the comic on Monday. Well, this was the catalyst:
Reviewed by: UberMan5000
Overall Rating: 3
Chalk up The Perfect Villain on the miles-long list of spritecomics with nothing to offer. The main character is a stick figure that can’t move, his minions are insipid, his adversaries are all vastly incompetent and bland (except maybe Goemon, but that’s still a bit of a stretch), and the comic itself is crudely constructed, the backgrounds composed of random circles and polygons and the talk balloons totally nonexistant (the author merely uses different fonts arranged in disjointed patterns). It probably took the author (whoever the hell he is) ten minutes a piece to construct each action-packed episode, concept to completion!
The storylines share the crudity of the comic’s presentation. The comic opens up with an obligatory “I’m the Perfect Villain, hear me roar” kind of comic, then he finds a lair, finds a second-in-command (who’s nothing more then a wise-ass scribble) who he picked through rounds of Family Feud, Match Game, Jeapordy, and a gauntlet that went for over 60 comics. He then rounds up a hoard of cut-and-paste Yoshis for his hoard of minions. A very bad-looking inverted sprite of Mario from Mario RPG named “Captain Nova” (because he glows) vainly tries to foil this perfect villain. Ness offers him a ride in his glob of circles that he calls a submarine. He then abandons him, has a dialogue with the narrator (fourth-wall breaching, classic). Captain Nova then gets caught in Goemon’s spider web and they set off to find The Perfect Villain’s lair. The rest of the story isn’t even worth talking about.
I’ve read through all 109 comics in the archives so that you don’t have to. Psycho-Ward.org can pay for as much ad space as they want, but all they need to do is make this comic tolerable to get some viewers and gain my respect. Avoid this comic until they get their act together, but you’ll probably be dead by then.
As I read it, I wasn’t mad. I realized it was almost all true. I appreciate everything he said (except: “but you’ll probably be dead by then”). I needed this. I needed someone to confirm these lingering thoughts I’ve had for a long time.
I’ve said before, “If this wasn’t my comic, I wouldn’t vote for it.” I shouldn’t have continued a comic if I really wasn’t that proud of it. It took me a while, but I finally realized that yesterday.
If I didn’t believe in the comic, why did I keep doing it? Part of it has to do with Peter Pan, I think. No, that’s not a complete non sequitur. You see, TPV’s mode of humor is definitely younger. It’s definitely less mature. And you know what, I think that comforted me. In TPV, I never had to grow up. Well, now I’ve outgrown TPV. I’ve matured, and my humor has matured. TPV has not matured with me. Granted, I think some of the later episodes have better comedic timing, but they’re still not as good.
Let me give another story. I’ve mentioned before how Urchin quit Sakana Yama. What I haven’t mentioned is that he came back. And then, he soon thereafter quit again. He said he didn’t find his work funny. Now, Urchin didn’t have the same problem with characters that I did, but I think he outgrew his work too. He outgrew the coarse random humor.
Even though I don’t think TPV is that great anymore, I have no regrets. It was a learning experience. Practically no one is successful with their first comic. I learned some valuable lessons. I learned that too many characters can kill. I am more familiar with my photo editing programs. I learned pixel editing and patience. I know all about the PNG graphical format. I learned a bit of discipline and time management. My greatest lesson from TPV, however, is what not to do. I know not to make another The Perfect Villain comic.
I don’t think any of it was a waste of time. I did make some people laugh. I don’t think TPV was in the bottom 1% of comics. I think it was at least at the 2% level. Even though it’s not great, I’m still proud of it. Some episodes didn’t take long to make, but there were still over 100 comics. That does add up.
Next time, however, my comic will be higher than the 2% level, and the amount of time spent on it (especially planning) will increase exponentially. Look forward to my next comic.
I spent most of my time today on TPV #110: Tricksy Facade.
I also created a new voting button, so I guess you should vote.
No further entry today.
I don’t get it. I removed my link to the Pepperidge Farm goldfish website. The words were hardly changed. I did nothing else. Suddenly, my Goldfish jingles page drops completely off the search engine listing. So, scratch that strategy. I’m going to restore the page to its original text. However, I may still follow through with the second part of the strategy.
Don’t know what I’m talking about? View my entry, “Google Defusing Goldfish”.
Currently, on Google, my page for Goldfish jingles (also known as Plot of the Goldfish), is #2. It is right below #1, a now defunct page of Pepperidge Farm’s lyrics for their jingles. The page now redirects you to the main page.
So, I was wondering, if this page doesn’t actually exist, how come it’s still number one? To understand this, you have to understand how Google works. Google gives precedent to pages that are linked to by more people (to make a long story short).
A quick look-up for “google bombing” will give a bit more information of what I want to do. I want to do the opposite for the #1 result for the aforementioned search term. I came up with the term “google defusing” to make it a bit catchier.
Anyway, I used to have a link to it from my Goldfish jingles page, but now I’ve removed it. I plan to ask others to do the same. Except, I’ll be a bit more slick about it: I’ll merely “inform” them that the link is old.
Hopefully, upon the next Google update, my page will be #1. But with my luck, it’ll probably be this weblog entry as the next #1.
For the past couple of months, my hits have been decreasing. It’s easy to tell why when I look at my search logs. Earlier in the school year, I was receiving hits from people searching for the TI-83+ calculator. Pepperidge Farm has quit its pervasive use of the new goldfish jingles. Searches are down, and so are hits that used to come from it.
Yet, what good were these hits? People visited and left. I need to garner repeat visits. This is where my new strategy comes in.
I’ll call this new strategy IC, for Individual Conversions. It’s really just a new method of shameless self promotion. Yet, shameless self promotion was more mass-oriented. People recognized it, but it did not get them to visit. Now, I will concentrate on individuals. I will find a target, and get him or her to visit psycho-ward.org.
The purpose is to establish a relationship with the target of IC. I’m essentially a salesman for my website. A good relationship with the target will gain more repeat visits, just as good customer service at a store will gain more repeat business. Eventually, I can get that person to a stage where they will visit automatically with practically no urging on my part.
Furthermore, by associating with me, as a person, not as a website, it’ll be more likely they’ll spread the word. A satisfied customer will refer others to your service. I want to sell the website along with myself. So, if I’m mentioned, my website will be mentioned, and people will visit.
So, there’s my next experiment, and I’ll keep you updated on how it works out. Eh, don’t be offended if you’re the next target of IC. Remember, the “purpose is to establish a relationship”. And if the website shtick fails, that doesn’t mean I’ll cut off relations with that person (notice how I’ve shifted my language from “target” to “person”). Not everyone will like my website (sniffle).
I posted my favorite items for 2003 from Psycho-ward.org. Great year. Lots of good stuffs. Next year should be even better, though.
Check out my new Snow-Globe of Social Commentary. It’s received nothing but good reviews so far. This week’s edition is definitely laugh out loud.
In the month of April, I wrote how my website, psycho-ward.org, had broke 50,000 hits for one month. October was another landmark: 100,000 hits. My hits have doubled in the six-month period.
So, it does seem as if referals grow exponentially. I’m still getting a fair amount of searches for “goldfish jingles” but I’ve got more for TI-83+ Calculator downloads. School brought in new kids curious about my calculators. Oddly enough, I get searches for “games” for the calculator, but I don’t have any on my website, nor do I mention them. I think it’s picking up on “Games” from my main menu.
I also did end up joining buzzComix, and ended up doing fairly well. Then, I switched to Majestic, but then I took a break for the duration of September. When I came back, TWC was done, so many comics came to bCx, and my ranking suffered. I’m now switching back to TPV on the top list since I didn’t update Majestic last month. I lost a piece and I couldn’t continue without it. Anyway, even being lower on the list, I still get more “outs” from bCx than from TWC.
A link to October’s stats in case you’d like to see more numbers.
Here’s hoping for 200,000 hits in one month.
Not writing about TV today, so I’ll just plug the latest Majestic, the Crime-Fighting Falcon comic. They’re always fun to make. I’ve got a great deal more freedom with photography than I do with sprite comics.
I can crop and change the size of my images very easily. With TPV, I’m limited because the sprites must stay the same size, or they’ll easily be distorted. Another thing that I can change is perspective. Different camera angles can add a lot. I personally liked the over-the-shoulder shot in my latest Majestic comic. I may be doing Majestic comics more regularly.
I just completed a storyline in The Perfect Villain where there was a contest to determine TPV’s second-in-command and various lackeys. I had over 20 contestants. I feel as if I pulled it off okay, but it was still a nightmare having so many characters.
Many comics are like TV shows. They are built around characters. So, I had to try going through character development for 20 different characters. Imagine a TV show where they dump 20 new characters. Not an easy task. Many of them, in TPV, didn’t get much character development, and I used some cheap gimmicks like odd speech. (See Carnage.)
It’s a mistake I made early on, but it affected me for a long time. I started it with comic #33, and I finally finish with #97. Even though there’s Captain Nova comics in between, that’s still a lot of comics.
Having too many characters makes it hard for the readers to get to know them. They’ll be shuttled back and forth too much to remember, or not enough, and they’ll start to forget about the earlier characters. During the obstacle/course maze, I had the problem of going between characters too much. I had to write it down, otherwise I would forget who had died, who had got stuck, and who was with who. During the game shows, I had the problem of going between characters too little. I had to look through my archives to remember everything.
Over twenty characters is also a lot of information to remember, as well as to create. With fingers and toes put together, that’s only 20 digits. Oh sure, teachers can remember students in classes, but they’re seeing them on a constant basis and for longer amounts of time than in a comic strip. Completely different dynamics.
There are two ways to deal with having a large number of characters at the same time: 1) Make some main characters, but the rest minor characters. 2) Split them up into groups. Excellent examples of #2 can be seen in many Star Wars: New Jedi Order novels. I did that to an extent, but it wasn’t eloquently done. #1 is done often in novels where there’s war, so characters die more frequently. I didn’t want to do that because then it wouldn’t really be a contest, and I didn’t want to give away who would win. Yet, I was still a little guilty, giving my favorite characters (the ones who make it) more development. So, you could probably tell Senor Scribbles had a fair chance of winning from the beginning.
Well, now I know never to attempt such a thing again.
Looks like I overestimated the amount of trickle down. A quick look at my traffic statistics, shows that there was no considerable increase. In fact, my hits have been going down since about June 18. I believe I know why: I underestimated the people’s laziness. Then again, something else may account for it.
[update regarding ID tomorrow]
Okay, that’s actually the name of a (not very good) jazz chart that rips off Sidewinder, which is a good song.
A little story about hyperlinks… My friend’s cousin has a comic. That comic, named Calmok’s Adventures, I mentioned yesterday that I’m hosting. The reason why I offered to host it was that he was going over his bandwith limit at Angelfire. The sudden jump in bandwith was due to an advertisement on Ctrl+Alt+Del, a fairly popular webcomic. (More than fairly.) Tomorrow, I shall see just how much trickle down I got when my webstats are refreshed tomorrow. I’m certain it’s a good amount. Colin (the one with the comic I’m hosting) informed me that near the bottom of the links page, he had a link to one of his friend’s Angelfire sites. That site is now over its bandwith limit. Must be from his site, no? Now, how much am I going to get, if there’s a link to me (via The Perfect Villain) on the front page, in one of the recent newsposts.
That, my friends, is the value of a hyperlink. (I’ve mentioned this before.) You can go from here to there very easily. One person’s good fortune can mean good fortune for those that he acknowledges.
That’s also the value of targeted advertisement. Webcomics advertising other webcomics will be more likely to get hits than a bank site advertising fireworks.
I have a link to this weblog on the front page of psycho-ward.org. I shall also have to see how much trickle down I get from there.
I must also update TPV. It’s supposed to be updated twice a week. I’m not even close, as of now.
Will be commenting on this entry from Alan Boyle’s Cosmic Log, relating to an airing of a show on intelligent design.
At my website, psycho-ward.org, one fairly recent page that I’m fond of is Inappropriate Fortune Cookies. What I’ve done is paired different fortunes from fortune cookies with people who definitely don’t fit with them. Even the best generalizations can fail you. Keep that in mind, all you mind-reader, fortune-teller charlatans out there.
Right now, my comic, The Perfect Villain, is ranked #46 on the buzzComix top 100 list. The percentage of comics above mine that are pretty bad is most likely somewhere above 90%. (I could do a real check, later, when I’m not so tired.) Out of the sprite comics listed (with the button below the comic name), TPV is #10. I’m asking people to look through all the other sprite comics and tell me if any are better than mine. I doubt that many, if any, are better than my comic.
How can this problem be fixed? By going to TPV and clicking the vote button on the side. You can vote once a day. However, I’d just like it if people voted on Fridays, when I actually update the comic.
Yeah, so this is entry is basically one big advertisement for TPV. An entry on how the overwhelming majority of webcomics out there are crap is coming later.
Not talking about hypocrisy today, but I will sometime next week. I started driving today, but that’s not the inelegant problem — I’ll relate that experience tomorrow, perhaps.
The inelegant problem is 12-year-old AOLer fans. Yes, I officially got my first stereotypical 12-year-old AOLer fan of my website, psycho-ward.org, very recently. He sent an e-mail going a little something like this:
“Theres this anoying kid at my skool and i hate him! can to tell him hes gay and has no freinds.
PS: we call him tinny cuz he lives in a trailor”
Aren’t kids horrible these days? He even IMed me. A screen name like “eatcatpoop0123” is a dead give away to a person’s age. If not that, then the mixed caps and mispellings in the conversation would have given it away.
If that person ends up reading this, then I say, “Enjoy my site and keep those kinds of comments to yourself.”
On to the other part of the entry’s title: elegant solution. I have posted a different screen name on my website. I don’t want my screen name swamped by young kids who don’t know how to type. I’m solving the problem before I become some kind of internet semi-celebrity (if ever). I mean, I like people IMing me and telling me that my website is cool, but I don’t like people IMing me and telling me, “OMG U R WEBSEIT iS Da kEWLeST!!11!!!”
But if I put I different screen name on, how do any “good” fans IM me? Simple, I use an AIM cloner. Yet, I find cloning a hassle, especially since my computer is a little bit short of memory, and space on the C: drive. Thus, on the denizens page, I put that I’m usually online between 4 and 6pm PST. Now, I only have the cloner on for a limited time. As a bonus, it’ll be easier if fans want to find me. And yes, I do actually have good fans.
My main website, psycho-ward.org has broken 50,000 hits in one month. Alas, a hit is counted as a hit to any page, and I think images count too. A visit is by one person (one ISP actually) to any number of pages. I’ve still got about 3,000 of those for this month.
I’m feeling good about these numbers. I’ve seen a great rise lately, despite the fact that I haven’t been doing much. I think I can attribute it partly to the fact that I’m number 2 on Google for “goldfish jingles.” I get a nice number of referrals from similar searches. A big reason, I believe, is the latest site redesign (from late February of this year). It may make people more comfortable because it seems a more polished and professional look than before. Another factor has to do with math. A chain of referrals by word of mouth grows exponentially. One friend tells two, those two each tell two friends, those new people tell more people, etc.
Something that hasn’t really been helping me, as of late, is Top Web Comics. My comic, The Perfect Villain is glorious number 297 on this list. I’ve also gotten *gasp* 13 outs this month. Believe it or not, TPV, during two months, was in the Top 50 of this list. I’m going to be joining buzzComix, a new comic list, next month (which starts tomorrow) which is aimed at webcomics with smaller audiences. Hopefully, I’ll do better there.
Here’s hoping for 100,000 hits in one month.
It’s dreadful when teachers say that internet sources are not allowed. Here we have the greatest resource at our fingertips, and yet we cannot use it. Their excuse is that the internet is too easy. And I say, yes, it was made to be that way. Ever take a look at Jakob Nielsen’s stuff? He says a lot about usability at useit.com. People use the internet because it is easier.
If they don’t want it to be easy, they want it to be hard. They also want it to take up more time. This makes it a waste of time because they are just adding stipulations to make it more time-consuming.
I liken this to making us use typewriter to type up our essays because a computer makes it too easy. Or, having to do trigonometry using tables because a calculator makes it too easy. Or, having to cook popcorn on the stove because the microwave makes it too easy. It’s easy for a reason!
Making us do unneeded work is stupidity. It doesn’t benefit us, for obvious reasons. It doesn’t add any benefit to the learning experience any more than using log tables will add to the learning experience. Times are a-changing; change with the times. It also doesn’t benefit the teacher because it makes them seem like they aren’t doing their job correctly because they aren’t teaching to make use of current resources and to use time more efficiently.
Now, that I’m done talking about that… some random AIM hilarity:
flymistah19: who this
schizo killer: The question is, who are you
flymistah19: not really
flymistah19: your the one who’s talkin to me
schizo killer: Visit www.psycho-ward.org
flymistah19: what about it
schizo killer: it says visit
schizo killer: actually, someone else wanted to know who you were and I took this opportunity to shamelessly promote my website.
schizo killer: Did you visit, or are you just going to ignore me now?
schizo killer: okay, FINE, you whore-mongering bitch, ignore me.
schizo killer: and then, go visit www.psycho-ward.org
I still don’t know who that person is, but I do so love shameless self-promotion. And to those wondering if I’ve seen any of the comments posted: Yes, I have. I may take tomorrow to respond.
Things Get Better
When Thomas was only three years old, his mother died, leaving his father to raise him and his younger sister. Four years later, his sister was diagnosed with cancer and died shortly thereafter. Thomas’ father did the best he could to try to raise his now-small family, but he was laid off and couldn’t find a job.
Despite all this, Thomas always told his closest friends that he knew deep in his heart that things would get better. Others at school knew him as a jovial person, who always looked on the bright side. However, Thomas’ father, unable to find a job, began to drink. He began to spend more and more money. He also began to play poker every night, and he lost a lot of money. Thomas never blamed his father, or was mad at him. He thought things would get better.
They didn’t. Thomas and his father lost their house and were forced to live on the streets. When others at school heard this, they were shocked. Thomas was still as happy as he always was. They offered help, but Thomas refused and got a job. He still continued to say that things would get better.
One night, Thomas’ father drank too much and died. Thomas never gave up, and continued with his job and school. He always believed things would get better, and soon, even his friends began to believe him.
Then, Thomas was hit by a truck and died. The end.
Happy April Fools’ Day. I got a new Ridiculously Easy Game on my website. Now, an annual tradition three years running! The only real annual tradition on psycho-ward.org. Next year, I’m going to see if I can get my band teacher in on a practical joke to assign us a taped test on April 1st.
I read a webcomic called Sakana Yama, which is one of my favorite webcomics. The person doing it is now quitting. I’m pretty bummed, like a TV show was cancelled. Only, this is different. Webcomics have whole communities built around them. They go for a niche, rather than have to appeal to a huge broad audience. The people reading them have more in common with each other than the masses watching a TV show. I’ve seen a lot of webcomic artists become discouraged because of a lot of flame mail they get. It’s a shame to see their tactics work in getting people to quit. He also was using up a lot of bandwith, and I checked out his host, and he was getting ripped off. A shame. I’m sure Urchin (the author of Sakana Yama) will get a lot of e-mail, but I’m going to send an e-mail too, to show my appreciation.
Oh yeah, and I didn’t update yesterday. My first day missed. I’d say it’s not too bad, considering I’ve barely begun weblogging. I don’t see many others updating everyday. I don’t plan on missing any other days. I have no good excuse, I simply forgot. I was lying in bed at 11:30, and I’m thinking, “Uh oh, forgot about my weblog.” But by then, it was too late. My parents wouldn’t appreciate me getting up in the middle of the night to update my weblog.