That's right folks, our comic archive has some new comics. I'm not just talking about one or two either. SIX new bad boys have been added for your viewing pleaure. How exciting! Here's what we've added:
- The Gamma Chronicles
- Immortal Curse
- InSONICnia Advanced
- The Mighty Omega
- Sonic Meets Megaman
There are two people that helped make this post possible. A big thank you to TheBlurCafe who kindly went through the MFZ archives and organized the comics into tidy folders. Much appreciated.
Another big thank you to OmegaSonic who was kind enough to lend me three of his own comics. I've been a big fan of his sprites from way back in the day, so it tickles me pink to have his work added here.
Without further ado, enjoy our newly contributed comic collection.
It's been awhile hasn't it?
Life has kept me busy. As much as I love Sonic and spriting, work and studies have wittled down my free time. A fortunate occurance which has helped me keep afloat through the tumoltuous 2020.
A small excerpt from my post on Reddit:
Why Reddit some of you may ask? For a long time now I have felt a missing community component to our website. Yes we have a forum and Discord, but older forums are becoming obsolete and our Discord is not structured in a way that encourages longer community discussion on posts. I had made very ambitious plans to host our own social platform on our website, but found the task of coding it to be very daunting as a fledgling web developer. Therefore, I have decided that Reddit is the best platform for the job.
And so begins our platform on Reddit. I'm skeptical of things ever taking off. Frankly though I've been wanting more member activity. Besides Deviant Art, spriters in the Sonic community have been all over the place. The fan base clearly has people working on things though. Sonic Mania has brought some really talented people out of the woodwork, and given the sprite scene a bit of a resurgence. I can't wait to see what people make next.
As some of you have been aware, these last couple weeks I have been getting myself situated back into my apartment after being away for a couple months during quarantine. I have also been taking time to work on other parts of my life, and feel that I am finally capable of getting back on task with this web project.
So what's on the docket?
First I'd like to point out that the General Guidelines in the Suggestions forum has been updated to closely match our system in the Discord. If you are new here and are still considering submitting some of your work, please give those guidelines a once over.
Now to the bread and butter.
The MFZ archive has been completed and we are now ready to move into phase 2 of this site's production. Although I just love hard coding every single sheet into our site (hope your catching the sarcasm), this cannot go on forever. During our first update, I clocked over 5 hours of nonstop work just to create, add and code the new submissions. This will not be something I can sustain in the near future.
Without bogging you down with too many details, essentially our website has a lot of front end development (the stuff you can see) with scarcely any back end development (the tools and functions used to operate the site).
This has led me to begin plans to create a shiny new uploader tool for our website.
Essentially my goal here is to make the upload process easy for our users, and easy for me to implement. The ideal situation would be to give users their own account which they could use to post suggestions through the website. On the other side, content moderators could then see these submissions and approve or deny them to the archive. Some added benefits would include tagging submissions with detailed information such as size, format and categories, which could then be used to search for sheets in the archive to make accessing them easier.
With all this said, this project will take at least 2-3 months to accomplish, maybe longer. As I move forward I will try to give frequent updates to show you how things are going. Between now and then, we will continue to accept submissions to the archive with updates planned every Friday.
That's all for now.
Well folks it's happened, the old Mystical Forest Archive has finally been restored. Many hours of hard work were put into this project. I honestly had no understanding of how taxing this process would be until I was way over my head in tedious icon creating. In all, it took two months to recreate the 1000+ icons in the collection, a fair amount of time for me considering I work full time and pursue other hobbies. My initial excitement motivated me in the beginning, but the small community of memebers who have began to use this resource has kept me pushing through the growling process. I have to admit that after awhile this became more of a chore than something I enjoyed.
Regardless, I think a lot of people will appreciate having this back. New sprite additions will help make this resource more useful, as well as give us some healthy goals to work towards. There are so many spriters who have created their own projects while the MFZ was gone. Some of these sheets have also been improved. Not to mention that Sega released Sonic Mania a couple years ago, opening the floodgates of hundreds of moders creating sprites for the game. While the old archive has been restored, this is only the beginning of more things to come.
As a side note, I have left the archive counter at 99% since there were a number of sheets I was not able to locate during my archiving. If any of you would care to help me find them,
I have attached a text document listing the names of these sheets and their sections.
Edit: An official list has been added to the Discord under #bounties. Join the fun damn it.
So what can be expected in the next couple weeks?
First the suggestions process needs an overhaul. Admitedly I'm a bit embarrassed to invite any more members until there is a solid process for suggesting sheets to the collection. During this week I will be creating general sheet guidelines, a step-by-step guide for suggesting a sheet and preparing our Discord to handle this process in an organized way.
Second will be scouting out talent. My ultimate goal for our community is that we will become a hub for Sonic spriters, comic makers and game developers alike. A place where creators can come together to share their work and contribute to the archive. I believe that the more artists we can host, the better our site will become as a resource for creators to use. I have a vision for many more things to come, and I'm hoping that along the way I can share that passion with others who feel the same way.
As a kid, spriting was an exciting hobby that gave me an outlet for my creativity. I've made so many valuable friendships through the years thanks to sites like the MFZ. I hope as I continue this project, that the same will happen for all of you.
Hope you all are doing well. Happy Tuesday!
You've probably noticed that I haven't added anything to the archive since last week. For good reason though, I have been cooking up two new pages during this time.
I am to introduce a complete archive of Kajin's Insonicnia! Yippee! Along with this, a small layout upgrade has been done for Tribent's comic, as well as a patch implemented for the broken archive links, allowing for easy comic searching. I have also added a new link to the comics button, which leads you to a list of all comics currently being hosted on our site.
In no small terms was this project a doozy. I have combed the internet for weeks in search of a proper comic CMS system that would fit my needs in terms of both style and customization. The landscape of webcomics is vastly different from 15 years ago, and yet if you search the web there is almost no decent, modern CMS solution that doesn't involve hosting your comic on a nother site. While that's great, I feel much more comfortable having control of our content without the threat of rapid changes and shutdowns, as seen recently with Smack Jeeves.
I digress. I hope your will enjoy this small snippet of content posted. In the near future I would love to eventually have some of our own comics being posted by our members. With the new system set up, adding comics will be easy and efficient.
After a month of painstaking work, the first sprite section is finally up. Check it out!
Little did I know after starting this project that it would take me 5 weeks just to get the first page completely made. Part of what makes the process so long is remaking all the previous icons from the old MFZ website. In retrospect, I could have decided to just use the old icons, but since staring I've began to like how these new ones look.
I've taken a lot of time to make sure that most of what you see is very comparable to the old MFZ. My main goal was to give a sense of familiarity, and in due time add on with new content.
If any of you have sprites you think should be added to the collection, join the forums and post a suggestion with the sprite sheet you think make a good addition to the archive.
Now that most of our layout code has been taken care of, I have begun official construction of our sprite page. Full story below.read more...
Small update. We have shiny new nav buttons. Don't you wish they went somewhere? At least let the picture-esque landscapes capture your imagination in anticipation of good things to come.
Two updates in the same day. Wow I'm on fire!
Currently I am integrating a new widget designed to bring Discord to our website. You may notice on the bottom left a little Discord icon. In the future this will be connected to our general chat in hopes to connect other people together in real time. It harkens back to the days of ning chat and IRC, only this will have a bit more polish.
The development team for the widget is beta testing the current version, so all you will see for now is a loading screen. Once they have worked out the kinks, you should be able to log in and access our Discord from this website. Until then, feel free to join the chat if you want to be in the loop about updates: https://discord.gg/jxxTjzJ