Webomator: Bradley W. Schenck's blog
Bradley W. Schenck's books Webomator Blog Topics Archives Retro Sci Fi
Search retro robot art
Subscribe RSS retro future Bradley W. Schenck at Facebook Bradley W. Schenck at Goodreads Bradley W. Schenck on Twitter Bradley W. Schenck at DeviantArt Bradley W. Schenck Also by Bradley W. Schenck Webomator blog: Notable Sites
Monthly Archives: March 2010
Bride of Thrilling Tales

Filed under Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual, Works in Progress

As planned, I’m working now on both the book layouts for the first Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual volume, and on finishing up the Thrilling Tales web site.

There are some technical features on the site that I couldn’t really work on without actual content (and boy, have I got that now!) There’s also a feature that I decided to add after I’d started in on the art. You can see that at the upper right: big pop-up versions of the illustrations.

That in itself wouldn’t have been difficult except that I had to retrofit the existing pop-up window code – not written by me – to be much more flexible. I was already using these windows for big info panels about items you pick up in the course of the story, and I plan to use them for the save/load panels, too. So I had to teach the system to be happier about taking content in different ways and to accept the dynamic content that is 90% of what happens on the pages.

Thrilling Tales: The Web Site
Thrilling Tales: The Book

The surprising thing is that although the technical tasks weren’t easy, they haven’t taken much time at all, now that I look back on them. Still some more of that stuff to do, but it’s going well.

At the lower right is a working layout for the book pages. Just arriving at a basic layout that looks great and works across all those pages is more difficult than you might expect.

Because book pages (unlike web pages) are all the same size. I need to present a certain amount of information like the items and options shown across the bottom of the page for each node in the story. In a few cases I’ll need to go to a two page spread – I’ve always known that. But I want to keep those to a minimum so there’s a lot of trial and error with the page layout to see how it works for a variety of story nodes. Inevitably there are some that are just slightly too long – way too long would have been better. Slightly too long is complicated.

Anyhow, that process is nearly done. Soon I’ll be laying out all of the pages for real. And then – because in its way this is an interactive book – I’ll actually have to test it. Strange but true.



Update: the Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual web site is now alive (alive, I tell you!) at thrilling-tales.webomator.com

 
 
In June, We Shall Rejoice

Filed under Found on the Web, Reading / Watching / Consuming

 
 
Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual Hits the Home Stretch

Filed under Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual, Works in Progress

ID Card from the Future That Never WasWith the last three "inventory" illustrations (which I haven’t been counting) I’m now, honestly, finally, completely 100% and no-foolin’ done with the art for the first story at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual. It’s ALIIIIIVE!

Or, you know, the art’s done, anyway. I still have two other tasks to wrap up before the site’s ready for the general public. But this single massive task has been keeping me going since late August. Out of the past seven months I’ve spent about one month working on other things. So forgive me for busting out the beer a little early. Or I would, anyway, if I could find Red Hook ESB anywhere in this county (state?)

So, yep, I’m still on track for a site launch sometime in April, with the live (free!) web version of Trapped in the Tower of the Brain Thieves, the book version of the same story, various free bits and bobs like the Sci FI Pulp Title Generator (the Title-O-Tron), and all of that to be punctuated with the animated trailer which is still in its state of "maybe I’m done". That sly minx.



Update: the Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual web site is now alive (alive, I tell you!) at thrilling-tales.webomator.com

 
 
Thrilling Tales – Brains Tubes on Parade

Filed under Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual, Works in Progress

In the Brain Repository of Retropolis

Still going, still going… my goal for the week is to finish both the Thrilling Tales trailer and the redos and post work on the story illustrations for Trapped in the Tower of the Brain Thieves.

This was probably the last of the more difficult redos for existing illustrations. Probably. Most of them just need some adjustments to contrast and brightness: that might have been needed anyhow, but the matte paper for the book tends to dull down the contrast of the images and as I’ve seen, that means they need some more lovin’. I stand a pretty good chance of getting through the rest of them in the next couple of days.

The trailer may be finished. I’m not sure yet. There are a couple of things I might like to try differently but the thing that I like least is something that it would be very difficult to change, because it has to do with the pacing and length of the period musical score. That isn’t flexible. About all I could do would be to try a completely different score (after finding one I could use!) and that would lead to a brand new complete edit and, I’d guess, at least a week of new work. This idea does not excite me. So I watch it, and brood a little bit, every night. We’ll just see.

If I meet this week’s schedule, then, I can move on to finishing the web site – several technical things to do there, along with adding non-story content – and I’ll also get to work on the book layout for the print edition. Proofing and finalizing the book is likely to be the real bottleneck. I’m still aimed at a launch for the Thrilling Tales web site before the end of April, and I believe I’ll get there on time.

I’m not posting often here just now because I’m not thinking about much of anything else. Talk amongst yourselves. Confer. Relate.



Update: the Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual web site is now alive (alive, I tell you!) at thrilling-tales.webomator.com

 
 
Thrilling Tales – the Adventure Continues

Filed under Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual, Works in Progress

Jubilation in the Secret LaboratoryOkey Doke. As milestones go, this is the big one: I finally finished the last illustration for Part One of The Toaster With TWO BRAINS.

For the moment, I’ll ignore the fact that I still have three inventory illustrations to go; and having ignored that so successfully, I’ll pretend that I don’t expect to redo ten to fifteen of the illustrations I’ve already done; and while this ignoring thing is going so very well I will also neglect to remember that with all the art done I’ll still have a few weeks worth of debugging and finishing to do on the web site. And extras, like desktop wallpapers, to make.

Hey! Ignorance really is bliss!

On the other fronts I am pointedly not looking at the trailer because I’ve looked at it so much I can’t really see it any more. It’s pretty close to being finished. But I need to look at it with fresh eyes so that I’m sure what changes I still need to make.

I have a test book coming from the printer to work out any kinks in the printing process… so that once the art is really, definitely done I can put together the print version.

And I’ve continued to work on the Pulp Sci Fi Title Generator I put together for the Thrilling Tales web site… it’s continued to improve and it’s gotten a spiffy graphical facelift. And I’ve even made a Mini Title-O-Tron that people can install in the sidebars of their own blogs or web sites, if they like: I want to do a Facebook app version but so far whenever I look at their docs, my brain hurts.

So I guess I can take a deep breath for a bit, at which point I’ll need to stop ignoring those things I mentioned above, get them done, and try to catch all these balls I’m juggling at about the same time so that I can launch the site.

Rockets over Iceland

Update: the Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual web site is now alive (alive, I tell you!) at thrilling-tales.webomator.com

 
 
webomator
The Webomator Blog is powered by WordPress.
Down in the Basement. Where it Strains Against its Chains and Turns a Gigantic Wheel of Pain, for all Eternity. Muahahahahaha.