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Welcome to Altered Origin 4.0

…Is it 4.0? I’m pretty sure I’ve platform-hopped about three times since good ol’ dcNET first hit the web, so yeah, 4.0. 3.0? But if I’m counting from dcNET and two of the platform-hops were under the old name, wouldn’t that mean this is Altered Origin 2.0? Uh. Whatever!

Welcome to the new site! As I’ve mentioned before, this latest reincarnation was generally just to make things easier to manage and a little leaner and meaner. Out with the WordPress backend, in with a nice little static site generator. I’m sure that means nothing to most of you, so instead of continuing to talk about how nerds run their websites, let’s have a quick tour of what’s changed around here!

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Changes coming soon

I’ve been making headway on that site revamp, and since I’m pretty close to done I figured it was high time to make the announcement official. I’m hoping to make the switch sometime in the next few days—maybe even as soon as tomorrow (Wednesday the 30th). Given that I’m actually transitioning the site to a less complicated system there shouldn’t be any major hiccups, but I apologize in advance if there are any difficulties during the update. You may also need to clear your browser’s cache once it’s done for everything to display properly.

A few things will be different around here once the dust settles:

  • There’ll be a new visual style, and the styleswitcher will be going away for now. I may bring it back in the future—if nothing else I like the idea of having both light and dark styles, since god knows I appreciate it when my jacked-up old eyes can view a site with a darker color scheme and maybe there are people who really, really need light backgrounds—but it’s not a priority right now.
  • The site’s content should be largely the same (I am going to be removing a few old images and things), but the menu will be rearranged and some URLs may be different. There should be redirects for most things, but do let me know if any recent links—I don’t care about links in ancient blog posts, mind, since a bunch of those have been broken for years anyway—are not working for you.
  • Comments will not be back immediately. I do intend to try adding Disqus comments to the site and see how those play out, but I’m really hoping to have the meat of this done by the end of this week and I don’t know how long it’ll take me to get the settings right. If they’re not live right when the switch happens, I hope to have them working sometime in April.
  • New stuff! There’ll be a few more drabbles, at least, and I’m hoping that this upcoming April will give me a chance to dust off the actual “blog” on this site. Maybe it’ll dust off a bit more than that…

I’ll have more details about what’s different, what’s gone and what’s new after the switch is complete. Hang tight, and thanks in advance for your patience. See you on the other side!

Happy Pokémon Day!

…hey, it’s still the 27th in a few islands out there in the Pacific, so I am totally not late! I did a few things to celebrate the 20th anniversary and the days leading up to it, and I thought I’d post them here as well! There are several new pictures in the fanart gallery, and there’s also *gasp* a new fanfic! Said fic may still get a few tweaks here and there in a little while—I’m rushing to post it while it’s still the 27th somewhere out there, so it hasn’t gotten quite as much proofreading as it probably needs. Still, hopefully it makes for a nice anniversary read!

I should also point out a few housekeeping things: first of all, comments have been turned off for now. Not too many people were using them… aside from a ton of spammers, and I was getting a little tired of having to clean up behind them. I’m not quite sure when they’ll be returning; we’ll have to see.

Part of the reason I’m not sure when they’ll be returning is because I’m getting closer to the completion of the latest site revamp, which will change a lot of backend structure and thus force me to use a different commenting solution anyway should I decide to bring them back. Since I’m so close to getting the new thing set up, I’m not planning on updating much until it’s ready (I only bothered today since it is a holiday, after all). Another announcement will go up when the actual switch approaches.

I hope you enjoyed Pokémon Day in whatever ways you chose to celebrate it! I’ll probably still be around and kicking as long as Pokémon has inspiration to share, so who knows? Perhaps I’ll have a little something-something to do for the series’ next anniversary, too. :)

Underwhelming Birthday Party Number Eight

Been a while, hasn’t it? Exactly one year, in fact. I can only apologize for the quiet around here—I didn’t even do a resolution post in January (although to be fair, I actually didn’t make any fandom-related resolutions anyway). A lot of my website-related time this past year, especially in the first few months, went toward a massive revamp of the Phoenixdex, and I just haven’t been able to get any new stories or anything finished that could go up here instead. As always, I’m hoping I’ll be able to change that around in the coming year. I cannot and will not promise that the site will update daily, weekly or even monthly—by now I should know better than to say that sort of thing, and anyway it’s not like this is an up-to-the-minute news site like Serebii so what would I even do every day—but I can definitely say that I’ve got some plans in store for this old dog yet.

That brings me to the first of the birthday presents: I’ve finally gone and updated the To-Do List, getting rid of out outdated projects (the last time I touched that page was before Gen VI was even announced, oh god) and adding new ones so the page is once again useful as a way to learn what’s up next for AO. Most of what’s on there at the moment consists of updates to existing pages and projects, but there are a few new tantalizing secret shinies waiting in the wings as well. (And yes, this time they are actually intended to be content for Altered Origin itself, not side things like the Turquoise RP forums.) You’ll also notice that I’m going to be making some changes around here and moving the site to a new platform. For the most part that change shouldn’t affect the way you use the site, apart from possibly making it slightly faster to browse—the majority of the changes are more for my/my server’s benefit than anything else. Still, it’ll probably come with some slightly changed layouts (including a Skiddo layout to complete my set of favorite Pokémon) that will hopefully be even better for reading than the current two are. There may also be some URL and structural changes, and a few older pieces of content may be shuffled around or removed, though I will try not to remove anything I think people might be using—I don’t do much with ASB anymore, for example, but I know there are people who reference some of those pages and I don’t want to take that content away if it’s still useful. We’ll just have to see what happens when I read through and move everything over, eh?

Another thing that’s on the to-do list: an LP! A few months ago the demo of the highly anticipated fangame Pokémon Ethereal Gates was released, showcasing fifty brand-new Pokémon and the game’s first two gyms. I did a blind Let’s Play run of the demo over on my Tumblr, and now I’m cleaning it up a bit and moving it over here. It even has screenshots, unlike my last two muddled attempts at LPs! I’ve mentioned before that I’d like to do more Let’s Plays for the site, and in fact I already know what the next one will be. The new Pokémon Uranium LP will likely begin sometime early next year; I had actually wanted to start it today, but one of the things I did resolve to do this year was make some meaningful progress on my towering video game backlog and I want to finish up a few more things before the month is out. We’ll see what other games get LP’d in the future, and in the meantime I hope you enjoy my awkward little romp through Ethereal Gates —the new introduction and the first part are up today, just below this birthday update post, and I’ll try to get the rest ready to go and queued up for the rest of the month. You’ll be able to read the whole series by checking the Ethereal Gates blog tag. (EDIT: Let’s Plays have been moved to their own section of the site. The Ethereal Gates LP now starts here.)

I’ve got a few new 721 mini drabbles to post as well, one that I wrote today and two that I actually wrote earlier in the year but apparently forgot about. Whoops! Well, they’re here now, so enjoy Poochyena, Skorupi and Conkeldurr.

Finally, I’ve also updated the fanart gallery with a few new images, mostly from last year. All but the Fletchling were also previously posted on Tumblr, so you may have seen those four before, but if not, enjoy!

Also, a friendly reminder that the aforementioned Tumblr, while hardly packed with daily content and mostly packed with fakemon art, is definitely updated more frequently than Altered Origin. In addition to said fakemon I do occasionally talk about other things I’m working on, and so for smaller updates and tidbits that aren’t finished stories or what have you it’s a much better place to keep up with my miscellaneous fandom nonsense in between the bigger things that show up here. Hm, maybe I should even set up an RSS feed on the new AO site so people can check it for new updates as well…

Happy eighth birthday, Altered Origin, and thanks again to those of you who still come around to check out the nonsense I like to toss up here. I hope you enjoy the stuff added today, and that you will enjoy what’s coming in the future.