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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That brings me to the first of the birthday presents: I've finally gone and updated the To-Do List, getting rid of outdated projects (the last time I touched that page was before Gen VI was even announced, oh god) and adding new ones so the page is once again useful as a way to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.

A very slightly louder birthday than last year’s

...which was only a few update posts ago. Eff.

Well, the good news is that I do have something new for Underwhelming Birthday Party Number Seven: the webcomic recommendation list I've been meaning to finish up for ages is now live. I definitely left off some that I want to rec but couldn't put into words for some reason; most of them are popular enough that I'm sure you've heard of them, but I'll add them (and any others) as soon as I can. I'm also going to post a ficbit or two shortly, so there's that.

I was hoping to be ready to start an LP soonish, but I want to make sure some other stuff is off my plate before I commit to that. Maybe in time for my birthday in January. Maybe. Erp.

Happy seventh birthday, Altered Origin, minimal though it is, and happy archive-bingeing to anyone who gets hooked on Rice Boy or Drive or whatever after reading the rec list. I'm sorry if you're up until 2 AM, but I should mention that I'm also not sorry at all.

Pretty sure this is some kind of record

...and there's really no excuse for it, considering that I had the 721 mini stories I'm updating with finished months ago. Sorry. :( We've got new drabbles for Koffing, Unown, Magcargo, Loudred, Cranidos, Rampardos, Shellos, Scraggy, Cofagrigus, Minccino, Pyroar, Furfrou, Meowstic, Slurpuff and Gourgeist.

There would probably have been more (and more frequent updates as a result), but most of my writing has been focused on that Best at Second-Best first draft I swore I'd get done. It's coming along nicely, at least. Nowhere near postable yet, but as that's not the idea at this stage I'm fine with that. I do have some smaller projects that are a little less messy and may see some ficbits posted soonish, though!

649 mini + more ficbits + the Big Project, whoops

A double apology, first off, because not only has Altered Origin been sitting dormant since April but I somehow failed to mention that the too-often-teased "Big Project" is finally done. And has been for over three months. Uuuuuggggh.

But yes: after nearly two years of hard work, stalling, hard work, complications, stalling and last-minute panic, Pokémon Turquoise is finally open. In a nutshell, it's a forum-based RP in which you can explore the New Logora region from the Phoenixdex and catch all of its fancy fakemon and stuff. It's pretty casual (no paragraph requirements or anything) and easy to pick up, and there's going to be some expansion into additional new regions in the near future, so do come give it a look if that sounds like it'd be up your alley! (I'll also add Turquoise to the Network dropdown in the menu as soon as I can figure out why that's acting up now.)

After five+ months of silence I only have three additional 649 mini stories, but they're finally uploaded: see Ivysaur's here, and Tangela and Gyarados's here. In brighter news, I did make a teensy bit of headway on some possible fanfic ideas a few weeks ago; you can see some excerpts from those in the post immediately preceding this one. How much further I'll get with those, especially the first one, remains to be seen, but in the meantime they're not half bad (if I do say so myself) and they're a little meatier than all those dinky drabbles.

Part of the reason things have been so quiet is that I finally landed an actual job, and on top of the full-time hours it has a lengthy commute that doesn't leave me quite as much free time as I'd anticipated. I fully intend for AO to remain open and sharing some kind of content for as long as possible, however, so I'll do my best to make do with the free time I have and get around to fixing some of the site's issues and, hopefully, getting back on track with something resembling regular updates.

*incoherent frustrated grumbling*

...dammit.

I don't have any excuses, aside from that if it's any consolation the Big Project is tantalizingly close to being done. Actually keeping up with any writing or any progress on anything else at all has been like pulling teeth, although I did at least write six more 649 mini stories in February: Ariados, Pineco, Swellow, Sealeo, Shelmet and Genesect. (Man that is a lot of bugs. Huh.) I was hoping to post them in the usual batch of ~ten, but since it's been well over a month since I wrote those and the other four are nowhere to be found... yeah.

Also, as a sidenote, there still appear to be some issues, mostly on my end, with the fanart gallery (+ the other stuff that uses the same interface like the sparkly lists and the free renders page). It's gotten to the point where I think I might need to change how I'm handling it entirely; I hope not because that's a lot of rearranging and reuploading and rewriting descriptions to do, but it may end up that way. I really need to focus on the final stretch of the Big Project for now, but once I can finally put all this grand opening nonsense behind me I'll hopefully have more time to troubleshoot (and to write, of course). Once the troubleshooting is done I have at least two more pictures to upload to the gallery, too.

In the meantime, if you are continually frustrated by the lack of new things to read, my old affiliate 6th Floor is back under a new name—Lavender Town—and is going strong again, so you can drop by there and check out some creepypastas while you wait for me to not be totally inadequate.

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