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That brings me to the first of the birthday presents: I've finally gone and updated the To-Do List, getting rid of outdated projects (the last time I touched that page was before Gen VI was even announced, oh god) and adding new ones so the page is once again useful as a way to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

Six years, man. Six years I've been poking away, slowly and not very steadily, at this silly little corner of the internet. I wish I could say I had an appropriate gift to commemorate the occasion, but all I've had the time to do recently is a backend thing that probably isn't all that interesting for the rest of you. I made a few tweaks to the site so that fanfics are now considered their own type of post—they're a bit easier for me to sort through on my end, they don't get mixed in with the stream of regular posts anymore, at least unless I explicitly decide to make them show up again (if you scroll through the home page updates you'll notice all the actual fanfic/drabble posts aren't listed), they have a better URL structure (/fanfics/fanfic-name rather than /year/month/fanfic-name) and in the future I'll be able to change the layout of fanfic pages to something a little more custom with minimal fuss—show a different set of tag/category/recent post links, for example, or increase the line length so it's not so narrow. Look, I know it's thrilling but you need to at least try to contain your excitement. Don't need you exploding all over my new fanfic setup.

...then again, six isn't generally as big a deal as five, so maybe the low-key "gift" is not as unfortunate as it could've been. Ah, well. Now back to the struggle to get at least one more new bit of writing done before the year is out so there's actually something to put in this newfangled categorization!

(And do let me know if you notice any problems while browsing through the fics! As with everything nice I try to do for AO I hit a bunch of snags while trying to set this up, and while I'm pretty sure I've taken care of all of them there's always a chance that something is still fouled up. I do know that the links in the previous posts announcing fic updates are broken because I didn't adjust them to the new URLs out of laziness, but if anything else is wrong, tell me and I'll try to fix it!)

Server move complete + 718 mini + new artwork

If you're seeing this post, the server move is complete! Welcome! There were a few hiccups here and there but I'm pretty sure everything's settled. Thanks for your patience while I packed everything up and moved to my new internets home.

Now that the gallery is no longer messed up I am finally able to update the Fanart page with some pictures of Swanna, Mega Mewtwo Y and Goomy, so if you didn't already see those on my Tumblr you can check them out here. I also added two new drabbles for Fennekin and Espurr, and as you can guess based on their debut and the title of this update that means that 649 mini (and, by extension, the poor, neglected 649) have finally had their names changed. From now until whenever Gen VII mozies on in and messes everything up again, these projects will be known as 718 and 718 mini.

Now to attend to a few other things, relax a little and then commence panicking about what I'm going to do for AO's sixth birthday in a little over a week. Ciao!

Server move… again

Hey everyone! Nothing new to report on the content front just yet, but I am going to be changing hosts for what is hopefully the last time in a good while. This host works just fine for what I'm currently doing, but the new host will give me more space and make it easier to... experiment with certain other projects I've been wanting to try out.

As such, there's the usual chance that things will be down later this week (Thursday-Friday-ish) as domains propagate and files move and all that fancy stuff. Hopefully everything will go smoothly, but if not, you can try checking my Tumblr and see if I've made any progress updates there. Sorry for the inconvenience, and see you all on the other side! Probably with a few new pictures, too, now that the gallery seems to be unborkened at long, long last.

*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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