As you may have noticed, MyBrillGameSite has underwent a bit of a facelift, quite a big facelift in fact!
Not only that, but various sections have moved, some projects have been reclassified (one project has even been dropped altogether!) and the blog section has been reintroduced!
These are changes I've wanted to make for a long time but have just never had the opportunity to do. I finally decided this year to bite the bullet and dedicate the time needed to get them in place, and I'm really glad I did. The site is much closer now to what I first envisioned it being way back in 2008 when V1 was published in the old Angelfire days.
So what's all changed you ask?
- The Projects section has been promoted to become the main section of the site,
- To reflect this, the ROM Hacking section has moved to become a subcategory of Projects,
- All projects, including ROM Hacking ones, have been given Status and Last Updated indicators,
- The individual sections on each page have been re-styled into a more distinct, standalone fashion (and have also been made collapsable),
- "Gallery" style functionality has been added to all images,
- Forwards and backwards navigation has been added to all pages to make wistfully browsing the site easier,
- Page headings have been converted to SVGs instead of "baked in" images of text,
- Images have been given nice rounded corners,
- The Toejam and Earl project has been split into 2 projects: one a dedicated ROM Hacking project, and the other a dedicate Disassembly project,
- The ROM Hacking, Constructor Fence Fixer, and Toejam and Earl Disassembly projects have been reclassified as On Hold,
- The Simple Game Companion project has been removed,
- and the Blog has returned (obviously!)
There may be some other small things but that's all I can remember!
Some of these I'll discuss in more details in their own blog post, but a couple of them I can address right now.
First of all, the return of the blog! Some of you may recall I had a blog section previously, although it was hosted externally on Blogger. I won't link to it, as although it is still up, I have long since declared it closed and haven't posted to it since. However, I did enjoy writing it! I once had a friend accuse me (rather complementingly!) of having documentation as a hobby, and I have to say I agree! I love writing up about what I'm up to almost as much as I love doing it! That's really what this site is all about after all, documenting and sharing my projects! So it makes sense to have a blog; somewhere I can dump out big, juicy walls of text about what I've been working on (like this one!) without worrying about cluttering up the main site with all my extraneous details.
Second, the re-styling. I always wanted the text sections on the site to look like dialog boxes from Shining Force 2 or similar, but the CSS at the time just wasn't capable of it, at least not natively. The best you could really do was dynamic sizing with repeating background images of a styled border around your text, and images of rounded corners stuck in the corners! It was awful, felt really janky and didn't resize or scale well, so I just did without.
Nowadays though, CSS is amazing! Capable of animations, transitions and all sorts. It is, with no hint of sarcasm, one of my favourite technologies to work with. I've since went off the Shining Force 2 dialog boxes idea but quite like these two-toned, collapsible sections. Even they may get revised more over time though.
You'll notice this re-style has extended into the images on the site as well, which have been given a softened, more game-like look with their rounded corners. I've also added "Gallery" functionality (provided by Simple Lightbox) to all the images on the site (where it makes sense), something that is almost a standard of images now! This makes a huge difference in projects like the Inside Sega Megadrive Carts one, the Arduino Master System Player one, and the more recent 7 Days to Die Builds and Bases projects, where you can now just flick from image to image instead of having to scroll through and open them one by one in a separate tab / page each time.
And the final thing I want to mention in this post is the removal of the Simple Game Companion project. This project aimed to be a supplementary set of posts to the very interesting and informative video series by GameGrind (formally Awful Media) about game development in Unity. Unfortunately I discovered the series just at the point Unity was changing from Unity 4 to Unity 5, and so a lot of the work I was doing was just migration work from one version to another, it wasn't super meaningful stuff. Also, GameGrind wasn't posting content very regularly, and I think that lackadaisical attitude (in appearance at least, I'm sure there was good reason for it!) which eventually ended with a stop in any further content from them, brought about the same in myself.
Now, sadly, the content is too out of date to be worth keeping or picking up again, and as interesting as I found it, I need to be realistic with myself, my time and where I'd like to spend it. I'm afraid there is just too much other stuff out there I'd like to turn my hand to!
Hopefully this blog and the website re-style will help encourage me do just that! I'll be back to share once I have.
If you want to know more about anything in this post, you can email me using the details in the About page.