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267 - Eggs In Your Face: Reminder - 2010-02-22

For him, it was 3 hours, but for you guys, it's been close to two years.

For me, it was... Tuesday.

State of the Comic Address - October 26, 2010, 04:01:40 AM

tl;dr version: The comic is dead, I'm sorry.

Well. It's been a while. To stave off any questions or concerns, no, I'm not dead. However, the same cannot be said for Tale of the Cave.

Normally, I'd post something like this:

I'd then follow it up with a news post saying "Updates soon!" However, I don't think it's coming back this time.

Why? Well, it's complicated. But, I feel that I owe you guys an explanation, so I'll give it a shot.

Why I won't be making any more comics

First, and foremost, I think that the cumulative attention that I've drawn from you guys adds up to roughly 15 minutes by now, so it's about time to step down.

But, secondly, I just got tired of making comics in general. (Click to skip this wall of text)

Final Fantasy Q: Attempt #1

Set the way-back machine to early 2003. I was in grade 10 at the time, and I had a great idea for this great comic. I'd been reading 8-Bit Theater at the time (which, at that point, was itself only a few years old), and so my comic idea was based on Final Fantasy. Not Final Fantasy I, as Mr. Clevenger did, but Final Fantasy VI. I called it Final Fantasy Q. (No, I still don't know what the Q was supposed to be. I just thought it was funny)

I'd doodled a few comics on some paper (no idea if those still exist, but I doubt it so don't ask), but knew I couldn't publish anything like that. So, I looked into sprites and Paint Shop Pro, and created my first comics.

It was pretty bad. I made two comics in Paint Shop Pro before deciding to use MS Paint instead. I wish I'd stuck with PSP, but hey.

Anyway, around this time, I met Goat, who was a co-author in FFQ. He had some good story line ideas, and was a pretty cool guy, so we decided to co-write FFQ. (In retrospect, this was probably a very bad idea, since he ended up adding most of the Mega Man crap that plagued everything in the later strips, but that's beside the point.)

So, I do FFQ for a while. I ended up switching from MS Paint into Photoshop (for obvious reasons), we move hosts several times, and the site is rewritten multiple times. Most of this is reflected in the strips themselves, since I wasn't much for maintaining a separate continuity, so it ended up being a huge clusterf***.

Was it a waste of time? Nah. I was young and stupid, and had fun at the time. Plus, it was a good learning experience with all tools involved (Photoshop, PHP, etc).

Eventually, I vanish in the middle of a story arc (hmm, trend-senses tingling). I eventually returned, and made a few half-assed filler comics, but the comic was well and truely dead. Which, for its own sake, it for the best.

Tale of the Cave: Attempt #2

However, I wasn't down for the count, and instead had an idea for a new comic. This comic was based around another game whose sprites I managed to get a hold of. This was going to be done properly, without any retarded cross-overs or external-injokes. It would have a proper site designed from the ground up, a proper forum, and a proper host. You may have heard of this comic.

As I mentioned on that page, I'd created the first few Tale of the Cave strips in the middle of 2006. At the time, I didn't have any intention of doing a new strip, but once FFQ went belly-up, I decided I'd expand on that concept. And, so, for the next few months, I laboured on the new site and everything. I may have even had a backlog of strips.

And, what do you know, after its July 1, 2007 launch, Tale of the Cave was not a bad strip (in my not-so-humble opinion). If it were written by someone else, I'd read the hell out of it.

So, TotC runs for almost two years. But, in March of 2009, I vanish again. At the time, I was adjusting to a new job and had a lot of new responsibilities and stress. I honestly didn't have the willpower to continue running the strip. After a month or two my work situation settled down a bit, and I would have been able to continue making strips. However, after losing momentum like that, I honestly just didn't feel like it.

However, some time later, someone asks me on MSN Messenger if I was dead. Since I wasn't, I decided, spur of the moment, that I would continue TotC.

Checking the archives, it ran from July 2009-Feburary 2010 before I vanished again. This was, unfortunately, work related again. And, again, the situation eventually resolved itself (after a fashion...), but this time it was too late. I simply couldn't bring myself to make any more comics. And, believe me, I tried. But, after nearly seven years of making comics, I realized that I was tired of it all.

And, so, since then, I haven't thought more than two minutes (total) about TotC.

Until earlier this evening, when I got an email asking if I was still alive (I would name drop, but he does not appear to have a forum account. :( ). That's when I decided I'd post this "state-of-the-comic".

Finally, there's a third reason I probably won't be posting any more comics. While I was writing the above wall of text, I noticed that one of the comics on FFQ was not displaying properly. So, I went to look for the original to re-upload, but it seems that at some point, I deleted my entire archive of original comics >_< Please note that this was unintentional, and not a "cutting loose" thing. This is unfortunate, because now Comic #3 on FFQ is only half as present as it should be. Sigh.

So, what now?

Honestly, I'm not sure. I certainly won't be doing any more TotC. I apologize to all the Doukutsu Monogatari fans, but it's dead. The shitty Wii port did not help its popularity or my mood on the subject, so I really do not want to revisit the subject.

I also do not have any ideas for new comics. And, even if I did, I'm not looking forward to working with more sprites. And, since I still can't draw any better than I could way back when, this is kind of out of the question.

I have, on previous occasions, toyed with the idea of revisiting FFQ. I did a lot of things wrong with it, from the shitty storylines (Yes, let's introduce an ice-cream-loving, stupid Mega Man!) to the shitty production values (Oh, I know, I'll use Paint! That's a proper tool to use even though I have access to much better tools!). However, I doubt I will do that, as I don't really have any good ideas outside of the above. (Technically, this is a lie, but I could fill a whole second article on the subject. I will spare you the agony of such, however)

So, what does that leave? Well, nothing, to be honest. I am working on things that are not comic related, but I doubt they will ever see the light of day (if they do, I will certainly mention something here).

Other things to do

So, if you need something to do to fill the gap where TotC once was, here's some recomendations:

Other comics
 - MS Paint Adventures - Read this. I'm serious, read it. It's a lot better than the first impression you may get. No, really. If you don't read this, you're doing yourself a disservice.
 - Penny Arcade
 - PVP
 - Starslip

Console games
 - Metroid: Other M - A lot better than everyone gives it credit for. The first couple cutscenes are retarded, but the gameplay is hella fun!
 - ... Okay, so I haven't really been playing a lot of console games.

PC games
 - Minecraft - Build a world of your own design in block forms. Think Lego, but really awesome. Everyone is playing it, and you should feel bad if you don't.
 - Dwarf Fortress - This game is not for everyone, but I recommend that you give it a try. (But, give the Lazy Newb pack a try if you've never played DF before)
Posted by Mike Caron (11 comments)
Bikdip's Adventure - February 27, 2010, 03:18:05 AM

One of my favourite Let's Players on Youtube is a fellow by the name of "Bikdip on a Bus". Eh's makes Zelda Classic quests, and doesn't afraid of anything.

He recently did a play through of two of his quests, Bikdip's Adventure 1 and 2, and I am compelled to link it here for you guys to watch. They're pretty fun games, and you guys should give them a try.

Anyway, I'm going to link directly to the last video, showing the credits of Bikdip's Adventure 2, even though it's fairly spoileriffic. The reason? I somehow made it into the credits for a bit of bug testing I did for him a while back! I had no idea, since I wasn't a bad enough dude to save the princess, and never actually saw the ending. Relevant bit starts at 8:13.

So, yeah. Pretty cool. I guess now I have to get back to regular updates, don't I?
Posted by Mike Caron (0 comments)
Lots of updates - February 22, 2010, 11:53:09 PM

So, I know comics have been kind of sparse around here lately. It seems that you guys aren't the only ones upset about this, though. It would appear that the server itself was so happy that a new comic was posted on Monday that it continue to post it over and over again to try and make up for my shortfall.

Essentially, by the time I realized what was going on, some 20 threads had spawned in the comic discussion forum for the same comic (which, due to the same bug causing the threads, wasn't even posted to the front page!).

Turns out that due to a bug in some of the back end code, the server would create a thread, try to save this fact, fail, and then try to create the thread again in an hour when it did housekeeping. Rinse, repeat, etc.

That shows me not to go mucking around with ancient code that works perfectly fine! Then again, I needed to add some stuff for... Well, something that "may" be happening at some "point" in the "future". Stay tuned!
Posted by Mike Caron (2 comments)
Tale of the Cave is not related to Studio Pixel in any way, and is intended to be a parody. Tale of the Cave, the comics, and the site in general and all content on it are ©2007-2009 Mike Caron unless noted otherwise. Doukutsu Monogatari/Cave Story is ©2004 Studio Pixel.
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