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Hello... This is Mike Southworth, the web developer responsible for coding the web site (and owner of LD Computech listed in the sidebar). I wanted to thank everyone for the positive comments to Ross’s initial launch post concerning the site, and provide some additional details about the site. It is my intention to provide any site related news updates myself, independent of Ross’s video updates, in order to allow him to focus on creating video episodes rather than answering web site related questions. Please add any of your site related comments to this or any future site update posting.

First, the site has been coded entirely from scratch, utilizing PHP, JavaScript, and AJAX. With the exception of some YouTube and other small snippets, the site contains all original code and no ‘off the shelf’ material. It was created according to the plan that it would be updated regularly to add new features according to a schedule, and any major changes would be separated into specific versions to keep it organized.

I have noted a great number of comments about RSS, even to the extent of users inserting code as user comments related to it. Realize that RSS was not ‘omitted’ from the initial site version because it was ‘rejected’ or we don’t know how to code it. Actually RSS has always been on the feature list, however due to the amount of code required to launch the site was moved to a future version. RSS is comming soon, however it must be pointed out that there are at least as many administration pages as the public pages you can see as regular users, and there are a great deal of additions to be completed to these first. It is much more important to complete every function required for Ross to more easily enter videos, posts, screen shots, and other material than it is to enable RSS, so please be patient. Bearing this in mind, please feel free to provide any feedback or suggestions either by site comment or email to Ross’s address listed in the sidebar.

EDIT BY ROSS SCOTT:
Sorry everyone that the commenting system was broken all this morning, I guess that doesn’t bode well for Mike’s first post. Andrew Theis, the host of the site, was able to fix it for us, so it should be working again now.

EDIT BY MIKE SOUTHWORTH:
Sorry that we were not able to record comments. Unfortunately we are using a manual version control process and that one file was not uploaded as it’s correct working version. The file is now syncronized and working properly. Please email Ross if you see a problem like this and we will fix it immediately.

Hey people, here’s what’s going on: The new CP episode is completely done except for adding some sound effects and volume balancing; however this can be pretty involved. For this episode I’ve unloaded almost all the sound effects work to someone else (Otto Beumelburg) and a few of the sound effects he’s provided are better than what I could have come up with myself. So it’s a time savings for me personally and I think our combined work is improving the audio quality of the episode. Between this and the delay in uploading new episodes, it may be a couple more days before the episode is done, but I think it will be out sometime this week. At this point I’ve done all I can do on my end, so once I get caught up on sleep and maybe reply to the 30 or so emails I’ve gotten lately, I’ll go ahead and start on the next Freeman’s Mind episode and keep them coming. I realize it’s been a while since the last FM episode, but I promise to make up for it soon.

Also I could use one or two more English subtitle transcribers for Civil Protection especially. (international people: just hold tight, I still need to reply to a bunch of emails) I’ve gotten some offers already, but several people have either not replied back or may have become too busy to continue working on the rest of the episodes. If you’re interested in helping out with this and have a proper understanding of spelling and grammar, go ahead and contact me.

EDIT:
I’ve gotten many emails of people offering to transcribe, thanks. I’m trying to respond to all of you and we should have all the remaining English subtitles up before too much longer.

Civil Protection and Freeman’s Mind have moved! Go to www.accursedfarms.com from now on for news on the episodes.

To RSS people:
Until we get RSS working on the new site, I’ll make new posts here when new episodes are released as a way of notifying you.

Welcome to the new website! If nothing crashes, this is where all future news on Civil Protection and Freeman’s Mind will appear from now on. There’s a few things here I’d like to go over:

SUBTITLES:
While this page is still a little bare, this will be updated in time as several people are working on transcribing or translating episodes. I plan to support as many subtitles for the series as I’m able.

EXTRAS:
There is nothing here yet because I’ve been focusing on getting the next episode finished, but eventually this section will contain scripts, alternate shots, outtakes, some unused music, and anything else extra related to the series.

COMMENTS:
There will be a delay from when your comments appear due to how the site is set up. I plan to change this so people can register and make comments without needing moderation, but in the meantime bear with us if they’re slow to appear.

RSS:
I’m sorry to say this site does not have RSS functionality yet. I’m aware many of you use this on the old blogspot site and it is something that was planned for this site, however I’ve been told it will take a long time to code in this future, so I didn’t want to delay the launch on account of this. I’m sorry if this is a step down for you compared to the blogspot site, but it won’t always be this way. I DO hope to implement this in the future and it will be one of the top priorities for changes to the site.

Finally, the vast majority of the website was created by Mike Southworth and some assistance from Jerry Bramst

Next episode details:
Well even though the poll seems to be changing now, within the first couple days most people voted for me to finish Civil Protection first, so that’s what I’ve been doing. In breaking my usual trend, I’m releasing a few details about the next episode. They’re not a lot, but for an episode that’s only a few minutes long, I can’t reveal too much without spoiling things. I’m probably going to call this next episode “Morning Patrol”. It’ll be about average length, take place in City 17, and you’ll get to see a little bit more of the HL2 world in it. It’s definitely not one of my more spectacular episode ideas, but I think it’s the most well-rounded one I’ve produced so far. Here’s a preview shot of it:

armsout.jpg

If you’re a fan of other CP episodes, I think it’s very likely you’ll enjoy this next one. While I’m extremely happy with how it’s coming out, I don’t want people to think it’s going to be most magnificent episode that’s ever been produced. It has been a long time since the last episode, but I’ve been working on many other things besides Civil Protection.


Rant:
I get a fair chunk of hate mail from people who are angry at me for not producing episodes faster. Most of these people don’t seem to possess any sense of perspective or logic, but for those that do, I’d like to elaborate a little more on this. The biggest barrier to me producing more episodes of Civil Protection is animation time. While sometimes I don’t mind, much of the time I HATE animating. While I have been getting some help, that’s been a mixed bag. Pretty much everyone who assists with animation right now prefers to work or only has time to work on one aspect of production. While this has undeniably increased the quality of the episodes being produced in areas, it’s questionable how much time savings there have been. This is to say nothing of people who for different reasons, have had to abandon work on episodes. The past episode and the one I’m currently working on were both written in such a way to make it easy for additional animators to help out. In both cases, multiple people bailed and I ended up filling in a lot of the gaps for animation. I never would have started this particular episode idea next if I had known that was going to happen.

Believe it or not, I get more frustrated than anyone else that I can’t produce episodes faster. I’m overflowing with ideas and am totally confident I haven’t gotten to the best ones yet. I sincerely wish I could afford to hire someone to help me animate in the Source engine. I would LOVE to unload almost all aspects of animating the episodes to someone else or other people; though I haven’t come across anyone who can animate in the programs Face Poser and Hammer and has the same time and drive to devote to it. I can’t blame anyone for not wanting to either, I hate that aspect of it myself.


For fans of Freeman’s Mind:
I promise the production rate will pick up a lot as soon as the next CP episode is done. Some of you may recall I promised an increase in episode production late last year and that actually did happen. They have still been relatively few and far between because Freeman’s Mind hasn’t been my main focus. However since far more people have become interested in it than I would have anticipated, I plan to make that my new priority soon. In addition to devoting more time towards it, I’m planning to move soon to where I can record at any time without disturbing people. Right now I can only record during certain windows of time without disturbing my neighbors, which limits how fast I can produce episodes. I know many of you may not believe me, but I can promise the production rate is going to become much, much faster than for FM than ever before.


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