Scrollboss: Memory Lane (Brief History of ScrollBoss)

Memory Lane

Stage 1 - Time to Learn

Back in the year 2000, I wanted to create a website for my artwork and comics. I thought that making a fan site would be good practice until I could get my artwork scanned. I chose to make a site about older video games since I hadn't seen any in my short time on the 'net which means I missed places like like the OPCFG back then. Most of the fan sites I saw were about fighting games and RPG's, so I narrowed things down to action/adventure games and especially side-scrollers. Since I already had some miscolored Sega Smash Pack PC screenshots and some graphic edit experiments I did with them on someone else's computer, I figured it'd be easier since I already had some material to work with. The mess of a site known as ScrollBoss was born on July 19th, 2000 with a blue and white site template from Tripod, a bunch of game codes and tricks and those messed-up graphics. This was back when I'd go to the Warren Public Library to get on the internet before I had my own computer. I used one of their computers, took the old Smash Pack Golden Axe edits into Microsoft Paint and made a logo for the site:

It looked like this. Unfortunately, it was boring. The site builder had only two suitable templates: the white-and-blue one and the black and green “booger time” template that looked like it was covered in slime. So, yeah, I rolled with the blue-and-white.

Stage 2 - ScrollBoss comes alive

I met the mighty Raijin-Z at that same library a while later. He taught me a lot more about HTML and let me use his computer to put together more stuff for the site until I got my own system. Even the weird black and green tech pattern was made on his PC. This was around the same time that I started an Angelfire account to use it's more flexible site building program. I was using a combo of this, Microsoft Site Builder and the little HTML that I learned. I finally got my own system but was still walking the X amount of miles to the library on Wednesday, my weekday off from work, to upload the updates. I wanted the site to be more than just tips and reviews and that led to my favorite sections of the site. Features like the crazy Minus World humor section, the (horrible) S-File character profiles and the surprisingly-popular Versus Mode poll were where I really started to have fun with doing this site. I even started to alter more game graphics for fun and for these sections of the site. Here are a few of those early sprite edits:

Tyris with extra hair and, *ahem*, other stuff animation Blaze with extra hair animation Haggar and his magic growing kneecaps!!!

Oddly enough, a few other fan site owners copied and used the Tyris and Blaze animations without giving any credit or even alerting people that they weren't straight from the game. I saw that franchises like Mario, Zelda, Mega Man and Metroid already had a lot of fan sites, so I started to focus more on the games that seemed to get less love back then. That included series like Shinobi, Final Fight, Streets of Rage, Golden Axe and Rushing Beat. This place started getting a tiny reputation as a Beat-em-up fan site thanks to most of that list and I'm not complaining.

Stage 3 - MugenBoss

I was hanging out at Raijin-Z's spot one day and he fired up this game that he downloaded named MUGEN, a fighting game where you can make your own characters, backgrounds, etc. Once I finally got my own internet connection at home, I eventually tracked down MUGEN and gave it another shot. This time, I found more than just MUGEN and it's default character, Kung-Fu Man. I also started to find the characters that other people were making. Once I got things set up and saw Rolento (programmed by Tenshin, I think) fighting Raiden, I got hooked. I eventually found the Mugen Dev Board but mostly hung out in the sprite editing section. Seeing the work there by people like Killa Croc, Shin Dio, Mighty Damocles, Samanosuke (a.k.a. Judas) and many other sprite editors inspired me to start messing with fighting game sprites. I'll show you the horrible early fighing game sprites I did to break up all this boring text...

Iron Man: custom pose made from different sprites early and ugly version of my old Superman animation from 2001 First horrible version of Green Lantern 1st Hand-drawn Thing sprite

I started making MUGEN stages that used bits from the same games I talked about on ScrollBoss and gave them a section on the site named MugenBoss. When I realized that the downloads would voilate the T.O.S. of Angelfire, I moved MugenBoss over to Tripod. For some reason, people seemed to like my sprite edits and MugenBoss became more popular than ScrollBoss. Eventually, my Angelfire account got frozen and I had to move ScrollBoss back to Tripod. Out of laziness, I kept the two sites separate.

Stage 4 - Dreamhost Resurrection

I heard about a Dreamhost anniversary offer where a year's worth of service amounted to just around nine dollars. When I found that it allowed .htaccess modding, .PHP and a bunch of other web-goodies that I hadn't even heard of, I was on it like Blue Bonnet. I set up the new version of my art/personal site first and renamed it Illmosis. Then I started the long process of converting ScrollBoss to PHP while fixing a lot of sloppy programming I'd done. I slowly rebuilt the site section by section while merging MugenBoss back into the main ScrollBoss site. While the sprites and tips were there from the start, other sections like The Minus World took a longer time to return.

Stage 5 - Generators and Video

This page was long due for an update, so it's time to talk about my two favorite things I'm currently doing with the site since the last time I updated this section.

Besides letting me improve the site overall, PHP also let me make something I'd been dreaming of for ages: an image generator. Inspired by everything from Colorforms, Cartoon Network's gone-but-not-forgotten Cartoon Orbit pages, I started with a simple beat 'em up generator that I don't think I shared publicly yet. But that led to GFX Generators, something that became so fun that most of my site update work goes into adding new things to that.

The other thing is video work, most of which you can find on my YouTube Channel (though I had a few on my old, neglected Illmosis YouTube channel). This isn't a late "pivot to video" but I've really wanted to do this for a long time. Some old .GIFs I used to post long ago have my old Animation Shop and Blender (the free 3-D rendering program) pixel art experiments, but my main tool to use now is MOHO (a.k.a. Anime Studio), which lets me set up clips very quickly. The main thing on the channel right now is the Sprite Showcase and Showcade videos

Those showcases are full of ideas I've had in my head for nearly as long as I've been working on the site, with some being ideas and W.I.P.s I had for MUGEN storyboards) and there's much more to come. I'm also back into animating sprites and the channel is the main place to see them for now.

Stage 6 - What's next?

Better versions of the active parts of this site, a few more site section resurrections (probably as video, too) and more of those original site characters you've seen pop up from time-to-time. This and the Stage 5 part were written on the eve of the site's 21 anniversary, something that I didn't think would happen. But, somehow, I still enjoy adding things to this site and, believe it or not, my brain is still full of new ideas for this place. Let's see if I get around to making them happen!

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