I would say this has been a pretty eventful week! It all started on Monday, when Tim took the site down at 10am. Ross was still on the train and a bunch of us were having a last minute breakfast meeting, but I respect Tim's moxie with sticking to the schedule.
From this point forward, all the pressure was on Ross, LilJim and Tim to move everything over from staging and get it running in the new environment. Mike made some last minute tweaks to the audio player, Stamper and MindChamber worked on their Blamformers! submissions, Jeff worked on Comic-Con booth art, Bob tinkered with CSS and I prepped the final Blamformers .FLA file with over 30 submissions.
The team worked for the next 15 hours, until after 1am. Keep in mind, Ross had been up since at least 5am and LilJim is in the UK, meaning it was 6am his time when we stopped for the day.
I went home and got some sleep, then returned to the office at 7am with two dozen donuts and some bagels (the least I could do - although being excited about the redesign is hard work). Progress resumed for another nine hours, until we launched the site at 4pm. Blamformers launched about six hours later, after some Flash upload bugs were resolved.
I figure I might as well talk about Blamformers because that's what I worked on this week... Ross, Liljim and Tim can all post about their individual redesign launch experiences, because the credit all goes to them. I will say, we haven't broken out the beer yet!
So Blamformers was a lot of fun to put together. I was hoping a few more "award winning artists" would participate, but I didn't want to bug people to do it - I figured if there were any TF fans out there and they had the time, they would toss something together. Overall, the submissions we got were a lot of fun! I had to leave out a few submissions, due to matters such as file size and "flow", and it really does make me feel bad. I like to maximize happiness; I hate having to do something that hurts someone's feelings, especially after they've spent time creating something for my benefit. The artists who weren't included have probably been discouraged from participating in NG activities, which bums me out.
Still, I'm happy to have been able to squeeze over 30 submissions into 10 megs! There was hours of vector optimization and "symbolizing" involved, as I call it. A lot of people make 1 meg movies that can really fit in 100-200k if done right. Nowadays people don't worry so much about their filesize, but I still embrace the time when I was making Flash content for my 33.6k modem almost a decade ago. Kinda sad that I'm approaching a decade of Flash use, and my contribution to the collab was squiggly Autobot doodles, although I would rather make something that looks stupid and funny than something that looks like it took a lot of work and still ended up being lame. I suppose a lot of people around here do that, so we all gotta appreciate the stuff that looks nice. :)
ANYWAY... The navbar in the collab is actionscript-based, where the author name and music ID is a variable associated with each submission. This made everything easier to maintain as I added submissions and moved them around. The end of each movie calls a function that runs the logo transition then advances to the next submission. Originally, you could cycle from end to start and start to end in a loop, but I decided to stick with a more linear path where the collab had a definite start and a definite ending. I hope the NG logo at the end doesn't feel too smug. I'm always worried that we're getting too "smug" with our handsome staff icons, over-baked staff page and pat-yourself-on-the-back submission intros, but it's all in good fun and I like to think it adds to the excitement of everything we're doing. Just know that we don't take ourselves that seriously and we end up hating everything we make, either as we make it or shortly after. I still like the Blamformers collab, though, since I was only a small part of it. I fast forward past mine.
Other than that, I've been reading all the forum posts, reading the news and blog responses and reading the artist news posts! We're all jotting down notes and trying to set priorities, although right now the big priorities revolve around server performance, as mentioned in my latest front page post.