Hey everyone! I hope you guys enjoyed Thanksgiving day. I got to enjoy a nice turkey dinner with my family. Nothing like the classics.
Any-hoo, I've been having a lot of heart-to-heart talks and been doing some soul searching, and I've been rethinking about how I want to invest my creative energies. I've got a lot to share with everyone, namely:
- I've been cracking away on the G/S Beta "Space World" Fake Card set, and I've got a lot of ideas already set for it!
- In fact, I'm probably going to do MORE than just make fake cards again, I might actually start allowing them to be bought by fans!
- I've also been inspired to work on other art projects for the site, particularly a webcomic series.
- But this also means that, if I'm going to be spending more time on this site again... I might have to do the Social Media thing!
- And PA! might see the return of a familiar face to help out once again! (I wonder who??)
That just about covers the basics... so if you want to read more about what's been going on, check it out under the cut.
Fair warning, there's a lot of text! Estimated read time: ~20 mins.
G/S Beta "Space World" Fake Card set updates
First off, in case you're learning about this the first time, I've been wanting to work on a new Fake Card set ever since that "Space World '97" Gold/Silver demo was leaked. The leak covered EVERYTHING that has been rumored about it since that time, and was something I covered on the old site. But most of all, the leak revealed COMPLETELY NEW and NEVER BEFORE REVEALED Pokemon. And so I thought... who not turn it into a set? You can see an example of what I have planned on the right there; it's one of the Beta Pokemon form the demo, Norowara, which someone else dubbed "Kurstraw".
Now that PA! is starting to get back into shape (more about this below), I want to get this project back into gear. And so here's what I've updated:
- The set will use two different blanks, depending on the goal.
- Neo-era Blanks: in order to connect the Space World Demo with the final release of Gold/Silver, I'm going to make the Space World set with Neo-era blanks, just like the picture of Kurstraw here.
- 100% original and legal-to-sell Blanks: I'll talk more about this below but I'm also considering making a version of these cards for fans to buy, but in order to make sure no one mistakes it for a real card, I will use a different blank it.
- One important point will be that I will NOT reuse my old blanks from 2003, but I will be creating new blanks from scratch. More on this below.
- Despite whatever blank I use, I'm going to design this set to be 100% modernized.
- So it'll use Abilities vs Pokemon Powers, have Pokemon-EX, -GX, -V, etc cards, etc. Kinda like what XY: Evolutions did by making it look like they were older cards.
- I've sorted out which Pokemon I want to make cards out of.
- Doing a set of 100 individual Pokemon... well, it's not impossible. But it would be a bit taxing. So if I could figure out what Pokemon from the Demo I could just skip out on, why not? And that's what I did.
- If you check out the page, you'll see my list of G/S Pokemon from the Demo and which ones didn't make the cut... which were mostly just Pokemon that really didn't change much at all from the Demo to the final, like Togepi and Natu/Xatu. They MIGHT appear as promos, however.
- I also wanted to make sure the types were as evenly represented as possible.
- So part of my sorting of G/S Pokemon involved working out their types. Unfortunately Grass, like always, is WAY over represented, but I tried to at least keep the number of Grass Pokemon no more than twice the number of the least represented types. You can see the numbers on the page.
- I also tried to make sure there was at least one Baby Pokemon for each type... even if I had to fudge things up a bit.
- However, part of trying to keep types more even meant that I had to fiddle around with some Pokemon's typing a bit.
- I tried my best to make sure that the types I used was something that was ACTUALLY assigned to it, either in the Demo or the Final. For example, Both Snubbull and Sunflora are Psychic-types, but only because the Demo actually made them Psychic-type.
- However, the most drastic change was making Cleffa-Clefairy-Clefable into Metal-type, and Hinaazu-Doduo-Dodrio into Dragon-type; I justified it by playing with the idea that the Demo has weird typing anyways (baby Vulpix was a Water-type?!), only because it's just a different formes.
- Speaking of which, I'm going to justify the wild changes made to existing Pokemon as "Space World Formes".
- I'm still considering whether the Space World Forme will affect evolution, in the sense that they may or may not be called something like "Space World Marill" (akin to "Alolan Meowth"), or if it'll be like Delta Species where their "δ Delta Species" typing was just a label and it didn't affect what it evolved from or to. However, I'm leaning on it NOT affecting things.
That's still quite a bit to read, but this is just a small portion of the development I've been doing with this set. Basically I want to do it right because I know I can do it right.
Wait, new blanks? Card sales??
Yep for both!
First off, as I mentioned, I don't want to use my old blanks from 2003, but instead work on some new Neo-era blanks from scratch. Long story short, my skills as an artist have grown over the past 15 years, and so I want to test some new blank making and card design ideas and techniques. I'm expecting it'll my cards look even MORE real and MORE authentic, and all for LESS effort than ever before, and will therefore be the BEST BLANKS EVER MADE! ... I've already got the cards I want to scan picked out already (see right); I now just need to make them.
As for my 100% original-and-perfectly-legal blanks, I'm going to base them off the Neo-era blanks, such that their text, picture, symbol, etc positions will remain in the same location as the Neo-era blanks, allowing me to hot-swap one blank for another.
But the reason I'm making a 100% original-and-perfectly-legal blank is because I'm probably going to start allowing fans to buy my custom fake cards for the first time in my life. Ever since I saw just how many people are able to SELL their fake cards—even CUSTOM PACKS!—it inspired me to do the same. Cuz like, I used to get SO MANY REQUESTS from fans who wanted to buy my fake cards, but I had to turn down that clearly steady flow of cash because... well, selling fakes was just absolutely unfathomable back then. But it's a whole other game these days, and people are just gobbling up custom fake cards left and right!
Of course there's certain rules I need to follow—like basically don't interfere with Nintendo's ability to make money—but that's no big deal in the face of how unimaginably THRILLED I am that the world is cool with it now.
A new Pokemon-parody/homage webcomic tie-in: AdventureBattleMon
One of the things I felt separated PA! from other Pokemon sites back in the day was how we had a focus on story telling and narratives. I mean, we were still about "fake cards", but I was also always looking out for other things that helped give the site that extra level of uniqueness. PA! wouldn't be what it was without these stories from these writers; check them out at the PA! Archives when you can!:
- Pokemon City — way before I knew what a "furry" was, Robert H. Magnusson wrote the Pokemon City fan-fic which appeared on the site. I always enjoyed the story and I've been forever grateful for Robert in sharing this with us!
- Pokemon USA — in the days before Unova and Alola existed, I created a completely original Pokemon series which took place in the US... thus "Pokemon USA". I only got halfway through it, and that's when Terry Tibke and his brother Brian helped flesh out the rest. We didn't get far into it, but it was a fun project none the less.
I've always enjoyed storytelling, so these were a natural fit for the site. Storytelling was also an obvious next step for me when I originally quit working on PA!/FakeCard.com, as I immediately started work on my webcomic series, Moose River (may not be suitable for children; link-clicker's discretion is advised). I worked on that for about five years, putting it on hiatus in 2009 as I focused on other stuff. I only recently got back into it a couple months back, adding some of the first new comics to the site in about a decade. It was quite a refreshing change of pace and I really enjoyed being creative in that way again.
However... as much as I want to make new comics and definitely be able to make a living off it... I got less traffic in two months there than in two weeks here on PA!. Boy, who would've thought that Pokemon would be more popular than my webcomic series? lol But seriously though... I felt like I was at a crossroads and I had to choose one possible artistic path over another...
But then I thought, why should I? Why not just make a webcomic for PA!? And that's what I'm going to do! I'm going to incorporate my Moose River characters into a Pokemon-influenced webcomic series titled "AdventureBattleMon". The basic outline (to use Pokemon terminology) is that my characters—Anne, Shea, Emo, and Avery—thirty-somethings from... I dunno... Pallet Town or something... are a bit disappointed in their lives because they all gave up on their Pokemon journeys back in when they were kids and are now being adults... which hasn't been very fulfilling to them. But maybe they can give it another shot? But then again, I wonder if their 30-year old Pokemon are in any condition to fight other, younger Pokemon? And then there's Betty, Anne's mom, who might have different ideas about what they should be doing. Or maybe she's cool with it because SHE regretted giving up herself?
Anyways, the general idea itself has been something I've been kicking around for a while as well, albeit in different pieces. Like, the 30-somethings element was in Moose River, while the Pokemon parody idea started with PA! the Comic (remember "Billie" and "Kid", along with their Dunsparce "The"??) and continued with AdventureBattleMon. However, the last thing holding it back was trying to create "BattleMon" from scratch... but, DUH! I have an entire world of ideas left unused in Pokemon USA! Now I may have to tailor the list of Pokem—er... BattleMon a bit—like include starters—and then also rename stuff like the elemental types ("Plant" vs "Grass", "Flame" vs "Fire", etc)... but that ain't nothing to do. Bare minimum too, this will help make it more possible for me to sell my comics to fans, instead of if I had the story take place in the actual Pokemon world.
But another reason why I want to do this comic is how the timing couldn't be more right for this. I mean, there was NO WAY I could do a webcomic series on PA! which covered more real adult-life issues, especially when PA! fans were just early teenagers. However, those early teenager fans of PA! are now all 30-something adult fans of PA!, so they are now the perfect audience for such a series.
With all this said, there's still a lot about doing something like this that I need to take care of first, so it might be a while before I actually have something to share. That said, I might still start sharing sketches and other ideas on the site, or maybe on my Instagram account.
Speaking of which....
PA! Does Social Media! (or will do...)
Lemme get to the Social Media stuff first, then I'll chat about the details.
Another thing that has changed a lot about running a website and community has been social media. I mean, just the very concept of it. Back in 2004, there was no such thing as "social media" as we know it today. If I wanted to interact with my fans, I would either set up a forum or got onto AOL Instant Messenger (RIP IN PIECE). If I wanted to make money, I could either run ads or put things behind a pay wall. Or WORSE, e-beg for donations. Basically, there simply was no system that made being a professional internet personality easy... let alone possible. Oh yeah, there was MySpace... but... well, like I said, there was nothing that could help.
the current year 2019! It's a whole new world online! Today it's damn near impossible to NOT get noticed, especially if you use the right hashtags on social media. But off course y'all know this. I knew it too, of course... but my friend still needed some convincing of it's value.
Anyways, if I'm going to do this Pokemon thing again, and for real this time (instead of my yearly "I'm still breathing!" poss), I might as well get some social media accounts! Which I did above. That said, I still have a few things I need to so with these accounts. Namely:
- Twitter — I guess this is my fault for not reserving the site's name earlier, but someone actually took @PokemonAaah on twitter! And they're not even using it! So I ended up getting @AaahPokemon so that at least it's still only those two words, versus if I did like @PokemonAaah1 or @PAnick15 or something else not-as-useful.
- Instagram — it's set up to be more about me personally, instead of something that I could use across all of my project websites.
- Patreon — same thing here; I only just got my Patreon account a few months back, but it was for Moose River. I didn't think I'd ever go back to working on PA! again, so I left that out. But I guess now that that's changed, I'll have to go back in and tailor it to suit my current needs. We'll see.
That's really everything I could start with Social Media at the moment. I've even added the links into the sidebar, and I'll let you guys know if I make any more changes to it.
One other thing I'll need to do is maybe start up a Discord server for PA!, but... Discord really isn't my thing. It is, however, a thing of someone else who might be coming back on board to PA!....
A special friend return to PA!!
Thanks for putting up with this long post as I've had a lot to talk about... but I'll make this last section as short as I can.
While I've always thought of PA! as being a sort of "one man show", I have from time-to-time had a few other people help me out over the years. Literally the first person who helped me out with the site was my best friend, Jimmy C., otherwise known as "MegaX" (or more literally "IVIegaX").
Anyways, ever since I started getting a bit more and more serious about working on PA! again, Jimmy—who now goes by Teslalyte—has been being super encouraging about things, and is actually now interested in getting back into PA! once again. Yay!
We're still trying to figure out a role for him... but Tes (Jim) has mentioned that the people on the LoL Discord he goes to are just crazy about Pokemon, so he might be willing to help with pointing their attention this way. And speaking of Discord, I might be able to get him to set up a PA! Discord and run that for me. We shall see.
But yeah, it's nice to see Megs---er... Teslalyte wanting to help with PA! again, and so I welcome his return with open arms.
Thank you for your time and attention!
If you made it down this far, I want to thank you for your interest!
Yeah, I know I covered a lot, but I'm cramming in a few years of ideas in a single post here, so you'll forgive me if I had to share everything on mind here.
But still, it just shows that I've got some legit plans for this site once again, which hopefully won't be something I start doing next month or something. However, it's hard to ignore that Pokemon has been on the up-and-up at extraordinary levels, so I really should capitalize on this before it's too late.
Huzzah, good times.