This week I have been trying to promote a new feature on the site called Request a Doodle. This feature required people to post their ideas on the Noddegamra forum and for me to draw my interpretation of it this weekend.
The idea itself could be anything, encouraging members to really stretch their imagination in an attempt to be creative and offer me a challenge. One member in particular managed to go a bit beyond what I could accomplish in a single weekend, but his idea has inspired a future project.
With many great ideas it was tricky to pick just one. The request I finally settled on was:
“Oliver Twist fighting off Jabba The Hutt with a breadstick and a jar of Nutella.”
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Progress has been a little slow on this blog lately. Although I did not intend to post articles/updates on a daily basis I was hoping to be a bit more regular than this.
One of the main reasons is a strong focus on the forum. Recently I got a bit of an unexpected e-mail stating new licensing terms which meant I would need to pay somewhere around the sum of £200 to continue using the software, and then pay for each update. This caused me to search for alternative free or low-cost software, with phpBB being my final choice.
Those who have been members for quite some time have been through a couple of these “forum transfers” and the last one wasn’t as successful as I’d hoped. The software transfer and database conversion did not quite go as planned and unfortunately we lost quite a few posts. The move also required new passwords to be set, and a few other aspects did not go very smoothly either.
This time however, I managed to setup the new forum and convert the database very cleanly. I’m still spending some of my free time in the evenings setting up the new template, but so far everything seems to have gone quite well. All the posts are still intact, and the user experience is pretty much unnoticeably different. The only problem is that all this time and energy has gone into something technical, meaning I’ve had little time to draw and animate.
With an operation coming up soon (the 18th of November) it is unlikely I will be finishing any new animations, although I will do my best to upload some new doodles, ideas and tutorials as soon as possible.
It’s taken a lot of time and effort to try and bring some sort of focus to the Noddegamra website. As something that just started out as a bit of fun and a way to communicate with friends, time has definitely brought about a need for change. With the community thinning out a bit due to other competitive sites (such as facebook, cracked, digg, etc) there has been a real need to find something unique in order to offer something fresh here. The main focus of Noddegamra now is on creativity as well as the community.
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What’s this? No webcomic this week? Well, I feel I should explain the situation.
Whilst there has been no comic from me this week, it’s not because I’m lazy or have given up. Oh no, I love drawing little cartoons! The reason there hasn’t been anything from me lately is because I’ve been working on developing my own style.
For those that know me personally, you already know of how I like to experiment in all manner of different styles, I never really stick to one. The problem is with webcomics (or any comic really) is that the artist needs to stick to a personal style so it becomes recognisable. Just check out the fantastic work of Mike for an example of what I mean. Even if he left out his signature strip, I would be able to tell it’s him. Also, check out the rut as another good example.
I’m not saying my style is going to be unique, just that I am going to try and settle on one in particular. I’m also going to sign the graphics with my initials rather than as “Noddegamra”. Or I may even sign it as “Matt”, I haven’t decided yet (any suggestions?). Next week I will be on holiday with my girlfriend, so you may just have to wait one more week before I finish the next comic strip.
Oh! And just one more thing! The picture in this post is similar to my finalised style, although the finished version will look better as I will be using my graphics tablet (or even scanned drawings) instead of (once again) using my mouse out of laziness/convenience!
This is my very first attempt at a webcomic/3 panel comic strip! It’s a little rough around the edges, and took a little longer than expected, but I guess I will improve as I get more used to using the software and graphics tablet (this is my 3rd time using it).
It’s entitled: Family
What do you think?
As you can clearly see, I have finally got round to uploading the new template! So, what do you think? This january update isn’t purely aesthetic though, you can also look forward to some other changes too.
Firstly, regular visitors of the forum will be pleased to know that Hudders has now joined me in providing content for the site. Not only will this mean a fresh perspective to articles, it also means they will be appearing more regularly!
This is all due to the new concept of Noddegamra being a place not only displaying funny stuff from around the web, but we will be hosting our own unique/exclusive webcomics, articles and flash animations.
If you wish to join the team yourself by becoming an author/contributor please feel free to contact me on the forum.
If you have any feedback I will be more than happy to recieve it, please post your comments below. Whilst this is the initial release of the new look, that doesn’t mean I won’t be tweaking a few things to improve the website experience and usability.
Congratulations to Hudders for winning the recent forum competition!
This marks the first of many competitions (with prizes) that we will carry out in the new year! I’m also trying to think of a great one for this christmas, check back for more info!
Also, Hudders made this informative video of the prizes he recieved
Noddegamra Competition Prizes
If you would like to keep up-to-date with Noddegamra Competitions, or even participate in them, please sign up to the forum (free to register)!