Monday, February 13, 2017

The Crimson Fly Supplemental: It's on a phone.


Vol. --
Story: Supplemental

"It's on a phone. It's buggy as heck, needs an external download of Adobe Air, and doesn't mute when you hit the home button, but it's on a phone. Finally."

For reference, The Crimson Fly was created and exported from Adobe Flash CS6, and for the longest time, not only did I not know how to get it onto a phone, but I didn't really try to get it on a phone.  A lot of this had to do with how I'd set up my work schedule: Making the comic and going to my day job doesn't leave a lot of time for R&D, and when I start trying to figure things out, it takes a long time to take baby steps that, in hindsight, are both minute, but also very vital to the grand scheme of this multimedia project.  It also doesn't help that I don't have the funds or network to get someone else to help (again, even if I did know peeps, I don't have the means to PAY them). As such, for a comic with a weekly schedule, taking time to figure out small things like "what's the exact sentence structure I have to know to make sure this won't crash my program" is hard to do, when "next week's comic" has a specific deadline (NEXT WEEK) and "getting a single strip onto a phone" is a bit more nebulous.  You can see what happens when I take time to do R&D; today's strip is late (and may not be available until Wednesday, though, admittedly, part of that is due to procrastination) so that I could get a broken proof-of-concept on my phone.

However, I'm trying to change that part. As Flash/Animate, actionscript and SWF formats diminish more and more in status on the global social media culture (for very justifiable reasons), the Crimson Fly was always going to need to evolve.  For starters, by the time I'd started making this comic, Flash/SWF files were already persona non-grata on most, if not all, mobile devices, and every week there's an article spelling doom and gloom for the format.  I'm already losing a huge chunk of my potential audience simply by forcing them to check in on the comic at work after their commute (rather than perusing it ON their commute), and if I remain stubborn, complacent and fearful of the future, I'm going to lose my entire audience and be forced separate the "animated" and "comic" parts of the project (i.e. static strips on the main site, with a diminished effort in producing animated content).

 For the time being, the future of the project is getting it on mobile phones as a series of apps, similar to what's on the gumroad store.  I would like to embrace HTML5, but it would require a massive restructuring of the project, and complicate not only the current reading format of the strip (i.e.  "expanding strip via tapedeck UI" format), but also my workflow, since all the work is handled in a single library within a single file, within a single program, rather than a series of image and video files strewn out across multiple softwares (i.e images in Manga Studio, animation in Toon Boom Harmony, and programming in ... Unity?).  It doesn't help that, because very few other creators are attempting such a thing (Though I'd suggest checking out Ryan Woodward's Bottom of the Ninth, Ru Xu's Saint For Rent, and Terrana Cliff's Nwain)  and thus the proper software to make such a thing as I need to it exist (rather than half-assed attempts like most fare you could google under the subject "motion comics" that I will not name unless asked specifically) doesn't actually exist (Though there are "attempts," like Smith Micro's Motion Artist software)

As such, It's gonna be a while before it runs on phones the same as it does on computers, (and longer still, before it's in/on app stores), but it will get there. Soon.

Of course, any help and advice (barring "Drop Flash/Animate." I'll drop it entirely when HTML5/Edge/motion comic can do what AS3 can do) is greatly appreciated! Hit me up at!

Let me know what you think! Drop a Comment!