Blog: GO!
Sunday, 1st July 2007, 4:18pm (UTC), 16 Comments
Update: Blog system set up on a redesigned home page, with separate blog page for recording all entries, and site FAQ page.
Welcome to the first ever entry of the Zone: 0 blog!

..Yanno, sometimes I call it Zone: 0, other times ZONE: 0, ZONE:0, Zone:0.. I'm yet to decide on a definite, official choice for how the name should be written. Maybe we should hold a vote..?

Anyway, yes, welcome to the blog, which will hopefully be updated regularly both with me droning on about new updates to the site, and droning on even more about the latest Sonic developments and my opinions about them etc.

Just over week ago, aside from a few short lines and scraps, I'd had limited experience in using the PHP scripting language at all, let alone connecting it to a database that can hold information submitted through forms and then be dynamically displayed however I want. But I've very much had a PHP week this week, as I suddenly got hooked on it last Sunday, and I've been coding away like some sort of geeky beaver ever since. I built the core functionality of this blog system from scratch in only a day or two, and spent the rest of the time on another website I'm creating as a freelance job for someone. I've done programming before, and even connected to databases in ASP a little bit, but still, from scratch in only a couple of days, I think that's pretty good. My eyes and muscles are certainly paying for it though.

All of my entries and previous updates will be stored on the blog page, with the three most recent entries up on the home page, and when opened in the blog page, any visitor can leave their comment to any entry. I'm very chuffed about the whole system, and actually can't believe it all works so well, with very minimal problems encountered throughout the whole week!

It's an amazing technology, and given the amount of time I've spent carefully crafting html pages over the years, often re-writing the same information such as a layout or menu navigation, and then getting frustrated when I have to change it a little bit on every sodding page, you can imagine how great it feels to be in control of a system this powerful. With well written code, you'd only ever have to change anything once.. More or less. I guess it just really appeals to my desire to maintain order and efficiency - and I may actually be transforming into some sort of Nazi. Hitler loved a good database, you know.

So can it actually be used in any way with the content of the site? Well, that's what I've been throwing around in my head a bit today. I think the implementation of a "reply" system for each page within a game section, whereby you guys can add your own responses to what I've written or add more details to things I've missed is likely - I think that'd be a good thing to have. As far as using it to actually make the pages, they're all crafted rather individually. It's not just text, couple images, text, couple images, all the way down. Every paragraph and accompanying images are chosen to be presented in a certain customised way, and that's how I like it. Even though it can look a bit untidy sometimes. It does take extra time to make though, and I'm wondering if I can build a PHP "application" for myself that I can actually use to automatically generate some of the code for me.. Could be quite a challenge, but if it means increasing my productivity on this site, with no sacrifice to quality, it's worth investigating.

Wow, this is a long blog already. I always tend to waffle on way too much. But anyway, that about wraps up all the PHP stuff. You'll notice that the Sonic 1 section has recently been fully completed (or there abouts) and that means I'll be starting on Sonic 2 soon. All the text for that (and Sonic 3, S&K and Sonic CD) has already been written months ago, but I'll need to read through and probably edit it a bit, then take my screenies and start building the webpages, starting with the Emerald Hill Zone. It might be more logical to begin with the general info stuff, but levels are way more fun to me, and they're what the site was really always supposed to be about anyway. Can't say when you'll see Emerald Hill up, I'm going at my own pace rather than working to a deadline, but expect it to come complete with maps for both acts.

Well, that about sums up my first ever blog entry - I hope it comes through ok! If you think this one is long and waffling, you ain't seen nothing yet, believe me. I do have a tendency to just keep on writing about stuff, even if it's not even remotely important that you know about it. Look, I'm doing it now! Still, detail is what this site is all about.

Enjoy Zone: 0, and do tell your Sonic friends about it! I could use alot more visitors.

Comments   16 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Sunday, 1st July 2007, 6:34pm
Just giving the 'ol comment system a quick test. It seems to work!
#2. Comment posted by SonicTheHedgehog on Sunday, 8th July 2007, 3:09pm
Good Luck with this cool website!!
#3. Comment posted by CratorŽ on Sunday, 8th July 2007, 4:16pm
I really like this site. Your guides and background info on Sonic 1 were excellent. I see good things in the future for this site. ^^ Keep up the good work.
#4. Comment posted by Flint on Tuesday, 10th July 2007, 6:36pm
Yo. Any chance for a RSS feed or something for this blog? Would help in knowing whenever the site is updated.
#5. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Tuesday, 10th July 2007, 6:48pm
Hey Flint,

In all honesty I've absolutely no idea how RSS feeds work, as I've not had anything to do with them before. But never say never - I'll at least have a look into them and see how easy they would be to set up, and if it's not too much of a fuss, I'll see what I can do. Thanks for your interest!

#6. Comment posted by Flint on Tuesday, 10th July 2007, 7:00pm
Yeah it's not like I'm forcing you to do anything :O. It's just that this site is extremely promising and fantastic, but I have a horrible memory when it comes to checking up sites so some sort of an 'update alerter' would be groovy. Thanks for the answer.
#7. Comment posted by 1963886 on Thursday, 12th July 2007, 3:40am
I love how this site is laid out. It's simple, and has so much information. You literaly disect the games and give the most information of any website I've seen. I'm really, really looking foward to seeing what you have on Sonic 2 & Sonic 3 and Knuckles. A really cool way to attract visitors is to put a banner that people can link to on their own site. Have a small icon, and then have an HTML code underneath. I'd put it on my site. You are doing great, and you've put so much work into this site. Keep it up.
#8. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Thursday, 12th July 2007, 9:56am
Thankyou so much! I'm really greateful for your support, and pleased to know you're looking forward to future updates. Yes, I suppose I could make an "advertise Zone: 0" section with banners and html codes and stuff. That would be rather useful. In the meantime, you're more than welcome to use a 468 x 60 banner that I made for the Sonic Stadium banner rotation service; here. Thanks alot!
#9. Comment posted by 1963886 on Thursday, 12th July 2007, 2:15pm
Thanks. I'm curious to see what you're going to do about all the "Sonic 2 Beta" stuff. Are you going to hava a separate section relating to the Beta version, or just keep it in the backgroung info? Anyway, is it okay if I link to the picture you gave me, or do you want me to put it on my own server? By the way, you really are doing a great job.
#10. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Thursday, 12th July 2007, 2:59pm
Best keep it on your server for the moment, as I wasn't necessarily intending to keep it where it is and might move it around etc. What is your site, btw?

Sonic 2 Beta will be featured in the miscellaneous page of the Sonic 2 section, with the other miscellaneous things. There won't be massive amounts about it, as investigating hidden things like that isn't necessarily what this site is about, and other places can do it so much better than I can, but I have written a fair bit about the lost levels, etc. It's important to include it, I think.

#11. Comment posted by 1963886 on Thursday, 12th July 2007, 5:18pm
Well, I guess that's to bad then, because I don't have a server, or a "real" site for that matter. Anyway- I'm actually looking foward to the upcoming Sonic Rush Adventure. Are you actually planning on doing in-depth investigations of every single Sonic game(Game Gear, Advance, etc...)? As for Sonic 2 Beta, I think that's a good idea. This site is about the released levels. Do you have a favorite Sonic 1 level? Mine would have to be Star Light Zone.
#12. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Thursday, 12th July 2007, 5:46pm
I'm hoping to cover every Sonic game ever released and ever will be released, though because of the amount of time and work that'll take, I can't guarantee that'll ever come to fruition. If it does, it'll be over the course of many years, but at the very least I'd like to get the most important platformers done. Star Light is my favourite Sonic 1 level too.
#13. Comment posted by SonicTheHedgehog on Thursday, 12th July 2007, 7:38pm
Hell yeah Star light zone rocked![The music was equally awesome as well!!]
#14. Comment posted by 1963886 on Friday, 20th July 2007, 5:43pm
I was just wondering because I hadn't noticed anything new on this site in quite a while, but, are you still working on stuff for Sonic 2? I can't wait to see what you've got because it's my favorite game. Thanks.
#15. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Friday, 20th July 2007, 5:52pm
You bet. Emerald Hill Zone is expected to go live this weekend. I just need to map out Act 2. It hasn't really taken me that long so far, it's just I've been busy with other things lately. Hopefully I'll have more time for Sonic 2 in the coming weeks.
#16. Comment posted by 1963886 on Saturday, 21st July 2007, 3:41am
Cool! I'll be waiting patiently.
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