An update!.. of sorts
Sunday, 23rd December 2007, 10:15pm (GMT), 3 Comments
Well, the good news is that I've been able to do ALOT of work towards this site over the last week. The bad news is that it'll have little or no impact on anyone but me, because it's all entirely behind-the-scenes stuff. It's a whole new system for storing the data for the level pages in the guides, which I hope will offer massive benefits for efficiency and consistency.

My pages have always been straightforward HTML files. If I have to make a new one, I load up my template HTML page, and slot my text and image links in, messing around with their heights and widths and if I later realise I need to add a new point, changing all the subsequent point numbers and tags by hand is a real pain. However, I have now built a system that can successfully match this whole process using PHP scripts, form fields and MySQL databases, which looks a bit like this and this.

Look! It's all stored dynamically now! Every paragraph, every stat, every margin value for div tags. I can enter everything into these form fields, and the page simply builds itself! The coolest feature is that I can add, remove and change the order of the points incredibly easily, and the whole lot simply reorganise themselves accordingly. All of the sections are colour coded correctly, and when I add an image, it works out the right file name and size all by itself. God, I love PHP. Since learning it, the world of web design has really opened up for me.

So, other than making the whole process much quicker and easier for me, it means everything is loaded from the same, single page, so if I feel like changing the way things are presented, these changes will affect every level. Because everything is dynamic I can use particular bits of content elsewhere on the site, maybe share it with other sites and even build a little search engine for it. I know I may eventually need to either acquire staff members, or hand the torch on to others, due to lack of time, so this system allows them to build upon it, and still keep everything consistent and easy to manage.

I've been using my writing for Mystic Cave as the tester, and no other existing levels have been converted yet, but they will be, and the system should be easily adaptable to any new features that the next few games on the list should require. One thing it can't do at the moment is anything to do with the non-level pages, like background info and Special Stages, etc. These will either be too specialised and may as well just exist in HTML form for the time being, or I may just do some more coding to include them soon-ish. *Hopefully* you will be able to see the completed Mystic Cave Zone page soon, but I'm unsure about the maps at the moment, as my eyes are playing up once again. And also, because I've gotten so carried away with my PHP-spree, I've forgotten to do my coursework. Oh well.

Check back soon!
Comments   3 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by 1963886 on Tuesday, 25th December 2007, 1:19am
I've got Wi-Fi Connection Now... If you want to, I can give you my Friend Code and we can play Rush Adventure. I doubt I can keep up with you though. I may like Sonic, but I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. Do you like the Sonic RUSH or Sonic RUSH Adventure soundtrack better. I still like the first one's best. But Adventure's is awesome, too.
#2. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Tuesday, 25th December 2007, 11:51am
Sure, go for it! You can find my code in an earlier blog entry.

Rush's soundtrack is cool, but a bit unusual. I prefer Rush Adventure's more traditional approach. Haunted Ship is definitely my favourite track - a very traditional Sonic tune.
#3. Comment posted by Ajavalo on Tuesday, 26th February 2008, 2:07pm
Can you add to this site bugs and glitches of Sonic the Hedgehog?
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We've finally done it! The Zone: 0 guides have reached their last big update. Owner LiQuidShade has new projects on the horizon, but this site will always remain in his heart.