This last weekend I was helping my daughter install some device drivers on her laptop which required me to dig around through a box of old technology. While I was rummaging through several piles of CDs I stumbled across an old backup of some projects I had been working on... from 2005.
At the time, my backup solution was to simply copy everything I had onto a few CDs just in case something were to happy to my computer. But as time went by I moved onto different projects and completely forgot about these.
I had unintentionally created my own time capsule.
What Was The Backup For?
I always have a personal project of one kind or another that I'md working on at any given time. It's been this way for as long as I can remember. This backup was from a project where I was trying to create a Flash based game that was similar to Zelda with a bit of a social flair to it.
This CD mostly contains art, code and resources (including music, if you can belive it) that I was using to create my game... plus a few other unexpected treats.
Although I never felt the success of actually finishing the game, the backup CD ended up being a good enough reward in itself.
Game Art, Sprites
I worked on this game a lot but never could quite finish it. I'd normally run into some issue that was difficult to debug (mostly 'speed' issues where Flash wouldn't slow down to a crawl) and after a while I'd just find something else to do.
In any case, I had created a lot of resources for the game...
It was very difficult getting the game to run reliably since the map loading process required connecting to a web server that I got rid of around 6 years ago. The good news is that I found an entire folder of screenshots which shows a pretty accurate state of the game.
It was pretty incredible to also discover music I had (attempted) to write - it turned out pretty bad, but still worth sharing... just make sure to turn down your speakers.
I also found several folders of art that I had done, most of it unrelated to the game (I also had a phase where I wanted to be a comic book artist)
Another really exciting discovery was the final project for an art class I had in college. No technology was allowed for the project - just a handful of Prismacolor markers and a pencil.
I had taken multiple pictures as I completed the project to show the the transformation of the drawing from start to finish (I'm missing the pencil phase though).
I wasn't blogging at the time, but apparently I had written a few posts (with examples) about some of the problems I was having with Flash.
Using Raster versus Vector
Essentially an explanation of how Flash couldn't keep up with many vector shapes all at once, but could handle many more rasterized images with ease. [ Read post ]
Too Much Vector
More of the same dicussion about how Flash did a poor job with a lot of vector shapes all at once. This points out how changing the render quality would help (but look worse). It's funny, but running it on my laptop now has no slowdown at all. [ Read post ]
This one was neat to find - I had tried to come up with a way that allowed you to customize the features of your character. By changing the text fields to different numbers you could change the style of that feature. Then, you could enter new color names (like red or green) and it would update your character with the new values. (Not everything has more than one style though) [ Read post ]
And, a working game!
Now this -- This was awesome to see after all these years.
This was one of the very first attempts at making this game! Brings a tear to my eye to play it once more!
I had long since forgotten about these projects so it was pretty exciting to come across them once again.
Nowadays, it's easier than ever to back up everything to the cloud, but who knows - it might be fun to grab all of your personal projects, save them to a CD or USB drive and toss it in a drawer. Maybe in another 5 or so years you'll stumble across your own time capsule.
It's definitely worth it!
July 13, 2012
The Time Capsule
A weekend discovery of a CD backup of long lost projects from 2005.