Class Assignment 6 – The “Awwwards”

Relevant link: http://www.awwwards.com

For this assignment, we had to browse the winners from this site, pick a favorite site design that was used for a restaurant, and then we had to critique it. MERCILESSLY! MWAHAHAHAHAHA… Okay not really. We had to focus on these categories:

  • Ease of Navigation
  • Readability
  • Accessibility (load time, cross-browser friendly, etc.)
  • Branding  (large photography that shows off product, beautiful typography and illustrations that plays off the logo, consistent color scheme throughout the site, etc.)
  • Special Features and Interactivity (hover states, layered scrolling, animation, etc.)

(Copied word for word from the assignment, so you should know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.)

Anywho, this is the site that I picked: https://4rsmokehouse.com. Why that site? Because it was a steak house, AND I LIKE STEAK! Now for the critique:

Ease of Navigation – A cursory glance of the site (because you can’t honestly expect me to do a thorough inspection, now can you? You can? Well you’re crazy then! I don’t think I’ve ever fully explored a site, including this one!), leads me to believe the site is very easy to navigate. All the important options are always at the top, regardless of what page you’re on, the links are obvious what they lead to, etc. I give it, 9/4000 because I’m using a scoring system adjusted for inflation and the fact that I currently am not eating a steak right now and that is making me mad.

Readability – Gets a pass as well (so say, a C++++++++, which translates to a different letter that I don’t care to specific). The fonts are large (REALLY LARGE, like, BIGGER THAN WHAT YOUR GRANDPARENTS WOULD NEED), they are also written in a very clear san-serif, so everything is nice and legible, and NOT HEADACHE INDUCING, which is all that I’m really looking for in large amounts of text.

Accessibility – The site loads fast, and appears to work in a variety of different browsers. (I’m not surprised by that, it isn’t exactly a TAXING site in terms of design) Not much else I can say on this matter, so it gets 3 thumbs up, all on the same hand… Because the thumbs up is being given by a guy with a birth defect or something…

Branding – There are indeed large photos of the food that are very appetizing(…want…steak…), the fonts are consistent, as are the colors, yada yada yada… Its an award winning site made by clear professionals, what else would you expect of it? I give 5 stars / fish taco. Not as good as 5 stars / a giant stack of pancakes, but its pretty close.

Special Features – You hover over menu items, and it gives you close-ups of the food, the opening page has an animation of them FREAKING COOKING THEIR STEAK… I also wouldn’t be surprised if  there was also some layered scrolling in their somewhere… So yeah, they have some nice added features on the site that really adds to the presentation. I can’t think of another retarded score to give it, so here’s a picture of Nicolas Cage:

So FREAKING majestic. Also STEAK.

So, that was my “critique”, of the 4 Rivers Smokehouse website. It looks very neat and clean. Its clearly very professional. And it has delicious pictures of steak… (OMFGIWANTAGODDAMNSTEAKTOEATFORDINNER!!!!!) So yeah. I think its a good site. I can see why it got an award. Now I’m off to Florida to find one of their FREAKING STEAKHOUSES!!!!!!

Art Post – Night Fox Character Bio #4

Bio #4, here we go!

Angel Semi-Color

Name – Reaper Officer Angela Moon (The Reaper Officer is part of her title in case you were wondering. I’m not just going to name a character “Reaper Officer”, that would be dumb. I will, however, give an angel character the nickname “Angel” however, BECAUSE THAT IS SO MUCH MORE CLEVER… :P)

Age – 60ish (I don’t a have a firm one for her either, considering she’s a spirit and all. I’m gonna say she was around 35 when she died, so she’s been a spirit for about 30 years, so old by people standards, but extremely young by spirit ones)

Birthday – November 5th

Personality – As a member of the Reapers (they are basically the police force of the Spirit World, maintaining law and order through any means necessary), Angel likes to be stern and professional, trying to set a good example for others to follow. Unfortunately for her, she is responsible for keeping an eye on Night Fox for its Reaper accreditation, so she constantly has to play baby sitter to Alex and Kitsiyuna’s shenanigans. Needless to say, they have a habit of driving her insane, requiring her to chew the two of them out whenever they screw up, in hopes of them actually learning a lesson. They never do. Whenever she has to lecture them, she tries to act as harsh and critical as she can, something that, deep down, she hates doing, as she actually a huge softie. Of course, Alex and Kitsiyuna will exploit this fact, trying to act as sad and remorseful as they can whenever she’s laying in to them, usually resulting in her letting them off easy. She more often than not knows that they’re faking, but each time hopes that they’re being genuinely sorry… after a certain point, she even admits to herself that she should know better than that. Despite Alex and Kitsiyuna constantly gaming her, the two of them respect Angel as a good friend and ally.

Backstory – Not sure about her backstory before she died. I’m going to say she was a cop that died in the line of duty, and when she died, she decided to continue on as a Reaper Officer. In regards to the story, she was tasked with looking after Kitsiyuna while she was recovering from her amnesia. When Alex and Kitsiyuna decided to partner up, she was specifically told to monitor them, more specifically, Kitsiyuna, to see how strong she gets. Of course, these orders didn’t come from the Reapers, but rather, someone from the outside with a lot of connections that has a vested interest in getting Kitsiyuna as powerful as possible. This particular individual (who I may or may not be covering later), was actually responsible for getting Night Fox accredited, allowing Alex and Kitsiyuna to hunt spirits to their hearts content without getting in trouble with the Reapers, allowing them to get more powerful in the process. Angel herself will occasionally give the two of them jobs to hunt particularly “feisty” bounties while on orders from this guy in order to speed the process up. (That one was a tad more spoilery than usual, so I’m not going to go into much more detail for now)

Abilities – Skilled at tracking and hunting down criminals, expert at fighting with a scythe, capable of using very potent magic, specifically of the light and wind variety, and is capable of flight thanks to her wings.

Out of Context Quotes –

“I was gone for ONE MINUTE! How do you two get into this much trouble in ONE MINUTE!?”

“Keep screwing around Alex, and you just might earn a spot in one of the many open prison cells in Hell when you die.”

By the power vested in me by the Grim Reaper himself, I hereby place you under arrest! An attempts to resist will be met with deadly force if deemed necessary! To put it bluntly, whether you live or die will be determined by the edge of my scythe!”

Comic Post – #001: It’s Official

Whelp… I finally buckled down and decided to draw up a comic strip for the web comic. *DISCLAIMER* – The final look of the comics may be subject to change. I’m doing it black and white, with some of the character sketching still visible for now because it lets me do this fairly fast (this whole thing only took about 4 hours), and it doesn’t look quite as amateurish with just the linework there (I’m bad at outlining stuff on the computer because I don’t own a tablet… I have to resort to the mouse for “arting” for now). If I find the means, or the motivation, to do it differently, I probably will. But, without further ado, here it is:

Comic 001A

Art Post – Night Fox Character Bio #3

Without much rambling this time, here’s the 3rd bio.

Kaz Semi-Color

Name – Kaz Harrison (I’ve been having an internal debate as to whether or not Kaz is his actual name, or if its just a nickname for Caspian… He would go by the nickname because Caspian is a HORRENDOUS name)

Age – 16

Birthday – April 9th… maybe…

Personality – Kaz is a bit of an everyman. He’s a pretty normal dude… at least he would be if he never met Alex. As Alex’s “only friend”, Kaz often gets roped into whatever shenanigans Alex has cooking up. Though Kaz is a pretty intelligent guy, Alex is often able to manipulate Kaz into doing what he wants him to do. After a point, Kaz just got conditioned into accepting that when Alex comes knocking at his door… he’s going to end up doing something weird that day. He might complain and moan, but when tasked with something, 9 times out of 10, Kaz will just nut up and do it. His secret to putting up with Alex is that he is just EXTREMELY tolerant of a lot of dumb crap, a skill he developed for when he had to keep babysitting his little sister Jeanie all the time, who acts like Alex in a lot of ways (that is not a statement about his sister being a potential sociopath or anything, that is a statement about Alex’s maturity level often mirroring that of a 10 year old girl). Kaz is also pretty snarky too, so that helps (being snarky is essentially mandatory of most of my characters it seems). On a side note, Kaz is a bit of a ladies man, flirting with cute girls when he sees them, usually to some degree of success due to his natural charisma. He also has a major crush on Kitsiyuna, who has little interest in him, so it often goes nowhere. Alex likes to exploit this fact for fun and profit, not that Kaz has a problem with that most of the time. Though sometimes he does. Hell, sometimes he and Alex just end up pissing each other off so much that it makes other people wonder just why they’re friends in the first place, something Kaz will ask himself a lot of the time. Though, deep down, he knows the answer, and he’s just loyal enough to stick by a friend regardless of how big of an ass they can be.

Backstory – Nothing particularly special. He met Alex one day when they were kids, and they were friends ever since… okay not really. Kaz actually hated Alex a lot when they were much younger (like when they were 9 or something). But, as time went on, Kaz matured, realized that maybe Alex would stop being a dick to people if people did the same for him, and just decided to start hanging out with Alex. Alex found him just tolerable and useful enough to keep him around as a friend (and by that, I mean minion). I might be missing a couple of key details here, but that’s more or less how it went.

Abilities – Physically strong (he is a Linebacker for his and Alex’s high school football team), decent at fighting while using spears and other pole-arms, has some kind of latent Spirit Hunting abilities he is unaware of, (Alex tries to coax it out of him, often bringing him on dangerous jobs to see if he can get some results. Spoiler alert, it doesn’t work out most of the time) also possesses an above average intellect. (he might be a jock, but he’s not a dumb one!) Of course, that intellect, when compared to Alex’s, does make Kaz look like an idiot most of the time…

Out of Context Quotes –

“You can relax Jeanie, it’s just Alex… being Alex. And by that I mean BEING AN ASSHAT.”

“No fair! I don’t have a ranged attack you damn cheater!”

“HOLY CRAP! I’M DOING THIS! I’M DOING THIS AND IT’S ACTUALLY WORKING! I AM SUCCESSFULLY HUNTING A SPIRIT! …Oh god damn it… Alex IS making me into a better minion…”

And that’s Kaz, more or less. You can probably expect him to show up on a regular basis in the comic, mostly because I find him very easy to draw… Is it okay to give a character more screen time than others just because they are easier to draw? I don’t care. Whatever makes my life easier. (Fun fact for the day – The design I’m using for Kitsiyuna right now is something I came up with specifically because I was getting annoyed at the idea of having to constantly redraw her original PAIN IN THE ASS OUTFIT for the comic. Aren’t I just the laziest? 🙂 )

Art Post – This Took a Lot of Scanning…

No new character bio at the moment… or actual comic strip like I said I’d do eventually… UGH… I’ve got something different for today. You see, for my Interactive Design class (what this blog is supposed to be devoted to…), I am in the middle of coding my profile page. I’m more or less done, EXCEPT for the background of the page. “Gee, I wonder where he’s going with this?” I wonder too. Could it be that I’m going to be posting the background image I made myself? That seems kind of obvious… What’s that? That is what I’m doing? Am I becoming predictable now? That is a horrifying prospect to me… ANYWHO, HERE IS WHAT I’VE GOT!

Profile Background

Basically, I decided to take a bunch of drawings I’ve done over the past couple of months and JUST MASH ‘EM TOGETHER INTO ONE BIG COL-LAGE! Now, sticking it all together didn’t take all that long, but actually scanning in pretty much all of the pictures? COMPLETELY DIFFERENT STORY. DAMN SCANNER HAD TO KEEP WARMING UP AFTER EVERY SCAN. ALSO, SCANNING IN LOTS OF PICTURES ALL AT THE SAME TIME GOES MUCH FASTER IF THE SCANNER AND COMPUTER ARE IN THE SAME ROOM TOGETHER AND ARE PHYSICALLY HOOKED UP. (Enough all caps for now.) What goes much slower is using a wireless scanner from the downstairs of your house to scan the pictures onto your computer upstairs. This goes slower because you have to keep running up and down the stairs to change out the images, which will slowly drive you insane if you already have a slightly weakened mental fiber like me… Basically, I ended up going up and down about 50 flights of stairs scanning in pictures (not all of which I used) while humming to myself this one song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opADNvgeZYY. (Don’t ask me why that ONE song, it was just in my head during the 3 hours it took to do this)

But enough about that, how about I discuss the actual picture? (Hah! I said discuss, which almost sounds like dis-gust! …I’m typing this post having not eaten anything yet today…) Everyone in this picture is one of my OCs. (That stands for original characters if you aren’t a sad person like me) Some of them are from Night Fox (see how many times Alex and Kitsiyuna show up in this damn picture), while some of them are from completely different series. (I say series like they’re something more than just premises for comics in my head…) The drawings I used are just ones that I thought still looked good to my current sensibilities (some of these drawings are over 2 years old). I did not care IN THE SLIGHTEST if a character got repeated. You can even see the same face I use for my profile icon! See if you can find it! (It really is not that hard to do. EDIT: As of now, I have changed my icon to a picture that is not in the collage, so now it is VERY HARD to find in there…). So just who are half of these people/things (I’m looking at you monster things in the back)? YOU’RE JUST GOING TO HAVE TO KEEP TUNING IN TO MY BLOG TO FIND OUT! (Aren’t I a stinker that way?)

I will say that the character I’m covering for the next bio is in the picture, so you can be all like “OMG! I SAW THAT GUY BEFORE HAND! I KNOW WHO THEY ARE! EXCEPT NOT REALLY!” when I post it. Which reminds me… I’m thinking of changing up what I have planned for the comic. Still the same premise, it’s just the style that I was originally planning for it is going to change a bit… I was originally going to do one continuous story for the comic, but I’m having second thoughts about that. I’m going to opt instead to do a sort of “newspaper” strip style. In other words, things will just happen, and each strip won’t necessarily tie in to one another… Disappointed? Well I haven’t posted a damn comic yet, so how can you be disappointed over something that doesn’t exist yet? (I’m looking at you, my future disappointing son!) I will say though, I AM disappointed in my self a little… I was on my 2nd draft of the comic (which was about 45 pages long) after I changed my mind about the first one (which was 68 pages long)… I would not at all be surprised if I wanted to change my mind again… Though, thankfully, with how I intend on doing things, if I want to do a rewrite at this stage, it’s going to be probably for just a single comic, NOT THE WHOLE GOD DAMN THING! If I feel like I’m taking too long to actually get a comic up, I’ll just post those drafts up here so whoever is interested can actually read them.

Art Post – Night Fox Character Bio #2

If you read my previous art post, you should in no way be surprised I’m doing another character bio…Alex Crounching Semi-Color

It’s Alex again. Just like I said. Like seriously… SHOULD NOT BE UNEXPECTED. I’m not going to yammer on as much with the rest of the bios, so let’s get this one done:

Name – Alex Haser (If you’re wondering how I came up with the last name Haser, it just sort of popped into my head one day and I decided to stick with it. I guess it is in someway MEANINGFUL as Alex likes to haze people. As do I. It is fun to screw with people after all!)

Age – 15 (Yep, he’s a teenager. A slightly angsty one at that! I’M SO ORIGINAL!)

Birthday – Not sure (Another one where I don’t have a set one. Dare I say most of my characters probably don’t have a set birthday… so why am I putting this into their bios? For the sake of an actual answer, I’ll pick a random date and say June 13th. *DISCLAIMER – Date subject to change*)

Personality – Best word to start of with is anti-social (okay, maybe that’s twoish…). Alex doesn’t get along with most people… and by most, I mean like less than a point of a percentage of the population could stand to be around him for more than 5 minutes (people often wonder just how Kitsiyuna can stand to deal with him). He’s grumpy a lot of the time, mostly because he purposefully only sleeps like 4 hours every night (he considers sleeping a waste of time). He’s also incredibly impatient, and hates having downtime, often skipping school to do stuff he considers a better use of his time. In some ways, he is a major workaholic… and yet he can be SO LAZY, making Kitsiyuna do a lot of his daily menial tasks for him. He is also a MASSIVE TROLL. He has an incredibly dark sense of humor, and LOVES to push everyone’s buttons to the point that it causes them to snap in catastrophic, and often times hilarious (at least to him) ways. It might seem a little weird that he’d do a job where he basically goes around protecting people from evil spirits, but he does it as a way to show people his skills and abilities. Alex in general just likes to pick fights, even against opponents who are much stronger than him, leading to him getting into some dangerous situations. He almost always survives them with minimal harm to himself however, as despite a lot of his “dumber” behavior, he is incredibly intelligent, cunning, and pragmatic to a T. He’s so pragmatic in fact, that if he’s facing off against another guy, the first place his knife is going is into his opponent’s ‘nads. And then he’ll laugh and make a dumb joke about it.

Backstory – From a young age, Alex developed a bit of an obsession with the occult that started when his grandfather told him some ghost stories while they were out camping when he was about 6. When he got older, he took up an interest in ghost hunting, and found that he had a knack for it, leading to him to eventually start up Night Fox. Because of his often times creepy obsession with ghosts, a lot of kids avoided him when he was younger, which ended up isolating him as the loner he is today. Pepper in a couple more personal tragedies that Alex doesn’t like to tell other people about, and you’ll start to get a clearer picture as to why Alex is the way he is.

Abilities – Powerful spell caster thanks to the aid of his seemingly sentient spell book, capable of creating and developing his own spells and magic artifacts, skilled knife expert, and a fairly decent conman. He’s not particularly good at many physical activities however…

Out of Context Quotes –

“Now, ordinarily, I don’t give my opponent advice in the middle of a fight. But you could really use it. Have you considered actually dodging my attacks?”

“Stay back, and give one of us a call when you find it, and we’ll deal with it. And by one of us, I mean Kitsiyuna exclusively. I still keep that dumb cell phone at home… really don’t like the idea of people being able to contact me whenever they feel like.”

“Ugh… I hate it when this happens… BECAUSE HAVING TO RUN F***ING SUCKS!”

There you have it. That’s Alex’s bio. Not sure when the next will go up, but it will definitely be for a new character this time. A NEW CHARACTER! HOW EXCITING! LET THE RAIN OF EXCLAMATION MARKS BEGIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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(Was that enough? …No? About 3 more? …Okay, about 3 more.) !!!