Here’s a concept drawing of the Blacksmith to distract you while I talk about technical mumbo jumbo.

I know I’ve been quiet here, but I haven’t been idle.  I’ve just been working on getting my invisible gremlins in a row.

Since the launch, I’ve been looking into ways to optimize and reduce those atrocious loading times.  I made inquiries at the Adobe Edge Animate forums, and the users there have been immensely helpful.

Now I have two plans of attack.

Firstly, each page can be drastically reduced in file size.  If I use animated gifs instead of png sequences, I can reduce the page file size by about half.  Each panel is small in dimensions and duration, so gifs are not the crappiest solution.  Sprite sheets would be more useful if I were reusing animation frequently, but I’m not.  Video (like h264) would be more useful if the videos were longer or higher res, but they’re not.  I’m left with gifs.  Lots of gifs.

Secondly, I can engineer a whole new navigation scheme.  Presently, I’m using a wordpress plugin, Webcomic, to handle page navigation, and a theme called Inkblot.  Essentially, these two work together to generate html pages with separate urls, and the navigation buttons jump from one url to the next.  It’s worked great because I didn’t have to think about it too hard to get it up and running.  It works badly because it makes the user reload common elements when going from one page to the next.  It’s a system built for comics that are a single image, and it works for that.  It doesn’t work as well for my javascript/css/animated monstrosities.

I’m going to build my own system for navigation.  That will take some time and lots of learning on my part.  But that’s nothing new—this whole comic has been a learning endeavor since the start.

  • Carol Cliff

    Thanks for explaining. I was clueless about “optimization” but I get it now. And I’m looking forward to a romance for Nwain? Keep up the good work.