As mentioned in my prior post, I'm trying to plan for the year of 2015. My ideas for 2014 didn't work out quite like I planned, so there's some carry over for this year. For the purposes of this discussion, I'll leave my day job out of this and focus on my extracurricular activities.
2014 was supposed to be a big year for Fresh Comics when I wanted to launch the app as the go-to app for comics and comic conventions. These plans fizzled out early in the summer when Google banned the app from the Play Store under the theory that I was violating comic publishers' copyrights. I was well within the companies' copyrights and managed to get the decision overturned a couple months later. Still, this took the air out of the app during the crucial summer months, and I'd like to make a play at the convention space once more.
In the Android space, an additional development, which is very relevant, was the introduction of the Material Design app style guidelines. While the Holo guidelines were a bit more developed the Gingerbread-era guidelines (i.e. nothing), there was still quite a bit of latitude and creative flexibility and I'm honestly not a good enough designer to work with that much wiggle room. The Material Design guidelines spell things out in more detail, and I'm looking forward to making the Android (and iOS) apps conform to that style in 2015.
On the convention front, once I have a fresh app in-hand, I'm looking forward to pursuing conventions once more. I'm not planning on any major splashes, just some good old fashioned organic outreach to the show runners.
The Pnakotic Atlas
In 2015, I plan to give The Pnakotic Atlas a visual overhaul as well. Since Material Design comes from a print inspiration, I think that there's quite a bit I can do to revitalize my map of Lovecraft's fiction and give the app a nice overhaul. The nice thing about this year – as opposed to 2013 – is that I now enjoy a large library of images, so I can focus more of the app's presentation on highlighting those pieces as opposed to trying to paper over a lack of images.
Another constantly delayed goal is to revitalize the artist recruitment and get some fresh faces contributing to the app. Given that I have a decent collection of art to showcase as well as a solid track record of paying royalties, I should have a much easier sell than I did back in 2013.
Finally, I'd like to get all of this in shape for NecronomiCon Providence 2015 and actually get a booth at that convention to highlight the app and the art produced by its contributors.
Shion has been my most neglected project and the noises I'm hearing from CES make it sound like it has the potential to be more relevant than ever. While I'm still working on a pivot plan, I think that there's space for it to become a decent open-source platform for the Internet of Things to allow hackers and hobbyists to mix and match platforms to put together something compelling. I may use this as my opportunity to get it off of the Mac-only Cocoa/Foundation platform onto something a bit more cross-platform like Qt.
I've been incrementally improving this website and expanding its capabilities since I launched it last year. As mentioned during the site's introduction, what you're looking at isn't primarily intended to be a website, instead it's major purpose has been to be my platform for incrementally constructing a personal virtual assistant (that also happens to publish a website for me). It's served that role admirably, and I look forward toward extending its capabilities in the new year.
This year, I'm looking to try and break these items into designated time periods. A month seems like a natural place to start, so here's my initial schedule:
January: Mop-up. This month will be dedicated towards knocking out items that might stand in the way of future projects during the rest of the year. This includes wrapping up some favors for friends, delivering the long delayed well app to my father and other miscellaneous items that don't fall cleanly into other bins.
February: The Pnakotic Atlas, Android edition. Before I jump head first into making Fresh Comics a Material Design app, I'd like to do a bit of a trial run on the Atlas. It's a smaller app and should be less effort to refresh. Given that it's mainly getting a facelift (the database and other underlying elements are solid), this should be a very doable effort, perhaps leaving time to update the iOS app as well to see how well Material Design plays on Apple's platform.
March: Fresh Comics, Android edition. It'd like to use the months before the summer to give the app a refresh and to wrap up the convention mapping work I began last year. There are some underlying elements that I would like to revisit in this pass, so it makes sense to dedicate the entire month to the Android update.
April: Fresh Comics & The Pnakotic Atlas, iOS edition. This will be a good time for me to take stock of the changes made to the Android versions of both of these apps and overhaul the iOS versions. With any luck, the Pnakotic Atlas overhaul will already be completed in Feburary, leaving the rest of this month to focus on Fresh Comics.
May: Fresh Comics site redesign. The current design is a bit long in the tooth and there are a ton of things that I can do to the site to raise the profile of the information in my database as well as turn this into a first-class comic book destination on its own.
June: The Pnakotic Atlas site redesign. See above, but replace "The Pnakotic Atlas" for "Fresh Comics" and "horror" for "comic book"
July: Shion rebuild kickoff. By this time, Fresh Comics and the Pnakotic Atlas should be in good shape, leaving me a summer month to start to rebuild Shion from the ground up.
August: Shion rebuild, continued & The Pnakotic Atlas. The Shion redesign should continue into August and I'll probably use the end of the month for any lat-minute preparations for NecronomiCon Providence 2015.
September through December: TBD. By this time, hopefully each of my projects will have a good bit of momentum behind them and I can focus on using the fall & winter months to incrementally build upon the changes made earlier in the year. This will be a good time to start thinking about making a harder push into the 2016 convention season with Fresh Comics.
To support these goals and to keep myself accountable, I've added scheduled tasks to my to-do list to get started at the beginning of each month. I typically do not plan this far in advance, so it'll be an interesting experiment to see how well this scheme plays out. Stay tuned for updates.comments powered by Disqus