Welcome to the new Phoenixdex!
Tuesday, 31 March 2015
I've celebrated the Phoenixdex's birthday, usually with new content of some sort, almost every year. Well, for some value of "celebrate", anyway, a value that was actually impressive maybe one time. More often than not, the Phoenixdex's annual birthday update is late, underwhelming, or, most likely, both.
As you might have gathered from the starkly different surroundings framing this news post: Not this year.
Five years! Five whole years I've been at this nonsense. (And that's just all the stuff you can see. We'll keep all of my awkward teenage fakemon and regions chained down in the crawlspace, if that's all right with you.) I'm not sure whether that's impressive or pathetic—both, I guess—but at least I've had fun doing it, and hopefully you lot have enjoyed all of these silly fakemon and their endless conga line of revamps as well.
This is a pretty big birthday, at any rate, so if you don't want to indulge my rambling about what all is different around here and why (hey, I worked hard on this, I think I deserve a bit of a proud-parent ramble), you can jump to whichever type of update interests you most below: the revamp stuff or the actually new stuff.
The Phoenixdex has already changed platforms once in these five years, although it wasn't that dramatic a change, all things considered. It was just a switch from one type of wiki to another, granted that the new wiki was more advanced and had extensions that made managing the way I add and update fakemon that little bit easier. It still wasn't perfect, of course. Wikis have their advantages when it comes to this sort of project (and are still what I would recommend to most people looking to put information about their fakemon online), but it was difficult to keep moves and abilities synchronized with the things that had them, a great deal of organization and rearranging had to be done manually (the grids of images on each pokédex page, for example), and there were many other kludgy, fiddly little nitpicks besides. It was sufficient, and it definitely worked as far as displaying information in a reasonable manner, but as I am both a massive nerd and a chronic lazyass I always knew it could be better.
Then, almost exactly one year ago, I stumbled across a shiny new nerd toy that could make a lot of those problems disappear.
I won't bore you all with the gory details of what this platform is and how it works and whether or not it also makes me breakfast in the mornings (it totally does), as I'm sure you're all impatient for me to get to what's new and different. Suffice it to say that my shiny nerd toy, after intermittent testing between April and September and then nearly five straight months of aggressive work and aggressive panicked flailing from November to now, has allowed me to turn the Phoenixdex into a proper online database of silly, extraneous fakemon information. It's a veritable veekun of vaguely-defined pokédexes, a powerful Pokémon Database of pointless made-up regions, a searchable Serebii of Sugimori-style art with which I am eternally dissatisfied.
It is, in short, 99% completely unnecessary overkill for what is essentially a glorified art and worldbuilding project (don't be like me, kids, stick to the wikis, that way all the coding won't make you cry), but I am, again, a massive nerd who likes playing around with these things, and after five years my massive nerd baby deserves the massive nerd best. And hey, at least that 1% of necessary is going to make keeping things up to date 2348052970615% easier for me.
On the old Phoenixdex, you could look at some fakemon pictures and see a long train of words explaining what size they were or which tutor moves they learned. Some of the tutor moves were fake and could be clicked on to reveal a page with a few more words explaining what the fake move was. There was a page with a list of some fake abilities, and a page where the characters from one region were summarized as tersely as I figured I could get away with. There might've been some resources or lists of ideas somewhere in there, I dunno. The new Phoenixdex has all of these things, too! but it has them fancier, and it also has additional fancy things.
Let's take a tour of all that fancy, shall we?
the phoenixdex is dead, long live the phoenixdex
Starting with the glaringly obvious, there's a new visual design and layout. It's a little less tres recolored Wikipedia and a little more properly pokédex-y. Hopefully it's just nicer in general, and the larger font and better use of space should be easier on the eyes. It should also be mostly responsive if for some reason you have a sudden need to look up Osgrave while on your phone, although I still don't have much practice when it comes to responsivifying things so I'm sure I screwed up somewhere. Contact me with an error report if something is in fact messed up (in general, not just with looking at Osgrave on phones) and I'll do my best to fix it.
Also pretty obvious: the front page now displays a random fakemon each time you load it. A small touch, but it spices things up a little more and gives new visitors something sparkly to click on since they'll probably have no idea what to look at first anyway. (It might even be extra sparkly, if you're lucky...)
Most of the changes to Pokémon pages were to restructure the layout and to add more detail to what was already there: abilities now show their flavor text, and moves are now displayed in the table-summary format common to other online pokédexes (and thus showing the type, damage class, base power, flavor text, etc.). You can now see the Pokémon's weaknesses and resistances, there are bar graphs for base stats, and the evolutionary family section has images in it now.
The only other new additions are small ones. Fakemon now have colors and body shapes, as seen in the in-game pokédexes, so if purple is your favorite color and you're dying to see all of the purple fakemon I've created, you can do that now. They also now have National Pokédex numbers, starting with Adargana at #722, and that's how they're sorted on most non-regional-dex pages. I never bothered with Natdex numbers on the old site because I would have had to change them all manually each time a new gen came stomping around to ruin everything, but now I can automate it so I went ahead. (Fun fact: the last currently visible fakemon in Natdex order is Ascaleius, #1275. By the time Faelan and Accolanto-Calivera's dexes are filled out, we'll be at nearly 1300... and that's not counting any new regions that may crop up in the future. Ha. Ahahaha. Ahahahahaha... ha... someone should stop me. ;-; )
I did remove something, though: the "Phoenix's Notes" section is gone for the time being. In theory designer's notes can be fascinating insights into how a fakemon came to be, but in practice some of those comments were no longer relevant, most of them were not actually interesting and nearly all of them sounded embarrassingly conceited. I may bring it back if I have cooler and less stuck-up things to say in the future.
(Oh, and, uh, this isn't really a technical change, but all fakemon now have two pokédex entries. They were all supposed to have two from the outset, and most of the new ones I put up over the last few years did, but I never went back and wrote second entries for all the one-entry things until now. So there's that?)
moves, abilities and types
Instead of the fake abilities being lumped together on a single page, they all have their own individual pages now, just like the moves! The main Abilities page now lists all of the fake abilities and their flavor text instead, and from there you can get to Indomitable, Cursed Fangs, Sidestep or whatever you like. The Moves page is similar, although you'll notice that it now uses the same sort of table-based summary that's on the Pokémon pages. This way it's easier to spot Acid Rain when you're looking for it or decide that Parodize might be interesting to learn about. Much better than staring at a long, dull list of names with no context.
If you take a look at the bottoms of the move/ability pages linked above you'll see something else cool: instead of simple lists of the Pokémon that learn that move/have that ability, there are little summaries of the Pokémon's type, abilities and stats, complete with a picture so you actually know who you're looking at! They look a little something like this:
(And, as you can see from that example, now I have an interesting way to break up these massive word-wall update posts with a few images every once in a while, haha.)
The canon Pokémon like Kangaskhan are hidden under a link in their own section, since I figure the focus of the site is the fake stuff and the canons shouldn't take up much of the space by default, but they're there if you're curious about them.
Speaking of canon things, there are also individual pages for all of the canon moves and abilities (all the ones I need, anyway). This falls squarely into that "99% unnecessary overkill" category, but at least they'll be relatively simple to keep up with on this platform, and it's nice to have that consistency and an easy reference. It's also nice, at least for me and a few other weirdos out there, to be able to see at a glance which fakemon, say, learn Earthquake or have Mold Breaker. Again, on some pages the canon moves or abilities may be hidden under a link to save space and keep the focus on the fakes. A huge thank you to veekun for making its database available to everyone, by the way, because without that there's no way I would've been able to get all of this canon crap added to the site in a reasonable amount of time.
I suppose I should also note that I've removed the contest data from all the fake moves. Contests are definitely still a thing in New Logora and possibly elsewhere, and with the release of ORAS all of the existing canon moves technically had up-to-date contest data to use as well, but ultimately it's just not worth the extra hassle.
The type pages not only have those little Pokémon summaries, but they now also show tables of all moves of that type... and a list of all major characters who specialize in that type, ooh. More on that in a minute. There are no explicit menu links to the Types, but you can click on one anywhere it appears (on a Pokémon, a character, a move, in any of those little damage taken/dealt summaries, etc.) to visit that page.
regions, locations and characters
The pages for the regions themselves—Accolanto, New Logora and Faelan—have received some updates as well. New Logora is probably the best example to look at since I've done more with it at this point. There are clearer links to the regional dex and the list of characters, and there's now a summary of basic facts about the region as well: the starters, the major regional professor, the number of settlements in the region, even the capital city and the demonym used to describe things from that region. There's also a map! Some of you may have been hanging around here long enough to remember that New Logora did have a map before, but I removed it during the first wiki-switch because it was already out-of-date and it was difficult to find locations on it. I got around to redoing it at last, however, so now it's finally possible to see what the bloody region actually looks like.
(Accolanto also has a map now, but Faelan's still needs to be planned out. Both of them are also missing most of the little factoid pieces. I'm working on it!)
Also benefiting from New Logora's snazzy new map are its location pages, which not only show the map but also show each settlement, route or other location's place on that map. The locations also have better, more thorough wild lists on them. Unfortunately the actual descriptions are still very brief, but it's definitely an improvement!
The general New Logoran Characters page is largely the same, short descriptions of most of the important NPCs in the region, but major characters like gym leaders and professors now have their own pages, too. Again, there's not much more content on them than their original brief paragraphs, and they're full of boring placeholder images because I still don't have art for them—lack of art was why I originally held off on the individual pages, but eh, might as well—but on the plus side you can see the gym leaders' teams now! Not the Elite Four's teams, unfortunately, but only because I'm still sussing those out. The reason that the gym leaders have multiple teams is because in the Zencalian leagues trainers can generally attempt gyms in any order, and so gym leaders must keep larger stables of Pokémon with more varied strength to provide an appropriate level of challenge. More information on this sort of thing should hopefully be available soon.
The biggest miscellaneous addition would be the new "tags" and similar categories by which you can filter Pokémon, moves and characters. You've already been introduced to a few, like the Pokémon colors and shapes, but there are also tags/categories for fully-evolved Pokémon, pseudo-legendary Pokémon, egg groups, move flags, damage classes, gym leaders and more. The old wiki's categories did serve a similar function for some things, but these are a bit more extensive and easier to glance through thanks to the Pokémon and move summaries.
With this huge structural overhaul comes a change in the way the site's URLs work. I think I set up redirects for all of the important pages from the old site, so if you had a fake move bookmarked or something you should be taken to the right place, but it's possible that I missed some things. Sorry for any inconvenience.
There are plenty of other changes that were either too minor to list here or that I straight-up forgot—sorry, but I've been working on this on and off for over half a year and I didn't always take very good notes. Look around and see everything for yourself! And, again, let me know if you stumble across anything broken or strange.
everything shiny, sparkly and new
That's all the revamp-related stuff out of the way, and it's pretty extensive, but you didn't think I was going to let a birthday go by without at least some new content, did you? Most of these aren't quite as dramatic as the massive revamp, but they're something... and there're a few particularly important new things hiding in the midst of all this minor tweakery, heh.
Let's get the kid stuff out of the way first. There were a few stat tweaks here and there, mostly to do things like keep the Mefflora line from being a bad Flabébé line and so on. Altavault is now Bug/Rock instead of pure Bug. I finally got around to renaming Telerond, so now that it's called Kindelf its name doesn't refer to a type its evolution line no longer has. (Halray and Asgolan are also due for a rename and probably a redesign/concept tweak just because they're starting to bother me, but "Telerond" was an actual problem so I got its name out of the way first.) Drakella, Razelodon and Gravendou and its evolutions have new artwork; Kelfee has had new artwork up for a while, but I never got around to mentioning it so I'll do it now. Look, Kelfee has new artwork, too! Great, done. Moving on.
I've added a few new abilities (such as Cultivator, Generator and Shining Mist) and a few new moves (such as Spellbind, Retribution, Haunted Terrain, and Miasma Terrain). Miasma Terrain is actually replacing the old weather move "Foul Haze", as I've turned the weather condition into a terrain effect. Miasma should always have been something like this, honestly, but terrains didn't exist when I first decided I wanted a Poison-type field effect and I couldn't think of anything else at the time. Yes, I know that terrains are generally not considered as good as weathers, but with the new autoset abilities, Gas Guzzler still doubling speed in miasma and a few other changes, I want to see if I can make them more interesting while hopefully playing at least a little differently from Rain Dance and the like. Game Freak clearly has similar (if currently undercooked) ideas given the existence of Grass Pelt, so why not?
Back on the topic of updated artwork, Chantirrus and Khargonaut are also sporting some fancy new looks. That's because they've undergone a slightly larger change: they now evolve directly from Swablu and Carvanha, serving as split evolutions instead of final evolutions and thus removing the conflict with Mega Altaria and Mega Sharpedo. (They've also changed type from Dragon/Flying and Water/Dark to Fairy/Flying and Water/Steel.) The previous designs were too big a jump from the basic Pokémon, so they needed new versions that were a little more toned down. Of course, there was nothing actively wrong with the original art—I'm probably going to want to redo them at some point, sure, but they're certainly serviceable—so why let them go to waste? The original designs are still around and kicking... as Mega Chantirrus and Mega Khargonaut.
That's right, Mega Evolutions have finally showed up to the Phoenixdex party, fashionably late but certainly better than never. In addition to Chantirrus and Khargonaut I've added pages for all of the necessary canon megas, like Mega Kangaskhan, Mega Camerupt and Mega Ampharos. And, as I promised back when mega evolutions were first revealed, Mega Ramfere is, at long last, A Thing. There'll be additional mega fakemon added in the future; just give me some time to decide which ones I want and to work out the designs and all that. In the meantime, here's a blast from the past for those of you who were around during the good ol' days. Remember Shikaizar and Kitsami, the possibly-vaguely-interesting but overall poorly-implemented, generally-unnecessary and (in Shikaizar's case, at least) lazily-designed alternate evolutions for Growlithe and Vulpix? They're baaaaack, and they're better than ever, baby. (Well, not art-wise—they're still using the same unfortunate old art because that's all I had time to put up—but at least they're better-suited to being mega evolutions and are therefore no longer completely pointless!)
Growlithe/Arcanine and Vulpix/Ninetales... they're not in any of the regional dexes, are they? Well, they are now. Faelan's paltry pokédex has been renumbered and reorganized yet again, stretching out to a hopefully-final total of 210 and switching up the set of included canon Pokémon. As you can see by the links earlier in this paragraph, those canon Pokémon also have pages now. This includes Skarmory, previously the only Faelani canon to have a page on the site but intentionally left un-updated during the Gen VI fixes because I wasn't sure what to do with its evolution, Falchion. Well... I'm still not sure, unfortunately. I do like it, don't get me wrong, but while I've finally found new, non-pointless inspiration for "Kitsami" and "Shikaizar" it's starting to feel like poor Falchion is the pointless one. I've tried rethinking it as a Skarmory evolution, I've thought about rejiggering it into a Mega Skarmory, I've considered turning it into a single-stage counterpart... ultimately nothing seems right, though. I don't want to discard it forever, but for the time being Falchion has been removed from the site. Hopefully I'll think of a good way to bring it back one day.
New Logora's dex has also been renumbered a little bit around the middle, just fyi. A slightly more visible renumbering has occurred on the region's routes, which were all changed to begin counting at Route 1 rather than the semi-arbitrary/not-as-logical-as-I'd-first-assumed Route 600. A small change, but it felt like the right thing to do.
Also new in New Logora: there are finally pages that give some information about the Tanoby people and the Revivalists! They, like so many other things, are still horribly cursory, but it's something, and now at least there's some kind of handwavey explanation for all of the Tanoby characters' and locations' weird-ass names. There are also a few NL-related sneak peeks on the Previews page, too.
Hm, what else... well, I guess it has been a while since a proper new fakemon was introduced. Christmas of last year, wasn't it? Funny thing about that, actually. As I was posting Hollimin that night, frantically rushing to finish it before the clock rolled over to the 26th, I happened to notice something: counting Hollimin, there were exactly 199 fakemon revealed and visible on the site. Kinda cool, I guess. Later, as I was continuing work on this big revamp, I realized that I was on track to finish the new site by the Phoenixdex's fifth birthday. "It would be nice to make this whole revamp thing a big birthday present," I thought. "You know what would be even nicer, though? If I could also reveal Fakemon #200 at the same time. And it'd be even better if #200 were something a little more... special than usual. (Sorry, Mr. Whale Fakemon Guy Who Just Needs To Be Colored In, I know you're closer to being finished but you're just going to have to settle for 201.)"
My dear fakemon-looker-atters, I present to you Athlauria, the Phoenixdex's two-hundredth released fakemon and its first fully-revealed Legendary Pokémon.
...okay, I think "Mythical Pokémon" is the correct term these days since it'd probably be an event-only thing if it were real, but yes! An actual legendary at long, long last. It's not as big or majestic or world-warpy as something like Ho-Oh or Palkia, but Athlauria's actually a pretty big deal around Accolanto and the rest of Zencalia—its great strength, boundless tenacity and never-ending search for the best, toughest battles were what inspired the creation of the Zencalian Confederation League. Athlauria's laurel wreath is a common motif on official League buildings and materials, from T-shirts to badge cases to the crowns awarded to conference tournament victors; they even have people who entertain audiences at important events while wearing big, fuzzy Athlauria costumes. Pokémon battlers the country over are said to owe a lot to it and draw inspiration from its love of battle for battle's sake.
Also, it has two additional formes, for three times the legendary fun (and three times the annoying mascot potential)! Athlauria and its formes have four new abilities between them, the last of which is probably the most interesting. The other three are mostly just clones, but I do have other uses for them coming up, too.
Meanwhile, if you're looking for some new fakemon ideas of your own, the Fakemon Concepts and Ideas page has received a really, really big update. I had a running list of additional ideas but never got around to actually adding them to the page, whoops. All better now, though!
And last, but certainly not least, an announcement. It's a bit of a strange one, and we'll see what actually happens as a result, but I've thought about it for a long time and have decided that I definitely want to go ahead with it, so: starting today, the majority of the fakemon, fake moves and fake abilities on this website are being placed under a Creative Commons license. In a nutshell, this means that I am giving people permission to use anything with a CC license image () on its page in their own projects as long as they give credit to me and don't try to make any money off of it, and they don't need to ask me first. Yes, you're allowed to use them even if you've asked me before and I said "no". Please read this page before using anything for more information and to be sure that you understand how the license works. The fakemon and fanwork communities are great ones, and I feel as though sharing ideas and seeing how other people remix them can only improve them. If you do use something, I hope you enjoy it, and I'd love to see what you come up with!
Whew! That's a lot of stuff, but I think it's everything worth covering. Like I said, have a poke around and see for yourself what's new and what's improved (and give me a holler if something is broken or messed up). A lot of these changes will be coming to Pokémon Turquoise's pokédex/site in the near future, so those of you who are into the RP can look forward to that as well.
Thanks for swinging by the birthday party, all of you, and thanks for visiting this bizarre little corner of the internet in general. Creating fakemon and the regions they inhabit is a lot of fun for me personally, but it's always amazing to me how many other people seem to get a kick out of these little guys, too. Here's to another five years and hopefully many more—I'm going to take a bit of a break to work on other things and to just relax, what with having slaved over this for five months nearly non-stop, but I've got plenty of other ideas I'm itching to get out there. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I do.
(Finally, a birthday present that's both on time and worthwhile! Not that I'll ever be able to top it unless for some reason I need to redo everything again, but yay!)