as i touched on a few weeks ago when i finished setting up the Ko-fi (thank you to anyone who's chipped in, by the way!), i've been planning to do a bit of a check-in on where the site's at for a few months now, as we approached the one-year anniversary of me registering this domain. it is, quite frankly, really weird to think it's already been an entire year!

i don't really come from a deep background of web development or writing. i've dabbled in both, but it's not like i've received an enriching education in either. when i founded HYPERFIXT, it was off the back of frustration with the modern state of the internet. i've never been much of a social media user - unless you want to count Discord, which you shouldn't, Discord is a communication platform and those are different things and words have meanings, damnit - and in 2022, we sure did see a lot of those platforms start to crumble apart, which drove a lot of people to question what their presence on the internet should look like. even before i had a website, i was no stranger to more-or-less building up essays in conversations with friends, and it was through their encouragement that i decided to give those thoughts a little corner of the web to live in.

this experience is, increasingly, less of a unique one. i don't want to imply i'm special or above anyone else for spotting that maybe this whole web 2.0 thing is bad. quite frankly, i'm glad that it's an increasingly common opinion! when i stop to talk about the process of HYPERFIXT, it's less about patting myself on the back and more about taking the opportunity to reflect on where i want to steer this thing.

'year 1' has been less productive than i would have hoped for, in many regards. i started with little more than a home page consisting of notes to myself and close confidants as i learned coding basics and, for my first few articles, some pretty quaint dives into internet culture and in-jokes, the type of things that could have very easily wound up as a dumb talk between friends if i didn't have a website on which to sort my thoughts out uninterrupted. Riddler's Brew was an in-joke long before it was a faux-detective deep dive and commentary on the pandemic, and Ignorance is Bliss was the type of fun trivia i'd love to bust out on anyone who happened to vaguely remember it.

and then i kind of didn't post for a while, whoops! there's a lot of reasons behind this, whether it's been personal struggles with juggling different aspects of my life, or a lack of ideas that felt right to expound on here. in case you hadn't already discerned it from elsewhere on this website (including the domain name itself), i have ADHD, and one of those 'different aspects' was thinking more about my own mental health, recognizing that there might be other stuff going on in this brain and trying to find a path to a potential diagnosis for that other stuff. luckily, i have maintained a marginally better schedule since ripping the band-aid off with a Splatoon 3 review in October.

i'm getting a better grip on my output, but one of my goals going into this second year of HYPERFIXT is to refine that grip. right now, i'm in the midst of going through the entire run of The Owl House, which has been a very fulfilling process and, if you view it as one lump sum, easily the longest piece of writing on this site to date. ideally, though, i need to be thinking ahead to what comes after that, and that means both deciding what my next 'big' project is and finding ways to do smaller, more off-the-wall stuff too. as much as the last few months have trended this way, HYPERFIXT is not meant to be just about long-form writing. one way or another, i do want to get back to giving people both big in-depth analysis and smaller, quirker stuff too.

somewhere in the middle, then, is my capacity to get more use out of HOBBY ZONE. i wound up with not one, but two lightboxes for Christmas, but haven't found the time or space to use them for their intended purpose of cataloging some of my physical collectibles and doing a big living collection page. it's not quite a major writing endeavor, but it does fall into the category of 'things i'll tell you i want to do soon'. one way or another, the HYPERFIXT photography arc will come.

so, i want to keep up the pace with long-term projects, find more room for fun one-offs, and do a bit of mid-range cataloging on here too. on top of all of that, i also have some ideas in mind for potentially daily updates, in the noble form of the classic "let's play". it's a broad net to cast and i don't necessarily want to make too big a deal about it when it's still under heavy consideration, but i do have a few games in mind that might make for interesting short posts that can come out at a decent clip - Pokémon might be interesting, if my readers aren't too sick of hearing about it, although i'm also toying with the idea of Animal Crossing as a pretty low-stakes game that's meant to be played daily anyways.

there's lots and lots i want to keep doing with this site, because i don't want to be pigeonholed into one type of thing or stick on any particular form for too long. it's probably ill-advised to bounce around so much, but at the end of the day, HYPERFIXT is a site about what's in my brain and i want to find more ways to branch out and convey a lot of things.

aside from my own capacity to write and create, another thing i can do to keep branching out is understand the inner workings of my site better. i feel like there are things i 'get' about HTML and CSS by now, but there's plenty of functions that i don't understand, whether it's cobbled together off what i could learn from W3Schools or advice from friends who have been doing web design way longer than me. as it stands, i suspect there might be a pause on updates at some point later in 2023 so that i can sit down and force myself to learn how Visual Studio Code works, because i've tried to do it while keeping the writing going and my brain isn't quite equipped to walk and chew gum at the same time like that.

understanding my site better means better coding practices, but it also means understanding the flow of how people read HYPERFIXT better. i want to mix things up with the navigation, hide more 'bonuses' or implement fun visual flairs, but given that this site exists for the written word, i also want you to be able to read it pretty clearly and not obfuscate the reason you're opening this webpage in the first place. i would say i'm like, 90% happy with how the site looks right now, in ways that let me start thinking about how to subvert the consistent framework, but it's a bit of a tightrope walk.

oh, and mobile support is a long-term goal, too. don't worry, HYPERFIXT isn't going all web 2.0 on your ass, but if devices exist that let us take our internet on the go, it'd be neat to make this site fit those devices slightly better. i have some personal mock-ups i've drawn of how i'd want the site to look on a smaller, more vertical screen - including how i'd want to work around the pesky matter of hover-over text on devices that don't have super robust support for that - the hard part is just figuring out how to turn that visual sketch into workable code.

the last big frontier on my mind, in terms of big-picture 'how do i build on HYPERFIXT' thinking, is community. so far, i pass this site around to a handful of friends, and if i talk about what i do, it's all kind of sequestered off-site. the idea of 'growing my brand' is kind of sickening to me, but i also think there's something a few steps up from 'this site is for ten of my closest friends' that i could probably be okay with? some kind of Discord or comments section, maybe? i don't want to make any promises, especially because even moreso than opening a Ko-fi, dedicating myself to moderating a community around HYPERFIXT would really start to make it feel like a job in a way i'm not exactly comfortable with, but it's somewhere in my mind.

really, that's the one big thing about running HYPERFIXT that creates friction in my mind right now. i don't think i've been especially shy on here about not liking the modern state of the internet, the modern state of freelance 'content creation', and there is some part of me that always wants this site to be something incredibly small and niche. but there's also the part of me that wants to be a writer, not just for fun but as like, a calling, or a trade, or however you want to put it. i like to think i'm not half-bad at writing, and i also like to think that i can look at the landscape of the internet and say that the career paths laid out before me are kind of repulsive, so you put those things together and i start asking myself some questions about how much HYPERFIXT is a fixture in my life and a Big Thing I Do.

that's all a little personal and big-picture, though. i've had my gripes here about how i could have been more productive or more proactive in this first year of HYPERFIXT, but i'm also incredibly happy to have an outlet like this. even when it's been tough, everything here has been a real labor of love, and i want to keep it that way. it's been very fulfilling to make things and get things done. i can't speak to how much people really like the site, but everything i've heard has been at least politely positive? no matter what, i can look at the things i put together this year and be pretty proud of myself for getting this thing off the ground, and it excites me that i've been able to ramp things up over the latter half of the year and cover so much new ground.

i don't really have the best idea of how many people keep up with my site, but for anyone reading this, whether you stumbled onto it like ten years from now or you've been with HYPERFIXT from day one, i hope you've enjoyed the site. HYPERFIXT is wildly self-indulgent and i'd be lying if i said i didn't do some of it just for myself, but honestly, the proudest moment i've had as a writer in this entire year was in watching some of my friends have a conversation about games i've never even touched after reading the Halo essay, because to me, making something that people can relate their own life experiences into, making something that gets people thinking not just about my perspective but their own too? that's the biggest success i can hope for.

and, in keeping with spreading that love, i asked a few of those friends if there was anything they might want to hear if i'm already in the process of peeling back the curtain a little bit like this! so here's a bit of a Q&A! maybe i'll do more of these in the future if people like this!


frantic and unorganized! i don't really have a procedure of how to get my creative systems turning, but i'm figuring it out. i tend to know pretty early in a day if i feel like i'm going on a good streak or not, so a lot of my writing happens in the early afternoon and if i'm feeling lucky, i can keep that momentum rolling until it's time to make sure i've eaten that day. one thing i do know pretty solidly - no music. i've tried, even the most bare ambient instrumentals, and i'm too much of a seat-groover to focus when i'm listening to music, which is a shame because there are times i'd love that level of mental stimulation while trying to crack through and find my words.

it hasn't seen much use lately, because i've had things pretty figured out so far for 2023 ('okay, i'll write about AGDQ, and then it'll probably be time to cover The Owl House, and then after that comes SGDQ...') but i do have a stored list of topics i'd like to cover at some point. as someone with ADHD, i can chase a whim pretty hard on a topic, which sometimes leads to timely thinking like getting the big Halo essay out right before the game's next update, but that's rarely a huge concern. if i'm writing a lot about current topics, assume it's a matter of 'i don't want to be outdated on this, so it needs to be out now'. or 'i'm mad at what people on the internet are saying about this thing'. or both.

really, that's the biggest guiding directive of this whole site - i never want to be beholden to writing about something because it's new, or because i'm 'supposed' to have a take on it based on other aspects of myself. i don't want to approach everything in my life through that lens. if i write about something, it is generally because i find it interesting and worth saying something about. i think a lot of the problems with modern 'content' on the internet is that people don't know how to admit they're not experts or that they don't have a strong, stubborn perspective on what they're talking about. maybe that leads to an overly impassioned stance on a lot of things, but i'd rather be too polarized about things that just say 'yeah, i played the new Zelda, it's pretty good, right?'. (although, hey, get back to me in May, maybe there's something cool for me to say about Zelda, i'm not ruling that out.)

for stuff i can research pretty thoroughly online, i tend to keep lots of tabs open alongside my actual HTML editor to cross-reference as needed, but with The Owl House, i've generally started by watching the episode and taking extensive notes the night before i intend to start writing. gives me time to sit and process what i want to say, although sometimes requires a re-re-watch if i take too long to get moving on it. i try to work in images - not even necessarily as necessary visual aid, but just to break up large blocks of text, too - and those generally come last, along with the hidden little gags i leave in the hover-over text.

if you were to ask me what influences my creative voice... it's hard to say, because i think all people have a creative voice that's informed by just existing in the world? mine's pretty distinctly online, and while i've been meaning to implement a sort of 'if you like HYPERFIXT, check out...' section somewhere on the site for a while now, that still wouldn't begin to cover it, because there's entire cycles of my life i've gone through. i am certain my particular tone still has traces of comedians and content creators who i'd never even want to hear about again, and it's always evolving. i hope that's not too much of a non-answer, but i have trouble pinpointing what parts of me and my particular voice are really influenced by others. honestly, i'd love to hear who other people think i sound like when i write, because i'm sure i'd get some very unexpected answers.


lots of stuff! i've alluded to the menus of Super Smash Bros. as one guiding principle before, but it's really a mish-mash of all kinds of touches i find interesting. the general layout of the site is meant to center the contents of whatever you're reading in a roughly square-ish area, the idea being that the important part of the site all fits in roughly 4:3 dimensions and the extra screen real estate afforded by widescreen monitors is used more for additional navigational elements. i like to think of the general aesthetic tone as something like "web 1.5", with the kind of crisp resolutions modern technology can provide but a lot of old-school flair.

the official site palette is orange, and that's just because orange is my favorite color. maybe there's something subconscious there about how Twitter and Facebook and all these big web 2.0 sites really push blue as their color tone of choice, but that wasn't the initial intent, i just like orange, i think it looks neat and it's light text on a dark background because i live in a cave.

in terms of more specific pieces of media that inform my site's design - lots of the gaming UIs of my childhood, whether it's the dynamic digital fun of Super Smash Bros. Melee or the ominous floating goo of the original Xbox. i'm a big fan of old-school television bumpers too, so Cartoon Network's Toonami is a major influence, although i would be remiss not to also mention its younger siblings like Miguzi, and the work of YouTubers like RebelTaxi who also tap into those influences and keep the spirit alive. the scrolling banner at the top of each article initially crossed my mind in reference to, again, Smash Bros., with its 'challenger approaching' screens, but i've also had friends tell me it's very Evangelion and yeah, can't deny that it's that too.


this one's a low blow. this is a trick to expose that i, HYPERFIXT, possess a debilitating allergy to a key component of the food at Denny's, thereby teaching my opponents how to strike me down! alas, i do have opinions on this, so my hands are tied and i do have to elaborate.

i do not think i can eat a single piece of food at a Denny's thanks to my allergies. this is a complete tangent, honestly, but did you know that at IHOP, they put their pancake batter in all of their egg dishes to make them 'softer'? if you can't eat wheat, you're screwed. it's fruit cup city. and that's not a breakfast of champions, that's a breakfast of 'well, i gotta eat something, don't i?'.

all this to say that i get the vibe that Denny's falls into a similar genre of putting wheat on everything and doing Flour Dunk Fridays or some nonsense. i wouldn't know, i've never set food inside a Denny's. i just know these things, on a deep, primal level. the official HYPERFIXT Denny's order is a tall glass of milk and some ketchup packets.

that's about all i've got, given i already got pretty sappy earlier, but i would just like to take a moment here to extend thanks to everyone who's supported HYPERFIXT in this first year. the people who'd listen to me ramble about a CSS problem on end, the people who give me their honest feedback on how the site can keep growing, and really, just anyone who believes i'm actually capable of doing the damn thing. here's hoping year 2 is at least as good as what i've been doing so far. see you all back here soon for continued Owl House coverage and whatever else the future might have in store!