Published August 03 2016
I've been wanting to put together a formal pokéfic rec list for a long time now, since I've had the pleasure of reading a lot of great stories in this fandom and would love to share them with others. Unfortunately, I kept putting it off because of the work involved in collecting the links and writing everything up... Until I got the idea of doing it in chunks instead of all at once! I'm going to look to add five stories a month until I run out of ones to feature, then probably update the list yearly. As we go along I'll feature one or two in-progress stories I'm following as well, for anyone else who enjoys keeping up with 'fics while they're still being posted.
To start off, I thought I'd put the spotlight on a couple of older chapterfics that have only recently started updating again:
Gods and Demons: ad terminos terrae by Keleri - Gods and Demons is an OT 'fic set in the fanregion of Gaiien, a sparsely-inhabited place with only the beginnings of an organized Pokémon League. When Moriko and her friends set out on their pokémon journey, they're prepared to face a hostile wilderness and difficult gym battles, but it soon becomes apparent that something far more dangerous is taking hold in Gaiien. The region's dark myths may not be so mythical after all, and knowledge long lost to humans and pokémon alike may be more important now than ever before.
Gaiien is a wonderfully well-conceived setting, with its own cultures, lore, and a boatload of cool fakemon, and Keleri makes full use of them throughout the 'fic. This is a story that feels like it couldn't take place in any canon region, and the wild, ancient feel Keleri gives to the region plays perfectly with the story's darker themes. All around tight writing, interesting characters, and a wonderfully twisty plot make this a standout among trainerfics. This incarnation, a reboot of a much older, and already plenty solid, fanfic, is only just starting, so it's the perfect time to jump in if you enjoy following along with trainerfics; and if you get impatient for more material, the old version is still up for you to enjoy, with new chapters being added while the rewrite catches up.
Rainbow by SunLight - Mai is a Kimono Girl in training, a transplant from Goldenrod City trying to come to grips with Ecruteak's deeply secretive culture. Soon her simple desire to become a dancer is complicated by the unspoken but sometimes deadly rules of life in Ecruteak and mysteries from her dead mother's past that refuse to stay buried.
SunLight does a great job of digging into the culture of Ecruteak City, with its traditionalist bent, the connection with Ho-Oh, and ghosts both literal and metaphorical. The story plays out like a murder mystery of sorts, with Mai slowly uncovering clues both to her own past and to what's really going on under Ecruteak's refined facade. It's an atmospheric 'fic, and SunLight's depiction of Ecruteak makes it feel like a character unto itself. This story combines a rich setting with a layered, multi-threaded plot, and it looks as though it's only a couple chapters from the end. Hopefully I'll get to see how everything ties together and add this one to the main recs page soon!
Smells Like Comments and Betrayal
Published July 20 2016
I've been working for a while to revamp the comment system, and I'm finally ready to roll out a couple improvements. The first of these is simple pagination for comments, which I thought I wouldn't need for a while--since having to add it means that I got more comments than I expected, I can't really complain! The other is comment threading, which is something I've been griping about not having since the very beginning. Now you can reply to people's posts and generally have an actual conversation in the comments, if you feel so inclined.
To provide a little content to go along with the technical update, I also did a brief write-up of my adventures in figuring out which was the first "Ash betrayal" fanfic to be published. Sort of an oddball topic, but I hope that it's at least a little interesting for anyone who's familiar with the Pokéfic scene on FFN.
There's more stuff coming up soon--some content I've been planning for a while, a new layout, and some further enhancements for the comment system to make it a little easier to use. Those last are probably a ways off, but we'll see!
Horde Training Guides
Published May 02 2016
Some content I never thought I'd be inspired to add: pages detailing EV yield per route for horde battles in XY and ORAS. I wanted to know if there were any routes with both special attack and speed hordes so I could train up a gastly, couldn't find a guide online that made this easy to figure out, and one thing led to another.
I didn't end up working on the site as much as I wanted over my holiday break, but as always there's stuff in the works. Next up will probably be some improvements to the comment system, since I rushed that one out while unapologetically leaving out "features" like basic pagination since I figured it would be a while before I'd get enough comments to actually need it, but already I think it's urgently needed. Other than that, I've got some new fanfic content in the works, updates to the metronome randomizer, and a new layout, too. We'll see when they materialize!
Two big updates for the month of November! It's... no longer November, in fact, and I should be much less lazy about updating the front page, since I've definitely made a fair number of changes since August.
First, I put together some custom NaNoWriMo word widgets called "NaNoWriMon" because I love horrible puns. I did NaNoWriMo myself, as always, so I can actually show my own off:
I've been trying to get these guys out for literal years now, and came pretty close in 2014 despite having to put things on hold in order to participate in Mewitti's contest. It's great that I can finally kick this idea out of the nest and move on to something else. It's probably worth noting that NaNoWriMon don't actually do anything at the moment, since it's December and NaNo isn't in progress, but they'll be back in action next November, and possibly for Camp NaNo as well, although I'm not as familiar with those events and not totally sure at the moment.
The other addition you can actually enjoy right this very second is the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon personality test, which I hammered out in anticipation of Super Mystery Dungeon's release. There are twenty-four different results, and this is mine:
I'm really proud of the coding behind this one; it's all dynamically generated from a JSON file on the backend, so if I want to make another personality test, all I need to do is copy the backend code into a new directory, change the questions and point values in the JSON file, add the appropriate images, and it's ready to go! I... don't actually have any other quizzes in mind at the moment, but the barrier to entry's pretty low if I decide to throw one together on a whim in the future. Let me know if there's one you're dying to see. :P
I also did a bit of work on the comment system, fixing some bugs and making it possible to comment on individual pages in addition to commenting on news posts. The guestbook itself will remain as a kind of "news feed" recording comments from all sources in one place. Big thanks to Butterfree for her help getting the kinks worked out, and my apologies to anybody who had trouble with the script before I squashed the bugs. (Also, it's not currently possible to comment on either the personality quiz or the NaNoWriMon, but I'll be working those pages into the system soon, too.)
December's going to be a pretty quiet month while I regroup after NaNo and work on editing, but I do have one page in mind that I'm going to work on wrapping up, since I'd like to be able to make updating it a yearly tradition. I'm also probably going to do another backend rewrite over Christmas vaction, same as I did last year. Part of that may be a new layout, as I've got an idea I like and want to try making a truly mobile-friendly style; the current one at least makes gestures in that direction, but I definitely designed the desktop-resolution style first and clumsily bolted on some degraded versions for mobile support. This time I'll try building from the smallest sizes up so they aren't last-minute afterthoughts.
I think that's enough to keep me busy for the next month or so. Hope you enjoy the new content; there's more coming soon!
Published August 23 2015
Things are looking a little different around here! Over the past few months I've been working on rewriting Thousand Roads' backend from scratch using a different programming framework than I did before. I never really figured out what was going on with the system I had before, and that made adding features that required their own custom backend coding--of which I managed to come up with a frightening number--an incredible headache. The new design makes it much easier for me to bolt on new mini-apps, and you'll definitely be seeing more of them in the future.
The first one up and running is the guestbook, a simple chatbook script that also doubles as a comment system for the site news page. If you're familiar with The Cave of Dragonflies, you might find
all some of its design familiar, but I'm sure I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Feel free to give it a try, if for no other reason than for the hilarity of discovering that it, inevitably, doesn't actually work. (This is just how these programming things go.)
You may also notice that the site navigation's been tweaked a bit. Gone is the ASB section, since I don't really ASB anymore; its pages are still accessible if you have the direct links, but they won't be updated and no longer have a place on the menu bar. The ever-popular metronome randomizer is the anchor member of a new section, "Miscellaneous," i.e. "Everything Not Fanfic-Related," and should acquire some friends soon. Also gone is the fanfic recommendation engine, which hadn't been updated in years anyway and will hopefully be replaced by a much-improved version sometime before the heat death of the universe.
Meanwhile, I'm looking to get some of the articles on fanfic writing I've always meant to do out of my drafts folder and actually up on the site. The first of these is Rewrites Considered Harmful, a rant inspired by the number of people I've seen considering starting new versions of their fanfics recently. I hope to be able to update on a somewhat more frequent basis with more opinion-based articles like this one, instructive essays on topics like "show don't tell" and writing action scenes, a rec list, and similar content. We'll see how it goes.
Hope you enjoy the new layout and features. Here's to new content more than once per year!