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Viewing entries 1-4 of 4 for Behind the Scenes


The Scope of Territory WAR

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Posted by Shawn on May 14, 2008

Every so often I create a flash that I consider the "culmination of everything I've learned in flash up to this point." Newgrounds SIM and the original Territory WAR are good examples. And now I feel confident in saying the same for the successor to one of those games, Territory WAR Online (TWO for short). TWO is easily the most encompassing and advanced project I've ever tackled, and I'm happy to finally be in a position where I can look back and say that. I'm not trying to be boastful, it's just that the development time put into TWO deserves to be explained. Furthermore, this game required the efforts from MANY more people than just myself. So when I say "scope," I'm talking about the scope of the game itself in comparison to other flash titles, but also the scope of how many people were needed to get this game to a finished state.

To get an idea of what I'm talking about, check out the map:

World-wide contributions for Territory WAR Online

Key people involved:

Myself- (Ohio, USA) This is probably obvious, but I had to list it anyway. I created the original Territory WAR, so I designed the sequel as well. I handled the programming and overall production of the game. I also provided some of the animations and graphics when possible.

XGen Studios- (Alberta, Canada) Simply put, without XGen the online component to this game would not be possible. Learning to create and developing a server-side flash-based communication system was far more than I could handle by myself. XGen proved that their lightweight MMOcha technology was successful with Stick Arena, so they were at the top of the list of people for me to contact on the matter. Turns out they were accepting other developers to share their system with, so a partnership was born. Special thanks to Skye Boyes and Jordan Dubuc, whom I have been in direct contact with for a majority of this project. (,

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Posted to: Behind the Scenes, Content Updates

Domain Squatters

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Posted by Shawn on October 30, 2007

Domain Squatting (or cyber-squatting): "Registering a domain with no intention of using it, one that would otherwise be used for a site relating to the domain in question." Domain Squatting Explained.

If you read my articles, then I introduced you guys to this back when I wrote 'I want my domain back.' Well, I pretty much have the same situation again except now with two names. Back when I made my battle game, Territory WAR, I briefly considered buying to go along with it but decided against it. I released Territory WAR to the public on Newgrounds on March 23, 2006. Guess what was bought on March 27, 2006?

Four Days Later Four Days Later

I know it says that it expires this year but I think the info just needs updated, because I already tried getting the name when it 'expired.' I ended up trying out's 'domain buy' service. Basically, you tell them what domain you want, they appraise it, you give a maximum and minimum bid, and they contact the current owners of the domain for negotiation. I didn't really want to pay someone for something that should be mine in the first place, that's what they want obviously, but I was curious nonetheless. Well, 'mine in the first place' isn't necessarily true, I believe anyone is entitled to any domain name as long as they use it legitimately. But was registered days after I released my game, and checking out the site gives us the classic result:

More like 'stole what I was looking for' More like 'stole what I was looking for'

In case you're wondering, no, a copyright doesn't entitle you to a domain name. I don't have a physical copyright (government issued) for any of my work, but the copyright exists, because that isn't necessary in the United States. Finished works are automatically copyrighted to their producer. A trademark, however, does entitle you to a domain name. Trademarking is a more involved and expensive process though.

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Posted to: Behind the Scenes, Rants

The Legend of Afro Ninja

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Posted by Shawn on October 30, 2005

Ya know, it's just something I get asked every so often..."Hey man I get the afro part, but why Afro Ninja?" Well, the story is kind of dumb. But I figured I at least owe you an explanation. And an awesome animation too...

So, it's Junior year of High School. I sported the same hairstyle I do today- the brown fro. I ate lunch with my friends TJ, Josh, and Alex. One day we're sitting there, in our usual lunchtime atmosphere. I went up to the line to get some lunch, and came back. I sat down and started eating. Alex looks at me.

Alex: Dude where did that food come from?
Me: Um... I just went up and got it...
Alex: What the hell we didn't even see you go anywhere!
TJ: Yeah, really man.
Me: Well.. I did.
Alex: What are you, some kind of ninja? An afro ninja??
Me: Haha, I guess so.

Later that year Alex asked me to put one of his comic strips on the internet, The Adventures of Gary. I told him I'd do him one better and turn it into an animation with this new program I was messing with called Macromedia Flash. I finished the cartoon, uploaded it, and decided I needed an alias to go with it. "Shawn Tanner" just wasn't cutting it. I flashed back to that day at the luchroom... "Afro Ninja." Hmm...yeah... my name will be "Afro Ninja."

And that's the story.

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Posted to: Behind the Scenes

I Want My Domain Back

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Posted by Shawn on October 29, 2005

I've had quite a few people say to me "Man, why did you have to put that hyphen in your web address? Why not just"

Well, I'll tell you why:

Ooops! taken! Ooops! taken!

Yeah, that's why. Some douchebag dan out there owns "" Now, if he actually did something productive with it that would be acceptable. But let's see what dan has in store for us:

Amazing! Amazing!

Thanks dan, you have successfully taken my domain and done nothing with it. Now I will forever be plagued with "OMFG WHY DID U MAEK IT AFRO-NINJA.COM?!?!?!" Not only that, but there seems to be a trend with taking afroninja domains and doing nothing with them. Let's check in on!

Surprised? Surprised?

Oh well. Everything is so tailored to now that I wouldn't change it if I had the chance. I think it grew on me anyways :o

Comments (27)
Posted to: Behind the Scenes, Rants