Spring is in the air, and what better way to spend the rain soaked, mosquito infested, manure scented days of spring than working on the head-splitting task of updating Pixel2life? Actually, I think jamming a hot poker in my eye socket would be less painful to be honest, but I think it’s time for a change. A BIG change. I’ve been very busy in my personal life and actually spending less time on the PC and I’ve also been working on my little import business, which is thriving quite well. In a twist of fate, P2L went from my only real sustaining source of income and fulltime employment to a side hobby that actually costs more to run than it makes. To put it bluntly, I’m bored with P2L and it has become increasingly difficult to justify keeping it as part of my life, and I think it’s probably showing.
So once you come to realize that something you BUSTED YOUR ASS to bring to life has become nothing more than a tedious chore to you, it’s time to make some decisions. In my case, giving up is pretty much non-existent in my vocabulary, and with P2L drawing thirty thousands visitors a day, it’s hardly a site worth trashing. So I sat down and thought long and hard about what to do, and I came to the decision that it was time to create one last version to see if it could re-stimulate my interest and get me back to my P2L roots. But this can’t just be another upgrade to something a bit different or add a few new goodies like was done for v2 to v3 and v3 to v4… this needed to be major, something along the lines of v1 to v2, which was a total and complete ground-breaking change for us.
The first thing I knew we needed was a new layout, no question. Not a layout based on what we’ve been using since v2, we needed something totally new. So I started talking to all kinds of design sites… I contacted high-end studios like 2Advanced, I spoke to freelance designers and I went to smaller design places. I felt that in order to get away from the stagnant design, I needed someone ELSE to design the layout… some fresh eyes and hands to get some perspective on the new direction P2L needed to take. Much to my disappointment, people either didn’t want to work, wanted retarded amounts of money for a single PSD layout or simply submitted designs that were so God awful that I covered my ears and ran screaming for my life. Even Nick (NGPixel) handed over a design that wasn’t bad, but I still wasn’t “feeling it dawg”.
All the while, I had to work out a way of making P2L different… obviously we’re still going to be the huge tutorial portal that we’ve always been, kicking the crap out of the competition and all that good stuff, but that’s secondary now. I needed it to be new to ME, and in a world where the general feeling is that it’s all been done, that’s no easy task. I want the experience of using P2L to be different, and I want people to love using the site while still finding the tutorials they want. I also want to give members a reason to be members, and have fun performing a variety of tasks on the site. That’s when the light-bulb went off and some plans started to take shape… I talked with Nick, Jamie and Donna and shared some of the ideas I had cooking in the oven and they all seemed to think it had some serious possibilities. Then Nick came up with a boatload of other cool goodies he wanted to include, and some of them would be a BLAST to do, and that definitely had my undivided attention.
So now we had our direction, we just needed a layout… I was then forced to take matters in to my own hands. I decided to clear my head and not even look at the old designs, and I roughed in something I thought would look cool. I worked on it for a couple of hours and this basic outline I had put together looked… well.. pretty darn cool! I sent it in to Nick to flesh it all out and add the details, and he absolutely RAN with it and knocked my socks off with the extras he added on to it. Yes ladies and gents, we had our layout, and Nick is da fuggin man!
So fast forward to now, and development has been going on for several weeks now and it’s really starting to take shape. Nick is working constantly on the coding for now and Jaime and Adam will be brought on later to work on their respective parts plus I’ve hired some extra talented folks to help with the additional media we’ll need for the site. Overall I think you guys are going to LOVE this new site and while I’m sure there will be the usual moaning and groaning from the haters of change, the vast majority will be too busy having fun with the new goodies. This will be a massive change in two ways… visually the new site is stunning (I think anyhow) and second, the new member related services (sorry, it’s hard to describe anything that we’re doing without it becoming fairly obvious what we’re talking about).
I can honestly say that this is the most excited I have ever been about a new release and I can not wait to get back in to working on P2L and being super active with the community again! I spoke to Nick this afternoon and we sort of passed around a July release, so at the moment that is our target release date.
So thanks again everyone for your tremendous support throughout the years and I can not wait to welcome you to Pixel2life Version 5 this summer!