Fizz World started back in 90's when I got my first internet connection. I had been using BBS systems locally for some time, rocking out some sweet DOOR games like Kannons & Katapults and of course Legend of the Red Dragon. Then my family hopped on one of the beginning versions of America Online (I want to say 1.0, because I'm pretty sure I remember when the big 2.5 update came out) and the rest is history.
What started as a club of kids passing around silly emails soon turned into a website with an identity crysis. The goal was to have a few people work on its content, keep track of members' birthdays, post random garbage links, and a host of other nonsense. There was some guy named Something-or-rather Posey (I can't remember his first name but I want to say "Matt"?) and another guy or two.
The original started back on the America Online webspace all members had. members.aol.com/~screenamehere/whatever or something along that line... I think it was "keyword mystuff" to get to the little file-upload section, but I can't even remember for certain.
Of course, back then it was the cool thing to "get a banner!". A 468x80 graphic of some sort, so I was always on the lookout for those. There were tons of people that would design logos and random graphics, and websites out there loaded with all sorts of animated GIF goodies. I played around with a few of the pre-built AOL content thingamajigs, and eventually landed with stable feet on a "cow-print" background. In my opinion, this would latter be STOLEN by sites like Tucows, but that's another story.
Few people realize that the name was a combination of random thought and inspiration from Calvin & Hobbes. A specific comic has Calvin shout "Olly-wolly-polly-woggy ump bump fizz!". What a great line. Good enough for me. Thus, the name was born, and I took on the alias/handle/screenname/avatar/nickname "Fizzter".
The picture below, designed by some random Adobe Photoshop guy on AOL with too many eye candy plugins, is what I consider to really be the "first" Fizz World logo. I've always thought it was pretty cool.
I imagine that tucked away somewhere, on floppy disks, or even the old 486/66 Zeos rotting in my parents' basement, I could find absolute original files for the site. But maybe not. I'm not sure. And I don't think I'll be going through the trouble. So I consider them lost forever. Let's call that, Iteration ZERO
Fizz World stuck around in various forms on AOL for a while, then I started to discover the plethora of external hosting sites. Free! Yay! As time went on, my use of these sites would expand like crazy to host all kinds of stuff (forums, guestbooks, polls, greeting cards, and all kinds of junk). I'd host on sites like xoom, tripod, geocities, hypermart, and prohosting, which is actually still around, and was my favorite. I used both their "thor" and "thunder" servers. It was great. I'm pretty sure I still have content sitting out on some of these old hosts. Well it can sit there and rot for all I care, because I'm not bothering to go chase it down. A number of other sites would eventually be used for content, like everyone.net and bravehost, and about a zillion others. And, of course, I'd also visit the many sites out there that had junk to dump in the cgi folder for interactivity.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. For a while there, as a big Zelda fan, I even tried to put up a little subsite for Zelda fans. Deemed "Zelda Interactive", I used BraveHost to provide a few interactive / community type things on the site. This was the first time I created little pictures and put up a "Greeting Card" system. (You know, like those American Greeting cards you can send to people online.) It never really took off. Oddly enough, I had now gotten into using IRC a bit (with, of course, the infamous mIRC client), heading there to follow some Photoshop junkies to snag free stuff. (Namely a man by the name of John Seppi (jseppi### back on AOL), whom I believe died of some sickness shortly thereafter). My escapades on IRC are another story. But the Zelda site even featured a java applet that connected to an IRC room.
So while that site was running, Fizz World was still up. It went through a few iterations of 'other' sites for a while as I tried to make it more targeted, and less like a site with an identity crysis. I pooled together some of the buddies I'd talked to online and tried to put together this little advice site for people to trade messages and help each other out in 1998. That was a stupid idea and I didn't let it stick around for long. The site's pretty dumb so no images for that one.
When I converted it back into my "random crap" page, it was back to the identity crysis. That would happen in 2000.
Before moving on to 2000.... for a little while, I also had this site up. It was for some gaming stuff I was doing. Team Fortress Classic, a good ol' mod for the original Half-Life. I still think it was one of the best multiplayer games ever. TF2 was such a disappointment.
First off... in early 2000, the "fizzworld.org" domain was born! (Thanks joker.com, for $12)
An older Fizz World. I had some sort of weird affiliate link program set up at this point. I never made anything. Again, I was using external services to host stuff like the communities, but also setting up scripts locally, like for the Interactive Stories section. This was something that was sort of choose-your-own-adventure-esque, but once a person reached the end of a fork, he or she could fill-in whatever and build upon the story.
Screenshot - Iteration 1
A nice Yahoo "Y!" rip-off and Paint Shop Pro effects overload led to a header, followed by a ridiculous page. It was basically just me pooling a bunch of garbage on the internet onto the front, and a few affiliate links spread throughout. I found those "Gibbleguts" cartoons, and stuck those bad boys on there. They stick around for a while, too.
Screenshot - Iteration 2
This wasn't the first iteration of this particular site generation, but it looked like this for a while. Again, trying to cram in way too much random content with no purpose. But it was a fun learning experience. I added a few more cartoons and basically a bunch of links. The logo was some auto-generated thing from some website somewhere. This was actually the first time the "random quotes" came out. The "On the Keyboard of Life..." quote makes its first appearance here, too. I use that several times down the line. I still have the full list of quotes. You can download it here if you want.
Some ridiculous banners I had on the site. That second to last one is hilarious. The last one I ended up using quite a bit, stretched across pages. But that was mostly at the bottom of pages, so you won't necessarily see it on these screenshots. Again, these were mostly generated from external sites. I have no idea where.
This is about the time I started claiming that all my ridiculous programming results were released under the Fizz World Productions name. I created a little subsite for it, which was sort of empty, and this little logo, which was the result of a QB screen rendering that had been a mistake. I could release a bunch of unfinished BAS files, but that would be pretty useless I think. But the logo is kinda neat.
A bunch of logos that I had lying around in heaps of files, generated from other sites or people, or maybe even put together poorly by me. Most weren't used on the site, but I still thought I'd post 'em here.
Screenshot - Iteration 3
An attempt at a major overhaul. Didn't go too well. Didn't keep it up long. Ok let's face it, it was terrible. I was trying to expand my graphics skills past where they were. The 'tabs' for navigation didn't suppose all the useless crap I wanted on the page. It never really took shape as a complete site.
Screenshot - Iteration 4
Another go at it. Looking a little more polished here, but those table-based navigation columns are really butt-ugly. Really, is that the best I could do? This iteration had new affiliate links with Barnes & Noble. Never really used, of course. And there was some sort of function that pulled news stories off some other site. I don't remember. It wasn't that great.
So, most of these sites at some point had a big list of games on them. That list is below. I was surprised to see some worked, so I thought I'd actually post the working list. :)
|Cherry Picker||Castrol Racing||Amnesia||Gold Pusher|
|Race 3D||Snake||Vodoo Football||Doug Vs Ufo|
|Air Defense||Superkid||Moon Raid||Worm War|
|Space Mongos||Vertigo||Deflector||Speed Trial|
|Robotron||Al Pengo||No Hat||Splash Them 3D|
|Rolling||Java Bubble||Touch Down!||Snake Land|
|Space Wars||Pinball||Galaxy Fighter||Cliffie|
|Diamond Mines||Cross Section||X3 Defender||Rollerboy|
|3d-blox||Scurvite Attack||Tail Gunner||Urbanoids|
|Amoebas||Dr. Livingston||Formula Mirskin||Hackman|
At this point I'd also owned the Zelda64.org domain. I never turned it into anything and ended up giving it to someone else. I guess I wasn't big enough a fan. That's really all there is to say about that. Another failed subsite!
I was also at, or reaching, the peak of my sweet QB programming skills, and working on a massive project that barely went anywhere called The Mystic, complete with ridiculously cliché story. It was supposed to be about some dude that went back and time and saved the world. Of course it was.
By now, people are finding out I can design websites.. albeit poorly. I whipped up this little guy for someone. I don't know if it was ever used, but I don't think I ever saw any credit for it. I'd done other websites for people, but this one I just happened to have handy, so that's why it is here. No point in posting the others... they're a bit out of scope for this page.
I also had this little site going for the QB community. There were a lot of BAD games coming out at the time, so some of us folks decided to put together a useless list of rules and this was the result. The little 'quiz' part was pretty good. But really I guess it was just another subsite to distract me from things like sports.
Screenshot - Iteration 5
This was the page that crossed over from 2000 into 2001. I started posting some original content that I'd made over the years. Not much else. This page lasted in this form for quite a while. It had my music and programs and even some pictures of hawt bab3z. I wish I had dropped those stupid affiliate boxes on the left.
Screenshot - Iteration 6
Took out some bloat for this one. Redefined some sections. Pulled some stuff from an old site. I got this. Most importantly, I finally dropped those stupid affiliate links. Are things looking up at this point? Unfortunately, that little navigation window appears to be from a Mac, which really fails.
Screenshot - Iteration 7
I pull a complete 180 and end up with this crap. I had this interest in playing cards, so I thought I'd combine a bunch of ideas. I thought I'd put up a network of a few sites, and try to put up these front ends to stupid online casinos and make a commission on whatever people play. Yep I really did that. It didn't take a lot of work... they provided you a site and you just slapped a logo on it and it went to their web servers. Needless to say, it was a failure and I never made anything. The Fizz World Mall was just a huge page with affiliate links to every kind of site I could get my hands on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, department stores, hardware stores, etc. Why anyone would click through my site to buy something from any of those places is beyond me. When I was working on that site, I dubbed it "Project Singing Hotdog". From that alone, I should have known it was doomed.
Somewhere around this time, I designed a package of software that did various things to Windows... little utilities like web proxies or encryption tools. I called it Fizz Tool XP. Then I polished it a bit more and called it Fizz Tool XP SE. Really I probably just snagged a bunch of code online and fit the pieces together for this and didn't learn as much about programming as I should have. But whatever. So Windows XP was making its debut, but I was running '98 still. So this software?--It ran on Windows 98 only. Go figure. Worst naming ever.
Custom Bumper Stickers (yeah, that's right)
So alongside Fizz World, I had this Custom Bumper Stickers website rockin' out. Yeah. I dunno. It was sort of around the time they were coming out with those Print-it-at-home-yourself products. I put it up and sort of forgot about it. Then, months and months later, checked on it and actually had orders pending from people. Weird. Whoops. Another failed subsite!
Yeeeup... a class project is born. I have to design a webpage. So I make up a web comic, and create a page for it. It sort of catches on, and I end up drawing a few more. Cheese Sandwich, folks. Cheese Sandwich. Here you see the original site in it's final, decommissioned form. All the comics should be available somewhere on this site. This site wasn't a 'failed' subsite... I consider this one a mild success. I integrated some pretty cool Macromedia Flash (now Adobe) pieces on this site, including the entire navigation row. There was also a Pandorabot here, which made it seem like you could talk to one of the characters. This was some of the best graphics work I'd done to date (apart from the bad cartooning!)
Screenshot - Iteration 8
Fizz World starts to develop more shape. I over-rely on some graphics a buddy drew of a little dude that was supposed to be me. All those original pics I'm putting up for your enjoyment HERE. Some of them are pretty ridiculous. :) The little speech bubble for the guy changed when the mouse went over the links. That little Guest Map is still active, believe it or not! At least it was as of the end of '09.
Here's the spalsh page I rocked for a while.
Screenshot - Iteration 9
Things start to get much more basic, and orange. I put up a photo of me on top and just start posting random crap whenever I want to. There was some good stuff, and some lame stuff. This screenshot just shows the top of the page. I really liked the orange look from the Cheese Sandwich site, so I stuck with it here.
Screenshot - Iteration 10
And a rip off a blogger template I guess... I wanted something that looked a little more streamlined, but still mass-appealing, so this is what I did. I incorporated a wordpress plugin called "comicpress" and actually integrated the old Cheese Sandwich comics onto their own page. Again, I posted random nonsense.
The logo for a site I was putting up for my g/f and I to post little movie reviews. Never really used it. I still think the logo is pretty cool. Another failed subsite!
I put up all the original Cheese Sandwich strips for historical purposes on this wordpress-driven site, away from Fizz World.
Screenshot - Iteration 11
So I wanted to simplify even more, but it turned out a little too colorful. Meh, whatever. I got rid of it pretty quick. The contents column I still like. The orange logo I like. It's those dang polka-dots I couldn't get over. It just didn't seem to fit the "Fizz World" image.
A little teaser for a comic that I really wanted to do, had great ideas for, and never did. 'Cause I suck at drawing.
Another little teaser for a comic that I really wanted to do, had great ideas for, and never did. 'Cause again, I suck at drawing.
Screenshot - Iteration 12
I move to Wordpress. I alter a theme to fit my own style and minimalize it. Then I make a cool Jessica-eyes header. This one stuck around for a little bit, but then I expanded to include some more functionality. Fizz World is again, just me posting random nonsense. (Note that this is only a screenshot of the theme... that particular content hadn't been posted yet. I just swapped themes to take the screenshot.)
Screenshot - Iteration 13
Another look. Back to blue. Actually, you could change the colors with those little squares on the right. Some theme I found for wordpress somewhere. (Note that this is only a screenshot of the theme... that particular content hadn't been posted yet. I just swapped themes to take the screenshot.)
Screenshot - Iteration 13
And the last phase of Fizz World before I put up this history page. Another nice theme I found online somewhere. (Note that this is only a screenshot of the theme... that particular content hadn't been posted yet. I just swapped themes to take the screenshot.)