Site Related

What prompted the redesign?

A lot of it was inspiration taken from how the Official Super Soaker website looked in around 2000-01.  I was after a more dark colour scheme as well as a more sleek and refined look and feel in general.  When the first version of the site was done, using Dreamweaver CS3 was still a learning process so there was some little faults design wise that upon a second attempt I can get rid of.  Not only that, there were site design features I wanted in the first version, however because I wanted to get the site released with a lot of unseen content they didn’t get done, as I felt it would have taken too long at the time.

What other changes are there?

It is more refining of things; some parts have been altered though.  As you can see, the shot gallery has been changed format wise.  Instead of just having one image to go through, I have now made it so that four images are shown in one picture with some improvisation if there is less.  To me this makes things looks a lot better, and it also saves a lot of space and megabytes too.  I got the idea from a person who used to be on the forums called ZOCCOZ (previously known as The Dark Annihilator/Annihilator 2 before that), he took some really professional shot pictures and bunched them up into fours like this which I thought looked really cool, so there is inspiration from him too.  Sadly he doesn’t seem to be active anymore.

Not only that, the blaster gallery has also been refined a little.  The images on the later pictures are too big for what they are so they have been resized down again to save space.  Not only that I have put the nozzle pictures in the same picture with the blaster so things are less cluttered and just look sleeker.  The old Wallpapers (actually there were only a measly two that in my mind were old and outdated and weren’t sized properly), have gone and been replaced with a lot more new ones compared to before.

I have also slightly edited some reviews, not many, but as time goes on you change your mind about how you feel about certain things after a while.  The videos have also been rearranged a little.

How did DukeSoak’ come about originally?

Duke Soak’ actually came about from the remains of my previous Super Soaker website, Aqua Flash, which I first started work on in August 2006 (released April 2007), it lasted for just under 2 years until I decided to close it down around halfway through 2008.  I felt things needed a fresh start after all these years of hiatus.

What content does DukeSoak’ have?

There is nothing really new or ground breaking, just nice simple and hopefully helpful stuff.  It features mostly older water blaster reviews, mostly Super Soaker but some other companies too, a gallery consisting of blaster, internal and shot pictures as well as some wallpapers.  There are also water blaster videos, as well as a repair section, a modification section and finally a concepts section. 

A fair bit of the content is also on who I decided to allow hosting it on his site since I did not have a site anymore.  That content is staying there, some of the reviews have also been edited as I felt I was a bit harsh on some blasters, since the reviews were written at the time when I was quitting and frustrated.  There is also content that is new and unseen as well with some more to come.

Why did you shut Aqua Flash down?

I shut the site down because things were not going the way I wanted it to.  Freewebs who were my web hosts at the time as well as having the domain with them, started to screw around always changing their site looks and user control panel layouts and all that crap, in which it was actually starting to mess up certain parts of the site in terms of how it looked.  You’d do all this cleaning up just to have them crap it up again from one of their changes.  Like Duke Nukem I was sick and tired of picking up their wet feces.

The other reason as well, was that at the time, I was losing interest in Super Soakers and did not have the desire to work anymore on the site.  I also grew tired of the name Aqua Flash which made me even less willing to do anything else to the site.  I felt it lacked humour and again in general I was not happy with the way it was going.  From this looking back I hastily sold all my Super Soakers, a decision I now regret, but I was younger then and at the time it seemed like the best thing to do.

What brought on this resurgence/resurrection?

I remember when I said I was departing that ‘there will be no coming back this time,’ and I actually thought I wouldn’t be.  However, it seems old memories never die, as about half a year later in early 2009 I got slightly interested again, purchased a few soakers and let iSoaker know I would be happy to allow him to host the content I had on his site.  I used Dreamweaver CS3 to upload a fair chunk of it, however my computer went wrong, so I did not upload anymore, as at the time the one I had was just too slow and unreliable to even think about anything site building wise for the time being.  I also at the time sold most of the blasters I got again bar one which was a Monster (2001) I got brand new, and again things went on hiatus for a while.

2010 was pretty silent as well; I did buy another blaster in the form of the original Monster, however that was about it.

Then in 2011 since I had a new computer and a slight interest again, I thought about the idea of finally making a new site and also buy a few more of my favourite soakers which I am still in the process of doing.  So, from that, I finally got to work on making the site, as I missed having one.

What is the mood/feel/character of the site in general?

I wanted the site to be a lot less serious than Aqua Flash and just have a general fun cheesy and relaxed feel.  Some may not like that, however Super Soakers (well the old ones mostly that I am focusing on before the Hasbro takeover after 2002) I feel are at the end of the day a way of expressing innocent fun, and showing that you mean business power and looks wise kicking your opponents ass and soaking them!  I am personally not interested in all this one shot kill type games and the like, too serious for me.  I just wanna soak with big guns and cheesy one liners, that’s my style!  Think of the site as a cheesy 90’s-early 2000’s throwback, nothing special I know but just there for a good time.  Lets rock!

What programs are used to make DukeSoak’

Adobe Web Premium CS3 was used to make the site.  Not many of the programs have been used as I am still learning how to use it all.  It is Dreamweaver CS3 for the site building and Photoshop CS3 for all the picture editing, video titles and site graphics.    The Gallery is started through Dreamweaver CS3 and then the rest of the formatting of it is done in Fireworks CS3.  The Concept blasters are drawn by hand and then refined in MS paint.  Recently some were drawn in MS paint to begin with which saves a lot of time; however I still tend to use the old draw by hand method as well.  Afterwards, the rest is done in Photoshop CS3, which includes the colouring, background and the lettering.

The older 640x480 non HD videos were edited using Windows Movie Maker for Windows 7.

The HD ones are edited using Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11.

Have you got any plans to update the site constantly?

I do not plan to update the site much as I only have a certain amount of content which one day I will run out of.  It is really just for putting all the content I had on, however you never know what I might end up adding, and I’ve still got some stuff to do and add in the future.

In terms of site design, I don’t plan to do anything else there; I did this redesign to the point where I personally felt it was all complete to my satisfaction, and that it didn’t need a redesign again.  I don’t have the time to constantly keep on changing things, so I have gone all out and done it properly personally.

How do you class ranges in the reviews?

While people interpret ranges differently, I do it via the maximum distance that it can shoot, as to me that is what range is.  This differs from effective range, which obviously is less.

Are there anymore blaster videos you will be adding?

There will be more videos coming, however it depends on when I have the time to do them.