Who is Lynk Former?
Ha, okay… maybe I’m not a X-Wing pilot in real life, but the name “Lynk Former” did come from a Star Wars character I created back when I was still in Primary School, some time during 1994-1996. The name and the character has quite a history to it, one that’s been added to over the years. However, I didn’t start using the name to refer to myself until some time around 1998 when I created one of my very first web sites. Since then, the name has stuck and has become my Internet persona, acquiring another layer of history altogether…
What is this place and why am I here?
I honestly have no idea why you’re here and I’m actually amazed you’re bored enough to read through this page… but since you’re here and have some time to waste, I may as well share a little about this place.
I’m Lynk Former and I’m just some guy who has no real importance anywhere for any reason. This place is my personal website, a blog where I can post my thoughts and random entries about subjects that interest me… and that’s about it.
This isn’t some money-making venture and I’m not really doing this as any sort of service to anyone. It’s all really here for my benefit, however if anyone finds anything here that is also of some interest to them, that’s a plus.
The majority of what I end up posting on this site relates to video games, but I do also try to post entries about other topics such as anime, sci-fi, electronics/tech, etc. As I said, this is all really here just so I can ramble on about stuff that interests me but also so I can do a bit of web design/development, a little hobby of mine since I was much younger.
For what it’s worth, even if this is all for me, I still think it’s awesome if someone out there does get something out of this place.
So with that, enjoy.
~ Lynk Former
If you’re still bored enough to continue reading, here’s some more…
How did this all begin?
This particular website started off as a different site altogether called “Twilight Lynk” (twilightlynk.com). It was first opened back in mid-2008 and was dedicated specifically to video game related topics. The very first entry posted on Twilight Lynk goes into detail about my intentions for the site.
Four years later in mid-2012, Twilight Lynk was converted into Lynk Former (lynkformer.com), the website you see today. As stated in the previous section, this website is basically just my personal blog where I can post entries about random stuff that interest me.
With all of that said, the beginning of my adventure didn’t start with Twilight Lynk… if we were to look back at the true start to all of this, I would have to say it began all the way at the tail end of 1997…
A long time ago on an Internet much, much younger. . . .
My first web page
The very FIRST web page I ever created was on… you guessed it, GeoCities. It was created some time in late-1997, before they were consumed by Yahoo! Remember, this is all before Google even entered the picture… either way, it wasn’t really anything special considering I used GeoCities page builder to create it.
I laugh just thinking about it now, but it really was one of those nonsense pages with animated gifs scattered randomly and no real sense of structure or style. It was my personal home page and had a bunch of random stuff related to what I was interested in at the time. I do remember that the site did go through quite a few transitions as I slowly figured out what I was doing, though I was still using that silly page builder.
It may not have been much, and I don’t have any images to show of it… but it became a very humble beginning to my journey.
Rogue Squadron Central
Nothing much interesting happened for a while, and then on 1 December 2000 I opened Rogue Squadron Central, a website dedicated to the famous X-Wing squadron from the Star Wars universe. RSCentral became an important stepping stone for me since I had begun to create websites with a clear purpose and structure at this point.
However, the most important event that took place at the creation of this website wasn’t actually the site itself, rather it was the name I began to use with the site. With RSCentral, I began to refer to myself as “Commander Lynk Former” and soon after started using the name “Lynk Former” on other places around the net.
As you can see by the image below, the site is pretty ugly and uses a lot of hard colours that would make anyones eyes bleed. I was also still using GeoCities page builder to create the site and hadn’t figured out that there were things happening in the background that were really responsible for how things work.
The Bubblegum Crisis Center
A year later, on 1 December 2001, I created another site dedicated to the Bubblegum Crisis series of anime. Continuing on with the “central” theme from my previous website, this site was named The Bubblegum Crisis Center. It also happened to share a strikingly similar design from my previous website, though with a different, less eye bleeding colour scheme.
The Bubblegum Crisis Center ended up lasting for several years, the lifespan of this site goes all the way into 2008, when I finally closed it down along with other web sites I had created. Through all those years, BGCC went through a hell of a lot of design changes as I started to experiment with different layout structures and site designs. It was a crazy time since the site ended up changing drastically every six months or so.
Eventually, I moved on from GeoCities page builder and started using Microsoft FrontPage… I know, it’s not much better than what I started with, but it was still a step in the right direction. I think it’s at this stage where I finally discovered HTML as something that actually exists, though I didn’t really know what to make of it or how to use it.
Actually, now that I look through some of the old screenshots I had taken of BGCC, it looks like I moved out of GeoCities and on to a couple of other hosts… such as Gizba and Topcities… I can’t remember either of those hosting providers, but by the sounds of them, they seem to be free web hosts like GeoCities.
One of the interesting things that came out of BGCC, and another important step in my development on the net, was The Bubblegum Crisis Center Community Forums. I had been a member of the RogueSquadron.net forums since September 1999 and the concept of a forum with people gathering for a common interest was something I really wanted on my own site.
At around mid-2002 I opened up BGCC’s community forum, using Invision Power Boards. The forum I opened would go on to attract a lot of Bubblegum Crisis fans from around the world who ended up staying with me for a very long time. I still keep in contact with a couple of people who originally joined the BGCC forum to this day… amazing.
During this 2002 period, I had also acquired the domain name thecrisiscenter.net for BGCC, another big step. I’m sure I ended up with a proper hosting service by this time, but I can’t really remember. Come mid to late 2003, I had finally taken a course on web development focusing on the use of HTML/CSS and I started creating site designs using Notepad and then Macromedia Dreamweaver (this was before Adobe bought out Macromedia). I’m pretty sure version 7 of the site in the gallery below is the first design I made using nothing but HTML/CSS. It’s also the first version of BGCC to use the “LYNK designs” badge, something I started using when I started created websites using HTML/CSS.
The Bubblegum Crisis Center enjoyed a very long history with a lot of great milestones reached. It eventually became the best Bubblegum Crisis related website on the net and enjoyed immense popularity for what it was. However, I couldn’t sit still and I just had to explore new territory…
The Anime Crisis Center
On 1 October 2005, The Anime Crisis Center opened and another set of milestones were reached. TACC was built from the ground up using a technique I still use today. I created the site design on Adobe Photoshop and then cut up the elements from the Photoshop file into useable images to use in my site design. I had mastered enough of HTML and CSS by this point to allow me to easily come up with site designs in this manner and it has served me well for a long time now.
TACC is also the first site I created with the use of some basic PHP scripts, mostly related to creating templates and such. It wasn’t anything too complex, but it was a start… though, now that I look back on it, I wish I had known about Content Management Systems at the time since they would have made things a lot easier for me.
Of course, it wasn’t all that bad, unlike BGCC which had a new site design every six months or so, TACC had one single design that lasted all the way through its entire lifespan. The design I had created from day 1 was great and a lot of the elements from it still work today. In fact, a lot of the design cues from TACC are used in the creation of the design for this site. The TACC site design is also where my trademark colour scheme began, you’ve probably noticed some particular shades of red throughout this site… I’ve used the two exact shades of red since I created TACC to this very day. And notice the image at the bottom right of TACC in the gallery below? Yup, I lifted that straight out of TACC, expanded on it and used it for this website.
During the reign of The Anime Crisis Center, I also upgraded my forum from Invision Power Boards to the superior vBulliten forum software and began integrated some of the forum components into the main website itself. The community, which I dubbed “C3F” at this time, was flourishing and had a lot of active members and a group of people who, at this point, knew each other few years.
While The Anime Crisis Center took center stage, The Bubblegum Crisis Center was still very much active and was still being updated. Versions 12 and 13 of BGCC were created after the opening of The Anime Crisis Center which was now located at thecrisiscenter.net while BGCC found its home at bgcc.thecrisiscenter.net. Not only that, but I began to work on other websites in my TACC Network of anime sites.
Cloud Age Symphony
I believe I created Cloud Age Symphony some time in late-2006. This site is dedicated to the anime, Last Exile and is actually one of my favourite designs that I have created simply because it’s just so neat. The colours are also really well done, but that’s mostly because it’s made to resemble a clear blue sky, something that humans naturally enjoy.
Okay, I really don’t have much to say about this one since I didn’t actually take it beyond this initial design stage… the design simply consisting of a banner and some links and a LYNK designs badge. I made the test page back in 2004 and that’s really it. I just thought I’d display it on this page to show that I had other sites in the works that never got anywhere… Focus ONE was dedicated to the anime called Gasaraki. I also had another site in the works called Shrine of Xephon, a site dedicated to RahXephon. I’m not sure if I had any other projects in the works, but those are the ones I still have the files for on my PC.
During the beginning of 2008, The Anime Crisis Center started to seem a little old and outdated. It was great, but over the years I had come to learn many things and one of them was how not to manage a website. A lot of the systems used in TACC were lacking, and my interest in anime was diminishing. It became clear that I needed to move on to something different. On 11 June 2008, Twilight Lynk was opened and another chapter began.
One of the big problems with TACC was that I wasn’t using a CMS (Content Management System) which made creating and editing pages extremely difficult. The second problem I found was that my solution for trying to combine the forum and site features were very limited. What I came up with was Twilight Lynk, a video game website that would use WordPress and vBulletin together in such a way where the members of the forum could take part and comment on blog entries with their regular forum accounts.
This connection would be done with a WordPress plugin that would create a bridge between the two software packages, allowing me to make posts that would be duplicated on the forum and allowing comments from the forum posts to be displayed on the blog.
It was an interesting concept and I had taken another step into figuring out new ways to help the process of creating and maintaining a website an easier task. Unfortunately, it also meant that the anime theme I started off with would be discarded in favour of a video game theme. While some of the members of the TACC community were fans of video games, others weren’t, and this led to a change in the group dynamic that slowly went toward a declining path for the forum and its members.
Before that decline occurred, the forum and website was still very active and I managed to achieve the highest visitor counts I had ever managed. By all rights, Twilight Lynk was doing extremely well and was prospering through the first three years of its life. I was also able to get quite a lot of interaction from my forum members related to my entries on the site thanks to the bridge I had created between the two software.
Twilight Lynk had managed to find its own different kind of success from The Anime Crisis Center, however, around the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, the site began to decline as I started to have less and less time to work on it. It became clear that the site, as it was, wouldn’t be doing anyone any good and at the same time the forum members were also moving on.
With that in mind, I decided to convert Twilight Lynk into the website you see before you now, Lynk Former. Instead of focusing solely on video games, I decided to turn this into my personal blog, focusing on any topic that interested me. I also chose to close down C3F once and for all since it was hardly being used at all. It was truly an end of an era… but it wasn’t all for nothing, we all had a lot of fun and good times in that community and I’m sure everyone who was a part of that community remembers.
Because of the way I had Twilight Lynk set up, I ended up losing all the forum posts and all the blog comments (since they WERE forum posts to begin with), however the great thing was that all the blog entries themselves were easily converted over to Lynk Former since I started using WordPress with Twilight Lynk.
Lynk Former, while being its own thing, is also a tribute to my two greatest success stories to date, The Anime Crisis Center and Twilight Lynk.
I’ve used the LYNK designs badge since I actually learned how to code with HTML/CSS back in 2003 and I’ve stuck it on various works I’ve created, though I haven’t actually been using it lately since the name “Lynk Former” by itself serves as a much better brand. Some time in mid-2010, I created a small site that showed off a bunch of stuff I had created over the years. I closed down that site when Twilight Lynk was converted into Lynk Former and now I’ve taken all the items posted up on that site and basically dumped it into this About page.
LucasArts Fan Network
While I’ve come a long way over the years with my own projects, I’ve also been doing a lot for the LucasArts Fan Network. I originally joined the RogueSquadron.net forums back in September 1999 and have been part of LFN ever since. Eventually, after a few years I became a moderator of LucasForums, the official forums of LFN and then rose up through the ranks to become an Administrator for the network. Throughout those years serving as a staff member, I helped out with various projects including the creation and redesigns of various sites and forums.
LucasCast was pitched as a podcast with several staff members of LFN starring in each episode, including myself. The original concept of the web site design for LucasCast was created by Jeff Moeller, another administrator of LFN. We collaborated on the project together and I took his design and made some tweaks to make it work as a WordPress design and took into consideration some suggestions from other staff members.
LucasCast lasted for about a year, if I remember correctly, however it soon came to a close after several of the staff became much too busy with other things to continue. The show was quite popular with the folks of LucasForums and it was fun to do while it lasted… I’m sure the mp3 files of the episodes are floating around somewhere…
Lucas News Network
Lucas News Network was a failed project we started in 2009. The idea was to have an ongoing news site for Star Wars games… the problem was that there was hardly any Star Wars gaming news floating around to warrant it. That, and the site design I created for it totally sucked. So if it sucks, why am I sharing it? Psh, I’m not going to hide my failures.
In 2010, I did end up starting on the creation of a redesign for LNN, however I never finished the design stage of the project and abandoned it altogether.
Star Wars Forums @ LucasForums
Star Wars Gamer
Star Wars Knights
Star Wars MMO
Dragons and Waves
Super Dimension Fortress Macross
A-Wing type V
Century class Star Destroyer
Pixel Star Wars
Super Master Blaster
Talon class Fighter
Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040: Collector’s File: Special Edition
Photo of friends