I want to share the very first website that I built, www.constantlimit.com. This is a website that I built in 2005. That was quite a long time ago. The web was so different back then. Flash and ActionScript were popular before it disappeared and was replaced with jQuery and CSS3. It was a good time back then. Flash was pretty fun and I learned about movie clips and hit tests in ActionScript. The Flash that I made was pretty simplistic, but unfortunately cannot be viewed anymore. This is due to the restrictions that browsers placed on Flash because it became a security vulnerability to users. I would like to share my first website with you and tell you more about it and what I learned from it.
My Very First Website Is Now 17 Years Old
I am so glad that Constant Limit is still up and running. Even though the website has currently faded aways and many things no longer work, mainly Flash, I still keep it up as a memory of how I got into web development. During this time, I only knew the basics of HTML and CSS. I had limited knowledge of JS and I could do some PHP like creating online forms. After 17 years, the website held up well when I built it not knowing much. It was very exciting to create something out of nothing. I remember that the main website, http://www.constantlimit.com/site, was built from scratch by hand. There were no templates or CMS used. I wanted to do everything by hand because I wanted to learn how to build a website without using something that already exists. This was an exercise in writing and understanding every single line of code.
What Did I Learn?
I learned a lot of things, not just code. I want to go over a few things that helped me become a better developer at a time when I had just started my career. We all start from somewhere and Constant Limit was my breakout debut. I just started doing a lot of stuff on Constant Limit. I created a blog and posted to social media along with creating simple Flash animation and games. Whatever I could do, I threw it up there.
I pretty much treated Constant Limit as an experimental lab or sandbox. No real rhyme or reason to what I posted there. No real need to know if anything was going to come out of it or not. This website did not need to become popular or even noticed. It just needed to be a place where I put whatever I wanted on there and see how it would work. A very informal place for everything. That is what made building Constant Limit fun. What if you built something without any logical restrictions in place? Then you could build something that truly represents yourself because there was nothing in your way.
Feel free to browse my website. I feel because of its age, it is like a museum now. Some parts still work but I will leave it as is. The reason why is because I want to return to it and remember exactly how I left it. I do not want to touch it because it will lose what made it what it is during its time. 2005 was quite a long time ago. I find it more fun to just create a website and leave it suspended in time. Do not update it, leave it alone. See it age over time and see how your website stands up today.
How to Build Something On My Own
I think that everyone wants something of their own. Owning something with someone is great but it is not truly 100% your’s. Sometimes you wonder if you are ever satisfied being part-owner of something. You always felt that you had to learn so much and know a lot in order to fly solo. This is why I started Constant Limit so long ago. I had that ambition and fire within me that wanted to go out and do something completely on my own. If I did not know how to do something, I would figure it out. I absolutely did not want any help from anyone. As soon as I asked someone for help, Constant Limit would no longer be something that I created from my own two hands. The last thing that I wanted to do was get help from someone and go back to partly owning something again.
How to Build Something Exactly How I Want It
Not only did I want to build something on my own, but I wanted it to be exactly how I wanted. You know how it is. When you are building something with someone and you always have to ask for someone else’s input or you have to compromise. At the end, the final result is only something that is sort of what you wanted. You wanted it to be more like something but could not get approval. After a lot of back and forth negotiating, you get a percentage of what you want. This is why Constant Limit was so great. Constant Limit represents me and only myself. What you see on the website is everything that I am into. As you can tell, I heavily skewed the content toward video games. This is why I got into Flash ActionScript and started making basic games.
Flash ActionScript: It Came and Went
Flash was really really fun. If you wanted to get into programming and really liked Flash, you should have gotten into Flash first and then ActionScript. Think of Flash as just like an animated movie. Today, we have YouTube videos so these videos replaced Flash. People like this because it is so much easier to record video and then edit it, rather than use Flash. I know that there is a difference between animation and video but people no longer want to spend the time creating an animation as much as they did back then. People want to generate content fast and quickly. So now we just record with our phones, upload and there is some content up there ready for consumption. This is not bad or good, just different. The important part to learn here is how the trends change and understand why they change. We are just under pressure to produce content faster than everyone else. This is why the mobile phone became one of the most life-changing inventions in our time. A computer in the palm of your hands that you can carry around and use at any time.
I Wanted To Learn How to Create Games as a Programmer
Since I loved video games and I could code, why not learn Flash? This is the closest I ever came to creating actual games. Yes, they were very simple but I learned how to build something that both uses the mouse and keyword as controls. You pretty much just need to know what movie clips are and hit tests as mentioned earlier.
A Basic Flash ActionScript Example: Movie Clips and Hit Tests
So some basic ActionScript would be a comparison statement between two movie clips. For example, say you shoot a laser at an enemy ship. Your laser shot and the enemy ship are two different movie clips. When your laser hits the enemy ship, those two movie clips collide. What should happen when they collide? Naturally, you expect your laser to destroy the enemy ship upon impact. In order to do that, you need to do a hit test. A hit test just detects when two movie clips touch each other. When they do, then perform an action. So you have an if statement that says if the laser touches the enemy ship, show an explosion destroying the enemy ship.
There are a lot of intricate details that happen here. First, both the laser and enemy ship need to disappear upon impact. So you need to remove those two movie clips under the hit test conditional statement. Then you need to play an explosion movie clip. You also need to play a sound that goes with the explosion.
Moral of the ActionScript Story? Programmers See Every Little Detail
You can keep going and do more things. For example, you can show how many points the player gets for destroying the enemy ship with the laser. You can then add those points to the player’s current running total. What started out as a simple example can be expanded upon to become very complex and involved. This is the way of the programmer. We are built and designed to see every single little detail in everything. This is our skill and we can catch those minute details that people miss.
I wanted to use what I learned in ActionScript as an example of how programmers can take the simplest of tasks like destroying an enemy ship with a laser beam and turn it into something very intricate. This is very fun but also very analytical. We need to also account for so many different cases that most people would not even notice or be aware of.
What Is Constant Limit About?
Mostly Video Games
Basically, the majority of the content on that website as mentioned before is mainly video games. I was really into role playing games so I was really into stuff like Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger. I was always a Nintendo boy just because I had an NES in the 80s and an SNES in the 90s. Pretty much every guy growing up is into video games so we pretty much all had the same childhood.
Why I Chose Video Games: I Needed Something to Write About
I find it easier to create something when it is about a topic that you know a lot about. The reason why is because you can just keep building and building and never run out of stuff to share. If you choose something that you are not really into, then you will run out of steam sooner. This will become problematic when you hit a wall and are no longer creating new content for your website. This means that you spend more time thinking of topics to write about and that wastes time that should be spent on content generation.
This becomes ever so relevant when it comes to SEO and needs a good topic that you can both expand upon and evolve over time. A lot of websites do not last because the topics run out of steam too quickly and then we are stuck with something that will just age over time. If this happens to you, then you need to readjust your expectations and consider that you publish less content over a longer period of time. Just remember, do not sacrifice the quality of your content just because you have not published anything in awhile. It is better to wait until you have something worthy to read then just publish something so as to not fall behind. As long as you keep going, you will persevere.
Constant Limit is the very first website that I built on my own. I needed a website where I can practice my skills and get better. So I created the main website from scratch without the use of templates and a CMS. I felt that I could learn more if I had to do more than use something pre-made.
For 17 years, the website is still holding up decently even with Flash disabled. I gave an example of how learning some basic Flash ActionScript reveals how programmers are attuned to knowing every single little step when I came to executing a list of instructions.
This was a different kind of post that looked back at my past and highlighted some of the stuff that I created when I first got into web development. It was a very fun time and really helped launched my into my profession.