Rebuilding The invasion has progressed

Who doesn’t love cheesy killer robots? Nobody that’s who!

I’ve decided to give my blog a facelift. We’ve been living with the old design for a few years now, and those darn robots just weren’t making as much progress on the invasion as they thought they would - so I decided to help them along with a rebuild.  Here’s the before and after:

I’ve already posted a couple of little teasers on my blog (The robot invasion is progressing and All your are belong to us). This was partially to keep myself motivated I have to admit, but I’ve also found that as I’ve expressed myself more and more though other outlets (Twitter, IM, email), the blog has gotten a bit neglected.  Also, with 110% of my energy being devoted to EE2 for so long, I just haven’t had much that I’m able to write about lately.  A rebuild seemed like a great way to re-engage this tired old blog.

There were of course a few ground rules:

To get the ball rolling, I contacted illustrator Scott Thigpen who I had met through the ExpressionEngine Professionals network. He’d done some really great work for some others, and I really dug his style. So I started out by sending him an email asking if he’d be interested. Fortunately for me, Scott is a fan of robots ;)  After an initial back and forth, these arrived in my inbox.

I have to say… I loved them. I picked my favourite as number 5. My last robot had been standing, facing square on to the viewer. I wanted something a little more different, a little more “fluid”, so I asked Scott if we could have him “holding a tiny white dude with a beard (me) and failing him around”; “smashing a tank or really anything”, or “plugging itself in to a computer or something”.  Yeah, I know, artistic direction at its finest right? Well Scott totally came though.  What follows is a progression as we worked through the concept.

I loved it. Now this is the robot I want representing me!  A few buildings, a parallax effect, and some subtle flash work later (move your mouse around the menu) and the main component of the site was done. I spend a weekend and a few evenings tweaking the stylesheet to get the colours I wanted, and I’m finally ready to take this sucker live.

I consider it very much a work in progress - there is still a lot I want to do, but if I don’t post what I have I’m not sure the work will ever see the light of day.

This entry was made on and filed into Noteworthy.


Steven Hambleton wrote on

All your robots are belong to Derek!

Boyink wrote on

Glad to see you sent Scott some work!  I’ve his illustrations on my business cards and am anxious to get them on my as well. 

I got a chuckle when the page loaded and saw the “mini me” of DAllard in the clutches of the killer robot…;)

Hugh wrote on

I love the new look and the new killer robot. The site is different yet somewhat the same.  Good work.

PXLated wrote on

Just noticed the face is animated ;-)

Kadu wrote on

Wow, that robot is “kicking asses”... very nice.

Michael Hessling wrote on

Try as I might, I don’t see any subtle effects when you hover over Archives or Contact. The other two are great.

Love Scott’s work, too.

Derek wrote on

Try as I might, I don’t see any subtle effects when you hover over Archives or Contact

Yeah, those 2 aren’t done yet ;P

I’m thinking archives and the gray building bursts into flames… not sure.  Thanks for taking the time to comment guys!  I really enjoy the feedback.

bjorn wrote on

Congrats with the new design! Looking good, Derek! :)

Willem wrote on

Looks great! I like the new robot. The ‘lightbox’ is also cool!

Jared wrote on

The buildings remind me of that game with the gorilla’s throwing exploding bananas -

It looks great! Please fix this infernal comment form so the textarea is bigger.

Jared wrote on

The system stripped parentheses from around computer_game in my link above…

José Carlos wrote on

Congratulations on a great redesign Derek.
It looks great!

Scott Thigpen wrote on

wow guys, thanks for all the nice comments.  Drawing robots is my all time fav, this project rocked!


Rob wrote on

Love the new design!

Sorry for being so pedantic but shouldn’t that be “..tiny white dude with a beard (me) and _flailing_ him around”?

I have no control over it.. had to point it out! Sorry!

Dan Delaney wrote on

Very.. very nice!

Michael McRae wrote on

I still fancied the old site better for some reason. Perhaps this one will grow on me, or take over the planet and enslave humans. Whichever happens first. :-)

N. Haran wrote on

The robots are taking over

Julian wrote on

Hey Derek. Good luck with the invasion.

I was just curious about the robot images and the ones that I saw on this site:

Are these robots related? At least seems to be from the same illustrator.

Derek wrote on

Yup, same illustrator, but nothing stolen or used inappropriately.