ABOUT: CROFT GENERATION
The reason of this section, is to give to know all the visitors the history of Croft Generation, from its origins until the present time, they are different design versions, big projects, exclusive, etc.
Firstly, some information about the webmaster, my real name is Sergio, but everyone know me by my nick SeRmOnGaR, I live in Zaragoza, Spain, and at the moment I am studying technical Engineering of Computer Systems. You can see my picture next.
The web appeared online on December 9, of 2001, and I got an extend collection about Tomb in my hard disk, this effort I thought it would be good idea to share with all my Tomb Raider friends, then I made it online after thinking on what kind of design I should build for the website.
It was necessary to put a name to this first design attempt, around that time, it existed some information about the new game, TR The Angel of Darkness, a tomb raider title included in the adress was very typical and not original, so I took part of the provisional AOD title, called Next Generation, and I combined it with the main character's last name. Also it should be sound nice, Croft Generation wouldn't be obsolete name when the time pass.
Next I show you the web designs there were throught these years, rescued some of them in lost CDs files, although some of them I lost some information, so possible the looks it´s not exactly the same, but more or less you can have an idea.
Croft Generation v.1: This design was one of the first, an improved version and the only one that I keep in cds, since its versions predecesors looked like similar, just only some developed issues. For the first time I added flash in the left menu, it appeared descending with a shot sound each time you pressed a section. The banner of the web was located at the top, and the contents in middle of the page. In the main page, they were the updated like in all the versions, and it had a photoshop frame with Lara and Kurtis with shortcuts to previews web intro, the prizes get to Croft Generation, countdowns for the game TR AOD and the second Tomb Raider movie (TR COL).
Croft Generation v.2: This second design was upgraded with the release of TR AOD and the second movie. The thumbnail shown next is a capture around Christmas style version, I lost the previous versions, but you can have an idea about how it looks like. The header was fixed, where the logo of Tomb Raider appeared with fire textures and Laras from AOD and TR2, next a flash menu with sounds, clicking in the arrow would appear more sections. In the updates page, it was shown in three columns, the one on the left was good to show shortcuts, into the right, it appear the messages of the new tagboard. In the center we could read all the updates and the different sections. The white area shown in the picture on the left was the adverts was in those moments.
Croft Generation v.3: This third design, it was upgraded during the wait of the first details about TR Legend, it had an Egyptian style, with their two lateral columns, the menu slide was for first time on the left, and the tagboard on the right. In the central area, a gray degraded colour, at the bottom some steps with a TR4 Lara seated and a scorpion. The top header, for the first time changed random every time a visitor enter to the site and the logo of Croft Generation changes in all the headers. Next, the thumbnail shown is a sketch made with photoshop, the original version got lost, but you can make an idea how was structured.
Croft Generation v.4: The fourth design, during the TR Legend wait and after the release waiting for TR Anniversary. This design use Legend graphic styles as cave´s walls in blue colors. Once again those headers are shown in random way, the logo of the previous designs. On the right part you can access to the tagboard and the survey, among other things. In the central part as always, the updates and where it goes located the whole content of the web. As new feature, the web add in each page, in random way, a sound clip, where we could listen characteristic sentences of Tomb Raider, games and movies clips. The gallery images was optimized, showing in a more intuitive way.
Croft Generation v.5: The fifth design, as you can see, I wanted to give a radical change in the design, in the first place, I wanted the design wasn´t as long as the three previous designs, and a good resolution for many fans about 1024x768, without having to scroll the page. The design was develop completly in Photoshop, with a rainforest as background, from TR Legend. For each different section, different poses for Lara on the left with the section of each page over Lara. With new feature, in the main page, Lara moves in flash format as in the official website of TR Anniversary. The new design logo for Croft Generation also evolved in circle form. Also for the first time and to save space and times of load, the tagboard and the polls are only shown in the main update page. And finally, in the top area before the udpates, an announcement image is shown with the most outstanding and new features in the web.
Croft Generation v.6: Sixth design, an improve version and proffesional coded,under it structure code, now it have more security under the standard XHTML 1.0 transitional, besides it uses styles CSS for future design updates. In adition, the website is code in modular way, so it´s more easy to add new features in a future. Talking about the design, we return the the long design with black tones, more serious style, but mainly, the most important is the organization, with shortcuts to gallery and downloads central station. In the left menu, you can the main sections, and in the right menu the subsection of each main category into a new submenu. Besides in the central part, it appear a navigation menu, so you can access to previoius section just doing click on it. In the header, it appear shortcut to the main sections as home, forums, chats, contact, etc.
In the first place, from the beginnings of the web, during the pass of time, when the website was more known, it appear with the collaboration of El Perico and Mark with his web design, a project that for some time was working, it was about TR News NTR), where our week journalist El Perico, edited articles and he informed us about the news of the TR world, through the begining times of Croft Generation, although this independent project supported by Croft Generation separating as web, was not very successful due to the lack of news after TR AOD.
During the wait of TR AOD, the official web release, but once again there were several versions of the web in several languages, but the 2nd most language spoken in the world, Spanish was not translated, neither they took intentions to add it, so in this web, and with great support of other webmasters, The Platform Official Web TR in Spanish. The campaign consisted with a promotional image distributed by several webs where indicated the requirements to obtain our end, sending emails to the webmaster of EIDOS and CORE Design, we get that the official web of TR AOD was translated to Spanish, although it was some delay with the rest of languages, but the most important thing, it was also update from a begining in Spanish and up-to-date with the same contents that the rest from Legend until now. Done!
After a very promising project, at the hands of a great team, we begin to elaborate the game of the first movie of TR, LCTR: The Game. This project didn't finish seeing the light due to a failure in the creator's computer, where he lost good levels as the Croft Manor, being some files for its possible reuse. The first level, Simón fights against the Robot, it was about to rush, although we prefer to delay the launching to length the duration of the level, but the robot's design was very good, I played it. Although not everything was unuseful, since at the moment we have a great friend that work in the level edition, his name it's Koldo, and he will possibly take the control in a future, giving life to the game of the first movie with recovered elements of the previous project, but first of all, he will finish first his own projects.
We have a new rebuilt Web copy of the promotional game next: http://lctrgame.croftgeneration.com
With the first announcements of the creation of the game of the movie, Croft Generation contributed all its help to a new project, which didn't finish being released, it was about an electronic magazine with all the TR news, the creator of this idea was Copusoft, and the name of this magazine was Tomb Zone, which you can see a capture of the cover on how would look like the first number, where the project of the game of the first movie, and the web Croft Generation was analyzed.
Maybe what you didn't know is that due to the lack of news of TR (during the wait of first news of TR Legend) this project had to be delayed, and it appear some time later with different name, TR Fans Magazine, which many of you already know it.
It is a current project, but that a while ago it start, the Tomb Raider comics in spanish only they were translated to the 20 issue, so Croft Generation start translating the comics supporting the community CRG, we get between all the fans and users to collaborate with this project, although we end taking the whole project, and translating to the complete saga Journeys, some special ones and vol.1, this project takes a lot of dedication, and from time to time, some member of the web is volunteer to translate some numbers of the comics, and Flab or any other user offer their help to photoshop the final result into a spanish comic.
Another project that finished sucessful, after all the hard work, it was the TR1 and TR2 cutscenes dubbed with spanish voices, thanks to all members from TR fans and Croft Generation. All cutscenes have good quality. Each member record their plot part (I was in the team as well), once it was ready I personally add the recordings and special effects to the final result.
Do you remember the TR Anniversary comments with Toby Gard and Jason Botta? in the game, it´s only voices in english and you have to read subtitles when you´re playing at the same time, so it does for so many players skip the comments. So I had the idea to make a documentary with spanish voices dubbed (Rodri as Toby Gard, and Sermongar as Jason Botta). All this show as a documentary, with scenes and cutscenes showing what we´re talking, about TR1 and TR Anniversary. This was a hard project, but it was worth it.
As well, the most known project about Tomb Raider cutscenes, in Croft Generation, we´re now improve the quality and make it HD (High Definition) too, before the internet speed was slow, but now it´s more important the quality, and I improve as well the normal animations (gameplay + cutscenes).