TGA Website — A Retrospective

Hello, Popfan here!

As you may or may not be aware, I’d been working on redesigning the website for the second time. Today, I was finally able to get everything wrapped up and publish the update, and I couldn’t be happier with the end result.

To commemorate this milestone, and in order for me to properly convey everything that went into making, maintaining and upgrading the website, I’d like to take a trip down memory lane and showcase said website’s transformation over the years.

The Prototype (2014)

This initial version was never actually anywhere close to being completed, and it would be a good bit over a year until anything actually went online. There’s not much I can say about it, either. My inexperience with web design was readily apparent as it was all purely HTML and a little bit of CSS, really shoddily made, and full of pretentious flavor text.

You’re hardly missing much.

Original Release, “Version 1.0” (2015)

On the 17th of July 2015, this is more or less the way we (there were more than just me at the time) graced the internet with our presence.

Much of the actual page content itself was inspired by ZUN’s website. The language buttons were huge, garish icons that weren’t even the same size (to say nothing of the odd design choice of diagonally splitting the English icon to show both Union Jack and Star-Spangled Banner), the navigation menu was pretty much a case of recycling old EB assets, and the page background image was a last-minute creation just to have some kind of patterned background.

For the longest time, there was hardly anything worth having a website for, either, as evidenced by the games counter at the top of the page (we really thought we’d be churning out one Touhou fangame after the other). All we really did have at the time was a playable demo of MajiKana.

If I gotta be honest, probably the biggest thing the site had going for it at the time was its bilinguality. I was really proud of myself for having figured out how to do it with some PHP, without needing separate pages for each language. This version lasted about two years, until it was replaced by…

“Version 2.0” (2017)

Starting from the 2nd of June 2017, this is what the website looked like. Say goodbye to the games counter and hello to an overall more streamlined, clean design. The overall layout hasn’t changed, though I did move the Twitter widget to the Contact page. A link to the Index page and a clickable icon were added to the navigation bar, too, as previously the only way to return to the Index page was via a link at the bottom of each of the other pages.

Wanting to get rid of the ugly background pattern somehow but still not knowing what other kind of pattern would work nicely, I ended up settling on a gradient instead. This is also kind of where the “TGA color palette” started becoming more of a thing, giving the website (and anything else TGA-related, really) a more coherent look.

Padding around the various page elements was also increased in order to make the design less claustrophobic, and of course the language buttons were redone, too (I opted for the American flag in the end).

Backend-wise, this was also the beginning of me becoming more competent with PHP and CSS, with feats including storing the ever-growing list of events in an array and dynamically building a table with as many rows as there were entries (or only the latest six). At one point I also tried creating a mobile version, but it was buggy as hell and a pain to maintain alongside the main site, so I removed it again about 10 months later.

Over time, as creative output diversified, I also ended up adding extra pages and making other small design changes here and there, bringing us to…

“Version 2.5” (2020)

With the extra pages added, the navigation menu grew, too, of course. Since I didn’t want the increased size to make it taller than most displays’ height, however, I recreated all the images at about 80% their original size.

The other change was me wanting to spice up the subheaders (like the “Latest News” one in the above screenshot), slowly moving away from using images for text. It was really tedious having to make new ones or edit existing ones; I don’t know what I was thinking.

All in all, though, version 2.x lasted by far the longest out of all versions up until this point, at just over four years and two months.

Intermission: Remember this thing?

Up until today, if you typed into your browser’s address bar, this was where you would end up. Obviously the idea for such a landing page was stolen blatantly from ZUN’s own website (but then again, so was the team name). It really is one of the most Web-1.0-y things you could imagine. I loved it at the time, though; thought it was unique and a nice homage.

I suppose you could also take this blog post as a retrospective of how my tastes have changed over the years.

Anyway, it’s gone as of today, and typing the URL into your address bar now will instead bring you to…

“Version 3.0” (2021)

Oh my god everything’s different what the hell—

So yeah, uhhh… Turns out that four years is quite a lot of time to be thinking about what you really want out of your website. For starters, I didn’t want it to look like total crap if viewed on a mobile device, so I studied up on what web designers do nowadays and came across the term “Responsive Web Design”, or RWD for short. Basically, design your website in such a way that elements dynamically shift and resize in order to look nice no matter what size your window or display may be.

While we were at it, though, I also wanted a complete do-over, not just a glow-up of something that was fundamentally flawed since day one. To wit: during the planning phase, I spent several days agonizing over whether to keep the vertical navigation menu or swap it out for a horizontal bar. A lot of my design choices in the past essentially boiled down to me trying to go against the flow no matter what and bring back whatever I could of the past, regardless of how flawed or archaic it was for present-day sensibilities.

Because I’ve come to think more about why things work the way they do now, I eventually decided that a horizontal menu was the way to go, also largely because a vertical menu would have required a lot more effort and a lot more Javascript coding to set up, and I unfortunately put all my skill points into PHP…

’course, in thinking about what does and doesn’t work, what is and isn’t necessary, I also ended up trimming away a lot of fat. The Links page was pretty useless, as it was dedicated to literally three 200×40 banners with short (and ultimately pointless) descriptions for each. It got cut down and incorporated into the side column (which, in true RWD fashion, disappears if the display width is too narrow). The Gallery page was useless, too, as I literally only used it for a few YouTube videos, so it also got the axe.

The Goods page, meanwhile, technically still exists, but was repurposed into the new Music page, showcasing my released albums as well as other TGA- or me-related music. I was gonna make a custom audio player for these, but… again… effort. Reviving my Soundcloud account and using the embeds from that ended up being the more attractive solution.

The astute among you may also notice that the URLs look a lot cleaner now. No more In fact, “URL beautification” is another thing I looked into. Normally the variables wouldn’t have bothered me much, but I found that people kept copying them along with the rest of the address (including the cookiecheck one, ugh), so that was the impetus for that. Now everything’s neat and orderly at all times, and the website doesn’t even need to store cookies anymore because the site language is right there in the URL, naturally incorporated.

And don’t worry, I did make sure that pre-3.0 links don’t break. In fact, a lot of the final touches were to ensure support for legacy links.

Regarding new graphics, I updated the language buttons again, of course (and something compelled me to just go with the Union Jack instead), but the banners for other people to link back to this website were also looking like a right mess, so I ended up making all-new ones. Admittedly, though, the old ones did have kind of a particular charm to them, so I may or may not bring them back as an alternative… and the new ones haven’t entirely grown on me yet, either.

What’s in store for the future? Well, one thing I’d been wanting to add was Dark Mode. I’ve briefly looked into it, but have been kinda put off by the difficulty of it. Lightbox galleries for the game screenshots would also be neat. And of course there’s always the option of adding more languages for the website. I could do a German translation no problem, I just don’t know if I see the point in it. Maybe Chinese…?

That’s where we currently stand, though. Special thanks to Maribel Hearn for giving me tips and emotional support during the coding process, as well as Masataka Touji for his willingness to proofread my Japanese translations. And of course thanks to you, too, if you’ve read through the whole post up to this point.

Now that I’ve got this squared away, I can recommence work on the v1.20 update for COL. No ETA on when that’ll be ready yet, unfortunately.







General Update Log No. 6

Been a hot minute, hasn’t it? I was hoping I’d have more to offer in the span of two-and-a-half months, but this is probably gonna be a pretty short update that I could have just written a Twitter thread for. Oh well, let’s get this over with.

Speaking of Twitter, you’ll have noticed that it’s been pretty dead for a while now, with my only real sign of life being my streaming activity on Twitch, which I stopped advertising after a while. I’ve given it some thought and decided to quit streaming, at least for the foreseeable future. It hasn’t been fun or rewarding in a long while, and even though I only streamed three days a week, sticking to the schedule made it even more of a chore. I was trying to turn my suffering into humor, but I think it just hurt me mentally in the long run.

Commissions are going to be on hold for a while, too. Of the two I took on, I was only able to finish one. I’m deeply sorry if you’d been looking forward to getting a song from me, but hopefully I’ll be able to reopen once I’m doing better again.

…which is kind of the main problem of the past several weeks. My mental health has been going through a slump again, and I’ve lost the drive to do much of anything, be it working on projects, talking to people, or even eating. It also doesn’t help that I’ll be moving on the 23rd, which just adds to the stress and my general listlessness.

As usual, thank you for your support. Every little bit of it helps. That’s all I really have the mental capacity to say right now. Sorry.


 今日はBandcamp Fridayです! どういうことかと言うと、今日はBandcampでアルバムを買うと、収益の一部がBandcamp社に行くのではなく、クリエイターがすべての収益を受け取ることができるのです。


 それとついでに、僕のもう一つのアルバム「祖型无現の再現 ~嗹縁開无現里~」もよろしくお願いします。Daijin氏による最初の連縁作品「鏈縁无現里 ~ Emergency everyday」のサウンドトラックのリマスターです。主人公セリンツのボス曲、そしてスタッフロール曲の二曲のオリジナル曲もあります。


 作曲と言えば、本日はコミッションを開始することになります! アルバムは僕の腕前を表すポートフォリオのようなものだと思ってください。詳しくは、僕のTwitter(というか、このツイート)をご覧ください。以下のコミッションシートでもどうぞ。




 東方の進捗は、神霊廟のルナノーコンクリアはまだですが、虹龍洞のEXクリアそしてルナノーコンクリアを初日に達成しました! これで、格ゲーを除く公式の東方のゲームの半分以上でルナノーコンクリアを達成しました。虹龍洞はすでにLNNされたりカンストされたりしたらしいですし。カードはやっぱり強すぎですね・・・


 それと、Ko-fiを始めようかなと思っています。どうですか? コーヒーでも買ってくれませんか?

General Update Log No. 5

Today is Bandcamp Friday! What does that mean? It means that, if you buy albums on Bandcamp today, the creators will receive all of the revenue instead of a cut of it going to Bandcamp itself.

My own album, Dextrous Yet Destitute, has been out since last month, but for the sake of capitalizing on today, I’ve made a bit of a promotion video. In case you’ve never listened to it before, here’s a crossfade demo, but also make sure to watch until the end for a promo code you can use that’ll let you buy the album at a 50% discount for today!

While you’re at it, please consider purchasing my other album, too: Proto-Unreality Replication ~Len’en Kai Mugenri~, a remaster of the original soundtrack to the first ever Len’en game, Emergency everyday, developed by Daijin. I even wrote two original themes for it: one being a boss theme for protagonist Serintsu, the other a credits theme.

Of course, please don’t buy the same album twice unless it’s as a gift for someone else. Otherwise, thank you very much for your support! I appreciate it a lot!

Speaking of music, I’m also opening commissions as of today! Consider the above album a portfolio of sorts so you’ll know what I’m capable of. Check my Twitter (or, more specifically, this tweet) for more information, or just look at the commission sheet below:

To start with, I think I’ll only be taking two slots in order to test the waters. If I feel comfortable enough, I’ll open more slots. Hopefully you’ll like what I do enough to want to get something from me!

I’ve also developed something of a consistent schedule for Twitch streaming. You can find me just about every day at 6PM GMT+2, streaming for about two hours at a time. I announce my streams on Twitter an hour in advance as well as when I go live, so don’t miss ’em!

Currently I’m streaming myself playing through Phantasy Star II after completing its prequel on-stream before. It might be a pretty grind-heavy game, so feel free to try and chat me up about whatever you like.

As for my progress with Touhou, I still haven’t gotten my TD Lunatic 1cc yet, but I did get a day one Extra stage clear and Lunatic 1cc of UM! With that, I now have Lunatic 1ccs in more than half the official Touhou games, not counting the fighting games. Apparently the game has also been LNN’d and counterstopped on day one. Cards are just that OP.

That’s it for now. I’m glad the update turned out as big as it did. Heck, I spent all Wednesday afternoon editing the promo video for the album. The pomodoro technique is crazy effective.

Also, I’ve been thinking of starting a Ko-fi. What do you think? Would you buy me a coffee?











General Update Log No. 4

Damn, almost two months since the last log. Even so, I don’t have much to report, but I’m slowly getting back on track again, so if nothing else, at least that deserves a new blog post.

Regarding my obligatory album progress report: I’m proud to say that, after weeks if not months of procrastination (largely induced by severe mental health problems last month), I’ve finally started doing some more mixing as of last Sunday. That’s all I’ll say on the matter, though, as I don’t want to jinx myself by predicting a release schedule again.

Normally I’d say check my Twitter to be kept up to date, but odds are there’s nobody reading this blog who doesn’t already follow me on there.

Aside from album work, I’ve also started streaming on Twitch. Unfortunately I’m not streaming music work (although I might do so in the future, particularly once I start taking commissions), but you can usually find me there in the mornings and evenings (GMT+1) streaming either my attempts at getting a Lunatic 1cc in TD or just playing some SG-1000 games (or any other games I feel like playing at the time). Maybe someday I’ll try to make a more consistent schedule out of it, but for now I’m just streaming for the hell of it more than anything.

Speaking of stream, that’s where I somehow managed to achieve something insanely difficult I used to bite my teeth out on over the years: I cleared Flash Mode in Columns on Pro difficulty and with the height set to 9, which you can watch here. It may look easy, but I’m pretty sure I got incredibly lucky to be able to do it on my second attempt that session. After all, you really don’t get much breathing room to start with, and if the RNG hates you, you can easily end up with all the wrong colors and end up losing all your progress.

Now if only I could achieve counterstop in Arcade Mode…

Oh yeah, Touhou 18’s demo came out last month, too. Probably one of the hardest Lunatics in the series. It took me a good while to finally get a Lunatic 1cc. So far I’ve managed it with every character except for Sakuya… and after several failed attempts, I’ve decided to just not bother with her. People say Reimu is the worst shot type, but at least she has a bomb that’s good for more than just scoring.

Finally, today I went to the post office to pick up something I’d been looking forward to getting my hands on for quite a while now: a Sega SJ-200 controller, which came with Sega’s first ever home console, the SG-1000. I’m glad to announce that it’s in good working order, although the stick itself is hard to move around, especially diagonally. Then again, I suppose that’s to be expected.

That’s all for this time. Thanks for your support, and please take care of yourselves!






 「2月の月末までに」という締切にももう間に合えないようです。次の金曜日に行うBandcamp Fridayに販売すればいいなと思いますが、きっと無理かもしれません。僕を知っている人はしっていますね。僕は締切に間に合うのは苦手だと。ゆえに、「5日間かかっても5か月かかっても、完成させたら完成させた」と、言っておきましょう。














General Update Log No. 3

It’s been about a month since the last update log, hasn’t it? Going by my bi-weekly schedule, I should have written this one on the 8th, but ended up not doing so because I just didn’t have anything worthwhile to report other than “the album is still in progress and it’s the only thing I’ve been (not) working on in the past two weeks”.

At this point I’m just writing this log both for self-accountability and to give at least some sign of life.

So yes, elephant in the room. The album. Going by my progress spreadsheet, we’re currently looking at an 86.5% completion rate, but it hasn’t really been going up in a while. I’ve only got one track left to write, and it’s been giving me a headache because I’ve yet to stumble upon instrumentation for it that I actually like.

It’s also looking increasingly unlikely that I’ll meet the “by the end of February” deadline at this rate. Hopefully I’ll only miss it narrowly so that I can still capitalize on the upcoming Bandcamp Friday on the first Friday of March, but I’d keep expectations of that low. If you’ve been keeping track for a while, you’ll know that I almost never meet any deadline I set for myself, so for now I’ll just stick with saying “it’ll be done when it’s done, whether that be in five days or five weeks”.

That said, I guess I do call it a “general” update log for a reason, so maybe I could pad it out a bit with some journaling unrelated to personal projects.

As some of you may have witnessed, I finally managed to Lunatic-1cc IN last Thursday. When I uploaded it to YouTube, I realized I should also upload some of my other Touhou achievements from years past. They’re as follows:

You can also check my playlist of other Touhou Lunatic 1ccs. Counting the 1ccs I don’t have footage of – and not counting the fighting games – I’ve now got Lunatic 1ccs in half the official Touhou games. Not sure which game I’ll tackle next yet, but it might be either SA, DDC, or WBaWC.

Today I also came upon notes for a game idea I remember having since I was a kid. I remember drawing a lot of mockup screenshots for it, though while those are all completely lost to time, what remains are notes I made from what memories I retained.

Basically, it’d be a 2D Metroidvania kind of like Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap and Wonder Boy in Monster World – or, for a more recent example, Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom. One of the recurring elements also seems to be crystals, with one mechanic revolving around collecting crystal shards scattered across the world in order to craft them into various things, such as powerful equipment or an item that doubles how long your life bar can get

I’d love to make it a reality someday, but at present it’s barely even more than the fragment of a concept. I gotta fill in a lot of the lore and worldbuilding, to say nothing of the graphics and sound that’d have to be made. It’s definitely not something I could pump out in just a few weeks. To top it all off, I’m actually really bad at programming platformers.

Ah well, if I can at least flesh out the concept some, that’ll be enough for me. I’m only one guy, after all, and even just bringing out a new Mukai title takes a lot out of me… as evidenced by the fact that there’s still only the one.

Speaking of projects, though, I also want to update my Sokoban clone at some point, port it over to GMS2 and give it some quality of life adjustments, among other things. Like a proper pause menu instead of having to hold down Esc for 3 seconds. Maybe even a function to undo steps, though I feel like there should be some kind of penalty to it, like having it stop recording your number of steps and pushes for the level you’re in.

What I’m also thinking of adding is more cutscenes, especially to the text-only screens. A proper how-to-play section would be great to have, too, even if I doubt anyone’s actually gonna look at it.

Speaking of clones, there’s also this Columns clone that I’d been working on, but all I’ve got so far is a custom sprite font and some rough shapes for the jewels. Meh, probably no point in going into too much detail about my plans for that yet, either.

…Anyway, yeah. Lot of stuff I want to do. Nowhere near enough mental capacity for all of it. I hope you can be patient with me for at least a little longer. I’m trying my best… I think. Who can say, really?

On that note, though, this is going to be a bitch to translate into Japanese later.




器用貧乏 ~ Dextrous Yet Destitute




  1. 知らぬ時代の懐旧
  2. ソポール ~ 羊数え (CD ver.)
  3. 見覚え幼女
  4. 活気を運ぶのは東西の風
  5. 精霊樹物語
  6. 自我消失の夢
  7. 迷宮めいきゅう 明球めいきゅう
  8. 風乗族は月の国へ
  9. 尚雷しょうらい ~ 呪詛なる祝福
  10. ラバランプに映る懐古世紀