Wait, ICVD is updating again?
Yes. Yes it is. We acknowledge that, for a long time there (far too long), Castlevania: The Inverted Dungeon was a rather dead site... or, at least, undead. There was a common thought among the editors that, aside from the occasional article about whatever new Castlevania game came out, there wasn't much need to really work on the site anymore.
Then we read over all the old content, and we felt differently. We wrote this stuff? Really?!
A concerted effort was put forth to really go over the whole site and bring it, biting and groaning, into fresh and fighting shape. Dracula comes back every few years, so why not a site dedicated to his video games?
But really, we're sorry it took us so long to get back to this site. Hopefully any future downtime between updates will be minimal.
You Got Rid of the Splash Page. Why?
During a recent redesign we realized we no longer needed it. When we put it up fansites were still a "new" thing and some people thought the colorful lanuage we used was a bad thing. We've admittedly toned down our language some since then (well, somewhat), but many other sites have sprung up that many, many people vist and they use language even worse than we do (or did) and they don't bother with splash pages at all. It was antiquated and we deleted it during the refresh process.
Why the Redesign?
Which resdesign do you mean? At least one of the editors of the Inverted Dungeon, Mike "Darkmoon" Finkelstein, is a habitual website-perfectionist. Every year or two there comes a great "need" to refresh whatever sites he's a part of, and as such, the Inverted Dungeon fell under his spell (twice so far since the relaunch). We took the excuse that the site hadn't been updated in a while to refresh the look-and-feel once... and then we did it again. Trust that this will happen repeatedly as long as the site exists.
But it's More than Just a New Coat of Paint for the Site, Right?
Oh, absolutely. As we've mentioned elsewhere, every single article is getting re-edited, and most of them are being completely rewritten. Most of the articles were written by people still in highschool or college, without the least bit of professionalism. Those articles are just painful to read, so we're making a concerted effort to upgrade everything. If we can't read the articles, how can we expect you to do otherwise?
But it's also a change of focus. Many of the articles on the site were... juvenile. We're certainly not above bathroom or sexual humor (we do continue to host a site called Rough Sex in the Moonlight, after all), but we did feel that many of the articles went too far towards humor and didn't convey as much of the information as we actually intended.
As such, many sections are being reformatted/refocused to bring in more and better information. Ideally, we see the Inverted Dungeon as a sort of compromise between the fan-sites of old and the current push for topic-driven wikis.
So yeah, sort of like a seriously moderated wiki full of serious information, opinions, reviews, etc.
What Do You Mean "Moderated Wiki"?
We mean people are welcome to submit ideas for articles on any topic they think hasn't been covered well enough already. Contact information is provided so that you can track one of the editors down and submit your article ideas (if you have any). If you want to write a full article, you can, or even if you just have suggestions, feel free to submit them.
Once articles are in the editors' hands, we'll give them a once over to make sure they match the style and consistency of articles already posted on the site. We have a certain style and tone we'd like to maintain, and while we'll make sure not to butcher what you send us (if we can avoid it), we will have to do a pass or two over the articles just to make sure they're ready for "print".
A wiki normally would not allow for articles that have opinion or bias. We at the Inverted Dungeon are judgemental people and can't abide such constricting rules. We like to review things, share our opinions, and break all the normal rules of what a classically defined wiki is supposed to do.
So All the Old Articles Are Gone?
Indeed.... more or less. Aside from a few reviews (and even those have been heavily re-edited), everything that was old is gone from the main site. Those of you that liked the old site can still find the content archived in our Time Capsule (kept only for historical purposes), but the old content is no longer supported. If you want newer, more complete information, stick to the main site from now on.
But Such-and-such Article Was My Favorite!
Well, hopefully you'll find new favorite articles on the site.
What Sources Do You Use for Your Articles?
Official, verifiable sources. Specifically the games themselves (intro sequences, ending sequences, and interstitial cut-scenes). We also take into account official content produced, such as the various timelines they've published to clear up continuity.
What Sources Do You Specicially Ignore When Writing Your Articles?
Any content produced for one region only (such as Japan) or that cannot be clearly verfied in all regions it was published. One clear example is instruction booklets. These booklets do have a lot of story written into them providing all kinds of background for the games that doesn't actually show up in the games themselves (this is expecially true the further back in the series releases you go). Unfortunately, instruction booklets are notoriously inconsistent between regions often containing contradtictory information depending on what region the game was released in. Additionally, these books were sometimes written in one language and then translated into another (sometimes by someone with a flimsy grasp of one of the two languages) leading to problems with verifying how true the content is. As such, we just ignore these booklets outright.
Other sources of content, such as comic and manga adaptations, anime and radio show OVAs, and the like are often inconsistent with the continuity. Sometimes they aren't brought out in all regions leading to fan-translations that may not be accurate as far as Konami is concerned. Other times they adapt sections of story that the games have already told and, in doing so, change major parts of the stories. Since Konami has never officially acknowledged any of these additional materials as part of their timelines, we ignore them outright, too.
Still, while we don't let these sources inform our main articles we will, from time to time, make mention of them in passing to give you a full experience for the series.
Are There Any Topics You Need Help With?
Absolutely. If you see a section with information missing, pass it along. Maybe it's something we didn't cover in enough detail (and you can show what we missed with a referenced source, which is extra helpful), or maybe there's a page we haven't written yet (since we're constantly writing new content for the site, and then finding new things to cover, and then writing new articles for that... and on... and on...). If you want to contribute please do! Contact us with what you've got and we'll work to get it up on the site.
And on that topic, yes, there are still sections we haven't even gotten around to covered. Eventually we'll probably launch a "Locations" section for the site, covering the various levels and areas of the games (we used to have something like that on the old site and it's on our eventual list for this site as well). We also, one day, really want to cover the music of the series, giving reviews and information for the tracks and soundtracks of the series. One day, perhaps, and if you have ideas for these sections, get in touch with us.
What About the "Fan Works" Section? How Do I Help With That?
Right now the fanworks section is unmoderated. If you have some fan art, or a fanfic, or the like that you'd like to contribute, just contact us and let us know how to get the work in question (wait for us to contact you before you email us any actual pictures or other files -- we don't want stuff to end up in our spam filter by mistake). We're happy to post anything you send us, and we're not going to judge about quality -- if you send it, we'll more than likely post it. Thus, "unmoderated" as we're not really being selective at this juncture.
That said, if you contribute a work and it later comes out that you stole it from another source, we will be forced to remove not only that work but any other fan works you contribute, and ban you from contributing anything else. So, yeah, be concientious about that.
Meanwhile, if there's a fan-made game you'd like us to look at, we're happy to do so. Those games will get full write ups/reviews so it might take us a little more time to get content like that posted (since we have to go and play the game first). We are happy to hear about whatever new project is out there and we want to support the fan-game community, so please let us know about any cool games being developed and released.
It Seems Like a Lot of the Same Information Is On Different Pages.
Yes and no. Each section of the site represents specific, important information:
- The Chronology section is a discussion of the story of the various Castlevania games. Important gameplay mechanics are lightly touched upon in the "Important Information" sections of each page, usually to give the games context within the evolution of the series. Additional modes, alternate stories, and various endings also get mentioned here.
- The Bios section focuses on specific characters from the series, giving a context for their role in the evolution of Castlevania. A detailed bio is given for those characters from their perspective (instead of the general overview from the Chronology section). We also look at how the characters are used, play-wise, in the series, and then touch upon influenes on the characters from general pop-culture.
- The Reviews section primarily focuses on game play and how good of a contribution to the series a game may be (although a little discussion of the story is included, for anyone that doesn't read the Chronology section).
- The Series section ties everything together. It discusses the impact of the games to the greater series, and also contains snippets of articles from Chronology and Reviews to give an over-all experience. It's intended as the "portal" for the site.
In each case, a nod is made towards the fact that some people may not read every page of the site, so giving more information for a better context of a specific entry is important.
Why Do Some Characters Have Bios But Those Character Don't Appear on the Chronology Pages About the Games?
There are some side characters that have dialogue and important scenes who, for various reasons, don't make a huge impact on the overall story. When summarizing the plots of the various games, we try to touch on the relevant elements of the overall story to give a brief, cohesive look at the games, but there are some characters, for one reason or another, we have to cut.
Of course, since they were important for a few brief scenes (usually due to dialogue they had) we then give them a biography to let their whole personal story shine. It's a good way to give boths sides of the coin (brevity, along with thorougness) without having any one page become a 15-screen long screed.
Who're the Staff of the Inverted Dungeon?
Currently the Lead Editor is Mike Finkelstein. Jorge D. Fuentes and Josh Shaffer are Contributors.
Have You Thought About Giving the ICVD Treatment to Other Topics?
Eventually, yes. Plans are already in place to launch a Slasher Movie site, Camp Carnage, hopefully sometime around Halloween 2018, although we'll see if that happens. Life always has a way of changing our plans.
Other projects may happen as well. I had, at one point, a TMNT Shrine along the same lines as the Inverted Dungeon called New York on $10 a Day. That site, in some form, may rise again, and there is a part of me that thinks a Metroid site, and maybe a Zelda site, would be fun ideas -- although some of that content is already getting loaded into the Related Games section here and over on Asteroid G, so who knows if those sites are really needed.
Speaking of, Asteroid G is a site we recently re-launched. It started as The Domain and, at times, has been absorbed into Inverted Dungeon, split back out, merged back in, evolved (at one time into a blog, Musings of the Jewpacabra), and then fallen apart again. It lives once more here as a subhost of ICVD and acts as a dumping ground for content I want to post but have no other place to store it.