The Crossover Episodes: CabyCammy in Wales

Day Eight: Miranda

Doodling a new kitty girl, and turning her into the mascot of archives!

Back when the Somnolescent Archives first launched, I threw together a really minimalist green-on-black layout themed after the Archives level in GoldenEye for the N64. It's served pretty well over the past three years, but now that archives is more about browsing old Somnolescent sites than it is file hoards, it seemed pretty inadequate. You can't even browse the sites visually, so if you're not up on your Somnol lore and which design corresponds to which version, you'd have no idea what you're looking for.

So, one sleepless night when Caby had dozed off, I started working on a new archives design. I haven't touched it much at all since I got back, and there's definitely stuff I'd tweak about it, but here's the prototype as I put this trip diary together:

A WIP of a more graphical archives.somnol

Now, instead of version numbers, there's thumbnails of each layout, the dates when they were live, the ideal resolution (since we've made sites at 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, full viewport, etc), and also, something I find really nice, any compatibility errors you might run into viewing it on an older browser. I patched a bunch of layout issues for these sites back on day five, but some newer browser features, like custom fonts, flexbox, and grid just can't be patched (I'm sure there's a polyfill or something, but that's a lot of work and extra load on old browsers for zero gain). Also, sometimes a site was just built wrong and that should be noted, even if it's just so I remember to patch them at some point.

This will come with turning the domain into a general Somnolescent history resource; I've got a half-finished timeline of Somnolescent starting from when I initially started using the name back in 2012 to present day, the group being what it is now.

I also realized that archives could do with a little cuteness, a little bit more of a friendly I bring to you all a mascot:

Miranda in an early archives header

I've told this story elsewhere, but Caby likes to doodle random designs sometimes, and she came up with a batch of adoptables based on Beanie Babies. (They didn't come with names or genders, so unbeknownst to us, the grey cat was actually a boy named Silver.) Anyway, she got halfway through drawing her, realized (correctly) she'd be a design I love, and sure enough, I had to have her when I saw her. She held her for me, and we turned it into a draw-to-adopt sorta deal. I drew her (I still don't know how to, gotta play with it), named her Miranda, and pondered where exactly she'd be suited.

I thought about how much she looked like a librarian and realized she'd be perfect for this archives redesign I happened to be working on! I also decided it'd be fitting if the "Somnolescent library" happened to keep guinea pigs, and while I still have yet to draw them properly (they're two abyssinians, one longhair and one shorthair), I put a lil placeholder piggo in the banner up there.

(To be honest, I'm not too into how it looks; the library is just kind of a blurry smear, and this was two months before I discovered my newer eye style and my heads started coming out a lot more solid, so I don't think Miranda looks very good either. Still, I did this during the trip, on Caby's big tablet, so it's a part of history and I'll toss it in here.)

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful—TV watching with Caby's folks (see day eleven), more writing about Gamedachis (see day five)—oh, and Somnolescent had way too much fun with Discord's voice message feature. (You'll need something that can play Opus files in an Ogg container to play that link. Recent browsers based on Chromium can do it just fine. You're welcome in advance.)

< Day Seven | Back to the index | Day Nine >