Launch of HSMusic.wiki!
(Published 12 December 2020.)
Welcome to all visitors, new and returning!
We're proud to announce the launch of https://HSMusic.wiki, the new home of the Homestuck Music Wiki! If you've visited the wiki before, you've probably already noticed plenty of changes. I'll cover a few of the changes in this news entry, and talk about the future direction of the wiki too - there's been a shift over the last few updates I'd love to shed some light on. :)
First off: I'd like to personally thank nuclear333, foreverFlummoxed, and Niklink for their help putting this update together; I worked with all three through its development, and it wouldn't be as complete or cohesive an update without their feedback and encouragement. Extra thanks to nata for tech help as we moved the site from GitHub Pages to an independently hosted server and domain, and to everyone we contacted for being so welcoming to share their music on the wiki!
If you've been following the changelog for the last several updates, you might've noticed an interesting assortment of albums coming to the wiki: Clark Powell's Labyrinth's Heart, Casual Sunday's Shortcuts, and Kal-la-kal-la's Exceptis Excipiendis, for example. What do these albums have in common? Well, none of them are quite Homestuck albums; across all three, only the track Requiem could be considered an outright Homestuck track! However, each album was created by recognizable artists within the sphere of Homestuck music. Could this pattern be significant?
During the development of those updates (recompose, refine and autumnal polish haul in particular), it was more of an experimental idea - but with the launch of the new hsmusic.wiki domain, I figured now is as good a time as any to really embrace that new direction:
HSMusic is expanding its focus to feature, side-by-side with Homestuck-specific releases, albums created by artists who've found a home as part of the Homestuck music scene!
This is in keeping in line with the basic guide of the wiki from the start: celebration. Since the start, we've been celebrating the music we love - through archival, presentation, and discovery. With the former two being polished and perfected over the the year since initial release, I figure it's time to revisit and prioritize that third one: discovery! So, just as half a year ago, the scope of the wiki is expanding once again.
For the forseeable future, in addition to the usual site updates and tweaks part of every major update, you'll be finding new albums shared on the wiki regularly! I'd strongly encourage you to check out their personal sites, and of course, purchase the albums you particularly enjoy, if you're able - every artist appreciates support for their creations!
On that note, I've opened a Liberapay if you'd like to throw a dollar or two my way as tips for my work on the wiki - I'm immensely thankful, of course, but no expectations either! We have enough to keep the site running as-is regardless. :)
So, without further ado, some update highlights:
- A totally redesigned homepage! It's considerably denser than before - but I'm hoping I've managed to reach that peculiar paradox of it being more usable as a landing page as well.
- Five new albums, plus some goodies:
- Hiveswap Act 2 OST - yes, with complete credits. (Thanks, James Roach!)
- Homestuck for the Holidays and Tomb of the Ancestors, the two albums from Homestuck Gaiden we hadn't archived before! (As far as I know, this is the first time per-track art credits for ToTH have ever been released - much thanks to the album's artist, Kalibration, for helping with this via email!)
- The Genesis Project: Volume 1 and Oceanfalls Vol. 3, compilation albums from artists who by and large found their roots in the Homestuck music scene! Check out The Genesis Project, a fan-game aiming to replicate Sburb itself, at sburb.me; and Oceanfalls, an excellent webcomic inspired by Homestuck but certainly its own standalone work, at oceanfalls.net!
- Perfectly Generic Object, a lovely track from Cristata following its earlier album Perfectly Generic Album!
- ...and the original four releases of Homestuck Vol. 1, Homestuck Vol. 2, Homestuck Vol. 3, and Homestuck Vol. 4. Check 'em out!
- A bunch of stylistic changes and tweaks across the site, all in the hopes of making a more usable and coherent design - or in less pretentious jargon, I'm trying to make things look better. :) Besides remaking the homepage from scratch:
- All pages use the same "page generation" code, meaning much more consistent navigation and layout everywhere. Though there aren't any particular plans to do so yet, this also means it's much easier to modify or expand page layouts in the future!
- The border around images is bolder and tiles themselves are smaller, emphasizing color and name recognition. The goal is to make a design for index pages that looks more balanced!
- Speaking of images, most of the images on the site are now lazy-loaded (meaning they are only downloaded as they enter the screen viewport), and they've all been tweaked so that the layout won't jitter as media files load!
- The sidebar and navigation for track pages have been revamped; besides grouping the tracks in many more albums (e.g. Ancestral), we also show track numbers for groups in the sidebar, and the current track number next to the name in the nav bar!
- Dozens of data changes, the majority of which are from feedback from users of the site:
- Thanks to transcription and research efforts from Niklink, lyrics have been added and updated across many tracks! Check out, for example, How Do I Live (Bunny Back in the Box Version), Mister Bowman Tells You About the Squiddles, and Creata.
- A new "tags" feature for track art, categorizing all art on the wiki by the characters featured! Plus, gallery pages for each character (e.g. Jade, Rose, Jack Noir) and content warnings on art with sensitive or commonly triggering content.
- A bunch of reference and credit data has been fixed across the site, thanks to nuclear333, Bambosh, and an emailer! There are also a variety of improved track arts and many new artist credit links, largely thanks to foreverFlummoxed.
~ Quasar Nebula
(PS: Working with everyone on this update has been a joy, so once again, a tremendous thank-you to everyone who offered feedback, resources, discussion and support over the course of development! Tangentially, with permission from Niklink, here's a transcript of our emails together - just for a look into what collaborating on the wiki is like, and to give Niklink's wonderful commentary the light of day.)