Valkyrie: Revisions

I intend to take some weeks of creative vacation from work again this summer. Let’s see whether anything site-related will come of it! For now, just something small:

Valkyrie — Updated the Context page with information on the recent port. Added two pieces of fanart.

in bloom: Valkyrie

Valkyrie: Complete for Real!

Valkyrie — Some additions:

  • Replaced over half of the official art in the gallery with very high-resolution images, courtesy of Added a world map for the heck of it. (It’s nice to look at for lore reasons and when reading fanfiction.) If you’ve browsed the gallery recently, you may have to right click the images and reload them manually to see the new file.
  • Added one last cutscene image to the gallery, albeit in lower resolution because I wasn’t quick enough to screenshot it back then.
  • Added the Fanfiction page AT LONG LAST.

After slightly more than seven years later its release, Valkyrie is finally truly complete!!

The fanfiction page was surprisingly fun to draw up once I actually sat down and did it. With various people creating fanfic recommendation pages on their own site recently, I’m tempted to set up more of these, especially as I don’t enjoy digging through my bookmarks on AO3 itself, and is oooold.

in bloom: Valkyrie

Revamp: Valkyrie

Soooo… My last update and priority plans notwithstanding, here’s a massive update. Hear me out. I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun making layouts as I have this year, specifically with regard to graphic design, which used to be more of a necessary evil than anything. (That conversation with Andrea really did do wonders.) Immediately after setting up Song Cradle, inspiration struck for a layout I’d been wanting to make since 2017, but had no ideas for. I had even commissioned fan art from from dubiousdisc back in 2018, who captured the character and my intent perfectly, so it’s a shame that the piece has only graced my eyes so far. In any case:

Valkyrie — Yes! My largest shrine by a long shot has received a massive revamp. New layout aside, much functionality was added to bring it up-to-date with the standard of my current sites. (This shrine had been exempt from various quality of life updates in the past due to its size.) A notable upgrade concerns the gallery script, which has been updated from Fancybox version 1 to… 4.

The most significant and time-consuming update of all, however, concerns the text. I have thoroughly reworked all of the text across 40+ individual pages, rewriting what feels like nearly every other sentence for conciseness and phrasing (also shortening many sentences and improving punctuation), and shuffling some things around. Longer texts have been broken down with the addition of more structural elements, most notably subheadings. In turn, I have removed the various collapsible divs, because this network is synonymous with tl;dr by now anyway. As a result, text has been trimmed down significantly, though no content was removed.

The pages that profited the most from all of this are the super long “Group Dynamics”, “Symbolism” and all the relationship pages in “The Comrade” section, but also “Review”, “Performance”, “Thaw and Change”, “A Contrast to Lloyd”. I’d even say that the new subheadings add a meta level to the shrine.

Here’s a detailed update log, all new content included:

  • Added functionality:
    • in navigation: page-leafing, back-to-top button, active navigation marker, site map, h2 text;
    • in text: sub-headings on long pages, lists, distinct inline quotes, removal of collapsible divs (with two exceptions for otherwise unavoidable spoilers);
    • in galleries: thumbnail gallery, full-screen mode, zoom, slideshow, easy downloading;
    • in accessibility: semantics in text and structure, select alt texts, improved link text, contrast, rudimental mobile view.
  • Rewrote all URLs. Links to old URLs remain valid, with the exception of one renamed page (“Footsteps of Myth”).
  • Compressed all 295 images and all thumbnails. The total file size of included images shrank from something like 114 MB down to 35 MB omfg.
  • Added two pieces of official art to the gallery.
  • Added images to various pages, as there was a handful of official art that had not been used anywhere on the shrine, and newly available assets have allowed for high-res zoom-ins.
  • Rewrote the index page in its entirety, expanding the introduction and drastically shortening the rest by moving orientation information to the navigation, subnavigations and site map.
  • Expanded the “Context” page significantly, adding background information to the game’s development and its, uh, context. (My shrine, my salt.) Added information on how to acquire it nowadays.
  • Added a snippet of new information to the “Profile” page.
  • Added a link to an off-site rant of mine to “Miranda” regarding the infamous slap.
  • Rephrased a crucial part of the introduction on “At Journey’s End” in relation to the “Theme Song” page, which has been updated with a corresponding paragraph.
  • Redesigned the “Symbolism” page and broke down sections further.
  • Reframed “A Contrast to Lloyd”, emphasizing the angle of the narrative foil and adding a paragraph.
  • Restructured “The Female Narrative” significantly, and renamed subheadings for more substance. Its messages are conveyed way better now.
  • Redid the “Fan Creations” page in its entirety, updating all links and adding many creations.
  • Restructured the entire site part (“The Legend”). Cut sizable parts of “About the Site” and moved them to Song Cradle where they belong, added some others. Consolidated site background information into one page (“Shrine Motifs”) and added a lengthy section of commentary on the shrine’s new design.
  • Redid the “Linkage” page in its entirety, updating and adding many links. Long live the shrines of old! If you’re interested in starting a LoD project of your own, give it a look, as there are many interesting resources around at present. I have searched far and wide to compile this page and it’s possibly my favourite link list out of all my shrines!
  • Added new link buttons created at 4 am; creative insomnia is real.

Now, this shrine finally looks worthy of its status among my works. If you find any errors or have any suggestions, do let me know! The fan fiction page is, uh, still not up. I need to reread all the ones I’ve already handpicked, and want to leave comments prior to linking them. Last time I read them, their majesty and profoundness broke my heart so bad, I was in too much pain to go on. I’ll take some with me when I’m abroad the next month and try to take notes.

This has been a very thrilling and insightful impromptu project; I have added the revamp documentation to the Song Cradle. Shoutout to Larissa for being the best cheerleader!!

Fun fact: On exactly this day five years ago, I revamped Dornenkaefig!

in bloom: Valkyrie, Song Cradle

General Maintenance

All shrines have undergone light maintenance:

  • Footer text was adjusted to reflect the new network name.
  • Definitions for “shrine” and manga demographics were added.
  • Links were updated and dead links were removed or replaced.
  • The contrast of select elements was adjusted (notably font colours on Setting Sun and Jamais Plus and the background on Sway).
  • Minor additions were made to link lists.
  • Some larger images were converted.
  • Minor typographical elements were converted (e.g. typewriter apostrophes).

Valkyrie and Waterbound were excluded from thorough link list updates.

in bloom: In Another Dream, Sway, Waterbound, Baton Pass, Setting Sun, Dornenkaefig, Valkyrie, Jamais Plus, Awakening, In Control, Strength of Heart, Jokers Wild, Stormwind

Spotlight for Valkyrie

Valkyrie — Valkyrie won Amassment's Shrine Spotlight in September 2016 and now proudly features the badge.

Waterbound — Added a fanfic contribution under "Support Autistic Haru".

in bloom: Waterbound, Valkyrie