Resin Heroes

Dangerous Universe Archive

Here in the archive, you’ll find blog posts, broken links and all, from August, 2001 to present as well as other goodies. Enjoy!

Blog Archive:

2011: November | October | September | August | July | June
2008 | ’07 | ’06 | ’05 | ’04 | ’03 | ’02 | ’01


Yearly “best of” lists; 1999, 2003-Present


The Long Way Back:
I was digging around on some old backup CDs and came across some old incarnations of Dangerous Universe and decided to post these for prosperity. There are broken links and bad writing in these old sites, but surprisingly they still hold together years later.

This was the very first website I ever built. It was for a class called “Computer Art 101” where we learned things like how to use Photoshop, Illustrator and the long-forgotten PageMill. The idea of the class was that each project would build on the next to the final project of building a small website. Astro, the “Non-Official Aliens Website” was what I came up with. The site seems rather primitive now, but is a pretty good representation of what was the norm of websites back in the late 1990s. What’s funny is that I can still remember building specific pieces of the site. The Bill Paxton image on the homepage was one of the first things I’ve ever done in Photoshop and the “ADF” logo at the bottom of the screen one of the first things in Illustrator.

Here’s what I remember the requirements of the website to be:

  • Link two pages together – check
  • Have button graphics – check
  • Have some text in graphics – check
  • Create and use a tiled background on some pages – check
  • Manipulate some photos in Photoshop – check
  • Build a graphic bar to divide content – check

December, 1998
I believe this is the earliest version of Dangerous Universe (DU) that I still have copies of. I have memories of a version earlier than this, but honestly can’t remember if that one ever went public. Originally, DU was developed as a school project that literally covered the most dangerous sci-fi creatures in the galaxy. I later changed the scope from “galaxy” to “universe” because the universe is a lot bigger than the galaxy and DU was born.

Eventually, the scope of the site shifted from fiction to that of covering pop-culture. There aren’t many pages of this design that are left, just the landing page, the homepage and a few interior pages.

Late Winter, 1999
Here’s a later version of the early look of DU. Again, there are lots of broken links with this design.

Spring, 1999
The third design to DU in less than a year, and honestly I’m still fond of this one. I think it’s the first version of the site where I honed in on what DU was really going to be. I also think there’s a direct correlation with the current look of DU and this design.

Spring, 1999: Senior Project
Here’s my senior project for college that was the last step in getting me my BA degree. The thing looks positively primitive now, but was pushing the boundaries of web design back in ’99. Looking at the code of this site I must’ve built it at home since it was done in Dreamweaver, and at school at the time we only had Adobe PageMill.

There is a lot of school work and some projects I did at my first two jobs in this site.

This site represents the first time I started covering pop-culture many times a week rather than updating the site once every week or few weeks. It seems odd to think of it now since the internet has become so ubiquitous in my life, but up until 2000 I didn’t have it at home and updated DU over my lunch hour or evenings at work. Once I had the internet at home updating the site on a much more regular basis became very, very easy.

As a side note, animated GIFs are all the rage today, and I’d like to point out that I was making them way back in ’99 from grabbing frames in movie trailers. 🙂

I’m amazed as to how much I was able to do on the site all in static pages in HTML.

Another one from 2000. I remember wanting this to be more streamlined and “designey.” I don’t think it’s ultimately that successful.

Logan Cale, 2000
This was a site that never really got off the ground. I was a hugely excited about the TV series Dark Angel on Fox, and found that the domain name which was also the name of one of the characters on the show, was available so I snagged it. This site never got past this one page.

Survive Mars, 2000 | Original Homepage
Survive Mars was a side-project that almost swallowed DU. In 2000 there were a group of movies that all took place on the planet Mars that were due in theaters. And since I’m a sci-fi, movie and Mars nut I got really excited about these movies. I was excited enough to start covering them specially on DU, and then spinning that coverage out into the site Survive Mars.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one to be excited about these movies as traffic to Survive Mars dwarfed traffic to DU for that whole year.

Unfortunately, all the Mars movies tanked at the box office and when that niche died so did Survive Mars.

This is a version of DU that “went off the rails.” At this point I didn’t really know what to do with the site, and I decided to turn it into a sort of graphic design/portfolio/icon site. I think the difficulty of maintaining a site like DU outside of a database driven solution for the site became too much to handle, so I stopped the pop-culture coverage and started this. Luckily, this version only lasted less than a year before I developed a home-brew CMS for DU that I used until early 2008 and went back to covering pop-culture which I continue to do.

Another one that was a different direction than I’d taken Dangerous Universe before. All I can say is that man, did I love Flash at the time! Honestly I don’t think this design ever went live.

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