Here you'll find my collection of interesting and useful websites. It's always being updated, and any new additions will be marked! I also try to warn for sites with flashing images or autoplaying music.
These sites offer tips and guides to website-making that I found helpful.
- The w3schools HTML Tutorial can be used either as a step-by-step "school"-like tutorial, or a handy list of tips to pick and choose from when you need help with how to do a certain thing in HTML. I used it a lot for making this page!
- sadgrlonline's HTML Cheatsheet is great for quick bits of HTML to copy and paste, all on one convenient page.
- A Beginner's Guide to HTML and CSS is really basic, but is a good introduction to help you get your bearings if everything else is just too overwhelming.
- The Site Wizard can be a bit dated at times, as it's been around since 2000, but it's still being updated and has tons of useful articles on how to do specific things. I particularly like their CSS tutorials for their simplicity and straightforwardness.
These sites offer collections of graphics to use on your website! Some may require credit. Warning for possible/frequent flashing lights, especially in large collections of gifs. Particularly flashy sites will be warned for individually.
- Backgrounds Archive has plenty of free tileable and non-tiling backgrounds to use for your site, or computer if you really want to.
- TextureTown has a whole bunch of textures you can use as backgrounds or on 3D models. There's even a "playground" where you can apply textures (or any other image from your computer) to a 3D world. Warning: the page the link leads to has an animated background, and when you mouse over textures to preview them, it changes the background of the page, which can get very flashy if you move your mouse around quickly.
- 99GIF shop is a collection of gifs set up as if it's a little online storefront. I'm not sure if the "add to cart" link below each gif has any functionality, since it doesn't seem to do anything in my browser, but it's cute and fun and you can just save the gifs with a normal right-click. There's not really any way to sort or search them, but that makes it feel even more like looking through a bargain bin for treasures!
- The Museum of Modern GIFs is set up like an art gallery, where you click the door to go from room to room viewing framed gif images. The rooms are randomly generated down to even their names. This is more of an art project than a serious graphics resource, but it's great for finding all sorts of fun images in an immersive way. Warning: sound autoplays when you click on the first door, but it can be muted with a button in the top left corner.
- The Blinkie Hoard has just what it says on the tin: blinkies! It also hosts Geoblinkies, a tool that lets you search a selection of blinkies from Geocities, thanks to volunteer transcribers.
- The Largest 88x31 Collection is a very large collection of 88x31 buttons. Pretty self-explanatory! It's full of buttons from old as well as new sites; many are for personal websites but some are more general. A great resource for finding buttons to put on your site as decoration, getting inspiration, or even for finding other people's sites!
- Here's another 88x31 button collection that has some that aren't on the previous page linked.
I may organize these further as I accumulate more, but for now, these are all other resources that don't quite fit into website-making directly.
- Nuclearstorms' OC Questions Generator gives you questions to ask yourself about your original characters. It can be a great help for fleshing out characters or even story-writing inspiration!
- Harrie's Character Sheet is a list of 25 basic questions to ask yourself about your original characters, with text boxes to put your answers. Some of the questions even have helpful prompts for what may apply to them, to get you thinking. The site also has two other lists of character development questions, if you want even more. Be sure to copy the writing you do into another document to save it!
- NPC Generator does exactly what it says: generate NPCs. These are intended for D&D, but the non-stats sections could be useful for any role-playing game, or even your own story.
- ChoiceScript is a simple programming language for making choose-your-own-adventure type games. This page offers a basic tutorial on how to use it, and the site encourages you to submit your finished ChoiceScript games to be hosted on the site, where they'll give you a share of any revenue it produces.
Websites that are chock full of links to their own pages, other websites, or both. Have fun surfing instead of just staring at a single content feed!
- Yesterlinks is, as said on the site, "a user-curated directory of interesting off-the-beaten path websites." There are over 500 links on this site, and there's an option to open a random one if you can't decide! I haven't even looked through all the links yet, so there's probably some of them included in here without me even realizing, but I might include some more of my favorites as highlights in this list if I do go through it sometime.
- Neocities Districts is a modern version of Geocities' Neighborhoods. People can apply to have their site added to a district based on its general topic here, and it's added to a list that you can view and browse.
- Every Noise at Once is a site that catalogs all of Spotify's genre distinctions on a scatter plot, with examples of songs you can listen to by clicking on a genre or using the "scan" function as one would on a radio. Scroll all the way to the bottom and you can check out a bunch of supplemental material, such as an article on how the site was started, and some other music exploration tools powered by Spotify's data.
- Glenda Moore's CatStuff is all about cats! Full of cat info and fun graphics. A cool little old-web site for cat lovers.
- Cybergata has a ton of links to other parts of her site and to other sites. She's got a whole variety of pages, with highlights including info about the 60s, New Mexico, and cats, along with graphics and HTML help.
- The Archive on hmvh.net hosts a bunch of articles and text files from the old days of the internet. Highlights include photo essays about old tech and old text files from the BBS era.
- Mel Birnkrant has been collecting and designing toys since the 1950s, and his website is full of anecdotes about his work and interests. It's a really interesting look into vintage toys and the art behind them, as well as the artist himself.
- Ghost Of The Doll is a site dedicated to 80s and 90s toys, mainly those marketed to girls. It's geared toward collectors, with the site functioning as a way to identify toys one may find in their collection, but I love it just to look through and see the old toys. There's even a Random button to take you to a random toy featured on the site.
Individual articles on topics I found interesting.
- This article on the origin of Western fairy tales covers a study that traced the origins of many common fairy tales, including stories like Beauty and the Beast. Turns out many of them are much older than previously thought! I strongly recommend checking out the study itself as well (which is also linked in the article).
- The Day The Dinosaurs Died is an article from The New Yorker about a young paleontologist who may have discovered an important record of the event that killed the dinosaurs and ended the Cretaceous. A long read, but it's super interesting and even has an audio version at the top of the page if you'd rather listen (it's an hour long)!
- Foone's blog post on Cartrivision is a quick look into an obscure, obsolete video format. Mildly NSFW content, as it discusses a pornographic tape, but nothing graphic.
Some notable but lesser-known games I enjoy, either playable in your browser or through a small download. All are free unless otherwise noted!
- Digital: A Love Story (requires download) is a game that's very special to me. It's a simple, short visual novel that has you using a faux-Amiga Workbench interface to interact on BBSes and meet some interesting characters. The atmosphere is great, and the story is poignant and stays with me to this day, despite me playing it for the first time over a decade ago by now.
- Choice of Games is a company that produces text-based multiple-choice (commonly known as "choose your own adventure," but that's trademarked) games. Many of their games are available free and playable in your browser, and they offer mobile versions too. They also host many "unofficial" games made with their free scripting language. I originally found this company years ago with their game Choice of the Dragon, but they've made a lot more since then!
- Kittens Game is an incremental game where you build a society of kittens. It starts simple, but quickly turns into a game of large numbers and resource management as you try to bring your kittens through ages of scientific discovery from beginning agriculture all the way to space. It can get pretty complex, but it has plentiful Reddit and Discord support, along with its own wiki. Be prepared to leave your computer on for a while, since games like this tend to require a lot of waiting for resources to accumulate, with only occasional management as you enter higher levels of play.
- A Dark Room is a text-based incremental game with an intriguing plot. You wake up in a cold, dark room...and that's all you get to know. Slowly uncover more of the world by gathering resources and adventuring to learn where -- and who -- you are. Somewhat similar in gameplay to Kittens Game, but much more character and story focused, along with a much more easily attainable ending.
- Make-A-Furb is a cute little game where you can make your own Furby. It's got a surprising amount of customizability for such a simple game!
Sites that mainly host video content, or lists/collections of videos.
- Default Filename TV is a website that finds and plays YouTube videos that were uploaded directly from the camera without edits to the filename. It's a fascinating look into bits of complete strangers' lives. The site acknowledges that though strict SafeSearch is on, the videos are not screened in advance, so watch with care.
- Flipnote Archive is an archive of animations posted to Flipnote Hatena before it closed in 2013. Flipnote was an animation program for the Nintendo DSi, and while it wasn't a major part of my childhood, it was for a lot of people! Many of the animations on the site are by kids, so it's a cool look into the work of young artists in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Some of them are really impressive!
- VHS Instructionals on archive.org is an archive of over 1,000 instructional and educational VHS tapes. There are so many videos on so many different topics, including cooking videos, workout guides, documentaries, news specials, and my favorites, videos on how to use computers and the internet. Pop in a tape and learn something new! Maybe don't trust all the advice you get from them, though... :P
- Black Film Archive is a collection of historically and culturally significant Black films made from 1898 to 1989. Each film has a link you can follow to watch it, and you can browse by decade, genre, or country, or just look through the whole list. Every film has cultural context along with it, making for a really amazing collection of diverse films and a valuable representation of Black culture in cinema.
Unsorted Other Fun Stuff
Anything I found interesting that didn't fit into any of the other categories! This section may be further sorted if it starts getting out of hand.
- The Infinite Cat Project is a chain of people taking pictures of their cats...looking at a picture of a cat. Who is looking at a picture of a cat. And so on. A fun journey to take in kitty-cat recursion.
- Zooniverse is, according to the site, a platform for "people-powered research." Anyone can volunteer to help with any number of crowdsourced research tasks, such as identifying animals on trail cams or finding patterns in photos of space. Have fun helping for science!
- Listen to the sound of Wikipedia with this interesting website. It uses Wikipedia's Recent Changes feed to show when someone edits an article and plays a sound based on if it's an addition (bells) or subtraction (string plucks). The size of the circle on the screen shows the size of the edit (larger edits also play deeper notes), and even the colors signify what type of user edited it (anonymous users, registered users, or bots). You may even get announcement for new users joining the site, marked by string swells!