Oddworld Library

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Oddworld Library is an Oddworld fansite created and maintained by Wil Bunce-Edwards and Xavier De Coster. It provides an up-to-date archive of media—including images, videos, websites, developer diaries and press interviews—and a number of articles on Oddworld lore, products and fandom. It also covered Oddworld news between 2004 and 2014, including a number of exclusive interviews and media premiers.

Despite its name, Oddworld Library also covers other topics, mostly non-Oddworld projects by Oddworld Inhabitants and Lorne Lanning, such as Citizen Siege, and Xmobb.

Structure

Oddworld Library has traditionally been divided into three sections

Oddblog (Old/New)
OddBlog covered Oddworld news from 2003 to 2014. It is divided between two systems: an archive, that holds all stories made before November 2010, and the newer OddBlog, that holds all stories made since.
The Oddworld Encyclopedia
Or ‘TOE’, hosted articles on Oddworld lore written by Wil. All content has been migrated to the wiki.
The Oddworld Archives
Or ‘TOA’, archived many different types of media relating to Oddworld. It was divided into many different subsections, each catering to its own type of media.
The Oddworld Graphics Gallery
Or ‘TOGG’, originally archived images only, maintained by Xavier. Since 2010 it has also started hosting videos.
The Oddworld Cinema
Or ‘TOC’, archived videos only, maintained by Xavier. Since 2010 its content was migrated to TOGG.
The Oddworld Scriptures
Or ‘TOS’, archived texts only, maintained by Wil. These included press interviews, developer diaries, and texts taken from the INsOMNIOUS version of Oddworld.com. This content is in the process of being migrated to the wiki.
Superseded by Magog On The March.
Odd Wide Web
Archives a number of different official company and product websites, maintained by Xavier.
OddTunes
Archives a number of different official soundtrack releases and music rips from Oddworld games. Does not have its own web pages.

History

Conception

Oddworld Library originated as four separate projects: OddBlog, The Oddworld Encyclopedia, OddBlog, The Oddworld Graphics Gallery and The Oddworld Archives. The first two were created by Wil Bunce-Edwards, and the second two by Xavier De Coster.

Wil first began working on an Oddworld fansite in 2000. His first attempt was a webpage on the early webhosting service Xoom, which he called ‘The Kennels’. This early incarnation presented visitors with a guided tour of the eponymous Kennels (essentially a zoo of Oddworld creatures known at the time) led by a conjoined-twin Glukkon named Glasp.[1] By 2001, the project changed to one more encyclopedic in tone called ‘The Scrabacombs’,[2] but by 2002 this was again renamed to ‘The Oddworld Encyclopedia’ to reflect Wil’s nickname on the Oddworld Forums.[3]

Wil created OddBlog on uJournal on 7th August 2003, originally as a personal blog where he would post personal thoughts and updates to the Oddworld Encyclopedia project, leaving actual Oddworld news for an un-yet-unreleased part of the Encyclopedia named the ‘News Station’.[4] However, under the advice of Xavier, he began posting Oddworld development and community news on OddBlog. On 6th December, Xavier began posting on OddBlog, originally on a temporary basis while Wil was absent,[5] but on 16th Dec, Wil announced that Xavier was now a permanent reporter.[6] Xavier had previously been a reporter of Oddworld news on Oddworld Maniac, Oddworld News and Oddworld-Web. OddBlog migrated from uJournal to Blogger in January 2004.[7]

Wil, Xav, and a third member of the Oddworld Forums, Oddsville, who had previously owned the fansite Oddville, began making plans to unite their fansites into one, calling themselves the ‘Shaman Network’: All three would share OddBlog, Wil would be in charge of The Oddworld Encyclopedia, and Xavier would create an Oddworld image gallery to take over his management of the Picture Request Thread on the Oddworld Forums; Oddsville would take responsibility for the fourth part of the Network, a collection of Oddworld press interviews that at the time was named ‘The Oddworld Archives’. However, Oddsville’s involvement in the group diminished and Xavier took over the Archives. Nevertheless, Wil and Xavier persisted in their plan to combine sites, and they eventually settled on the name ‘The Oddworld Library’.

Launch

Although OddBlog had always been publicly accessible, it was formally launched in February 2004 with the slogan bringing you true bijoux of Oddworld news when it was first announced on the Oddworld Forums and the link was publicly shared.[8]. Xavier created his image gallery, called ‘The Oddworld Graphics Gallery’ (or TOGG), and launched it in February 2005,[9] which was followed in September by The Oddworld Archives.[10] Despite officially being part of The Oddworld Library, both of Xavier's sites were originally hosted on Alcar’s fansite, Oddworld Universe, but after that went down in February 2006,[11] TOGG and the Archives moved to the Library’s server within the month.[12][13]

The Oddworld Library was officially launched on 1st April 2006 with the opening of The Oddworld Encyclopedia.[14] The first articles on the Encyclopedia were actually a number of joke articles written for April Fool’s Day. These were replaced the following day with 18 genuine articles, collectively branded as ‘Wave One’, with a ‘Wave Two’ of 15 additional articles being uploaded on 13th April.

First Two Years

In October 2006, The Oddworld Archives were taken down and the name reused as an umbrella for TOGG and the Library's newest section, an archive of Oddworld videos called ‘The Oddworld Cinema’. At the same time, the site was also added to with ‘OddBlog Specials’ where exclusive stories and interviews could be highlighted, the Bulletin Board where site updates would be posted, and syndication feeds for both OddBlog and the Bulletin Board. These simultaneous updates were branded as The Oddworld Library’s first relaunch.[15]

The Oddworld Forums became a sponsor of the Oddworld Library in January 2008 by adding a link to the fansite at the top of every page, alongside links to the fansites of its owners, Abe Babe’s Oddworld-Web and Alcar’s Oddworld Universe.[16]

Second Anniversary

The Oddworld Library celebrated its second anniversary since its official launch on 1st April 2008. To mark the occasion, its archive of press interviews returned in a new section of The Oddworld Archives, called ‘The Oddworld Scriptures’, developed by Wil. In addition, although only 1 new article had been published on The Oddworld Encyclopedia since its first month, TOE was updated with 8 new article, 3 navigational pages and 1 updated article. This updated article on Fleeches was the first to use a reference list of cited sources, and came with a button to hide the inline citations if visitors found them annoying. Wil referred to these updates as the start of a period of increased attention on TOE.[17]

Third Year

In July 2008, two social network accounts were opened for The Oddworld Library: an Oddworld Cinema YouTube channel and an Oddworld Library Twitter account.[18][19][20]

References

  1. Bunce-Edwards, Wil [billy_squeek] (2 July 2000). ‘My Webpage’. Exoddus Club. Yahoo! Groups.
  2. Bunce-Edwards, Wil (22 April 2001). ‘Coming Soon - The Scrabacombs’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
  3. Bunce-Edwards, Wil (7 April 2002). Post 10 in ‘There's more than one Shrink!?’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
  4. Bunce-Edwards, Wil (17 August 2003). ‘OddBlog created’. OddBlog. Oddworld Library.
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named oddblogXavTemporary
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named oddblogXavPermanent
  7. Bunce-Edwards, Wil (22 January 2004). ‘OddBlog 2·0’. OddBlog. Oddworld Library.
  8. Bunce-Edwards, Wil (1 February 2004). ‘OddBlog’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
  9. De Coster, Xavier (28 February 2005). ‘TOGG - Grand opening!’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
  10. atusiya@ (2 September 2005). ‘Xavier 's The Oddworld Archives !!’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
  11. Oddworld Forums members (20–22 February 2006). ‘What happened????’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
  12. Bunce-Edwards, Wil (12 March 2006). ‘The Oddworld Graphics Galliry Returns!’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
  13. De Coster, Xavier (5 March 2006). ‘The Oddworld Archives are back’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
  14. Bunce-Edwards, Wil (1 April 2006). ‘The Oddworld Library - grand opening’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
  15. Bunce-Edwards, Wil (26 October 2006). ‘The Oddworld Library Relaunched’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
  16. Alcar (15 January 2008). ‘TOL Sponsorship & Staff Changes’. Forums Suggestions & Help. Oddworld Forums.
  17. Bunce-Edwards, Wil (1 April 2008). ‘The TOL Thread’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
  18. De Coster, Xavier (1 July 2008). Post 16 in ‘The TOL Thread’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
  19. Bunce-Edwards, Wil (2 July 2008). ‘The Oddworld Cinema on YouTube’. OddBlog. Oddworld Library.
  20. Bunce-Edwards, Wil (16 July 2008). Post 22 in ‘The TOL Thread’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.