How Project Stargazing Came to Be.

2 minute read • Shindou Mihou

As many of you might have realized right now, Mana's website and the bot herself has undergone a major change lately and this is all in part of the newest October project of Mana which we call Project Stargazing which introduces quite the list of plans that was expected to last until the end of this month but with pure enthusiasm and endurance, the project was completed in less than five days. Let us go through the process of how we got this far, shall we?

To understand the entire process of completing Project Stargazing, we have to first understand what our initial road map looked like and the previous projects that I had on my back which led to the creation of this website. Before this entire project came to life, a sudden thought came up to me which involved the bot's special WaifuWorld and Yuriverse and that thought was: "I wonder if I could set up something where I could see what everyone liked..."


The Like System

And from there, the Like System was born which became a very much liked system with the database already receiving nearly 600 entries within 4 days after its release. You people really liked a lot of images... but I didn't want to stop there and I wanted everyone to see what others liked and also have them enjoy what they liked and so the Hall of Fame was born which was simply a pagination of all the data from the Like System which was very simple to implement.


The Bookmark System

At first... I thought about stopping there and taking another break from programming, but someone from a Discord server that I was on had given me quite the idea and that was bookmarking images since it was too tiring to scroll up through a lot of images. Knowing that it was a good idea, I decided to implement it right away with the code basically being nearly a copy-paste of the LIke System but with a few extensions and removals (e.g. no timer for rearranging rankings, no like counts, and the timestamp of the bookmark).

There was another problem that stood though and that was how the Premium version of Bookmarks had to be since a feature like this can really have a good Premium add-on without sacrificing the free users as the previous Pool system had done. After a little brainstorming with a few people, I came to the conclusion of limiting the number of bookmarks (not just viewable bookmarks but also saveable bookmarks) to 10 but then another issue arose inside my head.

How the potatoes can Premium users who stop their subscription, add more bookmarks without having to remove a billion? And that is how I decided to simply limit the viewable bookmarks of the free users to ten images but allow them to bookmark as much as they want. Are you happy with that?


Project Stargazing's Start

After the two implementations, I decided to take a good sleep before waking up with another idea and that was Project Stargazer which came after looking at Mana's site which looked pretty dead in the past. BUT! There was an issue... How was I going to develop a decent website for her at a FAST speed?

But that issue was quickly resolved as among my recent, unpublished projects were several Laravel + Tailwind projects, which as much as many of you hate PHP, is the fastest way for me to create a website. I've been playing around with Tailwind + Laravel for around two weeks, creating an entire blog and an artist commission site that went into hiatus before they could see the daylight.

I initially thought about using Svelte + Tailwind but there was an issue with the pair, the backend... which is a pretty critical part of this entire website, but Laravel didn't have that problem as it handled both the backend and the frontend within the same application WHICH is what I wanted and Laravel has plenty of functions that really accelerates development by a significant amount and so... I got started with planning.

Written by Shindou Mihou

Developer of Mana.