10 Years

Posted by Aistarin on Feb. 7, 2017, 2:21 p.m.

There was nothing I wanted more than to be part of a community where people shared my interests and I was a bit disappointed to see that programming as a hobby was pretty much unheard of when I started using GM back in early 2004 (in the mostly rural town I grew up in, of course). Literally the only other programmer I knew in middle school was this insanely genius kid who would make his games in C and Allegro, and he ended up getting a full ride at MIT when he graduated high school.

What is most amusing is knowing that had my new PSP never gotten stolen from my backpack during freshman year in high school, I would have never gotten bored enough at home to start using Game Maker again, especially after my 4-5 month hiatus following my failure to establish an indie (freeware in 2007 terms) game development club at my school. Eventually I just settled for Robotics and Comp Sci AP, but by then I had already settled with joining several online GM communities and it just so happened to be that 64digits lasted the longest.

I also would have never imagined I'd be the one redeveloping the site from scratch, as well as ending up with ownership of the domain itself. Now that I've gotten past my two month rough patch (which involved me losing my SF apartment and boomeranging back to my parents), I'm left with some time to work on v4 on the train rides back and forth. As for progress, I have ported most of the php bbcode parser that JoshDreamland coded for us to Node.js (demo here ), and now all bbcode is processed server-side in the context of a user's session. In addition, I've now set up activity feeds at the user level to display whenever a user posts a blog or comments on one.

I'm looking forward to getting the file manager up and running, so this week I'll be coding the abstraction layer which will allow us to choose between hosting all users files on the server itself or using a cloud storage system such as Backblaze B2 or Amazon S3. So far B2 seems the most promising (and cheapest), so I'm gonna start creating the hooks against this API first. Once this is solid, I can finally move on to developing user game and media submissions, as well as file and picture uploads at the comment level.

I feel like at this point it would be too optimistic to say here's to another 10 years, especially considering that firestormx can pull the plug on our dedicated hosting any day now (which I'd be happy to take over as well), and the fact that the same self-gratification I used to get from my early GM days is the only thing that is motivating me to continue working on v4 now that most of my buddies have moved on. I would love to eventually get to the point where I can pass the torch to somebody else so I can refocus my persistence on game development.

It would probably be too optimistic to even say we'd last another year, but I guess we will have to wait and see where the current takes us.

Comments

twisterghost 2 years, 7 months ago

Quote:
It would probably be too optimistic to even say we'd last another year, but I guess we will have to wait and see where the current takes us.

You forget

Mind altering code

Cant fail

LAR Games 2 years, 7 months ago

Don't worry. As long as the site is still up, I'll always occasionally sometimes comment!

Aistarin 2 years, 7 months ago

> can't fail
> less than 3% user retention rate

twisterghost 2 years, 7 months ago

Quote:
> less than 3% user retention rate

Beats the hell out of most sites

Sure its a 3% retention rate. But its better than 0, and that 3% is pretty dedicated to the memory of this site, and wont let it die

*ahem*

Plus, like 65% of our dead accounts are spam or alts or hobomonkeyc, so we can fix 1 of those 3 by me annoying him until he comes back

Aistarin 2 years, 7 months ago

Don't forget that, like, a third of our registered users used Hotmail. Chances are they still use them for Xbox Live so I wouldn't be surprised to see more old members come back once we get the ball rolling on a weekly newsletter.

Per Nopykon's suggestions, it would also be nice to start increasing our social media presence by designating a social media manager who can retweet/share things from other indie game devs.

flashback 2 years, 7 months ago

Quote:
I wouldn't be surprised to see more old members come back once we get the ball rolling on a weekly newsletter.
Suuuper illegal in Canada, FYI.

Fabio 2 years, 7 months ago

thank you for helping keep this place alive

been a part of my life since 2005.

Aistarin 2 years, 7 months ago

@Avarice there has to be a loophole around FISA we can use to remind our registered users of our existence, no? What about sending notifications about TOS updates or warnings about v4's link-breaking changes to those who have used us for file hosting?

flashback 2 years, 7 months ago

You could have gotten around CASL with an email like that prior to implementation, but not post, to my understanding.

In any case, I suspect people would be more annoyed than overjoyed to discover yet another newsletter in their mailbox.

twisterghost 2 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, I mean if we wanted to go the route of trying to entice people back in, we also should consider refocusing as a community of "somethings". 64D has no elevator pitch right now. Especially if we're gonna start making the twitter / social media stuff do more.

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