RPGWatch - 15 Years old

HiddenX

The Elder Spy
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The RPGWatch is 15 years old these days! The successor of RPGDot started in October 2006 and here's Myrthos' story of the beginning.

In the comments please tell us:


  • Why do you visit the Watch?
  • What is your favourite thread?
  • Who do you miss?
  • What's your favourite RPG?
  • ...
Myrthos: Here is some of my history with RPGDot and the start of RPGWatch.

Next to running RPGDot, Rendelius was also running a hosting service on BlinkingDot, where people could get their site hosted for free, by placing some ads on their site. At the time I was operating The Locus Inn, which was focusing on Infinity Engine games (some more and some less in detail). This was the year 2000.

I'm not sure when exactly, but at some point in 2000, Rendelius was looking for people to post news for RPGDot and I applied for that position, finding myself posting news after that. I don't even recall what we used for that, but it wasn't that great, so in 2001, a guy named Stijn, Garrett and me worked on creating a new design from scratch creating our own CMS. This first version was written in PHP, but had the layout embedded in the PHP files. This actually meant that we only had one design and it would be really problematic to make design changes to it, but it was working.

The year after that I redesigned the whole thing and separated the controller part from the view part. This allowed us to create different skins, which we used a lot for the hosted sites we had, of which there were plenty. Any game of some substance had its own hosted site at RPGDot. The best known ones were the Gothic and Arx Fatalis sites. Next to that we also had a site dedicated to adventures and a site dedicated to MMORPGs. Most of these sites also had at least one person posting news and articles for that site, but news posted on RPGDot would also be automatically visible on hosted sites when it was applicable for them. So some sites only functioned as a filter of news and articles, similar to our current indie site. In any case this kept us going until 2006.

The RPGDot forums were a place that was reasonably well visited and at some time we decided that it would be a good idea to create user groups and provide those groups a space on the forums that was only visible to the members of that group. Several groups were founded, with the biggest group being the Non-flamer's Guild. These groups were one of the two main reasons that the RPGDot forums became a somewhat desolated place. What happened was that people spent more time in their dedicated group forums than they did in the rest of the forum. Some people only spent time in their group forum. This drove the number of public visible posts down.

The second reason was the moderation policy. We had quite a strict policy, even more strict than what we have now, which resulted in bans, warnings and other moderation actions that drove the number of public posts even further down. The end result was that it didn't take too long to check out the new (public available) posts for a day.

Rendelius paid the server fees and tried to earn some money by selling adverts. I don't know how well that worked, but at some point in time Jolt came into the picture. They were most interested in the MMO side of the RPGDot sites as that fitted in their business model. I don't know how much money Rendelius made of selling it to Jolt, I hope for him it was plenty, but somewhere in the first half of 2005 a deal was made. I think his biggest motivation in selling the site was that he wanted to pursue other things than running an RPG site and Jolt was willing to pay him for doing that.

Jolt wanted to make some real money of the sites and a few months later the design had changed in such a way that there were several ads on each page, but especially on the front pages of RPGDot and all the hosted sites. It slowed things down, but it also became annoying to navigate and work with, in my opinion.

So somewhere in the first half of 2006, I decided that it was time to move on and start a new site. I asked around in the team and everybody in the team wanted to move with me to that new site.

Even though the source code and designs of RPGDot were not part of the deal that was struck with Rendelius and Jolt, I decided to start from scratch again to create a new site from the ground up. Arhu took up the responsibility of designing the lay-out of the site and together we created what you see now. I don't exactly recall how we got to the name RPGWatch, but I think it was a combination of interesting names and available domain names.

Arhu and I worked on the site throughout the summer until we reached a point where we felt that we could go public in the near future. At that point I informed Jolt about the decision that I would leave RPGDot and move to a new site and that it looked like all team members would move as well. As we were all volunteers, there was not much they could do about that, but they did ask me to make sure news posts were added to RPGDot until they gathered a new team. So I implemented a way to transfer the RPGWatch news postings to RPGDot and make them visible there as well.

On the 17th of October we launched the new site, starting with a first news posting by Dhruin. In the meantime I already filled the site with the news posts of the previous months that were until that time only visible on RPGDot.

I don't recall that there was a filter implemented on the RPGDot forums that prevented to use the word RPGWatch, but we felt it was not in the interest of RPGDot to publicly advocate there was a new site named RPGWatch, where almost the whole team moved to.

Some time after that there were two new persons working on RPGDot and I severed the last tie, which was the news syndication from RPGWatch to RPGDot. After that Jolt found out, that it is really hard to find a dedicated team that would be willing to post news on a regular basis. I belief they also had issues in keeping volunteers working for RPGDot. The place never recovered from us leaving, which in the meantime also included many of the active forum forum members.

And 10 years later we are here. We are probably in need of a new design, but neither Arhu, nor I have time available to accomplish this anytime soon, so you still have to look at this design for a while.

[...]

More information.
 

HiddenX

The Elder Spy
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Why do you visit the Watch?
I'm a huge RPG fan and RPGWatch is still the best source for PC-RPGs.

What is your favourite thread?
The Science Thread
Things you don't need to know

Who do you miss?
@magerette;

What's your favourite RPG?
Still Wizardry 6/7/8 and Jagged Alliance 2 and Gothic 2: Night of the Raven and Planscape Torment

Thanks go to Myrthos' and staff members (current and in the past) and all Watchers contributing to the site.
 
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They Live

Sentinel
Joined
Dec 30, 2015
Messages
287
Allow me to bypass the form pls.

I registered this channel late but i was a long time lurker, it is just enough to say i had long hair and i was at university when i started checking rpgwatch regurarly, now i'm a 40 yrs old fart.
All this time, from formation to decadence, this was a resource for gaming, needless to say my taste in gaming never change.

Well that's all cheers from italy and happy birthday.
 

Redglyph

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Messages
5,354
Location
Good old Europe
Happy anniversary!!!

Many thanks to Myrthos and all the people who are helping with the site! :)


Why do you visit the Watch?
It's a place with like-minded people, where we can find relevant information and interesting discussions. I've not been registered for a long time, but I've been following this site for years before (though not regularly).

What is your favourite thread?
Things you don't need to know…
The language thread
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous - Tips & Tricks & Help (at the moment)

Who do you miss?
Nobody at the moment

What's your favourite RPG?
All-time favourite would be Neverwinter Nights
At the moment: Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous for the "serious games" category and Encased for the indie games (both unfinished)
WotR may very well become an all-time favourite, minus the "nostalgia effect" ;)
 
N

Nereida

Guest
I usually don't care for doing the appreciation thing, especially when it is prompted by the ones receiving the appreciation, but I will say that @Myrthos; has my respect and my applause for bringing the site to existence and doing his best to keep it a safe place for RPG players of all backgrounds to come together to talk about their favourite games. :curtseys:
 

showtime

Watchdog
Joined
Mar 6, 2020
Messages
80
Why do you visit the Watch?
People here seem to have similar taste in games like me so I like to read what they think before playing game. Also it is up to date site with every game I am interested in.

What is your favourite thread?
Nothing special. Maybe game i am playing at that moment.

Who do you miss?
Nobody.

What's your favourite RPG?
Fallout2/BG2
 

Dez

Man with the hat
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Oct 19, 2006
Messages
2,455
Why do you visit the Watch?

Time certainly flies, doesn't it. I can barely remember the dot anymore. I think it all started when I came looking for information about a new rpg called Gothic which so few seem to be even aware of. Then I came across Gothicdot where fans all over the world raved about it together.

When it became a time to leave dot for reasons Myrthos mentioned, I didn't hesitate. Rpgwatch has been one of my favorite places online since then as it continues that ethos in even better form. Set a tavern of some such where online travelers all over the world can visit, have a good conversation about their favorite rpg games and other things and where news are told about their favorite hobby.

As it it is known, life is hectic and there isn't always as much time to play and discuss as one would love to, but even during those times, I visit here regularly to keep me updated about cool new games which I want to play later and maybe share a thought or two about some old rpg like Gothic which I've played too much for own good. :biggrin:

Sincere thanks for Mythos and the team for keeping this place alive and running.

I hope that rambling of mine was a suitable answer.:lol:

What is your favourite thread?

What games are you playing now?

That things you don't need to know probably too.

Who do you miss?

In this place you mean? Few old regulars, like @Jaz; who haven't be seen here for some time.

What's your favourite RPG?

Oh don't start with that! How about you define the rpg first? ;) But to answer the question, games like Baldur's gate series, Gothics, Deus ex, Kotors, Dragon Age Orgins Witchers, Elder Scrolls, I cherish most fondly.
 
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purpleblob

Princess
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
Messages
648
Why do you visit the Watch?
It's a good place to get RPG news and there are few people I really enjoy chatting to.

What is your favourite thread?
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous - Tips & Tricks & Help
What games are you playing now?
Last game you finished, tell us about it

Who do you miss?
No one particular at the moment

What's your favourite RPG?
Baldur's Gate II, Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, NWN: The Aielund Saga
 

Alrik Fassbauer

TL;DR
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Myrthos

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Aug 30, 2006
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Why do you visit the Watch?
Most days, to ban some spammers and to make sure you are all behaving sufficiently.

What is your favourite thread?
Any thread with Pibbur in it :)

Who do you miss?

I don't really miss anyone. People come and go out of a variety of reasons. I don't bond with people that easily, especially not online.
But, if I had to name someone it would be Jaz.

What's your favourite RPG?
Planescape:Torment
Beyond Divinity. Not because it was a good game, but because it was the game for which I wrote an in depth strategy guide together with others and played the hell out of this game before it was released. It is the game I have the most fondest memories of.
 

Alrik Fassbauer

TL;DR
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Why do you visit the Watch? RPG News, and lots of interesting discussions.

What is your favourite thread? Return Of The Daily Smile.

Who do you miss? People who are able to send in reports about RPGs from South-America and from Africa.

What's your favourite RPG? Drakensang 2 : The River Of Time.
 

skally_wag

Sentinel
Joined
Dec 20, 2016
Messages
376
Location
UK
Happy Anniversary. and Thank-you. :celebrate:

Why do you visit the Watch?
To get my daily binge on all that is RPG.

What is your favourite thread?
What games are you playing now?
Last game you finished, tell us about it
Pricewatch

Who do you miss?
No one in particular

What's your favourite RPG?
Underrail, Origins, Oblivion, System shock, Dues Ex, Witcher's, Fallout's, wizardry.
 

Hastar

Unspeakable
RPGWatch Donor
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Aug 28, 2010
Messages
2,559
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Wolf Light Woods
Why do you visit the Watch? The first site I visit every day. Makes me happy.

What is your favorite thread? Any game I feel passionate about. Battle Brothers, Eador, Gothic 2, and any top 10 lists because people go crazy.

Who do you miss? Our Ratboy Skavenhorde and everyone that added content.

What's your favorite RPG? Gothic 2, Might and Magic games, Wizardry, Battle Brothers, Skyrim, Fallout 1&2, and Temple of Elemental Evil to name a few.
 

JaakkoPeltonen

Watchdog
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
138
Congratulations RPGWatch for the anniversary! I visit because I enjoy finding out about games and updates I would have completely missed otherwise, and because I like the community. My favorite threads would be any news in the General RPG and Indie RPG forums. My favourite game recently varies between Baldur's Gate 2, Morrowind, Skyrim, and NWN, but my all-time list might be different.
 

shamroxor

Watchdog
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Jun 22, 2012
Messages
177
Location
Northern Hemisphere
Congrats everyone! Was lurking for years before registering. Almost stopped visiting for a while when the site started covering MMO news, thankfully that trash was done away with quickly! Thanks for keeping me informed on my favorite genre!

Why do you visit the Watch? Front page always has at least one interesting story every day and the regular posters always have interesting takes in the comments!

What is your favorite thread? I check out whatever thread about a game I’m playing at the time.

Who do you miss? The RPG Codex members who flooded in a few years ago after their site went down for a couple of days :p

What's your favorite RPG? Morrowind, Arcanum, Deus Ex, Buck Rogers Countdown to Doomsday!
 

Stingray

SasqWatch
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Sep 26, 2007
Messages
2,572
Why do you visit the Watch? News and discussion on single-player PC RPGs.

What is your favourite thread? Historically, I'm not sure, but if I had to pick a current one, probably "@Couchpotato;'s Random RPG News" :lol:

Who do you miss? Hard to say. Maybe @Dhruin;'s newsposts. Or the shitstorms that DArtagnan frequently started.

What's your favourite RPG? Ultima 6-7, M&M 6-8, Wizardry 8, JA2, Fallout 1-2, PS:T. Maybe Pathfinder: Kingmaker can hang with those too.

Thanks to those who've put in the work to keep this going for 15 years.
 

Gokyabgu

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Oct 30, 2006
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Sigil
Happy birthday RPGWatch!!! I discovered RPGDot in 2001 and was a frequent reader. Then transfered here when the core team established RPGWatch in 2006. It's my favourite site since.
 
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