RPGWatch - The End is Nigh

pibbuR

Feeling ... lonely?
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Please do :)

I nominate @HiddenX;, @Eye;, @Jaz;, @Silver;, @Gorath;, @Corwin; and a few others to act as your moderators :)
I also nominate @Couchpotato; to be your newsposter alongside Silver & Hidden.

EDIT: I missed @Arhu; and @forgottenlor; - sorry.

Eh...

To be clear (if that's necessary): I'm not talking about me taking over the watch, or creating a new site owned by me. But if someone would do that, and needed help, I might be part of a team doing the programming. Sorry if my post was confusing.

pibbuR
 
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badmofo

Tired but happy
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I haven't been active here for years but do check in from time-to-time, so I'm glad I caught this post and had the chance to say thank you to the team. You guys gave the Deep Shadows games a home when another old forum shut down and we had no-where to go, and that was much appreciated.

All the best.
 
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largh

Keeper of the Watch
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On a site where an owner is reponsible for security and content the staff can only be selected/approved by the owner not by the community.

Security is one thing but surely content cannot be the responsibility of one person? Moderators are there to remove offensive/illegal content and often work from a community basis. We have had plenty of good news posters but I feel there has been too much load on single persons.

I'd be very happy if some sort of solution came out where the community and the sharing of news kept going.

I think the word "community" is the keyword here. Otherwise we are dependent on noble souls like @Myrthos; willing to put a lot of their free time in running the site. I bet there would be many who would be willing to offer a little bit of their free-time, but very few who could tackle Myrthos level commitment. That simply isn't sustainable.
 
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henriquejr

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wolfgrimdark

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I managed our college website for 15 years. For a long part of that it was all in PHP and MySQL (DB end). I did all the CSS and HTML work myself, as well as all the coding and DB work. In other words made it from scratch. While it was only about 50% of my job duties it was a full time job and I often worked nights and weekends to keep up with it and my other work. 4 years ago I finally moved it off me to central IT due to lagging behind in security updates, technology, and complete burn-out.

I can't imagine trying to do that as a volunteer and fitting it in with other life stuff. It was a lot of fun at first but more and more it became simply about security and hackers and updates … and complaints about needing more functionality :p I loved that part of my job for the first 10 years or so but the last 5 were just a stressful nightmare I was glad to get rid of.

I can only imagine all the work Mythros and others have put into this place on a volunteer basis and the burn out … especially as I recall Mythros saying in some other thread they don't even play games any more.
 
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Redglyph

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I can't imagine trying to do that as a volunteer and fitting it in with other life stuff. It was a lot of fun at first but more and more it became simply about security and hackers and updates … and complaints about needing more functionality :p I loved that part of my job for the first 10 years or so but the last 5 were just a stressful nightmare I was glad to get rid of.

Hey, don't scare people away ;)

Yeah, I did something similar but not for so long (and as a volunteer, after work hours...). It's fun but it takes a lot of time. Keeping it tight and up-to-date is no simple task either.
 
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Myrthos

Cave Canem
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Managing the security of the forum and CMS is one thing, then there's the server. I'm not sure which is the most critical, as you said the web software is secured by their respective devs, though it's usually better to stay ahead by watching security alerts. An OS with such traffic is something else to take care of.

How's the current hosting managed, do you manage the OS setup as well or is that a user account? From what I understand - but the site is in Dutch, they manage the security and provide a container stack, so it looks like it's the latter?

And I suppose their VPS can be installed as a template and managed with a panel. Provided they have a sound system, it's already a part of the solution if one had to switch to that formula.
We currently have a private server. That means that I get to select an OS, which is then installed and I have a panel to control the server. A lot of stuff has to be done manually though, especially related to the nitty gritty security stuff, as out of the box, it isn't really that secure. You can check ssllabs to have a look at how well we perform on SSL and several other security items. It shows we are at A+, which is quite good, but takes some effort to get there.
 
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lackblogger

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Hey, this is more easy to navigate. But… isn't there are many comments there, right? I mean, where is their community?

Gamebanshee was a popular and well used cRPG forum in the 00s, with a very high number of Baldur's Gate II fans being the primary residents.

However, at some point prior to my arrival, the owner of the site nuked most of the forum members. I have no idea what caused it, but it mostly boiled down to the owner being someone of very short patience.

There was still some activity when I joined in the late 00s, but we're talking handfuls. Four people active and posting in a day was a busy day.

Then, early in the 10s, the owner nuked the forums again, though this time not for impatience with the forum but instead while performing a complete site overhaul.

Hence it was around 2012 that I joined The Watch.

A few years passed and Gamebanshee reappeared in its new form, but any semblance of forum community had vanished. I think one poster from prior reappeared to make posts and offer review services.

Their stuff gets a few more comments on news stories now it's been stable for a few years, but Gamebanshee's unique asset was always its Walkthroughs, many of which are still the benchmark for anyone searching for a walkthrough of an RPG, rather than its community posting.
 
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Pladio

Guardian of Nonsense
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Thanks for the tip. But it's really hard to comment as well as to navigate/browse on it.



Isn't there an EN version? I know they can be very supportive when we talk in English (SureAI forum members also are), but I just can't read almost nothing in German, barring the English (and sometimes Portuguese) cognate words.



Hey, this is more easy to navigate. But… isn't there are many comments there, right? I mean, where is their community?

They're mostly German, but I don't think it's hard to navigate and you can easily use Translate function on Chrome which does everything for you.
https://forum.worldofplayers.de/forum/index.php

Spiele Allgemein is General Games
Politik is Politics
 
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Strafe

Sentinel
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Thank you @Myrthos; for this site and your hard work to keep it up for so long.
It was a great place to lunk on, in fact is the only place where I lurk on as I'm more of a private person and except for steam and gog this is my daily guilty pleasure.
I also understand you perfectly, and I wish you the best in what you plan to do in the future!
 
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Arkadia7

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It's promising to see there is interest in keeping the site going. I have zero technical/computer skills, but I was thinking if this new version of RPG Watch does happen, it will need financing. Maybe we could have "founding memberships" or something, where it would raise money for the new site and pay for some of the expenses. And there could be a simple new title underneath a handle of any poster who did the founding memberships, like "founding member", or something.

Maybe it could be like, I don't know - $100 a year membership, or just a one time fee? I'm just throwing a number out there. It would raise some money anyway. I would definitely be interested to pay for a founding membership, personally. And maybe many others would too. My 2 cents.
 
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henriquejr

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They're mostly German, but I don't think it's hard to navigate and you can easily use Translate function on Chrome which does everything for you.
https://forum.worldofplayers.de/forum/index.php

Spiele Allgemein is General Games
Politik is Politics

Politik is Politics = no, thank you! I never treaded the P&R forum here, won't do that on other websites as well. Heck, I have little patience to even discuss my own country's politics, let alone foreign ones.
 
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Greygore

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I'll be sad to see RPGWatch go if that happens. I check here for updates daily and have found out about a lot of games I wouldn't have know about otherwise.
 
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Redglyph

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@HiddenX; - how do we keep your CRPG Analyzer alive ?

I have a winword version of it on my computer and an advanced version in my head :)

Wasn't Arhu maintaining the JS code for the website version? There's still work to do if I understood correctly, it shows the result but can't publish it.

It's certainly an interesting asset, so is the game database.
 
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Cacofiend2

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Hey guys, a Codexer here. My main account seems to be locked here. How is RPGDot hosted (what code base does it run, how much does it cost?)

Preserving old RPG forums is a hobby of mine. I recently resurrected an old RPG forum in read-only mode, although the forum was in Russian, so there's not much for you to check out. It's rpgplanet.ru and its predecessor realms.su -- they ceased to exist in 2006 and 2004 respectively.

They originally ran on vBulletin. I didn't bother trying to make the old php engine work in today's day and age. I wrote my own engine from scratch in Vue.js and Node.js. Took me about a month, as I was learning it. I'm originally a game developer, not a webdev, but webdev is so much easier it's almost a joke.

I'm renting an Ubuntu VPS for $2.89/month. It's got 1GB DDR4 2400Mhz, a 2.6Ghz Xeon CPU, and it's more than I'll ever need to run it. Node and MySQL take about 100 MB in memory. The CPU could easily manage a hundred people at the same time or more, because the code is very very simple.

As a sidenote, please don't use Drupal, it's a horrible idea. We're not in 2010 anymore.
@Myrthos; if you want to preserve this forum, I could probably hook up your database to my engine that is bulletproof from the security standpoint, simply because it has no functionality other than retrieving forums, threads and profiles. You'd obviously remove the passwords from the DB. You could even remove the email addresses. I could host it on my server, too. I'd need to rent an additional hard drive, which would be pennies. Or you could host it on some super cheap amazon VPS.

The most difficult thing for me would be to write the additinal code to display the front page and the news articles in Vue+Node. But I think this is important, this is history preservation. Whatever new platform you guys want to migrate to afterwards, you don't want to lose all this stuff. You'll regret it, believe me. And if you decide to postpone hosting it in read-only mode, 10 years from now you won't even remember how to run it.

I'd like to help you out with the preservation of this website, if you need it. It'd be actual work, though, so it would have to be paid. Afterwards, maintaining a copy of this site would cost you the domain name + 3 bucks per month for another 20 years, until the Vue and Node codebase becomes old. Although given their size, it would be extremely easy to refactor some code to the new JS standards we'll have 20 years from now.

Let me know.

In an ideal world, I would've liked to convince you to stay afloat, slowly move to a new engine and allow users to post news. News posting has to be driven by the community, like people have been doing for ages on Reddit-like websites. This would let you never worry about neither the content, nor the costs, and host it till the end of your life, and maybe even beyond that if you arrange it.
 
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