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Slow Progress on Features
I just thought I should make a thread to let you guys know what's going on with some of the new features we were working on which seemed to just stop completely. There's a good reason for it but it might sound a little complicated so I figure I should explain it now.

Basically as it stands, all of the sites are their own entities. This means they have their own data for things like games and sheets. This was fine when we were just treating the sites as their own things with games being just a sort of text filed and an image.
Petie and I discussed what we should do to make our lives easier as we work on adding in features, and when it comes to the future of the site. As such we realised that we needed to combine game data.

Now, this doesn't mean the sites are disappearing - it's something on the backend that you guys likely won't even see happen. All four sites will continue to function as they currently are, except doing this will allow us to add a developer to a game on one site, and it'll be added to all of them. Same with Console, Genre, and even Tags. What this means is that we can also introduce a feature that will let us link to the other sites that have content for that game - let's say you're looking at Pokémon Diamond & Pearl on Spriters Resource, but you want to see models - or vice versa. That'll be possible with a single button at the bottom of the page that tells you it's also available on that other site.

Now, this change is big. It involves combining all of the game data we currently have into a sort of mega database. As you can imagine, that's a headache in and of itself, but to combine with that we also think we should swap the backend software that handles this data. To do this is a big overhaul - one that we absolutely won't want to do with the site running as it is. It'll involve taking the sites offline, which we simply won't do (on purpose).
We also need to upgrade our server pretty badly. It's running on very old hardware that we can easily improve with a bit of an extra budget that we now have to handle that. So we'll be looking to upgrade towards the end of next month, early March (should things go to plan...) - We'll keep both servers online while we make introduce the major changes to the new server, leaving the old one running as is. As we swap, you can expect some downtime, but nothing that should be too extreme if it all works to our plan.

There will be some space for people to help out in some small part as we do this, but we'll discuss that as it comes up. For now, there's not much that can be done until the end of February - With Magfest coming up, Petie and I don't want to get involved in a big project like a server move until we're both available without interruption for the foreseeable future. So after Magfest, that'll happen.

I hope this helps keep you all in the loop a little more. Smile

Tsunami Bomb - The Simple Truth
We could run away
Leave behind anything paper
Not knowing where we're going to stay
When there's no Mondays

You're part of me, it's so easy to see the simple truth
When I'm in your arms, I feel safe from harm and sorrow too
You're part of me, it's so easy to see the simple truth
But most of all, nothing couldn't be solved when I'm with you
Thanks for the update! I think that linking games across sites is really awesome, it should make things feel much more connected and will also remove inconsistencies with things like icons and names. Looking forward to this, and I'm glad to help in any way I can once you guys start on the big changes!
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You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down. -Mary Pickford
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Just to expand on this a tiny bit, the changes Dazz mentioned are going to be significant but I'm planning them in phases so as to reduce downtime. There will still be some since we can't have mismatched data from one server to the other but, if all goes according to plan, the transition should be relatively smooth.
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Very cool. You guys are crazy-dedicated. I can't wait to see what you've got cooking!
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