The TL;DR version of what I’m going to say is that I’m exceedingly grateful to my patrons who have decided to donate their hard earned money to this site, so I can upgrade my server and provide more services for my users. I am touched that people feel what we are doing here is worth supporting, I truly am. Thank you. Funds are being transferred to a usable format within 24-48 hours, and I should have the ability to upgrade the server once that is done.
So, a lot of people know that I’ve been doing things like this for a long time now. Perhaps it is because myself and so many GM’s, Moderators, Storytellers, Admins, and a host of other titles have gotten into heated arguments about how to run a server. I’m not an easy player to have around. I ask for special shit, I ask why something doesn’t work how I expected, and I always think I’m right. This was specially true in my youth and my mouth got me booted out from a lot of games. Further, my brain got me booted out often as well, since some staff of games see intelligence as a threat, we all know the type.
I’ve run IRC (Internet Relay Chat for those that don’t know) channels, I even ran my own IRC server for a while. I’ve run forums going back to the late 1990’s as well. All of them failed, usually form lack of people to play on them.
I really started this server when an Internet fling I was having at the time sent me a link to Discord to do voice over IP with her on. I am usually up for new technologies and found I liked the interface, I had been using Jabber for my own chat server at the time in conjunction with Hangouts, IRC, AOL IM, and a few other chat solutions. Most of my role play took place on IRC though, as that was the only widely used chat service that I knew of where I could find role play. Blazing Umbra had its own set of channels on DarkMyst (was on SorceryNet before that), I had written my own IRC bot in Python, the code of which is still available on Github if anyone is interested (Project Snowboard). However, I had a serious problem getting players there. I pretty much had to poach players from other games, which makes staff very unhappy. There was always this idea that players should only have one game, and that is the game they are in. Talk of other games was prohibited, advertising was prohibited, even suggesting someone might like another game was prohibited. I was even banned from a game I had been in for a long time (called Brunswick by Night) for talking about doing an event - but not actually inviting anyone.
Anyway… So came to Discord and I found I really liked how it worked. I spun up a new server and started fiddling with the settings. My first player who actually played with from IRC, @flamewolf6#7335 here on Discord. Then came the now-infamous Lilac, who took a good long time before he decided to actually play. I don’t really remember who came next after that, Joshi perhaps… At any rate, we slowly got players as time went on, booted a few out, and the rest is history.
Imagine my surprise when after years of trying to build a community, it turns out that one of the main factors in not being able to do that is the fact that IRC has been on the decline for many years now. It hit its peak in the mid-late 1990’s and early 2000’s, having lost like almost two thirds of its users since 2003. I suppose I should have been looking for a new medium for longer, but I think that the climate just hasn’t been right for building a public community with live chat features on other systems. I really can’t think of any systems in the last 10 years that do what Discord does, but perhaps I’m wrong. Either way, I’m glad I made the switch from IRC to Discord.
It is gratifying, in the extreme, to know that my work - well really we are a community so our work - is appreciated enough to pay for. Never in a hundred-million years had I ever thought someone would give me money to support services to do a role play group. I feel more grateful and appreciated than I can really express - to everyone. Not just those who decided to donate, but to those who have helped me build this community. A lot of work has gone into it, on my part, but also on the part of players who have run events and helped everyone else for nothing more than a thank you.
I’d like to, in particular, say thank you to our Founders, with a particular shout-out to @ks0908, who really has gone above and beyond in helping me keep things moving. Taking on the role of my SysOp and stepping up to that role, because I’ve been doing this for so long I know all the horrible things that can happen if you appoint a SysOp who then lets it go to their head. KS never has, and I’m happy to have him and my other staff on my side to help keep things going.
Again, thank you to everyone.