It Keeps Getting Better!
We just passed the £9000 mark, which is astonishing! That last stretch goal (for which the enticement of a cartoon seemed to work!) means that the brand new server I purchased last week and which is waiting to be set-up can now be upgraded to be even more powerful than it already was. In short, that £9000 stretch goal has put us over the line of having 'competent' hardware to having hardware which will actually allow for growth! One of EN World's biggest bugbears over the years is that traffic tends to expand to capacity, and then drop because the infrastructure can't handle it, over and over in an endless cycle of infinite despair and darkness... no, wait, it's not quite as depressing as all that!
I often get asked, in incredulous tones, "Why can't you do something so easy as to keep a website running quickly?" The truth is, a busy website is hard to run, in terms of resources. The news page alone on EN World get millions of view each month. A successful publishing company can do it, sure -- it's a trivial matter. But something like EN World really is just a guy with a PC and some wonderful friends on the internet who sometimes donate their increasingly limited free time. I'm not saying that as an excuse; but as an explanation. It's simply not on the same scale as some entities, companies, and organizations out there.
This Kickstarter is changing that. See, that's why I had to say all that stuff above - so that I could segway into how useful this situation has become. It sounds weird, but getting hacked was a horrible, horrible feeling (I mean, really -- who would want to destroy someone's livelihood and a community of thousands of people just for fun?); and this response is kind of turning it "on its head" - a vindication, in a way, which is making that malicious act into a positive, wholesome thing. Believe it or not, because EN World got hacked, it gave me a jolt up the backside - I became determined to make EN World better than ever before, and transform the hacking into its very opposite - a community building, revitalizing steroid injection of awesome! There really is room in this niche industry of ours for a strong, independent, dedicated news site.
I've gone on too long in this update. It's my way of saying thank you - thank you, thank you, thank you.
Now we're at the point where we can start doing things at EN World I'd never thought possible. We can start thinking of maintenance contracts where somebody - for the first time in EN World's 12 years! - is paid to look after the server and ensure it's performing well. We can start considering some awesome things related to one of EN World's primary functions: news coverage. I've long wanted to be able to cover conventions and the like properly (like the way big movie sites cover Comic-Con and such) in the style of a real, grown up news site. Get awesome interviews, visit companies' HQ and profile them, showing off all the awesome stuff they do and how they do it. I wouldn't do all this personally of course (wrong side of the pond for most of it!) but I'd love to have stateside reporters doing this sort of thing.
That's kinda pie-in-the-sky right now, though. It's not unfeasibly insurmountable, but it's a challenge.
New Goal: 4E Dark Light Bundle for £11,000
So I've set a new goal which should appeal to the D&D 4E fans among you. We've got some solid Pathfinder material already in the stuff you're getting (and even some Castles & Crusades stuff), and there will be more if we manage to keep this Kickstarter trucking, but for the moment this one's for the 4E fans. Darklight Interactive has donated what can only be described as a pile of stuff. I've made another of my awesome (read; not awesome at all) infographics below to show you what's in it; but here's the list:
- A Hero's Journey (level 0, D&D 4E)
- Death's Edge (level 0, D&D 4E)
- The Dragon's Master (level 5, D&D 4E and Pathfinder)
- The Endless Winter (level 12, D&D 4E)
- The Heart of Fire (level 12, D&D 4E, "megacampaign" of 135 pages; we reviewed this on EN World last year -- "I was very impressed with The Heart of Fire, and I think a lot of gaming groups can enjoy an adventure of this quality. While there are some familiar tropes in this fantasy adventure, they are put to good use making a plot which is fun and exciting, as opposed to being too obvious. The adventure blends a “new school” sand-boxy encounter series with an “old school” mysterious dungeon delve quite seamlessly, and there is a lot of play sessions packed into one dynamic mini-campaign.")
- M1: The Wayside Inn
- M2: The Ring of Stones
- M3: Crypt Entrance
- Items of Legend (D&D 4E supplemental)
You don't have to do anything to get all this. If you pledged £25 or more for the PDF bundle, it will be automatically added as soon as we hit £11,000. We have 26 days, so there's a good chance we'll do it!
Thank you all again for this wonderful response. It's both humbling and gratifying at the same time!