State of the Site

While there is an "About" page on this blog (link over to the right), I figured I'd post some explanations of what is going on with this blog as well as the old Mythosa site.

Currently, the old website is gone (even after I spent a bunch of time revising it…sigh), and this blog is the Internet home for Mythosa, TableSmith, my iOS apps, and whatever other projects I may be working on. I got rid of the old site for a couple reasons. First, I realized that "fantasy campaign setting" sites really aren't a thing any longer. Most of them are gone, and the handful that remain haven't been updated in years (some have been sitting idle for over a decade). Farland is still going, but it's an exception (and has always been at a higher level of quality than most every other world site, mine included). Other than that, most people have moved their content to blogs rather than static HTML sites.

Now, just conforming to the current fashion isn't a reason to move. But I looked at what I was doing with my website, and moreso what I was paying each year to maintain it, and it didn't really make much sense. Blogger (which I'm currently using) meets my needs well enough, and it's free. I'm continuing to pay for the "" domain, but that's very little compared to maintaining a web host. File storage is handled by Dropbox, so it made little sense to keep the old site going.

The second reason for moving was that a blog supports a "train of thought" development style. I don't have to fill in an entire "chapter" of information if I want to present a portion of the subject; I can just post it to the blog. Granted, I could do that on a static site, but partial entries portray an unfinished, unprofessional appearance. With blogs, it's expected. Plus, the level of detail I've maintained in the past has been, in my opinion, not worth the effort (for me or for visitors). I have some more extensive thoughts on that which I'll be putting into a future post.

An obvious question is why the Mythosa information is in a PDF and the "Gamer's Almanac" has been converted to blog posts. I'd started converting the Mythosa pages to blog posts, but it seemed too disparate. Instead, I compiled the old content into one big PDF (which needs to be reformatted at some point), and only new material will be posted to the blog (and eventually will become supplemental PDFs). The Almanac, on the other hand, is made up of articles that someone would be more likely to be searching for on-line. I figured it would be easier for people to find (and use) that information if it was accessible directly on the blog rather than tucked away inside a PDF.


Rob Lang said...

Phew! I had just clicked my delicious bookmark to get myself ready to do a review on The Free RPG Blog and the site had gone! "Oh no!", thought I. A spot of Googling fixed me up and I'll update the Delicious link before I begin the review.

I'm so pleased you have moved the contents into a PDF. It is so much more accessible and you'll find that it is searchable too. I completely agree that the appetite for HTML based resources has declined - much to my sadness. I used to enjoy clicking around them.

I like the idea of using the blog as a grimoire and I'll be reading keenly. I do the same for my free RPG, Icar (also on Blogger)

Bruce Gulke said...

Thanks, Rob!

Yeah, I hadn't really noticed until recently that "world web sites" had pretty much faded away. On the one hand, moving things to PDFs seems a step backwards in a way, but I actually prefer that myself, so I'm a little conflicted :) But such is the way of progress, I suppose.

I'll have to check out Icar when I get a chance, though I do wander over to the Free RPG Blog from time to time.

Rob Lang said...

I've given it a good long read and felt utterly enveloped in the world. The maps/regions give me the sense that it would be wonderful to explore rather than just hack/slash through. Which would be great for groups like mine, who prefer the stately Grand Tour rather than hordes of evil.

I've got a review scheduled on the blog now for 1st of March, 12:00 GMT.

I agree that PDFs are something of a step backwards. Hyperlinking did make rule books more easily navigable. Most PDF creation software can hyperlink for you and many use anchors in much the same way as HTML pages do. Might be worth checking out.

Thank you very much for sharing. :)

Bruce Gulke said...

Wow - thanks! Glad to hear the effort is appreciated :)

When I redo the PDF (what I have now is basically just stitched together PDF printouts from the old website), I definitely want to do something with the hyperlinking. I was actually just going over a PDF I got from a recent Kickstarter; it was a stretch goal, but I found it to be the best part of the rewards (the main reward was an adventure I didn't find to be that great). It detailed a small sandbox setting, and started with a map of the region, with the different adventure locations having links. Clicking/tapping those would take you to a complete map of the site, and tapping on the individual areas would take you to that specific room/area/encounter. On each page, in the corner, was a thumbnail of the page you'd come from, which you could hit to return to the "higher level". It worked great, and I thought it was a nice way of taking advantage of a PDFs potential, beyond it just being an electronic version of a paper product.