Back in October of 2014, my friend and I decided to compile all our D&D notes into one place. We decided to do that online, so both of us could access it whenever we wanted to, namely since neither of us would typically be using it at the same time. After some initial discussion about the style and layout of the contents, I was told to “do something that’s easy to read, and navigate”. About that same time, we decided to turn it into an actual, proper website, that other people would go to and use and stuff.
The decision was made to launch about a week before the 31st, because we had a bunch of Halloween-related material to post. Over the next few weeks, we changed the layout once or twice, reworked the column schedule a few times, and added or subtracted features as we saw fit. By the time we hit January, it had turned into the homegrown repository of class you all know and love.
From the very beginning, this website has only been run by the two of us. Yes, we have multiple “staff writers”, but every single article on this website was written by one of two people. I write under the names “The Chief”, “Meepo”, and “The Mysterious Dr. X”. My compatriot uses “Pain”, “Hicks/Snout”, “Doderman”, and “GP Humongous”.
Now, as regulars of this blog might notice, the articles that appeared like clockwork, every week, were the ones written by me, and the ones that eventually stopped appearing altogether were the ones written by my friend. There’s a simple explanation for that- he got busy. I didn’t. I still had time to do it. He did not. So, he was eventually forced to stop contributing.
My friend got a new job about two and a half months ago, so he had to continue to not have time to contribute, on a more long-term basis than before. (Up until then, he would occasionally spend an entire day just writing articles every couple weeks, then I would sweep in and parcel them out, once a week or so, to make them last as long as possible.) But then. Oh, but then. I also got busy. At right around the same time, I also got a new job. Now, both of us were working 40 hours a week, not to mention the kids and wife my friend has. Neither of us really had time to do it any more. (Sure, some of you might point out that lots of people that work 40 a week still have time to do other stuff. Do you remember the miniature series of game review articles I wrote? Those took me like nine hours to write. Each. And I did like seven of them. Or, do you remember how the format of the weekly Interviews changed after only a few months? It’s because those bastards would routinely take me six-plus hours to write. Each time. There’s no way I’d be able to work and have that kind of writing output.)
What I’m trying to say is, this website took up a LOT of our time, and we had very little to show for it. I’m gonna be really real with you guys, we got basically no response. We set up an email address to talk with our readers, and we never got a single message. I can count on one hand the number of comments and likes we’ve gotten on all our articles combined. And occasionally, we might get a couple visitors to the site. Like, a couple a week. But generally, I would log in every couple days to notice the “stats” page still completely barren, just like the last time.
So, like, I said, we spent assloads of time trying to make this website everything it could be and more, and we got no meaningful response. After a while, we both kinda had the same realization at the same time- “should we even keep doing it?” The question became a moot point when we suddenly realized we didn’t have the time to do it, regardless of whether the desire was there. But the seed had been planted.
So, back in early April, my friend turned in what would become his final (as of this writing) batch of articles. I don’t think neither of us knew that at the time, however. And after that, when he was no longer contributing, I fell back into my standard response that regular readers of this blog will recognize, because I’ve done it several times- multiple articles in a row all about the same thing, and making the articles I write longer to try to make up for the fact that I’m the only one writing them. That’s where my series on Fallout came from, that’s where my series on The X-Files came from, that’s where the idea of reviewing RPGs came from, that’s where the Traiters In Our Midst column came from, that’s where my Mad Max articles came from, et cetera.
It eventually got to the point where, when I said “time to write a new article”, that would be pretty much the only thing I had time to do that day. As such, everything else that I was supposed to be doing got pushed to the background. That’s why, in early June, I took two weeks off- I finally needed to do those other things I didn’t make time for any more. (And in case you were wondering, when I was talking about “trying to get GP and Pain back to writing again” in those updates, I knew when I wrote them that wouldn’t happen).
Unfortunately, I took those two weeks off, then immediately after that, I got my job. I tried to still keep it going for a couple weeks, but it just wasn’t working. You might have noticed that, after the Great Hiatus was over, the articles got noticeably shorter- a handful of plot hooks, a reminiscence about a former game, a new item, a Traiter article (which is just me typing out stuff I already have on a list), and a couple Interviews whose format was specifically designed to be easy and quick to write (that’s why it’s the same questions each time). But even that was just too much for me. I just didn’t have time any more. And since I had to assume my partner in this endeavor was out of the game permanently (remember, by this point, it had been almost three months since last time he wrote anything for the site- or even logged in to it), if I stopped doing it, that meant that was it. As the only listed executive still actively involved in the production, it was up to me and me alone to make the decision as to whether to continue on. I ultimately said “I cannot”. I felt it was a disservice to the website, the readers, and our original intentions to attempt to keep this website limping along.
I’d rather this website produce no new content, then low-quality content.
So what does this mean for you, the Doderman Disciples? Well, the website will stay up, hopefully forever (remember, it was originally created to merely be a place to keep all our notes- that never changed), so you will still have access to all our top-quality articles and writings. As for the future? I would like this website to produce regular content again, but I just don’t see that happening without other people contributing as well. I enjoyed writing for this website, and want to do so once more, so this definitely will not be the final update the site ever sees, but since it eats up so much of my time, I don’t think it’s gonna be a regular, common thing any more, unless things change. But like I said, there will definitely be more articles. Eventually.
Roll those dice!