Friday, July 25, 2014

A View From the Bridge

First things first...I imagine that your initial question will be "what is this web site?"  That is a long story that starts back in 1995, when I found myself in a class where we were being taught HTML coding.  I distinctly remember the instructor telling us to pick a subject, for our first design project, that was interesting to us -- because we were going to be spending a lot of time working on the site, and she felt if we created a site we were interested in, we were more likely to follow through and "finish" it up.
I was actually taking this class for work and came up with several ideas about work related pages, but in the end I decided to focus on one of my favourite games, Sky Galleons of Mars.  The instructor was right about one thing, the subject kept me interested.  But she was wrong about finishing up the website -- websites are never really finished (even static content websites can always have more content added).
For about 6 years, I merrily went along adding to the website, branched out into a couple of different games/subjects, but like many people real life had a way of rearing its head and messing with my well laid plans. A child was born, a dog joined the family, a river flood destroyed computers, books, files and basements. Another child joined the family, several work related moves, and a separation/divorce followed.  So from 2001-2006 the web site slowly faded into obscurity. When Apple, Inc. pulled the plug on its web page hosting, the site was lost, but not entirely.  There were back-ups (on various old machines and disks).  Then there is/was the Internet Archive's "Wayback" Machine with archived copies of the pages.  And there was always my love (and desire) to "finish" what I started.
I planned a new website, did layout work began creating CSS code for a more modern website design. But somehow real life always intervened and the project got side tracked. Then, over the past year or two, the original Victorian Science Fiction game to which Sky Galleons of Mars belonged, Space: 1889, started to make a comeback.  A new German version led to a successful Kickstarter campaign for a new English version. The game's author, Frank Chadwick, published his own Space: 1889 novel, The Forever Engine, which followed a series of Space: 1889 e-novels from Untreed Reads Publishing.  Life it seems, began to return to the Space: 1889 world.
Then, a few weeks ago, I was cleaning the garage and stumbled upon some of my old GameTech and Houston's Ship models, and I thought again about redesigning the website.  But I still didn't have much time between real life responsibilities to give the website the complete makeover I had planned. I was just about to tuck away the ships when it struck me, why not recreate the website as a blog! If I could find a good template (I hope you like the one I found: "old paper") to use, recoding the old pages to be used as blog posts was certainly a lot less time consuming than building a new site...
So here we are, my plans aren't too ambitious right now (just in case real life intervenes again)...
  1. Re-code the 60 or so pages from the original website into the new blog format.
  2. Customize the CSS for the blog template to make it work as expected.
  3. Find (or write), and publish, some new VSF content (e.g., for Wessex Games' Land Ironclads or Oozlum Games' Martian Empires).
  4. Complete 1-3 by Christmas 2014.
After that I have many ideas, but having bitten off more than I can chew in the past, I think the above list is good for a start!
For anyone reading this far, I would like to invite you to join me in this little endeavor. I'd love to read and see your comments on thees posts, as well as feature your Sky Galleons of Mars belonged, Space: 1889 writing, art, etc... on the blog itself.  Please drop me a note and let me know what you are thinking about.  In the meantime, happy gaming!

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  1. I am very happy to see the once "MIA"-Captain returning to your Bridge!
    It is always nice to find new Bloggs in this subject and this one has a HUGE potential!
    I am already "onboard" your Airship, and will follow your way across the VSF universe, Sir!

    Ps ..and it is a very nice format, old paper Ds

    1. Thanks! I have everything working about as I expect (just a couple more formatting issues). But content-wise I am happy (and still have a bunch more to work on). But it is out there publicly now, so, away we go...!


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