Another small addition has been made to the EarthBound guide with the shops & services list. Once again, I was surprised to see the state of incompletion from our first run and put some effort into fixing that. All hotels are now have prices, some missing shops have been added, and a section was added for non-location-specific services.
Trying to figure out what to do next has been quite a challenge. I have been all over the place when I have time working on a quite a few different things spanning content and technical enhancements.
I figured content might be the best place to make some visible progress. The plan was to start by posting our old item and PSI lists. Unfortunately, that even took longer than expected. Going back to 10+ year old content, I found a lot of issues that I would not be okay with just posting as it was. I had to make some corrections and fix wording to allow for this to be more readable in the modern form of the web.
It's not perfect, but it's a start. Check out the new Mother 2 Guide for all your item and PSI needs!
Did you know yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the day Mother 2 was released in Japan? Well we almost didn't either. Thanks to our old friend, Chrispy, this was brought to our attention via the forums.
That's a lot of years of EarthBound. Unfortunately, we don't have too much right now to celebrate this fact. You could read the EarthBound writeup we put together for the relaunch of the site or maybe share some of your favorite EarthBound-related memories with us!
Hopefully we can be more prepared for the 50th anniversary.
Here I am posting on the main page of this site like it’s 2005 all over again. At some point, I am not sure if even I expected this to be happening again. In recent years, we have seen other media experience reboots, so why not see if the same can be applied to a video game fan site? This may just appear to be some kind of modern take on a mid-life crisis. It might be partially that, but it is not only that.
We have some excuses...
For most of our hiatus, the plan was always to bring the site back in some form. However, it was a difficult road here with many obstacles since we took the full site down.
At times, I had a vision in my mind and wanted to achieve it all before we came back. As more years passed, I felt the need to build something bigger and better due to more lost time.
I also started to feel like we needed to adapt to the changing environment of the web. I definitely questioned if anyone wanted to visit something like the former version of the site in the modern era. That led to some uncertainties in where to go with the development of the latest iteration of your favorite second-best EarthBound fan site!
Another issue we faced was the fact that we are not kids anymore. Life as adults can be time consuming and hard. When you combine that with a certain level of unattainable completion while working in your free time without relying on much feedback, it made it feel impossible and pointless at times.
All of this sort of had a snowball effect. Of course there were still always those small bursts of motivation to continue on with this. It was mostly due to the friendships we were able to cultivate here and the interest people took in this site. It was also partly due to the legitimate fun we had doing this. I’d like to think we made some small impact in the EarthBound community and it did have a purpose in some way.
Is this it?
We hope you are not too let down! We know it’s not much right now, but maybe and hopefully this can grow back into the community we once had.
There were a few concepts that were eventually scrapped, at least for the foreseeable future. We started leaning too far into what the web has become rather than the web we miss. I think there’s some way to combine the former with the latter that will be better than if we just fully embraced current trends. Maybe we don't have to be a solely blog or social network like so many sites of today. We still need to figure that out, but it’s pretty much been determined that we can’t accomplish this in secret anymore.
Right now we have only a few pages with information on the games, the site, links, and things like that. Expect to see those grow back into the sections they once were and more over time. Many of the features you know and love will come back in some updated format, but we want to get this out there again first.
Also this design dates back to the beginning of the decade. I’ve worked in some changes to it over the years. The biggest change came in the last month when I made it responsive to try to help accommodate our busier lives and allow for more interaction when we actually have a spare minute or two. A second version version is already partially in the works, but for now that won't be a priority. We will try to focus more on content and functionality and make small modifications as necessary to make this work for now.
There is probably the one major thing of importance to note right now.
OUR FORUMS ARE FINALLY BACK!
They probably lack some of the features you might have expected in the old days. More will be added in the coming months. Forums are kind of a dying concept too, but we still love them and are trying to find ways to modernize them a bit more. We did try to simplify things a bit instead of bloating them with unnecessary features, so some of the stuff taken away was intentional.
The forums and membership system was built by us this time and fully integrated with the site itself. There’s a vision to come for that where we will be able to give you more customizability in how you want to browse the site. In the meantime, we will continue to improve upon everything based on feedback and try to make this into exactly what we want. Sign up and give it a try! Suggestions are welcome and can be made in the comments to this post, on the forums, or by contacting us directly!
Another thing to mention is that I am not alone here. Leeman stuck through it all, worked with me throughout our dark ages, and will continue to be a part of our comeback. I am extremely happy about this! I started the site and ran it on my own for a few years, but, as you might remember, our prime was really a joint effort between us. He has a few things in the works that I am sure he will post about soon.
There were other essential members that also made it all come together back then and hopefully some of them will be able to join us again in the future.
To conclude this post, I really hope you join us again if you used to come here in our heyday. I really hope you give this a try if we were already gone by the time you got into the community. We still have a lot of work to do, but maybe we can be even better than we were before! Maybe you’ve all moved on and this will lead to our actual demise. I am not really sure right now. What I do know is that I had many fun years running this site and I’d rather try again instead of living with uncertainty and getting further away from ever making this happen again. Let's work together and see where this goes!