Good day everyone!
So here is part 2 of our 3 part update. This post is going to be the shortest and is mainly going to be some general info & updates along with a few notes about the forums.
The community is still steadily growing. Currently we are averaging around 85-90 thousand unique users per month, with a consistent 40-60 users on the site at any time! We are still holding at around a ~10% conversion rate with about 8.2 thousand registered users.
We are getting really close to our goal of a steady 100 thousand unique users per month, which is the minimum size, according to our current estimates, that would allow devs to feasibly make a living off of selling their games! We hope to finally hit this milestone by the end of this year or early next!
As some of you may remember from last year we started the long process of migrating the forums off of Digital Ocean and onto AWS. Right now we have the data base, uploads, and backups fully migrated but still need to migrate over the app server.
I have been working through most of April getting the ground work setup and testing for moving the app servers to AWS using Kubernetes to help deploy and manage the servers. So far testing has been going along well and I am working on the final phases of the CI/CD pipeline that we will use to automate deploying updates to the site. If things stay mainly on track we are going to try to migrate fully over to AWS by mid to late May.
One of the largest advantages we are going to get from this system is the ability to finally do what are called red/green or rolling deployments. This kind of deployment allows us to push updates to the forums with only minimal, if any downtime, during the process! This means we can preform site upgrades without having to interrupt service as much and will only have to post announcements about maintenance if there is a major update that requires the site to be in read only mode or shut down, or if something catastrophic happens during the upgrade.
This greatly simplifies our current process which takes a 2-3 hours of prep and then another hour to run the upgrade assuming everything goes well. It will also allow us to more quickly respond to demand on the forums during events like the Gain Jam which right now would require us to shut down the site just to allocate it more resources.
We are currently discussing adding a 4th member to our admin team to act as a community manager. The idea so far is to have some one who is not a moderator or is involved with the moderation of the site handle interacting with the community as well as act as a representative for the community to use to bring any ideas and concerns to the admin team.
Right now I have been acting in this role but as our amazing community continued to grow my many responsibilities have been making it much harder for me to effectively act in this role. For example, I used to try to respond to every introduction post that was made but it saddens me to say that I do not really even have the time for that any more. Not only will this free me to focuses more on the administration of weight gaming and building the main site, but will hopefully give the community a friendly face they can communicate with and that will welcome new members to our amazing little community!
We have a few candidates in mind atm but need to take some time to define the role out a bit more before we contact anyone. We will make sure we keep you all informed as always!
As part of the main site we plan on creating a wiki to help organize docs like how to integrate CI/CD systems with the main site to auto deploy updates. That all being said we are considering if maybe we should expand this out into a general community wiki that can be used not just for documentation targeted at devs but all community members to help centralize information like install instructions, tips & tricks, Gain Jam rules, and other info that is a bit hard to keep track of on the forum. We wanted to see what the community thinks first though, as if there is enough interest we would be happy to set it up a bit earlier to try to help centralize information.
- I would love one & would use it!
- I am indifferent
- I think its a waste of time
Its no secret that a portion of our community like playing Table Top Games. We have a few table top centric projects like Expand D&D, mission modules like from authors like @Dobbin & @deator, and we see a post in #general-discussion every so often looking or trying to form a group to play D&D with.
Or main focus is mainly video games but we do hate seeing these little projects getting buried in the #projects category and while #general-discussion is a fine place to try to find groups its not optimal. In general we are just not geared for people who enjoy table top games to discuss & share ideas. Due to this we have been discussing internally if we should create a category dedicated to table top games. While this would be nice organizationally wise we are not sure how much it may be used so we wanted to get some feedback from the community on if they think you all may like or not like this idea.
- Yes, it would be helpful
- I do not care
- No, keep things as is with tags only
Well that should be everything for this part. See you all for the final part next Monday!