A few weeks ago I received an email through our Contact Us form mailer.
I’ve got a short history of Bard Games that’s in a book I’m working on regarding the history of the roleplaying industry. I’m hoping SMS might be interesting in taking a look at it to offer any comments, thoughts, or correction. If so, please drop me a line.
I forwarded the email onto Stephan and though that was the end of it. Boy was I wrong! Stephan contacted me a few days later to let me know that the sender, Shannon, was associated with a little site that you might be familiar with. Shannon had this to say;
By the by, I’m quite supportive of the work you’re doing making PDFs available over at www.talislanta.com. If you guys would like some free marketing, send me a banner ad at 468×60 or 728×90 and I’ll give it some free runs at RPGnet (www.rpg.net), which I oversee.
SMS asked if I could draw something up and I was more than happy to answer the call. However, after thinking about it for a little while, I felt I probably wasn’t the most qualified to build the banner, so I turned to our very own pixel wrangler… *trumpets sounding* Carlson. The banner itself was a tough topic. It was important that we emphasized the sheer amount of information being made available as well as showing Talislanta wasn’t your run of the mill fantasy setting.
The maximum size of the banner allowed was 96KB so expressing these in a few banner frames wasn’t going to be easy. We would need to have as much text as possible being shown but we also wanted to showcase how alien Talislanta was in comparison to other fantasy settings. So right off the bat I knew we wanted an animated banner. I received the green light from SMS to utilize any art from any published material to date although all the credit for picking out the art goes squarely to Carlson.
Our big goal with the art choices was to showcase Talislanta’s diversity of life, something I feel Carlson did a fine job of. Overall the text was kept brief and Carlson squeezed in as much art as possible although it is worth noting that downsizing huge Talislanta art so such a small size, while still maintaining detail, was a ridiculous endeavor. I was so glad I passed this onto Carlson as the job he did was, in my eyes, truly masterful. The last bit to decide was picking a background color.
The RPG.net website is a darker shade of purple so our choices were limited to begin with. Add in the fact that all the Tal art is black and white and our range of darker colors is just about nullified. In the end we settled for a dirty white/vanilla pudding as the background, feeling pure white just made the banner look even more basic. Our feelings towards the final product are bittersweet. While Carlson tried messing with a lot of different layouts this was the best of the bunch. Was it a perfect banner for Tal? No, definitely not. Was it the best us volunteers and a super short development time allowed? Damn straight it was!
If any of you remember my farewell article I made the statement that if anybody wanted to thank me, SMS, or the community at large, all you had to do was spread the word. I gave numerous examples on how you could show your support and my suggestions was making a donation of $25 so that we could purchage 25,000 banner impressions (page loads) on RPG.net. Yesterday Shannon contact us with this update;
Folks, sorry for the delay; it’s been a busy week. I’ve got the banner running, set at a quarter-million impressions over the next three months. I’m also going to post an announcement momentarily, to give the site some more attention.
When I read this I almost fell over in my chair. A quarter-million?! That is $250 worth of RPG.net advertising! As if this wasn’t enough he made a forum wide announcement. Without a doubt this more than I could have ever hoped for in regards to advertising the website. Shannon is a class act and has helped bring this underrated project into the public eye of the gaming community. Please don’t let this monumental news deter you from taking strides to spread the word about Talislanta. We all should do our part to bring Talislanta into the life of your every-day uneducated gaming nut.
Once again I would like to extend my thanks to Shannon for making this possible. Without further ado, the banner! You can how well Tal.com is doing at any time, especially since we now have this advertising, by visiting the Talislanta.com Stat Counter, which coincidentally has just added to links section =D