I am sure that many of you have noticed that I never stepped down as my April 30th farewell (a fantastic read!) would have you believe. As the end of May has arrived I am now stepping down once again. Things are very different this time around and I believe the third time will be the charm =)
The State Of Talislanta.com And How I Came On Boardemotional investment in Talislanta is relatively unique among existing fans.
A week before the site’s official launch the website accidentally went live. In the short 8 hour window that mistake granted me I saw that none of the features I was pushing for, or any other features for that matter, had been implemented. How was this website supposed to introduce hordes of new fans to the deliciousness that is Talislanta? I emailed SMS directly with a template of what I envisioned the Talislanta Library should look like, along with some of my ideas for its near future expansion. Within hours I was given the proverbial keys to the project.
The Story Behind My Departure From This Project
Due to an illness I’ve been fighting I’ve had a lot of free time. I’ve devoted every second, this is not an embellishment, of my free time to working on Talislanta.com. My goals were to setup a professional, yet straightforward and contained, website with enough introductory content for new Talislanta fans and daily news stories for existing Talislanta fans. Prior to this launch new “news” regarding Talislanta was sporadic at best.
The Talislanta community is a pack of rabidly loyal fans who are as kind as folks come in regards to RPG communities. As the website has evolved I’ve felt stronger and stronger about the need for community involvement. As a response to this desire I’ve essentially designed a series of projects which I have slowly been putting into community hands. My primary goal was to initially make sure Talislanta got the attention and respect the content and IP deserved and to then transition the operation and future of the website into the hands of the Tal community, where I feel it belongs.
On April 12th I underwent a surgery that has left me, temporarily I hope, with the inability to use either of my hands. I’ve actually tried to depart this project twice in the past and this upcoming attempt will be my third (and FINAL!… I hope). The first date I had planned to leave was on April 11th right before my surgery. While I did indeed leave, the website was left in an unfinished state. Technically the site was complete but I felt guilty for leaving the community with just a finished website and so few tools and no projects to further propagate its presence. So shortly before going in for surgery I asked my wife to take over the website until I came home.
Once I returned home we setup some voice software (Dragon NaturallySpeaking) and created an extensive set of system macros so that I could operate my computer with my voice. I set a new date of April 30th and I almost kept that date. I left the website without a webmaster (leaving that up to the community) but again guilt took me and decided I would find a replacement real quick and then leave.
I found a replacement within a couple of days but as soon as he came on board his wife went into labor and shortly after they were blessed with their third child. So I’ve stayed on while things settle down for Drohem. During this time I’ve done my best to locate any potential complications or sources of guilt and to address them fully. All in hopes that when I attempt to leave this time around it will be for good!
What I Will Continue To Contribute To The Project
The Scanning Project and The Lost Tales of Talislanta are both long term projects that move at a relatively slow pace. I’m committed to seeing these two projects through once I have stepped down but for all other intents and purposes the future of Talislanta.com is up to the community, SMS, and of course its new webmaster Drohem. I do want to point out that Drohem will soon be taking care of The Lost Tales project once I finish the project page on the website and do some extended PDF work. A great deal of the Lost Tales project is simply correspondence =P.
I also would like to make it known that I am available to anybody with questions, desiring feedback, needing help with planning or executing a new project, to create code for the website whenever it is needed, etc… Talislanta.com will always remain “my baby” and when she is in need I will answer the call… well as long as it isn’t extended full time work in which case you’re all on their own =D.
Reflecting On My Involvement With This Project
Ultimately I have received a great deal of recognition for my contributions and many people who’s opinion I hold dear have commented positively regarding what I have accomplished. The project itself has received extremely high praise from numerous gaming authorities and I like to think the handling of Tal’s web presence has affected and is accounted for in said praises. I honestly don’t think I will ever feel that I did the best I could have done with the time that I was given but I am proud of what I have accomplished; especially considering I can’t ever remember working harder or dedicating myself more to any of the numerous pro bono projects I’ve worked on over the last ten years.
While it has been a rewarding experience and adventure I am ready to step down. Working in my current state most tasks now take 3x the time to perform as that same task would have taken had I performed it with my hands. I’m also looking forward to spending more time with my family and being able to take the time to pursue my greatest passions; writing, reading, roleplaying, and world building. It has been a pleasure to work with so many of you over the duration of this project. It has been an honor to give back to a man who has metaphorically given me so much. I wish each and every one of you the best of luck in life and at the gaming table. Signing off as webmaster for the last time…