Why are features coming along so slowly?

edited November 2007 in Feature Requests


  • Micah
    Posts: 894
    Some of you may have noticed that our speed of implementing new features has slowed significantly lately. Mainly that's due to 2 things:

    h2. Real Life

    Ryan and I work on this site in our spare time. We hope to eventually make a little money off of it so we can cut back on our day jobs, but that day has not yet come. Considering that there's only 24 hours in the day, we only have so much time to devote to Obsidian Portal. At the insistence of family, we had to scale back significantly after we got the core feature set in place. Still when compared to other sites out there (_cough_ gleemax _cough_), you can see that we add new stuff at a breakneck pace.

    h2. Our Other Project

    While working on Obsidian Portal, we came up with an idea for another site, one that has a significantly higher probability of becoming profitable. So, we made the tough decision to scale back our time on OP in favor of launching our new site. We hope to have it ready by early or mid December, at which point we will try to re-balance our time and devote more to OP. Note: before anyone asks, the other site has nothing to do with tabletop RPGs. Instead it deals with credit card processing and other boring businessy-stuff.

    *We're still here and listening!* All the features that you suggest are still being considered and placed on our list of things to do. It just might be a while until we can do them. However, please keep the ideas coming.
  • TroyAlford
    Posts: 33

    I appreciate very much the troubles of working on multiple sites at one time. :) That can be very challenging. I also appreciate the problems inherent in turning profit from a side-project. Two suggestions I might make would be:

    1) Consider google ad-words, or adsense. I, for one, would hardly be offended to look at some advertisements here and there in order to access this incredible site - and, you could draw further traffic as well by expanding into paid advertisements.
    2) Offer a "Donations" page, where you would allow us, the users, to contribute to the cause. I'm sure I'm not alone in my willingness to put some money forward in order to support this great site as it grows.

    I would also like to mention that I am a professional software developer, and if there are any features or coding problems which I could help to work on, I would be glad to support your service in that way as well. Obviously, as you aren't making any money off of the site right now, I wouldn't charge you for my services either. :)

    Finally - Kudos on a wonderful resource. I had been playing with the notion of building a system like this for my personal site, but opted to do a google search and see what was out there first. Your work here is incredible, and contains a lot of features which I can tell took you a great deal of effort to craft. There are some further things I'd love to help you work through, many of which are covered by the currently requested features, but I am truly impressed with how far you have already brought this project. :)

    Thank you! :)
  • FireDrake
    Posts: 6
    Do you want development help? You know, opensource the obsidianportal?
  • DMaple
    Posts: 63
    "Instead it deals with credit card processing and other boring businessy-stuff."

    And hence it is likely to be more profitable, good luck with it, you of course need to make a living.
  • Micah
    Posts: 894
    To all those offering development help:

    At this point, we're not ready to open-source OP. We're still looking at it as a semi-commercial venture. The goal is to eventually make enough money off of ads, subscriptions, merchandising, and any other exotic tie-ins we can think of in order to support the site and also make a small profit. We set out to make a great service that people would use, but would also make a little bit of money. We've done well on the first part, not so much on the second ;)

    Therefore, we cannot ask for help from anyone. We wouldn't feel right asking for help on a commercial venture without sharing in any profits.

    In addition, more people are harder to manage. If we started adding additional developers, I would probably have to devote more time to the project, not less, just to make sure that we're all on the same page and sharing the same vision. Considering that I like to code, not necessarily manage, that's not a big plus in my book :(

    Still, we really do appreciate all the offers for help. All we ask is that you continue to post your adventures, post comments on others' adventure logs, and generally keep the community engaged. That's more work than most people think, and we really appreciate everything you all have already done.
  • FemmeLegion
    Posts: 521
    bq. Considering that I like to code, not necessarily manage, that’s not a big plus in my book :(

    I'm not much of a coder, but I share your pain on hating the whole "managing" bit.
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