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Messages - gantry

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Other Games / So I did a thing ... need advice ...
« on: January 05, 2023, 09:30:58 PM »
The Background

Friends, I started a game company! Been in the works for about a year now. I consider myself a businessman first, so much of my research has been on the games industry. Right now, I'm in the very early stages. As most game companies fail, I'm not expecting too much to come of this, but I think my ideas are unique and have a good potential market. I'm trying to do it right, as it's going to be my side gig to keep me busy during my retirement.

I have a close group of friends who will be my main playtesters. I also need a larger number for a focus group, that's where you all come in. Hopefully, it's okay with the admins if I post this in here.

The Scenario

There are a few game companies out there that have their own official communities. The rest of them do not; one unofficial community is boardgamegeek. As you'll all recall, I created Carc Central out of frustration with BGG, and CC has done relatively well. There was even talk of it becoming the "official" Carcassonne community.

I'd like your opinions on whether I should build my own official community around my games.


  • It is a place where I can offer official answers to player questions
  • It provides players with a place to share ideas and build excitement for the games
  • I will be able to offer gamification to encourage players to return to the community, and perhaps get bonus material for the games


  • It takes a lot of work to run and maintain, whereas putting stuff out on social media is easier
  • It will add to the cost of running the business
  • If the games do not become popular enough, the community will likely migrate to BGG or somewhere else and my time and effort will be wasted

If you believe that I should build my own community, what should that look like? A structured forum like Carc Central, or a less structured free-for-all place for discussions like a Facebook group or something like Hivebrite/ (assuming you know what those are)? I should add that I am very much mobile-first, anything that I build will work on your mobile phone or tablet as well as on any computer.

Feel free to provide any other comments or suggestions!

News and Events / Re: Carcassonne Central's New Owners
« on: February 04, 2022, 02:08:58 PM »
Hello everyone, your rarely-seen original founder here.  :yellow-meeple:

In the original opening post of this thread, you see some of the history of CC. It's true, the BGG owners answered none of my inquiries, and because I'm an impulsive, just-do-it-myself kind of guy, I started Carcassonne Central. Matt Harper was indeed instrumental in the beginning, and without him I would have never moved from the idea to the execution. Thank you Matt for that. I had all sorts of ideas, some of which are still seen on the site now, but I'm even more amazed at how the members and volunteers have stepped up to the plate with some incredible activities here. This has truly become more than just a "rules & questions" site. It's the hub and heart of the Carcassonne community and it continues to thrive.

I was and still am not the best technical administrator of this forum software. It requires more expertise to run that I ever had, and our first serious issue that forced us to abandon the original forums was heartbreaking. I worked with the forum software developers and it looked like the issue was unrecoverable due to some Unicode database issue. I didn't know if CC would survive, but it did. I had Scott help in our earlier days, turns out he lived only half an hour from me, we both live in the Fraser Valley, British Columbia, Canada. We met once for coffee, though unfortunately his life became busier as many of ours do and he spent less time here. A lot of other people stepped up to the plate as admins and moderators, a few no longer regulars but great to see many have posted in this thread. A big shoutout to Scott, Carcking, kettlefish, Tacita, Whaleyland, Joff, Bixby, MrNumbers, Meepledrone... the list goes on and I haven't forgotten any of you but there are a lot to list. A big thank you to all of you for your contributions over the years.

A few technical backstories for you. I created the graphics for the site, and I'm no graphic artist I assure you. But I managed to find a font that looked just like the game's font and used that in our title. As well, you'll notice how you and everyone has a title below your profile name in your posts (ie Labourer, Duke, Vagabond etc), well I thought it would be a fun thing to increase people's contributions by awarding them these titles. There is definitely no order or relation between all of the titles from a historical perspective, I made that up and it's just for fun and I think it adds to the fun of being a member as you reach higher and higher (there are 23 levels in all). I also liked the idea of earning badges for special members that are also shown under your names on posts, so I created these myself (again, I'm no artist and I realize they're very cartoony). Perhaps some day the look and branding of the forums will be updated and improved upon and I look forward to seeing that. Can you guess who the #2 member was? Hint, it wasn't Matt. I'll reveal it a bit later. Finally, at one point back in our history, we were actually the 1 millionth largest website in the world. Pretty amazing considering how the web has grown and now there are over 1.92 billion as of Feb 2022.

We all have lives outside of our numerous internet personas. Sometimes I reveal my real name and contact information, other times I just want to be my persona. In case anyone is wondering where I came up with the name Gantry, I wanted to be an astronaut as a kid and instead of picking some astronaut hero's name, I picked gantry because it is a small but critical piece of a rocket launching tower. Good a name as any. Some of the admins and moderators know my real name, but I'm not going to share that with you just as some of you choose to not share your own, and I hope we can all respect that. One of the things that really amazes me is that, despite the decline of forums and growth of more instant forms of communication, we continue to survive. The reason for this is that we've embraced those other types of social media forms, not avoided them. There is a business marketing lesson in there somewhere.

I also want to address one key difference between Carc Central and BGG: annoying ads. My original goal was to keep the site ad-free, and free for users. Early on we did have a small ad banner across the top, but that did not last long. I never wanted anyone to see ads in between posts. There were a few times throughout the past where, for financial reasons, I felt that the cost of running the site would be helped by a few ads running and although I brought it up, we never implemented them. The benefit to you is a clean experience with no annoying ads. If the new owners decide to monetize the site in any way, I'm hoping they carry on this tradition and look for alternative ways. I think it's one of the advantages to CC.

Oh, and the #2 member? Meeplebot, my test user. Nice little fellow, rarely makes an appearance but if he does make sure to say hello!

I'm very humbled that so many of you not only joined us, but stayed. I am also very humbled at the thank yous I've received, but I feel that I've let so many of you down not only with the outages (some lasting unacceptably long) but also by my lack of participation. Suffice it to say, work and serious family health challenges over the years have taken a lot of my attention away, and for that let me say I'm truly sorry. I had been thinking that you, our members, deserved better, so I told a few of the admins I was going to shut down the site because I couldn't continue to care for it. Actually, I knew it wouldn't come to that :) not because I wanted to give up on it but because I knew so many people cared enough to not give up on it. I am so very happy that the new owners can give it the care and attention that I never could. Carcassonne Central is in good hands now. See you around :)

News and Events / Re: Uploads fixed
« on: July 07, 2019, 01:44:42 PM »
Excellent bit of digging! It's odd though - nothing's changed on the back end to have changed this. I'll double check everything again.

News and Events / Re: Uploads fixed
« on: July 03, 2019, 06:33:05 PM »
Yeah this is weird...

News and Events / Re: Uploads fixed
« on: June 24, 2019, 10:27:45 AM »
Hi Meepledrone,

Disk space is not the issue here fortunately, we are using less than half of our allotted space. I'll check it out and get back to you, thanks for letting me know.

News and Events / Uploads fixed
« on: May 29, 2019, 01:22:29 PM »
Hello everyone! Just dropped in to say hello as I have repaired the disk space issue, some people were having trouble uploading. Turns out a malevolent self-aware evil backup process decided to back up its own backups, causing a recurring loop of ever-growing backups. Or maybe I just screwed up  ::)

- Gantry

General / Re: adding pictures in text instead of adding as attachment
« on: January 17, 2018, 12:28:14 PM »
You can also do this from your google account as well, it has lots of space

News and Events / Oopsy!
« on: January 17, 2018, 12:27:01 PM »
Hi all,
Sorry about the web site being down, the domain name expired and I had intended to simply pay it on the same date that it was scheduled to expire, however I didn't realize that it meant it would go offline first thing in the morning of the expiry day instead of having until the end of the day. I renewed, and here we are back online, I will make sure not to do that again next time  :o

Hope you all had great new years!

General / Re: Carcassonne Highlights in 2016
« on: December 02, 2016, 01:50:33 PM »
My highlights:

(1) I've played more Carcassonne this year than I have in my last 3 years put together. It's great to get back into the game more often, with my wife and I both splitting out time between Carc and her favourite game Catan.
(2) I've introduced a few more friends to Carcassonne. Sometimes as we get older we're always looking to save money, but at the same time our thoughts are that in order to have fun we have to go out and spend money. I've made more of a point of staying home, inviting friends to come play some games.
(3) Last but not least, I am so very glad that our community continues to flourish with the help of so many of you. I am thankful that we have each and every one of you, the authors, moderators, admins and most importantly community members here. I'd also like to thank kettlefish especially, she is my anchor and keeps me up to date on what is going on. Unlike most other social media platforms, this one is generally low on drama (although we have our occasional share). So from the bottom of my heart I'd like to thank you all for yet another good year here on Carcassonne Central!

General / Re: 'Turn Totem'
« on: November 20, 2016, 08:20:51 PM »
We draw from a cloth bag, so once your turn is done you pass the bag.

Glad he finally got his gift! Excellent job all around, looked like a good time with good people, good food and good music. OH and a good game that brought it all together!  :yellow-meeple:

News and Events / Re: MeepleSource Kickstarter - Design our Mascot!
« on: October 24, 2016, 11:40:04 AM »
I like it!

General / Re: A Carcassonne Central YouTube Channel
« on: October 24, 2016, 11:38:32 AM »
Very cool !   A video section for the forum is a possibility, but only if it is used on somewhat of a regular basis. I'll let the moderators decide

General / Re: Help with uploading to Downloads section
« on: October 24, 2016, 11:36:43 AM »
I've given the go ahead to increase space. No, we won't be spreading files or anything else across multiple servers, bad news all around once you start doing things like that.

General / Re: Forum Time Zone
« on: October 24, 2016, 11:35:25 AM »
The forum time is set via the server's clock. Sent a note to my sysadmin to take a look, thank you for the heads up

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