Ultima Aiera Turns Seven Today!
Seven years ago today, I posted the first piece of news to a wee little site that, if memory serves, I had started as a subdomain of Time Immortal, another online persona of mine (one which I have more or less let fall by the wayside, but that’s immaterial at the moment).
And in the first post to the new site — which was built in Macromedia Dreamweaver and backended by CuteNews — I set out the aim of the site:
Welcome to Ultima: Aiera!
This is the first news posting, a test of CuteNews and its templates. Hopefully, everything will work nicely.
Ultima: Aiera is a site devoted to all remakes, patches, and Ultima-inspired projects and utilities out there on the web. We will track news and updates pertaining to these projects, as well as host patches and demos (as well as completed modules)!
We are also the home of The Ultima Orhpanage. Inspired by the Marathon Projects Orphanage, this will be a site dedicated to all defunct Ultima/Ultima-inspired projects we can get our hands on. Perhaps it will only serve as a note of posterity, and a way to preserve these projects as a historical memory. Perhaps, however, it will serve as a sort of clearing-house, where one project team can leave a project to be taken up by another interested team.
So, welcome again to Ultima: Aiera. In the coming days, we’ll be updating our content, so check back often!
And you know…I think I can finally say that the site has finally arrived, now in 2011, at the place I intended it to be lo those many years ago. This site really is the place to come for information about “all [the] remakes, patches, and Ultima-inspired projects and utilities out there on the web”. For a while there, I kind of let it languish, posting to it on rare occasions and keeping occasional tabs on the projects themselves.
Check this out:
I didn’t track stats on Aiera before 2008, although I’m sure they were dismal. In the last couple of years (this year especially), I really began to throw some effort into the site; it got a snazzy new template, the scope of its reportage was widened, a couple of project sites were added as subdomains, and The Codex of Ultima Wisdom transitioned over to here from Wikia. And all of that — plus a handful of articles that got a lot of attention from a lot of websites — have all contributed to the surging stats you can see above.
But ultimately, that’s not what the stats up there mean…at least not entirely. In a broader sense, they are a reflection of the fact that there is still an immense amount of interest in the Ultima series and games, both amongst fans…and amongst developers as well. Not a day goes by when I don’t find evidence, in my traffic logs, of visits from different development studios, including EA studios. Interest — public and professional alike — in Ultima is running high. And that is a trend which is likely, for reasons that I hope I can discuss soon, to continue.
Now, I’ve got something special planned for later today, although it still needs a fair bit of work. I’m hoping I can get it launched tonight, to fully mark this occasion. And I’m hoping that it will be a huge boon to the fan developers that make this community so damn great. We’ll see.
And don’t forget: Tomorrow is The Wing Commander CIC’s thirteenth (13th) anniversary, so be sure to give them your best as well!