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:

[singlepic id=1293 w=550 h=182 float=center]

On track for half a million!

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!

18 Responses

  1. Dino says:

    Happy site-birthday and a big well done for all the work you’ve done! 🙂

  2. Mick - Toltec Dragon says:

    Congratulations fellow dragon. UltimaAiera is one of the 20 sites I check frequently (at least once a day) since a couple of years. Journey onward!

  3. Lore says:

    Happy Birthday, UA!

  4. Andy_Panthro says:

    Happy Birthday!

    And I hope for many more.

  5. smack says:

    Happy Birthday Ultima Aiera and thanks for all of the effort you (and all of the contributors) have put into making this a great site!

  6. Dungy says:

    To be fair, 800,000 page view at the Codex of Ultima Wisdom isn’t bad either. Couldn’t have done it without your help!

  7. Dungy says:

    Although, a lot of our page views are from editors. I think your site gets more unique visitors than the Codex.

  8. Gulluoglu says:

    Congratulations, WTF, and keep up the good work. As someone else said above, this site is one I always check every couple of days for new Ultima goodness.

  9. Thepal says:

    Happy Birthday, Congrats, and most of all, Thanks. This site is largely responsible for the Ultima community still being alive. Here’s to another seven years.

    • WtF Dragon WtF Dragon says:

      Thanks, everyone. I’m glad to do this…and for what the site has become, and what it has been able to accomplish.

      The times ahead, they look exciting. I won’t be going anywhere, and you all should stay tuned in.

  10. Congratulations, WtFD.

    It’s quite an honor to be a visitor of your site and Dino’s.

  11. Duke says:

    Congratulations!

    I have only fairly recently become a regular visitor of your site but I’m glad I did. This site is packed full of so much great Ultima-related information and you keep us so well informed of all the various goings-on that I never need to look anywhere else. Not to mention the fascinating discussions that take place (which I know I rarely participate in but I do love to read them).
    So thanks for all the work you’ve put in to make this such a great focal point for the Ultima community.

  12. Hexxxer says:

    Pretty impressive stats considering a new Ultima game has not existed in over 10 years.

  13. fearyourself says:

    Happy belated birthday and congrats for all your help,
    Jc

  14. Marquillin says:

    Each year the Dragons had given very lively combined birthday parties
    at Buccaneers Den; but now it was understood that something quite exceptional was being planned for that Summer. CIC was going to be Thirteen, 13, a rather curious number and a very respectable age for a website (the Old IBM.com itself had only reached 26); and Aiera was going to be Seven, 7) an important number: the date of his ‘coming of age’.
    Tongues began to wag in Exult and Editable Wisdom; and rumor of the coming event traveled all over Britania. The history and character of Mr. Withstand the Furry became once again the chief topic of conversation; and the older folk suddenly found their reminiscences in welcome demand.

    That is to say, Happy Birthday, and many more.

    • WtF Dragon WtF Dragon says:

      Thanks, Marquillin!

      And combined birthdays…you know, I should see about setting up yearly joint bashes with the CIC folks. I mean, the timing certainly is right!

      Capital idea, that.

  15. Marquillin says:

    For the record, the text (and the idea I suppose) I took from Tolkien and changed a few names. I just left it unsaid to see if anyone recognized it.

  16. Dagur Dragon says:

    Oh, wow, I haven’t visited here for a while. Anyways Happy belated Birthday!