Friday, January 18, 2013

EN World: Helping Rebuild After The Hack

Every role playing gamer who has access to the internet has probably heard of EN World.  It initially started as a website focused on Dungeons & Dragons news and reviews.  However, EN World has expanded and now covers Pathfinder and many other role playing games. In fact, many of you are probably subscribed to their role playing game news and reviews newsletter.

In December 2012, EN World's website and server were hacked. The hacker's damage was deep and permanent.  As explained by owner Russell Morrissey a/k/a Morrus:

The entire site was destroyed, and I'm building it again from scratch.  While the basic functionality is there (news and forums), much of the functionality built up over a decade was lost.  I need to hire developers to recode all that cool stuff, but that takes time and - more importantly - money.  While EN Word ain't going anywhere, I'm turning to the community with whose help we can restore much of what was lost within a few months.

With that goal in mind, on January 15, 2013, EN World launched a Kickstarter.  EN World's Kickstarter goals are pretty modest in comparison with the usual Kickstarter project.  With a goal of $480, EN World can cover the costs of hiring a professional to optimize and secure the entire site, database and server.  However, there are stretch goals that add functionality and more to the services and tools to be offered by the new EN World.

Upon reaching $800 ("Campaign Manager"), EN World will add "a collection of tightly integrated campaign-management tools including campaign wiki, journal, links and files, picture albums, calendar system and more.  Together, they make a functional and convenient campaign website."  At the time of the hack, also referred to as "The Great Breach of 2012", there were 285 active campaigns being run on the EN World campaign manager.

There are many more stretch goals available, all the way to the $9,618 More Ogre Power.  At this level, EN World gets the functionality of the Online Generic Randomizer Engine or O.G.R.E.  It is a crowd-sourced continually growing library of interrelated random generators, or a "generator generator".  As explained in EN World's Kickstarter:

Honestly, you could create a generator to detail an entire town, and it could call upon already existing tables and generators that others had made before you - descriptions, names, stats, anything you can think of.

There's a plethora of pledge options, ranging from $1.60 all the way to $320.58 and just as many cool rewards.  You really should check out EN World's Kickstarter.  Not only is it about helping someone who has been helping the RPG community for years, it is also about Kicking it Forward:

As a community website, I felt it appropriate that this Kickstarter use the Kick it Forward system.  This means that 5% of the profits will be spent supporting other RPG-related Kickstarters as a way not only to give a little back but also to foster more cool RPG stuff!

As of right now, EN World's Kickstarter has been up for 3 days and has received $8,229.26 from 173 backers, and it still has 27 days to go.  Looks like we'll have O.G.R.E. to play with after all.  In any event, I can assure you one thing: as soon as I'm done writing and publishing this entry, there will be one more backer to this project.

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