I have been developing Quest and textadventures.co.uk for a long time. It started off as a summer coding project when I was a teenager and wanted to send stupid text adventure games to a friend. Over the last couple of decades it has turned into something far bigger than I could have imagined.
It has alternated between hobby and full-time job, and tinkering with it all these years has taught me huge amounts about writing software, helping turn me into the developer that I am today.
I’m proud of what I’ve built – various open source projects that have enabled hundreds of thousands of people to build games for the first time, and a website that has become the top hit on Google for “text adventures” and attracts 3,500 users per day, a number which continues to increase.
The software and community around it are in great shape, and I think they have a great future. But the time has come for somebody else to take charge – I want to focus my energy on new projects, and hand over what I’ve built to somebody else who has the passion to drive things forward.
I am looking for people interested in taking this on. There are quite a lot of different bits, and these wouldn’t all necessarily need to go to the same person or company – things could be split up if that looks like the best option. I am open to all suggestions and proposals – my main concern above all else is finding the best home (or homes) for the long-term future for these projects. I am not looking for money and I’m happy to do everything I can to ensure a smooth handover.
If you’re interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if new owners can’t be found?
I really hope that people from the interactive fiction community will want to see Quest and textadventures.co.uk continue, so if you can possibly help then please get in touch. Do you want to keep textadventures.co.uk alive for the community that loves it? Could you take it forward to bigger and better things?
If no suitable new owners come forward by 28th February 2017, then sadly I will have to start the process of shutting down the website and forums. Initially they will become read-only, and I will look to export the data elsewhere (the IF Archive or the Internet Archive) before closing the sites completely.
Quest and Squiffy will remain accessible on GitHub but there will be no further updates. The software will still be able to be downloaded for offline use, but the online web-based versions would no longer be available. The GitHub repositories themselves would probably be transferred to the IFTF.
The different bits
- Social media accounts:
- Various domain names:
textadventures.co.uk according to Google Analytics:
- ~3,500 unique visitors/day
- 83,986 unique visitors in November 2016 (a 14% increase on November 2015)
- 428,119 page views in November 2016 (18% increase on November 2015)
- Average session duration 03m 41s
- 66% of sessions are from new users, 34% returning
- 161,203 registered users (115,038 with confirmed email addresses)
- In November 2016, new sign-ups from 4,746 users (3,190 with confirmed email addresses)
- 13,582 games (8,216 are public) of which:
- Quest games: 9,892
- HTML (Twine, Squiffy etc.) and Inform games: 1,621
- Inklewriter games: 1,321
- External links (game listings from IFDB, Choice of Games etc): 757
- In November 2016, 394 new games (136 are public)
- 8,317 reviews and 13,414 comments
- In November 2016, 197 new reviews and 336 new comments
- 94,575 games started in Quest’s online editor
- @TextAdv on Twitter: 921 followers
- textadventures on Facebook: 1076 likes
Income and Expenses:
AdSense earns about £50/month for the limited advertising which is currently on the site.
The main costs are for Azure at ~£70/month, and the VPS (hosted by OVH) which runs the Quest online player and editor at £13.59/month ex VAT.
(On Azure, I’ve been getting a £65/month free credit, so the actual amount billed averages only about £5. This means the total cost for running the site has been about £20/month, which has been entirely offset from the Adsense income.)