I'd like to announce to you all that GameFruit has recently experienced an ownership transfer. After discussing with Unknownhero on an off again since last year, we've come to an agreement for what we both feel is best for the community. Before I go into future plans, allow me to introduce myself.
Who am I?
My name is Vince, aka FoohonPie, and I'm a software engineer by trade since 2006, but also run a browser game called Imperial Conflict (IC). That's actually what brought me to GameFruit, at least indirectly. It's a bit of a story, but I'll try to keep it relatively short.
Imperial Conflict's Near-Death Experience
I found and started playing a web game called Imperial Conflict in high school around 2001, and eventually become a Moderator for that community, and then a volunteer Developer. The previous owner had unfortunately lost interest in the game, and I had offered to purchase it from him a few times but was consistently told "no". This was especially frustrating as our community was suffering, and where we once had about 11k players at our height in 2004, we were down to less than 500 players in 2016.
He finally did agree though, and in 2016 I became the new owner. With the ability to finally make decisions regarding the game's growth, I was able to initiate a revival that we're still going through. Specifically, we've since experienced:
* An overhaul of the back end code
* A redesigned front end
* The groundwork for a new version on a modern tech stack
* Re-engagement Campaigns to reach old players
* Promotional Campaigns to reach new players
* $1,569 raised through Patreon donations in 2017 to help fund the site's growth, which we're looking to surpass for 2018 next month.
* But most importantly, avoiding the death of a beloved community
You might see some parallels to GameFruit's current state.
Enter the PBBG community, pbbg.site, /r/PBBG
In late 2017 I began lamenting the experience of a dev working on a web game in a niche market. It's not a profitable place to be, especially in such a competitive industry. It's very much a labor of love. Still, after not finding what I wanted as both a dev and a player in the PBBG community, I decided to build it myself and launched pbbg.site as a PBBG listing/review directory. While our forum hasn't really taken off, we do have an active, friendly, and helpful Discord Server. Late last year I also started moderating /r/PBBG on reddit and have been cross-promoting between those two communities in an effort to build both.
The GameFruit Connection
This experience is what brought me to GameFruit. In my search for resources for the PBBG community, I discovered and registered here on GameFruit, and met Unknownhero. In reading your forums here and talking to some of you, I've learned a lot about GameFruit's own struggle to stay alive, which reminds me very much of what we experienced over at Imperial Conflict.
That's why I purchased GameFruit; the friendships I see here remind me of what we almost lost at IC, and I want to help GameFruit recover. More than that, I want to help GameFruit see a new era of growth.
The very first thing is getting some help from you all. It's not lost on me that I am somewhat of an outsider. Rest assured, I'm not trying to force my own vision down anybody's throat; to the contrary, I want to respect the community by seeing GameFruit return closer to its roots.
Specifically, I want to honor GameFruit's origin as Pro Sim Union and take us back to before the wider focus on PBBGs in general. I can see that even with it's "official" focus as a PBBG community that GameFruit still leaned heavy towards animal related games, be them sims or something else. As an animal person myself, I see value in us narrowing our focus to align with the community's existing history. I don't plan to focus GameFruit on sims exclusively, but I do think shifting the focus back to animal related games, PBBG or otherwise, will do us well.
To that end, I am working on a site relaunch to refresh ourselves. You may also notice that we're on gamefruit.com now instead of gamefruit.org. Huzzah! These forums will remain accessible and we'll be keeping them for the long term as well. We also have a new GameFruit Discord Server that you are all very welcome to join.
Lastly, I am looking for Moderators to help drive and manage both forum and chat activity. If you were a mod in the past, please do get in touch with me to discuss plans for (re)building out the team. If you weren't a moderator but are still interested, please feel welcome to reach out as well.
Thank you all for reading this, and I very much look forward to seeing GameFruit rise again.
Talk to you soon!
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