Welcome to iRPGs! - A website that strives to document, catalog, and create awareness of indie RPG (you can read more about our mission on our about page). Please forgive me while I indulge in telling you the story of how iRPGs came to be:
I had the idea of making the "indie RPG's equivalent of MyAnimeList" since around 2010 - 2011. I wanted an organized catalog where you could learn about and discover indie RPGs that were getting little or no coverage on most gaming websites.
I always thought someone else was going to develop the catalog, but it never happened exactly the way I had envisioned it. I realize now that this could have been because it's A LOT of work in a market that's a niche (RPGs) of a niche (indie games).
I started working on the project at least a couple of times (2012 and 2014), but the project always lost traction. It wasn't until 2015 that the planets finally aligned and I decided to develop the website once and for all. "No backsies" this time. If you are reading this, I was able to, finally, release the iRPGs to the world, yet it wasn't an easy task by any means.
I still remember 2015's Thanksgiving (November for our international readers). I was working on the first iteration the game page, and I remember thinking "I should be able to go live with this in the next few months; maybe by Christmas." Little did I know that the actual waiting time was going to be one and a half years.
You might be asking yourself. "Why did it take so long?". Three main reasons:
- I heavily underestimated the amount of work I could get done on a project while having a full-time job. I was used to the student life, and the transition to a full-time job changed everything.
- Even though from the beginning of the project I planned to start with a minimum viable product, and I made several decisions aimed at launching as early as possible, I still ended trying to develop too many features.
I solved this, by mercilessly moving all non-essential features to iRPG's next version, but it was a tough process since I am very fond of some of the ideas that didn't make the cut.
- Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I had forgotten the amount of work required to publishing a website to the public (as opposed to coding a website for a class). SEO, in particular, was my main source of "unexpected" work. I could have decided to publish the website without many of the SEO features I've included, but I believe that SEO will be one of the key features that will make or break iRPGs.
I even read (and highlighted n_o) the entire "The Art of SEO" since I knew most of my knowledge was outdated. Will it work? Did I do a good job?. Only time will tell.
What's next for iRPGs?
Right now, our main goal is to add as many games as possible and to complete some of the features that had to wait until we had a live website (e.g. creating social media accounts). Once we have a healthier amount of games and the tasks above are completed, we'll start planning some of the features that didn't make the first cut.
I didn't want to end this first post without sending especial thanks to the iRPGs' content team: Mauricio, Carmen, and Katherine. Since the beginning of the project, I knew I was going to have my hands full just with the coding part of the development process. I decided to hire freelance writers to help me with content creation.
I'll be honest with you. When I started to realize that "a few months" of development were becoming "a few years" of development, I was starting to seriously consider killing the entire project and focusing on my other goals; however, the commitment I had with myself, with my wife, and (especially) with my content team, was what kept me going.
I didn't quit, and I'm glad I didn't.