It is with great sadness that I'll be shutting down the website in the near future. There are a combination of reasons for this, including financial, technical, and personal. There have been a number of serious issues lately, including expiry of the SSL certificate, locked games, and an emptying out of players. The amount of time, money, and effort needed to remedy this is insurmountable, and flies in the face of the fact that browser games just aren't a thing any more.
I really do appreciate everyone's loyalty to the site and the fact that you all enjoyed playing here. For me, I managed to get an IT career out of it given all the technical skills I honed over the years, and am now in a job I enjoy very much. I've learnt a lot of lessons from building and managing the site, many I wouldn't wish on my worst enemies.
In terms of alternate similar games out there, I was never impressed by any of the other browser-based strategy board game sites, hence building this site. I would suggest that people who enjoy this site check out the following on Steam:
- Crusader Kings 3 - Soon to come out, it's already in development stages, but I don't think it's been released yet. I downloaded Crusader Kings 2 and almost all the DLC, it's a fantastic game that really stands head and shoulder above what I was trying to do here. It's absolutely amazing.
- Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlod - It's in early access at the moment, still quite buggy, but very fun to play. It's set in a fantasy world very similar to medieval Europe, with enough tropes to get you going in the culture of your choice. Very in depth gameplay where you can be a mercenary, trader, king, or bandit, amongst any other character idea you have.
- Endless Legend - 4X game very similar to the Civilisation series, but set in a fantasy world with various different races that have special abilities / troops. Quite enjoyable, for me it got a bit same same after a while, but still worth a look.
In response to the various requests so far, no I won't be selling the site, and my mind won't be changed about that. There is nothing simple about "selling" a website. I have private information stored all over the place, it's not an easily transferable entity, there is very little documentation about how it all hangs together, and it simply isn't worth the money. Ongoing costs are around $500/year and that's trimmed down to bare bones. I have spent over $10000 in the lifetime of this project, and only seen around $100-200 income from it. That's over a period of around 12-13 years. It's just not worth it as a business.
Again, thank you everyone for playing here, I am deeply honoured by the fact that people enjoyed the game, and that it received various positive reviews including a section in a published softcover on online gaming. It's been really great to have had this experience, but it's time to call it a day. I wish everyone the very best. If you want to find me post-AoW, my username on Steam is circle314 and I'm happy to have a chat or play games any time I'm free.
Cheers and happy gaming,