July 22, 2017, 11:40:10 PM
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Sooooo the frequency of these things was supposed to be "one a month", but what's a little more accurate is "when my desktop isn't being dedicated to Ethereum mining" and "when my time isn't being chewed up otherwise." :( It's been a busy couple of months, sorry for the delay everyone! On the bright side, I finally have a dedicated ETH mining rig running!

Severity Gaming - Operations Report [March-April 2017]

Community
We're really happy to say that community growth and development is tending well! Across the past few month's we've reconnected with quite a few members and it seems that people are still interested in what we're working towards. Without any formal recruitment or advertising we're up ~15 "Registered Users". This also translates into increased Discord usage which has made for some pretty fun nights. :) Since our last update we've started community development within game titles again, adding a dedicated ARK: Survival Evolved server and World of Warcraft back to the portfolio. Details on our ARK server can be found over at the ARK: Survival Evolved board. As for World of Warcraft, we have a board built out, but nothing regarding our Progression Raiding or PvP plans has been announced yet. (Stay Tuned!)

Competitive
Our overall trend in the competitive space is still flat as our priorities are still centered around building out community services. We don't expect to have any meaningful updates until this winter.

Management
We're still working on our *new* Applications Portal and haven't had the time to work out the role spec sheets yet. (CSS is a pain in the ass) If you're curious to see the progress you can check it out on our development site here. The current target is to have a release available before the end of the month (or at a minimum, some sort of temporary process to bring in the much needed help.)

Development
We've had some great progress on the development front! As of right now our Application Portal is at ~60% done, with the remaining pieces being the administrative back end, and the actual integration with the SMF CustomForms mod. We've put together a new "dynamic banner" mod that recursively searched a database of mapped banners to automatically display images at the top of each board. (This mod is also pending an administrative back end.) Other improvements include updating some our graphical resources (new avatars!), layout, and functionality. In the coming weeks we're going to be doing a version check of the installed plugins and refresh as necessary. (We've already identified applicable updates for the Social Media Login bridge, and the core of TinyPortal.) Below is the updated list of our current priorities.

Current priorities:
  • Finish "Staff Applications Portal" extension of the Custom Forms Mod for SMF.
  • Finish SMFBanners plugin
  • Determine and define staff positions.
  • Populate "Staff Applications Portal".
  • Finish setting up the SMF Shop Mod. (So we can do GIVEAWAYS! :D)
  • Populate SMF Shop with all of the PAX East 2016/2017 SWAG we still have locked away.
  • Rebuild the "Stream Engine" (leveraging profile fields for Twitch ID's, UStream, etc. Read - less overhead).
  • Fix - [BUG][Website] - Navigation bar hover text not working properly.
  • Rebuild Community Content block from scratch (the thing that had the calendar, twitter, and recent posts)
  • Finish Friechat integration and Opt for Paid Version (We're taking Donations!)
Hello Everyone! It's been a little over a month since I last posted, so here's an update on where we're at. I'm going to try to get one of these released every month (even if other activity exists) to make sure we keep an open channel. This is definitely a first cut so please give me any feedback you have and we'll make improvements as we go along.


Severity Gaming - Operations Report [March-April 2017]

Community
When the legacy forum was taken down we killed off the forum accounts for all of our previous members, so giving an accurate read of how the "community" is doing is difficult. Forum registration has been by and large flat across the last few weeks, with some spikes earlier on due to us actually opening registration. As for our VoIP service, the Discord server has seen some activity and is primarily used for Overwatch matches with some of the folks from our legacy World of Warcraft guild. At this point we aren't doing any active advertisement, so any net new registrations on either service are likely due to word of mouth. Once we finalize the "Welcome" threads for our various boards and get the "Staff Applications" system in place, Delacour will be doing a few E-Blasts out to the e-mail list we backed up from the legacy forum.

Competitive
Needless to say that since the Community Site is still being built out, there's nothing happening on the Competitive side at the moment. Once we get more members and better processes in place we'll be looking into starting up some SG branded teams again. (Probably not MMOs up front.)

Management
Delacour is still the only staff member, but we may be onboarding @Frostfall soon. This hasn't happened yet because are working on extending the "customforms" mod for SMF and building out a real Staff Application portal. This is something we had loosely implemented on the legacy forum, but it was never integrated with "customforms". This next cut should get rid of some of the administrative overhead and improve user experience. As soon as this is done Delacour will be throwing out some feelers to select members to help define and draft the descriptions for each position. If you're interested please PM @Delacour.


Development
As alluded to in earlier sections we're still working on the Community Site; A lot of this work likely won't be visible to users as the development is being done on https://www.dev.severitygaming.com. If you'd like to become a "Beta Tester", please feel free to make an account and try to break stuff. Note: If you do this we expect that you actually Report Bugs. Below is a list of things that Delacour is currently prioritizing across the next few weeks, if you feel that anything is missing or have an idea for something we should do please Make a Suggestion

Current priorities:
  • Fill in PLACEHOLDER "Welcome" threads for each board.
  • Finish "Staff Applications Portal" extension of the Custom Forms Mod for SMF.
  • Determine and define staff positions.
  • Populate "Staff Applications Portal".
  • Finish setting up the SMF Shop Mod. (So we can do GIVEAWAYS! :D)
  • Populate SMF Shop with all of the PAX East 2016/2017 SWAG we still have locked away.
  • Rebuild the "Stream Engine" (leveraging profile fields for Twitch ID's, UStream, etc. Read - less overhead).
  • Fix - [BUG][Website] - Navigation bar hover text not working properly.
  • Rebuild Community Content block from scratch (the thing that had the calendar, twitter, and recent posts)
  • Finish Friechat integration and Opt for Paid Version (We're taking Donations!)

13 Mar 2017 - Goodbye PAX East - Day 3

Daylight Savings Time came and went on Sunday which threw our time tables off for the day. Three showers and packing up our MSi Battle Stations ran us right to checkout time. The drive towards South Station was a breeze as Boston is seemingly dead on Sundays, parking was readily available as well. Once we got inside we immediately hit up the Discord booth and picked up the enamel pins we missed out on the day before and then spent the rest of our time checking out the various vendors. After some last minute purchases we got back on the road.


Overall PAX East was a lot of fun this year and we'll more than likely do it again next year. Ideally we can turn it into an Official SG Gathering. The only thing that could have made this year better was the swag that exhibitors were giving out. In prior years they would give out things you could "see and touch", but this year everything was social media driven. "Post a selfie for an entry into a raffle", or "Scan this QR code and like our page to enter a random online drawing in the future". For the amount of money most visitors spend (we spent $275 each on tickets), the lack of real interaction and diminishing rewards killed it a bit. Eh, here's to hoping!
Day 2 (Saturday) went off without a hitch. As soon as we arrived we grabbed lunch and caught up with some old SG members that were in attendance (Aliwicious, Motgnarom, Teddbybru). Apparently there's a Sam Adam's food court, and you can get food faster than most lines if you get a seat at the bar. Sadly no booze. :( On our way over I ran a killer Exploding Kittens advert.

After lunch @Belaide, @Frostfall, and I walked around and tried to get more headway on the PAX XP Scavenger hunt. Half way through we ran into Teddybru again and he joined our party. For some reason I didn't take any pictures of the actual scavenger hunt stuff, but I got shots while we were walking around. We ran into the cast of Mario Party hunting around for scavenger scanners.

We determined that we collectively sucked at the scavenger hunt and jumped to Reddit for a guide for the remaining scan locations. While walking to each point we took some selfies with the Discord Wumpus and I found an Overwatch Mercy cosplay that was worthy of me asking for a picture. My hero would never die! ;) Other notable moments on the journey was an Overwatch Cosplay meetup on the 2nd floor, and a group of Star Wars players getting a group pose in the lobby.

The rest of the day had us cruising around the Indie and Table Top areas looking for interesting games to demo. We ran into Left Shark which successfully coaxed us to visit their booth where I won an unlocked iPhone 6 64GB. #winning. That selfie with the paper mache shark is what did it! As it got closer to "Main" Expo close time we tried a Steam game named REDOUT which was pretty damn good. We also jumped in line to try the new Crash Bandicoot game; pretty solid. After that it was back to Table Top land where @Frostfall and @Belaide picked up some dice for their D&D campaigns.

Dice acquired we then retreated back to the hotel for some asian/thai takeout that took forever to be delivered :p


Day 3 thread and pictures will be added tomorrow!


Comment with feedback if you have any; We're always looking to improve!
Sorry for the delay in getting this out, this is the first time we're hosting media from our new media gallery and I had to rewrite some of it this morning so we could support HTTPS. Anyway, without further adue...

PAX East Day 1 -
Our trip started at 11:30pm Thursday night when the weather forecast for the North East predicted an obnoxious amount of snow during our planned commute. After a quick change of plans we were booked for a hotel that night in Dedham, MA. @Frostfall and I jumped in the car and picked up @Belaide and set off. We got to the first hotel at 3:30am-ish and immediately crashed. (Needless to say, the snow was nowhere near as bad as predicted.) We made it to the convention center around 10:30a and somehow unintentionally jumped a few hundred people standing in line, making it inside in record time!

Bethesda had the same corner they did last year and definitely caught the attention of most attendees as soon as they got off the escalator. Their showcase this year was a Morrowind remake and Quake Champions. Frostfall played Morrowind and thought it was "fucking awesome!"

Here are some other Day 1 shots from around the convention floor. Not a whole lot to say about them, I was just randomly snapping stuff I thought looked cool. :)

One of the highlights (and also biggest letdowns) of the weekend was the Swag Bag line. We walked over to the same location they distributed from last year and there was NO line. It was almost as if the people attending this year had no idea how this worked. #firsttimers We scored spots at the absolute front of the line and I got the FIRST swag bag of 2017! The contents were crap though. :( (Side note - We'll be using the new "Webstore" here on the SG site to do giveaways for all of the extra PAX swag we netted. Stay tuned.)

After acquiring a few Swag Bags we roamed around for the rest of the day and tried to complete the PAX XP scavenger hunt. While doing that I snagged a few other shots and found some Overwatch cosplayers out in front of the Blizzard store booth. (Mmmmm!) There was also an ON POINT Reinhardt cosplayer, dude was like 9ft up in the air!



Comment with feedback if you have any; We're always looking to improve!
Hello Everyone, and welcome to Severity Gaming!

My name is Chris "Delacour" Schek and I am the original owner and founder of this group. I started SG as a pet-project back in October of 2010 and throughout the course of its existence it's evolved into a personal obsession. The past 6+ years have definitely been filled with quite a few ups and downs, but our goal has always remained the same; To provide casual and competitive gamers with well-maintained web services, friendly communities, and worthwhile online gaming experiences.

Once upon a time... We had a staff of 22 dedicated and driven gamers, each bringing something to the table. We averaged almost 10,000 unique visitors a month. Our competitive and casual presence was seen in at least 15 different titles*. We had world ranking teams, and users that generated original content, blog articles, and even a podcast. We hosted and sponsored casual and competitive events. Hell... We were sponsored! So, what happened...? Sadly, the current character limit prevents me from going into the juicy details, and a good number of you have already heard or lived through the more important parts. I'm going to spare everyone and just tell you that it all boils down to "key man risk" and "a lack of forward progression". That is - Going from 22 to 1 tends to result in a severe reduction of what can be reasonably accomplished.

Anyway, this brings us to our next chapter; a relaunch based on 6+ years of learning what does and doesn't work. Instead of trying to deliver against too much from the start, we'll be taking an iterative approach. Our expectation is that we'll be releasing minimally viable products and services with the intention of refining them over time. This will allow us to achieve quicker time to market, and hopefully prevent stagnation. This also means we'll need a community that's willing to participate in shaping the group they are a part of.

Are you interested? If so, go ahead and register. Let's get to work!


*Not concurrently.
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