Well, it’s been an interesting week. Spending yesterday morning scrambling to get Tavern Keeper up, after an AWS update triggered some bad things.
Anyways, I’ve been thinking of Tavern Keeper for the past couple of months despite the fact that I’ve honestly have very little time to put into it. After talking with Kristi, we’ve come up with a rough plan.
In short … open source.
We’ve seen all the stuff that you guys have requested, and it’s stuff we want to do as well. But with both of us working (beyond) full time jobs, and only being able to do things on an off and on basis for the past 3 months, to say it’s been difficult has been an understatement.
That said, Tavern Keeper is more or less something we’ve realize will never be profitable. Honestly, that’s not a bad thing. But, as matter of openness – Tavern Keeper currently costs us about $150 / Month in server costs.
It was started not as a business, but as a solution to our own problem (all the other RPG sites suck! ;) ), and something that we’re not planning to let go just because the workload is larger than the profit (because, well, the other RPG sites still suck!).
So at the end of the day we’re going to be borrowing a page from Wordpress, and release the source code, while still providing a publicly available version of the site. This will allow us to do something no other site of our kind has done before – which we think in the end will make us better, stronger, and ultimately make a more significant impact in the community.
To give you guys a bullet point list of our plan as we see it at the moment.
- Tavern Keeper (As in https://www.tavern-keeper.com) will continue to remain 100% free, and you’ll never lose features.
- Our plan to separate the Front End from the Back End is still in play.
- Each will be open sourced once the transformation is complete
- Likely, you guys will see the front end before you see the back end (for security reasons, at this point)
- This will also open the opportunity to offer in other formats beyond a website, such as mobile apps and extension tools that connect to the database
- We will be eventually implementing (tasteful) Advertisements (which can be removed for $12 / Year, as we’re mostly looking to cover server costs at this point)
- We may also open up the opportunity to access to our API server (for a fee) to connect to your own hosted version of the static site (or app, or extension, or whatever you create)
Exactly when we open source Tavern Keeper, I can’t really say. I do know that we’ve got a lot of technically inclined people, who have offered to help on multiple occasions. It is my hope that by open sourcing Tavern Keeper we can provide the world with the first class RPG platform that it deserves for free (or $12 a year…)
I want to give you guys … … well everything you want, and the reality is this is the only way that I can see to do it; without loosing my own sanity.
I know there’s many options out there for people looking to bring their games online. I know most of those projects suffer from the problem of a single developer, who ultimately vanishes, for months if not years. It has always been my goal to make sure Tavern Keeper isn’t one of them.