MFO is dead, long live MFO!!
About 7 years ago, a great F-Zero gaming site (F-Zero Central) had to shut down. At that time, I was deeply into F-Zero GX and wanted to make a community and ladder site - so I did in my ASP codebase. Later on, we moved MFO from Windows to Linux and all would have been lost, except that buti_oxa rewrote the whole system in PHP and our community and ladders survived.
The MFO F-Zero site then thrived, expanded what had been done before, and remains active and flourishing even at the end of 2012! With a complex ladder system that catered to the community needs, the site is a shining example of how to do it right for a game.
It was the one area of MFO I felt terrible about when we had to suddenly close down. However, the MFO F-Zero community stepped up and will take over the entire MFO codebase and rebrand the site to be fzerocentral.org !! Enabling this move is the new owner Locks and also the financial support of our F-Zero community itself!
So, under this new name, the legacy of MFO survives!! And, best of all, it becomes intensely focused on a specific game, which as I mentioned in the prior blog is one of the shifting aspects of today’s gaming world.
So LONG LIVE FZEROCENTRAL.ORG !!! The new site owner and admin is “Locks” - so be sure to give him kudos!
Welcome to the new home of mrfixitonline.com. This Tumblr is to put a stake in the ground and declare “WE WERE HERE!!” So, some posts reflecting on the history of MFO and fun times we had will appear. But the time for an actively managed, gaming network fansite, has passed. In fact, the reasons that made MFO so popular are no longer part of the gaming community with great advances in Internet technology and interconnectivity.
What was MFO?
In 1998, I (Rich “Mr.Fixit” Andrews) created some unit sheets for a game called Age of Empires and began posting them on various fansites for AoE. The popularity got me included and published in Prima’s AoE strategy guide. At the same time, I created some community software (think “Drupal” meets “Wiki” - but circa 1998) and opened a fansite for what I saw as lacking in the gaming community - a place for hardcore gamers to gather and have fun.
Upon publishing of the book (and, although they got my name wrong, they got my link right) and starting up some neat contests, MFO exploded to over 2 million visits a month. Birth by fire, I’ve never worked so hard on code to handle the volume and there were plenty of sleepless nights for the first couple of years… and not the “sleepless because I gamed all night.”
Ripe for the time, a hardcore community formed and flourished at MFO for about six years. During that time MFO ran hundreds of tournaments, supported dozens of games, and was a wild place to visit and participate in. MFO staff got flown around the world (Russia, the mid-east, both US coasts) to run tournaments and also to train gaming studios on how to playtest their creations.
For me personally, it ended up doing so many different things: a fun place to connect with like-minded hardcore gamers, an introduction to some amazing people that I ended up hiring in my “real life” and who are still with me full time (blue_myrridn, DaRq_Jihad), and a serious study on the viability of the software I envisioned in the first place. In the end, my business and personal interestes moved to other pastures, but the concepts behind MFO were picked up by many others and done very well.
And the gaming community evolved too. From the time MFO started to now, an explosion of highly specific sites have become the norm. With the strong ability to search for, find, and interconnect with hundreds of sites, a single collection of that same material was no longer really needed. And, de-centralization also works by letting each component go “all out” and be as specific, detailed, and hardcore as possible.
So, today, in 2012, I’d never even consider a new MFO site. It is not to be. Now is the time for much more specific stuff like “Warcraft PvP hadcore tactics” (or similar). But I’m elated to have had the experiences that MFO brought. It was an amazing ride and I met a lot of great people.
Thank you to all the MFO fans worldwide — and keep on gaming!!