AccessDenied.Net was started mid-1997; the first profile was created August 28, 1997. The purpose was to provide
a gaming site with popular features, such as news and demos, and a database
of players. There even was a "free web gaming page" service. The creation of
the database was the primary intent. It was to allow players to both show
off what games they play and to use a search tool to find other players,
either based on game or on location. For example, you love Warrior Knights,
but it is hard to find other players of this (now obscure) game. who were
interested in this game. Or, are there any WFRP players in Toronto?
The focus was on four different genres of multi-player gaming: role-playing,
board, computer, and PBEM games. We expected a fair distribution of all
four types of gaming, but as time went on certain things were revealed.
At first we expected a decent amount of usage for finding computer gaming
players, since I had been observing an increase in internet playable
games. Many of these games, such as CivNet, had no match-making ability
so players were relying on ICQ lists, email lists, and web-based challenge
boards. However, this kind of service for computer gaming decreased in
need. There were match-making services like Kali, then MPlayer, MS Gaming
Zone, GameSpy, etc. Then it became much more popular for computer games to
provide their own match-making services in game (e.g. Battle.Net).
Contrary to this decrease in need, it also became very clear that demand
for this kind of service for RPGs was very big. Hence, the majority of
the database is dedicated to RPG entries.
However, there was little time and manpower to put into the website beyond
development. The demos portion of the page was quite popular, but difficult
to upkeep. Eventually the demos portion was dropped, and the gaming
news idea never really went anywhere. The free pages were also dropped
for other reasons. The database was the primary
focus, but was also a niche based concept. Although the site still gets
a good amount of traffic, one of the main reasons it is still around is
because it runs itself and only requires minimal administration. The
content is user-driven. This was one of the original requirements.
Later some other features replaced those that had been dropped. Some are
not popular, but most are consistent with the theme: providing a resource
for multi-player gaming. For example, Game Links is a user-content
driven database of game links. The Challenge Boards provides
a game-specific threadless "message board" for posting game ads.
The Web Wargames page was added when we got addicted to these
types of games, particularly Earth: 2025. It provides a list and
brief summary of this genre of gaming.
On July 14, 2001, the database averaged approximately 10 new profiles a
day (over 10,000 total). There were 1,761 different games listed, of which 706 were RPGs.
There were 3,350 different cities listed, in 115 different countries.
Traffic was about 100,000 hits a month. There are many more
interesting points in AccessDenied.Net history; perhaps they will be
divulged at a future time.
July 14, 2001
Update - June 9, 2002: Around the beginning of 2002,
approximately 1900 profiles with dead emails were purged (previous
experience has suggested that
20% of emails go dead in a year). On this day, there were 11,294 profiles
growing at 8 a day. There were 1,971 games including 762 RPGs. There
were 3,253 cities in 120 countries. Traffic was about 75,000 hits.
Update - September 12, 2006: The old school friendly/open website
design has been updated. Unfortunately, web crawlers have been using the
website to harvest emails for spamming, so the website has been changed
to require a login cookie, and contact is only via indirect emails.
In addition to this major change, approximately 22% of profiles with
dead emails were purged. There are now approximately 10,700 profiles
growing at around 4 per day.
However, there is now a new email validation step to minimize the
occurrence of bad emails.
Update - Feb 2, 2008: There are approximately 11,500 profiles
growing at approximately 3 a day. Approximately 20% are assumed to have
dead emails. There are 2145 games including 802 RPGs. There are 2,863
cities in 127 countries. Google AdSense added to the website, just for fun
since this website is hardly maintained for profit.