Hello from your friendly OGS developers! As you may or may not know, OGS has been entirely developed by matburt and myself in our spare time over the past three and a half years. During this time we’ve written over 65,000 production lines of code spread out over 4192 commits (That’s quite a bit of code for two people as a side project!). This effort, along with the great support of our devoted moderators and the community at large, has resulted in the OGS you know and love today. Currently, OGS is the fastest-growing western go server, bringing in around 1800 new players per week. We’re pleased to say that 1200 of these players are brand new to the game, which to the best of our knowledge, makes us the leader as it relates to growing the western Go community.
We are certainly pleased with how well the server and community are growing, but we also acknowledge there is still a lot more that we can and should do in order to grow and accommodate the community. There are millions of players out there waiting to be introduced to and fall in love with the game, and there is a laundry list of features, enhancements and bug fixes we’d love to implement to provide the existing Go community with an ever-expanding catalog of great Go resources.
Unfortunately in 2015 the development of the server has been rather slow. For the past six months, we’ve only averaged 18 commits per month, which is about 15% of the 117 commits we were averaging for the entire 30 months prior. This has not been out of a lack of interest or desire though. The reason for this slow down has been twofold: The first being that both matburt and I expanded our families near the beginning of the year (yay!) which of course has reduced the amount of spare time and energy we have to work on side projects (boo!); and second, what little spare time we have had has been largely preempted by new and growing jobs. So like many of you, we too have been disappointed in the lack of progress on the development during 2015. But let it be known that it’s not out of a lack of passion or interest; it’s simply been out of a lack of time.
The good news though is that we have a plan to fix this and not only get our development schedule back on track, but get it going faster than ever. If a lack of hobby time is our problem, then the obvious solution is to dedicate non hobby time to OGS.
And so we come to the crux of this announcement: We’re going to try an experiment of running ads on OGS. The goal of this experiment is to attempt to achieve a fairly low but livable salary for at least one of us to work full time on the server. This means that should this experiment work, at least one of us will be able to dedicate all of our development energy towards OGS so we can finally tackle some of the larger features and improvements we’ve all been wanting.
Of course site supporters, the altruistic individuals that have been covering the operational costs of this service for almost two years now, will never see these ads - and folks who want to continue having an ad-free experience are more than welcome to become site supporters to get rid of them. In fact we’d love nothing more than if this became the norm; if all of our regular users chipped in a buck a month to be a site supporter, both matburt and I could work on OGS full time AND we’d still have money left over for doing some great community engagement activities! So if you’ve been on the fence about becoming a site supporter, now is the time!
We hope you will join us in seeing the upcoming ads not as something negative, but instead as a means to greatly accelerate the development of OGS and enable us to provide the Go community with amazing resources and to actively grow the Go community in the West!