I don't rightly even remember how long I've been administrator of SWAG. It's been a while now. (Well over a decade) In some ways, SWAG's sort of an interesting mirror of my life and career. Early on in SWAG, I was a novice developer at best, and it showed. SWAG was less a cohesive whole than it was 3 computers trying to kill each other for dominance of the vessel. I'm sure I've characterized it as the Millennium Falcon before. Shortly after I took it over, I tried to make it more one thing than it was, and I succeeded with some degree of success in large part due to the knowledge and help of friends and family. Building on that success over the years, we've taken ever greater strides toward it being a cohesive whole. I love that.
These days, I feel pretty good about SWAG. This is in part due to how much contribution I've gotten to give to Drupal over the years. So many of the things I've wanted for SWAG were things Drupal core wanted and needed, and now both SWAG & Drupal have those features. I love that too.
When we started this mess YEARS ago now, we didn't look like anyone else. Community art sites weren't really a thing. We largely predate deviant and artstation, but the truth is that a niche website for Star War art is never going to be a deviant or an artstation, and that's ok. But it also means, we have competition that is worth looking at these days, and competition that we can emulate and build on things they do successfully. I'm just one guy, and I'm the only person doing dev work for SWAG, but we leverage a vibrant open source community for our software, so we get a lot of bang for our buck.
Ultimately, I really wish I had the time and energy to take SWAG to the next level. The truth is, and you all know it, I haven't given a lot of time to SWAG in the recent past. I've been raising a couple kids, and building a career, and I have lots of good excuses... but it doesn't change the fact that I wish I could give more time here. I've looked at monetizing before via ads... I'm not sure that's a thing at our size. I've been considering what it would mean to provide artist specific sites that syndicate only the star wars art into swag (and potentially syndicate other data to other sites if that sounds interesting). I actually have all the essential tech built to do it... but I don't know that I should.
What's important is that this new move to Drupal 8 has set us up for a quick move to Drupal 9 at some point soon (I hope), and also made future upgrades simpler to accomplish with better tools. I put a lot of effort into making this new SWAG the best I could. More improvements are coming. I hope you enjoy this new version.
All of your hard work over the past 10 years has been truly appreciated. I've made lifelong friends through interactions on this site, all of whom I'm likely to have never met without it.
And I got to do some art along the way...
I feel exactly the same way. So many of the people on this site have ben influential in my own life in one way or another. It's a big part of what keeps me coming back to help make sure SWAG continues to be a thing. The art is awesome too. :-)
Nice work, Kris. This layout looks really good and refreshing. I haven't been playing SWRPG regularly for many years now. Some of the one-shots I've run in recent times has no artwork attached to them. If I get back to Star Wars, I am sure to upload more stuff here.
Note: Recently, the games I've been playing (on Discord, thanks to the pandemic) are Coriolis, Delta Green and Twilight 2000. Last games I ran were Star Trek Adventures and The Expanse.
I haven't had time to game in years now, thanks to life, but I still try and check this site regularly. The Mandalorian has really reignited my love for Star Wars, and I'm excited to see new life breathed into this site. It looks amazing (through Chrome is fighting me tooth and nail about logging in for some reason, unless I go Incognito...not sure why), and I can't wait to see the additional improvements you mentioned. You've worked hard on this and it shows, and I certainly appreciate all the work you've done to keep this site alive over the past few years.
Hopefully it'll grow back to what it once was, or beyond. I'd love that, and love finding enough time to get my friends together and game again.
Hisham mentioned he'd been playing some games on Discord...that makes me wonder, do you guys think a community Discord server would be useful?
Whoa... the SWAG alarm went off! I just nodded off for a second! Wait... it’s been 6 to 8 years?!
Great work Kris! We may not log in but I know all of us crazy people linger back to the site from time to time. I was shocked when I was on Star Wars RPG Reddit and saw Stu Cunningham artwork, clicked it and ended up on A NEW SWAG! Love it.
maybe I should contribute something at some point too lol. I still game off and on. I still draw off and on. I first found swag I think at 13 years old. I’m now 33. Let that sink in.
Wait... where’s Asok?
Asok's definitely been around since the relaunch.
I know the feeling. I'm turning 40 this year. I think it's been something like 7 years since the last relaunch... And I've done at least 2 before that I think. It's really crazy.
Glad to see you back!