Holy Crap, 5 Years!

Holy crap, this site has been up for five years! My first post was on August 6, 2003, which on Wednesday of this week will have been exactly 5 years ago. Damn, it doesn’t feel like that much time has passed, but the blog archive proves it. It also shows that I’ve managed to post on average two items a week for the last five years (487 posts total), which I think is a pretty good rate considering the duration and the slowness with which I am actually able to progress on games for the Quest. Speaking of the Quest, my stats page shows that I’m close to 50% complete, which will be a big milestone; for the longest time I wasn’t able to get past 35% because horror games were being released so fast that I could barely keep up, but now that the releases have slowed down a little I’m gaining a little ground.

This site began as a simple spreadsheet which I printed out and posted on my bulletin board. My original intent had been to just catalog all of the horror games available so that I could have a convenient shopping list when I went to the game store. There couldn’t be that many of them, I figured. Once I started to research the genre I realized how wrong I was. This was in late 2002, and I was writing GBA games from home after a short stint on the East Coast. That summer I had completed Silent Hill 2, and my budding interest in horror games blossomed into an acute obsession. I pretty quickly realized that a simple spreadsheet wasn’t going to cut it if I really wanted to catalog all of the obscure games in this genre, and being a programmer the most logical solution seemed to be to write some code.

The first page titled Chris’ Survival Horror Quest was the search page. Actually, it looks pretty much the same now as it did then–pretty crappy. But back then I had this awful powder blue color scheme and no images of any kind (I’m a programmer, so the laws of the universe require me to be bad at art). I built up the info and screenshot pages, but I realized that having the ability to comment on games would be great, so I made myself a comments system. Once I had a way for people to leave comments, I realized that I had enough infrastructure for a blog (although in 2003 that word wasn’t yet in wide circulation, and I remember calling my front page the “news page”). Though the site has changed a lot since then (it’s been through two major layout changes, I eventually had to kill the comments system on game info pages, and the database content itself has changed a couple of times), the basic format is the same: front page musings on horror game design and developments, a section for more in-depth features, a forum for community discussion, and a database of horror game information and reviews.

In celebration of this anniversary, I’ve made a bunch of minor improvements to the site. The most obvious is the new right bar, but I’ve also tried to clean up and make improvements to lots of the other pages on this site. One of the things I’ve added is the ability to quote other people in comments and to wrap spoilers in special spoiler tags. I hope that these changes will make the site more fun, easier to navigate, and more informative.

Thanks for reading, especially those of you who’ve been here since the beginning. Horror games are fun, but it’s you guys, the people who read my stuff and give me feedback, that drives me to maintain this site. Hope to see you here for another half-decade!

20 thoughts on “Holy Crap, 5 Years!

  1. Dear Chris,

    It’s really been amazing having this site on my bookmarks ever since 2005. I’ve seen some amazing growth in the site and we share the same obsession, Horror games.

    When I first came across this site, it was a godsend. I had no idea about a lot of the games that are listed here on the site and once I discovered the list, I began to become more infatuated with the genre. I have collected so many games on this list now and without it, I truly would have no idea about any of them.

    My first step into the world of Survival-horror was Clock Tower (USA) on the playstation 1. I knew there had to be more games out there that were similar. Thanks to you, I turned my regular dreams into nightmares. Let me tell you…it’s been absolutely amazing to be a visitor of this site. In fact, I have shared this blog with many people in my Gamespot Union and I hope I was able to get the word out about this fantastic blog and show people why the horror genre is so much fun.

    If I haven’t said it enough times by now, “Thank you.” I have gained so much knowledge on the Survival-horror genre and because of this site, I see now what makes a good horror game.

    Your Everyday-Visitor


  2. http://www.desadesadesa.com
    Hey Chris,
    This is the only Survival Horror site I actually check out on a regular basis. You might think it looks crappy, but there’s a lot crappier out there in internet-land, and at least yours has an appropriate color palate and you update it with regularity!
    Like you, I don’t get as much time to sit down and play the games in the genre I love the most (plus, that new Metroid for the Wii has been taking up all of my video game time…) but I still love reading up on your site.
    One bit on here that I haven’t seen much of lately were the profiles of Japanese horror creatures you were posting. I’d definitely be into reading more of those, along with reviews of the really obscure gems that I’ll probably never get around to playing (like the weird japanese games).
    keep up the good work!

  3. Hey,

    Good work on keeping this site going! Its one of the freshest, most illuminating and entertaining sites around and I love it! All your hard work is appreciated!



    ps loved your article detailing japanese horror, think I may have quoted from it in one of my undergrad philosophy esssays (properly referenced of course!).

  4. I just wanted to find a survival horror website with dedication and compassion for it. Yours has been that side since 2004 and hopefully for years to come.

    keep up the awesome work!

  5. Let’s face it. In 5 more years the gaming industry will have abandoned real gamers for casual gamers, and thus horror games will cease to be.

    But I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next until that happens!

  6. I’m finding that this is a nice site with good info and stuff congratz on the 5 years. Also thanks for the reply about Onimusha, makes sense now.
    One more thing I am at a course for programming and one of my mates in the course is a dam fine artist (although most of us are crap it it lol)

  7. ..Well…It seems pretty cool to me…and I think your site looks just fine!…
    I also have this and other ‘horror game ‘ sites bookmarked–but THIS is the only one I have looked at in the last year and a half….!

    If nothing else,you can say that you DID make a well read and well enjoyed website—- more than lots of folks can lay claim to…!

    Thanks for ALL your work and info….

  8. I stumbled on your site today while looking for some basic info on Rule of Rose. I started browsing and really enjoy what you have.

    Cheers & Happy 5th b-day to your site.

  9. Great work so far, Chris, and here’s to five more years of horror games, and their many ups and downs.

    A truly momentous way to liven this up? Why, a sequel to The Ring: Terror’s Realm, of course. Imagine… a PS3 game with first gen PS2 graphics.

  10. Yes, what everyone else has said, me too 🙂

    Horror games have qualities that lend themselves to thought, imagination and ideas that are mostly beyond the province of discussion in typical reviews, or the ability of a lot of review writers. I would always write about this stuff I liked in reviews of s/h games over time, but I was mostly on my own after the survival horror board closed at gamefaqs. I did run a yahoo group for awhile (Clock Tower Murders) where we could talk about this stuff when we weren’t having comps pitting RE characters against each other (out of about 50, Albert Wesker won)

    Anyway now I just hang here. I like your own writing on the topic, and the list has helped me catch up on all the horror games I missed during the PS2 generation, when I had a gamecube ‘cos of RE4. I’m doing pretty well on my own quest, and recently mobilised to try to review some horror games again. I reviewed Fatal Frame the other day and am writing about Silent HIll 3 right now.

  11. http://www.frightening.de
    Chris, I would like to thank you very much for running this site. I visit it every week and it is always an inspiration for me and my website. Why? Because it is very nice to see that other people around the world love survival horror games so much like I do.

  12. http://racooncitytimes.blogspot.com/
    Damn man, has it really been that long?, ive been visiting for years but i didn’t guess youd been going nearly that long.

    it sounds weird but i dont often agree with your reviews but this is still my first port of call for survival horror news because, although our tastes in horror games are very different, your doing this on your own and for free so you can give a genuine opinion take it or leave it and its that …i dunno sincere candidness of the subject matter that has kept me visiting all these years.

    -still, it only feels like a few months, but in 2 or 3 weeks its already the one year anniversary of my crappy little site, so i guess time has a way of creeping up on you huh?

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