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!