Wow, has it really been a year already? It’s hard to believe that something I started only twelve months ago has reached this level. It’s like watching one’s child grow – a fitting simile, I should think, seeing that my daughter turns two this month. It had always been my hope that Sega-16 would become a powerful resource that people could turn to for all their information needs regarding the Genesis; I just never thought it would ever happen so quickly.
When I originally began to tinker with the idea of starting a web site, I had the same problems most people do in such a situation: picking a subject and going about making that concept a reality. What do you have to do to turn your idea into a working, useful tool? I didn’t have a clue. I was considering starting a Turbo Grafx web site, as I’m a huge fan of that system, and there aren’t all that many sites devoted to it out there. My lack of knowledge regarding the PC-Engine quickly snuffed out that plan, and I was back at square one. It was sometime in late May of 2004, however, that it finally occurred to me. Why not a Sega Genesis site?
I was taking a shower (those Holiday Inn Express commercials are spot-on; the shower is a great place to think), and I was pondering my options. There were only really two big Genesis sites around: the Genesis Collective and the Genesis Project, the former had been hacked and had sat mostly lifeless for the past sixteen months, and the latter was offline completely. There was now a niche that needed to be filled, and being that the Genesis is my favorite console of all time, I felt the timing was right to launch a project dedicated to it. The task of finding my subject was done, now came the hard part of actually creating it.
Now, I know that Sega-16 is nothing of a design marvel for most people today. In fact, I agree 100% that it almost looks like a Geocities page, sans the ads. Last year I knew as much about web design as I did about the syntax of Mandarin Chinese, so it’s all good I guess. I wasn’t about to wait for a digital knight in shining armor to come and do the site for me, as I had a burning desire to actually get to work. Who knew when someone would be able to finally help me get started? I had no choice but to set out on my own and begin the hard, tedious task of learning. I got a copy of Dreamweaver and some texts, and almost fifty hours later, came up with a simple yet functional layout that I’ve tweaked and altered over time. It ain’t the prettiest, but it works.
Also, I had done some reviews on the forums over at TNL, and got some great feedback about my writing. I really do have to give those guys a salute for all their advice on making this project a working and worthy one. Their aid was invaluable. I took what I had learned and began to lay out the site, constantly changing things around, adding and taking away, and totally redoing things. I knew that Sega-16 would be a bit ugly, so I wanted to compensate for that by making it as tight and functional as I could.
The next problem was finding a place online to put it all. Luckily for me, Chris “Bahn” Scantleberry and the great group at Got-Next offered to host my little labor of love. They’ve given it a home for the last year and have helped me in more ways than I can even begin to describe. Josh’s tech savvy, and Chris’ editorial expertise have made the site more focused and operational, as well as made me a better writer. Without them, Sega-16 probably wouldn’t be here.
Things really began to take shape during the last week of June, and by the time the end of the month rolled around, there were a grand total of thirty-seven reviews and one single, solitary article ready for launch. I’d also finished the master lists for the 32X and Sega CD, and began to toil away at the Genesis list, which would take me about ten months to complete. Not much, but considering that there were only about two other contributors beside myself, that’s a pretty decent load to kick things off with.
About six months in, we got our own forums, and we now have almost eighty members. It’s a small community, but a dedicated one, and many have even become contributors. There’s no shortage of interest or enthusiasm there, and I really appreciate all the work they’ve put into their contributions. Well done men; you know who you are.
So where do we go from here?
I read somewhere that most fan sites last about six months, usually folding due to a loss of interest and/or direction. Thankfully, Sega-16 has both. In only a year’s time, we’ve managed to offer our readers 175 reviews and over 80 articles from almost forty different contributors. Some of our content has been graciously donated by individuals who would like to see their work in a more fitting context, and some has been offered as a gesture of friendship among Sega fans, but the vast majority of it is 100% original content you can’t get anywhere else…and this is only the beginning.
2005-06 is going to be a banner year for Sega-16, as we will continue to bring you all the content you’ve come to expect from the #1 Genesis enthusiast site on the internet. More comprehensive reviews for you to love or hate, more articles dissecting every aspect of the Genesis experience, more interviews with those who made it happen, and more classic video ads for you to get all misty-eyed over. Not only that, but this year will also see a new design- the last piece needed to make Sega-16 one of the premier retro sites around.
This is only the beginning of our wonderful journey, and I hope that you will accompany us into the future. It only gets better from here.
Thank you all for your support. Long live Sega-16!