Nice to see you all! Yes, this forum would be put in read-only mode (a museum of sorts) with a new forum created with more modern software that can plug into Wordpress, what the new site is based off of.
Here's a demo of the new system. I've spent more than 10 hours on it so far. Programming is hard
But a lot of the code is reusable for other functions of the site so that's a good chunk of trial and error out of the way.
As convenient as Emuparadise is for downloaders, offering direct downloads is just not realistic for us. For one, it's highly illegal - I can't risk my life over some old video games. As a link sharing site, the worst that can happen would be a request for us to shutdown from some "scary" lawyer. Second, it costs a lot of money. I have no idea how Emuparadise can send me a 7GB file via direct downloads especially when I have my ad-blocker on. They're probably hosting dozens of TB of games.
However, we will be better than Emuparadise in every other way. Which isn't very hard, it's a mess of a site. There are like 50 links on the sidebar. Users have no idea what they're downloading - is it a repack or scene? If it's a GameCube game - Is it a scrubbed copy that won't work on the Wii? Is that Dreamcast download a GDI or is it a version that had the videos removed to fit on a CD? Is there copy of Gran Turismo 4 for the PS2 DVD9 or DVD5? It's obviously not both so they are missing one. Funny enough when you Google "Gran Turismo 4 DVD5", guess who's result #4? Us. And of course Emuparadise doesn't mark any scene releases.
It's a site for emulator users who don't give a crap what they're downloading as long as it'll work. And that's the weakness of direct download sites like Emuparadise. They're more focused on running the site as a business so naturally preservation and users playing on the actual consoles get ignored as they are both a small percentage of overall users.
Obviously we won't be putting our eggs in one basket, but there are quite a few solid hosts these days - Google Drive seems to have worked fine (I uploaded games there 3 years ago that are still there) and MEGA has been great as well. I am structuring the site to make it possible for non-uploaders to contribute. In ye olden days, uploaders had to do all the work and most link posts were lacking all but the most basic info. And when users posted the same game in a different region, the work was duplicated - finding a Youtube video, possibly a cover, etc.
With the new site, the game pages will be batch created from Wikipedia. I've figured out how to batch process this list - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_GameCube_games
- so that with little manual effort, the hundreds of game pages are created with that info automatically filled in - developer publisher, release date in each reason, etc.
Then from there, each type of media - screenshots, covers, download links, gameplay videos - will be posted as separate posts in the backend. Anyone will be able to help out. A user, on a boring afternoon, can go search the web for high quality cover scans and add them to site simply by uploading the image file and saying what game it is. Users that contribute will be rewarded in status. The user that previously could not help the site in any way can now become a "Screenshot Specialist."
For example, on the Super Smash Bros Melee page. It will search all "cover" posts to see if someone has posted a cover. If so, it will display the cover. If not, it will say "no cover found".
Same with download links. So download links, will just be download links. When a link goes down, it's simply removed from the applicable game page and no other information is affected.
Uploaders, upload speed willing, will be able to upload dozens of games per day. That's how easy it will be for them. They just post the link and what game it is, the system will take care of the rest.
And when a host calls it quits - in 10 minutes I can have all the links that were on that host removed from the game pages. And in a short time more, I can make a page that shows what games need re-uploading.
It won't just be a download site, it will be resource.
For now, I just need to gradually hammer out the functionality on the site.