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Welcome to PCGamingWiki's very first 'Progress report'! I thought it would be fun to put together an article where we provide information on updates and major changes to our website. Because so much has happened over the last year, we'll use this first article in the series to bring everyone up to speed over our work in 2019. Server administrator In January 2019 we welcomed Snuxoll to our ranks as our new paid server administrator. This is the first time we have hired outside the community rather than having a volunteer step up, and the decision to pick Snuxoll couldn't have gone better. Snuxoll has done a fantastic job a) keeping PCGamingWiki running, b) going far beyond the maintenance role we hired him for by developing brand new features (to be explained below) and c) integrating into our little PC gaming community. Not only this but he responds diligently (however please don't disturb him too much, he has a job to do!) and we are very grateful for all his great work this year. Server move to DigitalOcean In early 2019, we moved our image storage from Hetzner to DigitalOcean Spaces, the first step in modernising PCGamingWiki infrastructure. This change removed some pain points we faced with our legacy image storage and paved the way to making PCGamingWiki easier to scale and maintain. In October 2019, we completed the second phase of this move by migrating the wiki to DigitalOcean's managed Kubernetes service. This gives us greatly improved management of the site and the ability to rapidly scale up on-demand as needed. You may have noticed some substantial performance improvements as well. Make sure to check out the brand new status monitoring page, just in case PCGamingWiki ever goes down. New status monitoring page. PCGamingWiki's Single Sign-On (SSO) Account Between 2013-2018 we used a ‘bridge’ to unify accounts between the Wiki and the Community site. However due to a major security update for our forum software, we were forced to abandon the bridge and keep separate accounts. The advice I was given in 2018 was to abandon the bridge permanently and maintain two separate accounts so that it would be easier to keep security updates for both software packages. Thankfully when we explained the problem to our new server administrator, Snuxoll stepped in and suggested that we use Keycloak to create a true 'single sign-on' account, which he has now accomplished very successfully. Not only is the system live right now, it also allows users to create an account using Steam - something that has been on our wishlist for a long time and that MediaWiki doesn't natively support. To use the account on the wiki, just press the 'Login with PCGamingWiki Account' button instead of the standard form. To use the account on the forum, just click the 'Sign in faster with PCGamingWiki' green button. The PCGamingWiki Account is currently optional but it will soon be the only way to login once we disable native logins. If you register using the same email address as registered on the wiki/forum, you will inherit the account on both systems. Blocked in Russia It just so happened that our server move to DigitalOcean landed our webiste in an IP range that was banned by the Roskomnadzor, the Russian censorship agency. We soon discovered that our entire Russian readership could not access PCGamingWiki. This was due to Russia's long-standing ban of the app Telegram, and we happened to migrate our site to the same banned IP range. Banned in Russia. Snuxoll stepped in to create a solution that integrated PCGamingWiki into Cloudflare and allowed Russian visitors to use the Cloudflare CDN rather than the main host IP. Not only can our Russian friends now access the website, we also benefit from the speed of Cloudflare's caching and international content delivery network, which should speed up the site for users worldwide. WSGF Our friends at WSGF (widescreen gaming forum) suffered some major problems back in July 2019 when their website and domain were marked as hosting malicious content by Google. This resulted in WSGF visitors being met with a giant red warning sign when using Chrome on their website and forum. This was due to the fact that many of WSGF's files, despite being perfectly safe, were being automatically scanned by Google's antivirus software and were coming up as false positives. Virtually every WSGF page was met with a warning similar to this one. After we consulted with other websites that host similar mods (e.g. FearlessRevolution), we stepped in to help WSGF out. First order of business was to rehost all past and future WSGF files onto PCGamingWiki, which means we are now the proud host of hundreds of additional widescreen and ultrawidescreen mods. Don’t worry, we’ll keep them all safe! Many thanks to WSGF members Skipclarke, Justice and others for painstakingly preparing and uploading all the WSGF files to PCGamingWiki and updating the relevant WSGF detailed reports. To prevent Google from marking our own website as malicious, we have instituted a new files policy ourselves. Any file which might trigger a false positive virus alert will now be encrypted and password protected. As always, the risk is for the user to take whether they choose to download content from our Files section. I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank Rose, a member who came to us from WSGF, for being on a roll recently with authoring a very large number of ultrawide fixes for many big release games this year, including Red Dead Redemption 2, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and The Outer Worlds, which have ranked amongst our most popular destinations on PCGamingWiki this year. And I'd also to show our appreciation for all the other contributors who create mods and fixes and choose to host them on PCGamingWiki. We hope that these contributions allow us to remain one of the best places to find PC gaming fixes and mods on the internet. TweakGuides It was sad to hear that TweakGuides, the PC game tweaking website, was going to shut down this year. However Koroush was generous enough to provide an archive licensed under Creative Commons license CC BY 4.0. PCGamingWiki has stepped in to preserve over a decade of hard work, which is now archived in a mirror: tweakguides.pcgamingwiki.com, and we have updated all our own wiki article links to the new host. May the tweaks live on forever. Sponsorships Our sponsorships have been renewed in earnest this year with improved cooperation with all our partners. With GOG.com, we have established a firmer partnership and the creation of a new GOG.com shared account which gives us access to the entire GOG.com library as well as early access to GOG Galaxy 2.0. We also run giveaways with GOG.com keys in the Summer and Christmas sales on our Home page. With the retailer Gamesplanet, they have generously provided £300 game credit per month so that we can allocate these games to our Assignments (more on this below). This helps tremendously as many interesting new games are not available on GOG.com, or for which we would have to spend PCGamingWiki funds on. We are actively looking for new partnerships and opportunities so please get in touch if you would like to discuss more. Editor role We have implemented a new role in our community called Editor, which now provide elevated privileges including Files approval, access to the special #editors channel on Discord and access to our GOG.com shared account. More recently, we welcome AlRayes_BRN to the Editor role. If you are interested in joining the role then please get in touch with me on Discord. Assignments Assignments is the process PCGamingWiki uses to allocate or purchase review codes for newly released games to give to our volunteers to complete articles. After a period of absence, we 'rebooted' the Assignments system in early 2019. Our previous Assignments website system was a custom coded piece of software developed by a volunteer which wasn't quite fit for purpose. We decided to design a new Assignment system using wiki template, which Aemony stepped in and helped to develop for us. The new Assignments system tracks applications, assignments, completion and notes, and it all integrates into the Home page and replacing the deprecated 'Notable releases' widget. This has made the process of tracking new games and assignments much simpler. In addition, I'd like to thank Rose for taking on press responsibility and for keeping on top of review code requests and assigning review codes to volunteers. So far we have assigned a total of 460 games to volunteers, and we are looking for new volunteers to help take on review codes all the time. News and forum We have implemented a 'News' section which is designed to crowdsource news items and foster community interaction. Anyone can submit news, and selected news is featured on the Home page and Forum sidebar area. We have also consolidated our forums to help direct conversations, and keep individual forums feeling less empty. We are aware that our Discord is the go-to place for immediate responses, but our community site is much more accessible to our non-Discord users. We love comments so if you have anything good (or bad!) to say please take a moment and reply below. Corrupted images Due to an issue with a server move in 2018 that wasn’t spotted until it was too late, we had a large number of images that were irrevocably corrupted. The reason this wasn't noticed at the time was that thumbnails of images were not affected, but the original high resolution images had been damaged and would only load partially. By the time it was brought to our attention, the backups were already overwritten by the corrupted images. We are sorry that a lot of hard work put into images was lost. Thankfully, many of these images have been dutifully collated into its own category and I’m glad to say that the majority of screenshots have been recreated and replaced by our tenacious community. There are other still left so if you own a game on this list, please take a moment to submit a replacement screenshot. We are taking measures to make sure that the wiki database and image backups are versioned so that a data corruption like this can never happen again. Page popularity tracking Underneath the Home page's search bar, you'll now see game articles ranked by pageviews. Many thanks to Garrett who helped immensely in designing a way extract a list of our most popular pages from our Matomo analytics API to create this widget. It has been invaluable in allowing all our contributors us to see which articles are getting the most visits and where our attention should be drawn to. Take a look at our extended most visited page for a longer list of pages. YouTube Recently I have been expanding our small YouTube channel with some demonstrations of mod fixes in PC games, for example the below footage of Halo: Reach ultrawide cinematic fix or our video of Stranglehold's FOV fix. This has led to recent discussion about what to do with the channel. For now we are accepting gameplay and video footage which help to demonstrate quality of life fixes for PC games. We are also piloting other types of video content to follow, watch this space! Twitter I have also been doing a lot more work on social engagement on our Twitter @PCGamingWiki account, which has gained approximately 1.5k followers this year. It's been a really good resource for keeping on top of PC gaming news, making some friends and acquaintances in the industry and communicating with the wider community. If you're on Twitter, make sure to follow us! We've had a few viral tweets including this one about being rejected by a PR company for review code, and this tweet below about Tron: Evolution SecuROM woes: Traffic stats We are very happy with how PCGamingWiki has been growing over the last year with record numbers and growth, and we are breaking our own traffic records all the time. Over the last year we have had an increase in page views from 10.3 million to 12.7 million and unique visitors from 4.1 million to 5.4 million. This percentage increase is approximately the same year on year, and we expect 2020 to have good growth going forward. Article changes PCGamingWiki has always been focused solely on the technical and quantitative aspects of PC gaming. However I am planning some big additions to the standard article structure which have been many months in the planning. The crux of these changes will be a substantial shift towards including more descriptive and qualitative content and to become more 'Wikipedia-like'. As part of this change, we will include new article sections including: taxonomy, reception (reviews), port history and community. In addition, there are plans to majorly overhaul guides and to introduce a new type of 'how to' guide to cover multiple commonly asked questions in PC gaming, e.g. 'how to pack a PC on a plane' or 'how to buy games cheaply' etc. These new sections are currently being developed and will make their appearance sometime in 2020. Thank you Many thanks to all our contributors, moderators, donators and supporters of PCGamingWiki over the last year, you are what makes this website possible. We've had a great 2019, and our ambition is that 2020 is even better. As mentioned, some substantial improvements are due to happen soon, and we hope you are around to see PCGamingWiki grow even more in the year to come.