Happy Birthday to us!
Written Thursday, February 08, 2007 By Geoff WhiteView author's profile
Well hello ladies and gentleman, and welcome to this very special editorial. Today is a special day for us all here at x360a.org, as it is now a whole year since the site was launched. Over the last year, the site has gone through many changes, and has evolved into what you see today- the premier Xbox 360 Achievement site. Over the next few minutes, you'll be lead on a journey through the history of our great site....
So, I guess the best place to start from is the beginning. It was around about November 2005 when this community was formed, on the .com site. The .com was created by Groux, and was our happy home at the start. The community started, and many of the regulars have been around since these days. However, after a while, Groux seemed to vanish off the face of the Earth, and the site suddenly stopped being updated with new information and updates. Whilst the community continued to grow, the site was stuck back in the middle ages.
This is when RoutineX decided to create the .org site for Groux's return. He spent a lot of time creating the new site, along with help from g4m3r7ag, the only Admin that Groux had appointed on the old site. These two guys became the Admins on this site, and started to transfer all the people over. So that was the beginning of the site. Technically we are the most established 360 Achievement community in terms of time, just that's spread over the two sites. There has been an xbox360achievements site in one form or another for 15 months now â€“ longer than any other achievement site.
So the new site was launched, and we still continued to attract new gamers and members, and things went from strength to strength. It wasn't long till we had our thousandth member join, and the forums were bustling with posts from some of the most helpful people in the 360 community. The site became known as a place where people could find help and information on all the 360 games, and with a friendly atmosphere to boot. I'm sure that's why you're reading this now as a matter of fact.
During this time when some of the staff were introduced, including myself as a lowly mod. Unfortunately, over the months, many seemed to have disappeared from the site, such as BucklingLeader and Kolya. I remember my first duty as a Mod was to message Webby over L!ve, as he had disappeared. I told him that I was being overrun by Yanks and that I needed another Brit to help out lol. How I've lived to regret that ever since.....
Anyway, enough of my memories. The next step for the site was the addition of a leader board purely for members of the site. Routine was good enough to create this, and we were the first site to have a separate leader board like this. It's still going now, and can be located on the site homepage. And it was this leader board that contributed to some of the most heated arguments on the site. We had many members complain that people above them weren't gaining all of their point's legitimately, and that they were gamesaving. This caused a lot of tension on the site, between the honest gamers, and the cheating gamesavers. This led to the formation of the NFO- the New Franco Order (To cut a loooong story short, in the mass debate on whether gamesave users should be allowed on the site, our member Franco shot down the cheats all but single handed). So the majority of the site agreed with being an honest site, and we decided to remove any cheats from the leaderboards. This included GamerTag, who also lost his admin position as it was deemed ever so slightly hypocritical. So, we were now the only site that didn't allow cheats on the site, and it is something that we take very seriously. If any member of the site is proven to be, or has, used gamesaves, then they are withdrawn from the site leaderboard and all future tournaments, leagues or cups. We would rather have a bunch of honest gamers than a bunch of gamesavers.
As I just mentioned, the site regularly holds tournaments for its members. These have been going for a while now, and have grown under the leadership of DaKing. What started off as just a bunch of friends from a site playing some Uno together, are now sponsored events, with developers giving us games to give away as prizes, and even Burger King donating prizes for the winners. The tournaments are a huge success, and I'm sure that many people reading have taken part in one or two. And now DaKing has moved on to become our Press person, Crash and Graf1k have stepped in to start where he left off. With two directors now, the tournaments will continue to grow and grow, and become even more successful in the coming months and years. Good luck guys!
So the tournaments were drawing in new users, and the site was growing and growing in numbers, and still continues to do so as we speak. And thanks to our users we were getting information and guides to put on the site. A large percentage of the people that search the internet for help on a game will end up looking at this site, and seeing these guides written by our users, the achievement pictures that have been submitted, and the help in the posts on the forums. To show our gratitude to all the people that have contributed, we introduced the Awards. Now it may only be a small picture under an Avatar, but it allows members to see instantly that you have helped the site and that x360a appreciates that. Would just like to take a moment to say a small thanks to those people that have contributed, whether financially, with guides, submissions or whatever. It's appreciated.
To help recognise the gaming prowess of our honest gamers as well as their contributions, we created the 1000 and 200 Point clubs. Think of these as the Mile High club of a game. When you reach that magical 1000 or 200, without cheating, you get your name added to the list to show that you have completed it. Thanks go to Maka for running with this from the start, and also to RiddlingCat for helping him out when the job got so large- obviously a sign that our guides and information are accurate! We now have a leaderboard of for the 1000 and 200 points clubs as well, so you can keep an eye on the most dedicated of gamers on x360a.
As well as these clubs, with the help of Fleam, we created the x360a Game Score League. The idea is simple- separate people into teams, give them a period of time, and whoever gets the most points wins. Well simple it is, but not for the feint hearted. The GSL has created some fierce competition and rivalries, and people playing a game over and over to get the last 10 achievement points out of it. Congratulations to Fleam and Perpetual for getting the MVP awards in season 1 and 2. Why don't you see if you can get it for season 3?
In November, we also launched our Member of the Month section. This is where we post an interview with a member of the site, so that people get to know the person behind the gamertag. We felt that it was only fair that Crash was awarded the first honour. As a long term member, Crash had gotten his original gamertag past 40,000 legitimate points, before giving up the tag to spend more time with his family. Not only that, but he then went and got his second tag past 20,000, becoming the first 20/20 player on the world. Since then, the MoM has become a very popular feature on the community. Stick around, and you never know when you may be picked!
The community spirit hasn't gone unnoticed on the site either. In fact, we were very honoured to receive a nomination from GamerTagRadio in their Community site of the year. Whilst we didn't win, it was a good indication that the work that goes into this site is all worthwhile, and that we are on track. So a big thanks to GTR for the nomination. Maybe next time we can even go on and take the win!
X360A also held its first public event, in NYC. We were invited by Gaia Industries to bring some of our members to test their latest arcade game and give feedback. A big thank you to Gaia for inviting us, letting us play Street Trace NY all night, and then throwing in some pizza to top it off. Next time you need more games testing, you know who to call!! To check out the guys views and see some photos of the event, click here.
As well as visiting Gaia, we have also had Head Developer Denis from the team behind Mad Tracks come onto the site to talk about the game, and answer any questions you had, helping x360a really become your one stop shop for all 360 information.
We have also taken a step towards rewarding the developers for the work they put into their games. One drunken night, Webby and I were chatting on MSN and I threw him the idea of an Oscars for the Achievements. We began to roll with the idea, thinking of categories that we could have, and then got you guys involved. We opened the categories for nominations, and then you guys told us what you thought. This was then compiled into a short list for each category, and these were then voted on. Webby and I then spent literally a day going through all of these, and seeing what you thought. The votes have all been voted up and taken into consideration, and the results will be available soon! We will of course be informing all the developers of prizes that they have won or been given, and should have some interesting feedback for you soon. You may even see OXM give us a mention!
Moving onto our birthday week (don't worry, it's almost over- no more reading soon!). All this week we are running competitions with some top prizes, from games through to T-shirts for all our community members. Old or young, tall or short, fat or thin, it doesn't matter as long as you are a member. How kind are we!! Not even very taxing competitions either- most of them are just to post your username! We couldn't make things easier if we tried. Hopefully you all enjoy the fun, and join us in our birthday celebrations. After all, what's the point in having a cake if we're not going to share it?
Rest assured, we won't be resting on our morals either. We have many new and exciting things forecast for 2007. Season 3 of the GSL will be starting soon, we will have some more great exclusives coming up, new and exciting features will be added onto the website, and their will even be a facelift at some point. Basically, we are going to continue to grow and grow, bringing you a better community and a better site. If you have any suggestions, feel free to let us know. One of our first challenges is the 1000 people online Achievement in NBA Live 07, see here.
I would now like to take some time out to say some thank you's. The first one is to all the staff at the site-past and present. You have all helped to carve this site in one way or another. In particular I would like to thank the current staff:
Snafe and Franco, these guys are our Mods, each looking after a particular part of the site, and doing a great job as well. If they do the job well, you don't even notice it, the way it should be.
P1n, Legion and Krazie, our Super Mods. Have access to all of the forums, keeping them running smoothly. Help weld the Ban Hammer when needed.
RiddlingCat and Maka, for keeping our 1000 and 200 point clubs under control, on what's a never ending challenge.
Graf1k and Crash, for taking up the challenge of taking over from DaKing on the tournaments.
Fleam, for running the GSL. And also for being called Fleam :p
DaKing, for originally being our Tournament Director, and now moving on to be our press person. These events don't organise themselves you know.
RoutineX and Webby, my fellow admins, for helping everyone on the site to make this the best 360 site on the net.
There are also a lot of senior members that aren't down on the staff list, yet are all but staff and help keep the place ticking over. These are the guys that will often be the ones responding to any questions that are posted. You lot know who you are!
The second thank you is to you guys. If you didn't visit the site, then we wouldn't strive to make it the best there is. We wouldn't have a site in fact, and we wouldn't have this great community. So give yourselves a pat on the back, and raise your glasses, and join me in saying Happy Birthday x360a!!
And we shall see all of you next year...