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NationStates gets Jolted

by Max Barry
Sun, 09 May 2004

It began in November 2002, nestled alongside a hundred or so other web sites on a shared server. Ten days later, there were two thousand nations, the server was grinding, and the web host was yelling threats at me about cutting off access. Clearly, I realized, a $10 per month account was not going to cut it. In January 2003 I moved NationStates to a dedicated server. Then I moved it to a bigger one. Then I doubled the memory. But player demand always outpaced me.

Now it's time to go the next level. Stepping out of the shadows and wearing its underpants on the outside is Jolt, a huge UK-based online gaming network and home to more beefy hardware than you can shake a stick at. Jolt have been NationStates fans for some time, and have watched with tears in their eyes as our poor server collapsed again and again under the weight of our burgeoning player base. "Why, why," they demanded, "must this excellent game go without adequate hardware when we are literally rolling around in Pentium 4 chips? Look, right now Geoff is picking his teeth with a 512MB stick of memory. Surely we can help."

Damn right! And that's why I am thrilled to announce Jolt is about to take over the hosting of NationStates. This means:

  • A fast, reliable forum. I know! I can hardly believe it either. In a few weeks we'll all wonder how we ever put up with the old one. The new setup will be part of the Jolt forums, which means it'll be spread across multiple servers and tended by actual IT people with real qualifications and everything. Fancy! All your current threads and posts will be retained, but the forum will look different to the current one, and will have a Jolt banner ad up the top.
  • A makeover. My complete lack of graphic design talent is noticeable, apparently. So Jolt is prettying up the place. It wont be a complete redesign, just a bit of a re-spiffing. (Shut up, it is so a word.)
  • I no longer have to juggle kittens on the streets of Melbourne to pay my bandwidth bills.
  • Jolt and I will partner to develop NationStates 2, the mysterious and hotly debated sequel to NationStates.
Apart from that, it'll be the exact same game that you know and play way too much of.

As we migrate, there will be a couple of relatively brief periods of downtime, during which you won't be able to access the game, plus a prolonged period (perhaps a week) when no new nations will be able to be created. I'll have more details on the when and whats shortly.

NationStates has needed professional hosting for a long time, particularly in the forums. At last it's almost here!

by Max Barry

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