Reflecting on one year of Longshanks 2.0

Longshanks began in early 2017 as a personal project to accurately rank Guild Ball players. I started by using the results of events posted all over the internet, but quickly became frustrated with the inconsistency in data collection at the various event hosting websites.

By the middle of that year, Longshanks had its own event management system that featured more advanced data tracking tools that were specifically designed for Guild Ball. Our user base exploded when the other main Guild Ball ranking system, hosted by The Black Orifice, endorsed Longshanks in August 2017. By the end of the year, nearly every Guild Ball event was hosted here, including the official national and world championships. We even briefly entered buyout negotiations with Steamforged Games (though that's a story for another time).

Since the beginning, people have asked about getting a Longshanks for their favorite game. Warmachine, 40k, Malifaux, you name it and someone asked for it, usually more than once. When Steamforged Games released Godtear, I decided to use that as a test bed for making other game-specific websites based on the Longshanks system.

At the beginning of 2020, things were looking great for Longshanks and its Godtear sister site (Battle Ladder). However, people basically stopped playing games in March of that year and activity on both sites ground to a halt. In August 2020, Steamforged Games officially stopped development on Guild Ball. The future looked bleak.

I realized that if Longshanks was going to survive, it needed to support other games. The system couldn't depend on the success of one game anymore. Development began on a flexible system that could take advantage of the strengths of Longshanks but still adapt to the needs of each specific game. I wanted the new Longshanks to duplicate the customized and purpose-built feel it provided for Guild Ball for as many other games as possible.

After six months of development and testing, Longshanks 2.0 was officially opened to the public on June 26, 2021. On release, it supported five game systems. Since then, we've added support for four more.

Supported on release
Added in the first year

In its first year, users have hosted over 600 events and nearly 14,000 games across the nine supported game systems on Longshanks 2.0. In that time, we have also added a number of new features including full army list submission, player communities, enhanced game statistics, and a user request page. Longshanks is more powerful and easier to use than ever before.

I would like to thank all our users and especially subscribers. Longshanks has a bright future ahead because of you.

Good luck, have fun, and happy gaming!

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