CheatZILLA is reborn!
After a really long time I finally gave CheatZILLA, my video game cheats site, a face lift. I bought a template off the internet hoping it would get me a good start. Unfortunately it turned out to not be quite as complete as I was hoping so I struggled a lot with having to do web design myself.
I rebuilt the site from scratch. I wrote a whole new program to manage the site and designed a new restructured database. In less than 3 weeks I went from concept to a functioning prototype. The prototype is working so well that I went ahead and launched the site last night!
I started CheatZILLA back in 1993 when I worked at Napa Valley College. Back then the SNES was current technology. I had just gotten the SNES Game Genie after finding that a couple of borrowed games were way too hard. Unfortunately the code book didn't have codes for the game I was trying to beat the first level on!
This was back before the WWW had really taken off. Gopher was still king and files were all stored on FTP archive sites. Still, I fully expected someone out there would have already started an archive of codes. Nope!
At this time my only internet access came via dialing into a neighboring college and using a command line. But we had managed to talk them into letting us get email through them via UUCP. Since we had email I setup an automated email server which handled sending out codes, accepting new codes, and even converting codes from one format to another.
Not long after that NVC found funds to get their own dedicated internet connection. I then went about setting up a web site using my existing database, with a host under a sub-domain of NVC's domain. The site was extremely popular and my mailbox was always overflowing with requests for new cheats. I put out a call for donations for games and consoles (hey, I don't own every game out there!) and waited to see what would happen.
A couple days before my birthday (coincidence) a package showed up for me unexpectedly at the college. I had received a box from an employee of Galoob that had a Game Boy, a Genesis, and the Game Genies for both plus a Game Genie for the GameGear! Cool!
Soon the site was getting so overloaded that the pathetic little 386 I was sharing with other NVC duties was getting overloaded. Another call for help, and the guy at Galoob helped out again! This time he sent a brand-new 486, complete with monitor!
Several years later the abuse on the site (darn kids) was out of hand, not to mention the appearance was really primitive. In 1999 I completely rebuilt the site and moved everything out of the original text file database and into a real relational database. I also changed the site so that code submissions required a signup so that I could control the abuse.
At the same time, I registered a new domain, CheatZILLA.com. I redirected the old sub-domain from NVC to the new site for as long as I could hoping that people would update their links. Of course a lot of people didn't, and when the day came that NVC took away the sub-domain traffic probably dropped by half. I still see there are sites out there that wonder where the old Game Genie Server has gone.
The new site looks a whole lot better, I've added a bunch of new sections (which still need content added :-/ ), plus there's now a Giveaways section. I'm going to be having periodic giveaways all the time. There's already two games up for grabs right now!