Welcome! You’ve reached The Mega Man Network, a comprehensive site dedicated to covering each of the Mega Man series. This is where you can read all about our lengthy history and get an idea of the work that goes into the day-in, day-out management of this corner of the internet.
Part I: Mega Man X Online (2000-2002)
Almost ten years ago, two lonely fanboys got together on the ICQ network and decided to make a really cool Mega Man X website. These two, known only by their code names “Reeve” and “DarkMoogle”, set out to build a website that would not only provide analytical and in-depth coverage of the Mega Man X series, but also expose the true secrets behind Capcom’s plans for Mega Man X as they related to the Nixon/Watergate scandal (It’s true! Even Nixon himself believed it all and resigned over the debacle!) Anyway, the story begins…
It was the summer of 2000. Reeve and DarkMoogle created Mega Man X Online, which served a twofold purpose: one – as an outlet for Reeve to use his obscenely anal-retentive eye for detail to put to rest silly rumors like X being a rebuilt Mega Man or Rush and Proto Man being rebuilt as Zero, and two – a place for DarkMoogle to use his impish wit to write about various foibles of the Mega Man world (see the archived Fiber for the Irregular Hunter column). Reeve purchased a domain, and over five months worked to build his content base. On August 20th, 2000, Mega Man X Online opened to the public.
For nearly a year, Mega Man X Online thrived as a small community. The website’s detailed content in the form of plot analyses, scripts, and character biographies made it a significant draw. Reeve demanded quality over quantity, and as a result, Mega Man X Online developed a reputation as the authority on Mega Man X. In order to give the website a more professional look, Reeve enlisted the services of Rahul “Primigenus” Choudhury (formerly of Carpe Noctem Design and Gamingredients) to create the first of many face lifts for the site. In June of 2001, Mega Man X Online reopened its doors with a streamlined interface that would come to serve as the basis for nearly every subsequent revision.
Part II: The Mega Man Network V2-V3 (2002-2006)
Mega Man X Online continued to expand in popularity, but there was only so much you could do with one series. Because of this, Reeve decided to expand Mega Man X Online into something much larger – something that would give the remaining Mega Man series the same level of coverage that Mega Man X Online provided. Rahul Choudhury once again lent his expertise in creating individually-themed subsite designs along with a “hub” of sorts to serve as the site’s main engine. Mega Man X Online shut down in March of 2002 for “site maintenance”, and reopened in April as The Mega Man Network.
The new site was an immediate hit, as content flowed quickly in the form of resources and analyses for the games within the other series. Six months into the life of the new site, the webmaster of Megaman Outpost (defunct), Slash Raptor, decided to shut down his website and merge with The Mega Man Network. Between November and December of 2002, the deal was made final, and all of MMN’s content was ported over, along with a new interface built by Michael “Chronologist” Salbato to the former Megaman Outpost domain. In order to run the new site, a backend content management system was brought in to drastically overhaul the content editing process. This backend system, Unified, came equipped with a forum that replaced older phpBB and YaBB bulletin board systems, but quickly proved to be more than what The Mega Man Network needed. As this process was going on, many new staff members were brought on board to help with the management of the new Mega Man Network – one of whom in particular was being eyed as Reeve’s eventual replacement.
In July of 2003, following Slash Raptor’s departure from the Mega Man community, Reeve decided it too was time for him to take a more backseat role in things. He made preparations to hand the site’s direction over to Tim, a staff writer who had joined The Mega Man Network in late 2002. Although relatively new, Tim did carry with him a great deal of management expertise, a broad knowledge of Mega Man, and an eye for detail that rivaled Reeve’s own. Following the announcement to the staff, Reeve stepped down from his position and Tim assumed the reigns on January 1st, 2004 as Site Administrator.
From January to April 2004, The Mega Man Network underwent some modifications, including an altered layout, a new forum, and the decision to root out the Unified backend (which Tim was convinced had developed self-awareness at this point). To faciliate this quickly, Tim arranged for The Mega Man Network to relocate back to its previous home so that the current domain could be razed in order to start over. As real life situations pulled Reeve farther away from the site, DarkMoogle too decided it was time to leave. He wrote his farewell Fiber in June of 2004, and cleared himself out shortly thereafter. What began at this point as an endeavor to redesign The Mega Man Network into something functional yet clean started a downhill spiral throughout 2005 and 2006. Multiple attempts at redesigning the website were made, multiple designs were implemented, but nothing concrete came of it.
Part III: The Mega Man Network V4-V6 (2006-2007)
The Mega Man Network underwent countless attempts at revision, some of which duly merit their placement in our version count due to longevity. One such example includes Rahul Choudhury’s return with a minimalist-style design – one that was very interesting in terms of concept, but that fared poorly with the people who would use the site. Others were made as attempts to lightly scale-down The Mega Man Network using less images and more ‘net-friendly XHTML, but these too were abandoned. Ultimately, a design was created that utilized PHP scripts to rotate banners and sidebars, but it too had faults, in that every page had to be recoded by hand. Finally, options into how The Mega Man Network would function if expanded into a wiki-like encyclopedia were explored. As staff morale continued to dwindle, Tim became one of three people who contributed to the restructuring of The Mega Man Network – a task that became more daunting and more tiresome as Capcom’s then-relentless onslaught of new Mega Man games continued.
It was now July of 2006. Tim decided that his energies were best focused elsewhere aside from site management, and began the process of stepping down. Over multiple conversations with Jaxel, an idea was formed to scrap The Mega Man Network as it stood and start from scratch with a new concept, and a new name. But it quickly became apparent that this “Blue Bomber” project was simply a renamed Mega Man Network that eliminated coverage of Mega Man Battle Network and Mega Man Legends. Following Tim’s extended absence and resistance to this new idea, a staff meeting yielded a re-focused direction and a new leader – Lord Black “Nytetrayn” Draco – the one person who had been with The Mega Man Network since its days as Mega Man X Online. Tim briefly returned in an advisory capacity, and in April of 2007, satisfied that The Mega Man Network was now on a track to success, he left indefinitely to focus on his career and family. With Nytetrayn now at the helm, The Mega Man Network was reborn as part of a functional wiki-style project.
Part IV: Mega Man Network V7-8 (Present-Day)
On September 1st, 2007, The Mega Man Network officially made the change to being based off of a wiki for easier site maintenance and to become a foundry for everything Mega Man. Changes came rapidly, but there was one change no one expected – Heat Man joining the staff. Heat Man had previously worked for Sprites INC. and Planet Mega Man, in addition to running his own websites, Heat Man’s Homepage and Atomic Fire. Though once a rival of The Mega Man Network, Heat Man admired the leap in using a wiki format and decided it was in the best interest of his content to merge it with The Mega Man Network’s. With these new allies, The Mega Man Network became an even-larger supersite almost overnight.
However, while the wiki was definitely a step in the right direction, the site staff eventually felt more needed to be done. LBD “Nytetrayn” revised his vision to make the site blog-centered, since blogging made for easier reporting and was the trendy thing to do on the ‘net. In the winter of ‘08, The Mega Man Network was redesigned as a blog, with other features on the site such as the wiki, the community forums, and the gallery made into sub-sites with near-equal footing. With a fresh and more inviting new design, the latest iteration of The Mega Man Network is the culmination of many peoples’ efforts to create the go-to site for Mega Man news, information, media, and more.
What you’re looking at now is the near-end result of the staff’s blood, sweat, and tears as The Mega Man Network sought to find its true place. We hope you appreciate the final product, and look forward to continuing our goal of bringing you top-notch news and series coverage. Enjoy your stay here at The Mega Man Network.