Posted by mrpibb (416 posts) -

Wow, 2014. It's been a crazy year in hindsight, but I can't believe what's been produced by the team. I was told about the Whiskey acquisition (1 week after I started my new job!!) in May 2012 and then met with @snide to start hashing out details. Over the course of the next 16 months, we launched Giant Bomb (February 2013), Comic Vine (April 2013), and then GameSpot (October 2013) and onGamers (October 2013).

Wrong Phoenix, but close enough!

All told, we've written about 800k lines of code in our Phoenix framework and then an additional 90k lines in Giant Bomb and 140k in Comic Vine (deeper wiki structure is the majority of the difference there). GameSpot deviated the most with 200k lines of code added to the source repository.

Dragons! Beta! Dragons!

The amount of top men who've worked on the rebuild has also gone up and down. The initial rebuild started with 3 engineers (@idbloc and @sdornan) working with Dave and @alexisg to settle the framework. We slowly grew the team to 7 engineers by September (@rchen, @tatsh, @ltsquigs, @tsubomi joined the effort) but still missed our first milestone by quite a bit (seaserpent was supposed to launch that month, NOT!).

By December 2012, we had some momentum, especially with the launch of the seaserpent (the sigh of relief at launching a beta was huge for morale among the team). We pushed forward with more engineers joining the effort (@waterlovinguy, @frobie) to launch GB in February. Comic Vine followed 2 months later and we were given a month of "rest" before jumping onto GameSpot which then launched 6 months later.

Website Under Construction

Unfortunately, due to the size of the GameSpot rebuild, we were forced to branch off Phoenix and leave Giant Bomb on a side branch for the last 6 months to maintain stability. Fortunately, the remerge is finishing up and we should be merging everything back in next week. This will provide a new and better video player that has been rewritten from the ground up (it has already been tested on some of the chats last month) , performance tweaks to activities and notifications, and a foundation for us to bring back features and decrease tech debt across the board.

The incredible thing is that the engineering team has never grown past 12 top men working on the sites. Most of them have been faceless, periodically popping up in chat or forums to deal with issues. Some have left (@sdornan, @idbloc, @rchen, @tatsh, and now @ltsquigs) to move on to bigger things and roles, but not before leaving their mark on the framework and the site.

2014 will be a growing year for us, both for new features as well as in head count. The specter of the rebuilds is gone (it's actually amazing to look back at how much has been accomplished) and now we can look forward to working on new features (including integration with the new consoles!). To do this, we need more top men, so if you're interested in working on some of the best gaming (and comic) sites out there, playing with new and scary tech, breaking stuff, and chilling with some great guys (both top men and the communities on the sites), send me an email at danny dot chi@cbsinteractive.com.

Happy 2014, this year will be fun!

Staff
#1 Posted by NorseDudeTR (394 posts) -

Much appreciated, Top Men.

#2 Posted by Flacracker (1398 posts) -

New video player and new streamer! Thank you very much. The current video player is a pain and Twitch is so terrible.

#3 Posted by FLStyle (4401 posts) -

I will give this blog a proper read through as the amount of work gone into the sites this year deserve it, but for now I will just say great job to everyone at WhiskeyCBSi, the gents at WhiskeyBermanBraun (even with the original Top Men) did good, but not as good.

#4 Posted by ILikePopCans (714 posts) -

Nice, code everywhere. Sites looking nice

#5 Edited by Mento (2263 posts) -

Thanks for all the hard work you Top Men (and Ladies? I know there's at least one) have done this year. The site's way more stable now than it was at launch, and with this new player and some more wiki fixes we'll be back on peak form. I seriously do dig that new GS player you guys have been using for streams, though. Hopefully we can dispense with Twitch entirely before January's out.

Also, I dig it when you guys choose to share with us, either about new changes to the site or what you've been up to personally. You certainly shouldn't feel like it's compulsory, but it's appreciated. GB just seems like a friendly place in general.

Moderator
#6 Edited by wumbo3000 (904 posts) -

This is really interesting. Always great to get a look from the top men behind the scenes who actually make this website run. Great job to you and your team, Danny.

#7 Edited by Pie (6937 posts) -

Cool stuff. One of the things that seemed to make Giant Bomb so cool was how open engineers like Dave were. Now that Dave and Ian are gone you guys have less of a face making stuff like this much appreciated.

Thanks!

#8 Posted by TruthTellah (7688 posts) -

Thank you for your tireless work! I look forward to seeing all you will do in the year to come!

#9 Posted by mpgeist (579 posts) -

Thank you based Top Men. Best website on the World Wide Web.

Online
#10 Posted by ThineOarlock (29 posts) -

Wait, Where is Ian going?

#11 Edited by nophilip (39 posts) -

@thineoarlock I believe he's leaving to go work with Dave on whatever he's working on.

#12 Posted by TyCobb (1924 posts) -

It's been awhile since I have seen Space Abraham Lincoln. Good work!

#13 Posted by BillyMaysRIP (154 posts) -

I wish I was a top man :(

I once made a html document that said Hello World, and I set up my computers to share files over lan... can I be a top man?

#14 Edited by me3639 (1608 posts) -

Thanks and keep up the good work.

#15 Posted by Player1 (3840 posts) -

Can't express my gratitude towards you guys enough! You guys are the bomb. Can't wait for the new video player and other features :D

#16 Posted by BoneChompski (174 posts) -

It will be awesome when the new video player comes out. Right now when a video ends for me it immediately restarts at the beginning with the screen in uniform grey (audio only). I often listen to videos with wireless headphones as I do other stuff and I have listened to so many of the videos 1.5x before I notice it restarted.

Thanks for your hard work and for keeping Giant Bomb functioning during the process.

#17 Posted by Nightriff (4386 posts) -

Way more interesting to me than I would've thought.

#18 Posted by Chaser324 (5988 posts) -

Damn, I wasn't aware that you guys had so many engineers exit.

I know the departures of @idbloc and @ltsquigs garnered a decent amount of attention, so right now I want to make sure I say thanks to @rchen, @sdornan, and @tatsh. THANKS!

Moderator Online
#19 Posted by DEFE (198 posts) -

Much respect for the top men keeping things running behind the scenes. Keep up the good work.

#20 Posted by AMyggen (2027 posts) -

@flacracker: I'm sure they'll continue to use Twitch for the non-premium stuff, the cost of bandwidth is just too great when using your own player compared to a third party. So we'll continue to see more of Twitch, which I don't personally mind.

#21 Posted by Chaser324 (5988 posts) -

@amyggen: Hard to say how the streaming stuff will be handled in the future with the new player. The GameSpot stuff is typically broadcast on both their own player and Twitch, but they're a bigger site with probably far more resources at their disposal.

With private streams probably gone for good from Twitch (or at least gone for the foreseeable future), the premium streams will probably have to be handled with their in-house system, but I wouldn't be surprised if non-premium stuff is Twitch only.

Moderator Online
#22 Posted by AMyggen (2027 posts) -

@chaser324: Yeah, that was my thought as well. My guess is that if they can find a third party alternative that allows for private streams they'll do that, using the in-house player has to be a lot more expensive than any alternative. Jeff has said as much on his Tumblr, so I at least doubt they'll move away from Twitch on non-premium stuff (he also said that he liked to be part of Twitch because of what it was doing for gaming streaming).

It's a shame Twitch overreacted as they did to the Playroom stuff, and took down all options of private streams without notice.

#23 Posted by Fattony12000 (6378 posts) -

Top.

Men.

Great job y'all!

#24 Posted by Hardtarget (224 posts) -

Nice job everyone!