Version 1 of The Shadow Realm
The Shadow Realm was created as a Geocities site I believe in March of 2005, when I was fourteen (8 years ago), if I recall correctly. Originally, before I even came up with the name “The Shadow Realm,” it was merely designed to be a website of all my favorite interests; video gaming being a huge part of that. The Shadow Realm was a concept I came up with shortly thereafter, where I took an artwork I found of Shadow the Hedgehog from Sonic Adventure 2 and put it up as the splash screen, officially calling it “The Shadow Realm.”
Since then, The Shadow Realm has changed dramatically, as have I. I’m not the n00b kid I was back then. I still play Runescape, though; that was the first real thing I actively did on the world wide web, which I started a couple years before I ever got anywhere near creating The Shadow Realm. The Shadow Realm is also how my first ever oc character, Ultima the Hedgehog, ever came into being. And yes, he was a Shadow clone god of sorts. I eventually managed to break free from that and make him into something far, far more original and interesting.
The Shadow Realm jumped around a lot for the first couple of years. Originally, it was an entirely HTML-based layout. It started of on Geocities with Pagebuilder. Then, my Geocities account messed up and I couldn’t use Pagebuilder anymore. I ultimately copied the site off and found free hosting somewhere else, but I had to learn HTML to keep updating. I jumped across a couple more free sites, never having a real domain name set in stone anywhere.
Version 4 of The Shadow Realm
Version 4 of The Shadow Realm is the earliest version of the site at this point in time I still have records of. You’re right, I’m not particularly good at holding onto old versions of my website. I do not know if this version or Version 3 was the first version that had PHP. Adrenaline was an early member of the site, originally developing a fansite called Shadow Speed. He helped me to maintain the website, and he first converted the website into PHP. After that I started learning PHP, which is how I got to where I am today.
For a while I was trying to help work on an IPB bridge called IPBSDK. On this version of the site I was importing topics and posts from IPB using IPBSDK. As you can see in the screenshot of this design, the website is, overall, broken now. I never took a good snapshot of it before, so now I’m having a hard time of getting it myself. I’ve managed to get it looking decent by fixing some of the old code. As I thought; <? was at one point a valid php start code, but in recent versions they’ve deprecated that ability, which is messing up the layout. It doesn’t help that all news articles came from the forums, either.
This version of TSR is also the first where we had a real domain name, and we were hosted on a paid server I believe. I think that was the case, anyway; I can’t quite remember when we had the first domain name or what site we were hosted on. At one point the site we were on said they were going offline, and so we had to switch to a new server, which ended up being Sonic Strike, and we were on Sonic Strike for some time.
Version 6 of The Shadow Realm
Version 6 is the next version I have. This one is actually designed by me. Unfortunately, this is the only image I was able to find; somehow I misplaced all the actual layout images and stylesheets I had for Version 6, so I’m not able to get an accurate viewing of it.
By this point Adrenaline had long left, and since the design was pretty old, I created a new one myself. I don’t think it worked out very well. I do believe that its after this point when Renegade89 left Shadow Flash. Shortly after that, Sonic Cage Dome said that they would no longer host us. So we merged the SFBBS forums into The Shadow Realm, dropping Shadow Flash’s site all-together. I still have those files, as well.
Final Version of Shadow Flash
The Shadow Realm and Shadow Flash were closely linked for a while. I was an Administrator in the SFBBS for a number of years and both of us were affiliated with one another. I had a lot of site content, but I was unable to keep the forums updated and we were slowly dying. We never really had many members to begin with. My favorite hangout was actually the SFBBS. I even met my wife there, so the SFBBS really holds a special memory in my heart.
TSR and SF officially merged when Sonic Cage Dome said they could no longer host the site. At that point in time TSR had content; a TON of content, far more than SF had. So we merged the SFBBS, which was fairly active at the time, into TSR. During this point, TSR was still in Version 6 and we were hosted on Planet IGN for a time. Everything was stored on IGN’s servers and I went crazy uploading tons of media content. Eventually, though, they canceled that hosting, and everything moved back to Versus Technologies; the owner of Sonic Strike also owned Versus Technologies.
Ironically, Sonic Cage Dome’s version of Shadow Flash is still up online, though with errors. That snapshot above was taken from the last version of SF, still online at Sonic Cage Dome: http://soniccagedome.com/shadowflash/index2.php.
Version 7 of The Shadow Realm
The next version I have is Version 7, which is a good two years old. This version of the site was designed by Adrenaline as the final thing he ever did for TSR. Speed from the SFBBS had since taken over designs for the site after that point and continued to enhance that same layout. This site was created on a custom framework, but I never really got around to finishing that custom framework.
I eventually scrapped it for Joomla when I moved the site onto Bluehost, at which point I was currently in college. After this… its just been sitting around for about a year and a half until I finally brought it back two weeks ago. I’ve still got all the old files, I just don’t have time to finish the design at this point. I’ll get a snapshot of Version 7 when I can, but at the moment I need to do more work to fix it up than for the others, so I’ll have to hold off on that.
Version 8 of The Shadow Realm
I consider the previous blog version of TSR site along with its original goal to be Version 8. The layout was incredibly basic, and I never got around to finishing the updated layout (based on Version 7). This version is a completely updated goal for the site: rather than be a Sonic fansite, its just a video gaming blog.
I’ve changed my mind about sticking the name TSR. From here on out, we’ll be known as JaidynReiman Gaming. I brought back the color scheme of Version 7 of The Shadow Realm, and a few similar elements, but otherwise the entire layout has been updated to use a new standard for all my websites. JaidynReiman Gaming is intended to be my full-on revival, where I’ll be talking about topics that interest me as they come up.
At this point in time, although I’m still a Sonic fan, I’m really not into Sonic at the moment. Plus, all along I really just wanted to talk about video games. So, that’s my current objective, and the new TSR: JaidynReiman Gaming. The general basis for the site will still be dark-related themes overall with switching colors depending on the page.