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Result 14 - Part 2, out now!
Read the Random Adventure and vote now on what happens next.



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Chaotic Shiny Donjon Seventh Sanctum Here Be Taverns

‘Bout time for an update.

Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow, it’s been a looooong time.

I’ve been meaning to do a big update post for a while, but in the first instance, some of the things I was working on kept becoming problematic, and caused a delay, and then, when I finally wrapped all that up, a series of life events took over, getting in the way instead one after another. Since I last worked on this post in March, I’ve had to deal with flooding, an influx of non-RanGen work, cat surgery (gone wrong), more flooding, an insane ad campaign with unexpected side effects, more surgery (also gone wrong), and more flooding.

Anyway! What have I been up to lately?

Quite a lot actually, pecking away at this and that, some things minor or medium, with a couple of much bigger things too. TLDR:

To start, I should go back and highlight some of the stuff I’ve been doing over the past few months but did not officially announce at the time.

RanGen’s DunGen

Aside from catching up on the backlog, I’ve also been working on a new project, which I’ve mentioned before. And so, we step into the DunGen; RanGen’s new sister site. Be sure to go there and check it out!

It’s a place where I plan to experiment and create a bunch of interesting, fun, and stupid features, both for your entertainment and for me to bulk out my coding skills.

There are, currently, three parts to this, with more coming in the future, but for now, one part is already chugging along. The DunGen is a work-in-progress, and, in its infant form, is home to just the Random Adventure, for now, which I have moved over there from its original spot here on RanGen.

But, I plan to continue working on the other two aspects in between my work on the Gens. I’ll post more info about those when they’re closer to being released. In the meantime, more about what IS already available.

A Random Adventure

Ai image produced by Stable Diffusion

For those of you who don’t know, the Random Adventure (temporary nickname; the true name will be revealed in time if you get that far…) is a tale I am telling; a tale of you, dear reader, as you travel around in a world of my design.

Based on your decisions through semi-frequent votes, directed by the decrees of the Decision, Dice and Number Gens, decorated with results from various Gens featured on RanGen, injected with the unhinged antics of AI and external suggestions, and balanced and woven together by me, the storyteller, it’s an evolving story whose direction no one knows. I mean, I know where I want it to go, but, goodness knows if it’ll get there. There’s much to explore, and even more that can take place.

Now, the tale is still in its beginnings; the prologue, if you will, but, things are starting to take a turn… Follow along with the story over in the DunGen, and don’t miss the opportunity to vote for what happens in the next chapter.

I’ve fallen behind on my schedule, but I’ve posted a few parts at once to try and get us back on track. For the moment, I’m trying to make each post a relatively short, easily digestible chunk that you can read in about 10 minutes. We’ll see what people think. You can read the latest chapter here, or start at the beginning here.

Ad Testing and Redirects

If you’ve visited RanGen over the past couple of months and don’t use an adblocker or have whitelisted RanGen, you’ll likely have noticed a whole bunch going on in relation to the ads that are displayed on the site, as well as a message calling people to check out the Testing Zone.

For those who did not, here is a recap: RanGen is financed via my Patrons, but primarily via ad revenue. Over time, the revenue has stagnated or fallen for my existing ad networks, so I’ve been looking for additions/alternatives. I found a few and have been putting them through their paces to see how well they can be integrated into the site, and how well they perform.

One ad provider in particular produced some very extreme results. It produced relatively massive daily revenue by utilising some of the most aggressive ad behaviour I’ve ever witnessed, with the most notorious method being to completely redirect users away from RanGen and closing the original tab. In the worst case, trying to view any page would immediately redirect the user (even me), away from the page, making the site basically inaccessible without an adblocker. People even contacted me worried that the site had been hacked.

But no, the site was never compromised during this time; it was all from the ad network. I don’t know if it was the network itself or the advertisers and their code, but either way, it was a liiiiitle bit too much.

So, over the past few weeks, I’ve been making some adjustments to see if I can find a balance and had visitors go into the Testing Zone to see how much people can handle being punched in the face by popups/redirects. I’ve also made some coding tweaks to adjust who can even see the ads, and how often. Currently, they should only be seen by Windows users, and only on Desktop; the negative effects from the ads were infinitely worse on smaller devices, so I’m trying to spare them the worst of it.

Right now, you should only be eligible to experience this code once when you first visit the site on any given day, then it should not run again for at least a few hours. I’m not aware of people spending all day browsing RanGen, so the idea is that when you visit the site, you may or may not even see an ad from this particular ad network, and if you do, you should not see another one from them for the remainder of your visit. Then, if you come back another day, you may or may not see another ad from them, but only one. The rest of the non-aggressive ads will display as normal.

A major thing to point out is that in many cases, the popups and redirected pages sometimes are scammy. I’ve seen and had reports of ads that claim that your device has a virus, has been hacked or locked, as well as some “!!IMPORTANT! Click here to XYZ!!” type messages that have caused confusion for RanGen’s visitors.

I strongly suggest you do not click on those ads or pages!

The ad network says that they do not condone such ads, but are not always able to filter them out; any that do get through should be reported. If you see something like that, don’t click on them; just ignore them/close that tab and move on!

I will see how things go for a little while and find out how much people are willing to tolerate in order to support the site. If, despite my tweaks, you’re still getting multiple popups and redirects, or if you’re even experiencing the aggressive behaviour on mobile or Mac, please let me know via the contact form below and I’ll see what I can do.

Thank you all for your patience, and for those of you who still have your adblocker disabled, for your continued support!

New Gens

I’m currently working on a bunch of new Gens. I was making good progress, but stuff got slowed down towards the end there, so for now, a couple are still in the works. In the meantime, two that are already live and kicking are listed below.

The Number Gen

Numbahs!

Waaaay back in August, I released the Number Gen with little fanfare. It’s a handy little tool that allows you to generate a bunch of numbers in a couple of ways, so if you want to get some random numbers, need to decide the order of things, or generate lottery number suggestions, check it out.


The Tavern Name Gen

Ai image produced by Stable Diffusion

Much more recently, I added the Tavern Name Gen to this list. This one produces names for your Tavern or Inn in the traditional English style but has the option to produce more general/fantasy names. It also has a Detailed option to give a description of the tavern and the people within along with the name! In a future update, I plan to add a more futuristic/sci-fi theme as well. This Gen is perfect as an inspiration for the all-important D&D starting location!

Aside from those, I’m also working on a much-requested Animal Companion Gen, a cousin of the already-existing Pet Gen. This upcoming Gen will be perfect for animals to join your characters in more adventurous situations, as well as more exotic and uncommon pets.

Updated Gens

I’ve been doing a lot of updating, and in particular, have been able to focus on some Gens that have been on my to-do list for a long time, and are well overdue. There are still a couple in the works, such as the Fantasy Race, Species, and Terrain Gens, but I hope to wrap those up shortly.

The Family, City, Decision, Solar System and Planet, Super Power, Meal, Fantasy Name, Medicine, Personality, and Pregnancy Gens all got updates, as did my global Naming System! You can read about each one in the What’s New? section of each generator’s page, and see what I’m currently working on, and what I plan to work on via the two Updates pages.

Y’all like pain..?

Photo by August de Richelieu

For some reason, despite how much text the Family Gen spits out, people are still asking for MORE details. Do you guys want the Gen to take 20 minutes to load, and develop RSI from having to scroll so much?! I’ll see what I can do.

The Family Gen has been the bane of my life for a while, and updating it is always a pain, but the recent rebuild should make it easier to update in the future, so I’ll see if I can survive the next round of updates.

Please bear in mind though; it is a family tree based on blood, so it refers to people who are directly related through birth, not via merging through marriage/relationships/adoption. You’ll have to make your own adjustments/combine two families if you want your characters to have same-sex parents or step-parents/siblings, etc.

The July Writing Challenge

Continuing my streak of actually releasing monthly writing and drawing challenges, you’ll be using the Love Interest and City Gens to write your story based on the theme of hopelessness. Check out the full details for this month’s writing challenge here.

Wrapping Up

For now, I will focus on getting back into the swing of things, resuming releasing the latest chapters of the Random Adventure in a more timely manner, and adjusting the ad network settings to be less disruptive. I also want to post smaller, more frequent updates. We’ll see how that goes.

In the meantime, thank you to everyone for continuing to visit, a special thank you to those who left a comment or sent me a bug report, and a special, special thank you to my Patrons, who continue to support me in my antics:

Samual Smith, Sayleaway, Clonetone, Juice, Laurence, Sloshy Scout, Kristin Wingo, Lokomotives, Sander Countryman, Ellie Sweeney, Terence Halton, Stuart Gipp

As a Patron, you’ll get to play with new Gens before they’re officially released, and your suggestions and requests for Gens are especially high priority. You too can join the cool kids by becoming a Patron here.

Until next time!


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Come on a Random Adventure!

Result 14 - Part 3 out now!

↓ Read the latest chapter here ↓

Prime time at Stardust

↓ Decide what happens next ↓

↑ No idea what this vote is for? Read the story! ↑


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Welcome to RanGen, a space that offers writing prompts and inspirational bursts creators of all shapes and sizes. I'm your host, Ameronis, and I'll be happy to take you on a wonderful, magical journey with the help of my many Gens.

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