It’s crazy to believe, but today marks ten years since Darkstorm Servers began back on January 25th of 2014. I was just 15 years old, and the co-owner at that point. Back in those days we went by Gunner’s build server, and it wasn’t until Gunner ended up retiring some time later in 2014 that I worked with the community to come up with the name Darkstorm. Honestly, considering how young I was at the time I think we did alright with picking a pretty cool name lol.
This community has been through a lot over the years, hundreds of staff, thousands of people (last I checked over 100,000 people have loaded into our server) and thousands of hours of playtime across all of our different servers, but of course most of it being on our original build server that even a decade later still has some similarities to how things used to be run back in the old days.
There’s been communities declaring outright war on us, hackers claiming we would be gone within the week (lol!), attempted sabotages, and just about any type of chaos imaginable in a community of this size, we’ve been through it, and we survived any challenges thrown our way. I’m not going to pretend any of this has been easy, let’s be real here I was still a kid figuring a lot of this out, but nonetheless everyone helped me keep my sanity and figure out each challenge as they came up, or at the least added some humor to the situation to make it more bearable as I slammed my head against my desk trying to find solutions.
It hasn’t just been a wild ride with a lot of chaos though, there has also been so much that me, and many others have sacrificed over the years, close to $10,000 has been spent on hosting related expenses, website maintenance, domain registrars, and all the other chaos involved in just keeping us on the internet. Even some of the addons over the years had to be purchased from what used to be known as script fodder. I’ve gotten a handful of donations over the years, some of which were pretty awesome, but overall my dream with Darkstorm was to make it a community where everyone doesn’t have to be in a pay-to-play community, and just helps out if they can. (hint: I probably paid 80% of the expenses out of pocket… RIP my wallet lolol)
Even with all the work it has been for me, and all the money I have dumped into this hobby over the years I don’t regret any of it. I have made some awesome friends, and have even more awesome memories to go with the people that have come and gone. If you’re reading this, you’re probably part of what made this community great over the years, and I appreciate you sticking around, or even just being apart of our history even for a little bit. That being said, if you moved on, I’d strongly encourage you to come back every now and then and say hi… if half of our forums, or even half of our discord started being active once a week again we would easily be one of the largest gmod communities in the world. That’s pretty crazy to think about!
I’m sure a lot of this has been just some ramblings that didn’t make a lot of sense, but let me at least end this little note on a note of encouragement for every gamer still reading this; while many communities have come and gone over the last decade, we’re here to stay. As long as you folks keep being apart of the community and keep working towards my goal of a large community without the toxicity of the rest of the internet then I’ll keep this going forever. It’s a lot of work though, so if you want to make the burden on me a little easier please feel free to help out when you’ve got time! Even something simple like some of our retired staff coming out of retirement would take the burden off of everyone significantly. No pressure, but a large group of volunteers are what keep a community like this thriving for decades to come.
Thank you everyone who has been apart of our chaotic journey, and an even bigger thank you to everyone who has put up with me learning as I go.
Happy birthday Darkstorm, you’re officially the prime age to start being one of the most cringy noobs in gmod 😀