View the edit log at the bottom of the post so that you know what changes to look for.
This is going to be a long post because I really want to get as much info out there, but first let me just get this over and said quickly: The sites appear to be gone for good.
I don't know how much you guys know about the leadership of the sites, I didn't really know them well, so I want to explain that first.
In the past there were plenty of staff members, that's a fact known to anyone who went to the thread listing current and past staff, but at the time right before it shut down there were really just 3. Seidh (Scott), our admin in red text, Pegasus, our coder in green text, and Weezee (Karrie), our amazing artist in Purple. They are/were the ones in interacting with us, trying to keep the site afloat. They'd listen to our ideas and try to get stuff done for us.
The only other top person was Tarsupin (Brint), the owner of the site. I never knew much about him and you probably didn't either, unless you spoke with people who had directly interacted with him. And if you did, that was probably either the three staff members, or someone who was banned or had quit.
Brint was the one who came up with the idea for the site, and was apparently constantly coming up with new ones. This seems great! But in reality, it was apparently poorly done. He refused to take critique and advice from anyone else, and evidently when people got too loud and start to get upset that they were not being heard, they would get banned.
One ex-coder for the site said they would try to tell Brint that his ideas just couldn't work, but he would shut them down everyime. That person went on to say that the site HAD its peak, UF4 (which I might agree with, I was there), and express his disappointment in Brint for planting the seed but not watering it, and scaring people into silence. The ex-coder finally ended with saying that they didn't believe Brint was never interested in Unifaction for anything but money, and that when he was done he dropped it like so many other project ideas.
Now I remember those ideas, though some of you might not have been there for them. I honestly remember thinking Brint's ideas were great and that they probably didn't take off just because it was a small site and he didn't have the support. Now it seems he didn't have the support because he didn't want to compromise, and he pushed all of his support away.
These claims against the owner might seem harsh or unrealistic in this time to us who were either newer to the site, or low enough in its users that we didn't hear the drama from higher up... but more and more similar stories resurface now that they don't fear prosecution and it starts to paint a pretty grim case against Brint.
Another older and respected user confirmed the ex-coder's money comment with "I'm sure every month when he had to pay the hosting fee, it burned him a new one. It also doesn't surprise me that he shut the sites down without any notice. It also doesn't surprise me that he didn't offer the sites to Seidt, since lacking in wisdom and being full of self-delusion common sense are highlights of how he acted while owner of the sites."
It is important to note here that I don't know Brint personally, so I really cannot curse him or say anything about him personally that is going to ring entirely true. But I can say that after hearing how he tried to run things that the CHOICES he made and his "leadership" skills were apparently poor and the Uni-Verses couldn't sate the apparent power-hungriness behind the pretty avatar he had.
Now, we weren't trying to spread hate in the group of us all talking, really. We were trying to keep it to facts and short stories as everyone explained things that had happened in the past, and this is obvious to anyone reading the stories because they do not get too personal. But even then, there is some animosity that might leak out... and that'd fair, isn't it? We cannot expect to entirely be the higher people when we have been so wronged. It's not just a fun game site we lost. Some of us lost years of hard work in collections of their pets, years of work in creating avatars and getting new items for them constantly, and lots of us probably lost friends with whom we only had contact though these sites. I for one lost a great place to make connections and have a friendly platform to share my art and make things for people.
Not only that, but there is all of the hard work that the official artists but into the site. Not just the ones who made any of the hundreds of digital drawings for every pet, avatar clothing, and UC item... but the writers who worked on the lore of the world and the animals. There wasn't an official writer at the time listed in the admins thread, so I'm not sure who was creating the newer creatures, but there was writers listed there before.
All of their work is now lost to them, unless they saved it somewhere (because we certainly didn't, how were we supposed to know this was going to happen?). Even then if they have it, they only are able to use it as part of their portfolios saying they helped with this awesome site in it's time. But every piece of artwork belongs technically to Brint to do with as he pleases, and we cannot do anything with the characters but look fondly at them in our memory, and make fan art.
Someone mentioned that some of the original characters were his ideas, or based off his drawings, so I can understand why he's being possessive to a point. And aside from that, Unifaction and Unicreatures was his idea . . . but it is very sad to think that he would rather close it down and lock it up than see it go on without him, or compromise with his users, or even just leave it open but stop updates so that it dies more naturally.
So where do we go from here?
Before we got the update on what really happened between Seidh and Brint and why the site went down, we were talking amongst ourselves wondering if we should even go back or not, if we were to disband to our other pet sites with our friends, or if something new should be created without UC/UF. One user said that after being treated in this way, she would rather go with Seidh and Pegasus to a new site than go back to UF with it being in its current leadership. Only if Brint gave it up would she go back, or else she'd just try to get in contact with the people she could and get out.
I personally would go back to the site if it came back up, even under old ownership. But if that were the case, I would remove everything of mine from UniFaction and focus mainly on the UC... especially if our main 3 ended up not being there. I would save everything I could that I loved from those fantastic sites... and then ride the waves until it eventually died again.
But I probably won't get the chance. Yesterday, Seidh posted this:
"Ok so many of you are wondering what happened. I'm sure you're looking to me for answers as I was the site admin. I don't know a whole lot but I can tell you what I do know. Back in December I had a conversation with Brint about taking over UF and UC; After thinking on that conversation, I had another with Pegasus and a few others, about what it would take to rebuild the site from scratch - making it much more user friendly (like it was on 5) with a much smoother design. Then Saturday I conversed again with him to discuss the details of everything. I could not work with his terms; I wanted him removed from the site entirely - paid only in royalties for any artwork sold. A few minutes later I am blocked on 3 messengers, facebook and the sites are offline.
So back to the conversation with Pegasus...We formed a team back in December after the initial chat with the site owner. We hashed a few things out and she began doing her magic. Now we cannot use any UF or UC artwork that all belongs to he who shall not be named but we can rebuild the community forums and over time all new avatars and items; we have 2 artists on board already. The forums SHOULD be ready to launch as early as this weekend. What we need are name suggestions, hosting and domains need to be worked out as well. - This is your chance for some ground level input*
Hopefully this answers some questions you guys have. I don’t know much, but I do know I love the community that was Unifaction, I would not have devoted so much of myself to the site with no compensation or acknowledgement from the site owner. So we hope you guys are behind us in this venture; we really are excited to see what we can do for you guys with a blank slate!"
This of course can come as a huge blow to many of the users, but to plenty it was expected.
in the chaos that Brint left, it is beautiful to note how so many users (over 80!) got together and are so willing and hoping to keep our family together, despite being currently homeless. Our old staff members love us SO much that they want to keep us the community we built as one.
This is of course going to be slow-going, however. I'm sure building a new site always is. Right now we still need and are thinking about site names (feel free to suggest some here, I'll pass them along!) and there is only going to be a forum set up for the time being. They aren't certain just yet about an adoptables site, but they are planning for it! It would take a lot of coding and images and writing to make an adoptable site, so it's not as important as the forums. As for the avatars, the artists are working on new bases but have not yet done much more, as it is understandably overwhelming.
So. Thinking back on all of the copyrights things I mentioned earlier, creating a new site might seem hopeless to some. I can hear it now: "there were so many creative creatures and outfits I loved on there, and we can't even have them ever again! What's the point??"
Well. I'll tell you.
UC/UF may own all of those old specific designs and character stories, but not the archetypes behind them. Brint also doesn't have a hold on the idea of evolving adaptables, or things that we had for avatar items like tee-shirts and jeans.
Pick your favorite Unicreature. Paww? that's just a winged cat. As long as we do not take the same pose, design, or personality from UC or any other site we can make as many winged cats as we want. Melody? Anex? they're just mermaids. Lazuli? She's a harpy. Heck one of the creatures was just a tree. There's plenty of trees in the world to draw inspiration from and have new characters like that.
Then there is avatar clothing... with a different base and pallet that enough is good to take old, plain ideas and use them again (like plain collars, converse shoes, and vest-tops.) There are going to be some things we lose and cannot take, like exact designs for dresses and jewelry (even redrawn on a new base, the design does not belong to us), and backgrounds... But we have an amazing creative staff that I'm sure will grant us plenty of beautiful things in our family's future.
If all you really loved about the old site was the pets, or you're too upset at the time to try to stay with the community and move with us to a new place, then that is fine if you don't want to stick around.
But really, the people who made everything happen for the owner and for us are the best part. The artists, the writers, the coders. . . They want to keep us together in a safe community, even if that means working really hard to build a new home from scratch. I am truly excited for the new place, and what can come of it.
Though it will no longer be Unifaction or Unicreatures, it will be made up of it's people moving on from the wreckage. So I will post any more new information that comes up on the new place here on this group.
In the meantime, would you like to share fond memories of UC and UF? Tell us your favorite things about the old site. What did you love, what will you miss, what would you want in a new community that we build?
Scott Langdom, Seidh, just posted this on facebook:
"So we have brainstormed and brainstormed and done it all some more and these are the ones we have narrowed down to:
(*this list is subject to change)
We will be setting up a voting system of some sort real soon (this will be edited once that happens) to help us narrow it down!"
I don't know the meaning behind any of them, but a few are rather pretty. When we are given the link to the poll, or the list changes, I will update this again.
We have a link to the poll now! boop.
Important! Seidh posted "(the poll) will come down at 4:30pm EST Sunday January 24". Make sure you've voted if you want a say, and to tell others that it's closing in less than 24 hours.
It seems that the owner of UC and UF is acting totally irrational, and the sites seem to be gone for good. But the community that was built within them is sticking together, and with its talented and skilled leaders we are hoping to build a new home.
[*]someone said I probably shouldn't use direct quotes as if I was interviewing people, so I'm going to go back and re-word this. I think they're right, I was just trying to get as much pure info out for your guys but I wasn't thinking about people's privacy like I should have.
[*] minor edits and added a paragraph: "Someone mentioned that some..."
[*]Jan 19th - "Naming Update"
[*]Jan 21st - Poll link
[*]Jan 23rd- poll time limit