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May 27, 2010 02:14 PM EDT


Over the past decade, the Desert Realm fantasy world has been ever expanding.  Background information such as potions, magic, monsters, kingdoms, and technology have been developed in the forums.  There are hundreds of such threads, and we're now in the process of compiling those and moving them to the main website so that they are easier to find and read. 

We're about 1/2 way through this process and will continue to move documents for the next few weeks, which is why some of the pages are currently empty.


Azkul desert realm
May 17, 2010 02:01 PM EDT

Desert Realm, the real life history

Hello. I'm Azkul, the founder of The Desert Realm. In 1995, I bought my first computer with a new-fangled program on it called Windows 95, which came with an AOL dial-up account. It had a super fast internet speed of 19.2 kbps - all my friends only had a 14.4!

Soon after, I found a cool site called Geocities, which let you make your own website... for free! What a novel idea! I bought HTML for Dummies, and started making Desert Realm. Like everybody else, I had no clue about design principles, usability, maintainability, etc... but I was having fun. I made the site a sort of "choose your own adventure". So I'd write a few paragraphs and present you with some choices... "Click here to attack the dragon", "Click here to RUN!". So you'd click one of them and you'd read on the next page that you just became lunch.

Once there were 100 pages or so, I started to learn what "maintainability" meant. As in, "Ugh... I don't want to change 100 pages to have a different background color!"

I also wanted a more interactive feel and discovered Yahoo Groups (back then they were called Clubs). A few people found the club and we started posting in character using the Desert Realm as the background. This went on for a few years and it was pretty exciting. Azkul, the disposed orc king, was the center of a rag tag group of adventurers on a quest to restore forests to the desert. Eventually, I lost interest and the club continued in my absence for some time; however, it eventually died off.

During this time, in real life, I became a web developer for a tech support company and learned about server side programming and databases. I learned PHP, found some free forum software, bought a cheap hosting package, and built At the time, I was interested in search engines, so I wrote a web spider in Java and became a fantasy search engine. Part of the site consisted of the free forum software, but nobody was using it, so I had the idea to try to revive the old Yahoo Club. I invited a few of the old members, and we picked up where we left off with the club. There were pretty much no rules at the time, and the background information consisted of "you live in a land where magic uses water to fuel its spells, which turned the oceans and forests into desert". Of course, in any free form group like that, people start arguing and there was no way to resolve the disputes. We eventually formed rules, and with these in place, many of the original players left the site because they either didn't like the new rules or the new management. Of course, others soon replaced them and the interactive stories continued.

About that time, Moggle, Sumdood, and Dare joined the site and really, if it weren't for those 3, DR wouldn't nearly be as fleshed out as it is.

In real life, I continued to increase my knowledge with web development technologies, business management, and marketing. A few years ago, I partnered with some others and we developed The Lens Flare, a photography community and Prospotlight, a social network for professionals. Then, We combined what we learned and formed My Market - a Software-as-a-service based content management system. Desert Realm is now running off the My Market Toolkit Platform, and we're in the process of editing and migrating the excellent background information contained in the forum to the main website.

The Desert Realm has begun a new age: The Age of Nangros.  100 years have gone by, and the master necromancer Nangros is imposing his will upon the land.  Will you oppose him?  Or join him?  The choice is yours...

Azkul desert realm
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