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Site History

Island Quest » Site Essentials » Site History
The First Version of Island Quest In the Beginning

In the initial months of 2002, back in the good old days, Fantasy Island was getting more heat than parks such as Alton Towers due to the rapidly developing new Odyssey coaster. To cover the construction of this new coaster a site was needed. The first version of Island Quest was simply named “Jubilee Odyssey”, the site went down a storm receiving 46 thousand hits during the construction of Odyssey. Even though the graphics and design was indeed tacky, the quality and quantity of the updates was more thorough than even today.

People from around the internet were contacting me with media such as park maps from 1995 and ancient news paper articles. I myself was also collecting unique content such as video footage of Jubilee Odyssey stalling. I soon had enough content to construct a site not only about Odyssey but for the whole park. This was named ‘Fantasy Island Tour’ containing various scanned images from Polaroid’s and the media afore mentioned. During this time I (Barry) was the one sole member of the staff team, and took on the site single handed.

FI Mania

FI Mania was born in August 2002, initially a recycled version of FI Tour. This for the first time offered users a forum system, which brought about new opportunities. Here I met the majority of our staff team and contributors who keep the site at its best. Aly joined the team towards the end of 2002, initially as a forum moderator but was soon at work on the main site. For the first time I was working alongside a team and this showed in the increasing quality of the site. Stuart Carrier a professional site developer created a new FI Mania in 2003, which for the first time offered the site a professional layout. Up until this point we had worked only with free web space packages using sub domains, this all changed in the 2003 off season when we finally dug into our wallets and purchased

At this point we moved from a small set of forums to a community of members and interactive features known as the ‘Members Centre’. This contained features such as flash games, quizzes and also a points system; allowing members to gain points as a reward for posting. They could also then gain further points by storing them in a bank to gain interest, or even for 1 point have a game on the lottery in an attempt to win more. This proved successful beyond what we could have imagined with around 10,000 posts made in under 6 months.

The site went through many redesigns and was as a result quickly losing the professional image it once had, the site was also becoming increasingly difficult to update. A php system with a database was needed to manage the site more efficiently. To this note in 2004 the site was taken offline and went through the biggest overhaul since 2002. A new site was created that used a system called XOOPS which is a content management system, Stuart helped to work on this site. After this point things went a bit sketchy to say the least; the site lost popularity and was receiving around 2 or 3 hits a day. The Members Centre was soon taken offline due to glitches and eventually we neglected to update the site due to the popularity drop.

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Introducing Island Quest

In 2006 I returned to the site with allot of new ideas. The first change I made was to enrol someone that knew just how to handle php, so that a custom built system could be created. Into this role stepped James, who had moderated the Members Centre in the past. Designing the site and getting an initial news blog online took several months, a new set of forums were built and began to attract attention during the summer of that year. The site team was restructured into four members, Barry whom takes the role of webmaster, James our code developer, Aly who takes sole role in forum management and continues to update the site, and most recently Chris our content editor and forum administrator.

Building a site that could be recognised and compete with other unofficial theme park sites was a challenge, and took almost a year to complete. But with new content such as multiangle videos, panoramic skyline banners, downloadable programs, and quality high resolution photography we believe that we have met our goal.