Have you ever had a problem installing the latest and greatest PC game and were forced to scour semi-helpful forum posts for hours looking for a solution? Andrew Tsai certainly has, and he created PCGamingWiki so no one else ever has to.
If Tsai, who goes by the handle Andytizer on the PCGamingWiki site (and is not the young boy in the stock photo atop this article), has his way, those lengthy forum searches will soon be a thing of the past. "My hope is that the site will address PC gaming's biggest problem — it's intimidating and confusing. My aim is for there to be a single page about every PC game that has and will ever exist, and to list the things that we all want to know about how to fix them and get them to perform the want you want them to: Where are the save games? What's the difference between the GOG, Origin and the Steam version? What exactly is Steam Cloud syncing? How do you fix the FOV? My wish is that when anyone gets a problem with a game or think of a fix for a game, they turn to PCGamingWiki instead of the forums."
In short, he wants to make PC gaming simple and easy for everyone.
It all started with a copy of Iron Lore Entertainment's Titan Quest, a game that flummoxed many a PC gamer with its bugs and performance issues.
"I'd just picked up Titan Quest on a Steam sale," Tsai told me recently during an email interview. "I spent a huge amount of time navigating through search engines and forum posts trying to see what to install to get the best experience from the game. It turned out that there were a large number of fixes, fan patches and mods developed by the community after the demise of Iron Lore, which vastly improved the original game. However, information about this was strewn all over the internet and hidden in blog posts comments and buried in multi-page posts. Once I was done with the game, however, I realised that I had spent more time setting up the game than I had spent actually playing the game."
Andrew began writing down his own research, collecting it with the aim of sharing it with the community. " I wanted the format to be very simple and to contain everything required to get the game to run well on a single page." It was during this process that he realised that the information would work better in wiki format, so others could add their own information. And why stop at Titan Quest?
Tsai registered PCGamingWiki.com on February 9 and began slowly filling the site with information. It was slow going until he started soliciting help through Reddit. Then PC gamers went into a frenzy. Twitter exploded. The reaction was so strong and immediate his hosting company dropped him, unable to handle the traffic.
The server outage brought a strong outpouring of support from the community, and from there Andrew recruited server admin Forrest Fuqua (aka JRWR). With his help on the back end the site was moved to a new service, and Andrew says it's handling its load like a champ. "As of 29 February 2012, we're standing on 1000 articles and 300 registered users, all in under 3 weeks, and it's still growing immensely."
At this rate PCGamingWiki could one day achieve its lofty goals, thanks in no small part to the passionate PC gaming community.
"The community has been really amazing on this project," Andrew said. "I was really surprised and appreciative of the number of donations I received and the level of contributions that people have made. Our users are extremely active, adding fixes and guides, requesting wiki features, spending time in our IRC channel, debating over categories and policies and really taking time to care for the site. I see the wiki as only really working with the support and knowledge of the community and the industrious editors, who only want to help the rest of the community."
That right there? That's what PC gaming is all about. No console wars. No extreme fans. Just a group of dedicated enthusiasts working their asses off to help Andrew realise his vision of making PC gaming simpler and better for everyone.
PCGamingWiki [Official Site]