If you had told me last year, that the
small page I started with a couple of downloads on it would turn into the Modlink
we all know and love, I probably wouldn't have believed you. Let me take you back
to a dreary March afternoon...
It was somewhere around mid-March. About
a month earlier, a forum member named antiproanti said he had started work on
creating a graphical conversion for Uplink. This might not sound like big news
now, but back then, the only mods available for Uplink were a handful of gateways
created by a couple of people, some name changing text files, and a mod that made
Uplinks graphics red instead of blue, so this graphical conversion came as big
news. A few days later, he posted this. Everyone loved
it, it was the first graphical change made and Uplinkers everywhere downloaded
it and started playing with the new world map. After that though, little else
was heard from antiproanti. The month passed, and there was no word on a finished
It was now somewhere in the middle of march, and I was bored.
I was browsing around old forum topics, when I came across antiproanti's thread
about his graphical mod. After reading it, I thought that this might actually
be something fun to do, so I started work on a graphical mod of my own. I posted
on the forums that I was doing it, and interest seemed to be quite high. 3 days
later, my first graphical mod had been finished. It was a hideous monstrosity
of blue and red, but people liked it because it was new and different. I found
some free web space at web1000.com and created a small page where people could
download my mod. The page was awful, a badly made table, with a black background
and bright green text.
A few days after, I found out that someone else had
also made a mod, but they never released it to the public. They sent me the file
and I added it to the page along with mine. I then had the idea to try and expand
the range of files on my page, so I got permission to add the 2 gateway mods that
were around to the page, the red graphics change, along with the name change mods
and the 2 graphical mods already there. This is when people started sending me
mods that they had made to add to the page. It didn't take long for the page to
become crowded, so I decided to divide it into sections. My page had now become
a site. It was still a badly designed, horrible looking, browser unfriendly site,
but it was a site none the less. Now all it needed was a name, and with the help
of people on the IRC channel, I got one.
On April the 1st, 2002, Modlink
The site was popular beyond all my expectations. I received new
mods to add everyday, and the updates to the site were just as frequent. It didn't
take long for Modlink to have a large collection of mods, and new ideas were arriving
all the time.
I don't remember exactly when it happened, but some time in
the middle of April, after several people had complained about the design of the
site, I jokingly posted a request on Modlink, for someone to redesign my site
for me. Much to my shock, the next day, someone by the name of Hexadecimal had
emailed me saying he would be willing to do it. The next day he emailed me an
image of what the site would look like, and I was amazed. A few days later, he
had finished the site, and I started uploading it. The Modlink you see today is
the same design that was made for me all those months ago, albeit slightly changed.
The new design brought along things such as the Mod of the Week, and a small bit
with the latest mods I had received, and a new wave of inspiration in the mod
It's now April 23rd. After the end of the competition
on The Hackers Shadow, I decided to run a competition of my own. The idea was
to design a gateway, and the prize was a bonus disk. You couldn't buy the bonus
disks then, so this was a pretty cool prize. The contest ran for about 2 weeks,
and had about 10 entries, all of which were pretty good.
About a week after
this, in the beginning of May (about half way through the Gateway contest), I
received my next big shock. Someone going by the name of R-Lan had emailed me,
offering me free web hosting. There were no catches, no hidden clauses, and no
adverts. This was web space he was paying for, but not using, so had decided to
allow me to use it. This was one of the best things that ever happened to Modlink.
The old host, web1000, was slow, and sometimes took 2 or more hours to update
once I had uploaded changes to the site. The new host was fast, and with a huge
amount of space, I wouldn't have to worry about running out of room, as was rapidly
becoming a concern on web1000. A few days later, it was all set up, and Modlink
transferred to its new location, where you can still find it today.
next few months were fairly uneventful as far as radical changes go. There were
no updates at all to the site for a month because I moved house and was without
an internet connection for a while, and when I returned, the new Patch for Uplink
had finally been released. This added loads of new modding features to Uplink,
and this itself caused a new rush of mod making in the community. A whole new
section and various sub-sections were created on Modlink to accommodate the new
patch features. This was a pretty busy time, and I received a large number of
mods. Modlink was growing faster and faster every day.
to the end of July. Once again, I was bored (a common occurrence, to be sure).
I honestly don't remember where I got the idea from, but I came with up an idea
of giving people an Uplink user file, with a set task to complete on that file.
The Uplink Hacking League was born. A lot of people were very interested in the
idea, so I made a set of rules, and, with the help of GroovyPigThing, an IRC regular,
set up a challenge. The first UHL challenge was won by WolfLord, and he is currently
still top of the UHL score board. Unfortunately, UHL challenges haven't been as
regular as I would have liked, but they are still going, and they are still pretty
There is a 4 month gap where very little major happened on Modlink,
with the exception of hosting '20 Questions with Introversion Software' that Downlink
had conducted (Downlink went down for a while and ask Modlink to host them). UHL
challenges where released and completed, and mods continued to be sent in.
3rd 2002. I decided to run another competition. This time, you had to choose a
company from Uplink, and design a logo for that company. The prize? A copy of
Uplink, signed by the Introversion Software team! Introversion Software was kind
enough to supply me with a signed copy of their game, and the competition was
a huge success. With nearly 40 entries, it was by far the most successful Uplink
competition run by a fan site ever. The contest ran for one full month, and the
eventual winner was none other than GroovyPigThing.
9th of January 2003. I started work on the ill fated Modlink CD (which is where this article was originally).
The CD contained every mod found on Modlink, converted to work with the new version, all 4 Gamebibles fully decrypted and ready for viewing, and an interview with Chris about Introversion's new game.
Unfortunately, the CD never took off, and only about 20 CD's were sold.
Its now mid April 2003, and Modlink has been totally reworked using PHP and MySQL. The whole site now works much better than it did before, and things are much easier to find.
That's about it for the History of Modlink.
It's been a fun ride so far, and I can't wait to see what's going to happen in