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Age4Builder updated to v1.0

Hi r/aoe4 ,

With this release of the age4builder you can:

  • Make build orders,

  • Share build orders,

  • Upload build orders (as anonymous or logged in user),

  • Vote on build orders (logged in users only),

  • Manage your build orders (logged in users only),

  • Export builds to AOE4 Overlay,

  • And more...

I've been working on this tool since January this year. I started with it because I wanted to play AoE4, but loosing match after match I wanted some guidance in the form of Build Orders. I couldn't find any build order websites that were to my liking and/or had enough content to help me. Thus I came up with a plan to make my own build order tool which would allow the community to share their awesome builds and hopefully make me understand the game a little bit better.

While working on this tool I learned javascript, html, and css. Next.js, node.js, and VS code. Firebase, firestore, and authentication. Though I had some basic grasp on basic html and basic coding, I've never coded an interactive website like this from scratch. I'm not a programmer in my day job, so most of this had to be learned while doing the project.

Though it was a lot of fun to learn all these new things and make a functional website it cost a lot of time. Since the start of the project I've recorded over 100 hours. But in reality it's a lot more. I estimate it to be about 1 "working-day" (8 hours) per week on average for the past 7 months. This is next to my day job.

This might not sound like a lot of time to many, but to me it is, especially next to my very time consuming day job. And that last part is also the reason why I am going to spend less time on this project.

My dream goal is to only spend time on projects like these and others that I'm working on, instead of my (more than) full time day job. This is why, for this project, I opted in for donations. I also opted out of ads, because I felt like that would ruin the user experience too much. However, since the start of this project I've received exactly 3 donations of which 1 is from my long time best friend who simply supports me at everything (he's the best!). This resulted in €9,- before income tax.

There's also the cost side of things. The website domain name is a bit over 9$ per year. So at the moment the net is 0,- Even if the amount of users (and donators) would go tenfold, then it still is not enough to spend time on this project with my dream goal in mind. If however both users (and donators) would go hundredfold or more, then it could get interesting, but at that point I would have to switch to another hosting plan which is no longer free, but charged per data and database usage. However, this scenario would mean that there should be 10.000 users per day on and about 300 donators per year. Seeing that this subreddit has about 60.000 users I find it very unlikely that the website could hit such high user numbers.

Having said that, I will continue to support it by fixing bugs, replying to comments, updating issues on the Github page and adding in small features when I have some time to spare. I will continue to keep the domain name up as long as there are enough daily users.

At this point you might wonder how my AoE 4 skills are now? Well, I actually haven't played the game anymore because I've spend most of my free time on this project and I used the rest to relax a bit more. However, I'm glad that there are nice and readable build orders out there now that help other players that enjoy the game to learn and implement them.

Thanks and let me know if you have any questions or comments!

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