The New Forge

Almost 15 years as of this posting, I made a fun little side-project during grad school called The Forge: a simple fantasy name generator. Humble in idea and execution, this app chugged along for two decades helping people workshop their ideas. In those swiftly-moving 15 years, I earned 4 promotions, became an Art Director, and completed more contract work than you can shake a stick at. In short, I got a little more experience.

Many people used The Forge, from fledgling writers, to Hugo and Nebula-award winners. And thanks to a random bit of fan-mail (hey man, I can’t use The Forge on mobile ’cause it’s Flash, you ever think of updating?”), I decided to redesign the whole thing from scratch. And by scratch I mean from the first line of code, the first new Photoshop file, and a fresh install of WordPress.

The New Forge represents, at least for now, the most ambitious project I’ve ever attempted by myself. It involved more programming than I’ve ever done, linguistic research, web design, UX design, UI design, marketing, product design… for an idea so simple, The New Forge required a rather astounding amount of care. Its also my first foray into trying ta git paid for my work through Patreon and advertisements, so it’s all brave new territory – especially the part where I presume all of this deserves a cash reward.

In the end, The New Forge represents my little Summer hot rod project: little bits of my free time spent on one complex-but-clear vision of the future. If nothing else, The New Forge serves as a fitting yardstick for how much I’ve progressed as an polymath in 15 years.


  • 2019 . Industrial Age . Chicago
  • Photoshop, AfterEffects & Actionscript on Wordpress