NightLive was my attempt.
I tried to create a BBS that lacked some of the shortcomings I saw on other 'amateur' BBS'es. (To clarify the matter: I viewed my own attempt as an amateur BBS as well. Yes, I do have a big ego, but not that big.)
I used some old hardware, and standard software, plus a few tools of my own making. All graphics were ANSI (the blocky stuff). Some pictures / screendumps you can find on this page.
As you can see, it is quite possible to create some acceptable images, a decent menu structure and a clean layout in ASCII / ANSI.
(Yes, the old days, when BBS'es still ruled the world, and (not) everyone was willing to wait 2 minutes for every single picture to download over his 64/128 kilobit ISDN link on his 64 megabyte RAM Pentium 666 MMX-II 3D sound graphical enhanced virtual memorized multi-media computer...)
But, sigh, NightLive BBS is gone now. This memorial is all that is left...
CPU: 486SX33 (wow!)
Chipset: SARC (UMB) 486VLB
RAM: 5 Mb
Harddisks: Seagate ST1024 100MB / Western Digital Caviar 2200 200 MB
Modem: Best 1440 14k4 fax/modem
Networkcard: ProLan 200CJ
Operating system: MSdos 5
Memory manager: Qemm 7.0x
Network software: Lantastic v6.0
Fossil: BNU v1.82b
Mailer: Frontdoor 2.02nc
Tosser: Fmail 0.98b
BBS: Remote Access 2.02+nc
Fax program: Bfax
ANSI drawing package: TheDraw
Miscellaneous: Straks, XL, Faxwarn
Now that's quite a bit different from the hardware you're using now to view this page, isn't it?
Although I have *somewhere* a QIC40 tape with the whole BBS setup, I don't think I will ever try it out again... If only because the BBS program RA2 wasn't even millennium proof 😖 To keep the memory alive I have put up some screenshots of the old days.
Looking back, I did do some nice Ansi art, didn't I? I remember creating images in Deluxe Paint on an Amiga, then converting them into PCX and subsequently using something like TheDraw to create the Ansi screens you see below...