Hey all. Bit of a sombre feels post here.
It would be totally narcissistic to expect people to still remember who I am, but to be honest I really don't care. As in the title, this is about giving myself closure, and also most of this will be directed at everyone, and no one in particular at the same time.
My last post on this forum was the 7th July 2013 at 17:49:17. I could do the sums and work out exactly how long it is, but let's just say it's been almost 4 years. That's a pretty long time to be inactive on a forum, but despite not being active I do come back to this place from time to time, and even though I didn't really expect any of it, I did pick out a few names that have been around since the beginning. I also come back to check on the game, and sometimes it seems more or less where I left it, and other times I see just how much has changed.
Most of them have become moderators, and others have just been long-posting members. For the benefit of all of you I will explain who I am and why I am making this post. It pains me to put it this way as it seems insanely egotistical, but bear with me.
This is not the original, but it is a semi-accurate representation of what I applied with to join the team.
After originally being opposed to the whole idea of the show, and then watching it and falling in love with it, after catching up with a binge of the early first season episodes I was completely enamoured with cartoon horses. I also had a lot of free time because I'm a loser who plays video games. This was back around the time when the fandom was really taking off and I had the thought "I see the flash games, I wonder if anyone's decided to make anything better?" and I found a little back corner of some site somewhere, where something called "Equestria Online" was starting up.
Yeah you've seen my terrible MSpaint skills, but believe it or not I actually got onto the team; although it clearly wasn't in the concept art department.
Early days EO was a mess, nobody knew who anyone was, nobody knew what anyone was doing and nobody knew how to do anything apart from some vaguely game related stuff.
I always felt a bit guilty in later years because I had applied with a shocking piece of artwork, but through some verbal skills, which I guess i have, and mainly because they were desperate for help and needed enthusiastic workers, I made it onto the team (Sorry guys who had to apply with rigorously scrutinised and astutely judged literary masterpieces, and not even getting in).
I guess it was that enthusiasm and drive that got me places. It got me into the writing business, on the writing team under Bloomberg. I wasn't classically trained like most of my peers who were on/had completed university/college level literature/english/journalism courses. I was just a guy who done writed a bit gud, and wasn't bad enuff to be imejutly be kicked out.
I had a lot of fun, we were all friendly, but naturally in a group of writers the ego comes out and there are tensions, but early on in the process we got along purely through the spirit of making something and all being madly in love with miniature cartoon horses for girls. Later on the tensions did start getting to people, but mostly I have come out of the experience with fond memories of staying up until 5am chatting with people on the other side of the ocean about stuff and junk.
There were a few that I really did consider friends who I could really get along with outside of "work". I don't want to name them because frankly some of them may not be around, and even though I hope they don't they might not have felt the same way about me, they were "A", "BM" and "SO". This was great, and you may be thinking "Oh he didn't have friends but he found them here, that's sad but nice it all worked out!" but no it wasn't that. I have friends, and some of them have been good friends, and one or two have been best friends. But MLP was my secret shame in a way, I haven't told them, and I've been a closet fan ever since I started watching, but these guys were people I could get on with and they were fans of the show I liked, so there was no holding back, even if at first there was some holding back because they were essentially strangers.
I could go on at length about all the times we had, but quite frankly if I was truly able to ramble all about it, this would become memoirs instead of a forum post. That and the fact that there are certain NDA type dealies going on, and some of that stuff may still be confidential.
Again, I had a great time. I worked myself silly, and I like to think I gained some sort of reputation as a dependable person, even if what I churned out was sub-par in terms of quality. Then when the game finally rolled out into testing it was amazing.
At first there were livestreams and youtube videos, and I was in the background of a few, and on Open server weekends I was there teleporting people out of the ground and whatever else they had managed to get stuck in, and I felt proud. This was something I had been a part of, and I felt like a father looking after toddlers on open servers and it was great because I saw you get as happy with the results as I had been working on it and seeing you enjoy it.
Another memory I am fond of was the first 24 hour livestream event which I stayed up for. I mean the writers aren't usually at the forefront of any game, people congregate around the 3D and the pretty artwork, but in this 24hours everything was covered, and I was interviewed! Bloomberg, "A", and I all were interviewed and we got to answer questions live and it was amazing (I don't know if any of it was recorded, I'd like to hear it again but I doubt it was taken down), and although I don't particularly like public speaking, I enjoyed really connecting with people on the outside (afterwards I was even complimented on my voice being nice to listen to by my team-mates because up until that point I had been completely silent in terms of voice because it's one of my hang-ups I do better typing than I do talking, my mouth just can't keep up with my brain, and that compliment has really stuck with me).
Anyway back to LoE related stuff.
There was a ton of screwing around back in my day (pic related - its a very old build so I'm sure the NDA doesn't count), but we got work done, just recently I've come to understand that things got a tad more professional. Some of the spark is still there but it's just not the place I left, and maybe that is for the best because the game has really come on in leaps and bounds, and despite how negative it might sound, I've actually had a chat with some of the "new" guys and they're quite decent.
This is partly why I made this post.
Today, I felt like Bjorn the Fell handed, and for those of you who don't know what I'm on about I will explain. In real life, things came up and I opted to take a back-seat in the development process, I had always intended to come back, and I had built up a reputation for being a solid contributor, but I was taken aside and told that essentially I wasn't needed as a writer, which was okay and I understood fully, and seeing as I was doing various things for other departments in addition to my writing I found a place on the design team. Gradually I ended up fading out and fell out of step with the project.
That was until today when I was roused from my slumber, and I ended up telling stories about the times long ago when the progenitors were in control of the project, and also catching up on progress and the ins and outs and who was still around.
In effect I was still included in the writers chat, even though it was a good number of years since I had been on the team properly. I could leak a lot of stuff in there, but I'm not going to because I was there way back when. I put years of my life into this, and frankly it would be a bit of a proverbial move if I were to suddenly abandon decency and go and spread things about.
So after literal years of being a ghost in the shadows, consigned to history leaving (what I hope is a good) legacy behind I was summoned from my stasis (It really helps if you know a bit about 40k here, this is sort of allegorical and I'm RP-ing as an old Hero called Bjorn). After a brief chat with a random person who just so happened to be the writing team leader, I was effectively given the boot.
It sounds bad but it wasn't, seriously! I was only still in those chats because for some reason they were unable to remove me. It really pained me to leave though, that's why I'm here writing this sappy post that nobody is going to read through anyway.
Years of my life spent in that chat. There were fights, there were ups and downs, there was almost rebellion at one point, but I had been there through thick and thin, and I had been, in a sense, still watching over this project I got involved in all those years ago.
So now that I'm out of the chat it feels more official, and it feels like I finally have to let go, and I am feeling a bit of a loss right now.
But from what I've seen it's in great hands. And from what I've seen on a quick browse of the forums every now and again there is a consistent core of supporters. Some have been there since day one, and I have seen them progress, and a few of them I even had a hand in hiring, and then watched as they were fired. But that core is really important.
You guys were like I was, enthusiastic, you didn't care that it took us a long time, you were just super stoked when we actually got something done.
Seeing as I made an analogy earlier that I felt like a father on open server test weekends, I kind of feel like one now. There were times when I lived for that joy that I helped to bring you, and I'm sure the new guys do too.
Just keep on supporting them, keep on doing what you're doing, because it really really helps. You've been so patient. So very patient. There may be some who have had doubts, or said nasty things, or just given up, but it doesn't matter. You're a great bunch of guys and gals. So thank you. I'm sorry I couldn't have stuck it out to the very end for you, but I put in my shift, and I hope you get everything you want out of this game, and who knows I may get into it someday myself, and although I won't be able to magic summon anybody, or randomly give people hats/goggles for the giggles, It's nice to know that you'd still offer to buy me a virtual cupcake because that's who you are.
So yeah, this is closure for me, and also a thank you, and also weirdly, as a goodbye (it's a closure thing) I will check up to reply, not that I'm expecting any, and don't feel that you have to, but I'm not totally leaving, I will still keep coming back to check, just this is something to help me get over the hole that formed.
Yeah I should stop now this is way too long...... I'll go back to haunting LoE now.
See you round!