A Thank You to my Players
The game I wrote so three years ago must shut down. This is the message I have written to my game’s players about it.
Hello, my friends!
About ten years ago, I adopted a cat. His name was Simon. He was a good cat.
As I write this, several hundred of you are trying to log in and play this stupid little game that I made on a lark, as a hobby, because I had fallen in love with some friendships that I made once upon a time.
Many of you do not know the history of nexuswar or why it was made in the first place. It may help to explain that now.
Many, many moons ago, I made friends with some people in a game called “Urban Dead”. You may have heard of it. It’s a great game. I loved playing it. I made a lot of friends there, in its metagame. I was one of the founders of the Ridleybank Resistance Front, if you can believe that, and was the founder of the Militant Order of Barhah (the MOB) in that game.
We (my friends and I) loved Urban Dead a great deal, but there came a time in late 2006 when we thought the game was going to die. And we did not want our community – this group of people we had come to care for – to go with it. So I set out to create a game that would replace it should it ever fall, somewhere we could go, and own.
And after two weeks of coding, I had what was known as the very first “alpha” build of Nexus War. It was so much like Urban Dead that I am almost ashamed (but not really, because Kevan is a hell of a guy). The first players came up as alpha testers, and they played the fuck out of the game. They found bugs, they found gameplay issues, they pissed me off.
Did you know that, in early versions of the game, you could actually loot corpses? If you killed someone and they had a Hellblade, you could take it. And then, if you dropped it, it was gone forever.
In the beginning, there was only Northcamp. Later, the rest of Valhalla opened, and during the Beta phase, the first level of the outer planes.
In Alpha, Kibbs was the most brutal player, ever. Everyone feared him. I remember hours of time I spent working to balance the hiding rules just to counter-act his guile and will.
I remember when wcil slaughtered everyone in the hospital with a Death Cloud, prompting me to significantly downgrade its power. I remember the “Zerg Prison”. I remember Stroth creating the first faction, “Oblivion Squadron”. I remember my boss (at the time) figuring out teleport bugs. Petro dropping his fists. Mr. Shooty’s Manifesto.
I loved writing every line of this game. I loved writing every snippet of lore. I loved writing every stupid little routine and in-joke. I loved creating cities and history.
And I loved creating a community for people.
I didn’t start out with the plan to “make money”. That was never a motive; I wanted to make a clubhouse for my friends. And somehow it grew larger: larger than a treehouse, larger than a schoolhouse, and larger than me.
Anyone who understands business or game design will see immediately that there was never a plan for “making money”. That I was an idiot for not doing so.
Maybe that was a mistake? I don’t know. I don’t think so. It could be argued that if I had a business plan in mind from the get go we wouldn’t be here today. There might be money to keep the lights on.
But I’m okay with that, because there’s something wonderful that happened along the way, and because I didn’t require money:
Sure, sure. You guys bitch and moan. At each other, at me, at the game, at the rules, at factions, at the forums, at zergers. But despite all that – despite all that drama – you made friends. You formed coalitions. Groups. Factions. Friendships. Around the entire world.
And so I succeeded in my original goal, and for that, I thank you, the players.
I cannot describe to you how much it pains me to write this. For real, and serious. This has been a big part of my life for three and a half years. I’m trying not to be weepy but that’s unavoidable; I, personally, am an emotional creature, so there we go.
About a ten years ago, I adopted a cat. His name was Simon.
He was a teeny-tiny tuxedo-colored cat when I found him. He had health problems, but I didn’t care. I nursed him up; he became super friendly. We called him “The Marshmallow Cat” because he was so soft around people. He developed strong friendships with everyone, especially my friend Kristen.
About nine months ago, he started losing weight. Three months ago, he was skin and bones, and the veterinarian was not optomistic.
Two months ago, I put him to sleep. He had stopped eating entirely; the end diagnosis was a stomach cancer. He died very peacefully. I was there at the end, and so was his friend, Kristen. We loved him; he loved us.
He was a good cat. He lived a good life, surrounded by people who loved him.
I remember saying to her, to Kristen, “This is the price we pay. The pain at the end, it is what we pay for the lifetime of love.”
This is the end, my friends. The pain, the price? That’s mine. I knew this going into it.
I don’t know if you love this but I love what has happened. And I hope – with every cell in my body – that I have enabled you to make friends with others. I hope that you have made friendships – strong ones. I hope that, in the months and years to come that you will continue to talk to these people. I hope that you will remember this fondly.
This entire thing would not have been possible without the efforts of some extraordinary individuals from around the entire world. I would like to thank them personally, and will compile a list of them so that you can thank them as well.
But really, the thanks go to you, the players. For everything.