29th March 2006. A Wednesday.
I was fourteen. I signed on to my first internet forum using my dad’s computer – skulltag.com – the site for the then-widely-used multiplayer port of Doom. I posted some recoloured sprites of the Doom monsters, suggesting they should be in Skulltag’s additional monster roster, because I was a n00b like that. Recolours like this:
Nothing special of course… but to this day, strangely, it’s actually one of the few recolours of mine that survives in circulation. It’s still on the Realm667 “Beastiary” and you can download a full monster (coded by someone else).
Ten years on from that…
Well, probably most significantly, I’m in another continent entirely. Have been for 4 and a bit years now.
Achievement-wise I’ve probably not done bad… I’ve composed nigh-on 500 tracks for the community, I’ve mapped a bunch, including a “megawad” i.e. a set of 32 custom levels all by me (though I’m getting close to a second thanks to my recent speedmapping ventures), and have so far released one third of my full game project The Adventures of Square which uses the Doom engine, which I started even way before joining the Doom community. I was honored to receive Cacowards for both my megawad and the initial release of my game, and I’ve managed to involve myself in more than a few high-tier community projects too, two of which being music composition-oriented community projects I have spearheaded and maintained. (As of this post, the second is still ongoing.)
Also, exactly as it was ten years ago, I still have a kabillion personal projects in the pipeline. 😀
I can’t believe how fast a decade has gone, honestly. But I have to say that despite my rocky beginnings, I’m pretty pleased with my work for the community. I actually value those Cacowards pretty high up on my list of life achievements… which seems dumb of me to say – given that pleasing a bunch of people in one single corner of the vast, unforgiving realm of the World Wide Web ain’t that hot – and given that I never actually drew up a list of life accomplishments. Nah. Some disturbing thorough folks kinda did that for me.
But seriously, being part of the online Doom community has definitely been a life-molding experience. My sense of doing good work for a community at large has been heightened. I’ve been conditioned to think and review the work of myself (and others) very critically, maintaining high standards in terms of design and music alike. I have also overcome intense social anxiety thanks to the outlets of forums, IRC, instant messaging, and more recently Twitch chats. So I do owe a lot to this community.
Thanks for 10 years, y’all. *raises toast glass full of tea*
Here’s to another… bunch.
This habit is probably not dying hard – not even with a vengeance.