When is the right moment to end something? When you feel exhausted - or stop when it's best just as people say? I asked myself the same question for several times now and I came to the conclusion that - at least this time not connected to any kind of drama, so decisions are less emotionally heated - I can answer this question with one single word: now.
If you have watched the aftermath after the Soccer World Championship, you might have seen that Philipp Lahm, our captain, has retired from his duty after winning the contest with the german socder team. He said that he has achieved all he ever wanted - I actually think he simply wanted to remember himself as world champion instead of seeing him getting worse and silently disappearing from the theater. -"Stop it before it starts getting worse because it can't get better". When there is one essential thing that I have learned while developing Blade of Agony, then it's the right time now to end my active part as a developer in the community. So this is it, my long farewall - and this time for real.
I grew up in times where gaming studios and publishers like Apogee, Epic Megagames and 3D Realms were at the peak of success. There was no way you could get around titles like Monster Bash, Civilization or Wolfenstein 3D because actually everyone was playing them - at least kids like me who where lucky enough to have a personal computer at home, which wasn't a usual thing in the early 90's.
It was in December 1993 when I played Doom the very first time. For people who are used to hyper-realistic graphics like Call of Duty WWII or Far Cry 6, something like Doom's pixelated 2.5D visuals might be something to laugh about with today's standard. But for me at the age of 9, Doom was the most scary thing I have ever seen in my whole live.
From 1994 on, the mapping community started to evolve and people have been very productive with doing their own maps - a lot of map CD-ROMs from this era proof that id software's decision to make Doom modable was a very good choice and responsible for the ongoing success of the game. Still it took about 4 more years for me to discover the possibilites when I bought one of these (it was called "Boom - Levels und Addons") in our local computer store - fun fact: Doom was on the index in Germany, addon discs were not.
It was in the summer of 1998, my friend Acidflash31 called me at home (yes, no mobile phones in the late 90's, so he had to ask my parents if I am available) and he was totally excited and talking like a machinegun: "Dude, I found something! Doom! With better resolution! For Windows! And you even can play it in Splitscreen on one computer!" At first I thought he was kidding me, but I was too curious to not give a shit, so I took my bike and drove the 5 km from home to my friend's flat. How could I have expected how things changed for me until then?