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A Letter of Thanks.
Posted by Ravage! from 24.65.53.*, on June 13, 12017 at 14:40:39:

Dear Everyone:

It’s been about twenty (20) years since Zozo, and then Siege introduced me the maelstrom that was and is Operation CWAL. Though my interactions have been sparse over the last two (2), I wanted to drop in and say a few things that need saying. Things that by many of us, myself included, aren’t said enough.

CWAL kept the creative fire going inside me at a time it was about to burn out, not due to any felt depression or similar burdens, but because ‘the real world’ was starting to encroach. High-School was starting and it was time for me to do what too many people are pressured into doing; abandon your own ambitions to become a wage slave. Though I only wrote one well received story (that I never finished; sorry), the character concepts, short stories, art, and cross-encouragement was amazing.
Even people who clearly did not like each other were always willing to jump in and provide real and valuable feedback on anything being presented. Sometimes it seemed brutal, but never with any sort of malice behind it; Except when it actually was Malice, for the time she was around.

While I did do the wage slave thing for quite some time, that ‘fire’ I spoke of never faded where it would have and for the past 5 or so years I’ve been primarily doing freelance work. Sometimes it looks and feels like I’m going to make massive bank in a single year, other times it’s as if I’ll be moving my family into a box in the back alley. Exciting, terrifying; I love it.

Though he’s not with us anymore, I’ve got to say thank you to MAGGOTT who took time out of making that awesome space-shooter to show me how he made it, and then proceeded to send me example files from it so I could learn. I had been using a very similar program before but fell out of using it and forgot most of what I had learned. MAGGOTT was an awesome dude and I did not give him anywhere near the respect he deserved when he was around. Thank you MAGGOTT, you kept my desire to make games going.

I’ve also have to thank Steve Argyle. I’m not sure what the last time he was in here would have been. But he tutored me, albeit somewhat unwillingly in Maya when I was switching over from Truespace. (lol truespace), even going so far as to just hand me a high quality model of that little demon that hung around with MAGGOTT (forgot it’s name). Over time he also responded to a fare amount of my incessant questioning while he was trying to get some real work done.

Seraph, wherever you ended up, made me realize you don’t need an official welcoming ceremony and parade to realize that you are part of a group,

Ravil, though I feel I was antagonistic towards him on the surface wrote some pretty damn inspirational stories that made want to do better myself. It actually resulted in me reading a lot more. Initially it was to expand upon my writing ability, then I realized that actually reading real stories was fricking great.

Lothos, I barely understood a thing you’ve ever said at first glance having to give it at least a second pass over. But once my brain recovers from the partial melt-down I find your views and commentary on everything to be quite insightful.

Dorg: All I have to say is; Observer Blood. I was laughing so hard I thought I was going to get internal injuries. ‘How do you attack’ ‘my computer is slowing down’ ‘what is this?!’
Paradox: Seeing your art really made me clue in that there is more than one style and that it does not need to be confined by solid lines. Some of the most visually striking content I’ve ever seen, still to this day.

SM-007, I have no idea what you’re calling yourself these days, but while it ended in internet drama, you did create my first experience of working with a game development team. It was a very valuable lessons moving forward, though I was a complete bitch at the time. Lets be honest guys, I was a complete bitch most of the time. Still, before that, I had worked in a very solo manner, even if I was considered part of a team, such as my brief time at campaign creations (I did a bunch of sprite rendering and clean-up). Before our ill-fated tank game. I never had to properly communicate or work within a proper content pipeline.

Vektor and TD, the both of you provided me with a proper location to really learn web development, on top of making the CWAL guilds in WoW (Alliance) a relatively enjoyable place to meet even more awesome people. I probably would not have been able to learn even a quarter of what I did before branching out if not for the web-space TD was providing. And the occasions where I was trying to write a basic news script and Vektor just gets back to me in an hour (less I think) with a basic news script to examine or use. Vektor actually did things like that on multiple occasions.

Fenrir, I hope you managed to get your shoes off of your hands.

Though my interactions have been reduced to nearly nothing I still do come by from time to time, reading up on a few weeks of things I missed. It’s nice to see things still going. I truly believe CWAL was a driving force in my journey from bitter high-school kid with a stick up his ass to somewhat successful and somehow not homeless freelancer. And I hope all of you have seen and do see a good amount of success and accomplishment in your lives as well.

Thanks for being you, CWAL
Denis "Ravage!" Nickoleff

I will now resume lurking.