So it has been a really long time since I have been in this chair. Writing a blog post that is. With where I work, it’s best to be silent and thought a fool rather than open my mouth and remove all doubt. This way I don’t accidentally say anything that gives away any company secrets accidentally. So I have been silent. I would imagine that this blog has fallen off most if not all of the blog readers, what with me posting every 3 or 4 years lately.
It came to my attention today that at 8PM Central tonight, Vanguard was closing down for good. I knew it was happening. Honestly, I had thought that it had already happened. But when Nick Parkinson posted a Vanguard box as his Facebook avatar today I had to ask why. And he let me know that today was the day. I’ve long since stopped playing Vanguard. I’ve been playing World of Warcraft for most of the ten years it’s been online. I still thought about Vanguard from time to time through the years.
I’m having a ton of mixed emotions to be honest. Vanguard was the game where I went from being just another gamer to just another gamer with a fansite. The time that I spent on that site was incalculable. I was working at a job that kept me on the road a lot and whenever I was in an airport, or a restaurant, or a coffee shop, or a hotel room I was working on that damn site (vanguardcrafters.com). There were volunteers that I was never really able to do much for if anything who put in that kind of time too. Moderating, writing, and managing was my job. The volunteers also did a ton of moderating and also maintained the always-under-cyber-attack wiki. Vanguard was going to be my next game home. At it’s peak the site had about 60,000 users. Even after the game was obviously failing I kept the site open for a while and it was one of a small handful of sites still running farther into Vanguard’s life.
The stuff that happened with Brad McQuaid is well documented both here and elsewhere so I won’t beat that dead horse again. That is, other than to say that it floors me that there were still people throwing money at his Kickstarter campaign in spite of what we know about his business challenges. Thankfully for them, there wasn’t a critical mass of people foolish enough to get it funded.
The time that I did get to spend getting to know a lot of folks at Sigil really was a highlight of my gaming life in a lot of ways. I really believe that without that experience I wouldn’t have ever come to work at Blizzard, even though what I do isn’t related to game development. Those countless volunteer hours prepared me for how to work with, and how to speak to game developers. I’m thankful for all of the access that I was granted to the developers at Sigil and for the opportunity to work not only around them but also with them in many ways. I went to E3s (the old ones) and lunches and dinners with my friends at Sigil.
That team has long since been scattered to the wind.
To all the folks in community at Sigil (Cindy, Nick, and James in particular), and all of the development folks (especially Salim and Justin) I thank you. You guys were always open, friendly, inclusive, and fun. Those experiences literally changed my life.
As of this past June I have been working in the game industry for 4 years. My career wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for my Vanguard experience. So thanks to all of you who have read my rantings or my news articles or my fansite. I miss you guys. And I’m thankful for being able to spend all the time together we did.