So, as I begin to move forward in game development (and life in general), I figured I should take a moment to pause and reflect on how far I’ve come since I started and how far I’ve yet to go.
I actually have Eclipse to thank for my knowledge in programming and one of my most enjoyable hobbies (that could very potentially turn into my career), game development. Being 18 years of age now, I must have first found this place when I was 13 lol. So aside from me being a cringy as heck kiddie when I started, I was also totally ignorant of any of the skills necessary for this line of work. Back then I was “the idea guy”. And let’s be honest, little Sue Sally down the street has ideas. I suppose I was still a decent writer at 13, but nowhere near where I am now. My ignorance was terribly blantent in my first project’s thread where upon following a tutorial to add Alatar’s quest system to Eclipse 2.0, I mentioned that I had added “a quest script.”. Shudders So cringy.
But even still, Eclipse back then was a wonderful place that had people helping me with every problem I couldn’t solve myself back then. No, I wasn’t that horrible noob that asked how to make an item, etc. But I was still pretty unknowledgeable. My projects received positive ratings almost all the time, so it seemed as though I showed some promise, so that may have contributed to some of the kindness, but it was mostly just the awesome peeps around at that point in time. I had the privilege to arrive at during the Golden Age of Eclipse. (at least in my eyes). Since then, well, you can take a look at the state of it.
It was about a year after I had joined this place where I had taken my first steps into the realm of programming. The result was Eclipse Chronicles, which reigned as supreme Custom Version (for the noobs at least) which was a horrible mish mash of tutorials that eventually got out of hand and turned into a buggy mess. But even so! I was very glad to have done it, not only for the help it offered for peeps just starting and for all the encouragement I received from the community while I was making it. Digging into the engine like that and following all those tutorials taught me a great deal of programming and a great deal about the engine in general. I remember the first thing I programmed all by my lonesome was a tile attribute that allowed you to craft in that area only. (Yeah! Twas me! ((or at least, me who did it publicly first lol))). And for one slightly less cringy 14 year old boy, this was the start of a possible career.
Now I continued to work on some EO 2.0 projects, learning how to program more and more on my way. I also became an esteemed mapper (but not in comparison to Henrik and his like) and content designer. It was near this time that I was recruited to work on the original Prospekt Online. This game in it’s early days was awesome. One of the longest server uptime’s I had ever seen on an Eclipse game and the content, designed by myself and Sacra, was pretty damn good too. The thing that kept this game from really going over the top was the bad word on the street about the project lead, Deathbeam. I won’t go into details but apparently theft was involved, so the project was generally shunned by the Eclipse community, which was quite understandable. I was totally ignorant of this while I was working on the project, and when I eventually found out, I left the project, not prepared to endorse theft. After that, Prospekt pretty much died. For working on the project, however, I was given a copy of the engine that we were using for the game. Seeing this engine around a few places, I decided I would credit everyone who contributed to it’s creation, namely the people victim to the theft, and start work on a new project, Skywardens.
Skywardens was one of the better projects I had designed. It eventually fell apart though, due to me not being knowledgeable enough yet to fix all the errors in that version of the Prospekt Engine. Eventually I dropped the project. It was around this time where I found EverEmber online. Long story short, Kajamaz is a moron and I got banned for being an active dev. This led to a revival of Skywardens, and a game me and some others Kajamaz pissed off created legit called EverEmber 2.0. We created a superior copy to EverEmber (at that time) in less than 3 weeks, including all features and maps/items, ect. Thus, the SEB Engine was born. Possibly the best EO 2.0 based custom version available for download at the moment. After this, I worked on a game called Eclipse Online Odyssey. Being an avid programmer at this point, the engine I made for this is amazing and in my mind rivaled only by a small few like Rob Janes’ custom versions ect. You lot got one of my first iterations of the EOO engine, dubbed the Skywyre Primitive engine.
And regardless of what you hear, while it yes, has credited tutorials present in the engine, the MAJORITY of it is custom work. I’d gauge it at about 70-30 ratio of custom work to pre-existing work. Just so ya’ll know lol. (And yeah, the older stuff isn’t programmed that great, but my new stuff like my mount system, dynamic weather system, ect is fantastic lol)
Since all this I’ve started working on a 3D game that’s very experimental in terms of genre and design. I don’t know where it’ll go, but I’ll be sure to post more info later on. For now, just think like, aesthetics of Cube World, and the world size and scope of a game like Skyrim.
Anyways, the point I’m trying to get at here is that my possible career in game design and my passion for it is in large part due to the golden ages of Eclipse. So thank you! :D
While the fire that this place was built on isn’t here anymore, I still check in and talk to some old friends, and will continue to do so for the years to come.