We're rolling back the years with this one. Back to 2008, 2009 and 2010, probably the period of time I learned the most about my skills, who I wanted to be and how I could turn a passion into productivity.
Let's look at the present first. I've logged onto an old site I used to visit multiple times a day, Filefront. Later known as Gamefront. I see that a previously dead website and set of servers have been rescued by the most unlikely of groups: ModDB. I always neglected ModDB in favour of supporting a wavering and conflicted community on Gamefront. I produced mods and helped as many people as I could, while fireworks and politics turmoiled the landscape of the site. However, for saving that history, my mods and hours, weeks and years of my hard work and sleepless night, I must pass on my eternal gratitude to ModDB and IndieDB.
Few people will know, but I was Star Trek: Legacy's most enthusiastic modder. That's easy for me to say, but the skills I picked up and reapplied in such a short space of time, and the effort I put in to sustain that micro-site isn't something I could ever do again. One Christmas, I spent all Christmas day hungover and miserable, but determined to gift the community with a set of new ships and maps. Hours I spent testing, coding and texturing unfinished ships - and I wouldn't change a thing.
I was actually quite late to the community, arriving after the conflicts that scarred and divided the community. Yet, I worked on content for every big mod group operating. I did tid-bits for Trek Files. I allied myself with Aftermath Gaming and worked on content with an extremely talented team containing someone whom I admired and learned a great deal from. The content we produced and released is something I'm still proud of. The game looked glorious. Then I did something that still makes me smile today and bridged the divide, joining CJG and producing the best content I had ever done for the game just as Star Trek: Online killed off Legacy, and Gamefront slowed to a rusted halt. Again, their acceptance gained me many friends. I believe my efforts managed to reintroduce them to Filefront mini-site and heal a wound that was years old.
I believe that at one point I had my own forum, my own team (Team Exxperience?) and I admined the very site I'm sitting here looking at saved.
Shortly thereafter, the game died. I only speak to a handful of people from the community these days, but there are many who I regret losing contact with.
The skills I picked up settled my mind on what step I should take next as a student and technical person in general. Today, having completed college, university and the first couple of years of my career, I'm a Graphic Designer running a studio and producing successful material that's being praised around the world. My creative edge also spurred a music endeavour that achieved all the goals I had set out.
So this is a thank you to everyone at Star Trek: Legacy, everyone unaffiliated within that community who supported my content and my enthusiasm, everyone at Trek Battles, everyone at Aftermath, everyone at Chris Jones Gaming, all the moderators who helped the core site and hopefully we'll bump into each other again.