Dangit, I had a journal written up that I intended to post on the first of May, but I completely forgot about it, and now it's nearly 4 days later.
Oh well, just pretend we're living three days in the past as you're reading the following...
It's May 1. This day marks the third anniversary of my membership at the Walfas Station Wagon, but to be honest, if it hadn't been that specific day, I probably wouldn't even be able to remember it.
In these last three years, I've grown as a person a lot more rapidly than in the preceding 17-ish years. I was kind of a problem child, really. Getting bullied by what seemed to be pretty much the entire school back in elementary school does that to you, and having autism to cope with doesn't exactly make things any easier. The internet was the only place where I could forge lasting friendships, but even then it wasn't always easy. When you're a kid as socially inept as I was, covering up your eccentricities is hard.
Well, long story short, I had a bad tendency of causing drama whenever things didn't go my way and I wasn't very good at handling criticism. Compare 16-year-old me to 20-year-old me and chances are you'll be wondering if they're really the same person.
This isn't meant to be a story about what I used to be, though. This is meant to be a story about how I got into the WSW and my experiences therein. And it starts in the early February of 2013, after Spaztique
and me to each other and we formed a doujin circle that eventually ended up being called "Team Gaijin Alex" (entirely my idea, by the way). Spaz convinced us to join the WSW since we were both dabbling with create.swf.
I don't remember when exactly I first joined the U-Haul, but I wasn't exactly making a good first impression. I got a lot of "Who the hell is this guy" moments from others, and trying to join ongoing calls didn't go very well, either. If it wasn't my headset causing severe echoing, then I was saying inappropriate or obnoxious things. One of the members, Mr. Heart (yes, that guy), took me aside at one point and, while trying to argue with me about a game series I was talking about with people in the chat at the time, noted that I was being condescending towards others without even realizing it. That, and he would always find a way to call me arrogant whenever I brought up evidence supporting my case in the argument we were having, which eventually caused me to break down, upon which he immediately softened up and offered to help me grow as a person. Needless to say, he had me right where he wanted to, so I got suckered in without effort, but despite his ulterior motives, it was this conversation that made me more considerate of others, so while I can't exactly say "Tracy dindu nuffin rong", he still helped set me on the right path. So, thanks. You may be a complete asshole who was trying to destroy the WSW from the inside by turning the members against each other for his own sick amusement, but you still jumpstarted my growth.
By the end of my first year, I didn't exactly have a big circle of friends from the WSW, but I was pretty close with those who I did call that. Aaron, Spaz and I would occasionally play Minecraft together if we weren't working on Endless Blue, but both of those things kinda began dying down after a while. 2014 had me gradually stop working with create.swf as I instead began focusing on drawing and making my own Touhou fangame, Rampant Crescent Flora (currently in development hell alongside EB). This was also the year that I graduated from school, much to the surprise of many of my teachers as my work ethic was severely lacking and I mostly just winged everything, up to and including my final exams. After that, I moved into a student dorm early September, followed by that awesome HRtP race with DeityDiz93
, and after my birthday, I briefly began taking drawing requests. There was also this moment of sheer existential crisis that I had in November, when I damn-near threw everything I had worked for in the last year-and-a-half out the window.
...Followed by my resignation from the WSW in early January of the next year, in which I didn't rejoin until well into May. I was pursuing drawing in that year, but I was quite deep in a rut, rendering me quick to scrap everything I attempted. Not even the requests I reopened helped. In fact, I think they just made it worse.
But a lot of good things came from 2015, as well: For starters, Aaron and I joined forces with Michirin9801
to make her Mega Drive-style platformer, MajiKana, and also Touhou-freakin'-con. (I made a whole series of journals about my experience
there.) Getting to meet people I've met on the internet in real life for the first time was a surreal, but at the same time utterly exhilarating experience, and one that I'd love to have again someday.
Well, that's a summary of things that happened. But what I owe thanks to the WSW for the most is not just my growth as a person, but my acquisition and honing of a broad variety of skills, including but not limited to drawing, spritework, interface design, composing, programming, game design, web design, and being a pro Reimu. I owe it to the following people for having enabled and encouraged me to always better myself one way or another:
, for getting the whole thing started in the first place. Sure, I was the one contacting him via YouTube PMs with ideas I had for EB, but he was the one to seek me out on Skype, found TGA, and coerce me into joining the WSW in the first place, and that's not even getting into showing me the ropes in regards to making music and always being there to be talked to - well, the latter of the two doesn't apply so much nowadays since he's got some issues that need sorting-out, but still. Thank you, Dave, for being a great friend and mentor. You have no idea how honored I was to get to meet you in person.
, who, for all intents and purposes, might as well be my other half. Ever since our first few dev sessions, we've been forging an inseparable bond, and while we've had our fair share of severe arguments, I still consider you one of the best friends I've ever had. Besides, you were the one to get me into programming and initially tutor me as I was starting out. So thanks to you, too, Aaron.
, who I remember taking a while to become friends with. You're great to talk to, though, so I don't regret the effort.
... oh Diz, you're the embodiment of feels, and I love you for it. You've always had a way with words, and a lot to say with them... unlike me, because I really don't know what else to say about you. You're simply a joy to be around.
, for also being a guy who's making a game. Your experience with Danmakufu helps a lot when it comes to writing my own bullet hell engine.
, that wacky Polish guy who's good for having game ideas dumped on for evaluation. Love you, Sebbie-boo~
, whose expansive knowledge on audio production and his ear for mixing is a huge help in learning a thing or two about post-production. If it weren't for him, my compositions would still sound like shit.
And last, but definitely not least,
. We definitely got off on the wrong foot early into your game's production, but I couldn't see myself where I am now without you. Talking to you about practically anything (but especially retro game systems and their capabilities) is a joy, and the prospect of having a game I helped work on be ported to one of my favorite consoles is an exciting thing that you also got yourself to blame for.
Now then, here's to another three years of success!