Warning, incoming corniness alert. ;) As Thanksgiving approaches here in the U.S., I’ve been giving thought to who and what I have in my life to be thankful for. In my non-blogging life, I have a wonderful job, an amazing girlfriend, a cadre of the best friends a guy could ask for, adorable cats, my favorite car I’ve ever owned (yay Honda Fit!) and so much more. As this blog wonderfully takes up a good portion of my life, I tried to also think about what I’m thankful for in terms of the spacey gamey…er…space. Last year I listed the games I was thankful for, so this time, I’ll list the people I’m thankful for. :)
The Pioneers of the Genre
Without these folks, none of us would be enjoying all of these games, let alone talking about them. I’m thankful for Steve Russell, Martin Graetz and Wayne Wiitanen for making Spacewar! and getting the whole ball rolling. I’m thankful for Greg Johnson, Alec Kercso, Bob Gonsalves, T.C. Lee and Rod McConnell for Starflight, the game that really got me hooked on space gaming and is still one of my all-time favorites. I’m thankful for Ian Bell and David Braben for Elite, one of the first and best open world (open space?) space combat and trading games that still influences the genre today. I’m thankful Chris Roberts making the Wing Commander franchise and bringing a sense of cinema to space gaming. I’m thankful for the folks at Totally Games for their Star Wars space sims, especially TIE Fighter, as they could’ve just simply done a cheap tie-in game (get it? Tie-in? Hahahahah), but instead they pushed the genre further. I’m thankful for the folks at Volition who made, what I think, is still the best space combat game ever in Freespace 2, and wish they’d continue the story. There are so many more, but these, to me, are the top of the top. Without these pioneers, our genre wouldn’t be anywhere nearly as awesome as it is.
The Developers to Keep the Genre Alive
After space gaming fell into decline, the livelihood of the genre fell to the shoulders of smaller publishers and indie developers. I’m particularly thankful to Shawn over at StarWraith 3D Games for almost single-handedly keeping space sims alive for a long while. However, I’m also thankful to CCP for EVE Online too, for however one feels about that game, it’s still a shining point in the genre created when the genre had little new coming out to recommend, let alone play. Even though the game recently was shut down, I’m thankful for the folks at NetDevil who brought us Jumpgate, a game that was as awesome as any space game before or since.
I’m thankful to the folks at 1C, Excalibur Publishing, and all the developers over in Europe who’ve kept making space games like the Star Wolves and Space Rangers series, which gave us space games to play when there was little else available. Finally, I’m thankful for all of the wonderful indie developers who keep making space games like Space Pirates and Zombies, ZigFrak, Dangerous, SOL: Exodus and so many more that would take too long to mention. You guys are all awesome, and your dedication to the genre is just as astounding as it is humbling. I’m sure I speak for all space gamers when I send a hearty thank you for keeping the genre going in the face of its apparent demise. We salute you all.
Finally, You Guys :)
This blog is a labor of love. Love of the genre, love of the games and above all, love of the other fans who share my own passion for space games. While I’ve tried to launch other gaming sites over the years, none have received the attention this one has, and I am truly grateful for every visit, every comment, every social share and every link I get . You guys are what keeps me going every day, even when I feel discouraged, tired or close to burnt out, which thankfully doesn’t happen often. :) I am truly thankful and awfully humbled by the community we have here, and am just thrilled to see it grow little by little. Even though I’m thankful for the developers who make the games we talk about, it’s you guys I’m most thankful for, so once again, thank you so much for your visits, your comments and everything else. You guys have given me so much joy it’s beyond measure.
This article is just a small summation of all the people I’m thankful for, as to write out everyone would just take weeks. :) All I can say in summation is this: To the pioneers of the genre, we salute you. To the devs and publishers who keep the genre alive and kicking, we thank you. To the people who visit this site, I personally thank you and appreciate you. :)
Now, who or what are you guys thankful for this year? :)