12:25pm, June 18[sup]th[/sup] 2001 an email was delivered to my Hotmail Inbox. It was a Monday and I was probably still in school, a high school Senior ready for my final year of formal education to be over. I probably only had a few days left of classroom labor, and I was also probably only half-awake since I had no doubt been up playing Starcraft online with friends until 5am using the internet password I had hacked off my father. I had a rinky-dinky clam shell Motorola phone that had never heard of the Internet, so it was most likely later that afternoon when I got home and managed to get on the family computer (not having my own at the time) to check my email that I saw it. The sender was Dave "Myopic Rhino" Astle, one of GDNet's co-founders. He was responding to an email I had sent him earlier about the interview I had completed with then-startup educational website Game Institute as well as the offer I had received to contribute to the book Game Design Perspectives, edited by Francois Dominic Laramee. In it he said:
[quote]Drew, I'm launching a redesign of the site this week (v3.gamedev.net), so I believe I'll make this the featured article at launch.
I'll hold off on the other article for now. Glad to hear about Francois' book. He's a great guy who definitely knows his stuff, so the book should be good.
Btw, while we're talking, we have been discussing the possibility of bringing someone else on the staff, since Kevin and I pretty much do everything, and it's a lot for us to handle. We haven't actually decided that we want to bring someone else on, but if we do, is it something you'd be interested in? You've been one of the most active people in giving me feedback on the site, and you've been a major contributor of content, so we think you'd be able to help the site continue to grow. Anyway, this isn't an offer yet, I just want to know what you think. And just so you know, we're all doing this pretty much for free, so it'd be the same with you =)
It's interesting now, looking back on it, how 3 very influential things in my life were all contained within a single email. First, obviously was the initial invitation from Dave to become and official member of the GameDev.net staff. Then there's Game Institute, a company I was involved with for several years and who I still maintain ties with to this day even if I'm not actively involved anymore. I became involved with them directly from the GDNet interview. Finally there's the book deal I was offered from Francois which later led to excellent relations with Charles River Media (now a part of Cengage Learning) that led me to be involved with the GameDev.net Collection book series as co-editor.
Soooo much awesome has happened in the years since this email was dumped into my Inbox but one thing has remained the same: I love GameDev.net and I greatly enjoy what I do here with the site and what the site itself has come to mean to thousands of developers in the industry. If any of you were scared I'd be all like - "Damn ten years!? Time to find something new to do!!" then no worries, I'm not planning to go anywhere. That said, who knows what the future holds? At least I can look back at 10 years of being directly involved with evolving GameDev.net (not counting the year or so prior of shouting from the sidelines that got me noticed ;) ) and be satisfied at what I have accomplished with the help of many great co-workers and volunteers from the community.
Speaking of important dates, if you missed it, GDNet celebrated its 12th birthday earlier this week (party's still going on in the Lounge!)
Thanks once again to the co-founders Dave Astle, Kevin Hawkins and Mike Tanczos for believing in me and giving me the ability to help make this site what it has become today. Thanks also to the wonderful community that is the backbone of this site, and that has grown and matured with us over the years to turn these forums and resources into one of the best places on teh Internets to figure out how to make games.
I could probably continue to wax nostalgic for at least a couple dozen more paragraphs but it's not like I don't have stuff to do. Like, Weekend Reading! Onward ho!!