Hey D2X-XL fans,
around 10 years have passed since I have begun creating and maintaining D2X-XL. That's a lot of time for a program that was already rather old when I picked up work on it.
Thinking back through all that time evokes many memories. I have been working on D2X-XL and all the stuff around it while building my house, while seeing my son being born and growing up, while quitting my old job and starting a new one ...
In the beginning, just learning new techniques and adding features to D2X-XL and DLE were my main motivation to keep going. I also found it very satisfying to create high quality missions for D2X-XL, pushing the limits of the program as I was striving for improvement of my (and other) missions. Later on, maintaining D2X-XL and creating new content for it more and more became a service to those who loved the game.
I received a lot of flak from people who believed the program and game idea belonged to them, while they actually had no part in bringing Descent forward or even back to life. Finally having a server and forum of my own relieved me from the harassment of people who had nothing to offer but resentment and criticism and became a place for those who wanted to participate and help in improving D2X-XL. I am remembering names like Novacron, MetalBeast and others who have quit a long way ago, but have made so significant contributions that they shall never be forgotten when it comes to speaking about Descent and D2X-XL. Another one standing out is Pumo with his exceptional creativity and level building skills. Remember Frustikus with his new ship designs? Irontower with his alternative texture sets?
There are many more who have supported D2X-XL, some of which are still around, like Albie or Sirius, who still is actively contributing and is driving DLE development if he finds the time for it. AUS-RED-5, who always was a great backup and supporter. Pokeman who actually developed into quite a help. Sykes, who started out great ... there are a lot more. While I always carried the main burden of maintaining this program and all the things around it, I am still very grateful for all the contributions others made to sustain D2X-XL.
I admit I could have been nicer at times, and I wish I had. However, I probably wouldn't have gotten as far as I did with D2X-XL if I had been a different type of person. You need to be tough when the going gets rough, and I had gotten hammered a lot by people who didn't like what I did, or simply who I was, who envied me for I what I was doing because they didn't deem me worthy to do it, or simply because I could do something they couldn't even dream of being capable of.
D2X-XL development has come to an end almost a year ago after my implementing Oculus Rift support, which actually was the last big thing I was missing in Descent. I will just keep fixing bugs for a while that had been introduced at that time to leave D2X-XL behind in a working state and preserve Oculus Rift functionality - for the time being, as the Rift hardware and API are still changing a lot. There isn't much activity around D2X-XL by others either: Pumo has made his last update months ago, bug reports are far and few between, and the forum is as good as dead.
So I don't even know who will come across this post, but I felt in the mood of writing it and drawing a line under my time with D2X-XL.
There have been a few attempts to create a modernized version of Descent, all of which have failed, but there are still more than worthy contenders for the throne of 3D games, like Sol Contingency
, and if these guys finally manage to create a working, modern Descent clone (which I hope they will) I might even download it and marvel a bit at what they achieved.
One last question remains: Was it worth it? I admit that I am having a hard time saying "yes". If so, then because of the fun other people could have with it.
Well, this program is so old, and interest in it has been waning so much that I am asking myself why I should even write all this. But I feel I want to make a conclusion to my commitment to D2X-XL. Like Walter White said in the final episode of the last season of Breaking Bad: I wanted a proper good bye.