This was the first message I received from Nick on the Eastern Front forums back in 2011. I was in the process of writing the music for Company of Heroes: Eastern Front and had been posting various pieces to give the community an impression of the soundtrack prior to completion. And then, having not asked for any donations at all, I got this from a complete stranger. I was very grateful for his support, but never would have expected the generosity that followed from just one fan from Australia.
In the interests of his privacy, I won’t go into too much detail about his support, but suffice to say that I was pretty overwhelmed – 19 years old and I had a patron on the other side of the world. Nick was an avid gamer living far out in Australia and, as well as the aforementioned musical backing, he shared information, history and souvenirs from his home country. He sent gifts to me and all the Eastern Front team to keep us going – t-shirts, mousemats, coasters and more – citing his belief that community developers never got the recognition they deserved compared to the big companies that were often inspired by them. The final score for Eastern Front would not have sounded the way it did without Nick, and countless other projects have been touched by what his donations made possible. Even when my part in Eastern Front was over we stayed in touch, his kindness continuing with it. So why am I bringing this up now?
Nick told me recently that he’s going offline permanently and, despite the fact that I can always send letters and postcards, it feels like the end of something. Maybe it’s just the realisation of what this connection was, reflecting on a particular portion of my life as another begins anew in the present. Maybe it’s the realisation that from my tiny university halls room I had been able to send something meaningful to someone I’d never met, and they had responded in kind. Either way, I definitely know that it feels like the right thing to do – a digital farewell.
Not knowing the exact date of his disconnection I sent him another email recently asking “are you still with me?”
Nick, thanks for all your support. Looks like I’ll have to get in touch the old fashioned way… 🙂