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Old 3 Days Ago   #201
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Since everyone is sharing their thoughts from their first experiences in the community until now, I figured dropping mine wouldn't hurt.

I stumbled accross this game in 2012, by complete accident while I was looking for another game and ended up figuring out this game had a community, and I wanted to give it a shot in spite of my not being all that good at English.
...And so I ended up with a couple of grammar and spelling infractions and a temp ban, although this one was more related to my own mistakes, but wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for grammar infractions.
(Mind you, 100% of said infractions were from Mystic or Rob)

Essentially, this didn't feel welcoming. It felt really high standard for just... a fangame community. I kind of stopped interacting with the community at this point out of fear, but kept on playing because I loved the game, and grew an appreciation for its modding potential.


Eventually 2.1 released and brought in that new thingy called Lua. This was exciting, so I eventually got myself together and got somewhat decent at it to make mods.
Back in that era there used to be a huge thread where everyone could post all of their stuff, and I mean, it was a really huge thread. I honestly loved seeing what everyone was up to!
...It ended up being locked because it was "too much moderation" (hear, infracting "low effort" content and people poking fun at it, the latter being the only reasonable clause if you ask me).
This kind of forced everyone to just try and make their own thread whenever they wanted to show off what they were working on, or, god forbid, show it on the IRC channel.
I've tried going on said IRC channel a grand total of 4 or 5 times following the closure of that thread, and, I suppose due to past insecurities never felt compelled to try and talk there past asking simple questions to get direct help because this place was so full of all those people who'd shoot down anything that doesn't fall within the quality standards.

Overall? The modding scene was so intimidating that I've grown not to want to show anything I'm making until it's polished or unique to the point where no one could talk shit about it, because of how many people I've seen get shot down or laughed at because all they did was say they wanted to work on a character and posted "nothing but an A1" as proof of concept.
This kind of thing is downright disrespectful in my opinion. It's demoralizing at best and, as someone who was, and is still actively modding the game, has made me uncomfortable, and scared shitless because of how afraid I was to just fall within the laughing stock category, and ended up developping a very self-deprecative personality around that time as a result, because I thought simply agreeing that "it's shit" was easier than arguing against it.


Fast forward to very recently, with the whole Super Mystic "biggest review bomb ever (tm)" Sonic incident on the official Discord, and I got to see a flame war resurfacing from a decade old drama, which the author of SMS himself even apologized for, alongside a baseless, very strong, accusation against someone else in public, in front of thousand of influenceable children on the official server as well not long after.
That alone makes me relieved that such people aren't the leading face of SRB2 anymore, past my own gripes with their handling of things in the past as stated in the paragraphs above.

I'm not worried about the game's future at all. The people that are still working on it all have great talent, and if anything, I think they'll be able to output their best. So best of luck to you all out there!
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Old 3 Days Ago   #202
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I think it's a good idea to stay optimistic. Give the new people some time to prove themselves. In the end, this is all about learning and having fun.
I agree, let them have some time, Im welcome to new members of staff!
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Old 3 Days Ago   #203
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I would like to put my own two cents on the issue, even if I don't post here much anymore.

My experiences
I started playing this game around 2004, when I was literally only four years old. I didn’t even know what Sonic was at the time. I believe the version was 1.0.8 or 1.0.4, I can barely remember now. Back when SSNTails was a main driving force in the game, I always thought Srb2 had a kind of charm to it. I mean, there were so many secrets and easter eggs, it just felt like the game's goal was to just make a really fun experience.

My middle school days were spent obsessing over this game and trying to get good at map making. This game encouraged modding and trying to get good at level design but I felt like it was impossible to improve due to the fact that anything made that was deemed too novice or "bad" would never be allowed in the mods section. It made trying to improve kind of unfortunate, and I felt as if the rules of the community were just a bit too strict. I mean after all, this is just a Sonic fangame. I didn’t think levels young people make should be held to a really high standard. What people really need is constructive criticism and I’ve seen a lot more of it now. Not just when Mystic left but these past two/three years specifically. Level editing and modding is what makes a lot of people go into game design in the future, and will lead to more fun games and more passion projects. To turn people down before that even happens is to demotivate them from pursueing that path for the future.

I also agree with a lot of peoples posts here saying there was bullying going on on the regular. It’s so unfortunate and I have mad respect to those like tehRealSalt or Glabor (and some others too) who have some of the biggest influence in keeping this game alive. My only regret is that I didn’t get to participate into SUGOI :p

Opinions on Srb2’s game design
When Mystic took charge, the games direction took to a more professional, "whole game experience” goal. Basically the philosophy that if it has no purpose, remove it from the game completely. While this isn’t inheritely wrong, I think this thought process led to many things such as removal of circuit, certain control schemes and some other various things. It made me kind of sad that things had seemed to focus less on fun and accesbility for all types of people who prefer all types of gamemodes. For example, hosting your own server used to be able to hold a lot more power. You could affect the gravity, set lives and rings. It seems like a lot of those features that just let you do anything and play the game you want to. I remember doing random stuff like low grav match back in the day. A lot of fun.

The driving philosophy when SSNTails left pushed the game to a more refined state and made it a lot more polished. It is a more solid experience, and helped the game feel good to play. I can’t say for sure whether Mystic’s influence in the game was more negative than good. I have no idea what happened internally in the dev team, and who put in the most work but that isn’t really the point.

As a person who played this game online a lot back in the day, I can say each person has their own preferences to how to control and play this game. The philosophy that more choices lead to a worse player experience is kind of an oxymoron in my opinion. I played this game solely on a keyboard, and that was the most comfortable to me. When 2.1 came out, I was forced to change due to the removal of strafte on, and now in 2.2, I have switched to mouse due to the fact that playing knuckles is a lot harder on keyboard now. It’s kind of jarring to keep taking away what players are comfortable with and force them to play it in a specific way. Sure, there is a legacy mode but it isn’t _really_ legacy from what I’ve seen. I hope the dev team considers this moving forward, as Mystic was a die hard believer in pushing the community to play a specific way. It made trying to suggest adding more options for different people almost impossible.

The future?
Despite me not being active on the forums, I've been a lurker on the forums constantly since then and I've seen how the community evolved into a more accepting place. I think now, the community is a lot more open than it was back in the day. I can see people trying new things, new levels in releases, Srb2kart, SUGOI, all of it is really cool! I have no doubt this game needs fresh blood. I’m looking forward to this game finally getting finished. I’ve had stuff I’ve looked forward to since I was a child. Stuff like Dark City Zone, sweet tooth zone, unlockables and just more content. This game has a special place in my heart.

My goal of writing this isn’t really to just blame bad stuff on the admins. I think the community as a whole back then felt very unwelcoming but now the direction seems a lot friendlier. Whether or not it has to do with less influence from Mystic or Rob, who can say for sure. But I noticed it, and I think a lot of other people have as well. If you were to ask me, I don’t think it’s just a coincidence.

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(Again, these are just my opinions, experienes and observation. I’m just one guy who has played this game for a while lol. Thank you for reading my mess of a mini rant.)
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Old 3 Days Ago   #204
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SRB2 has never been defined by one person and the removal of one person is not gonna change the identity of the game.

Mystic behaved in a way that was inappropriate, damaging to the community, and not permissible, and was disciplined appropriately. I liked their contributions to the game but that's a fact. Inflating Mystic’s importance at the expense of every other person who has worked on this project and turning this into a ridiculous treatise about "cancel culture" or whatever does not strike me as helpful or productive.

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Old 2 Days Ago   #205
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So I'd also like to give my two cents on the matter, but excuse me if this sounds more like I'm talking about myself as opposed to Mystic and his ilk.

Back in the day, I was a lot like this kinds of jerks. Shitting on kids and their "awful" projects, being toxic and outright abrasive to others; even my own friends, but especially newcomers. Couple that with me being a teenager and then you also have "edgy" """humor""" in there too. I even made a whole Youtube series about making fun of awful Sonic-related videos, of which I have completely purged by now.

I was brought up in a pretty nasty way by the communities I used to frequent, but the old IRC channel, #srb2fun, was the place I spent the most of my time, and the place where I was influenced the most. I was heavily molded by Mystic and the others of the community at the time, and in turn, I shaped others into that mentality as well (or at least the ones that bothered to stick around). It was a very "Jerk or be Jerked" kinda place, but we'd also be jerks to eachother, so either you had the ironskin to handle it, or you just pretend that you do, which is what I imagine most of us did.

I'm... not quite sure how it happened, maybe it was just gradual, but I've eventually stopped being as nearly as much of the ass that I used to be. I've come to look back and regret a lot of the things I said. I've tried apologizing to some of the people I've hurt years ago. I've cleared out a lot of the old "edgy" content I used to make. At some point, I did grow up and take responsibility, and now, after all those jokes in IRC on how "I should totally be judge", now I'm a moderator.

But Mystic never did regret his actions. He never looked at how horrible he himself had been. He didn't change, he didn't grow. He's the same person I was chatting with in #srb2fun all these years ago. Mystic didn't change. Rob didn't change. PrimeV2 didn't change. They all had parts to play in SRB2's history that were important, but we don't need them anymore. They have all been holding back SRB2 in some way, often with asinine mentalities for blocking ideas, suggestions, or even mostly finished prototype features for the game. They made their work environments just as inhospitable as #srb2fun was.

Just about everyone else on the team was sick of them, and had every right to be. I imagine the other team members only stuck around to work on the game they cared about, at least in some way. Now that Mystic and some those others are gone, I just know for a fact that we will see far better things in store for the future of the game. I cant wait to see what they come up with now. As for what Mystic and his clique are going to do next, heck if I know, but it ain't gonna be around here.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #206
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But Mystic never did regret his actions. He never looked at how horrible he himself had been. He didn't change, he didn't grow. He's the same person I was chatting with in #srb2fun all these years ago.
This is the big one for me. I hadn't been regularly active around these parts from 2010-2018 as I got more busy with irl things, but for the most part, I come back and I see almost everyone I knew, whether I was close to them or not, has changed for the better! Kinder, smarter, doing great things in and out of SRB2. And yet, a handful of people are exactly the same, or worse, have stagnated. When I saw this thread pop up, my initial thought was "everything that I love about 2.2 was not made by Mystic, and in many cases made by people that Mystic specifically drove off the team." Then "Actually, has Mystic contributed anything to the game since ATZ?" (turns out, not really)

I could go on and on, but everything I would say has already been said. Just reaffirming that this is overall a good and necessary change.

Last edited by Kaysakado; 2 Days Ago at 07:59 PM. Reason: Use correct grammar and spelling.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #207
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Originally Posted by Lat View Post
Back in that era there used to be a huge thread where everyone could post all of their stuff, and I mean, it was a really huge thread. I honestly loved seeing what everyone was up to!
...It ended up being locked because it was "too much moderation" (hear, infracting "low effort" content and people poking fun at it, the latter being the only reasonable clause if you ask me).
I'd like to congratulate you on getting that thread brought back from the dead. You reminded us all it existed and apparently we all agreed at once it should come back.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #208
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Reading this thread is making me excited for SRB2's future because 2.2 changed so much about the game with those stubborn no-fun-allowed figures on board, so without them as a sort of anchor, I can hardly imagine how many cool things the next major update will bring. Maybe the amount of changes could even surpass 2.2???
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Old 2 Days Ago   #209
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Is it time to start dreaming big? I mean really big? An uncompressed pk3 of Big the Cat eating a Big Mac big?

...3.0 big?

....4.0 big!??!?!


...Homing Attack and Thok on the same control layout?? Cats and dogs living together? Mass hysteria!
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Old 2 Days Ago   #210
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Does this mean that we'll be seeing major changes to zones in 2.3 and other releases now that Mystic can't veto all of them? Will Dark City Zone finally go into development?
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Old 2 Days Ago   #211
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Before I begin, let me just state one thing very very clearly right the hell now:


I'm very sorry.


Regardless of what influenced my early behavior in this community. I cannot be sorry enough about what toxic garbage came from my dumb teen and high schooler mouth over a bunch of crap. I absolutely remember vividly my time in the IRC chatroom actively hunting down old mods of a cat and Super Chris' just to mock them for amusement. I super regret poking fun at sprite art of folk like Inazuma and Oni back then, it was super inappropriate. There are many, many accounts of dumb crap I absolutely believe I had done but cannot make accounts of all of it.


As you may imagine, this behavior was specifically done to fit in with this community, and specifically to stay on the old administrative staff's good side. As far as I'm concerned from what I can tell it was either that, or just plain not be part of this community. Hell, poor OLDC scores along with the attitudes of comments at the time would discourage myself from creating any 2.0-era content in fear of just not stacking up to "quality mods". I imagine this to be a similar story for others as well.


To share a personal experience with Mystic specifically, I was insanely unimpressed with Mystic's behavior during the T-Slur drama he caused on his own, causing not just two developers but two people I considered my goddamn best friends to seemingly vanish from the community entirely. When I was given the chance to moderate the Discord, I absolutely accepted for this specific event. I did not want someone like Mystic to cause this kind of horrible garbage ever again.


I say "like Mystic" because by the time I was a mod, he had left the Discord entirely. In fact I was kinda hoping he fucked off entirely by that point. And then he came back in the weeks before 2.2's release. And very consistently if it were Mystic to ping a moderator it would ALWAYS BE a "Beep boop idiot alarm go take them out my dogs" type of response. Jesus christ I hated waking up in the mornings just to read that.


But Mystic was still a higher-up. With friends in high places. In the admin team. It was frightening to even go at him over that kind of thing directly, especially if it were only myself alone. A vague comment on "You know I'd appreciate not having to read that kind of ping", but not a direct response. Because while still considering him a bad person, he was frightening.



I could go on about all the times Mystic had just been a horrible, toxic, individual. But I would only be repeating accounts many many other people had made already. I'm glad he's finally gone. I'm very happy with the direction we're going in behind the scenes. And man, I could not be happier for the future of SRB2.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #212
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Reading D00D, Roy and Lat's posts here makes me glad I left in 2008 after my first ban (I was getting bored with the SRB2 Forums and Wiki). I started going on Encyclopedia Dramatica and 4ch later down the road (stopped years ago), so I would have been pretty shit too.

I'm sorry y'all had to become so mean just to fit in with this manchild and his cronies. *hugs*
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Old 2 Days Ago   #213
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Guess I'll throw my piece in here as well. I apologize, this is gonna be a bit of a lengthy one.



I started playing SRB2 when I was around 7 years old, but didn't register a forum account or start using IRC until 2009. I was 9 years old at the time. My first posts have long since been deleted so I have no clue when I started posting, but for a long time I refrained from doing so out of sheer intimidation. When I finally did, I made a mistake out of pure ignorance and got clowned on as a result. My first post was also my first infraction, given to me by Mystic. This is what he said to me:

Quote:
Okay, I'm at a loss for words at how incredibly stupid this post is. Please sit down and use your brain before posting on the SRB2 MB, because if you don't we'll be forced to start infracting you for this kind of stupidity.
This is how I was welcomed into this community as a child. After coming out my shell for the first time, this intimidated the hell out of me. I loved this game and all the content people made for it, and wanted to be part of its community. I felt like if I didn't attempt to make myself fit in, I'd just be ridiculed again. So I took notes from the people around me, and was negatively influenced as a result. I transitioned from bullied to bully, and it stayed that way for well over 3 years.


Back in that era of SRB2, being harsh is what was considered cool. Bashing people's hard work was the norm, and if you liked something that others considered bad, you became the target of the same mockery as well. Hell, back then, shitting on SRB2 itself was considered cool. Instead of being myself, I felt like I had to be just like everyone else there: rude, toxic, and constantly bringing other people down. Mystic was by no means the only offender, but it wouldn't be a stretch to say that he source of it, and also the one who allowed it. The first few times I joined IRC as a child, I found it hard to say anything. You could feel the elitist atmosphere from just a few lines. It took me a while to learn my way around it, and before I knew it, I became one of those assholes.

Whether they like to admit it or not, there came a point in the game's development where this sort of behavior actually started killing the community. The end of 2.0 was probably SRB2's most blank period. People were leaving left and right, and with complete radio silence from the devs, 2.1 seemed like a myth. Following the whole "playing SRB2 is lame" trend the community set, by 2012 I'd pretty much stopped playing the game or interacting with the community entirely. I only kept tabs on IRC in case anything new came out. The time I spent away from the community was beneficial, as it helped me grow out of that asshole phase, little by little. I was fortunate enough to have great friends around me to help me the rest of the way.


2.1's release signaled a turning point in the community. As with every major release, a ton of old members came back to experience the new changes. Spending time away from the community had helped almost everyone grow significantly, and the community soon became a much more positive place. #srb2fun was once again filled with actual SRB2-related discussion! With the improvement in member attitude, the more toxic parts of the community started being held accountable for their actions. Many of them did some honest reflection as a result, and became much better people. It was around this time that I started contributing to the modding scene with the advent of Lua, and eventually worked my way up to become a developer.

It was honestly incredible seeing everyone around me grow up and contribute to making both the community and modding scene a better place. I also took pride in the fact that I could now collaborate with people I once looked up to. But despite all the positive changes, it became pretty clear that there were some people in the community that hadn't grown at all. And those people happened to be the ones running it.

My entry into dev is what made that really evident. Mystic and Rob both held the power to "veto" ideas, regardless of how many others on the team supported them. They essentially gave their own devs the same treatment as they did community modders. Constantly butting into matters outside of their realm of expertise, such as art, music, and even coding. It's not hard to see why development was constantly in and out of stagnation: their brutal rejections and constant interjection into matters they knew next to nothing about demotivated developers, and even caused some of them to leave. The only thing that kept the talented people on the team going was the love they had for the game. It was like working a job you absolutely loved, under incredibly shitty bosses. Back and forth arguments that went nowhere. Terrible compromises. Stifled creativity. At one point, I even contemplated leaving, since it felt like I couldn't do anything without having someone butt into my area of expertise and tell me how to do my job. So, honestly? Their removal had me and several others celebrating.


Despite all this, I still hold myself at fault as well. For a long time, I defended the actions of the old leads, even when it pissed my friends off. I had thought, "you know, maybe Mystic isn't so bad after all, maybe he's just misunderstood!", but I now realize just how much of a naive fool I really was. This was the remnant of the negative influence I was subjected to in 2.0's community. Rather than actually call out bad behavior as I saw it, I was conditioned to turn a blind eye to it, and in some cases my judgement was poor enough for me to defend it. As someone who had the power to do something about it, it took me far too long to realize just how much damage they'd done, and for that, I cannot apologize enough. I would have never realized it either if it wasn't for the amazing friends I'd made on the team.

I'd also like to extend that apology to all the people I was terrible to in my early days. Looking back, I was probably just as awful to them as the community regulars were to me when I first joined the community. I know how horrible that felt, and I'm deeply sorry for subjecting you to it as well.



As for where we stand now? I'm SUPER excited. The team is now more motivated than ever, and tons of progress is being made regarding both the game and the community. Dev has gone from feeling like a hostile work environment to a fun place. Tons of stress and unsettlement has effectively disappeared overnight, and things are looking more promising than ever. I doubt we'll be able to put out the next release anytime soon, but I hope you guys will enjoy the new direction we're taking the game in.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #214
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IMO, FWIW — those demonstrating humility are doing a great job of leading by example. It's hard to admit wrongdoing, even though we're all guilty of being wrong all the time. But culturally "wrong" is equated to "bad/worthless" when really it should just be "learning." If you're not regularly wrong, then you're supposing you already know everything. That's the mindset Mystic/Rob displayed and it's what leads to walls instead of bridges.

Kudos. It's a sign of character and maturity and it's worth this quick post of praise. (Not trying to pander or condescend or Sonic sez; just matter of fact). SRB2 community, even just in the few months since I've been observing, is clearly bursting forward with light. It's cool! Way past time, maybe, but also way past cool.

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Old 2 Days Ago   #215
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I find it hilarious to think about what is going through Mystic's head if he's reading this thread. So much rage and yet he is unable to do anything about it. The perfect torture.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #216
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I find it hilarious to think about what is going through Mystic's head if he's reading this thread. So much rage and yet he is unable to do anything about it. The perfect torture.
he can still post, iirc.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #217
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he can still post, iirc.
This is correct, Mystic was never forced out of the community, that was his own decision to leave after deciding the community he knew no longer existed. He was banned only on the official Discord server.

Either way though, don't waste your time jumping on his metaphorical grave guys, that's exactly the kind of thing we're trying to move away from here I thought.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #218
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Either way though, don't waste your time jumping on his metaphorical grave guys, that's exactly the kind of thing we're trying to move away from here I thought.
That's pretty funny, coming from a Fang pogo-bouncing avatar ;[
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Old 2 Days Ago   #219
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While being relatively new to this community, starting in the Kart subcommunity in 2019, I was considering making something for the Vanilla game. I was getting a few warning signs about the Official Server in particular, with the patterns of destructive criticism and scaring off newcomers described above.

At the time, I thought of it as outlandish, but when I joined the server months after 2.2's release, I would pop in every now and then to see endless arguing with no natural resolution (mostly about character designs or aspects of the game), and people giving feedback on sprites that was kinda too vague or just harshly tearing apart bad art (often scaring first day members who didn't even know shading basics, and especially when someone shows a Blonic-tier "OC"). It was just like the rumors said, and after seeing what could go on in the SRB2 Server, it was intimidating to actually try making a character for vanilla.
I was also there when the SMS debate happened, and seeing people still hold a threatening grudge (including the old devs) against a character simply because of its poor conception is really not OK, especially since there were vast improvements to it.

Before this thread, and before entering the SRB2 Server, and before he left, I just knew Mystic as "The Guy that made Mystic Realm", and I didn't know he had this much of a negative impact on the game's development and community, and I really hope he gets his head out of the 2000s, but I highly doubt it given the history of his actions being showcased...

Last edited by VGBoy; 2 Days Ago at 01:24 AM. Reason: Making it easier to read by spacing things out
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Old 2 Days Ago   #220
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My experiences with Mystic pales in comparison to the current devs and mods, and everything that has been said about it roughly correlates with my experiences too.

Back when I was active on #srb2fun and related channels in '07-'09 or so I was readily aware of how elitist some of the big content creators were, and unfortunately for me I had a sort of savior complex, where I placed people like Mystic on a pedestal and believed I could steer newcomers away from getting bullied or making content the community would make fun of. My thought process back then was that the bullying going on in the community was deserved, as they didn't listen to my warnings. Much like D00D64, I eventually came out of that crappy mentality - and I am extremely happy to see that others in the community who are still around have done similar.


I'm excited for what the future holds for the new developers - I was very impressed with v2.2 when I first played it a few days ago - and for the new community - which is now in a far better place than it was in before.
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