Earlier today, Paragon Studios announced they were shutting down, and taking their massively-multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) "City of Heroes" with them. This will be done before the end of the year.
This announcement has had a big effect on me.
In a previous interview, I stated that I counted video games among my influences on writing. The main video game that has helped my creative process since I began writing my own adventures was "City of Heroes". The game allowed players to create their own characters, design their costumes, designate their powers, etc., then turns them loose in a shared "world" with other players with its own enemies, ongoing storylines, etc.
The game was a lot of fun, but more than that it helped me to create. I began playing the game shortly after I began writing "The Isle of Blood", way back in 2008 (maybe even 2007?), and it helped me to crystalize the look of my characters, as well as design quite a few that haven't turned up yet but will hopefully do so in the future. Beyond that, it helped me brainstorm on other projects. Finally, it let me "step into the shoes" of my heroes and play as them, which was a very cool feeling.
Beyond these reasons, there were others that made my time playing "City of Heroes" important to me: I frequently played the game alongside my friends Manny and Gabriel, and it's a neat feeling leading your hero into combat next to your friends. My wife started playing the game for a while too, and that was a terrific experience as the two of us had a good time creating characters and beating down the bad guys together. We were playing CoH the night my father passed away from cancer, and after the initial crying had died down, we played for a while longer. It was a great comfort that night, especially knowing the true shock would lay into me when I woke up the next day.
I know it's just a game, but nonetheless it's a game that was a big part of my life, and Challenger Storm wouldn't be what it is without the influence of "City of Heroes". I will miss it and all the fun and enjoyment that came from it.