(originally posted at http://mystonline.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=402386#p402386)
Oh CyanChat… where do I even begin?
I’d been vaguely aware of CyanChat since first finding Myst/Riven stuff online, back in 2000 or so (anyone else remember Leeloo’s Riven Hints site?), but the first time I actually joined CC was in 2006.
August 2nd, 2006 exactly. The day the first beta invites for MOUL went out. Gadren had posted on UruObsession that there was some sort of party going on in CyanChat, and Cyan’s intern RivenChan was giving everyone gold (guest) status.
So I went to see what was going on, and just kinda never left. There were a bunch of prominent community members in there; Tweek, Alahmnat, RIUM+, chucker, Aloys, and the occasional visit from RivenChan or greydragon.
I should mention that I was 15 or so at this point. I would go to the library at school during lunch and log in to the Java chat, reading chatlogs when I got home, and staying up far too late chatting about pretty much any topic imaginable with the people in CC.
As a programmer, one of the first things I did when I saw the CyanChat protocol spec was to start writing my own CC client. In C# first, then a server in C#, then a rewrite of the C# client, then some hacking on Kirsle’s Perl client, then one in Python, then one in C# to try out the new WPF technology, then a Pidgin plugin in C, then a few more C attempts to make a CC API library, and some C++ stuff, and bugfixes to a Ruby client… I wrote a LOT of CC clients, and it was my defacto “Learn this new language” project :P
By mid-2007, I’d become friends with some of the CC regulars. TW, vaaht, Nisan, M’buhir/Ku’mah, wandering_nomad, Edrick, theclam, Ki’Sak, Novah, Zadok, amonre… It was great with the ongoing Uru Live storylines too, because people would come in to CC from work/school to hear about what was going on in the cavern.
We started doing late night Skype calls at some point over the summer. Looking back, despite all the high-school angst and teenage insecurities and mild depression, that summer is one of my happiest memories. It always feels like the “golden days” of growing up.
It was some sort of crazy and wonderful happenstance that we all ended up in CC that summer and throughout much of the next year.
At some point, I decided to write a bot to transmit between CC and an IRC channel. Originally intended to temporarily work around an IP ban for mistyping something and triggering the language filter, the idea proved popular enough that several people switched to IRC full-time. I feel like that contributed significantly to the slow decline of CC, and I continually blame myself for that :(
As interest in Uru waned after the shutdown, and people got busy with jobs and life after school, the CC population dwindled. Ultimately it came down to only 4 of us and the IRC bot, and even on the IRC side nobody was really talking. After a year of that, I closed my CC client.
CyanChat and the people there were an incredible part of my life for those few years. It really felt like a family moreso than a chat room, and it was really hard to finally accept that most of you were gone and leaving a chat window open wasn’t going to make you come back.
I owe so much of my musical tastes to wandering_nomad and his CyanChatRadio shoutcast streaming.
I never would have completed NaNoWriMo in 2008 if vaaht hadn’t been reading my work and making suggestions. vaaht was a huge part of helping me to accept certain aspects of myself during those years.
I learned so much from Nadnerb, and especially liked our technical discussions and almost-telepathy.
Now everyone is off doing their own stuff, living their lives. I wish I’d made more of an effort to stay in contact outside of CyanChat, but that regret applies to almost everyone I’ve ever known.
There’s talk of shutting down CC, after almost 17 years of being the “official” chat room of the Myst community. I hate to see it go, knowing how much it meant to people and the friendships and relationships that grew as a result. But if nobody is connected, and nobody is talking, is it really worth keeping running?
Empty chairs at empty tables, where my friends will sit no more.