JCraft - Thank you everyone!
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- This page will be up until the beginning of January, after which it will expire. If you would like to continue to chat and connect with everyone from the server, you can join our Discord here: https://discord.gg/cxnb2nj. If you'd like to contact me (Josh) you can add me on Steam here: http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198024994933/
- The text below is from the forum thread I posted when I announced that the server would be closing. There were so many loving replies and it blew me away so much I didn't even know what to say in response to everyone. I did read each and every one of your posts and have them saved to remember them. This community and everyone involved is undoubtedly the single best thing I've ever been a part of. I love you guys.
- - Josh
- Hey everyone,
- I can't believe it was nearly 4 years ago that I started the JCraft Vanilla server. I remember getting into Trouble in Terrorist Town because of some YouTubers going on servers and instead of playing the game correctly, instead choosing to mass RDM. Needless to say, I was hooked immediately, and really enjoyed playing TTT. With Garry's Mod being a game with private servers, opening one of my own was very appealing to me. See, I really liked servers. I had run a few Minecraft servers back in 2011 (hence the name JCraft.) While running those Minecraft servers, I met a huge number of cool people, some of which I still talk to today. It was really fun, and I have some very fond memories of that time. One of the people that I met on my Minecraft server would be Skyz, who now runs his own TTT and Jailbreak servers.
- When first starting my Garry's Mod server, the idea was to do what everyone else was doing: add a bunch of addons, a bunch of maps, a bunch of (obnoxious) sounds, and then launch that as a server. It didn't really work out so well. There were a fair number of players, but it was essentially just a copy of every other server. Several months after starting that first TTT server, I was scrolling through the server browser to find a server to play on and I realized that every server had almost the same title; they were all advertising the same exact thing, lots of addons. At the time, my internet connection was 1.5Mbps down on a good day and my latency was always in the triple digits. So when I would connect to these servers, I would be waiting ten or twenty minutes, sometimes even an hour or more, in order to enter. Who would want to play like that?! To me, it suddenly made sense, I needed to make a server with as few downloads a possible, and while at it, deliver an experience without annoying addons that only diluted the game or kicked you for script errors. With that in mind, I made a basic server and launched it with the same title that it has today. The MOTD only said something along the lines of "This is an experiment to see how players like a server without tons of downloads." Well, it's safe to say that they did like it, and that's why you're here.
- I know we usually try to keep things light, as everyone is dealing with their own problems, but I'd like to be real with you here. These next couple of paragraphs will be purely from my own point of view. Through this whole experience, I've met and talked to hundreds of people, all from different walks of life. We've had regular players on the server from every single continent besides Antarctica, all bringing their own personalities to the table. Throughout the lifetime of the server, there have been hundreds of thousands of unique players that have joined, which is mind boggling to me. I really wish that I could individually message every single one of you to let you know how much of a blessing it has been. I can't thank the incredible staff enough for the help they've given me throughout the years, and how they helped others out through some difficult challenges in their own lives. In fact, once I found out just how much people were being helped by having a sense of community, I knew that I needed to encourage that wherever possible. There have been so many messages from players telling me how having JCraft to come to quite literally saved their lives - you can't quantify that. This is really the biggest reason I kept JCraft running for as long as I did, it was never meant go this long.
- So, this brings the story back to me. I started Vanilla when I was 16. I was still in high school at the time and the school I was in had done some major restructuring which resulted in a lot of families being upset and leaving, so I lost a lot of friends very quickly. Having the community to come to was a big help there, even though I didn't realize it at the time. I really only had one close friend after that. He actually helped out with the server a lot, and brought his creative ideas to life with Lua scripts to make the server unique. Unfortunately, we had some really differing views on how to best run everything, and at one point every staff member left due to me having him as part of the team. This forced me to realize that he had to leave the community, and the end result was that I lost my best and basically only friend. For 16 year old me, that was pretty tough. Shortly after that, I began to have a whole host of health problems. These caused me to miss weeks and weeks of school and truly drained the life from me. By some miracle, I finally graduated from high school in 12th grade by the skin of my teeth. Wanting to put all of this behind me, I enrolled to Penn State for computer science. The first semester went well, but the second one was extremely tough. From around 16 on, my condition had slowly but surely gotten worse, and so I was unable to complete my second semester there. This was a heartbreaker for me. I was bored in high school, but I really enjoyed my time at Penn State, and finally thought I had figured out what to do with my life. I'd struggled with medical issues my whole life, but it was worse now. Realizing that doctors weren't helping, I went to Wikipedia and after much searching had diagnosed myself with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disease affecting the collagen in your body which makes up your tendons, skin, blood vessels, eyes, etc. This got me a referral to a geneticist who confirmed that I did indeed have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS.) Due to this, I am mostly housebound at this time, and have limited mobility. It's a disease that changes your life.
- While this all sounds sad, getting this diagnosis brought an unbelievable sense of peace upon me. No longer do I have these old silly expectations for myself that I thought I needed to live up to. This new knowledge has oddly brought incredible joy to my life, much better than the fleeting rush you get when buying something. Life doesn't have to be this repeated string of suffering if you don't let it be! I think Alan Watts said it best: https://ifunny.co/fun/Sw2JFaug4
- With this said, this whole letter is fill all of you in on the past few years and everything that's happened to me. A lot of you know that I lost interest in Garry's Mod a long time ago, but I kept it around because of the capacity it had to help people. This letter is to let you all know that I've reached the point where I have realized that it's time for the conclusion, and to wind the server down. I've thought about this for a long time, but feel it is time to do so. Video games have been fun, but I am at the point where I don't have much interest in running communities for them anymore. The plan is for the server to run the same way as it currently is until our fourth anniversary, so the server will remain open until Sunday, August 13th, which is exactly four years since it was started. There are no plans to sell the server or hand it over to someone else at this time either. This project was started by me, and I'd prefer to end it that way.
- Thank you all for the impact you've had on my life, I won't soon forget it.
- - Josh
- If you'd like to contact me, you can either join the Discord, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or message me on Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198024994933/
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