Hello Everyone,

I’d like to take the time here to offer my sincere apologies for my
extremely disgraceful behavior yesterday morning.  I know there are
some here who will most likely view my behavior as childish, immature,
etc. it was certainly unprofessional of me to say some of the things I
said, and do some of the things I did. Yet, now that I've had some
time to get away from the list, get away from the situation, cool
down, and get some perspective I can see both sides of this issue a
little clearer.

I realize that certain members of the list, other game developers,
felt they were being bullied, pressured,  and Che felt it was his job
to stand up and defend them the only way he knew how to. I take his
points, even though he was much harsher than he needed to be, and I'll
attempt to be more diplomatic in the words and things I say on this
list in the future. I must honestly confess that it is hard for me not
to comment on a topic or give my opinion even when the person or
persons involved don't want to hear it. So I need to monitor my urge
to write a quick reply and make absolutely sure it says what I mean,
and that the message does not contain any words that can be
misinterpreted by the intended party or parties receiving it.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is simply this. E-mail is a very
impersonal form of communication. To us it is just a bunch of text on
the screen that gets read back to us via our screen reader of choice
without any sense of the emotion, intent, or purpose behind it. It is
us, the reader, who interpret it and assign emotions and intent to
that message. It sometimes is interpreted correctly, and sometimes it
can lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings on both sides. Which
is what I feel happened yesterday.

I certainly do not want to offer you any excuses for my actions
yesterday, but I do feel I owe you an explanation of why I did what I
did. What I'm about to say isn't being said to get sympathy, lay a
guilt trip on anybody, or hand you a sad story, etc. I merely want to
give you a few facts that lead up to my behavior yesterday in the
first place. You are free to reject or accept this as you will.

In my message yesterday I made reference to some problems with my
marriage, and let me say these are quite true, and as you might expect
it is a very stressful and painful time for me. I consider the issue
very personal so I don't want to get into it at any real length, but
my wife and I have been having problems for quite a long time now and
the situation has tended to progress from bad to worse. We have been
arguing about everything from our family finances to how much time I
spend on my computer working on games when she feels I should be
spending that time with her or my son.

Here is an example of what I mean. On July 4th my wife wanted to go to
the fireworks as a family as we do every year, but I didn't want to go
because for me listening to fireworks is nothing but a bunch of loud
noise. I felt those two hours or so could be better spend at home
working on game code, editing sounds, and working on game
documentation. It went over with her like a rock, and that started an
argument that ruined the entire evening for us both.

Having these kinds of personal issues is bad enough, but there are
certain individuals in this community who are pushing, nagging, and
putting pressure on me to release Mysteries of the Ancients and
Raceway on some unrealistic time table I can't simply meet and have
any kind of time for my family, work, etc. I don't know if it is their
ignorance of how much time and energy it takes to complete a game of
any size, they are just self-centered, or both. Either way you look at
it their constant nagging, complaining, etc just makes the situation
that much worse for me because I have to make a daily choice how to
assign my free time which comes down to work on said games or spend it
with my family. Those of you who aren't married, don't have family
obligations and responcibilities, might not understand exactly what
that feels like, or appreciate the situation I am in here.

Bottom line, what I am trying to say is that I've not been myself for
quite a while now. I have been angry, upset, moody, and very stressed
out over a number of personal and professional issues. Normally, most
people who know me know that I am usually a very rational down to
earth kind of person. However, anyone no matter who they are can be
pushed beyond their emotional fortitude and snap given enough time and

Which brings us to Wednesday morning. I was already upset, not in a
good mood, when I opened gmail and began reading my mail that morning.
It was to everyone's misfortune that Che chose that day, of all days,
to write a message to the list standing up for his fellow developers,
and weather he intended to or not I felt extremely insulted by him
calling me a programming elitist as well as a few other things he said
in his messages, and that basically was enough to push me over the
edge. I got extremely angry and reacted poorly. As I said earlier
there is no excuse for my disgraceful behavior, but at the time I was
not thinking to clearly. You might say I went into a mindless rage,
and it was only hours later after I cooled down that I thought about
the results of my actions and saw how poorly I handled the situation.

One of those things I realized is that I was being terribly unfair to
my customers, supporters,  etc who were eagerly waiting on me to
release Mysteries of the Ancients, Raceway, and anything else I might
produce in the future. I was, in effect, punishing both the guilty and
the innocent with a single strike. That was extremely unfair, and for
that I am sorry. I hope that this community can find it in their harts
to forgive me for my actions, and that we all can begin the healing
process together. Let's turn over a new leaf shall we?

As far as USA Games I will reopen the website as soon as I can. You
must realize though that do to my irrational state of mind I decided
to delete the website, close it down, and was really and truly
planning on leaving this community for good. However, after I calmed
down a number of you, those who I would call friends, asked me to come
back and not throw it all away over a stupid argument. Once I calmed
down I saw they were right, and so I'll honor their requests , but I
think I will be doing things differently than before. I may not stay
on this list for long if I feel I'm not welcome here any longer. I
fully realize I might have just burned my bridges as far as the
community is concerned, but I'm  willing to give it a try if you are
willing to give me a chance to earn back my self-respect and dignity.

Thomas Ward

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