Friends, Conquerclubbers, Cartography-men (and ladies),
It is with a strange sense of trepidation that I have decided to call time on my duties as Foundry Foreman and slip off the Blue Suede Shoes
that I have been wearing for the best part of the last three years.
I have some great memories of working in the foundry and have had far too many late-night conversations with people who I have never met but will always regards as friends. Since my very first days in the foundry I have enjoyed taking part in shaping the maps of the Conquer Club future. I remember with great clarity my first contributions (to Dust Bowl and the British Isles revamp), and the thrill of seeing a suggestion come to life (the Sparkling Cherry on the Conquer Man Cake!). During my time as a foundry newb, my vision of the foundry was shaped by those who were active at the time. Seeing how these great mapmakers spurred each other on and helped each other along the way was the main thought behind the "I can do this" moment that triggered the Europe II (aka Europa) map. I remember how great my first draft was (ie not very), and the time and effort that ensued over the following 11 months. I felt honoured to have ever been considered for a cartographer role, and over the past three years I have always tried to remember that the foundry is the product of those who make their home here and made many great maps. There has been a lot of change since my early days on the team (when it was just gimil, oaktown and me)... some people say that the golden age of mapmaking has died (since the great mapmakers of my newbie days - RjBeals, oaktown, WidowMakers, mibi and qwert - are no longer making maps). However, while things have changed, we must realise that while things are different they're not necessarily worse... There are a number of great mapmakers within our midst (Kabanellas, shakeycat, cairnswk, Tisha, thenobodies80) and plenty of promising talent rising through the foundry. The future of the foundry remains bright!
While I would love to have seen more xml updates over the past couple of years, the foundry process has been clearly refined and I have had the privilege of bringing some excellent CAs onto the team to watch over things. The mapmaking contests have been a great way to encourage new people to take part - and I am delighted that a first-time mapmaker won the most recently completed contest. I'm glad to have played an active role in making limited edition maps a (semi)regular occurrence, and am most proud of having made supersize maps a reality!
I still have the ceremonial banana-crate of office, which I shall be passing on to thenobodies80. Over the past few years, nobodies has become a great friend. I know that he shares my passion for quality workmanship, and that he is always willing to listen and help people. I truly believe that the foundry will prosper under his care and guidance, and that the foundry will be in safe hands.
The new breed of Foundry Assistants (who nobodies will surely announce in due course) will help to bring some much-needed oversight to the Ideas and Drafting Room. It is an honour to unveil OliverFA as the newest member of the foundry team and formally acknowledge the work that he has started to do in the xml department.
My final act as Foundry Foreman (as the result of much discussion and with the agreement of the CA team) will be to merge the two foundry workshops together. Since we introduced the coloured topic icons, it is easy to differentiate between maps at different developmental phases - which was a major flaw of the previous single-foundry forum. Bringing the two workshops together should prevent feedback from being "inappropriate to the developmental phase", and will hopefully make it easier to keep maps alive!
Whilst without any official Foundry portfolio, I do not intend to just walk away from CC... I have made some great friends through this stupid game and cannot imagine life without the wife-annoying daily fix! I may even still have a map or two in me - but in the words of Forrest Gump, "You never know..."
This is MrBenn signing off duty.