1. Let it be told...

Let it be told...

Authored by Zjiria

Meridian started as a project in the parents’ basement, you know. It was started several years ago, by two brothers, who thought it would be neat to do it, and neater to do it first. The basic client/server architecture that makes it all possible was developed way back then. A year or two later, they joined up with another set of brothers, who promised to track down funding to wrap a game around this state-of-the-art and yet home-brewed technology. Archetype Interactive was formed. That’s about when me and my brother Mocker joined in. Boy, did we ever get a wild ride.

When we set up our alpha, the game consisted of nothing more than about seven rooms, one of which was a very early version of Tos. There was no advancement scheme, no quests, and only a couple of monsters. Player killing was rampant, because there literally was nothing else to do and there was no semblance of justice. And yet, the game was so full, 24 hours a day, that we had to kick people off to make room for us online. That’s when I knew something big was happening.

We released later, after being acquired by a company called 3DO. Contrary to popular belief, they didn’t destroy us. They saved us. Archetype was running on fumes, and we certainly didn’t have the resources for a CS department, a tech team, a billing team, a solid internet connection and a quality assurance team. 3DO gave us that. And more.

And so I designed this room in order to thank the people, from both Archetype and 3DO, who made it possible. The statues that you see here change from time to time, to show others who made positive contributions to the game. And still, it can only scratch the surface. I doubt anyone who hasn’t been on this side of things could begin to grok the sheer amount of effort, energy and dedication it takes to make an online world and keep it running. I hope that you will take some time to look at the credits page under ‘Help’. Click on the graphic to see more names. But do it after I offer my thanks.


Possibly the most maligned members of the Meridian staff. These people rarely get the thanks they deserve for going far and beyond the call of duty. Most have worked hours that a normal person would consider insane. And they carry an incredible burden - part cop, part arbitrator, part psychiatrist, part babysitter, and part technical support. Thank them, they deserve it.


Artists are unsung heroes, too. I have included statues of those who have developed online personas. However, most have not, and some are from so long ago, that any online names they once had are forgotten. Their contribution to the product is enormous, though. Without them, you’d all be smiley-faces drawn by Zaphod and Zandramas.


Like the artists, there are numerous coders who contributed, without ever having claimed an online name. Most of the serious engine improvements over the course of the last year are due to engine fanatics that we managed to snag for a while. It was great to have these prolific coders when we did. The game is endlessly better for their anonymous contributions.

Quality Assurance

Role-playing games are among the most complicated pieces of code to be found, and multiplayer games raise that bar. One bug that slips through can upset game balance, or ruin the economy. The amount of testing and re-testing that goes into a product is immense. Unfortunately, most of the online names of the testers who have worked on Meridian have been lost to me, so I have included statues of only the team leaders. I regret this deeply- their contribution has been essential.


The most important people you’ve never heard from. They are the ones that keep the networks running, and the server machines functional. They design the web pages and the billing systems, and they wrap their work schedules around player events like Blood Frenzies, to be sure that your character information gets properly restored. These are good people.

Guides and Bards

There is a lot of talk about the corrupt guides and bards. Well, the game is a hundred times better now than before we had these programs, because good guides and bards outnumber the bad ones by a significant margin. These people give hours of their time to help out and alleviate our guardians. Why do they do this? For the selfless love of the game. As a game designer, I can’t think of a higher compliment. Thanks, guys.


Almost every division of 3DO has been touched by Meridian, and many people worked hard on the project, even though their names appeared on no credits. This includes billing people, marketing gurus, legal experts, and the folks who come in nightly to vacuum the floors. It includes people on other products we asked for help in a pinch, or got artwork we needed the day before freeze. It includes some incredibly talented game designers, who made it clear I could always turn to them for advice. Thanks to them, too.


I have not agreed with 3DO for every decision they have made. However, they did one thing for which I am eternally grateful. They bought a tiny startup company called Archetype, and gave it enough resources that it could be brought to market. Since then, the product has had a steady, stable, and devoted following, and has constantly gotten better reviews than the competition. Thank you, 3DO, for bringing my baby to life.

Having said all that, I’d like to thank you, the users, for calling this place your home for a little while. It’s an extraordinary honor to have been able to help shape this world in which you frolic. Until the next time our paths cross…