In Memory of
Seumas McNally

Seumas's online memorial took place on Saturday March 24th at 10pm EST.

This formatted version of the memorial has been altered to trim down the dialogue to only the introductions of the attendees, sentiments about Seumas, and announcements. There was a great bit of interesting discussion that didn't seem to go easily with this format, and so I trimmed it out so that the formated version of the memorial would read more linearly then how chats normally progress. If you want to see the whole chat log, you can here.

* kentq taps his microphone
* kentq clears his throat
[kentq] OK, everyone, we'd like to get started.
[kentq] Here's how it's going to work to get going: in just a moment, we'll all have an opportunity to introduce ourselves. Please keep it to one line.
[kentq] And then we're going to go to moderated, and we'll have a chance to take turns saying something.
[kentq] I go first. Geoff will let you know. At some point during the evening, the LDA folks have an annoucement to make.
[kentq] Then maybe we can open it up again.
[kentq] If everyone's ready, how about we all put in a one-line introduction for ourselves.
[kentq] Starting now.


[kentq] My name is Kent Quirk, and I'm an independent game developer and entrepreneur. I run a company called CogniToy. Seumas and I released our games within a couple of months of one anohter.
[geoffh] My name is Geoff Howland, Im also an indie game developer and Ive known Seumas for about a year online. I was lucky enough to get a good amount of time with him at the GDC, I only wish there was more.
[LDAJim] I'm Jim McNally, Wendy and I are Seumas' mom and dad. We also worked for him.
[LDA_Philippe] My name is Philippe McNally. I worked on most of the art for Tread Marks. Seumas was the best
[akbarA] I am Akbar Ali, i work for peicewise software. it is a houston based computer graphics company
[Akura] Bruno Sousa - Lead programmer of Wicked Logic - Online friend of Seamus where i met him in #gamedev
combination of brother/best friend/coworker
[Anne] April Gould just starting a game.
[Brink] Dan Mintz, programmer, I hang out in EFnet #opengl. I read many of Seumas's postings to OPENGL-GAMEDEV-L, admired his work on Tread Marks, and am amazed at how quickly he learned to write great games.
[Dave [GDNET]] I'm Dave Astle from I knew Seumas from conversations in #gamedev and over e-mail, and like many of us, I finally met him and his family at the GDC.
[ChadC] Hi, I'm Chad Catlett programmer for Pixel Creations.
[Gandalfy] My name is Ricki Sickenger. I am an independant game developer from Norway. I only knew Seumas through mailinglists. My sincere condolences to his family. He seemed like a great guy.
[joe_m] My name is Joe Meenaghan. I am a game developer and CEO of a company dedicated to teaching game development. I did not know Seumas by anything other than reputation and his loss has broken my heart.
[DG|Jeremy] I'm Jeremy Martin, and I run Damage Gaming. I knew Seumas through his work, and his online presence as well as a few exchanges of emails. He was one great guy. It saddens me to hear of his passing, especially because recently they tested me for the same disease because they thought I had it, but luckily I did not. I wish Seumas would have had the same luck as I did.
[Ernie [GDNET]] i'm Ernest Pazera. i'm just a guy.
[LordKaos] Alex Taylor, I run a Sydney, Australia based game development company called Cy Software
[BiscuitTheCat] I'm Andrew Rollings, working around the fringes of the game industry, but mostly elsewhere. I knew of Seumas through the gamedev mailing list.
[Ibuku] I am Alex Ahlund, founder of
[KingsRevenge] Eric Wright, programmer, Even though i didn't get to know Seumas that well he seemed like a very kewl dood
[[M]ToAstA[COD]] Hello, my name is David Lee, and I just want to send out my condolences to all of the family members; You all are in my prayers.
[Stritza] Adam Stritzel - Just a beginner - appreciated Seumas' landscape tesselation explanations.
[gtbass] I'm Garett Bass, an indie (soon to be contract) game programmer, aka TimDog on IRC EFnet's #OpenGL and #FlipCode.
[HellStorm] I am Jeff House, independent game developer, I spoke with Seumas a few times and I will miss him
[JesseT] My name is Jesse Towner and I'm a fellow indie game developer, with IDEA Software, and on online friend of #gamedev and the gamedev community.
[Gamemaster] My Name Is Ben Grussi, I am Gameplayer who has highly respected Seumas for a long time.
[Kevin [GDNET]] I'm Kevin Hawkins from I've known Seumas from email, his tutorials, #gamedev, and from following his progress on TM.
[bit64] I am Gabriel Rohweder, although I did not know Seumas personally, it is wonderful to see that he is so loved.
[Roy_and_Connie] I am Roy Sutton, I am here with my wife Connie Elliott. Connie and I knew Seumas for about 10 and 7 years respectively -- sadly only online -- on the Bix service. I first met Seumas while programming on the Amiga. Today Connie and I own a small hardware/software company. Seumas reminded us to dream audaciously.
[Sammy_] hi everyone, my name is Sam McGrath. i work for Savage Studios (a startup game developement company) as lead programmer. i didn't know seumas, but i was greatly saddened by this tragedy. the phenomenal work he did on treadmarks has inspired us all.
[NuFAN] I am Joerg Brauer, founder of Skullpture Entertainment, I know Seumas from discussion forums, #gamedev and the opengl mailing list
[Savaric] Hi All, I'm Dan Ditomaso, I am here so that I am to able to pay my condolences to the McNally family.
[mduffy] Michael Duffy from the startup Studio Blue. I knew Seumas from the mailing lists, and was fortunate to meet him briefly in person at this year's GDC.
[vanevery] Brandon Van Every, game developer wannabe and erstwhile Newsgroup Proponent of the* newsgroup hierarchy. I read Seamus' posts only briefly on the indie mailing list, and I'm sad that I never talked to him about his game, which I downloaded recently.
[PetrFire] my name is nick laas, despite the IRC nick, and, well, I don't do much... I never really knew Seumas, I'd talk to him online often... but for only a few months
[FDL] I am Francois Dominic Laramee, game designer and programmer. I have met Seumas and his family on email and at the GDC.
[ScorchMPW] My name is Michael P. Welch. I write shareware/freeware games. I wrote DX-Ball. Seumas wrote DX-Ball 2. He was my best friend.
[titan_ct] my name is Chris Tanner i am just starting out, working on my first game its sad this happened :(
[Nutter] I'm Richard Sim, currently a hobby programmer and live in #opengl, #flipcode and #gamecode on EFNet :), but soon will be working at Ratbag Games. I know Seumas only from his mailing list replies
[m0user] My name is Mark Chandler from GamesCon, I recently met the McNally family online just before the release of TreadMarks, and saw them down at GDC, my condolences to the family now in their time of this great tragedy :~(
[Dan] I am Dan Smith from, hobbiest progammer. I've met Seumas on IRC and had him help me a few times.
* kentq wants to tell the newcomers that we're doing a quick round of introductions, then we're going to go to a moderated chat for a while.
[felisandria] I'm Heather Holland. I knew Seumas from #gamedev and from a few private chats. I actually just found out he passed away and I can't think of anything intelligent or meaningful to say yet. :\
[PrimeyKIP] im jason jones , newbie graphics programmer. i didnt know seumas, but i realise how sad the loss was
[Valyna] I'm Samantha Peters, from Klache Entertainment, and although I've never had the pleasure of meeting Seumas personally, I am here to express condolences on behalf of everyone at Klache. The loss was truly tragic, and our prayers go out to the family, and to Seumas.
[pingz] My name is Tom Spilman. Unfortunately i can stay much longer, but it's great to see so many people here to remember Seumas. I'm sure where ever he is he's working on something wonderful.
[gtbass] :)
[Savaric] Hello, my name is Dan Ditomaso, Newbie Programmer, I am here so that I am to able to pay my condolences to the McNally family.

Personal Sentiments

[geoffh] We're switching to a moderated forum now, so that we can have uninterrupted messages from people who would like to speak
[kentq] We're here tonight to remember and honor Seumas McNally.
[kentq] Most of us knew him mostly online, so it only seems appropriate that we honor him online.
[kentq] He was different things to diferent people...and this evening I hope that all of you will share what he meant to you.
[kentq] To me...
[kentq] ...we were kindred souls. Both entrepreneurs, independent game developers, programmers, science-fiction fans, and night owls. Most of our conversations started after midnight...and he's the only person I chat with who stayed up after even I went to bed.
[kentq] (and I stay up pretty late!)
[kentq] He was generous, open, funny, and a little naive. Of course...he wasn't even old enough to drink in my state.
[kentq] But that naivete was kept me honest.
[kentq] I think that's what makes this all so senseless. He somehow managed to pack decades of knowledge and kindness and experience into a very short time.
[kentq] And somehow...
[kentq] ...he expressed it all online. The old joke goes that "on the internet, no one knows you're a dog." And it's true.
[kentq] But with Seumas, you always knew you were talking to a real human being.
[kentq] Which is why we're all here.
[kentq] So I encourage all of you...
[kentq] ...all of you who were touched by Seumas' humanity...
[kentq] ...give a little back tonight, and let all of us know what he meant to you.
[geoffh] Thanks Kent
[geoffh] Id just like to say that I really appreciated the time I had with Seumas and only wish there could have been more. In the short time I knew him face to face I was fully impressed with what a truly great person he was. Very kind and intelligent.
[geoffh] I learned a lot about him and his familly at the GDC, but even with the time, it was only enough to really scratch the surface of getting to know someome, which is something I'll always regret.
[geoffh] I'll treasure the time I did have and the impression he left on me, with his determination and lack of ego with others. Now, in addition to using my own games as motivation, I have the copy of Tread Marks he gave me sitting between my monitors when I get tired and need something to keep me going.
[geoffh] Thank you Seumas. I'll miss you.
[geoffh] Roy and Connie
[geoffh] if youd like to say something now
[Roy_and_Connie] Connie here: I remember the first night I read Seumas' post that he was sick. I remember when he came into CBIX that night, wondering what had hit him. I ache now for my loss and, more importantly, for the loss that Jim, Wendy and Philippe feel.
[Roy_and_Connie] I feel, though, that Seumas took hold of his life that night, that he refused to let his disease define him and now we are here -- touched by the gift of memory he gave us.
[kentq] Connie: will you tell us when that was?
[Roy_and_Connie] Jim, Wendy, Philippe, I know that no words I can produce on this screen can ease your loss. All I can say is that Seumas was a remarkable man and thank you for letting us share him with you.
[Roy_and_Connie] Right after the first diagnosis, Kent. He came into our weekly live conference.
[LDAJim] That would have been June 97,
[LDAJim] That was when he was diagnosed.
[LDAJim] Seumas was working on the Amiga an chatting with friends on BIX.
* kentq thinks it's fitting that my younger son, who just found the Tread Marks cd today, is in the next room playing it right now.
[Roy_and_Connie] Roy here. I am not certain what more I can add. I can only say that in ways I didn't predict he has touched my life. I have had to take stock of the things that matter to me. I feel that perhaps I have been too caught up in my own life.
[Roy_and_Connie] That is one thing that Seumas never appeared to be. He always had time for a chat, even when he had just gotten done with a round of chemo and was feeling ill. He shared freely.
[Roy_and_Connie] I speak for us both when I say we will miss him and will treasure always the time we talked online.
[Roy_and_Connie] Thank you for the opportunity to speak.
[geoffh] Thanks Connie and Roy
[Savaric] I am deeply saddened by what has happened, although I never knew Seumas.
[Savaric] What he was able to create was a masterpiece in of it self (Treadmarks). And my deepest heart felt condolences go out to the family of Seumas.
[Savaric] Believe me, everyone in this room, and everyone that is thinking of him, is saddened by your loss. We will miss you Seumas.
[Savaric] We will miss you Seumas
[geoffh] Thanks Savaric
[Savaric] Thank you
[kentq] A comment from Barbara Walter, from Walter and Company: "I only knew Seumas a short time, but was impressed by his courage and tenaciousness, and the grace with which he accepted what fate had dealt him. Godspeed, Seumas, we will remember you."
[felisandria] First I would like to express my deepest condolences to his family.
[felisandria] I know that for a person to have that much depth of character and respect for others means that there is a family and good parents behind him.
[felisandria] It must be a very great loss for you, which I cannot even begin to imagine. I hope that the fond memories and the memories we share with you will help to ease your pain.
[felisandria] I talked to Seumas several times in private chat from #gamedev, and I was struck most by the fact that he was one of, if not the, most brilliant people I have ever met
[felisandria] and yet despite that, and despite his youth, he was never arrogant.
[felisandria] He was always willing to lend a helping hand, always willing to be a cheerleader for others.
[felisandria] I hope that those of us here, and others who knew him, will carry on that legacy of teamwork and friendship and cameraderie.
[felisandria] It is a great loss we have suffered, and our lives were all enriched by his personality. I hope that his memory may live on as we pass what he taught us on to others
[felisandria] both in terms of knowledge and in terms of being respectful and caring to each other, regardless of experience or status.
[kentq] A note from Jason 'XenoPhage' Frisvold, Blue Moon studios: "I didn't really know him that well and never really got to chat, but he was a great asset to the gaming community. His dedication and determination was incredible. I'd just like to let his family know that he will be missed..."
[geoffh] Thank you Fel
[Akura] first i want to say to Seamus family that my heart is with them
[Akura] I knew Seamus for a short time in #gamedev where we had some talks about gamedeveloping, and the thing is, i never treasured those talks much cause i thought they would always be there
[Akura] but now, I really miss them i would give about evrything to have another one, just one
[Akura] he was a great guy, probl. the smartest person i knew and humble
[Akura] im really sorry i have to go(4am) and dont be here for untill the end but wendy, jim and philippe, my heart his with you
[Akura] also, people only died if we let them died in our hearts
[Akura] Thanks Seamus.
[geoffh] Thank you Akura
[kentq] Bernd Kreimeier, Loki Games: "A shame about Seamus. I never met him or talked to him, and terrain rendering has been in a blind spot of mine for some time, but he was such a steady and supportive presence in the mailing lists where I got (from my exile in Germany and Ireland) to tap into that faraway stream of game development. "
[Ernie [GDNET]] um
[Ernie [GDNET]] last time i saw seumas, he was wearing a towel
[Ernie [GDNET]] and dave and i had gone up to their room
[Ernie [GDNET]] to get some copies of TM signed
[Ernie [GDNET]] i really liked the guy
[Ernie [GDNET]] as humble as they come.
[Ernie [GDNET]] and his family is REALLY nice, and i know this is hard for them.
[Ernie [GDNET]] well, apparently God *REALLY* wanted to play some TreadMarks
[Ernie [GDNET]] and thats about all i have to say.
[geoffh] Thanks Ernie
[kentq] Thank you, Ernie. Humor helps!
[kentq] [joe_m] What Seumas was able to accomplish in his brief time with us still leaves me awestruck (envious even). My deepest heartfelt sympathy to you the McNally family. God bless you all, you raised a wonderful, wonderful person. He will clearly be missed by many. You are in my prayers.
[JesseT] To me, Seumas was an inspiring hero who didn't let things get in the way of what he loved - game developement and programming. I was lucky enough to have talked to him online in #gamedev, where he contributed to the whole community there.
[JesseT] Online, he was really one of the guys. He was real humble, and helped many at various problems.
[JesseT] but in reality, he was different in the fact that he had accomplished so much in such little time
[JesseT] His brilliance has touched us all very deeply
[JesseT] Seumas has really inspired me to work harder, and to look at the world differently
[JesseT] I will always remember him, and my best respects are for him and his family. We will truly miss you Seumas.
[JesseT] Thank you for everything.
[geoffh] Thanks Jesse
[Brink] I'd just like to point out that so many people say that online relationships aren't *real* human relationships. I sure hope those people will read tonight's chat log.
[Brink] Seumas proved those people wrong, many times over.
[Brink] And to learn how to write games like Tread Marks in the time he did.... that takes a gift in my opinion.
[Brink] I'm done. :(
[geoffh] Thanks Brink
[gtbass] First I'd like to express my admiration to the LDA team for their acheivements, and for their strength in the face of adversity. You are truly remarkable people. You have my deepest sympathy for your tragic loss. And yet you also have my most profound envy for your time with Seumas, working and living with such a brilliant and generous person. I truly wish I could have participated in your wonderful joy as I now participate in your sorrow.
[gtbass] Seumas has achieved an undeniable immortality in all our hearts and minds and through his own creative expression, culminating in his excellent games such as DXB2 and TM. Certainly many of us here tonight have gained new insight and motivation from his work. I have been personally and profoundly affected by his advice and determination, even more so in light of his crisis, of which I learned only this week.
[gtbass] Seumas presence on and received great deference and respect, despite his young age, because age is meaningless in such fora. Knowledge and talent are the true measure of greatness in such places, and Seumas was among the very brightest. For this he will always be remembered. Indeed, Seumas McNally lives on even now in my email archives, waiting to pass his ideas along to me whenever I read his posts.
[gtbass] We'll all miss you very much Seumas. You are one of the great. :)
[geoffh] Thanks gtbass
[kentq] [Zoid] "I got to know Seumas briefly when I was making the original ThreeWave CTF for Quake. He helped in testing new map layouts and even made the first graphic of the grappling hook for the threewave web page. He was a great guy and I'm glad to hear he achieved such greatness with developing products like Tread Marks. He will be missed."
[kentq] [Zoid] I have to part early this evening, but just wanted to pass by and express my condolences.
[vanevery] I knew Seamus only through his e-mail and his works
[vanevery] And not even much of his e-mail, because it was on the indie list and we were kinda brief there.
[vanevery] I downloaded his TreadMarks demo because I wanted to look at "tank games" in general.
[vanevery] I had a different criteria at the time.
[vanevery] I wanted realism, he had plasma blasts. I was wrapped up in my own concerns.
[vanevery] But I saw even then, without playing, that it was clearly a "fun" game.
[vanevery] It screamed "YOU'LL HAVE FUN!!!" at me.
[vanevery] But I was grumpy and didn't play it at the time.
[vanevery] Not wanting to be argumentative about my own concerns, I never said anything on indie-list to him about his work.
[vanevery] I now, deeply regret and feel almost shamed, that I did not take the time to say something joyful about another's work.
[vanevery] I hope that I learn to never again be uncaring, because we don't know how long we're going to have with each other.
[vanevery] An atheist prays by holding hope in his heart.
[vanevery] I hold hope for Seamus' family, his friends, and all of us here.
[vanevery] That we may grow old together, and show kindness to one another.
[vanevery] And finally, that we may honor his game by preserving it.
[vanevery] I don't know if it was his wishes or his parents/friends/coworkers wishes, but I think many among us would help to maintain Treadmarks into the indefinite future if that's deemed approprieate.
[vanevery] With my love.
[geoffh] Thanks Brandon
[kentq] [rebo_ot] "I just wanted to express my condolences to family and friends. TM is a gameplay materpiece...I write games and people at the office have been impressed too. He would have undoubtely a great future."
[ScorchMPW] Seumas helped me through some of the toughest times in my life.
[ScorchMPW] I was working as a 'real' game developer back in 96-97.
[ScorchMPW] Everyday I'd talk to him about game coding, life in general, and how much I disliked writing silly multimedia games. :)
[ScorchMPW] I'm sure he got the idea fast that going independent was more his speed. :)
[ScorchMPW] I'll never forget when I got the news. I was home sick, which never happens, and was writing my own presonal bankfile code.
[ScorchMPW] I wanted to talk to him about what I was working on... but I never got an e-mail reply.
[ScorchMPW] That went on for days, which was very strange for Seumas. I was getting worried.
[ScorchMPW] Later on, I learned that they thought maybe it was pneumonia. Then they didn't know what it was. Then the news...
[ScorchMPW] It broke my heart. I often wonder why we both got sick on the same day.
[ScorchMPW] Seumas was the kind of guy that gave %200 percent. I'd write one small message, and it would come back at least doubled every time.
[ScorchMPW] I wrote DX-Ball... he helped with the paddle graphics.
[ScorchMPW] I was working on a Gyruss game... Seumas and Philippe helped with scaling routines and art.
[ScorchMPW] I was too busy with my own life... and Seumas wrote DX-Ball 2.
[ScorchMPW] It wasn't until Tuesday night when I couldn't sleep
[ScorchMPW] that I realized that Seumas was the only person who has ever helped me with my passion
[ScorchMPW] He was like a brother. I miss him so much.
[ScorchMPW] He's my hero. And I'll spend the rest of my life following his advise
[Valyna] Although I never did have the chance to meet Seumas myself, I found out about his passing shortly after, from another member of Klache Enetertainment, who requested that we post a tribute to him on our main page. I posted a heartfelt news item, and intend to update it again after this memorial is over. I was actually surprised that Jim took a moment of his day to respond to my email letting him know what I posted, and that meant a lot.
[Valyna] Being a game developer myself, I know what hard work it takes to create a good game, and for being only 21, Seumas accomplished much more than I could have ever dreamed of in the 20 years I've been on this planet. Jim, Wendy, Phillipe, and everyone else that lost a dear friend on Tuesday: my heart goes out to you, and from all of us at Klache, we share your loss and sorrow.
[Valyna] It is truly sad to lose a loved one, and a blow to the gaming world to lose such incredible talent in such a tragic way. Seumas, may the angels be with you, and light shine upon you forever. You are still alive in our hearts, and always will be. Godspeed.... * Valyna bows out to allow the next person to speak
[geoffh] Thank you Michael and Valyna
[geoffh] We have one more person who'd like to say something
[Gamemaster] I have known Seumas only for a short time at a chat in #gamedev when I started seeing what he was talking about I knew that the person didn't possess the drive for the corprate dollor he had the drive to show his true of heart in game development
[Gamemaster] and to see other people join in the power of creation...
[Gamemaster] He Will Live On!!!!
[Gamemaster] We are Witnesses to that!
[geoffh] Thank you Benjamin
[Kevin [GDNET]] I just wanted to send my condolences to the McNally family here in realtime. Again, Seumas has obviously affected alot of people. He was a great individual that accomplished great things.
[Kevin [GDNET]] I hope that people follow the example he set forth with his life and his accomplishments, and move on to create great things with their lives.
[LDAJim] Seumas would like that.
[geoffh] Thank you Kevin
[Kevin [GDNET]] thank you
[geoffh] Roy and Connie would like to finish with a benediction
[Roy_and_Connie] May the Lord bless him and keep him, May He make His face to shine upon him and be gracious unto him, and give him peace.
[Roy_and_Connie] Amen.
[geoffh] Amen
[geoffh] Thank you
[kentq] Thank you all.
[LDAJim] Thank you
[LDA_Philippe] Thank you
[geoffh] We're going to turn off the moderation now, but you dont have to leave. :) Feel free to stay and chat, and thank you all for coming. Its a tribute to Seumas's life how many people came and spoke about him
[titan_ct] A friend might well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature - Ralph Waldo Emerson; i dont really know what to say but here i go.. my condolences to the McNally family Seumas was brilliant its so sad :(
[Keeb] I just want to say that I wish I could have met him at GDC. he is obviously a very talented man and lucky to have a wonderful family and wonderful friends
[geoffh] Thanks to Kent for helping me with everything tonight :)
[Keeb] [= Richard Benson , DreamWorks Interactive
You're welcome. Glad to do anything I could.
This has been a truly beautiful memorial for someone so special
Thank you Geoff and Kent :)
You're very welcome. Thank you for Seumas. And yourselves.

Again the full, and much longer, text of this chat can be found here.

Back to memorial page.