There's something amazing about what games can do, they entertain, inspire and move mountains. Though the moving of objects is done in virtual reality, they move, and do so in all sorts of ways... in ways that most people can only guess at.
I first heard of Seumas McNally nearly two years ago. An aspiring young programmer, Seumas wanted to create games and he had a wish to meet John Carmack, one of today's most prolific and respected 3d game programmers. Through the assistance of the Starlight Foundation, his wish to meet Carmack came true; and the two did what programmers do, talk code. The more I learned of Seumas, the more it seemed we had in common. For instance, we both enjoyed some of the same games, we both admired a well known programmer, we both appreciated what talent, hard work and drive could accomplish, and we weren't afraid to go for what we believed in. The road that Seumas had to travel, however, would have made most people crumble with defeat.
I learned of Seumas through my husband, John Carmack. John was always proud, but a touch melancholy, in speaking about the young man. Seumas had cancer and though his body was not responding well to the various treatments, he programmed, he created, and he completed good games. As both fledgling and veteran programmers kept in touch, each moved forward in developing their creations. I hoped that someday I would meet this incredible young man.
On March 10th, 2000, Longbow Digital Arts, the company founded and lead by Seumas McNally, won top awards at the Game Developers Conference. Their game Tread Marks stole the show by winning the Grand Prize, Best Game Design and Technical Excellence awards.
Seumas' drive is inspirational and I was moved to document such an individual. Fountainhead Entertainment's current documentary Gamers, was created partially because of his story. While filming at the GDC for scenes in the documentary, I was finally able to meet this amazing person whom I had heard so much about. It was such a pleasure to meet Seumas and his talented family that I became convinced that his story had to be told. Fountainhead Entertainment was to take the Gamers film crew up to Canada to cover Longbow Digital Arts sometime this spring or early summer.
Seumas McNally died at 2PM Eastern Time on Tuesday March 21st, 2000. He was only 21 years old.
This amazing young man left a lasting impression, not only on countless individuals who enjoyed the games he created but also on one of the best game programmers of our time. The production of Gamers will go on and will be dedicated to Seumas McNally. John and I are proud to have known you Seumas and I'm happy to have had the chance to speak to such a heroic individual.
Seumas McNally, you will be missed.
Katherine Anna Kang
NOTE: Longbow Digital Arts Incorporated is a small family-owned and operated independent software development and 3D animation company located in the wilderness of Northern Ontario. You can visit http://www.longbowgames.com for information on how to purchase their games.