10 years ago, after months of numerous failed attempts to sign up (I'm not entirely sure how they failed, only that they did), dinky little 12 year old me, hunched at a computer running Windows XP in Winnipeg, tried one last ditch effort to join this site.
He succeeded, and named himself "007lewa".
Yeah, not the most iconic of names.
From there, he dove headfirst into the Comedies forum, where he did his best to brute force his way to prominence with true gems of entertainment (as far as a twelve year old with average-at-best ideas, plots, characters, writing, and everything else could be, at least). Many of them turned out to be duds, but some, such as Vultraz's Diner, endured - more due to the author's own attachment to them than anything else. The main character of that series (Vultraz, of course) still holds a special place in my heart.
It didn't take long for him to make his first transformation. In March of 2009, he became ibrow at the behest of a user named 'mrepic', and never looked back (though he would, with time, move on).
It was also 2009 when he was drawn into The BZPower Challenge 2 in the Games & Trivia forum. He did well enough in the game, though it did not last long, and he soon left for the warm familiarity of the Comedies forum...
...but he would return. Oh, he would return.
We fast forward now to 2010, where ibrow was beginning to truly forge a name for himself, rebooting Vultraz's Diner with the aptly named The New Vultraz's Diner and its sequel The Hilarious Misadventures of Vultraz, with which ibrow began to cultivate a very small but loyal following. He joined the Comedies Critics Club as well, hoping to boost his esteem within the forum - and while it did help to spread his name further, hindsight is 20/20, and he was but a mere 13/14 year old at the time.
It was also in 2010 that he returned to the Games & Trivia forum, a year and a half since he had last departed. After playing through a single Mafia game - Bionicle Mafia 30: Eyewitness - he worked alongside the member 'Mayno' to release Bionicle Mafia 31: Mind Games.
The game was a disaster, but also a valuable learning experience. The lessons learned from it would be applied to every game ibrow would go on to host later.
It could be argued that the very end of 2010 was, perhaps, the most important moment in ibrow's time on this site. On December 19, 2010 - a mere three days before his two year anniversary - he released the epicomedy Tahu vs. Tahu.
Tahu vs. Tahu would become ibrow's crown jewel in the Comedies forum,. Before the Great Downtime in 2011, it hit the BZPower Hot Topics list nine times across the first two seasons, when showing up even once was a rarity for any Library topic. Based in a world where the Bionicle sets came to life, as the title dictated, it pitted Tahu against Tahu, with armies clashing in mighty battles with every chapter.
Though released at the end of 2010, it was in 2011 where Tahu vs. Tahu hit its stride, and ibrow continued to hit his. He helped the Comedies Critics Club to host the first (and unfortunately due to the Great Downtime, also the last) Comedies Awards. Right before the Great Downtime hit, he finally bought himself a premier membership, and started this very blog with a first entry that is as good as you might expect.
Unfortunately, much of 2011 was occupied by the Great Downtime, which stretched from April all the way until October. When the revamped forums were revealed, ibrow was one of those who returned, but the membership of the site had decreased dramatically; nonetheless, he persevered, and launched the third season of Tahu vs. Tahu. During those last few months of 2011, he also kicked his participation in the Games & Trivia forum to high gear....
Right before the Great Downtime, ibrow had participated in a game run by Fighty known as Bionifight 2 - and when the forums returned, he helped to co-host the short-lived Bionifight 3 until Fighty retired, leaving ibrow in charge of the series. ibrow wasted no time in releasing Bionifight 4: Hyper Fighting, and the game was an immediate hit. It would reign as the most posted in game until 2014.
2012 barely managed to begin before ibrow launched two new major projects. The first was another comedy, and his first (and only) successful foray into the derided "script" style, with How to Be a Hero. Although the comedy would die a quiet, mediocre death later in the year due to a lack of interest and updates from ibrow, it was fun while it lasted, and was even the basis for a multi-author spinoff.
The second major project was ibrow's second time hosting a Bionicle Mafia game - Mafia III: The Cult. Although not without issues, the game proved quite popular, and would be the first in the eponymous Mafia III sub-series that would go on to last five games.
2012 also saw the completion of Tahu vs. Tahu with its fourth season, though it soon continued with a sequel that ibrow grew less and less satisfied with as time went on. It was also in 2012 that ibrow's next transformation began to take place; ibrow was slowly dying, to be replaced by Voltex.
We move on in our tale now to 2013, where Voltex finally said his goodbyes to the Comedies forum (with a oneshot aptly titled One Last Stop), while increasing his role within the Games & Trivia forum and his blog.
Here on this blog the Smash Files began, where Voltex endlessly posted about his hype for the then-upcoming Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U. The series ran from 2013 all the way until 2015, ending with the last DLC announcement for the games. Brief thought was given to reviving it in 2018 for the lead up to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but the site was, by then, too dead to bother.
Over in G&T, Bionicle Mafia III: By the Numbers set a record for being the fastest-filled Mafia game ever even if it wouldn't manage to hold that title for even 2 years). Voltex also partnered with Portalfig for a significant portion of the year to craft the BZPower Mafia Wiki - a record of every piece of info they could find on all three "ages" of BZP Mafia. Though the wiki project would drop off by 2014, it still remains the best source of collected information regarding the games. Voltex and Portalfig also worked together to host the Darkest Days trilogy; three Mafia games celebrating 50 main series mafia games on the sight. It concluded with the duo co-hosting Bionicle Mafia X: Darkest Dawn.
Now begins 2014. Where to begin?
Voltex returned to the Library with the Uprising trilogy. The series - starring BZP members as the main cast - was quite popular. Although Isolation and Extraction - the first two books - are currently invisible to members (by Voltex's request), Extermination, book 3, can still be read, and works as a standalone. Extermination in particular stands out. The series was also accompanied by a few short stories over the year, and Voltex also returned very briefly to the character of Vultraz with King Vultraz, written in the wake of Bionicle's announced return.
2014 also saw Voltex host two highly anticipated Mafia games. The first was Bionicle Mafia XVIII: By the Numbers 2, written to be as brutal and gritty as Voltex could make it. The second was Bionicle Mafia XIX: The Voltex Constant, which was teased for nearly an entire year before its release. It took the record for fastest signups ever from By the Numbers, and still holds that record today.
Voltex also became a POBZPC during the summer of 2014, for as much as that might be a milestone.
And of course, who could forget the return of Bionifight? Bionifight Ultimate launched early in the year, rebooting the franchise with an all-new style, receiving consistent updates. By the time the game ended, it had taken Bionifight 4's place as the largest game in the G&T forum. A sequel launched later in the year, titled Bionifight Ultimate: Drift Force.
Then came 2015.
Extermination was completed, and Tahu vs. Tahu was rebooted as an CYOA style epic starring time-traveling characters from the future. Early in the year Voltex hit 5000 posts, and inadvertently celebrated it with the absurdly stupid oneshot What is the Potoo?!.
Over in G&T, it was a quieter year compared to the previous two, and it would only become quieter from here - but Voltex still remained active. He hosted the crossover Bionicle X Ninjago Mafia trilogy, as well as the second and third games in the Clockwork series (one that started as a mafia experiment the year before).
The biggest part of 2015, though, was an RPG. Bionifight Infinite.
Hosted with Chro & Blade (and, later, Xaeraz and Ehks), it was an attempt to take the Bionifight series to the next level. In many ways, it succeeded; it was extremely popular, and helped to bring newcomers to the RPG forum. But it struggled too, and ultimately, the cons of running the game outweighed the pros.
It was, up until that point, Voltex's biggest project on the sight - and it remains, in his eyes, both his biggest failure and disappointment.
Sometimes, he considers the whole thing to have been a colossal waste of his time.
We fast forward even further now, up to the present. 2016, 2017, and 2018, where Voltex's final - and, perhaps, his biggest - project truly came to fruition. A game that told a massive, growing story in a world that would continue to grow and stretch, setting new limits with each installment.
BZPower's Game of Thrones.
He did a few more things in those years, of course. What is the Potoo?! 2 released in 2017 to celebrate him reaching 10, 000 posts. In 2016, he assisted several other members with setting up the HF RPG 2.5. In 2016 he also re-visited the universe of the Uprising trilogy with a standalone installment titled Oblivion. The final game in the Mafia III series - Mafia III-5: The Cult Risen - was run in 2016. During these years, the G&T skype was created, and later on, replaced in full by a G&T Discord, which continues to grow.
But as the site has continued to die, and Voltex's attention has been drawn elsewhere, the one project that has tied him to this site has been BZPGOT. Season 1 launched in 2016, and with its completion, the Lore & Histories were posted, building up the world even further. Early in 2017, the final Clockwork game - A Clockwork Night was released, tying into the BZPGOT series. Season 2 ran during 2017 after the completion of A Clockwork Night.
After being worked on throughout 2017, Season 3 launched in 2018. Much like Extermination years before, it was designed to both serve as a grand ending and as a standalone game. For a time, it was co-hosted by Onaku, though by the end, Voltex held the reins on his own once more. Season 3, however, ended on something of a cliffhanger (clearly ripping off of the release of Avengers: Infinity War), leaving the road open for further games and stories.
Since then, a smaller campaign known as Last Odyssey has been running on Discord... and now here we are, with this blog entry, as Voltex hits ten years on this site and we continue to move forward.
This site, and Voltex's time on it, is drawing to a close. But sometimes it's fun to be able to look back (or, at the very least, interesting).
What can sometimes be even more interesting, however, is moving forward - and that's what Voltex intends to do, with his final game here on BZP:
Click the banner to join the Discord for The Final Season (or PM me for an invite if the link doesn't work).
It will be a standalone adventure. You do not need to read or have played the prior entries; for my final game, I want everyone who is interested to be able to play.
If you just want to follow the game as an observer when it launches, hop into the Discord regardless and let me know. But if you do want to play...
The Final Season will launch in January, 2019.
I hope I'll see you there, one last time.