A year ago, my good friend and co-designer Jan Wilberg passed away.
Jan and I had worked on a couple game projects before I excitedly came to him with the concept of Midnight. He told me "I'm not a big fantasy or musical guy, really," but agreed to draw some outlines for the backgrounds. It didn't take long after seeing the results of my attempts to colorize them for him to politely insist on coloring them himself. Soon after, Jan signed on to co-design the game as well, leading to a great partnership that turned the game into something I hadn't imagined it could be.
Incredibly beautiful artwork was only a small part of what Jan brought to the table. He took my strange, amorphic pile of ideas and helped me make them into a game we were both proud of. He provided experience, dedication, and a level head.
But most importantly, he was a great friend. Game design is tough. It's draining emotionally and physically. But Jan was always there with words of encouragement, about the game or otherwise. He was an amazingly kind and talented person, and I'll always appreciate all that he did.
Midnight at the Celestial Palace wouldn't exist if it wasn't for Jan Wilberg, and I doubt I'd be the same person without having known him.