The time has come to announce something that has been known to The 13th Doll development team for quite some time, but has not been made known publicly. The only reason we have waited so long is because we wanted to be able to give a lot of thought and time into this announcement.
Paul van der Meer, aka “Bones”, the lead 3D developer, creative designer and one of the original core group members who conceived of The 13th Doll, has officially retired from the project. He has been part of the team since the beginning, 7 long years, and his creative work and presence will be missed.
For many of those involved with The 13th Doll, it is the end of an era. While we are tempted to take this blow and lie down, we are still moving forward with the project. In fact, part of why Bones is leaving is because after all of the years of effort, he is confident that the project is going to reach completion and that there is a good team of people currently striving to make this project reach completion.
Paul has been a part of the T7G/T11H community for a VERY long time. His website, The Stauf Mansion Online, is still one of the most thorough and best designed websites on the Trilobyte game franchise. His Stauf Mansion Line forum was one of the most active communities for The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour through the late 90s and early 2000s.
Bones has had the honor and privilege of getting to interview many of those involved in The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour projects. He has spoken with Rob Landeros, George Sanger “The Fat Man”, and yes, even Stauf himself, Robert Hirschboeck. He is truly the pinnacle of T7G fandom.
Bones has been with The 13th Doll project since the beginnings in 2004. He assisted with the development of the concept, story and a good part of the dialog script. Paul has acted as the lead 3D Modeler/developer and has also brought a lot of additional help and support to the project. He has been a huge asset to the team, and has gone through everything from modelers/developers abandoning the project, servers crashing and other technical difficulties through the history of the project. Bones is extremely talented, creative and is a great friend to all.
We don’t want people thinking that this is a depressing, sad announcement. Rather, this is a celebration of Bones’s work and accomplishments over these past 7 years. It is also to let people know that Bones would not have left the project unless he felt that his work and passion was left in good hands. There have been some major accomplishments and additions to the game over the past weeks and we are truly hoping to see some spectacular things in the coming months.
Also, Bones/Paul isn’t going anywhere. He is going to remain active on the forums, the Facebook group and wherever Stauf’s presence can be felt. (Actually, it’s really kind of disturbing when you think about it that way…) Bones will still be acting as a consultant but, solely in the capacity as a fan and game player. He’ll continue to offer his creative suggestions, which will gladly be accepted.
So, here’s to Bones, for his talent, his service and his obsession with Stauf. Without him, The 13th Doll would not be what it is or where it is. He leaves with his head held high and with no grudges or regrets. Bones also leaves with the full gratitude and support of everyone on The 13th Doll team. Thank you for everything.
Oh, and Paul, just remember one thing, you may have escaped Stauf’s grasp for now, but, rest assured, he and his “humble” home will always be calling and waiting for you. Stauf will always remember and will always be with you, in case you are “feeling lonely”.