Journey BACK Into Imagination… Revisited…

The Dreamport is Getting Closer… After the Break…

Journey BACK Into Imagination… Revisited…

I’m no neophyte to the prospect of amateur internet projects ever being completed. The prospects, to be blunt, are slim. People have real lives. They have families. They have friends. They have jobs and interests and children. Sometimes, they just don’t have the time to complete a project or, for that matter, the skills to properly fulfill their vision.

I’ve seen dozens of wonderful-looking mods for games that never went beyond a few screenshots and a pretty website. I’m used to being burned. Used to having a website go from being updated daily, than updated weekly, than monthly, than once-a-season, and than the URL goes 404 on you.

This is why computer projects such as “The Dark Mod” are so special… Because they succeeded. They were made. You can play “The Dark Mod” right now, free of charge. And projects such as “The Dark Mod” weren’t small… It wasn’t just some user-made level that a 14-year old made in their spare time while waiting for the school bus to arrive. “The Dark Mod” is, quite literally, a game that you could place onto a DVD, make a cardboard box with pretty pictures on it, stick the DVD in the box and sell it right next to “Starcraft II: Have We Squeezed You Dry of Cash Yet” edition. That is the quality that “The Dark Mod” possesses.

As I get older, I know that a lot of the projects that I root for to succeed will not. Rustboy? Ain’t happening. Postworld? Nope. Pseudoform? Not likely.

“Journey BACK Into Imagination” isn’t a game. It’s not a mod. Instead, it is a virtual recreation of “Journey Into Imagination” pavilion from the EPCOT Center theme park. It is not, though, a recreation of the modern rendition of that pavilion but of the original rendition… The first version of that pavilion before it was altered and changed in the late 1990s (and again in the early 2000s).

The project is helmed by a person named Mike Brister. Through thick and thin, he has recreated a lot of the pavilion. He has recreated a lot of the ride attraction. A lot of upstairs activities (a place called “the Imageworks”).

There is a lot, though, still left to accomplish. Static pictures are placeholders for the actual animatronic figures that the ride used. The Imageworks could be a lot more interactive than it is. The gift store is bare.

Recently, the project has been updated, the first time in nearly a year. Progress may be slow but it is progress and that progress is greatly appreciated.

EPCOT Center may never get back it’s earlier luster. The present executive team at Disney appear to not share the same enthusiasm for EPCOT’s initial mission statement to inform, to educate and to entertain. Pixar characters proliferate the theme park now. “Frozen,” the latest Disney princess movie sensation, has invaded the Norway pavilion.

“Journey BACK Into Imagination,” though, gives those who were never there a taste of what was and gives those who were there another taste of what made EPCOT so wonderful to begin with.

The Dreamport, the place where pavilion guests travel to on the ride, is said to never be far away when you use your imagination. With each update of “Journey BACK Into Imagination,” the Dreamport gets far closer than one thinks. Here’s to hoping that, one day, this project is completed.

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