|Cyan Quadrangle Alliance|
|Name||Cyan Quadrangle Alliance|
|Description||A collection of small communities that banded together to build and maintain their artwork together|
|Subreddit||/r /TorontoBlueJays, /r /SimonFraser, /r /Spelunky|
|Artwork||Cyan Quadrangle, Uni Banners|
The Cyan Quadrangle Alliance was a community in the 2022 Place edition, comprised of members from 4 different communities who banded together to create and maintain their artwork on the original canvas. The alliance was coordinated through several Discord servers ran by members of each community, with a large central one for coordination being that of r/PlaceSFU.
Creation and Consolidation
Members of the subreddit /r/SimonFraser had, in 2017, cooperated with students from /r/UBC (The University of British Columbia) and /r/UVic (University of Victoria), both fellow British Columbian universities, to build a small banner with SFU on it between the banners of UVic and UBC. In 2022, initial proposals from UBC students to work together to build a banner below that of UBC's banner, itself below the soon to be turbulent flag of /r/Canada were met with some enthusiasm, however following an abortive attempt to take out a primary competitor in the area which ended up itself being taken over by /r/Colombia, the search was on for a new area.
This was found at about the location (889,503), which was the former territory of a trollface emoji of gg/troll, but had since collapsed into chaos with about half the territory being taken by /r/Greenlattice following their war with the Trans Flag, and the other half being a site of chaotic mishmash and abortive attempts at creating artwork. SFU seized the opportunity and, having organized in a discord (r/PlaceSFU), began to build their banner at around 21:00 GMT, some 8 hours after the beginning of Place.
They were not the only ones competing for one of the last areas of free real estate left on the canvas however, and were soon thereafter joined by the /r/TorontoBlueJays, building a cyan square in preparation to add their logo (A blue jay). An agreement between ambassadors was very quickly reached, and the Blue Jays build around the SFU banner, joining forces with SFU.
Around an hour later, users from a small community named Staropa decided to start building a small 8x8 star in the area, unaware of the alliance between SFU and the Blue Jays. At the same time, users from r/Spelunky started building the character sprite from Spelunky Classic directly above the star. Due to this, members of Staropa joined the Spelunky Discord server and began to work with the Spelunky team to move the star down by one pixel to prevent overlapping. After Spelunky and Staropa had completed their placement, a user from the Blue Jays team joined the Spelunky server, then had members join the SFU discord in order to coordinate what would come to be called the Cyan Quadrangle Alliance.
Despite growing pains and sporadic confusion the four communities were able to relocate and come to a rough form of completion by 06:00 GMT, 18 hours after place 2022 was launched and on the original canvas.
Change and Compromise
By 13:00 GMT April 2nd, a full 24 hours after the launch of /r/Place, the Cyan Quadrangle (The name being based on the square shape of SFU's most iconic building, the Academic Quadrangle, and the square shape of the cyan logo) was in it's form that it would remain in for the rest of Place. All 4 communities which had initially banded together in the alliance were firmly represented, and using PlaceSFU discord as a unifying ground, a member of the Staropa community, itself a community based on retro modding and coding, was able to create a program on the discord which pointed out tiles that needed repair, though all the actual work was done by actual users.
Proposals to move SFU had come since the very beginning of the Alliance, with both Blue Jays fans and SFU students wanting to complete their logo and make it more accurate to the actual one. While first SFU students had changed the colour of their banner from an orangered to a deeper colour, discussions about how to finish the Blue Jays logo had led to SFU's original banner being moved several pixels to the right earlier on the first day. However, still dissatisfied with the look, a design was proposed by the lead of the Blue Jays that incorporated the maple leaf from the Blue Jays logo into a downsized SFU banner, with this design being well received. Aside from some minor tweaks and the addition of the Spelunky and Staropa artworks, this would prove to be a lasting compromise. An exchange was agreed to, and all members of the community banded together to move the banner down some 24 pixels, finally completing the logos of both within the span of just over an hour, concluding the 2nd day.
From here on, the focus of the Cyan Quadrangle Alliance shifted from change and edits to their own artwork to maintenance and repair of the major pieces of art, with a number of (primarily SFU) students shifting to create a small collection of banners for the 4 main post-secondary institutions of BC. Plans were, however, afoot for the creation of a raccoon, the unofficial mascot of Simon Fraser University, somewhere in the Cyan Quadrangle. Initial proposals and designs considered building the raccoon on the banner of SFU directly, and extending the SFU banner south. However, an opportune moment would occur to the northeast of the Quadrangle which would see a plan to build it there instead.
Conflict and Conquest
The Raccoon War/Strip Incidents
The small strip between the Cyan Quadrangle and what would become the territory of /r/CalgaryFlames had initially been claimed by WallStreetBets as part of their Gamestop stock price line, then taken over by a mass of small Brazillian flags, then devolving into chaos and occasional pieces of tiny artwork. By the dawn of the 3rd day (GMT) however, it had been seized by Canucks fans from their large logo above the Cyan Quadrangle, and used to build a small armband from the home jersey of the Canucks, breaching the black border and raiding into the Cyan Quadrangle itself. The Alliance suddenly took offensive action, and soon overwhelmed the area, claiming a strip 3 pixels wide and 16 pixels high.
This area was then used as the site of what would later become the raccoon of SFU, and following several abortive attempts to build a raccoon resisted to by a number of well meaning alliance members who'd not gotten the memo, an organized attempt succeeded in building the raccoon peering over the white border in a hard fought, 3 hour long battle, finishing at around 06:30 GMT on April 3rd, almost near the exact middle of the entire event. For the next 10 hours, focus shifted back to maintenance of what the Cyan Quadrangle already owned.
This was not to last however, as /r/Canucks sought a space to add banners in honour of their 3 greatest players to have played. The area which the Cyan Quadrangle had taken had originally been theirs, and they began expanding their reach southwards, first conquering the GME line which had been reconstituted for some time nearby, and then focusing on the Cyan Quadrangle space, including the raccoon. The resulting strip was fought hard over for the next three hours beginning from 23:00 GMT, focusing on defending the raccoon. Ultimately however, by 02:00 GMT on April 4th, it was clear that the Canucks had won, so the entire strip was abandoned and the raccoon moved to the left to it's final spot.
Built on the 2nd canvas at (1467, 793) above the Tigreten area of the German flag, the 4 small banners of the 4 main post secondary institutions of British Columbia were intended as a secondary addition to the canvas to give representation to each university together as a collaborative project. SFU, UBC, UVIC and BCIT students each worked together to secure a small area for the cooperative project, beginning around 21:00 GMT on April 2nd with the creation of a small SFU banner, followed by UVIC, UBC and BCIT, finishing at 22:30 GMT. A program was created on PlaceSFU discord, similarly to the original program for the Cyan Quadrangle, and maintenance of the uni banners was underway.
However, problems with maintenance arose. Firstly, most students of the 4 universities were not in a centralized discord like the members of the Cyan Quadrangle, and thus could not coordinate as easily or check the maintenance program. Secondly, most users were preoccupied with the maintenance of larger projects- UVIC was, at this time, struggling for space, having had their first attempt swept away by the Greenlandic flag and the Void respectively, and was fighting MLP and the Rainbow Road among others in their new location, while UBC was preoccupied with the maintenance of their banner and of the ill fated /r/Canada flag which they were attached to, and to add to all of that SFU was maintaining and sometimes fighting for the Cyan Quadrangle. Finally, the distance between the main artworks of each university and the banners meant that moving between the artworks was difficult and sometimes tedious.
Notably, BCIT was the target of a large amount of sabotage, being that it was easy to change the small banners with only a few pixels. BCIT frequently became CLIT or some other changed variation, despite the efforts of a few maintainers to keep the banners in place. To their credit, those few maintainers, aided by Cyan Quadrangle help whenever possible, managed to keep the banners up in spite of massive raiding and sabotage, and even the peripheral attacks of a Void invasion nearby. However, by 12:00 GMT on April 4th, a concerted invasion by a French CSGO team called Vanadium had completely taken over the UVIC and BCIT banners, with SFU and UBC falling by 13:30 GMT that day.
The SkyshockTV Invasion
By 07:00 GMT April 4th with the knowledge of /r/Place shutting down soon, members of the Cyan Quadrangle, SFU included, were prepared for the end of the experiment. All that remained was maintenance of the 5 pieces of artwork that constituted the Cyan Quadrangle. However, there was one last piece of excitement yet to come. Streamers had largely avoided the area around the Cyan Quadrangle, and it had been largely devoid of conflict as a result- The Void had come close but had never affected the Alliance directly. At 07:20 GMT however, this changed with a Spanish speaking streamer named SkyshockTV and his viewers launching an attack to take over the Quadrangle.
With all hands on deck following a mass ping on the discord, members of the alliance tried to defend as best they could, though the streamer's numerical superiority far outweighed that of the Alliance numbers even with all hands on deck. As the attack was launched at a time when the majority of East Coast Americans and Canadians were asleep, SFU students along with those Spelunky and Staropans (And assorted allies from the West Coast, including Canucks fans, nearby Washington Universities students and Calgary Flames fans among others) who were awake formed the crux of the defense, fighting a desperate defense of the Cyan Quadrangle. The planned attack would have seen practically all the Cyan Quadrangle taken except for the raccoon.
Fighting a losing battle, Staropa and Spelunky, being closest to the Mexican flag were overwhelmed in minutes, while large areas of the Cyan were replaced with red, a colour of SkyshockTV's. The SFU banner was cut down the middle with the new border of the planned attack, and despite their best efforts, the Cyan Quadrangle alliance would quickly be overwhelmed. Not boasting enough members to counter the streamer (As well as the mass useage of spammable accounts by the fans of SkyshockTV), the battle looked lost. But, through the actions of one spelunky, the invasion was called off after a member of the discord found the stream and made a donation to SkyshockTV, appealing successfully for a stop to the attacks at 07:45 GMT. A bribe, some would say.
The Final Clear
Rebuilding from the SkyshockTV invasion would take a full hour with all community defenders working together, but by 08:45 GMT all damage had been repaired and Spelunky/Staropa were recreated according to their original design. The remaining hours of /r/Place were spent maintaining and keeping the Cyan Quadrangle intact. By 22:47 GMT, the last moment before the great Whiteout began, the Cyan Quadrangle was perfect. No errant pixels, no sabotage, all 5 pieces of artwork up together. While the uni banner project had fallen, the Simon Fraser banner and the raccoon were, at the very end of it all, still on the canvas proudly.
When the Whiteout began, the Cyan Quadrangle, being on the original Canvas was quick to disappear. The last remnants of the Cyan Quadrangle (that weren't white to begin with) succumbed to the Whiteout 82 hours and 54 minutes after the experiment began. The discord of the Cyan Quadrangle Alliance remains however, and perhaps one day it will see use as the base of a renewed alliance again.