I won a giveaway!

I won a Massively giveaway…a free copy of Age of Conan is on its way to me! How awesome is that? I had a lot of fun playing the beta, except for the load times, which were terrible. And now that I’ve got an upgraded video card…who knows? Maybe I’ll actually pay for some game time to check it out.

Beyond Good & Evil 2!

Ubisoft revealed the trailer today for BG&E2. I’m so excited. I still haven’t had the chance to finish the first one, since I stopped being able to play the original after installing Vista, but once I upgrade my video card this week, the game finally works again, so I’m gonna have to go beat it in order to deem myself worthy to play the sequel. What a great game.

ION: A Retrospective (Sort of)

A good way into the MMO industry: The media. Become a member of the press, and you’ll forge these great relationships with higher-ups in the industry. And when you’re ready for a job, you ask. Only problem for me is that I don’t want to be a part of the media. It’s a rough job. So I’m going to have to find another way in. Like my summer internship, for example.

Meanwhile, I need to figure out how I can play PotBS over the summer. My laptop’s a Mac, so that’s out. It’s looking more and more like I can’t ship my computer, since it’s too expensive. Renting a computer is possible, but nowhere seems to be able to tell me the specs of their computers, so I have no idea if they have a video card capable of playing ANY game, let alone PotBS. I mean, I need SOMETHING to keep me entertained on nights and weekends. I can’t rely on my coworkers for that all the time. Oh, and I’ll have no television, so that’s out too. I’ll keep thinking, I guess.

Also also, seeing Indiana Jones tonight. My expectations aren’t high, but I’m sure even if it’s not great I’ll still enjoy the action. How can you not love Harrison Ford? Oh, also, I was at 30 Rock yesterday, and apparently he was just upstairs. Some of the tourists got to meet him. Not me, though.

Seattle Day Somethingth

Today I finally got to sleep in. That’s a relief.

Last night was the party at the aquarium. It was great, a lot of fun, and I got the chance to meet some really important people and get their information. I’m really enjoying letting my friends drag me around and introduce to me to the higher-ups they know.

Today I relaxed, going to a few sessions, listening to the keynote which was the President of Sony Online Entertainment. To be honest, he’s not a very good speaker. It was exciting to see videos of their upcoming games, but it sounded like someone else wrote his presentation for him. Plus he spoke for a half hour out of the hour alloted to him.

This afternoon I’ll be going to Troy’s panel on User Generated Content, and hopefully I’ll be able to make faces at him while he talks. Tonight I’m not sure about. I may be on my own, but I’m still trying to wrangle an invite to a private Sony party at their offices in Seattle. My friends were all invited, so they keep trying to push for me to get in as well. Like I said, I like these people.

Sorry for the short update today. I’m still pushing new photos every day here. Check them out. I’m trying to take lots, because I have a bad habit of taking none. Anyways, talk to you all soon!

Seattle Numbah Three

I think I’ve written more on this blog in the past week than I have in the past 5 years. Anyways…

Today was the first day of the ION conference. I had to work it from 8AM-1PM, which was rough, but it actually was really cool rubbing elbows with people whose names I recognized, if not their faces. I got to hand out badges to everyone from staff on fansites, to people who work at Sony and Microsoft. The only person I did actually recognize was John Tynes, otherwise known as “Rev” in the Flying Lab community. He was the producer(?) at Flying Lab before the game launched, and now moved on to bigger and better things. He is extremely tall (like, 7 feet), which is how I recognized him. I think he was a little creeped out that I knew his name, but I explained that I was working for Troy, and he calmed down. I hope.

While I worked, I got to visit David Ryan Hunt’s session. David Hunt, or “Taelorn”, is Flying Lab’s Game Designer. He’s a really great guy, for the few minutes I spoke to him yesterday, and from what I’ve heard from other employees. Anyway, he talked about retention mechanisms in MMO’s, that is, how to keep people playing a game forever. It was really interesting, and made me think about the mechanics of Pirates of the Burning Sea in a different way, complete with triangles, labyrinths filled with water, and cake.

Lunch was delicious. Supposedly they go all out with the food at this conference, and I can tell you from experience, it was amazing. Except that I found celery in my salad. I hate celery. Anyway, the keynote at lunch was about globalization for games…spreading a game into new geographic regions and so on. Not very interesting for someone like me, but cool to see that it is happening, even though cultures are so different everywhere.

After lunch my shift was over, and I desperately needed to rest my feet. After an all-too-brief rest, I went back downstairs to attend a session called “Managing Community Emergencies”, which talked about how a community manager and their team works to keep players happy. It was extremely interesting, and really cool to hear panelists that I’ve heard of in the online world speaking to me about their experiences. I took a ridiculous amount of notes in that one.

Now I’m resting up for a little while before we go out to dinner. After dinner there is the ION Conference Party at the Seattle Aquarium, which hopefully will be full of fish. I heard that aquarium is amazing. So let’s hope it’s as cool as it seems.

Oh, and I got really excited today when one of the Flying Lab employees, Janice (aka “fraxl”), recognized me and pulled me aside. I’m glad to see I have a memorable face, and I think I may actually change my initial plans of hanging out at Flying Lab all day tomorrow in order to hang out with her at ION instead. She’s fun.

Anyways, that’s my report for the day. I think I’m still not adjusted to this time zone, which is weird since it’s only three hours. Maybe it’s the small time changes that are worse than the large ones. Whatever. I’ll maybe get to sleep a reasonable amount tonight, since I don’t have to wake up at 6:30AM like I did today.

Seattle Blog #2

Wow. This summer is going to be awesome. I am so excited! I feel like a little child, running around, giddy with excitement. I had so much fun today. The people I’ve met online are just as fun in person. And not as scary to meet as I would’ve asumed. I got to the office of Flying Lab around 11, and immediately recognized the tall man known as Troy. He’s my boss-ish for the summer. After running me around the office introducing me to everyone, him, Theresa, and I went out for coffee and talked about the summer. The job is going to be ridiculously fun and educational. I’m going to be able to shadow the teams, I’ll be able to sit in on some meetings, and I’ll be doing lots of fun secret stuff on my own, too.

The office is awesome. There is crap everywhere, but I don’t mean crap as in “random stuff thrown all over the place” or even as in “poo”. I mean there are pirate ships all over, pictures, parrots, bobbleheads, board games, flags, t-shirts. There is so much stuff here that I could take it all, lock it in a room, and then I’d have the most awesome room ever.

I want to talk about Troy and Theresa, but I know they’re reading this, so I’ll have to be relatively nice. Like I said, Troy is tall. I mean, I know people said it before, but it’s hard to believe until you see him. I mean, we’re talking almost 7 feet. He’s awesome. As much fun as he is online, it’s even more fun in person, especially cause I can punch him if I feel like it, and he can trip me when we walk together. Theresa’s adorable. I’ve voice chatted with her online before, which is good because if I hadn’t, I probably would’ve been shocked by the sound of her voice. I mean, she’s exactly what I know her to be.

I think I’ll actually be working in the “Communicave”, which is what they dub the small alcove of the office the two of them are stuffed into. I’ll be taking up the endcap, it seems, so the cave will be a little more crowded soon. But it’ll be overloaded with more fun! *gag*

Anyways, that was Flying Lab. I just kinda hung out there all day for no reason, listening to Troy ramble on about all the different parts of the business. He told me I could stay, and I liked being there, so it all worked out perfectly.

I stopped by my apartment today too. It’s awesome. Very pretty. It was a little hot in there (no A/C), but with the outside door open you get a really nice breeze.

Also, if anyone is interested, Troy is deathly allergic to peanuts and body soap. So, you know, do with that information what you will.

Seattle Blog Part 1

This post was originally written on Sunday, at 11:20PM EST.

I love airplanes. I don’t know what it is about them. The entire experience, from the airport, to the tiny bathrooms with the really scary flusher, are all fun. I get stuck in airports for three hours, and I love it. It’s one of the best places to people watch. You know the scenes that open and close “Love Actually” in the airport? Those are awesome.

If all goes well, I have about 40 minutes left in this flight. One of my friends from Flying Lab is picking me up at the airport. She goes by Danicia, and is probably reading this right now (Hi Dani!). As much as I love having all these “imaginary” friends online, it sorta is a bit weird meeting these people in person. I’ve only met one online friend ever, Maia, and that was lots of fun. But it’s different when I’m meeting an entire company that I’ve hung out with for a year. I feel like I know so much about these people, but face-to-face is still really strange. How do I refer to them? But their real names? I can’t imagine being referred to by anything other than “David”, but that’s not the name they know me by. So this should be interesting at the very least. Whoops, landing time. Later.