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.

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