Category: Of Interest (Page 10 of 14)

Trip to San Diego – Part III

I’m still processing the trip down to San Diego, mostly because I haven’t had the time (yet) to sit down and just reflect on it. As soon as I landed back home  (pretty much) I was thust head first into writing 6 articles (that are due tomorrow) and I also came down with a horrible cold that’s left me sounding like a frog and sneezing every 10 minutes with a cough. I know I’ll be feeling back to my normal self in no time, but you’ll have to forgive the lack of posts on my site in the mean time. 

Picture is a member of the EverQuest team, showing off his sponge bob pillow. I actually took this particular picture for my Mom who is an avid fan. There’s another picture with a project that he was working on, but I’m saving that for Beckett (I know, what a tease). 

So what exactly did I do for my day in San Diego? It was pretty amazing and surreal for me on a very personal level. I was up at 3am on Tuesday the 3rd of February. Headed to the Ottawa International Airport where I flew from Ottawa at 6am to Detroit. Switched plains in Detroit to Minneapolis and then flew from Minneapolis to San Diego. I landed at around 1pm, grabbed a taxi to my suite which was pretty close to the SOE studio, and waited for a room. By the time I got settled all I wanted to do was let everyone know I was safe and sound, and sleep. So the night ended early for me at 8:30pm PST. Remember, this trip also takes place after two very stressful weeks of getting my passport organized, and was very short notice for me. I still had a blast.

The next day at 9:30am I was met in the lobby by Katie, who is the public relations person for SOE and who I get to annoy on a regular basis. We drove to the SOE studio which is fairly close to where I was staying. The day was absolutely amazing, bright sunshine and no snow. I ogled all of the palm trees that I’ve never seen before. The landscape is completely different from what I’m used to. I’ve seen hills and mountains before when I lived in Germany, but Ottawa is fairly flat and our houses sit on flat streets, not up the sides of hills one under another. I was feeling pretty nervous, but calmed down as the day went on.

I had a brief tour of the SOE buildings, I’d looked at older pictures trying to get a feel for the layout and recognize where I was. My first round of meetings was with the EQ1 team, some absolutely amazing people. I spoke with Alan Couvering, Adam Bell, and Ed Hardin. The passion they demonstrated for their game was just mind boggling. It’s not something I’ll soon forget. Anyone who has read my Beckett articles before knows that I don’t exactly write from an investigative journalism point of view, but I write as a gamer first and try to keep that theme throughout everything I write. Having the opportunity to talk to these people who created the games I love in such a setting was fantastic. 

Afterwards I spoke with the EQ2 team – Bruce Ferguson, Joy Parks, Noel Walling, Tim Heydelaar, Bill Yeats, and Joshua Kriegshauser. Again they displayed the same amount of passion that the EQ1 team had for their game, and the comradery displayed was fantastic. I also spoke with Rich Waters, who is the creative director for the EQ Franchise, and then it was time for lunch.

Lunch was amazing. The community team consisting of Brenlo, Kiara, and Ashlanne (who you may recognize on forums and from Podcasts) were great. We went to a surf shack type place called ‘Hodads’ (I believe that’s the name at least) which was plastered on the inside with old license plates. The atmosphere was very laid back and easy going and the fact that I was eating lunch in San Diego in the sunshine and not home in Ottawa in the freezing temperatures with four feet of snow on the ground did not go unnoticed. We took a little walk down to the beach (not far away) and even had a little time to stop by a comic book store that was along the way back to the van. They were easy to talk to, joked around a lot, and I felt completely at ease. Once lunch was done it was time to get back to work and Lydia joined in the conversation. 

Once it was noticed that I also play Vanguard (and love the game despite the rocky launch and issues that still persist) I was granted an opportunity to talk to the VG team, something I had not planned for. This was probably one of the most fantastic parts of the trip, because it was just so odd for me. If you had of asked me a year ago if I thought I’d be talking (in person) to Silius (Salim Grant, lead designer) I’d have laughed so hard milk would have shot out my nose even if I wasn’t drinking milk. I remember seeing the NPC version of his character in game outside the crafting area in the high elf place. I remember seeing him on Seradon on the craft channel, and I even own (or rather, my bloodmage owns) the craft bag named after him. You can flag me as a fan and I’m perfectly ok with it. I didn’t just speak with him though, I also got to talk to Christian Akesson (VGThor, Lead artist), and Thom Terrazas (Phathom, producer). VG is one of those diamond in the rough games (for me at least) and to watch other people who actually worked on the game talk about it to me was just so inspiring. I can not even put it into words. 

By the end of the day I was exhausted (again) and Katie brought me back to my suite where I crashed for the night at 8:30. I would be flying out at 10:30am, and wanted to be at the airport early so I could go through security and all the rest. 

At 7am I headed back to the airport, where I flew from San Diego to LA (short flight), and then from LA to Detroit, and finally from Detroit back home. It was 11pm EST by the time I finally got home, back to the wind and snow and negative temperatures. 

Another huge thank you to the people from SOE for flying me out and granting me the opportunity, as well as Beckett MOG since I was there to do work for them. My friends were absolutely amazing (and continue to be) and supportive while I ranted about all of the stress I was feeling and my excitement as I went through this whole process. It’s been an incredible rush. 

Now that I’m home and settled, I have three more pieces to write for Beckett and then I can get back to what brought me here in the first place – gaming! See you in Norrath.

Big News Finally Revealed

It’s finally been confirmed. After a week of waiting, braving snow storms, dealing with the passport office, and numerous other things, as well as HUGE support from the people at Sony, I am going to San Diego Tuesday. That’s right, this Tuesday I’ll be leaving behind the negative digits and headed to California, a place I’ve never been to before, and have only had a chance to visit via the weather network. 

I am beyond excited. In fact, I’m so stunned and beyond excited that this is the most coherent thought you’ll get from me for the remainder of the day. 

I’ve set up a couple of journal type posts that will talk about the entire process I’ve been through this past week and a half (yes, that’s how long I’ve known about this trip) and all of the emotions and feelings involved. It’s been absolutely incredible and the trip hasn’t even begun yet. 

Oh, and of course why am I even going to San Diego? Well, you’ll have to wait for the details on that but it’s Beckett MOG related, and you’ll be seeing a fair amount on my site too.

So if you live in the San Diego area, lock your doors and hide away on Tuesday, chances are I’ll be the bug-eyed one wondering where all the snow is at.

I’ll post more information at a later time, for now I’m still stunned that it worked out (fingers crossed).

1000th Post

Thank you readers, is about all I can say. 

You have 999 posts 6 pages 1 draft contained within  38 categories  and  48 tags. You have 2,116 total comments, 2,008 approved 108 spam and 0 awaiting moderation.

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Since 6 Jan 2007, 11:59    1007341

NaNoWriMo 2008 – winner

The final word count: 50775 words in one month. I’ll be posting this story online for people to read on my personal site once I go over it a tiny bit (and let things sink in). I have a more detailed post over here too. 

I owe a HUGE thank you to everyone who donated to The Office of Letters and Light, that motivated me to get this done (on time). I don’t claim that the story is amazing, or even good, but I’m proud of myself for finishing.

New Projects?

Now that my NaNoWriMo is completed (yes, you read that right) I’m looking for a few more creative outlets to partake in. One of which was written about by Tipa as well as Malfi. ShutterCal is a fantastic little site where you upload one picture a day and over the months you have quite the little memory album. Of course since I just found out about this site I went back and updated for the entire month – pictures that are not necessarily from this month, but they’re things that I’ve done this year. From today onwards I’ll use up to date photographs. No guarantee that I’ll update it every day, but I’ll be trying. You can find my calendar posted here. Along that same line, I’m contemplating setting up a site that would work as a creative outlet, with photography, art, and writing. Then I can leave this site to gaming (and gaming related art of course) and not have to bore people with posts like this one. I’ll more then likely just use blogger or wordpress depending on my mood. 

I’ve been having a lot of fun decorating, and as a reminder to myself I really need to get those Moors quests done so I can gain some faction and finally purchase those recipe books that I keep talking about. There’s still a lot to do in EQ2, and I’ve been having fun just picking what I want to do for an evening and then doing it, without worrying about being behind in anything.

Last night I played my bruiser (newly betrayed from monk) in Everfrost. She’s level 52 (now 53) and the heroic blue and green encounters are something she can solo, which I really like. Even better is the fact that the bruiser is on my ‘main’ account, which means she gets 50% bonus experience. I’ve been neglecting my plate tanks, who I mentioned some time ago that I wanted to level to end game, simply because lots of people look for ‘instance tanks’ and not so much raid tanks. I think I could be a good one, if I tried. Motivating myself to leave the crafting instance and get out there and gain some levels is a little more difficult. Guess we’ll just see how it goes!

P.S. Getting ready to make home made peanut butter cups. Feel free to stop by!

Quick NaNoWriMo Update


37,813 words once my writing session today ended. 

Updated my profile and I’m looking forward to the home stretch. Even know how it’s going to end! Should have a couple more write ups on my personal site next week, depends on how busy things get. Thank you for all of the motivation!

A Quiet Evening

Another evening without TSO means 35,788 words on NaNoWriMo, and a bit of art work too. Can be found in full view here. Contemplating starting up a second blog for the art bits, but I hate having multiple places to write in, I’d rather be able to mush all my interests together. I know not everyone likes that though. I tried to siphon out the non-gaming bits, but it doesn’t work for long.

NaNoWriMo Update

 Now sitting at 17,029 words. I’m right on schedule for where I want to be. The story is going fairly smooth, but it’s not even at the half way mark yet. I have never written a continuous story for more then a few pages, let alone 50,000 words. I’m up to page 26. It has been an amazing experience so far, and I’m excited to see if the enthusiasm stays throughout the rest of the month.

Oh, and that widget up there – light green days are when I was slightly above the daily goal. Light red is slightly below. Bright red is well below the daily goal and bright green is well above. The one bright red day I have there is not because I didn’t write, I did. I went from 13,518 on Friday to 15,098 on Saturday and then my current 17,029. I didn’t log into NaNo and update it though, so it shows up as a bright red day. Ah well.

Woodworker Earns Her Epic (Finally)


 Finally. After leaving my woodworker at level 80 for a few months now I decided it was time to finish my epic on her. There’s a pretty good reason I neglected it. Well, ok not a pretty good reason, but there’s a reason (which is better then none at all). I’ve already completed epics for three other level 80 crafters. The quest is the same up until the final portion and then it splits into subclasses so needless to say after the first three times I completed it I was just not inspired to do it for a forth. 

Let alone a fifth (my sage has been level 80 for some time as well and I do plan on finishing the epic with her one of these days). Thank you to Albrta and Eyenstein for crafting the majority of the bits I needed, as well as two strangers who responded in channels (carpenter and weaponsmith). It was nice to get some help. The entire quest took about two hours, the longest portions being just running around. Thankfully my woodworker is a druid, and I could just port around to locations close to where I needed to be. I proudly put on my cloak and gave myself the earring buff. 

Besides EQ2 and W101 I had a little time to play Little Big Planet last night. Finished clearing out the canyons though I haven’t gotten the ace (completing a zone without dying) reward for all of them yet. Started working on The Metropolis, and got a few more outfits. The frying pan hand item is one of my favorite. 

Then today I happened to be in EBGames and asked about the Little Big Planet guide. It’s 314 pages of pure awesome. Not only are there walkthroughs for every zone (which you can of course skip. I’ve been reading the ones for the zones I’ve completed just because there is so much information) there is also a VERY detailed ‘creation’ section tha goes over each of the tutorial bits in huge amounts of detail. THAT’S what I was looking for. It’s hard to read the font for the game on my television screen (what can I say, I’m a pc gamer and my tv collects dust) and I couldn’t read what they wanted me to do or what buttons to press. Plus I’m a visual learner, give me something to look at and I’ll memorize it over time easily enough. This guide is fantastic. I don’t typically buy guides for games (ok, lets make that ‘don’t typically’ to ‘don’t ever’) but I would highly suggest picking this one up. The best $21 I spent today. 

So, all in all it’s been a fantastic gaming weekend. How could it not, with great friends and fantastic games. I think by now my friends know they can get me to play pretty much any game if they talk about it long enough and use the F-word (FUN). It’s one of those ‘best selling’ features. It’ll be interesting when a sci-fi game comes out, since I’ve always been completely anti-‘space’ for as long as I can remember. I’ve never seen Star Wars (I know, I need to be buried alive) or Star Trek or Star anything (how amusing that my online persona is Stargrace). Typical female gamer? Maybe. It’s not ALL about the housing and outfits for me though. I really do take pride in knowing my class and characters and doing my job – and doing it well. It’s just all of the extra ‘stuff’ that gets me to keep playing.

A LBP World, and Me

It’s hard to tell by this picture (I can’t help it, I’m absolutely horrid at taking pictures of my tv, which is covered with a nice film of dust and cat footprints since Princess claims it as her own) but that’s Tipa and me hanging out in Little Big Planet together, in her Befallen level. I got to test some of it, sans lag. I’m not sure if the lag from 3+ people is fixed now, but things ran smoothly enough when it was just two people wandering through the zone. 

I haven’t had the chance to play since then aside from a brief romp through some zone that I can’t remember right now, things have just been that hectic. For my own sanity I decided to drop a few things from my schedule, I just had too much going on. It’s only the 6th of the month and I felt overwhelmed. 

NaNoWriMo is going well, I’m up to 11,759 words as of today. The story hits slumps here and there – I’ve never written anything so long before. I’m also working from straight creation. I have not planned this story out at all, I don’t know where it will go, I just had a vague idea of what I wanted to write about and took off with it (hey, it sort of resembles this blog some days). 

I want to create a zone in LBP, what’s more I want to create artistic projects in there for people to look at. If all goes well I should have time by the end of this month, I’ll have to see though, right around the corner is Christmas and I design and hand make most of my gifts. I’ve always disliked how commercial everything is. 

Anyhow. This is just a brief rambling update since I haven’t really posted too much lately. I’ll probably end up doing some rendering tonight to relax before bed, or maybe I’ll get lucky and play a little EQ2. We’ll see how it goes. Sorry this post doesn’t make much sense. Only a few more weeks to go!

Page 10 of 14

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