Block Party

Block Party

"Whether it was leading a snowball raid all the way from the gates of Freeport to the stone walls of Qeynos or doing battle with a famous dragon from the game, every time I appeared in the game, I got an amazing response. Sometimes I would simply log on and chat with people. I loved doing it, and players loved being part of it. What's more, I probably spent all of one hour a week to make such a huge impact.
The way you treat your players when communicating them is also very important. I've always made sure to be upfront and honest when communicating with players. They are intelligent. They see through the BS. Tell them the truth, and tell it to them as early as you can. I never made false promises I knew I couldn't keep."

Veteran community manager Ryan Schwayder shares his experiences working with SOE.

Block Party

"Suddenly, we were contenders. From being just a few people messing around in the casual space, we transformed ourselves into a practiced team. We played systematically for four hours, three times a week. ... By this time, I was obsessed. I was a player-coach, unable to focus on anything beyond making my team stronger, faster and more efficient. ... I meticulously researched the ways in which modems could be tuned for better response and greater signal stability. I rebuilt the Quake III configurations of the team, fine-tuning the setups as one might fine-tune a race car."

Professional gaming ruined Jim Rossignol's life. In "Deathmatch-making" he tells the story of how competitive Quake III became his obsession, costing him his job, his friends and almost his very soul.

Block Party

"Games are huge undertakings. Clever designers, like good cooks, need all the different ingredients to work together for the final result to be appetizing. Like cooking, you cannot just go 'voila' and have the whole friggen game there. It takes time, it takes massaging, it takes patience.

You, my hardcore friends, lack patience."

Dana Massey explains why "You're Wrong" and should be ignored.

Block Party

"You know who Brownbag Johnson is. That's his wailing guitar in 'Cheat on the Church', the Graveyard BBQ song that won the first 'Be A Guitar Hero' contest. You know because you rocked it out: You shouted the words to its shrill opening sermon; you head-banged your way through the whining glory notes; you felt your fingers cramp and burn on those never-ending, face-melting riffs. Admit it: You played the shit out of that song. And every time you did, you felt like you were 18 feet tall with cajones the size of cantaloupes and throngs of adoring fans prostrating themselves at your bedroom slippers. Basically, you felt like you were Brownbag Johnson.
But when Brownbag Johnson played his own song, he felt more like you. 'Let's put it this way: Our bass player's little brother - who's only 8 years old - can kick my ass at it,' he laughs. "Even though I wrote the song, I'm not totally kicking ass at the game.'"

Lara Crigger discovers how guitar heroes become Guitar Heroes.

Block Party

"Steven Davis, CEO of gaming security firm SecurePlay, has written about StarForce on his popular blog, PlayNoEvil. Speaking to The Escapist, Davis says the StarForce controversy diverts attention from the larger issue. 'Several major game companies are the real culprits. They allowed, very effectively, the StarForce brand to be the focus of consumer ire about anti-piracy. That we are talking about a small Russian programming firm, and not the huge companies that use the product, is a testament to the effectiveness of this tactic - the StarForce Trojan Horse.'"

Allen Varney searches for the truth in the controversial case of Gamers v. StarForce.