Archive for November, 2011

Hundreds of People Made this Blog Post Possible

Posted: November 28, 2011 by Kendricke in BSGO, Out of Character

Like tens of thousands of Americans, I flew home for the Thanksgiving holiday.  However, unlike most of those travellers, I decided not to tell my wife.  I was able to surprise her with a sudden appearance in Minnesota after being in San Francisco apart for more than two months.

I was able to do this because hundreds of people worked over the holiday – pilots, flight attendants, airport ground crews, TSA security, police, parking attendants, etc.   Even though most of America was able to take a few days off of work and enjoy the holiday with their families, this was possible only because a large segment of our population put in hours of work throughout the past several days.  On “Black Friday”, shoppers got up early and filled the stores which were open because retail staffers got up even earlier and made sure the shelves were stocked and the cashiers were ready.  In call centers around the country and beyond, customer service representatives and tech support staff worked around the clock to make sure the stores were open, problems were resolved, and issues were handled.  When I took my wife out for breakfast on Friday morning for the first time in 9 weeks, it was only because the cooks and wait staff were there to greet us and cook for us.

Of course, over the past four days, we also ran our first Nemesis Tournament in Battlestar Galactica Online.  Also, across all the servers, we ran a double experience weekend.  We also rotated multiple offers in our game for ships and munitions packages, each of which had to be manually turned on and off.   The only reason we were able to provide all of these functions over the weekend was because a segment of our development team and support staff remained available and working throughout the holiday.  While the rest of the team slept, our IT staff and support engineers were maintaining the servers, following up on alerts regarding anything which could possible impede performance.  Our QA leads were playing the game from home throughout the tournament and tracking suspicious tournament points totals.  Our Community team kept reading our forums and in-game chat throughout the weekend and made sure that team leadership was kept updated on any potential issues that players were raising.  Dozens of BSGO team members continued checking email, logging into our game, and reading our forums throughout the entire holiday.

It’s easy to overlook such care and passion from a player’s perspective.  I don’t blame our players who only point out issues.  They’re our customers.  They get to point out problems.  They don’t have to understand the amount of work that goes into fixing each problem – nor should they have to.  However, from a project manager’s perspective, I couldn’t be more proud of the team I’m on.  Though I was absolutely thrilled to get the chance to fly back to Minnesota for a weekend to see my wife, I was at least as proud of the people here at Bigpoint who spent at least part of their well earned holiday making sure that our players could keep fragging each other for days on end.

Thanks, guys.  I appreciate it.


An Update: From Ohai to Bigpoint

Posted: November 21, 2011 by Kendricke in Bigpoint, Ohai, Out of Character

An Update:

When I last posted, I had taken a position at ohai in San Francisco and was excited about my future and the future of the company.  I was mostly right.  At Ohai, we did launch our game, Unicorn Parade.  It even pulled in a couple of generous articles in the press (like this one).  Shortly after launch, the studio was sold.

I miss the old ohais.  I had a lot of fun working in our studio up on 2nd and Bryant.  I spent several late nights there – not because I was forced to, but because I genuinely loved what I was doing.

And so while one door shuts…another one opens.  So, I’ve been here at Bigpoint San Francisco for the past few months.  I’m the new Project Manager on Battlestar Galactica Online (BSGO).  Instead of just complaining about the things I don’t like, I get to be part of the solution toward making a better game for our players.  In fact, as I write this, I’m in the middle of creating the first part of a concept document for a new system expansion in our game that I hope our designers can work from.  It’s an area of the game that could use some love and I’m pretty excited that we’re able to put some resources into this.

So, as I finally get around to dusting out the cobwebs around here, those of you who somehow manage to check this site out will see a shift toward discussions of BSGO and general development process as opposed to player-side guild dynamics (though I still play and still lead my guild…albeit with a much larger focus on delegation to a great crew of officers these days).

So, here’s hoping I can make put my money where my mouth is and just help put out a better game.  I know the players have high expectations.  It’s interesting to be on this side of the forums, at least.