What are you working on now?
Time for an update!
I've moved on from a lot of GW1 tasks to working on GW2 content and design. I can't talk about most of it at this point, but so far it's been pretty damned exciting.
As for the Gladiator title changes I worked on awhile back, I'm pretty happy with the results. I think the hardcore Area and Team-Arena players are still differentiated from the casual, but the casual Arena player has a good way to make partial progress and get something for their time. I still play RA and TA a reasonable amount, and so overall it's pretty positive.
There is some stuff I'm working on where a good sampling of feedback would be beneficial;
1) What are your favorite GW1 skills? Why?
2) What types (new or existing) prestige rewards drive you personally as a player? Prestige rewards are any reward that does not effect your power or ability. Examples would be PvP skins, titles, or rank emotes.
3) PvE players: What has drawn you into PvP in the past? What factors deter you from PvP?
My talk page is cleaned out now to make room -- leave comments there :)
I have something I'd like to discuss. How can I contact you?
You can use the following ways:
- Open a discussion on my talk page.
- Add me to your friends list in GW. Fianna Apple is my handle, although I have a separate account for work-related stuff -- add Morello Watches You for that one.
- Email me! firstname.lastname@example.org can be used to get ahold of me, especially for more serious discussions. If it's a conversation or design debate, the talk page is probably better.
At any case, feel free to get ahold of me! I'm a chatty sunuva... :)
 About Me
I've been a long-time player of Guild Wars' PvP, originally starting with the Fianna in the alpha test in August of 2004. I've been heavily involved with Guild Wars' GvG and PvP for most of that time, first as a GvG player and then later as a developer.
As a gamer, I'm primarily a competitive FPS and fighting games player. I've competed on a national level in Tekken Tag Tournament and Battlefield 1942. I also have high-level competition experience in Natural Selection, Counter-Strike and Team Fortress Classic. I enjoy RPGs also, but primarily for the opposite reasons, such as story, setting, and characters as opposed to the power progression hooks.
In MMOs, I'm "that guy" - I get a lot of pleasure out of player-killing, ganking, and other similar behaviors. I don't like to talk smack or be a poor sport, I just enjoy "preying" on other players to an extent. As such, I typically involve myself in discussions about ways we can decrease griefing and other undesirable behaviors within our own game. While I enjoy these activities myself, I don't think they're good things for a game's player base and we should take measures to avoid it. The best way to beat a bastard to consult one!
For fun, I obviously enjoy Video Games and other random nerdity (anime, tabletop gaming, British Comedy, etc). I like going out to Seattle and discovering a new bar, going to a concert, just taking in any kind of citylife/nightlife. I dislike the outdoors and fear the bears that reside there.
Multiplayer Gaming Experience
- Tekken Series (4th in WA state at Tekken Tag Tournament)
- Soul Calibur Series
- Battlefield 1942 (Member of Warsaw, 2x undefeated CAL Champions)
- Battlefield 2
- Team Fortress Classic
- Team Fortress 2
- Counter-Strike (1.3 and before)
- Natural Selection
- Super Smash Bros Melee
- Day of Defeat/Day of Defeat Source
- Ultima Online
- Guild Wars :D
- World of Warcraft
What do you do at ArenaNet?
Can't talk to much about that as it's all hush-hush. My job title is Content Designer, but I usually have my hands dirty in some sorta PvP thing at any given time.
For Guild Wars 2, it's likely I'll be most involved with the World PvP and Competitive Play portions of the game as that's where the majority of my expertise lies. Working on PvE and dungeons in Eye of the North has taught me a lot about areas I was less familiar with, so it's been a cool learning experience :)
Previously, I worked on the Skills Design Team for several months as a sort of of a junior design position before being promoted to a "for reals" designer, and was a member of the ArenaNet QA team prior to that. I also did some QA work at Microsoft before starting at ArenaNet
What are you playing?
Right now, it's pretty much all about Team Fortress 2. Izzy, Freyas and myself started up a clan for competitive play for a few months, but ultimately got owned by IRL time commitments and had to close it down. I spent some heavy time in WoW as well, and in my continuing effort to stop sucking at RTS, playing Company of Heroes online .I'm always playing 1 or 2 "main" games that I concentrate on becoming skilled at, with several casual or low-stress titles I use to relax with.
Sadly, nothing coming out soon has me that excited. I've been messing with Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but not taking it too seriously. Tekken 6 is supposed to be out this year, so that could snatch me up again.
How did you become a game designer? How can I get into the industry?
This is probably the most common question I get. Game Design is most every nerd's dream at somepoint :) This isn't the only way, but it's one of the more reliable ones;
1) Move to a place with big companies. These places are California, the Seattle area, and Austin, Texas. Sad but true: You have to go to games, they won't come to you.
2) Get a job in contract QA. Companies like Nintendo and Microsoft hire through agencies that don't require experience. This is your foot-in-the-door/mailroom job.
3) Don't suck! Simple but often unheeded advice. Do a good job, be dedicated, assertive, but know your limits and don't step on toes. If you're not passionate about your work, you're sunk.
4) Build experience and network. Networking is super important. Meet people, gain skills, and look for opportunities at other companies for full-time QA opportunities. Once you're full time QA, you're part of the dev team, and you'll be able to move up. Programmers and Artists can also do this but will need the appropriate degrees.
Paul Barnett (of Mythic fame) created some great videos that you can google for good tips on this.
 Other Wiki users:
- Andrew McLeod - Creature Designer
- Andrew Patrick - QA tester
- Ben Kirsch - QA tester
- Bobby Stein - Writer
- Emily Diehl - Website Producer
- Gaile Gray - Support Liaison
- Isaiah Cartwright - Skills Design
- Jason Yu - Localization
- John Stumme - Content Designer
- Julien Crevits - French Community Relations
- Kim Chase - QA tester
- Linsey Murdock - Content Designer
- Martin Kerstein - European Community Relations manager/German CR
- Matthew Medina - Art Process manager
- Mike Zadorojny - QA manager
- Peter Verhelst - Spanish Community Relations
- Reagan Wright - Graphic artist
- Regina Buenaobra - Community Relations manager
- Shana Gitnick - Programmer
- Will McDermott - Writer