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Interviews: What is #IAMTSW?

By William Murphy on April 24, 2015

What is #IAMTSW?

MMORPG: What prompted the IAMTSW contest?

Laurie Payne: As a community management team, we're always brainstorming up new ideas for events and contests.  It's part of the magnificent challenge of working with communities.  Keeping your community engaged with new things and new ideas is super important - it is great to have a really active community.

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My colleague, Gray "Tomium" Hogan drafted up this intense outline for a contest; we wanted to captivate both our current community and those that might not be too familiar with The Secret World.  We went back and forth on the idea honing it into something that was modern and took advantage of the way players communicate with each other, such as social media channels. It grew into what is now known as the #IAMTSW Competition.

Each week, we have a new contest category that players can enter.  They simply need to submit their entries into each category’s forum to participate!  For example, the most recent category that is live is the Hand-Crafted Round.  Here, players can submit entries ranging from fan paintings to miniatures of their characters!   Any TSW player can enter by visiting our #IAMTSW forum to read up on the rules and how to get started here.

MMORPG: How has the response been so far?

Laurie Payne: The response has been just amazing.  Within the first day of launching the competition, our players helped jumpstart #IAMTSW with their own excitement.  We saw the #IAMTSW hashtag starting to trend as more and more of our players jumped on board supporting us.  We saw fan art pop up with drawings of beloved characters showing off the #IAMTSW tag.  I feel that our players truly appreciate Funcom acknowledging their creativity and their importance as players, as our community. 

The entries we've had so far have been stellar.  It always floors me when our players show off their passion for the game, whether it be taking a cool screenshot or writing a fun story about their character.

Check out our first two winners here:

Audio Round

Screenshot Round

Our cosplay round is currently closed and we're in the process of picking a winner this week.  You can find the entries for that round here. It's so exciting!!

MMORPG: TSW has always been seen by the MMO community as "one of those games that's great, but not many play".  Do you think this community contest might convince some folks to give TSW another shot?

Laurie Payne: Certainly! TSW has a very dedicated and tight knit community, so giving them an opportunity to express their dedication is very important to us. Getting The Secret World more exposure is also part of our jobs in the community team, and if the #IAMTSW convinces just one more person out there to try TSW, to experience the improvements we're always making to the game, that's a win.  We love our game, we know others will too.

MMORPG: What sorts of prizes can players earn by partaking in the contest?

Laurie Payne: So, a contest wouldn't be complete without some swag, right?  The #IAMTSW competition is all about creativity and we've gotten creative with how we're awarding prizes.  For each round, Funcom will pick one winner for the official prize pack:

  • a modern drinking glass emblazoned with The Secret World logo
  • a set of faction dog-tag necklaces
  • 1200 Bonus Points for use in the in-game store
  • a Deep Mystery box game item which contains random goodies for your character
  • a custom forum title in our official forums
  • a in-game t-shirt emblazoned with the winner's character name and the round that they've won

Additionally, everyone that participates will receive a unique in-game t-shirt to add to their collection!

That's not all though!  While Funcom will only pick one winner for each round, we have some awesome groups and cabals (guilds) that will be picking winners for each round to receive their own prize packs.  Allowing groups/cabals the ability to pick their own winners spreads prizes out even further, and gives players more chances at winning cool stuff. 

These prize packs could include in-game items, help with raids, real-world hand-crafted art, and other great prizes.  This is just another example of how kickass our community is -- they are supporting the #IAMTSW with their own time and effort.  That is not lost on us here at Funcom.

MMORPG: What's the overall goal for this contest?  IF there had to be one?

Laurie Payne: I wouldn't say that the #IAMTSW competition has only one goal.  We went into this with several goals in mind.  #IAMTSW is made up of layers.  We're showcasing our community as they showcase their creativity and skill.  This shows off to the rest of the MMO world more about The Secret World, the intriguing bits of the game that have captured so many already.  #IAMTSW also does a great job of giving back to the community not just with prizes, but admiration.  I also like to personally think that it's given another chance for our players get to know each other better, too.

In the end, we wanted to do something that we'd not done before: something big, something brilliant.  I think we really have accomplished what we desired; give our players every opportunity to show us why they can say "I am TSW".  After all, they -are- The Secret World.

William Murphy / Bill is the Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all of his pointless rambling.