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Message From the King

Glen "Famine" Swan from Funcom's Age of Conan answers questions, and discusses the game, life, and the industry. Let us know what you would like to hear about.

Author: FC-Famine

Looking Back on Community…

Posted by FC-Famine Monday July 19 2010 at 10:14AM
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There is nothing like looking back on the past, right? For some reason today, I was reminiscing about when I first joined up with the Funcom community team in 06’. It’s somewhat hard to believe it’s been almost 5 years (4 years, 6 months, 13 days to be exact) since the day I decided to send some arrogant resume to the Funcom US offices about a part-time QA position on Dreamfall: The Longest Journey. I wasn’t even taking it seriously. Because really, working in the gaming industry would never happen to me. I’m just some poor corpse-humping PvP’ing schmuck that tries hard NOT to brag about that text-based addiction from the late 90’s.  But, what do you know? Someone took a chance on me and pursued me as a future prospect! Somewhere in between that e-mail to Funcom and that phone call for the initial screening, I decided to wise up and take things seriously. Working in the gaming industry was not just some fantasy after all.
Now I sit before you behind a nice XPS laptop with the LCD expansion for extra viewing delight while I type some words to the unsuspecting internet mob. It’s been 5 long years of forum postings, tight deadlines, public executions, game rants and reports about well — stuff. I couldn’t have asked for anything else, because it was all well worth the intense forum fires about things we shall not speak of and all that goodness. It almost brings a tear to my eye as it seems that I’m saying my goodbyes? Never! I’m not departing at all. I’m just reminiscing, and sometimes it’s healthy to think about what has happen and what could possibly happen tomorrow. We never know where we might find ourselves next week.
Anyways, maybe I should stop with that type of talk before someone smacks me for defining the true blogger on emotional expressions towards the world. But, where I’m trying to go with all of this besides just my own personal progression is to share some of my experiences over the years within the community and teams I’ve worked with. For starters, what the Age of Conan forums USE to look like before the big switch.
Old Forums
(Original Age of Conan forums pre-launch)
(Fair warning: I took some of these forums recently using the old archives. Thus, you might spot some bugs here and there because it’s like looking back on time rather than taking shots during that time. Because really, who takes screenshots of forums in the present time to use in some developer blog 4 to 5 years later? Not me, pshh…)
The first shot was a funny one to me. You can see that Silirrion (Community Manager during that time) is already working his magic from the start. Then you have one of our respect volunteers (Regulas) already posting up the guidelines of the forums for all to follow. Even then, if you look towards the bottom, you can see one of our Database Administrators (De_Valos) trying to join in some player off-topic discussions not knowing about the handy Flame Suit.
But, what’s a community without its community?  Maybe some of the old forum lurkers will remember some of these community members from the early stages of Age of Conan development?
(Protus is the man and you all know it.)
(Need I say more? STURMRABE!)
(Avery has been such a great Advocate and Age of Conan community member since day 1!)
(Wexx was sooooo awesome! He has helped us greatly in so many ways that I can't even explain.)
(So many long nights reading your posts... The tears are falling...)
(Been awhile and it's always a good read. ;)

Taking a stroll down memory lane… It feels really good to read over some of the old threads some of these guys and gals have posted over the years leading up to the launch of the game. I wasn’t able to pull everyone’s profile, but I should mention some of these others I almost got:
  • Archon
  • Darius
  • New Ager
  • Ninja Kitten
  • –H4VOK-
  • And many more…
Looking back, we also had some crazy times on the Funcom side of things. If some of you could remember, Silirrion who is our current Age of Conan Game Director started off as our Community Manager. At the time, I was hired by Silirrion to assist him in the community efforts as the Funcom Community Coordinator. However, during my time with the community team Silirrion actually left us to pursue his dream in production as the Anarchy Online Game Director. I managed to pull his old goodbye post to the community before his departure to the great Anarchy Online.
(Craig 'Silirrion' Morrison goobye post)
As you know, Silirrion eventually came back to Age of Conan because he missed us all that much to become the Game Director for Age of Conan. Since then, he has been on a mission to do great things with the game and helped get us to the point we are at today. But, it’s still something to talk about due to the fact he was a Community Manager before he became Game Director. Very few people in the gaming industry can go from what basically is my position to leading a large-scale team on a large-scale project such as Age of Conan.
However, the Funcom Community Team has seen its shares of ups and downs though. I won’t go into much detail on the entire team history, but we are still going strong with Oliver ‘Tarib’ Kunz as acting Senior Community Manager with myself as Senior Assistant Community Manager. In addition, our team is completed with renowned Community Manager Johannes ‘Waldgeist’ Rebhan leading the way for the German communities everywhere!
But, it’s all been a good ride and even more so down memory lane with the community team and community forums. So I will call it a day and work on the next Behind The Scenes article for the next update!
Until next time…