Ramblings with Reuan
The other day, I had the opportunity to do an exclusive interview with a part of the medstaff, recently un-retired and placed into a new position. Sleuthing him out and nagging until he gave in, I made my way toward his office. Stepping into Reuan’s Conservatory, I enviously eyed his magnificent black oak desk and all the contraptions and doohickeys at his disposal. The room was very peaceful upon my entrance, and although information was strewn everywhere, it was painstakingly organized.
Kwahevoda:: Let me start off by saying thank you so much for having me, and may I be one of the first mortals to welcome you back to Medievian Godhood!
Reuan:: Thanks. Have a ... seat... somewhere.
Looking around for a chair, noticing none, I suspiciously watch as the desk ripples and changes patterns. A nearby orb manages to pull a stool from someplace, from where is a thought that might be better not to dwell on. Pulling out a pad of paper, I reach for my trusty MUDSlinger Press quill…and find it missing! Smiling sheepishly, I ask Reuan if he can wait a moment while I retrieve it. Winking at me, he traced magical patterns in the air and weaved the fabric of creation to create a pen of black fulgurite, just for me. I was humbled and embarrassed, but pleased to have such a wonderful new writing utensil at my immediate disposal. Continuing to watch the orbs warily, I comment before sitting:
Kwahevoda:: I think the orbs might attack me if I do...
Reuan:: Oh, don't worry about them. They just monitor some information for me. They're friendly.
Taking his word for it, and nibbling on my new pen, I move on. Beginning to jot down some impressions of his room and the ever changing desk, I am fascinated by the way the gift writes. I watch in awe as it somehow uses lightning bolts to craft my words, rather than ink. Which brought to mind my new first question:
Kwahevoda:: What inspired your godgift?
Reuan:: Well, my personal "theme" has been fulgurite since long before I was hired. It seemed a natural outgrowth. For those who don't know, fulgurite is sand that's been struck by lightning.
Kwahevoda:: Why do you feel connected to this theme?
Reuan:: I'm not sure. I think we all have our own personal myths; one of mine is "the storm" as a personal symbol and affinity. And I think I'm always more serene during a thunderstorm than in any other type of weather.
Kwahevoda:: With that out of the way, we'll continue with some easy fluff questions to get the ball rolling. What's your favorite ansi color in the game and why?
Reuan pauses to look at his nifty color reference shirt. Following his cue I look at him…only to unexpectedly see the god in “all his splendor”. He had neglected to clothe himself before the interview! Now with the tables turned and him being the one to smile sheepishly, he quickly donned his sparse outfit of some faded Levi’s jeans, a little blue pointed hat, and a groovy Rainbow Shirt made by Ardothica. Naturally, I covered my eyes with my hands as he offered the excuse, “Sorry, spa party earlier with Gamina.” Getting back to the task on-hand, he remarked on the color:
Reuan:: Dark cyan. It's a rich color, but not overbearing.
Kwahevoda:: What is one of your favorite zones in the game, and why?
Reuan:: Hrm. Again, there are a few. I've always liked doing solo things to relax; I've run Mello and escarpment hundreds of times. But, on the other hand, I really enjoyed Sonedal, Gloumewood, and Verthandi for their innovative themes and functions.
Kwahevoda:: Is there any particular med food you're overtly fond of? A weakness for dead amber blaze perhaps?
Reuan:: While the amber blaze is great nutritionally, I'm still a fan of the basics. My favorite desserts, though, are baklava and Rocky. His growth gets out of hand every once in a while, you understand, and he molts.
Kwahevoda:: Mmm Rocky, does he taste marshmallowy?
Reuan:: No. Very natural, very earthy. He tastes like a cliff right after the rain. Um, if that helps.
Reuan coughs quietly.
Kwahevoda:: Sounds like an acquired taste...Moving on, how does it feel to be back on the godstaff?
One of the orbs begins to hum, and the desk changes to show scrolling prices of goods and services throughout the realm. One of the orbs flickers briefly, then vanishes without a sound. They seem to be rummaging around quite a bit.
Reuan:: It's great. There are a lot of old friends here, not to mention plenty of new ones.
Kwahevoda:: What was your reason for leaving godhood in the first place?
Reuan:: I was originally hired in erm... August or September of 2000, while still in college. I liked to bite off a lot, I guess... ended up taking quite a few 21+ hr semesters. So when you're taking all sorts of classes, with labs, drills, and practicum sessions, it gets to be an overload. I left for extended breaks because there wasn't enough of me to go around. Of course, I didn't really have much time to play as a mort during those times, either.
Kwahevoda:: I'm sure many of the readers understand what it's like to have a full load of classes and attempt to Med. So it was more a removal from yourself as a whole to the game, not just godhood specifically. Retirement of Reuan was a byproduct?
Kwahevoda:: What are some of the things you may have been famous, or infamous, for previously that older players might know?
Reuan:: Well, for a long time there, I was the night-shift (gametime) god. In the wee hours, I got to deal with all the fun issues that crop up from day to day. But in the off times...
He pauses for a moment, chortling to himself as his eyes take on a wicked gleam. Raising my eyebrow quizzically at him, I urge him to go on, wondering what scintillating tidbit he shall reveal.
Reuan:: I think I'll probably be best remembered for loosing Celine Dion upon Med City.
This was NOT what I had expected! I gasp in surprise, dismay, and, yes, FEAR. Offering a pray and maybe a ritual sacrifice later to our makers, I plead to him: Gods help us all... please tell me it's not in your plans to do that again!
Reuan:: Definitely not. The "tone" of play has changed so much, it just wouldn't be appreciated in today's Medievia. Humor changes with time :)
With that response, I can feel the collective sigh of relief from all of Med.
Kwahevoda:: For the record, what's your official position at the moment?
Reuan:: I've been appointed the new Marketing Coordinator. It entails a lot of research, as well as producing advertising copy and material for the game.
Kwahevoda:: What's it like as MC? Do you suddenly feel the need to hammer things into place?
Reuan:: Well, I've been working with Soleil for a few weeks now. Since being officially appointed to the job, my main priorities have been organising what we've already done, as well as our ideas and resources. I do contract work in the real world, so it seems like I'm always starting a new job. The first step, though, is always the same:
I hold my breath, awaiting him to dispel some sort of ancient knowledge lost to us over time. He smiles and nods sagely as he imparts,
Reuan:: 'Organise your desk.'
Kwahevoda:: A dirty desk shows a dirty job!
Kwahevoda:: How does this job relate to your old positions? And, are you contemplating taking up some of your old duties from before you had retired?
Reuan:: Honestly, it hardly relates at all, excluding the duties and player interaction. Most of the skills for this job come from my real-life career. As for resuming old duties, my hands are full for now with the marketing. Later on, who knows? It might be nice to continue building. But I think I'll be staying quite busy with my current position.
Kwahevoda:: It sounds it! So you feel this job enhances your abilities offline as well, helping to build up your natural skills to utilize in both your Med.Life and your Real.Life?
Reuan:: As far as job enhancement across worlds, absolutely. Every marketing situation is different, and so there's a lot to learn from each one. In this case, I'm making a lot of material from a very unique standpoint, and the marketing focus is also pretty narrow. It's definitely going to be an interesting project.
Kwahevoda:: What sparked interest enough in the MC job to become a god once again? I’m sure that you have quite a bit under your belt now that you deal with in real life as well.
Reuan:: As far as the time I have available to me, well, obviously I'm not in college anymore :P I work like everyone else, of course, but my career doesn't take up my whole life. Of course, there will always be times when I need to take a few days away [from the game]. In about two weeks from now I'm being flown to Google headquarters for an interview... even if I land the job, though, I'll still have plenty of time for Medievia.
The image in the desk ripples, and turns to show the crew of a ship locked in battle with a gigantic sea serpent. More of the balls wander around vaguely, somehow managing to look very important.
Kwahevoda:: In that case, good luck and early congratulations!! Do you believe Soleil will give you any minions to help you with your monumental task?...Other than the orbs.
Reuan:: Who knows? We're working with several players right now who have some great ideas.
Kwahevoda:: Is there a way to explain what your position entails, in more layman's terms?
While awaiting his answer, something remarkable happened. Apparently, another god had caught wind of Reuan’s activities and decided to join us! I was in for a real treat, and the scoop of the day!!
Reuan says to someone, 'It's a reporter!'
Someone says, 'Yea, he goes and finds more people.’
A billowing cloud of purple smoke fills the area. Gamina slowly materializes as it dissipates..
Ahhhh, so that’s who our mystery guest was. I thanked Gamina for explaining it to me so concisely, and asked both of them if there was anything else they felt I should include in the article.
Gamina:: Yea! he's going to mudmarrie me!
Laughing at her guile, I turned to him to inquire if this is quite true. Reddening slightly and denying it adamantly, Reuan is somehow at a loss for words as I offered pre congratulations to Gamina. Giggling to herself at the havoc she had caused, within the blink of an eye, the area before me turned into a whirlwind of teddy bears that swept Gamina up and into the sky, passing quickly out of sight. Taking a moment to regroup myself as well, I glanced back at my notepad and attempted to move on to the next question:
Kwahevoda:: Who would you say were some of your biggest influences on game?
Thinking hard and trying to look back on all his years’ experience, he seems to have issues contemplating just who he should name. I remark to him, “You can have more than one you know.” One of the orbs whispers, 'analysis complete,' and flies out the door. He then seems to have found his answer:
Reuan:: There were several. Each one provided a different example of a "med player" that I admired in some sense.
Kwahevoda:: Are there any examples you would like to give? Or people you would like to thank for helping you get to where you are today?
Reuan:: There were Cameo and Caeraela, who I got to know not long after I started playing. Their helpfulness was astonishing. There have been many good folks I've met along the way, though, and I'd have to say that just about everyone I've met and spent any significant amount of time with has made an impact.
Kwahevoda:: So, I'm sure many people on wonder, WHY on earth would you decide to take this task on?
Reuan:: I honestly gave some thought to applying for it a couple of years ago when the title was first mentioned. At the time I had less experience with project management, though was skilled in copywriting etc. But with my experience, I didn't think it was a project I could successfully take on. When it was announced again, I realised it fit my talents a lot more than it used to. Plus, I think Medievia is much easier to market than it used to be. Our new page is beautiful, and we have a great newbie program. The game is ripe for new players.
Kwahevoda:: Do you enjoy the aspect of working with other players on your god?
Reuan:: Most of the time. Now that aspect is a bit different, as much of my interaction with players involves listening to what they have to say about their Medievia experience, how they came to us, and why they stay for years and years.
Kwahevoda:: Is there any advice you feel like dispensing to other players, on any level?
Reuan:: Two, really. One technical, one attitude. First, don't be afraid to actually read the help files!
Kwahevoda:: Help files are friends, not food!
(You should use this time to look at a random help file, such as help humor:)
Reuan:: Second, relax. It's just a game, we're all here to have fun, so let's treat each other with respect. A little respect, even between adversaries, can really save a lot of headaches.
One of the orbs flashes brightly; as you regain your sight, you notice the orb is gone.
I feel the need to make at least one comment on them, uttering:
Kwahevoda:: I must admit, you have more balls than some of the other gods. Good job!
Reuan blinks in disbelief.
Reuan:: And they're incredibly helpful for data aggregation!
Kwahevoda:: Is there anything else you'd like to say in closing to those who might bother reading this all the way through?
The orbs converge to whisper among themselves once more. Idly shuffling through the office, as much as an orb is able to shuffle, before scuttling out as Reuan shoots them a look of warning, I assume to remind them to be on task. He ponders over my question, giving ample time to weigh what his last words to the viewers might be.
Reuan:: Aside from the above, eat your vegetables. And if you have any ideas related to marketing and attracting new players, feel free to submit them.
Reuan:: Anything else for me?
Kwahevoda:: Not unless you’re some baby's daddy.
A look of panic then entered Reuan’s eyes. Muttering something about bad PR and player privileged information, he made a quick exit. Finishing up my notes, I took one last disgusted look at the wandering balls before taking my leave. One in particular catches me eye and I move closer to look at where it is circling around an item on his desk. The ball continually feeds information into what looks to be a picture frame, ever changing, of a player wandering the realm who bears a striking resemblance to a certain god…