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Spotlight On Warden

SGM of Combat, Magic & Technical Systems (Really-Geeky-Stuff Guru)

"...because wet undies would be much more gross." -- Warden

Spotlight On Staff Home

Co-Worker's Not-So-Candid Quotes

"An amazing ability to flesh out the intricate details of the game. Can always think 10 steps ahead to how a decision will affect the overall game and players."

"When pitching an idea to Warden, you usually expect to get a lot of good feedback on the numbers. Not too many people probably think of Warden when thinking about our "creative" GMs. But some of the most awe-inspiring, creative, and neat design concepts I've implemented have been dreamed up by him."

"Smart, funny and friendly!"

"Warden is still an enigma to me; I've never gotten a chance to work closely with him, but he's always been very gracious and supportive with anything I've brought to him."

"There are very few people I respect more than Warden. He holds an impossible position of maintenance -- to both GemStone IV's integrity and the enjoyment of its players, even when the two seem so diametrically opposed. All the while, he regularly checks on the development team's progress and keeps us on task. Simply put, he is the cornerstone to the game, and its current drive and direction could not exist without him."

"Warden has roleplayed one of the most unique characters I've had the pleasure to meet in GS4 and provided me with many enjoyable moments."

"Warden is like… a hard candy shell with a nougat-y center. NOUGAT."

"Warden is the Chuck Norris of GemStone IV."

"ZOMG he intimidates the hell out of me! These are anonymous, right?!"

"The Eye of Warden guides us and has great power to pierce all shadows of cloud, and earth, and flesh, and to see you: to pin you under its deadly gaze, naked, immovable."

"Warden instills one with both a strange kind of fear and an amazing level of respect for what he does and who he is."

Howdy, howdy. I'm GM Warden, and I'm the Senior GM of the GemStone IV Development team. I've been a GM for about 8 years now, and before becoming SGM I was the Creature Guru.

I've been the lead on a lot of projects over the years, some of which include:

  • The redesign from GemStone III to GemStone IV
  • The Growing Pains changes in GemStone III
  • The Ithzir and griffins of OTF, the creatures in the Thanatoph Stronghold, the Jantalarian soldiers, hisskra, and several others, as well as the upgrades and overhauls of numerous older creatures.
  • The new gems for RR, Solhaven, the Rift, IMT/Pinefar, and the Elven Nations
  • The jewelry trinkets found in treasure
  • The Turamzzyrian history document.
As Dev team lead, though, I have a hand in the majority of our Dev releases to varying degrees.

Where were you born?

In the great state of Montana, where I grew up on a ranch in the NW corner of the state.

Where do you currently live?

In the noticeably less great state of Connecticut. Unless you like sea gulls. Then you're probably crazy enough to think it's heaven.

Do you have any pets/kids/both?

When I married my wife, Julie, I also gained two step-children, Brittne and Travis. We have two cats.

What is your current occupation?

I work as a mechanical engineer for a defense contractor, building submarines. My primary area of work is propulsion plant equipment.

What did you want to be while you were growing up?

I started off with the fairly typical doctor and astronaut aspirations, but then sometime around college I set my sights even higher: Game designer!

Favorite TV shows?

Currently, Heroes is probably my favorite show. Other than that, I try to catch The Office when I can, and I'm a fan of 24 and Rome. Babylon 5 was my favorite show overall, I think.

Favorite actors/actresses?

That's not easy, as their are a lot that I like. And it depends on the movie! For drama or action, Robert De Niro, Gene Hackman, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Sam Elliott (quite possibly the toughest man ... evar!), and Morgan Freeman are among my favorites. For comedy, Steve Martin, Gene Wilder, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, and Robin Williams. Charlize Theron, Ashley Judd, and Natalie Portman (I loved The Professional) are great in about everything they do. Can I say Kathleen Turner ... in the 80's?

Favorite musicians/bands?

Mark Knopfler is by far my favorite guitarist, so Dire Straits and Knopfler's solo works make up the bulk of the CDs in my car and on my computer. The rest that I listen to the most are an eclectic mix of Stan Rogers, Heather Dale, Nightwish, Simon and Garfunkel, Scorpions, Steve Earle (his older stuff, before he became a political ranter), U2's early albums, Loreena McKennitt, Enya, the Allman Brothers, James Taylor, ZZ Top, Fleetwood Mac, and Heart. I tend to go for classic rock and folk/folk rock, but I like a lot of classical music, too, and a fair amount of country (from before the big flood of pop country).

For the future, I'm looking forward to buying up some J. J. Cale, Emmylou Harris, and the Flying Burrito Brothers.

Favorite books/authors?

For current fantasy works, George R. R. Martin is my favorite, and I was a fan of Tad Williams's series of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn (Dragonbone Chair, etc.), and Stephen Donaldson's Mordant's Need duology (Mirror of Her Dreams and A Man Rides Through). For non-fantasy, I like Agatha Christie and Alexander Dumas. If I can include short stories, there's 'The Most Dangerous Game' and 'The Lady or the Tiger' (of *course* it was the tiger!).

Where did you go to college and what did you study?

I graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Montana State University, though seven semesters of my undergrad studies were at Wichita State University in Kansas.

Favorite/least favorite job you've ever had?

Other than SGM of the Dev team? ;) My favorite 'real' job was my summer job through most of college, working on a timber sale prep crew for the US Forest Service. What made it fun was that most of the crew were already friends of mine, and we were out in the boonies of NW Montana every day so we got to see a lot of great territory and wildlife. We worked six 10-hour days every week, making it a great job for a single college student. And the late summer/early fall months usually included a lot of fighting forest fires, which added hazard pay on top of long hours (typically 14-17 hrs/day). During my last August with that job I was a squad boss on a fire fighting crew as we fought fires for the entire month; I had 420 hours in for the month with only one day off. It was a big help in paying off student loans!

For least favorite, I had a job on the ranch operated by Montana State University while I was attending college there, and I was primarily working in the hog barns, feeding the hogs and cleaning the pens. While I don't want to be a rancher, I like ranch work and I think hogs are great (I raised them myself when I was in Jr. High and High School). Unfortunately, the pay was terrible and with a couple hundred hogs in the barns, the reek of the place was rough on the senses.

Favorite hobbies?

Gaming, of course! I love tabletop RPGs, but computer gaming gets more of my time. I also like hunting, but I don't get to do that as much since leaving Montana.

Favorite foods?

Grilled steaks, chicken tikka masala, huckleberries, my mom's fried chicken, and my wife's ramaki and pasta salad.

Favorite board games or computer games?

Board games... if that includes tabletop RPGs, AD&D would be my favorite. For traditional board games, Axis and Allies and Trivial Pursuit (or any similar trivia games). For computer games other than GemStone IV, I loved Bard's Tale III, the Wizardry series, Doom, and Max Payne. Dark Age of Camelot has been my favorite of the MMORPGs, primarily due to the way it handles Realm vs Realm conflict.

Favorite sports/sports teams?

For spectator sports, the Miami Dolphins are my favorite football team. Football is *the* sport. The other sports are just filler to carry us through between the end of the season, the draft, training camp, and finally the start of the next season. The only other sport that I get excited about watching is college basketball, both men's and women's, during March Madness.

I am a fan of the Utah Jazz, though I don't follow closely til playoff time, and I used to be a Kansas City Royals fan, but lost serious interest in baseball after the two player strikes.

I can appreciate most sports, though, and if I'm looking to kill time, I'll watch just about anything.

For sports to play, softball, volleyball, football, and wrestling, tho' that last one's definitely in the past tense.

(Something tells me I should have mentioned watching roller derby somewhere.)

What would you do with a million dollars?

Two ch... err, wait, this isn't Office Space!

Pay off my mortgage, give some to my church, and figure out what was left to try to convince my wife to move back to MT. ;)

What three people past or present would you invite to dinner?

I would avoid the great minds and leaders of history, like Lincoln and Churchill. I'd probably bore them to death, and how much could you really get out of them in one dinner? Those are people I'd want to be around for long periods of time, more in a learning role where I just listen and watch, to absorb what they have to offer.

So!

Mark Twain would be on the list because I think he'd be a riot. The dinner conversation would be so much more interesting than with other great men, and I'd probably end up with a dozen witty quotes and a few hilarious stories.

Leonardo da Vinci, because I'd love to show him what advances mankind has made. Wouldn't it be fun to see his reactions?

And Mark Knopfler, just to kick back and shoot the breeze about music and race cars.

What is your favorite quote?

'When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.' -- Mark Twain

Name something you'd like to do before you die.

I'd like to spend a few years meandering through Europe, seeing the sights and soaking up the cultures.

What's your favorite acronym?

WWCD. What would Conan do?

(That's the Barbarian, not the talk show guy.)

Who is your hero or heroine?

For a hero of character and leadership, not related to sports: Abraham Lincoln.

Sports-wise: Dan Marino.

If you could have any musical group or artist, past or present, play at your birthday party, who would it be?

Definitely Knopfler, preferably with his current band. (Bubba's Note: I bet you never saw THAT answer coming!)

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

I think teleporting would be a pretty cool ability to have. No more commute time, and I'd be able to see the world with a lot less hassle!

And the Zobmondo question:

Would you rather...

Always have to wear wet socks...

Or...

Always have to wear wet underwear?

Who comes up with these questions!? (Gimme Interrobangs!) I suppose wet socks, because wet undies would be much more gross. Hopefully I don't need to elaborate. Sickos!



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