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Spotlight On Dartenian

SGM Dartenian - Overlord of Systems

"Imagine the trouble I could get into with the Allseeing Eye of Agomotto and Crimson Bands of Cytorrak!"

Spotlight On Staff Home

Co-Worker's Not-So-Candid Quotes

"I had never met such an unassuming vibrantly intelligent, friendly, helpful, truly nice person in my entire life before I met Dartenian, back when we were both players. I have never, not for one moment, had any reason to change that opinion; indeed, it is reinforced with every contact. Be it in person, in print, on the phone, wherever, about his work or mine or over an idea or difference of viewpoint, he is always polite, pleasant and willing to examine all the sides and seek an amicable solution. Which he does! Sheer genius. We are ever so fortunate to have him onboard."

"If you ever need anything from information on something technical, to advice on how to execute a swing dance properly, Dartenian is your man, I think he knows just about everything and he's always willing to share!"

"He is great to work with, great to know and is one of the nicest people I know. What makes him even more wonderful is that he truly understands what makes gaming fun and shares that information with us all so we can become better at what we do. He does this in a way that is modest and easy to understand and he is always willing to help when there are hiccups. A comment we hear commonly is 'If only we could clone Dartenian' and really what better compliment could anyone get?"

"When the chips are down, you can always count on him to dig in and offer a possible solution. He's a real asset to the team."

"Dartenian is an amazing person and GM. He has an extremely intuitive grasp of balance and tirelessly champions for more fun and less repetitive improvements to our game. Not only that, his attitude is basically always as positive as his name implies, and he's a genuinely funny guy too. I don't think I could ask for a better person to be my development boss."

"I've worked with this gentleman a long time...and there isn't a better person to have around in a pinch. He's nice, funny… and smarter then anyone person has a right to be."

"The stuff of legends. Everything he touches comes out better than it was, and he easily inspires the same creativity in others' projects. I've never known a bad idea to come out of working with him -- if something needs tweaking, he explains clearly WHY and offers ways to still accomplish the end result. Can I have a whole page to gush more? No? Ok, well...he's great and we'd be lost without him. "

"Dartenian's great sense of humor comes through in every event that he runs."

"Dartenian is always cheerful, kind and encouraging. He's willing to the extra mile for anyone and is one of the kindest people I know."

"He is always there for a helping hand and lending ideas, advice or help to any that request it. His drive is never ending as he plows through all he can. The protector of Gnomish-kind and the defender of the Kaldarian rights! He is the person you want in your corner when you’re wrestling with a problem and losing the battle!"

"Dartenian is amazing. I don't think I've seen him daunted by any project that was set before him. I want to be him when I grow up. A long, long time from now."

"Dartenian is *always* there when I have a question, and works with the entire dev team with poise and precision. I couldn't ask for a more skilled Dev Manager."

"Is there anything about the game that Dartenian doesn't know? I haven't found it yet if there is."

"Dartenian has a certain quality that makes you desperately want his approval. I've seen GMs pulling all-nighters working on obscure code without a break just so that Dartenian will say, "Good job!" I'm pretty sure that elusive quality is called "leadership"!"

"Dartenian is the most amazing coworkers I've ever had. He's helpful, patient, painfuly smart, and an all around outstanding guy. We're all better GMs with him around."

"My savior! Smart guy, always willing to help out. The Go To Guy when something goes horribly, horribly wrong."

"Dedicated, determined, dependable."

"He's so much fun to work with; knowledgeable, dedicated, and just an incredible asset to DR. He's faced down some pretty prickly tangled code and managed to beat it into some form of submission - while being a gentle, sweet spirit to those of us working here, even when wading through RL situations that would have been enough to knock the joy out of anyone. He's a true blessing."

I was born and raised on the western slope of the Colorado Rockies and live there still. I was a geology major once upon a time, although I took so many side classes that I never quite finished my degree. Sometimes I regret it, although I don't regret all the amazing things I learned by just taking every class that sounded neat -- which was almost all of them. Over the years I've worked in a wide variety of traditional jobs like delivering newspapers on a unicycle, putting on magic shows for seniors and children in low income housing areas, and volunteer work like performing dance music for seniors and doing both field and lab work in the field of paleontology. Oh, and I've also done retail and food service. Sometimes both at the same time!

I've always been something of jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none, and I think my time as a Gamemaster in DragonRealms is a clear indication of that. I first discovered DragonRealms back in the AOL days, but did not follow it to the web until about 6-7 months later. A series of bad experiences discouraged me, so I quit again until the Platinum instance opened. I gave that a try, and the rest is history. Eventually I was hired as a Platinum Events GM, and soon after became the official unofficial Bard developer and Gnome & Kaldar Champion. After a couple of years in those positions, GM Ssra asked me to join the Systems team to work on Lore and then Magic. Not long after, I became a Systems ASGM and soon after that the Systems SGM. For the past year now I've been heading up DragonRealms development, and thoroughly enjoy the job. Why? Because right now we have an incredibly talented staff that works extremely well together. Even though we've recently lost some incredible GMs, I am extremely optimistic about the future.

Where were you born?

In a valley on the western slope of Colorado.

Where do you currently live?

On a mountain overlooking a valley on the western slope of Colorado.

Do you have any pets/kids/both?

Nana, the world's friendliest border collie.

What is your current occupation?

Deli Associate

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

Paleontologist or Magician. That was after I found out superhero and knight in shining armor weren't generally considered valid career options.

Favorite TV shows?

I quit watching TV around two decades ago. When I was a kid, it was Land of the Lost, Star Trek, and various sci-fi/horror series like Twilight Zone, Dark Shadows, Night Gallery, Creature Features, and the Outer Limits.

Favorite actors/actresses?

Jackie Chan, Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, John Wayne

Favorite musicians/bands?

Anything pre-1970, particularly 20s to early 70s

Favorite books/authors?

Stephen King (It, Bag of Bones, and The Stand being favorites), Poe, Dickens, James Michener, Robert Aspirin, Homer, Tolkien

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

Mesa State, majoring in Geology but went seriously overboard in Anthropology, Math, Physics, and English. I never could learn enough.

Favorite/least favorite job you've ever had?

Favorite job (albeit purely volunteer) was paleontological field work. Least favorite was fast food at Der Wienerschnitzel

Favorite hobbies?

All my hobbies are my favorite while I'm doing them! They include (but are hardly limited to) magic, random instrument playing, unicycle riding, stargazing, hiking, traveling, role-playing, reading, writing, and learning in general. Any given month I probably have 2-3 other HotM (hobbies of the month) as well.

Favorite foods?

Potatoes. Fry 'em, mash 'em, bake 'em, I like 'em.

Favorite board games or computer games?

For board games, Risk, Stratego and Sorry, unless you want to count Trivial Pursuit, which I definitely love. For computer games, Baldur's Gate Trilogy, Civilization, Pirates (and most anything else by Sid), Railroad Tycoon.

Favorite sports/sports teams?

Can't stand watching sports -- sports are to be played, not watched! With that said, I love a good game of volleyball as long as I'm participating, not just watching.

What would you do with a million dollars?

Probably go on vacation. One long, long, long vacation.

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

Lewis, Clark, and Sacajawea. I'd love to hear a first-hand account of their travels.

What is your favorite quote?

I love quotes, and have quite a collection. I'm not sure I could pick a favorite, but if I had to pick the one that I've always found myself falling back on when the going gets tough, it's a simple line of lyrics written by Irving Berlin and sung by Fred Astaire. "Let's face the music and dance." Words to live by.

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

Discover the secret of immortality. Failing that, visit all 7 continents. I'll even settle for 6 -- I hear Antarctica is kind of cold.

What's your favorite acronym?

K.I.S.S. Which probably says a lot about my approach to DR development.

Who is your hero or heroine?

No way I could pick just one person. There are simply far too many heroes (and heroines) in the world, both past and present. But I think I'd have to nominate my immediate family as top contenders. They done alright by me.

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

After seeing how she did for JFK, I'd have to say Marilyn Monroe. She can sing happy birthday to me any ol' time. On a more serious note, I'd probably say Eddie Cantor, as strange as that sounds.

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

Sorcerer Supreme ala Doctor Strange. I mean, he can do almost anything given the time, correct faux Latin lingo, and proper wardrobe. Flying, astral projection, bolts of eldritch energy, force fields, and the most important power of all, being able to call on powers like the Winds of Watoomb with dignity and gravity, let alone a straight face. Besides, imagine the trouble I could get into with the Allseeing Eye of Agomotto and Crimson Bands of Cytorrak!

And the Zobmondo question:

Would you rather...

Face an attacking grizzly bear armed with a guitar made from solid maple...

Or...

a saxophone?

That would probably depend on whether it was me or the grizzly that was armed with the guitar. Either way, I think I'd rather face the grizzly. If I have the guitar, I'm fairly sure I could chase the grizzly off by playing, especially if I sing along at the same time. If the grizzly is the one armed with the guitar, he can probably be reasoned with, or at least invited to head down to the local honky tonk to settle it over a few beers. But a sax? Man, you never know where those things have been.


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