What makes one developer stand out from another? Is it their communication skills and how much they reach out to the community? Is it their actions within their developer role? Is it simply how amiable they seem to be in public?
Perhaps it is all three of these, or perhaps it is none. Regardless of the answer, some devs definitely stick in our minds for one thing or another, and so, I am presenting this little tally as an experiment.
I have called it the hall of fame/infamy because not everyone on this list is remembered for their good deeds; I want to chronicle the good, the bad and the ugly. The list comprises of developers past and present, and could very well expand as time goes on.
TomB – Progenitor of the fabled Nerf Bat. Pronounced ‘Tom-Bee’, and hailing from a heady background of Quake 1 and many hours of slaughtering fine people and stealing their stuff in Ultima Online (I sometimes really miss the old days of UO, le sigh), he swung his bat without mercy.
Tuxford (@ccp_tuxford) – TomB ties us nicely to Tuxford (in a totally non-sexual way!), since in 2006 when TomB was promoted to Lead Designer for EVE, Tuxford inherited the fabled nerfbat. Unlike his forebear though, Tuxford’s fame stems from when he ‘accidentally the server’: http://community.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1232785 (see post #11 and #15).
T20 – It’s not all fun and games, as this guy proves. I actually wrote a paper on this for my degree, and its been frustrating me for years now that I can’t find the finished thing. Anyway, T20 is notorious because it was the first serious infraction (of which we are aware) of what I’ll call non-interference policy by a developer. There’s many layers to this story, but we can sum it up by saying that he did some bad things, and because the senior GMs were away, the juniors dished out punishment. Many – myself included – felt that punishment was not enough, but policy dictated that he could not be tried again for the same crime. All of this came to light after someone did some dodgy hacking, and as a by-product, many developers’ player characters were ousted. The resulting backlash from this led to CCP’s Internal Affairs division being formed and eventually the CSM’s inception. You can read more here: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/op-ed/847-Jumpgate-EVEs-Devs-and-the-Friends-They-Keep
Pann – Finally breaking the trail of ‘T’ devs. Pann/Valerie started out as the community manager for EVE. She later moved off to NCSoft for a few years before quietly returning to the CCP fold as a PR Manager. This in and of itself does not make her famous, but when the shit hit the fan in 2011 with the ‘greed is good’ fiasco, Valerie put her neck on the line – and while you may think that’s her job, we do have community teams and managers specifically for liaising with the community – by breaking the wall of silence and speaking out about the issue. I honestly cannot give her enough kudos for this. Anyone that has been around at the time of a massive failure-cascade for EVE knows that it would take much gumption and a hell of a lot of flame proof suits to make a post during difficult times. We only do it because we care, but sometimes we can be fucking mean. You can read more here: http://community.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1536065&page=1#1
Soundwave (@ktouborg) – From one piece in the ‘greed is good’ chapter to another. Before I say anything else, I want to preclude this by saying that I don’t like the guy. I find his humour inappropriate, and in general there’s something that just doesn’t sit right with me; there’s no rational reason for it. Soundwave was responsible for writing the greedy side of things in the leaked internal document in June 2011. A lot of the hatred towards him stems from this, but it really could have been anyone in the company that wrote it. It’s from an internal newsletter that’s typically intended to spark up debate about hot-button topics (such as micropayments) around the office. Yes, I still feel that the particular topic was approached incorrectly, but it’s not Soundwave’s fault for doing exactly what he was asked to do, and I think a lot of people get blinded by what they read; especially if it comes from a confirmed leak. In other areas, Soundwave is famous for being the face of EVE TV for at least 17 Alliance Tournaments.
Punkturis (@ccp_punkturis) – A refreshing wave of bubbly interactivity on Twitter, and a UI superstar, Katrina is well liked by the community from the days of Team BFF and her many contributions to making life in EVE just a little bit better.
ToriFrans (@torfiFrans) – One of the old guard of developers, and the guy that gets to present the coolest stuff (and simultaneously pronounce ‘cool’ in the coolest way – how cool is that!?). Everyone I know that has met him in person says he’s the nicest guy, and that comes across in everything he does. He’s like a nerd-god of some kind!
Oveur – Also plays Technoviking in the Permaband video for HTFU, and is notorious for his drunken antics and pink wig.
Hilmar (@hilmarveigar) – We can’t really forget this guy in the list. If there’s a list of successful gingers, he’s on it. If there were a list of successful ginger Vikings he’d be number one. Things that he says might not always be the correct thing to say at the time, but much like the community, he genuinely cares for the game, even if he is just a janitor.
Eris Discordia – She of the pink. Eris started out as a volunteer and worked as part of the forum moderation team back in the day. She was famed not only for her obsession with the colour pink, but her merciless tread-locking skills, as thekiller8 pointed out in his hilarious flash animation. Eris later went on to be a game designer for CCP. I don’t know if she still works there, but she was kinda cool! Rabble rabble rabble!
Dropbear – Anyone who knows anything at all about live events and their re-emergence prior to and during the Incursion period of EVE’s history will know who this guy is. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that disliked Dropbear, and I think that’s a testament to the passion he put into the world of New Eden. At the time of writing, he is on an extended hiatus from the company, but I know a lot of people really want him to come back!
So that’s my list! As I stated before, I’ll probably expand on this as I discover others that I’ve missed or (shamefully) forgotten. Who else would you have on this list?