Ver Versão Completa : Entrevista com Thunder (Relic CM)

01/09/2008, 19:48
Entrevista com Thunder (Relic Community Manager)


Fresh out of his first week at Relic, Community Manager Graham "Thunder" Somers was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions about himself, his job at Relic, and the community at large. Read below for the entire interview!

Let's start off with a brief introduction. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your position at Relic?

My name is Graham “Thunder” Somers, and I work at Relic as the Community Manager. I started work on the 18th of August here, having just gotten off the boat from Dallas, Texas where I was working for Ensemble Studios/Microsoft on the Age of Empires series and Halo Wars. I fell into this line of work when I was working on fan sites for games, and the first game that I worked on as Community Manager was Rise of Nations.

What are your favorite RTS games? And what is your favorite Relic game?

The original Age of Empires is definitely one of my favorite RTS games, as it was the first game that I played online a whole lot. I still have friends that I met while playing that game online and working on fan sites for that game. It really opened my eyes to the fun of multiplayer gaming and the influence that fans and fan sites can have. Age of Empires II and The Conquerors expansion were also fantastic.

As for my favorite Relic game, I’d have to say Company of Heroes at the moment. Dawn of War 2 is looking awesome though and I’ve been playing a fair bit of that in my first week to get caught up on how it’s coming along.

Just a side note: When I got back to Vancouver after having essentially been away for six years, I actually found a copy of the original Homeworld amongst my many possessions I had in storage here. It was in one of those giant PC game boxes that they don’t sell anymore. That was a pretty nostalgic find.

In your opinion, what is it that makes Company of Heroes such a fantastic experience?

I think it’s the complete package. It has awesome gameplay, amazing graphics, and the sound only adds to the immersion. The stories that the campaigns tell are also really well done, getting you into the historical timeframe, giving you a soldier’s level perspective, and making you think about the overall strategic situation too. It’s a polished game from top to bottom.

You’ve acted as community manager at both Big Huge Games and Ensemble Studios; two well known RTS devs. Is there something special about Relic and their games that made you want to join the team there?

I’ve had huge respect for Relic as a game development company ever since Homeworld. I still remember seeing Dawn of War at E3 and being blown away by it. Then, when I was wondering where the bar might get raised to next, they release Company of Heroes. Who wouldn’t want to work for a company like that?

Another big draw for me was actually the fact that Relic located in Vancouver, which is where I’m from, and they’re one of those developers that sees the fan community as something that is really important and worth investing time in. It’s evident by just talking to the team or seeing the resources that they’re devoting to support for their games through patching and other means.

You’ve managed several different RTS communities…does the Relic community, from what you’ve seen so far, differ or stand out from them in any way?

It’s hard to say at this point. I guess the diversity is something that’s unique. There are the Homeworld fans, Dawn of War fans, and the Company of Heroes fans. Those are all RTS games, but they’re on such a broad range of topics and settings, I think it’s amazing that a developer attracted so many fans from that broad range.

Likewise, does the environment at Relic differ too? Other than the fact that there is a Sherman tank in the lobby, of course.

I was in an office, meaning in a room with a door, at the other two companies I worked at. Usually I was sharing my office with someone else but Relic has an open floor plan. That means that there aren’t really any walls, you’re sitting in the open and can see a lot of the people on your team. The idea is to increase communication, which it certainly seems to do since you’re generally sitting around people you need to talk to and you’re within shouting distance of almost anyone you’d need.

Relic is also the biggest company I’ve worked for in terms of the number of people. I was hire number thirty-something at Big Huge Games, although they’ve grown a lot since I left, and Ensemble had a little over one hundred employees. Relic has a hundred and seventy plus employees so learning everyone’s name is going to be impossible!

Now that you are with Relic, do you have any community events or initiatives planned, such as dev chats or game-related competitions?

Not at this time, but that’s certainly something I’ll be working on in the future.

I really like doing developer chats. It’s generally not a lot of work to bring the developers and community together in a direct way like that. The only tough part is finding a good place to hold such chats where it won’t turn into a crazy free for all. I remember going to quite a number of Ensemble chats on the old MSN Gaming Zone where they took questions about Age II. They were always a lot of fun.

What is CoH: Tales of Valor? (Just kidding!)

Good question! This showed up as a product on Amazon.com on my first day of work, which was really exciting because I didn’t know what the heck it was either. Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor is the non-finalized title to some upcoming content for Company of Heroes. It wasn’t meant to be released or made available yet since the title isn’t finalized.

You’ll hear more about it in the future.


We'd like to thank Graham for this interview. Even though it was only his second week at Relic, he answered all of our questions about the community, what he does, and even clarifies what Tales of Valor is, all while learning the ropes at Relic. Thanks, Graham!

01/09/2008, 19:50
Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor is the non-finalized title to some upcoming content for Company of Heroes.

o que será? :lol:

02/09/2008, 10:40
GOOD! :up:

mas os cara s~çao sacana tb qrem deixar o público com sede pra se atracar no copo d'água