Friday with Means - May 6th, 2011: Thank you and farewell to Metaing
Looking forward and back this week, Means and the AO team bid farewell to one of their own, offering a small teaser of some of the incoming birthday content and putting out the call for someone new to join the team!
Way, way back in 2007 a brilliant man, Michael Jensen who we all know as "Metaing", took a break from his career as a processor architect to indulge his passion for Anarchy Online and bring his significant help to the project. On Metaing's first day he was able to suggest more efficient ways of developing our encounters and tweaking our systems. I remember thinking how lucky we were to have someone this sharp interested in helping us and again marveled at the world of Anarchy Online and how the players would pull together and do anything to preserve and improve that world.
Metaing's presence was immediately felt as he very quickly gained proficiency in our tools and even began to work on code improvements. At first (as lead designer at the time) I would approve the tasks/issues he was interested in handling one at a time..and as he ended up spending an inordinate amount of time at my desk I realized I was only slowing him down. I'm reasonably certain Metaing removed more than 1000 issues from Anarchy Online that would have bugged us every day since in his first year with the project alone. Some very visible Metaing additions would be adjustments/improvements to pet behaviour, changes to the pet window and the creation of the Tradeskill slider...other improvements to AO made by him are simply too numerous to mention but I can assure you that you probably can't play for an evening without enjoying the benefit of something he fixed. 1000's of small things that people from launch remember less than fondly no longer happen because of the tireless efforts of this man. The creative out of the box thinking he brought to the project he also passed on to future designers like Lindelu and Genele spending considerable time in developing their skills for the future of the project. We are extremely grateful for the time Michael spent with us, and now as he looks to return to his previous profession we wish him enormous success and prosperity. We hope to catch him on Test Server now and then when he finds time to visit :)
Any difficulties or adversity he faces he can now smile calmly to himself and think "This is nothing...I worked on Anarchy Online".
With the sad departure of Metaing we have some enormous shoes to fill here on the team and will be looking for someone to help us bring AO through the next ten years. Contact me on the forums for details on how to apply. Applicants must have time and space, mild megalomania and have a cape.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Colin "Means" Cragg
Game Director, Anarchy Online