Guild Chat - Episode 73

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Guild Chat - Episode 73

The following is an unofficial, player-written transcript of the episode. The accuracy of this transcription has not been verified by ArenaNet.

The 73rd episode of Guild Chat aired on September 21, 2018. Guest host Elisabeth Cardy interviews some of the developers involved in the A Star to Guide Us release.

Da-Hee, Erik, and Samantha [6:37][edit]

Elisabeth, Da-Hee, Erik, Samantha

Elisabeth Cardy: Hello. Welcome to Guild Chat. I'm Lis. I am not Rubi, who is your normal host. She's home sick today, so we are all sending her healing well-wishes. In the meantime, we still have a really cool show for you. We're gonna be talking about Season Four, Episode Four of Living World, which went live earlier this week. It's called "A Star to Guide Us", and I'm joined by actually six devs today; we're gonna take 'em in packs of threes. Why don't you go ahead and introduce yourselves.

Da-Hee Im: Sure. I'm Da-Hee. I'm a cinematics animator. I was, in the beginning of this episode, also on the Live Animation Team, which works on more of the end game, like player or creature animations.

Elisabeth: Very cool.

Erik Fagerstrom: I also have no idea where to look. So, all of you, I'm Erik Fagerstrom. I'm a content programmer. I do a little bit of coding as we need it for design, and then I do design stuff, mostly boss fights on this episode. Yep. Yeah, that's how we do it, is it?

Samantha Wallschlaeger: Yeah.

Erik: All right.

Samantha: I'm Samantha. I'm a narrative designer, and I was the lead writer on this episode.

Elisabeth: Perfect. Rubi will never let me do this again.

Erik: That's right, now you're right. Totally, totally.

Elisabeth: Feel free to just have a conversation. The cameras aren't even there.

Erik: Yeah. I told them that.

Elisabeth: There's nobody watching this. It's super fine.

Samantha: Zero people.

Elisabeth: So we released an episode, and there's a lot that goes into it, and one of the things that we really like to do with shows like this is kind of talk about a little bit of a pulling back the curtain, letting people see some of the behind the scenes, maybe some of the wackier stories that go on leading up to development. But also I think it's a good opportunity for us to acknowledge the hardships we go through. Because, for example, I know that there's a spider in this episode. Oh, before we get into it, that is a spoiler there are spiders in this episode.

Spoiler Alert!
SPOILER ALERT!: [klaxon sound effect]

Elisabeth: This Guild Chat is full of spoilers. If you haven't played through the story, and wanna make sure you have that pristine experience, don't watch this. We're gonna spoil stuff. Cool? Also, we're gonna be collecting questions to answer at the end of each of our sections of hosts, so feel free to put 'em in chat, and we may or may not, but maybe answer them. Anyway, so there are spiders.

Erik: There are spiders. A lot of spiders.

Elisabeth: And you spent like two months staring at these spiders.

Erik: Yeah, it's a long time. And so, you know, reading player reactions for all the people who are like, "Man, I hate spiders, why did you do this?" Well, I feel ya, 'cause I was lookin' at a really big spider for a long time. Yeah, and there are a lot. I work closely with Kirk—you'll see him later—on the spider boss, and it was a tricky fight 'cause it wanted to accomplish a lot of different things. We wanted to, y'know, do the different braziers quickly, so how could we do that? And we wanted to capture this feel of being scared and in the dark, and we wanted Braham to have meaningful things to do. So we iterated a lot and had different mechanics where we sent him around. But that felt kind of micro-managey. And we settled on this mounting thing that we use the mount tech to get the spider to grab you and haul you around. It was a blast! I think it came out, it was... there's a lot of moving parts, and it took a long time to get it kinda bulletproof, but, I don't know, I had a good time with it.

Elisabeth: And one of the things that I think people don't necessarily understand is that as you're building things, it's not full assets from the day one, right?

Erik: No. No, it is not. Yeah, we use a lot of placeholders because we don't wanna get bottlenecked on art, and we wanna know quickly if something's not really working. So, like, for the mounting that was the big tech question: Can we get you mounted on this spider in its mouth looking like something different? So there's the question of can we get you mounted on it, can we transform you, and even though you're technically, like, combined with the spider at that point. So we had a placeholder where you're a jelly. You look like a little-

Elisabeth: Like a little ooze?

Erik: Yeah, a little ooze, you're the yellow ooze kinda just like sque- yeah. We also needed to make sure that if there were multiple players in the instance, they could go grab all of you. So, to simulate lots a people, I needed a really visually-arresting image, so I had little Super Adventure Box princesses. And I didn't make the full characters so they, in our test program they shout, they're like, "I don't have any skills! I don't have any skills!" And then they're grabbed and hauled away. And I think, to make sure the grab so we could see it, we don't always have like print statements, so we use effects. So I had a nuclear explosion with a little SAB again. Yeah, so they would shout about having no skills, and then explode, and they get carried away. Sorry, princesses. To all: many princesses were harmed in the making of this spider fight.

Elisabeth: So many princesses.

Erik: I apologize.

Samantha: That's what that temp text was...

Erik: Uh, yeah. Sorry.

Samantha: I was looking. I was like, "What is 'I have no skills'? What am I supposed to do with this?"

Erik: Yeah, it's bitkin[verification requested] so you know if you put a character in that can't do anything, but I didn't want them to do anything. Except explode and get carried away, so, you know, they did their job.

Samantha: I learned something today.

Da-Hee: Every time we have a fire alarm here now, that's what I'm gonna say: "I have no skills!"

Erik: I have no skills!

Samantha: I have no skills!

Da-Hee: That's amazing. Actually. Oh, sorry.

Elisabeth: Go for it.

Da-Hee: So I came here as an intern like... God, six or seven months ago? Weird. And my boss at the time, he was like, "Okay, I can start you off on a couple things. Like, you can work on the Largos or the sand shark or the spiders." And I was like, "Well, I can tell you which one of those I'm definitely not gonna work on and that is the spiders."

Erik: Welcome to my world.

Da-Hee: But yeah, he did not make me work on spiders 'cause he's a good, kind boss.

Erik: Well, you get used to it a little bit, but it's still gross all the way through.

Da-Hee: Yeah.

Erik: When they're jumping... There's actually a mechanic most players haven't hit 'cause they kill the little ones too fast, but they will jump on to you and Braham, which I thought was legit that he would freak out at that point.

Elisabeth: Absolutely.

Erik: So I'm like come on Braham, get with it. I mean these are like basketball-sized spiders, we're just like hit, click.

Da-Hee: Oh, my God.

Da-Hee: God.

Elisabeth: I would freak out.

Erik: Yeah, it was pretty rough. So getting that to work, repeatedly trying this thing, just like all right spiders, jump me, like that's... Go home, and what did you do today? Well, I got jumped by spiders... All day.

Elisabeth: Repeatedly.

Erik: Repeatedly. It was great.

Da-Hee: Giant spiders...

Samantha: So you mentioned Braham. Part of the reason I made him afraid of spiders in this episode... So, partly to characterize him a little better, but the other part is because our design director, when we pitched the episode to him, he... Every time the spiders came up, he would just be like *shudder* *shudder*.

Erik: Yeah, he's not a fan.

Samantha: And, so I was like, "Yeah, we're gonna, we're gonna put that in the game. We're just gonna put him... His fear will fuel me."

Elisabeth: Roy Farn's[verification requested] gonna port that in.

Erik: It kinda worked every... Like, it worked to humanize Braham a little bit, 'cause we get him his arc, and it worked for game mechanics, so we give him something to do. I mean, when we were just kind of ordering him around, he felt like a turret. It was weird.

Samantha: Yeah.

Erik: But when he's scared and "awwww".

Elisabeth: "Buddy."

Erik: And at the end when he's like, "I'm not, and Rox always just does the spiders..." People love that, they're like, "Awwwww..." And I feel like it gives the players and their squick, their like ewwwww, a voice. Braham gets to voice that, even if the Commander doesn't. So I thought it worked out really well. I wasn't sure, and at the end it's like "Oh, there it is."

Samantha: Well, and Sam Riegel did it so well.

Erik: Sam did it so well.

Samantha: All of his little shudder sounds were so good.

Erik: When we went from robo-voice to not, especially when the first spiders, they show up before the braziers, but the center one, and he just goes, "Oh, come on!"

Elisabeth: He really killed that performance.

Erik: Nice.

Samantha: Yeah.

Erik: That was really good. Yeah.

Samantha: Yeah.

Elisabeth: And you talked about... So you started here as an intern.

Da-Hee: Yeah.

Elisabeth: And I remember a story from you saying that essentially there was kind of maybe a moment of premonition about your move to the Cinematics team?

Da-Hee: Oh, yeah. So the story behind that is on my first day here, my boss, Chuck, he took me around the whole studio, introduced me to a bunch of people; it was awesome. And then the very last stop we made was by Cinematics, which is the team I'm on now. And while I was there, Chelsea[verification requested], my current boss, was like, "Oh, yeah, so I heard you do storyboarding too." Like, "Oh, that's interesting.", and Chuck immediately was like, "All right, we're going now. You're not allowed to steal her!" And, long story short, I'm on Chelsea's team now.

Elisabeth: You got stole.

Samantha: Somebody stole you.

Elisabeth: Yeah.

Da-Hee: Yeah.

Erik: Yoink.

Da-Hee: It was very sweet that they were, like, kinda fighting over me. Always great to feel wanted, right?

Erik: That's like, awwww.

Elisabeth: Yeah.

Da-Hee: But yeah, it was a good time. It was a good time.

Elisabeth: Very cool. And obviously the cinematics are a huge collaboration between that team and Narrative. And this episode had a lot of really heavy-hitting cinematic work to do.

Samantha: Yeah... Yeah...

Elisabeth: Do we wanna dig into that at all? Again, spoiler warnings. If you haven't played that segment, you really don't wanna watch this.

SPOILER ALERT!: [klaxon sound effect]

Samantha: There's a couple of sads in there.

Elisabeth: Yeah!

Da-Hee: Yeah.

Samantha: Yeah.

Elisabeth: I occasionally go to the kind of work-in-progress reviews because, y'know, we have marketing trailers and stuff like that, and I remember the first time we actually started to see even just super-still images of those last two cinematics—just being gutted.

Samantha: Yeah... Yeah....

Elisabeth: I know that you were kind... You were the lead... You were kind of involved in writing stuff.

Samantha: Just a little, yeah.

Elisabeth: Little bit. So tell me about bringing that out, and, like, groveling in those feelings.

Samantha: So, I always like to joke to people that the key to writing emotional scenes is to bottle up your own emotions for a long time, and then let them all come out like you write.

Erik: Right, so we "Does this hurt? Yeah, it does. This must be great."

Samantha: That's only half a joke... But actually, so I really wanted to explore in this episode the different ways that people grieve, and so I used a lot of people that I know in real life, and when I've seen them go through grief, the different ways that they process it. And so I used that a lot for the different characters and stuff. And it was interesting because I had to completely lock down the script for the cinematics long before the rest of the script. So I had to nail it really quickly and then write a lot of other things around it. It was an interesting way to write.

Erik: I mean, yeah. I think that's the thing probably players don't see the most is our weird schedule that like ah, if, you know, this is taken from that, or this doesn't connect really. I'm just like well, yeah, you had to plan way in advance. And so when it does work, it's a minor miracle, but nobody knows that, and like, "Of course it works."

Samantha: Yeah.

Erik: That is right.

Da-Hee: Right, people just assume that everything is linear, right? Like, you start from scene one and you keep going.

Erik: Right.

Elisabeth: Just work on it 'til it's done.

Erik: You just go until scene two.

Da-Hee: And that's super not. Like, for instance, spoiler, spoiler warning. Oh my gosh, so the Aurene's Fate cutscene. That was started like literally half a year ago.

Elisabeth: Yeah.

Da-Hee: I think, yeah. It was a long time ago because that's more of our painterly, illustrated cutscene style, and it takes a lot of work to do. So yeah, that scene was, like, we started it, and there was just no way that it was gonna... like the core of it could change, so everything around it had to be written as you were describing.

Erik: Yeah, it's sort of has to be locked.

Samantha: I think, if I remember correctly, that cinematic started being worked on before I even wrote a single word of dialogue.

Elisabeth: I would believe that.

Samantha: Yeah.

Da-Hee: Yeah. Convenient that there wasn't any dialogue in that cutscene.

Samantha: Convenience... I don't know how that is.

Erik: I mean, well, I gotta imagine that made it hard too. When they pitched it, and I was like uh, is that gonna... Like, if that doesn't get conveyed, if we have players don't get it, this is gonna be a bomb.

Da-Hee: Yeah.

Erik: And then, when I was watching people play it, they immediately got it, I was "Oh, good."

Da-Hee: It was a long and hard process to make sure that people understood that "Oh, it is Aurene seeing herself die over and over again." It took a lot of time to nail it, so.

Erik: Well, I for one would like to say it goosebumps me every time.

Elisabeth: Yeah.

Erik: Like when I go watch through, y'know, when you a watch a stream or something you cut through the kind of the people just chatting, whatever, but there's certain moments I always watch like, "Okay, how are they gonna handle this one?" And that is like the number one for me to see people ruined. I'm like, "Good, 'cause that's how I felt."

Elisabeth: Yeah, I want like a master cut of reaction videos.

Erik: Yeah, reaction people watching this-

Da-Hee: "People React to Aurene Watching Herself Die".

Erik: Yeah.

Elisabeth: It's wholesome. It's content for the whole family, really.

Samantha: Yeah.

Erik: Yep, yeah.

Da-Hee: Exactly.

Elisabeth: Absolutely. And so, in addition to kind of all that work, one of the things that we have been talking about a lot recently, and have been kind of living out as we ship episodes, is kind of making sure that we're continually improving systems and stuff. Obviously Episode Three had a really big visible one with the roller beetle, but there was some shiny new tech that I believe you were directly responsible for, which is the Impostor system.

Erik: Oh, yeah, yeah...

Samantha: Yeah, yeah.

Erik: Yeah, that's right.

Elisabeth: Which is where Blish appears in the open world to you the player as Blish, and everyone else just sees this cute little prairie dog following along behind you.

Erik: Yeah, so the idea was just to have an open world NPC that was key to the story, and we didn't really have that. It shows up in other games, and it was like it'd be a really nice tool to have so you're not having to constantly go to some place where somebody's standing still. We were worried about making them invisible to everybody who wasn't on the step, 'cause if we lose track of them in the scripts or something, if something goes wrong, we could like leak a lot of memory, and like the game slowly dies... repeatedly, we don't know what's happening. So, don't do that. So we came up with this: All right, well we'll have just ... It's basically just a transform, like when you get turned into jellies or the egg sac. Why. That same tech, but have it look different for one person as opposed to everybody. And I didn't know... like, we kinda had it in, we were working on the script side of it to make sure that it worked and cleaned up correctly, and I just forgot about it. And I didn't know that they picked a prairie dog. It's like "Man, there's a lot of prairie dogs in this. Man, what is happening? That one really likes to run wherever Connor's going." And "Oh, they picked a prairie..." So there's, there's like a screenshot of me like, "Wait, is Blish a prairie dog?" And yeah, okay, so it seemed to come off okay. I was kinda surprised of the reaction; I thought people just wouldn't even notice, like "Oh, yeah, my quest person's with me." But people are like, "Wait, what? Blish... Wait, what? Oh, let's go Blish! Let's do this!"

Elisabeth: And now little buddy, follow me along.

Erik: A little buddy robot. It was great. So yeah, it wasn't ... It didn't end up being that hard, but we looked at a lot of different options that were really hard, and it was like well, we can maybe do this transform thing. So as long as we prairie, hide him in a prairie dog it works fine.

Samantha: Is that the same tech as the one that you used for when you go into the mushroom place, and you stand outside of it, people are fighting invisible enemies, and you can't see what they're fighting?

Erik: That's.. Hmmmm.. I don't know, I didn't make that area.

Samantha: 'Cause I, I really like-

Erik: Connor's shaking his head no. I think it was just Blish that we used this for, right? You know, I suspect it will get used again. It's just a nice tool to have.

Samantha: Oh, yeah.

Erik: I don't know. The mushroom area, I feel like all bets are off, and it's just insanity. That's what I feel like. That's all I know about the mushroom area.

Samantha: It actually did come from another world. We didn't actually make it.

Erik: Yeah, we didn't make it.

Da-Hee: We, yeah, we didn't make it, actually.

Samantha: Yeah.

Erik: We were just, yes.

Elisabeth: We just opened that code up to the to the universe.

Erik: Yes. A voice: "behold!"

Samantha: It appeared one day, and we just decided to put it in the game.

Elisabeth: Blish's Impostor system actually led to one of my favorite commit lines and I don't remember it word for word, but it was something along the lines of "Made Blish immortal and also a prairie dog." Secret immortal prairie dog god.

Erik: Yep.

Da-Hee: I'm just saying they did a hell of a job making Blish immortal.

Elisabeth: Absolutely.

Da-Hee: Like, whoever wrote that commit...

Erik: Yeah. Well, I mean you can't have him die in the open world, and, y'know...

Da-Hee: Right.

Elisabeth: Absolutely.

Erik: But yeah.

Samantha: Except, you know, spoilers...

Elisabeth: I mean, you can't have him die in the open world.

SPOILER ALERT!: [klaxon sound effect]

Da-Hee: Ahhhhh...

Erik: The instances... you never know... It's all fine...

Elisabeth: Way too soon to that one.

Samantha: Too soon. RIP.

Erik: I hate you.

Samantha: Thank you!

Erik: Thank you.

Samantha: That's kinda my goal in writing is to make everyone feel pain.

Erik: Yeah, it's like, "All right. Mission accomplished."

Da-Hee: What a nice compliment.

Elisabeth: Absolutely.

Da-Hee: Right, just be like, "How dare you."

Samantha: Yeah.

Da-Hee: But it's really interesting that you brought up that you didn't expect people to notice it and just kinda like play the game. I've been playing through the base game recently, and then hopping onto Path of Fire to help friends with whatever content. And I don't realize it when I'm playing the base game and just kinda like running through the motions over and over again, but when you do encounter something different, even if it's only, like, really slightly different, you're like, "Oh, whoa, this is different."

Erik: Yeah, people pick up on it.

Da-Hee: It's not just me like rolling my face on the keyboard and just trying to, like, not die on my very squishy mesmer.

Erik: No, it's fair. Yeah. I definitely feel like you know, I missed a lot of forest for a lotta trees, and there are times like "nobody will notice this," everybody notices. And there's some times like, "Oh, god, can we get away with this?" And, like, I guess we did...

Da-Hee: Yeah. Shhhh...

Erik: Like, so I have terrible perspective.

Elisabeth: Why would you mention that here?

Erik: No, there's no flaws. There's no bugs. Well, there's one spider. There's actually a lot of spiders, but other than that, there's no bugs.

Elisabeth: There a lot of arachnids but no bugs.

Samantha: Oh, my God.

Erik: You're welcome.

Samantha: Get out.

Erik: You can hate me.

Samantha: Get out.

Elisabeth: Also it's fun because of course there are actual prairie dogs in that map.

Erik: Yeah.

Elisabeth: And I was horrified the first time I saw someone zap one. I was like, "Oh, no! My little buddy!"

Da-Hee: Oh, you poor thing. [verification requested] Blish.

Erik: Yeah, Jeff added 'em in, and so, like, and the vultures I think will get 'em too.

Da-Hee: Oh!

Elisabeth: Oh, no.

Erik: So we're ... So yeah.

Samantha: So vultures eat them?

Da-Hee: Oh, my god...

Erik: Yeah, so it's like once you know you're like, "Did Blish... What happened to Blish? He's fine, right?"

Elisabeth: We have simulated a beautiful spot.

Samantha: He's just an ecosystem sim now.

Elisabeth: It's very good.

Erik: Yeah.

Elisabeth: Yeah. Absolutely. And then there's a little mourning service where the other prairie dogs come out.

Da-Hee: No...

Samantha: Do they really?

Elisabeth: No.

Da-Hee: What the hell?

Erik: Hahaha! I hope not.

Elisabeth: I'm so sorry... I'm so sorry.

Da-Hee: What the! What are we doing?! Oh, my gosh...

Elisabeth: And you also worked on the very last cinematic. Is that correct?

Da-Hee: Yeah.

Elisabeth: On Caithe's return?

Da-Hee: Mmmhmmm. Yeah.

Elisabeth: Which is fun because that's a new character coming back. I mean, for the first time in a while, at least. And she's a very significant character with a lot of implications with our past.

Da-Hee: Yeah, yeah.

Elisabeth: No pressure, right?

Da-Hee: I mean honestly, when I started, it was no pressure, 'cause I had it, like... I don't know, my brain just, like, didn't realize how important she had been in the previous seasons, so I was like, "Oh, yeah, it's just Caithe," and like, "Yeah whatever; she's back, I guess." And then every time I told someone else at the studio who isn't super in tune with what's going on with the story all the time that I was animating her, and they were like, "Wait, what?! Like, Caithe? I thought we got rid of her." And I was like, "Oh, I guess people do care that she's back." So at that point I was like, "Uhhhhh, I should probably look back at old cinematics that had her, and what her character was like, and just kinda revisit who she is as a person." It turns out who she is as a person is very similar to the kinds of characters I enjoy animating anyways.

Elisabeth: Perfect.

Da-Hee: So I was like, all right.

Elisabeth: You're a natural for it. And who she is a person is very enigmatic. You get, like, one line there to make her return pay off.

Da-Hee: Yeah. That was...

Erik: No pressure.

Da-Hee: None! That was a really long and hard process of, like ... No, literally we were like two or three weeks before we had to finish up her animation, and we had someone come by and be like, "Oh, yeah, by the way, I didn't... I feel like she's not working." And we're like "What?!" And it was someone whose feedback we couldn't ignore, right? Not that we ignore anyone's feedback...

Erik: Good save. Nobody saw that. Nobody noticed.

Da-Hee: We always like take feedback and go and evaluate it, and say, "Can we do this? Can we address it? Is it gonna serve our purpose?" And their feedback was good, and it... But we just were like, "Well, how can we do what you are asking us to do, and still make it work with like two weeks left of this animation?" So, yeah, it was difficult to make Caithe's appearance be true to her character, and work with the story, and all this stuff. But yeah, I'm excited to keep seeing her. Maybe.

Elisabeth: Maybe. For you, Samantha, obviously you touched, y'know, parts along through the whole episode. What was either like a defining moment for you, or the part that you had the most fun with, aside from, you know, drinking people's bottled emotions?

Samantha: Yeah, that's, I mean that's always my favorite.

Elisabeth: The sweet, sweet tears, yeah.

Samantha: Yeah. I think my favorite was probably writing dialogue for when the player enters the mushroom area and experiences an alteration of their consciousness a little bit.

Erik: And a spoiler alert, it's fine. They got like a unicorn buff, it's great.

Samantha: And we learned a completely canon and factual fact about Rytlock.

Erik: I had no idea that was in there until release. And the reactions, man...

Samantha: It was very important that everyone knows.

Elisabeth: Absolutely. That is a foundational truth of the Guild Wars 2 universe now.

Samantha: Yeah.

Erik: But whatever he's doing is working. It's very soft.

Samantha: I like to think that he uses Argan oil.

Erik: Okay. Together.

Elisabeth: That sold me on it as, as a.. yeah.

Samantha: Yeah. That's what I use, so...

Elisabeth: Perfect.

Da-Hee: Oh, there ya go.

Samantha: It's a connecting feature between us.

Elisabeth: It's putting a little bit of yourself in the characters.

Samantha: Yeah.

Elisabeth: Yeah, yeah, that's really good. It gives 'em that, that touch of liveliness. Absolutely.

Samantha: Yeah, yep. And hearing like the player character's voice actors record that section in the booth was the best experience I've ever had. They had so much fun with it.

Erik: I gotta imagine, yeah.

Samantha: Yeah.

Erik: I think it's different, yeah.

Samantha: Especially Nolan North.

Elisabeth: And that's especially fun 'cause you get to hear it like ten times, right?

Samantha: Yes, that part was very fun ten times. Maybe some of the more depressing parts of the episode, hearing those ten times...

Elisabeth: Oh, no! That hadn't even occurred to me.

Erik: "That was good, but feel worse and do it again. Yeah, okay."

Samantha: It's like, "Oh, geez, yeah."

Elisabeth: Can you just bring out a couple more tears as you're-

Samantha: Oh, God. Yeah.

Da-Hee: Yeah.

Erik: Or just- Yeah.

Elisabeth: Oh.

Samantha: Oh, I'm in so much pain right now.

Da-Hee: Yeah.

Elisabeth: Oh, oh, that's really difficult.

Samantha: Yeah, it was funny, while I was hearing it being recorded I was like, "Wow, I'm really slapping the player around, aren't I?" and I was like-

Erik: A little late for that.

Samantha: I really... I did it this time, didn't I?

Elisabeth: You really, really stuck it to 'em, yeah, we know.

Samantha: Oops.

Da-Hee: When I started here as an intern... So, when I was on the Live Animation team, I didn't work that closely with Narrative, but kinda near the end when they were starting to transition me into Cinematics, and I was doing storyboards, I got to talk with a lot more writers like Tom and folks. And it was really interesting and amazing and fun to me that as I was talking to them it almost was like... This is gonna sound demeaning, but I really, really don't mean it to be that way. But it was almost like... They're really enthusiastic, like, writers of fanfiction. And they were just like so excited to like build the world and build the characters, and that was... To me, like that's always been my favorite part of engaging with anyone who's a fan of any sort of content. But like it's cool that you can do that, but make a canon-

Elisabeth: Yes.

Erik: Yeah.

Da-Hee: Like you're paid to do that.

Elisabeth: It's like fanfic, but it becomes part of canon.

Da-Hee: Oh, yeah.

Erik: Like yeah.

Samantha: Honestly, most of the time it does feel like writing... being the caretaker of fanfiction.

Elisabeth: Oh, absolutely.

Erik: Yeah?

Samantha: Like you know, you can write fanfiction, but you have to make it really good...

Elisabeth: And again, like you said, that's not to demean fanfic, that's not saying that like either what we do professionally is like that, or that that's inherently bad. Y'know, I think it speaks to the fact that we're all super passionate about we're doing, and people are here because they do love the franchise. Like you're engaging, and you're telling these heart-wrenching stories because you care and you love these characters, and you wanna do things with them. Sometimes that means making their lives miserable.

Samantha: Yeah.

Da-Hee: Exactly.

Samantha: Well, and I do think that fanfiction is incredibly important in a game's community.

Erik: Yeah.

Samantha: And I take inspiration from it all the time. Like people... What I see people feeling passionate about, than I'm like, "Okay, this is what people care about, and then this is a story that I need to tell." I need to further this character's arc because I see so much fanfiction, or fan art, or anything about that character. It's amazing feedback.

Elisabeth: So the takeaway for the fanfic authors and the fan artist is we do see and we do know. Just live with that. But, so, you know, there's a lot of heart-wrench, there's a lot of anguish, there's a lot of kind of darker moments in this episode, but ultimately like it is a very hopeful episode. You know, the title is "A Star to Guide Us" and it's got kind of these lighter kind of aspirational elements in general. Do you wanna talk about the title, and like where that comes from?

Samantha: The title actually is kind of depressing in itself.

Elisabeth: Nope! I refuse to believe that.

Samantha: Yeah.

Elisabeth: It is hopeful.

Samantha: Yeah, so at the end of the episode- Spoiler? I don't, um-

Erik: We did that.

Samantha: Okay-

Erik: Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa.

Samantha: Do we have to keep doing that? No, right?

SPOILER ALERT!: [klaxon sound effect]

Elisabeth: Yes, we do.

Erik: Yeah, this is it. Oh, okay.

Samantha: Oh. So Braham says that the Olmakhan have a saying, "When someone dies, their memory is a star to guide us."

Elisabeth: See, that's not depressing, that's hopeful.

Samantha: It's... yeah. I mean, Blish is very...

Erik: Fine.

Samantha: Fine. he's fine.

Elisabeth: He's, he's-

Erik: The wrong questions.

Samantha: Everybody's hanging out and happy and having jokes.

Da-Hee: He's- Don't worry about it.

Elisabeth: He's still with us.

Erik: It's all good.

Da-Hee: Yeah. I hear Kralkatorrik's stomach is like-

Samantha: Party central.

Da-Hee: The... Yeah, like-

Elisabeth: Yeah, the happening place.

Da-Hee: That's where it's hopping.

Samantha: Just a rave in there.

Da-Hee: Yeah.

Erik: Keep it together.

Da-Hee: Nothing we say on this show is canon.

Erik: No.

Elisabeth: Ooh, boy.

Erik: It's fine.

Samantha: I mean, things I say sometimes become canon, unfortunately.

Erik: Not me. Thank goodness.

Elisabeth: Think how you were just talking about how this becomes canon all the time.

Erik: That's true.

Samantha: Yeah. No, Kralkatorrik's stomach is not a rave.

Erik: Good save. Nobody noticed.

Elisabeth: I'm really looking forward to NPCs in the next episode going, "So I've heard that Kralkatorrik's stomach is like a new place."

Erik: Yeah! Bumping new place.

Samantha: My favorite DJ is playing in Kralkatorrik's stomach tonight.

Erik: What's up? Yeah.

Elisabeth: Absolutely. That seems like a great time to not let any of these people talk anymore. No. We have been asking for questions and, so I think now would be a good time, unless people have last little stories that you wanna get out, we can start taking a look through some of those maybe. Anyone see any on here that you wanna take a swing at answering?

Da-Hee: Oh. I do already know how the story ends, and it's... Yeah that's really hard to-

Elisabeth: So, Witchcraft 56 asks, "I don't know if you can answer this question. Do devs already know how this story ends?" And the answer is yes, but we're not gonna tell you.

Da-Hee: We're, we're... Oh, we're super not gonna tell you.

Samantha: Yes.

Da-Hee: But I can say right now I have friends who play Guild Wars 2, and I have like started playing with them more and more and hearing them talk about the episode, I just, I literally have to be sitting at the table with them, just like sipping my tea, like, "Yeah, guys!"

Elisabeth: Sure thing.

Da-Hee: Yep, yeah, totally right.

Samantha: "An interesting theory..."

Da-Hee: Yeah, like, "Oh, fascinating!"

Elisabeth: One of my favorite things about release days is looking at partners or friends I have in the fan community who I know well enough to know what they'll be excited about and just like waiting to see their reactions. And, y'know, there was a lot to do with the Mists in this one, and I have a friend who's like super, super into like, "What do those represent? Like, what is this?" And just seeing the elation from them as they're like, "This is so cool!" I'm just like, "This is so fun!" So like there's a lot of that, like as you know how things are gonna go, and how things are gonna end, just being like, "Oh, it's interesting that you think that."

Da-Hee: I'm like super involved with the ending of Episode 5, and that is a moment that I'm, like, I cannot wait to subject people to this 'cause it's gonna be fun.

Elisabeth: In a fun way.

Da-Hee: In a fun way. Yep.

Elisabeth: Erik Dursall asks if there are any tips you can give to a programmer to help them achieve your level.

Erik: My level! Oh, well then-

Elisabeth: 'Cause his ego didn't need inflating.

Da-Hee: What is your level?

Erik: It is over 9000.

Samantha: Oh. Okay.

Erik: Yeah. And that just happened.

Elisabeth: Very good.

Samantha: Yeah. Uh-

Elisabeth: Very good.

Samantha: Thank you.

Elisabeth: I'm so proud.

Erik: I guess the short version is, so, I... Like getting a job is, in the industry, is kind of what they say, it's like: study, do your prep interviews, do that. Getting it- Being here though, like when you're in school to be a programmer, it's fancy algorithms. We don't really do a lot of that here. It's a lot of just, like, listening to what design needs, looking for rubbing points. A lot of what I do in terms of programming is not that crazy hard. It's just making it clean and listening to... Knowing how to sort out what people actually want. There's a poster up in one of the rooms that's Henry Ford, it's like, "If I'd listened to what my customers say, I'd've given them a faster horse." There's... Well, you can apply it to design and players, but also to programming and designers, like we serve them too. And so it's a lot of just like, "Oh, what you really need is this thing that's faster and cleaner." and all that. So it's kind of just learning to be, like, work in a group. It's not really that different from anything else, it's just that too many programmers, I think, forget that and get all excited about, y'know, the bits and bytes. They forget about the people and the project. So well, that was kinda pithy.

Samantha: Yeah.

Erik: Think I can be a writer?

Samantha: Ah, well-

Erik: Here's the thing, here's the thing: I don't wanna be a writer.

Samantha: I, I think that you-

Erik: You're all about punching the players in the guts, I don't think I want anything to do with that.

Samantha: You can believe that you can be writer.

Erik: Sweet, okay.

Da-Hee: Well-

Erik: Oof.

Da-Hee: Damn!

Erik: I'd...

Elisabeth: Savage!

Samantha: That was supposed to be inspirational.

Erik: That was really good. That was super good.

Elisabeth: It was either very inspirational or very condescending.

Erik: Yeah, that was really great. I'll take it that way.

Samantha: You can take it however you want.

Erik: I'll be inspired.

Elisabeth: Well go for the inspirational way.

Da-Hee: It's a very good Samantha vote.

Elisabeth: We all, you know, respect and support each other.

Erik: This is for the 9000 thing, isn't it?

Samantha: Yeah.

Erik: Okay, that's fair.

Da-Hee: A little vengeance.

Erik: Braham's arachnophobia? Do you wanna talk about that?

Samantha: Well, I mean I would definitely like to have something about helping Braham get over his arachnophobia.

Da-Hee: Braham's arachnophobia redemption arc?

Samantha: Yeah. I mean I'm really big on the whole tend and befriend like interpersonal character related stuff in games, so it's-

Elisabeth: So you should tend and befriend spiders is what you're saying?

Samantha: Yeah, like-

Erik: Oh, my God.

Elisabeth: As a really-

Samantha: Spider companion!

Erik: As a person who's rather experienced with this I vote against that plan. They're gross.

Samantha: All fair.

Da-Hee: As someone who like literally the other night I look up, and there's a spider on the ceiling, and I scream, and I called for someone to kill it. He tried to kill it, and it fell on his sleeve, but he didn't notice until he sat down in the living room right next to me, and he was like, "Oh, shit, it's on my sleeve."

Erik: Yeah, and then you need to use the special action skill to get you back.

Da-Hee: And then I was just like-

Elisabeth: Yeah.

Da-Hee: All right, I'm leaving, I'm leaving the house, I... Bye!

Elisabeth: It was a nice living here.

Erik: I'm out. I'm gone.

Da-Hee: I'm gone.

Erik: I'm done. Nope.

Da-Hee: It was so nice to live in Washington. Gotta move.

Elisabeth: So the whole state is tainted.

Erik: Burn the house down. That's it.

Elisabeth: So we may help Braham get through his arachnophobia after we do some internal work, let's say, and kind of get through our own arachnophobia before we can help him.

Samantha: We'll do it together.

Elisabeth: Uh-huh.

Da-Hee: Oh, God.

Erik: Oh, dear.

Elisabeth: Mark just put a question up on the screen.

Samantha: Oh yeah. We actually-

Elisabeth: We have our own infestation.

Samantha: We have an ArenaNet spider.

Erik: Wait, what?

Samantha: His name is Daniel. He lives in one of our conference rooms.

Erik: Wait, what?!

Samantha: And he's a really nice boy.

Erik: You tended and befriended him?

Samantha: Yeah, I tended and befriended him.

Erik: I didn't... What? Really?

Samantha: Yeah!

Da-Hee: Which conference room is this? I can't go there anymore!

Samantha: I'm not gonna tell you.

Erik: I should have interviewed for the boss fight.

Elisabeth: We have a company culture of sticky notes.

Da-Hee: Oh, God, I love them.

Elisabeth: And people leave delightful little messages for each other. One of our QA testers left a short while ago, and left puns literally lining the hallways everywhere.

Erik: Oh.

Da-Hee: That was really good.

Samantha: There was a lot, yeah-

Elisabeth: So that we could keep her with us forever, which I appreciate.

Samantha: That is beautiful.

Elisabeth: And one day, one of our conference rooms just had a little sticky note saying, "Hey, beware, there's a spider who lives in here."

Erik: That's just mean.

Elisabeth: As things go here, the next day there was a little sticky note saying, "But he's a very friendly spider." And someone eventually named him Daniel.

Samantha: That was-

Elisabeth: Did you name him Daniel?

Samantha: I named him Daniel.

Erik: Good work.

Samantha: Yeah.

Erik: Good work.

Elisabeth: That's very nice.

Samantha: He's beautiful, he's a very nice boy.

Erik: You're a monster. With spiders.

Samantha: Maybe you're the monster.

Erik: Well, but like that was for you though-

Elisabeth: To end on a high note-

Samantha: You are judging.

Erik: You knew?

Samantha: I knew.

Elisabeth: Can we talk about, Ryan Gallagher asks, "What inspired you monsters to add Gorrik's birthday detail?"

Erik: Yeah, see segue. What now?

Samantha: I think that was a collaboration between me and Kirk.

Erik: Oh, I see.

Samantha: And literally we just wanted to make the player feel very bad.

Da-Hee: Just keep cutting them, just-

Erik: I'm not gonna sugar coat this.

Samantha: Yeah.

Elisabeth: Wow.

Erik: I want you to feel terrible.

Samantha: Yeah.

Elisabeth: Wow.

Samantha: Just twist that knife a little bit.

Erik: Yeah, okay.

Samantha: Yeah.

Elisabeth: Just, I mean...

Da-Hee: Same.

Elisabeth: It's to help... You're not gonna talk about how it really makes for 3D characters and fleshes them out-

Samantha: Characterization.

Erik: Honestly, yeah.

Elisabeth: Yeah.

Da-Hee: Yeah.

Elisabeth: Yeah.

Samantha: It's all about characterization and also-

Elisabeth: It's not just about tormenting our-

Samantha: injuring the player. Emotionally.

Elisabeth: I can't have players in here.

Erik: We joke a lot about that, but yeah it's, you know, you gotta care about these people. If you don't care, then it's not a story and so-

Samantha: I mean they do, they have to feel like real people.

Erik: Yeah.

Samantha: Yeah.

Elisabeth: So that's why: it was pursuit of craft.

Samantha: Exactly.

Da-Hee: Yep.

Samantha: Yes.

Elisabeth: Not just punitive.

Erik: Well, it gets full range for Gorrik, you know. I will say, whenever we're feeling really sad, even in this release, Kirk linked his audio when you go in the Maguuma area. Did you write that too?

Samantha: Yeah.

Erik: Like "Do you see any like familiar fauna or flora and fauna?" and she's like, "Uh, it's chak." And he, "Oh, what? Pff."

Samantha: Yeah.

Erik: I've watched that seriously two dozen times, and it makes me laugh every time. I love that. Oh, my gosh. So, good work!

Samantha: The audio team did a great job with that.

Erik: Yeah, I should give shout out to the audio team 'cause-

Elisabeth: Absolutely.

Erik: There's some crazy audio in this one that leaves you like, whoa. The music in the mushroom area too has got a lot of call out, but-

Da-Hee: Yeah.

Erik: Yeah. Um-

Elisabeth: That music in this release was super solid.

Erik: Yep.

Elisabeth: Awesome. Well, thank you, all three of you, so much for joining us. Any parting thoughts that you wanna leave our delightful viewers with? Aside from how much you wanna hurt them?

Samantha: I feel like I've left too many thoughts already.

Erik: Uh huh! Uh huh!

Da-Hee: Actually, I'm gonna hijack one of the questions.

Erik: Too late.

Da-Hee: 'Cause I like the tips you can give to a programmer. Whatever, they're programmers. But I'm always curious about tips you could give a writer.

Samantha: Yeah.

Erik: I like to believe I can be writer.

Da-Hee: To achieve your level.

Samantha: So the biggest thing is to work on dialogue. That's a big tool that you use in game writing, probably a lot more than, you know, prose writing or anything like that. And use Twine to understand interactivity. That's really important because you have to account for the players' choices, and, y'know, they're not always gonna stay on a path; they're gonna go off on their own.

Erik: What?

Samantha: I know.

Erik: Players always follow! They always have-

Samantha: Players have autonomy. It's crazy.

Erik: Curse them.

Da-Hee: They have free will.

Erik: Curse them!

Samantha: And once you work on those, you know, just apply a whole bunch.

Erik: Yeah. That's how it is.

Samantha: Just forever, just apply to jobs forever, and, you know, don't give up.

Elisabeth: Now, Da-Hee.

Da-Hee: Oh, boy.

Elisabeth: You had to know this was gonna happen.

Erik: Yeah, sucker.

Da-Hee: I was hoping. I had my fingers crossed, like nah. Tips I can give to an animator... Honestly, I hate saying this because it's stuff that I heard as a student that I was always like, "Oh, yeah, like yes, I've heard this million times before, but really like it's so simple. You just... You make animations. You go to someone who's better at making animations than you are, and say, "Hey, look at my animations. Tell me what I can do better!" And they go, "You should do this, and this, and this, and this." And then you take their advice and you do it.

Erik: That's a bold strategy, Da-Hee.

Da-Hee: I think that's the step that some people miss.

Erik: See if it pays off.

Elisabeth: Some people just, "I don't know what to do with advice. I'm just gonna drop it."

Da-Hee: Yeah. No, really! Like I've seen a lot of young people who... They'll say, "Oh, can you review my portfolio?" and I go, "Yeah, sure." And I look at it and I go, "You need to work on this, and this, and this, and this, but it's a great start. Keep going." And it's like they don't hear the "keep going" part.

Erik: Well, yeah, a lot of people are looking for a magic bullet, and like it's kinda simple, but it's not easy.

Da-Hee: Right.

Erik: And people conflate those.

Da-Hee: Exactly.

Erik: It's like well, "What's this one- What's one neat trick?"

Da-Hee: Right. This one neat easy trick isn't gonna-

Samantha: Animators. They hate her!

Erik: Anyway.

Da-Hee: Right, this neat trick that doesn't require me to like sit in front of a computer and-

Erik: Right?

Da-Hee: Cry over Maya[verification requested], and like do-

Erik: Blood, sweat and tears.

Da-Hee: Do my craft.

Erik: Yeah.

Da-Hee: Right? Like no, you really just have to like do your craft and also talk to people who have the job that you want, right? I know animators who are like, "Yeah, I wanna go into film animation." And I go, "Cool, let me look at your portfolio." And it's all like game cycles.

Erik: Hmm.

Da-Hee: Which, like, "Cool, but you wanna go into film, you gotta do what the film animators are doing, and film animators are not working on game cycles." So, yeah. That is my advice: Do the work. Do the good work.

Erik: Nice. Stay in school, kids!

Samantha: The good work?

Elisabeth: Yeah, it was a very wholesome ending!

Erik: Is that what you just did? That was good.

Elisabeth: I love this! Thank you! You redeemed us. Collectively!

Erik: Yeah. Good save, guys! We look like pros! Don't say anything!

Da-Hee: Shh! All right, we're done!

Elisabeth: We're gonna go ahead and take a break. We'll be right back with three more hosts. So thank you all for joining us. Thank you all for joining us.

Samantha: Thank you.

Elisabeth: And we'll be back in just a couple minutes.

Da-Hee: Thank you for hosting this.

Erik: Yeah.

Elisabeth: Well, thank you! It was my pleasure. Thank you.

Erik: Good job, Rubi.

Kirk, Lily, and Connor [48:18][edit]

Elisabeth, Kirk, Lily, Connor

Elisabeth: Hi, welcome back. I have three entirely different people next to me, which is pretty exciting. If you are just tuning in, be warned that we're gonna talk about spoilers. And if you have questions for the three guests who are about introduce themselves go ahead and put 'em in chat - there's a chance that we'll answer them here on this very stream. So let's go ahead and talk about who you people are. Who are you?

Kirk Williford: You people. I'm Kirk Williford. I am a designer on our internet, and worked on this episode obviously, I think that's why I'm here.

Elisabeth: I sure hope it is.

Kirk: Yeah! I worked on, let's see, Legacy alongside Erik. I did the non-spider stuff because I am an arachnophobic and hate spiders. You're a monster, Erik. I worked on Sun's Refuge and I also did some other stuff here and there.

Elisabeth: Very cool.

Lily Yu: I'm a narrative designer. I've worked on Destiny and Destiny 2, and for ArenaNet I was the open world writer for Episode 4.

Connor Fallon: I'm also a designer. I worked on the chapters Chaos Theory and From the Ashes and a bunch of open world events like the fake Joko event and Chantry dating party.

Lily: Matchmaking.

Connor: Yeah.

Elisabeth: Very fun.

Connor: Yeah.

Elisabeth: So it's, you know, all about balance. Like we have some of the trying to intentionally inflict pain on the player, but also like Joko and that's good.

Connor: Yeah.

Lily: Yeah, Samantha's breaking hearts with her writing, and I'm sitting over here writing Let's Hug Koss.

Elisabeth: Absolutely.

Kirk: Mm-hmm.

Elisabeth: Absolutely. Which was a beloved book-

Lily: By all Elonian children of all ages.

Elisabeth: And all of our audience. I think people are very excited to have a sequel in the long running tradition of Koss on Koss.

Connor: I will say, as goofy as the fake Joko event was though, I'm really glad we got to do it for the Awakened at the beginning who are processing like all-

Elisabeth: Yeah!

Connor: The, like, just all the different ways that people could actually miss their tyrannical dictator. Which turns out like if you've been inundated in that culture for a long time there's a lot. And we, there are probably more we could have covered, but we have text budgets.

Lily: Yes, we do. How many conversations did we write for that?

Connor: We were... Not... There were a lot of conversations in our episode in general.

Kirk: Dope.

Lily: I think it was a permutation of six for the matchmaking. On the dialogue it was 96 lines for the matchmaking title I think.

Connor: Yeah, that was because you wanted to have customer responses to everything.

Lily: No, that wasn't me.

Connor: Oh, yeah.

Lily: That was our narrative director.

Connor: Oh, okay, well, it was good. I do like that a lot.

Elisabeth: Absolutely.

Connor: Yeah, sorry.

Elisabeth: No, you're good. What was the favorite- I mean of all your children in this episode, which is the one you love best? What was your favorite?

Kirk: Oh, man, that's so hard.

Elisabeth: Absolutely, I loved your fox.

Kirk: Yeah, the fox. I mean all the stuff that I did with Sun's Refuge - it was my baby from the get-go. And being able to work alongside Lily to develop so much awesome dialogue and conversations in there. But yeah, the Desert Fox like Connor said. Definitely.

Elisabeth: Absolutely.

Kirk: Yeah, like when I saw that we didn't have a mini for that fox already I'm like, oh, my gosh!

Elisabeth: We have to change this.

Kirk: I need this. Like, I want it.

Elisabeth: Yeah, absolutely.

Kirk: So that's kind of, you know, just wanted to have the- show the impact of Kralkatorrik and the Brand on the creatures in the world and not just the Awakened or, you know, the other people there. So, yeah, I think that was one of my favorites.

Elisabeth: Very fun.

Lily: And the only reason we have kids books is because of Kirk, who wrote A Primer, by Archon Iberu. It's almost entirely word for word his.

Elisabeth: Oh, wow!

Kirk: Neh, not really. You did such a good job with it, like with all his conversations.


'''Lily:''' I did.
'''Kirk:''' so.
'''Elisabeth:''' and-
'''Kirk:''' Oh, yeah.
'''Elisabeth:''' So in addition to children's books this episode also features children's drawing-
'''Lily:''' I blame this guy.
'''Elisabeth:''' that we can actually-
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Elisabeth:''' show on screen here.
'''Connor:''' Um-
'''Lily:''' His fault.
'''Connor:''' So Wurmmarshal Ekolo is a character that we had in Path of Fire who hasn't actually showed up until this episode. but when I was in between Path of Fire and being assigned to this team I was working on a bunch of, the miscellaneous stuff for episodes, and one of the things I did for two was I wrote a bunch of stories about monks adventures. And one of the things they did was they delivered a picture to an Awakened who was, if you read between the lines, it was Ekolo. She emerges them with wurms, she's high ranked, all these other things.
'''Connor:''' and then we ... When, when it turned out that we were doing Ekolo's camp, which was something like Frosty like said fairly early on that Ekolo was gonna be part of the big shatter meta I was like well, if this ... She's going to still have this drawing but I can ... Can we ... We should us actual children's drawings. so I put out a call for you know, drawings from children, and I got responses from [[Matthew Pennebaker|Matt Pennebaker]], and then Matt Medina had drew something as well. So the ... You can see from left to right Ekolo from people who are increasing in age-
'''Elisabeth:''' 
'''Connor:''' um, and we actually used the middle one. there's a line in, if you examine the thing where they like, "You're looking a little green, Ekolo." and she can be like, "Hey, don't be rude.",or like-
'''Kirk:''' They're all completely anatomically correct too, right?
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Elisabeth:''' Absolutely.
'''Connor:''' I mean, I mean the green one has their little head piece, like-
'''Connor:''' Ekolo's is ... Ekolo is kind of really interesting because she was actually originally planned to die in Episode 3 like, like, like [[Troopmarshal Olori Ogun|Troopmarshal gun]], she was gonna be just she was going to another bounty boss.and very early on in the process I was like, "Hey, like don't ... I like Ekolo."
'''Elisabeth:''' What if she didn't die?
'''Connor:''' "Yeah, well, don't kill her." And then like I kind ... When I signed up to support, turns out that they're planning to do ... They, they ... It was all ... She was already planned to be a huge part of the meta, and she's this funny example of like how a small conversation can like alter the course of-
'''Elisabeth:''' Of history.
'''Connor:''' Of history, sure.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah, absolutely.
'''Connor:''' I was gonna be, go a little bit less dramatic-
'''Elisabeth:''' No, no.
'''Connor:''' but it works.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah.
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Lily:''' So now we have the crazy arguments between her and the new Troopmarshal.
'''Connor:''' Yeah, yeah, which is r- are fantastic by the way.
'''Lily:''' Yeah, because-
'''Connor:''' Like-
'''Lily:''' Of both ... Because of what you did?
'''Connor:''' Well, because she survived, sure, but like you were the, you fleshed out her personality a ton in this episode. Like we always kinda had talked about how she had like this, you know, she cares about her wurm, she's always a little off, but we hadn't actually had a chance to show it. And you, I think you really nailed that personality-
'''Lily:''' Well, you-
'''Connor:''' that's all I have to say.
'''Lily:''' built the runway.
'''Connor:''' Ah, ah-
'''Elisabeth:''' some other stuff-
'''Connor:''' that worked-
'''Elisabeth:''' that was, uh-
'''Connor:''' yeah. 
'''Elisabeth:''' stubbed in and, nailed-
'''Elisabeth:''' later believe we had some really fun temp text-
'''Kirk:''' Yeah, boy.
'''Elisabeth:''' but I meant to have Samantha read, but you're basically Samantha.
'''Connor:''' Yes-
'''Elisabeth:''' I think.
'''Connor:''' 100%.
'''Elisabeth:''' So-
'''Lily:''' Cut the hair.
'''Elisabeth:''' if you could just-
'''Kirk:''' Can confirm. 
'''Elisabeth:''' tell us about this.
'''Connor:''' My hair is no long- no, no, nowhere near-
'''Elisabeth:''' Do you use-
'''Connor:''' as majestic.
'''Elisabeth:''' Argon Oil because I hear that's the secret.
'''Connor:''' Oh, oh, yes, all ... Every day, actually-
'''Connor:''' every five minutes-
'''Lily:''' That's why he named it-
'''Connor:''' every day.
'''Lily:''' Argon Garrison. 
'''Connor:''' Oh, yeah. We, we wa- Was it-
'''Kirk:''' 
'''Connor:''' Argon Oil? It's extracted only, but from branded Awakened Argon,um, every day. so yeah, I mean this is a referen- this is Morgan'stemp text, it was originally ... Originally he didn't get a call from Taimi, you got a letter from Zaeim, and his was the one that he wrote, and Zae- it's conical, completely conical even with the edit-
'''Lily:''' 
'''Connor:''' that l- uh, Zaeim is a fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars who exist in-
'''Elisabeth:''' Absolutely-
'''Connor:''' [Tyria]
'''Elisabeth:''' in Jacksonville, Tyria. 
'''Connor:''' In Jacksonville Ter- Jacksonville comma Tyria.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah.
'''Connor:''' it's one of the unexplored areas, it might be in I forgot. 
'''Elisabeth:''' I'm just gonna cut you off right there, and- 
'''Kirk:''' I like to think that Zaeim signs all of his letters to everyone is from as Ya Boy.
'''Elisabeth:''' Absolutely-
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Lily:''' This is what-
'''Elisabeth:''' absolutely.
'''Lily:''' we have to deal with as writers. We get this kind of text handed to us, and just make it-
'''Elisabeth:''' It's true-
'''Lily:''' stream here.
'''Elisabeth:''' I mean that doesn't seem like it-
'''Lily:''' Put-
'''Elisabeth:''' makes your job easier.
'''Lily:''' It's hel- It's, it's really, really hard, they write really, really good temp text, and you're sitting-
'''Connor:''' 
'''Lily:''' at your desk laughing, and it's really hard to write when you're laughing so hard you're crying.
'''Elisabeth:'''  Oh, no.
'''Kirk:''' Yeah.
'''Lily:''' You make my job-
'''Elisabeth:''' Uh-
'''Lily:''' writing harder.
'''Kirk:''' Writers aren't the only ones who can make people cry.
'''Elisabeth:''' So you kn- You have to not only killyour darlings, but you have to kill other people's darlings-
'''Lily:''' I don't kill their-
'''Elisabeth:''' because-
'''Lily:''' darlings.
'''Elisabeth:''' thisis-
'''Lily:''' You could talk about the darlings that,that survived.
'''Connor:''' Yeah, I mean there was a lot. There's, um ... Well, there ... I'll just there is a very out there darling in this episode it, it ... I will ... All that we'll say is I'll say one word, Kralkatorrik-
'''Elisabeth:''' I mean we have a spoiler warning.
'''Connor:''' Yes, sure, but-
'''Elisabeth:''' Can we play that?
'''Connor:''' they haven't ... I think these players haven't found their stuff in this episode.
'''Elisabeth:''' Oh, no.
'''Connor:''' There's all these little details that players still haven't-
'''Elisabeth:''' The-
'''Connor:''' found.
'''Elisabeth:''' spoiler is you haven't found it yet.
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Kirk:''' That's right.
'''Connor:''' So like happy hunting I guess. 
'''Lily:''' For the record I did not make that pun.
'''Connor:''' No, that was-
'''Connor:''' that was actually-
'''Lily:''' That was Heather Conover.
'''Connor:''' Yeah, heather had a typo, and that typo spun out of into wonderful terribleness.
'''Kirk:''' A happy accident.
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Lily:''' An accident-
'''Connor:''' That's all-
'''Lily:''' definitely.
'''Connor:''' we'll say.
'''Connor:''' They haven't-
'''Lily:''' Right.
'''Connor:''' found it yet, so we can't talk about it.
'''Elisabeth:''' We leave that as a challenge to you the player to go discover and we'll move onto uh, another thing, wit- which-
'''Lily:''' Another thing that's-
'''Elisabeth:''' well, let's say-
'''Lily:''' Connor's fault.
'''Elisabeth:''' iterations.
'''Connor:''' Yes. Well one ... Actually it only went through one iteration.
'''Elisabeth:''' Oh, perfect.
'''Connor:''' So what happened is-
'''Elisabeth:''' That's a record.
'''Connor:''' Samantha had already written the dialog that's like what's the line of the poem, but I had to make the gadget to interact with the poem, andI didn't have a poem yet, so I just wrote a completely different poem that ended with the same last line yeah.
'''Elisabeth:''' Can I put you on the spot and ask for-
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Elisabeth:''' a dramatic reading of this?
'''Connor:''' Sure, I suppose, if I can read it. ((Poem By My Dog)).
'''Lily:''' Okay, yeah.
'''Connor:''' "Please don't scold me human, but today I ate your shoe. I know that makes you soulless, so at least you won't feel blue. I hope that you'll still feed me perhaps some table stew, this poem in temporary content, and I will chase it back to you."
'''Elisabeth:''' That's a very good-
'''Connor:''' Yeah. 
'''Elisabeth:''' poem. I think it is.
'''Connor:''' Oh, oh, thank you.
'''Elisabeth:''' you should be proud.
'''Connor:''' I ... Okay.
'''Elisabeth:''' uh-
'''Lily:''' So this is not-
'''Connor:''' Yeah-
'''Lily:''' the only-
'''Connor:''' I ... Not ... The funny thing I would say actually about this poem if you, is that I had changed the line, my, the poem is temporary content, it could have actually been like a cohesive poem. I could have made the second to last line like about like chasing a ball or something.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah, if you throw a bone away-
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Elisabeth:''' I will chase it back to you.
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah, yeah.
'''Lily:''' Oh.
'''Connor:''' There we go.
'''Elisabeth:''' There we go.
'''Connor:''' You finished the poem.
'''Elisabeth:''' We're work-shopping it-
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Elisabeth:''' right here- 
'''Lily:''' He's a good-
'''Elisabeth:''' right now.
'''Lily:''' he's a good writer, he's a good poet, we also have a bad poet in our episode.
'''Elisabeth:''' Oh, no. 
'''Connor:''' That's one of the things-
'''Lily:''' Let's-
'''Connor:''' they haven't found.
'''Lily:''' Oh, fu- 
'''Elisabeth:''' Spoiler warning. 
'''Lily:''' So I wrote some of the Joko PA VO for Episode 3-
'''Lily:''' On the statues, but-
'''Elisabeth:''' Yes.
'''Lily:''' because Joko dies at the epis- end of Episode 3 there's a question mark as to, you know-
'''Kirk:''' Wait, what? Sorry.
'''Lily:''' What happens to the PA system, now that's been abandoned.
'''Lily:''' I think we answer in very interesting ways.
'''Elisabeth:''' Absolutely, and that's a sort of serialized content that, that we really get to dig into the deeper story of Tyria here is, is kind of showing the world living and evolving what happens when your maniacal dictator no longer gets to write his own poetry.
'''Connor:''' It's kinda like like Candid Camera, but in Tyria with a microphone,
'''Elisabeth:''' Absolutely.
'''Connor:''' and not covered. So I guess it's-
'''Elisabeth:''' Entirely-
'''Connor:'''  a material Candid Camera.
'''Elisabeth:''' identical.
'''Elisabeth:''' that's what it is. So Sun's Refuge is cool and players have found it. Uh-
'''Kirk:''' I think so.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah, absolutely, like at ''least'' one of them I think has, has gone into it and there's a lot there.
'''Kirk:''' Yes-
'''Elisabeth:''' Like there is-
'''Kirk:''' there certainly is. 
'''Elisabeth:''' So much there. not just in terms of like the rewards and collections you can do, but just the things going on an- and, you know, it gives you a lotta convenience with the multiple exits, and all that stuff. and we were really excited to tell people about it beforehand, and I believe we may have inadvertently offended you by not showing your baby in its best light.
'''Kirk:''' Okay, "offending" may be not be the right term. All right, we came into work that day, and we're like wait that doesn't look right. so the teaser that we showed in, I think is the anniversary video, I was super hyped about it, and I'm still super hyped, it was a great video. But it showed cobwebs up in shots that had, like it was fully lit and everything. That was actually a bug because for about a week and a half to two weeks there was an issue with the tag that was applied to those cobwebs causing it to not go away properly. And that just happened to be when that footage was taken. And it's still totally works, and it looks great, but, and just like that was one of those cases in my heart, I was like, "Oh."
'''Elisabeth:''' We just-
'''Kirk:''' I know.
'''Elisabeth:''' We saved that to surprise and delight players-
'''Kirk:''' That's right.
'''Elisabeth:''' with the real version on live. and-
'''Kirk:''' That's done.
'''Elisabeth:''' Sun's Refuge had some other cute little bugs in it-
'''Kirk:''' It sure did.
'''Elisabeth:''' um, in addition to the spiders, eh-eh, eh-eh?
'''Lily:''' I was seeing that coming.
'''Elisabeth:''' 
'''Kirk:''' Oh.
'''Connor:''' They're not bugs. Spiders aren't bugs.
'''Kirk:''' Oh, yeah, so there was a couple cases of this, but the phantom platforms, they just stopped showing up for some reason. And this one was particularly funny because we were working, I was working with [Justin] and [Patrick] some of uh, of our map artists, and none of us could figure who this is happening. We would, we would delete the object in ma- in our map editing program, and re-add them so nothing would be linked to them, and then it'd be fixed for one build, and the next field, build they'd be gone again, it's like what is even happening here, right? And, when, when, when you have programmers, and map artists, and designers, all looking at it together and we're like these things just have a mind of their own, like this place is haunted, that's the only sol- th- th- thing, conclusion we could come up with.
'''Elisabeth:''' It's because the mists came into the game and entered the code, and like it's just wreaking havoc.
'''Kirk:''' That absolutely must have been it. It all worked out, it all worked out. There was some technical crazy programmatic reason, and we figured it out with one of our map layer programmers, Alina's help. And I am very grateful for that because that would have been kind of strange they're just floating, but.
'''Connor:''' Just in case the stakes weren't high enough, when reality falls apart in Tyria it falls apart-
'''Lily:''' Yeah.
'''Connor:''' in real life.
'''Kirk:''' Yeah, yeah.
'''Connor:''' Mm-hmm .
'''Kirk:''' Our pla- Our chairs would disappear, and-
'''Kirk:''' then-
'''Elisabeth:''' And then suddenly-
'''Kirk:''' soon, Erik, over there would disappear. Wait, that might be a ... Wait, what's the word?
'''Elisabeth:''' Who?
'''Kirk:''' I'm sorry.
'''Elisabeth:''' There's, there's-
'''Lily:''' Uh-huh .
'''Elisabeth:''' nobody over there, Kirk.
'''Kirk:''' Oh, well, now I'm seeing things.
'''Lily:''' Like the mushrooms.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah.
'''Kirk:''' I didn't... Hey, that was my spot, so.
'''Elisabeth:''' So-
'''Lily:''' So the mushroom was you?
'''Elisabeth:''' Who did do the open world?
'''Connor:''' So yeah, I, that was [[Chaos Theory]]. Chaos Theory was originally Frosty, and then I took it over. so I can't take credit for the ''initial'' mushroom thing, 'cause he had actually had already done like the dancing people, and then people attacking you. I amped it up quite a bit. There wasn't originally like pants-less dancing Faren, where the intro was my, and that wasn't originally like [[Kormir]], and Mad King, and some of the more out there characters.
'''Kirk:''' And the Bobbleheads-
'''Connor:''' And I also-
'''Kirk:''' yeah.
'''Connor:''' um, added the whole ... Yeah, the Bobblehead I also added the-
'''Elisabeth:''' 
'''Connor:''' Bobblehead affect, which was-
'''Elisabeth:''' Just this list-
'''Connor:''' super-
'''Elisabeth:''' Of sins you're-
'''Connor:''' important.
'''Elisabeth:''' can, uh, you're confessing to.
'''Connor:''' I mean like I don't know, people seem to like it, so I guess I need to sin harder. Haha! But I also-
'''Kirk:''' Oof.
'''Connor:''' added the adventure where you talk just to mysterious ca- uh, whatever, it's spoilers. You talk to [[Scarlet Briar]], and she's like, "Hey buddy, you wanna run around?" and that probably had my favorite asset request I ever made because in that adventure the things you're chasing change every single time, so I needed to make an asset request for a pie that could also be a jewel and a chicken, and like ... And can I get a glowy, spinny pie please ? And I got it, so that's why there's glowy, spinny pies.
'''Kirk:''' This episode in particular was really fun to build because of all of the crazy mist stuff going on. And like we, we'd talk as a team, be like, "I wonder if they'd be okay with this?" So we'd pitch it, and like "Oh, yeah, sure, whatever. It makes sense, it's, it's fine." It's like okay, and that was one of them, right?
'''Lily:''' It's like-
'''Connor:''' Yeah, there was-
'''Kirk:''' I mean their-
'''Connor:''' Could you-
'''Kirk:''' The ... Sorry. The rift, the misty bois.
'''Connor:''' Yeah, the mushroom, the whole mushroom area... There were ... When we were talking about it being out of this world we talked about some out there things to make it seem like out of this world. And I'm gonna stop there. Yeah, I know. 
'''Lily:''' I wrote some fourth while breaking dialog for that.
'''Kirk:''' Yeah.
'''Lily:''' Yeah-
'''Kirk:''' Yeah.
'''Lily:''' But speaking of insane creations [[Byron Miller]] and I worked on a 500 yearlong time loop story.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yes.
'''Lily:''' That had me, at one point, sitting at my desk doing arithmetic over and over and swearing because it turns out that our game has three different calendars.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yes.
'''Lily:''' And if you're going to be creating gravestones across hundreds of years apart on different timelines, for different variations on life spans depending on what players do-
'''Elisabeth:''' Sure.
'''Lily:''' We need to do a lot of math. At another point I was sitting there with Excel spreadsheet trying to fill out the conditionals for when each gravestone would appear. I think it turns out really well, but I also don't think anyone's noticed yet, so.
'''Kirk:''' I remember the moment when you realized that there were the multiple calendars to have to-
'''Lily:''' Oh, my God.
'''Kirk:''' to do the math for, that was, that was a moment. 
'''Lily:''' I asked the narrative team to never, ever again do any tombstones outside of Central Tyria. We'll just do, you know, water burials.
'''Kirk:''' Yeah. 
'''Elisabeth:''' Just cremation. So that had a thing that I was definitely gonna say right there that tied into other stuff. So you also in addition to that worked on... I have a note here from you "[[Bait-o-Tron]]".
'''Lily:''' Yeah, Bait-o-Tron.
'''Elisabeth:''' Please tell us the story of Bait-o-Tron.
'''Lily:''' The story of Bait-o-Tron is a very long story, and it goes back-
'''Elisabeth:''' I got nothing but-
'''Lily:''' decades.
'''Elisabeth:''' time.
'''Lily:''' I don't know, I don't know the full story. my understanding is he used to be Hero-Tron-
'''Lily:''' and also Job-o-Tron-
'''Elisabeth:''' Yes.
'''Lily:''' and also a butter- bunch of other things. And Yuri Lowenthal is an amazing voice actor-
'''Elisabeth:''' Yes.
'''Lily:''' who does a lot of things.
'''Connor:''' Like mushrooms?
'''Lily:''' yes.
'''Connor:''' So-so, yeah.
'''Lily:''' Yes.
'''Connor:''' He's our mush-
'''Lily:''' Yes.
'''Connor:''' He doesn't ''do'' mushrooms, well maybe-
'''Lily:''' Yes.
'''Connor:''' I don't know, but he is our mushroom voice actor.
'''Lily:''' Yes, Yuri Lowenthal is Bait-o-Tron. and our talking mushrooms. I wi- Someone just said, "Hey, let's put Betotron in the Shatter of Fight." and I was like, "Sure."-
'''Elisabeth:''' Absolutely.
'''Lily:''' and he's a union member.
'''Kirk:''' He gets around.
'''Elisabeth:''' As he should.
'''Kirk:''' That Tron-
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah.
'''Kirk:''' gets-
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah.
'''Kirk:''' around.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah. I mean he's one of really the flagship characters of Living World. He appeared very early on and has really stuck though it with us in a way that not many MPC's have.
'''Kirk:''' The true hero of Tyria.
'''Connor:''' It was-
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah.
'''Connor:''' It was really cool in general when designing content for this map. Like everything in this map is either a response to Joko dying, or a response to the craziness that Kralkatorrik is up to, and that allowed us to ... There was just a lot of stuff to explore there. And the Pact showing up again, and like organizing the groups in Elona, and kind of had seeing them work along with the pact, and kinda this expanded force and which included Bait-o-Tron, was definitely one on those, one of the things that was neat to get to play with some of those old characters again.
'''Elisabeth:''' Absolutely. So we talked about, briefly mentioned the Shatter fight and it's obviously super fun to be able to kind of bring that character up, and kind of modernize it a little bit. Did you work very closely with anything surrounding that?
'''Lily:''' Just the dialog for the fight.
'''Elisabeth:''' Okay.
'''Lily:''' and the dialog for the meta events that led up to the fight.
'''Elisabeth:''' Absolutely.
'''Lily:''' Erik did the ... Erik took over the DERV escort event. I think you took over the Junundu? Who was I working with on the Junundu? I was working with Erik on the Junundu lines.
'''Lily:''' It was this really tight, really tightly timed a really tense event chain, that was a lot of fun to work on.
'''Elisabeth:''' Very cool. We've talked a lot about things you've done. What was your favorite, though?
'''Connor:''' I'm very fond of the fake Joko event. I got away with a lot of stuff in like the fact that I actually have question mark in the character's name, like fake Joko, like Palawa Joko.
'''Lily:''' You had to run that by editing.
'''Connor:''' Yeah. and the that they're skilled descriptions are powerful mesmer abilities, definitely always had those. And like, um-
'''Kirk:''' That's true.
'''Connor:''' Yeah. I'm also I'm, I'm pretty happy with how [[Zafirah]] wound up. Like it's, oh, there was a lot of technical trickery to making a sniper fight in Guild Wars 2.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah.
'''Connor:''' And there was a lot of stuff that, you know, that like, like the ... There's a lot of weird things, like if you're not constantly taking damage you will heal all our health, so like we had to do things like have like a slow damage ticking poison field, and things like that. And it was really interesting to design around all tho- like there's all the different classes, and all the different things, the way our systems work. And, you know, of course now I look at it and I'm like there's a bunch of things I would change. But I still think like a lot of, not, not everybody 'cause some people just wanted to charge ahead and had a bad time-
'''Elisabeth:''' Sure.
'''Connor:''' But uh, they're a little bit, a lot of people seem to enjoy it. I got... I was very amused by someone who edited a Metal Gear Solid picture-
'''Connor:''' and like put like the Tyria UI, and was up, put all our UI on it. It was like this is my favorite screenshot from the new episode. But yeah pretty proud of that and how that progressed, and also like her emotional development as that fight continued.
'''Elisabeth:''' She's a fun character right? Like it's really neat to see her and to have that experience with her, and it turned into this kind of cohesive cool experience?
'''Connor:''' Yeah. And I think speaking of things, hinting at things that players haven't really looked at, there's a lot of details that about Zaphera that you can dig down into and figure out things about her which I haven't seen people pick out yet.
'''Elisabeth:''' So we are making quite the homework list for characters-
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Elisabeth:''' coming out of this.
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Lily:''' It's only been four days.
'''Elisabeth:''' There's a poet they need to find there's details about Zafirah, there's something Kralkatorrik, um-
'''Kirk:''' There's a lotta-
'''Connor:''' Torrick.
'''Kirk:''' secrets in this episode-
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah.
'''Kirk:''' that have not been found yet.
'''Elisabeth:''' Absolutely.
'''Kirk:''' Yeah.
'''Elisabeth:''' are you aware of any from Sun's Refuge?
'''Lily:''' Oh, so many.
'''Connor:''' Yes. That's all I'll say.
'''Elisabeth:''' Okay.
'''Lily:''' So, so-
'''Elisabeth:''' And that-
'''Lily:''' so-
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah, don't-
'''Lily:''' So many.
'''Elisabeth:''' Wow.
'''Lily:''' This guys a mad genius.
'''Kirk:''' That being said people found a lot of them faster than I was expecting, which I should of just expected.
'''Elisabeth:''' Like what?
'''Kirk:''' The Desert Fox being one of them.
'''Elisabeth:''' Okay.
'''Kirk:''' There's a little gadget up in the corner of some rocks that is just a fun little toy that the ... I just, you know, was feeling, thought it'd be cool one day. And people found that a lot faster than I thought they would. Yeah, there's a couple other things here and there that aren't particularly tied to the the full house meta collection that people found, so.
'''Lily:''' And it was really lovely I think about what you did about, with the Sun's Refuge is how it's multi-state.
'''Kirk:''' Mm-hmm .
'''Lily:''' And, so as the players progress through various open world events, as they progress the story, the space transforms, different characters show up, people's dialog changes. There is dialog you will only hear when you're in a particular state of Sun's Refuge that once you progress further you will never hear again.
'''Connor:''' And that's also in the open world as well. Like, Faren is in the packed camp only until you complete Chapter 3-
'''Lily:''' That's true.
'''Connor:''' and then he, then he's not there. And he has some dialog, he's being Faren, andit's good stuff.
'''Kirk:''' Yeah.
'''Connor:''' Speaking of things that I was surprised people found as quickly, and it has now been posted to Reddit like eight times: the Commandos showing up in the open world.
'''Lily:''' That was your fault wasn't it?
'''Elisabeth:''' Yes-
'''Connor:''' It was collected.
'''Elisabeth:''' So we actually have a question from [Eric Boo 01:11:12] about who's idea that was to bring back the Commandos.
'''Connor:''' I don't want to take credit or give credit because I really think it was a group effort.
'''Elisabeth:''' Nobody's gonna hear or see this. Take all the credit you want.
'''Connor:''' I was the person who actually put it in. 'cause we, yeah, we talked about it, we got permission to do it, and then they weren't in, so I just went and put them in, and I wrote the, I wrote the line of like, "We're in the wrong place.", and then they disappear. I mean reality's falling apart-
'''Kirk:''' Yeah.
'''Connor:''' right? And I think ... I really enjoy that the explanation that players came up with was the exact same one that we had, which is like if all these realities are like chunks of these that they could totally be from one of these realities. So yeah, it was pretty funny. Before the Commandos were found people found like the rifle ID tag-
'''Kirk:''' Yeah.
'''Connor:''' and, so people were like oh, I'm gonna be able to get this machine gun for for my character, and I'm like hmm, hmm, hmm, like hmm, hmm, hmm, but yeah.
'''Kirk:''' That's one of those examples like I was saying of things that as a team we're like this would awesome, but they're totally, you know, it's gonna get shot down, and then we pitched it, and like yeah-
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Kirk:''' let's do it. 
'''Connor:''' That was, that was I think at near the top of the list of the things we didn't think we'd get away with that there-
'''Elisabeth:''' How satisfying, though.
'''Connor:''' were people like-
'''Connor:''' yeah.
'''Kirk:''' Yes.
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah. What, hmm, what did you know was like absolutely there 100%, or was the whole list like we don't know if ''any'' of these are gonna work?
'''Kirk:''' There's one that I'm thinking of that ... Do you mean that w- was allowed, or-
'''Elisabeth:''' Yes.
'''Kirk:''' One ... so in the in Chapter 3, the Legacy instance there is a part where Braham kind of acknowledges yeah, I ... The ... I can kill 'em in 10 minutes, all the spiders and it turns into a little bit of a competition, you have to defeat that entire encounter, and to make Braham look good within a certain amount of time. and when he asks for more time the counter in the top right corner actually goes up a little, for three minutes before I think it's Kossan or Koss shoots it down and says, "No, you're not getting more time." and that was a case where like I was talking to Samantha about it, and we came up with this idea, and well, yeah, it's the narrative, you know-
'''Elisabeth:''' Hmm.
'''Kirk:''' it's, it's not gonna get approved. And then Tom was totally okay with it, and it's like this is gonna be awesome, and it helps solve that moment even more. And it's, it's just ... It was really fun, and it worked out, and it's hilarious, and that entire moment was really funny, so.
'''Lily:''' That-
'''Elisabeth:''' It's very cute.
'''Lily:''' is an awesome moment. For me it was Erik's branded pet rock bounty boss-
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah.
'''Lily:''' which I had to run up the chain of narrative to approve, but Tom said yes, and-
'''Kirk:''' Mm-hmm .
'''Lily:''' now we have a branded pet rock bounty boss.
'''Connor:''' That is ... I really wanted 'cause we had the angry pet rock, um ... So hold on, my things getting pulled. I ... We had the angry pet rock, and we had the disgruntled ettin. I kept pestering Erik 'cause I wanted all of our bounty bosses to feel emotions. I wanted then all-
'''Elisabeth:''' Absolutely.
'''Connor:''' to be like the sad sword, and, like the, I don't know, but only some of them have emotions.
'''Elisabeth:''' And, and the ettin does have some, some jankiness behind it in its development, did it not? I feel like one of my show notes is someone said that there were-
'''Connor:''' I mean if you wanna walk Erik back in here.
'''Elisabeth:''' Oh, no. Never mind, Erik doesn't get to share that story with people, sorry everybody, you'll just have-
'''Kirk:''' Developing a bounty boss can be challenging.
'''Elisabeth:''' to, uh-
'''Elisabeth:''' Absolutely.
'''Kirk:''' this one was ... This episode's bounty boss were particularly interesting because we were tied to the raid. Like we, we-
'''Elisabeth:''' Yes.
'''Kirk:''' went into this episode saying, "Hey, let's, let's find a way to make these feel more connected." and that was a great way. Like the rock came out of the mystic forge, you know, like these are all things that the, them, the Eton's like what the heck am I doing-
'''Kirk:''' here?
'''Elisabeth:''' Why am I here?
'''Kirk:''' Yeah so.
'''Lily:''' The mini fest.
'''Elisabeth:''' Which would describe-
'''Lily:''' Mini pet zoo-
'''Elisabeth:''' that many people, huh?
'''Kirk:''' Yeah.
'''Connor:''' I love that the Eton picks people up and throws them-
'''Kirk:''' Yeah.
'''Connor:''' which is another use of Mount TECH.I'm like-
'''Kirk:''' This guy over here is the mount master-
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Elisabeth:''' Absolutely. Uh uh, so any other kind of moments that you guys wanted to draw attention to, or, or reflect on, before we hop into see if there are any other viewer questions that we wanna get into? Stories that you're just dying to share with the entire internet?
'''Kirk:''' I'm really proud of the storytelling that we're doing in our open world events in this map. like Connor's work with the Joko event-
'''Lily:''' Yep.
'''Kirk:''' and the work that Lilly did for the djinn chain with Ziya and Vemyen I felt that those were extremely successful in being able to tell side stories that aren't really directly related to the Golden Path, but are impacted by it. and for like the 500 year time cycle that, you know, that is linked to Vemyen's chain, which links it to Ziya . You know, she comments on who, who, who put ... Who, who got him out of his bottle, like I'm gonna, you know, I'm gonna be mad at them. And spoilers, I'm not gonna say who was, but, you know, just the finding out who it was, who let them out of the bottle is, is really funny and interesting. and just seeing those kinds of, those, those connections made in the story in the open world was, is special to me, and I'm really happy with how they turned out.
'''Connor:''' There was ... There's-
'''Lily:''' Yeah.
'''Connor:''' One connection that we were surprised by today where it's like-
'''Lily:''' Yes.
'''Lily:''' Yes I, I was working with Byron Miller on the armor collection, and we have a character, an Awakened armorsmith named Amira who has a brother named Zor, and it was today that Connor pointed me to Reddit and said, "Hey, look, here is this gigantic champion." what was it a brand-
'''Connor:''' It's one of the branded-
'''Lily:''' branded-
'''Connor:''' Awakened-
'''Lily:''' Awakened-
'''Connor:''' in the-
'''Lily:''' ca-
'''Connor:''' Argon garrison.
'''Lily:''' Captain Zor, and-
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Lily:''' I was like Samantha. 
'''Connor:''' Yeah, it was just-
'''Elisabeth:''' Oh, no.
'''Lily:''' That was a really nice touch.
'''Kirk:''' You-
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah.
'''Lily:''' I-
'''Kirk:''' you can actually fight the dude, the first this warning.
'''Lily:''' I did not name this guy, so it was clearly that Samantha who had named this person, and it's a really, really nice spell on top of everything.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah, absolutely. a- as we kind of changed the scope on things and do look for that interconnectedness there's a person who actually really wished was able to be here today. Jessica the producer for this episode team was, was scheduled to be in the earlier set of hosts, but she's out sick today and, so props off to her, and to everyone else on the teams who kind of works that coordination to make sure that all the teams are talking to each other, and we're seeing like hey, here's how this bit connects to this stuff-
'''Kirk:''' Mm-hmm.
'''Elisabeth:''' Over here, and how the ray complained-
'''Kirk:''' Mm-hmm.
'''Elisabeth:''' to this. and I ... Obviously that's not one person, that's not any, you know, discreet list of people, it's everybody working to make that happen, and, and a real testament to the team's ability to collaborate like that, and really-
'''Lily:''' Heather kind of forgets kind of a lot of the credit too, she's a team lead for-
'''Elisabeth:''' Absolutely-
'''Lily:''' Episode 4.
'''Elisabeth:''' absolutely. we super appreciate obviously the people who are able to be on this show, but uh, it's always nice to remember that like this is just i-
'''Connor:''' The surface.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah.
'''Connor:''' Yeah, there's-
'''Elisabeth:''' Like cross-disciplinary-
'''Lily:''' Yeah.
'''Elisabeth:''' doesn't really even scratch the surface of, of how much inner-play there is between all the teams at the studio making these things happen, which is pretty cool. speaking of inner-play between teams often people kind of, uh-
'''Connor:''' Wait.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah?
'''Connor:''' If you're ... If we are moving on there's a thing I wanna show.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah, absolutely.
'''Connor:''' we should bring up the video. So at the end of Chapter 4 Blish talks about how you should-
'''Connor:''' go and get hit by lightning.
'''Elisabeth:''' Uh-huh .
'''Connor:''' Um-
'''Kirk:''' Mm-hmm .
'''Connor:''' Blish charged the sword that was actually implemented before we cut it, so I have footage of the commander playing in lightning in order to charge the sword. And that's-
'''Elisabeth:''' Well, let's-
'''Connor:''' a-
'''Elisabeth:''' let's see that now.
Blish:	Ouch, foolish, it didn't work, the sword is still dark unfortunate. Try again. You want me to get myself hit by lightning a second time. Yes, perhaps one along was not enough of a charge. We need more data, okay.
Robo Voice:	Ah.
Blish:	Ugh, foolish, the sword is still dark, that's too bad. Maybe if you hold the sword above your ... I'm not going to get myself hit with lightning again. I'm coming in, but no, we are going to come up with a different plan.
'''Elisabeth:''' He charges the sword up-
'''Connor:''' Yeah-
'''Elisabeth:''' like-
'''Connor:''' it could have worked. It's gotta-
'''Elisabeth:''' sometimes sacrifices have to be.
'''Connor:''' Yeah, a former hypothesis, and then you test it.
'''Kirk:''' Science-
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah, absolutely.
'''Kirk:''' it's great.
'''Lily:''' Well, that introduces our players to our most prolific voice actor, robo voice.
'''Elisabeth:''' 
'''Kirk:''' Oh, my gosh.
'''Elisabeth:''' It's true.
'''Kirk:''' Robo voice, I'm glad that players get to hear it there, and fans get to hear it there, 'cause we hear so many funny bits that, that robo voice does. Like in, in, in the Legacy instance when Koss says the line "Chamber of the Sun." For some odd reason our robo voice just seems to like to correct sun to Sunday-
'''Elisabeth:''' 
'''Kirk:''' So every time we'd enter that chamber he'd say, "Chamber of the Sunday." and it, it'd make me hungry every single time I've been in there. it's just those kinds of things. I think we've told stories about various other m- mispronunciation-
'''Connor:''' Well, I mean it was-
'''Kirk:''' that he does-
'''Connor:''' it was an-
'''Kirk:''' but-
'''Connor:''' ice cream parlor before it was Sunspear Sanctuary.
'''Kirk:''' That's-
'''Elisabeth:''' Absolutely.
'''Kirk:''' cannon now.
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah. Sun's for your Sunday sanctuary.
'''Kirk:''' Yeah.
'''Elisabeth:''' absolutely.
'''Connor:''' Sunday spear. 
'''Kirk:''' Kralkatorrik I think is another big ones.
'''Connor:''' Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah g- I think we, we definitely talked about this one before, but Yoko-
'''Kirk:''' Yeah, Yoko.
'''Elisabeth:''' Yoko is very-
'''Kirk:''' It's-
'''Elisabeth:''' good.
'''Kirk:''' it's like how your, your instance was called Yoko Ono-
'''Connor:''' 
'''Kirk:''' for a while Joko Ono for a-
'''Connor:''' It was-
'''Kirk:''' while.
'''Connor:''' not called Joko Ono, it, because I called Ono Fake Joko, and then everyone decided it was Joko Ono.
'''Kirk:''' Yeah, our entire team just started calling it that for some reason-
'''Kirk:''' and it made Connor-
'''Elisabeth:''' I mean-
'''Lily:''' For some reason.
'''Kirk:''' really upset.
'''Elisabeth:''' I can't imagine why, yeah.
'''Connor:''' 
'''Elisabeth:''' They didn't respect the integrity of your own voice to get-
'''Connor:''' I was what-
'''Elisabeth:''' but-
'''Connor:''' I wasn't trying to make a reference, and then it became a reference to like the, the, artist-
'''Kirk:''' 
'''Connor:''' and then I'm like all right. 
'''Elisabeth:''' Uh who did write not the example, I asked who wrote Faren's mushroom trip lines, that was you?
'''Lily:''' That was me and Samantha. if you wanna parse it what you're hearing on the Golden Path as you go through is Samantha, and what you're hearing when you come back, and the ambient stuff is me. But the narrative team is extremely collaborative, and we are all sitting in a room work-shopping this stuff, so it's a very big team effort.
'''Elisabeth:''' So Samantha talked about kind of the process for digging into the kind of darker emotions. What do you dig into for missed based mushrooms from another reality warping your perceptions?
'''Lily:''' Someone else's sense of fun, I have none of my own- 
'''Elisabeth:''' Clearly.
'''Lily:''' and I have a jar of humor on my desk. 
'''Connor:''' Says with a straight face.
'''Elisabeth:''' and I'm actually gonna pull out a question from the last group and pose it to you all because-
'''Lily:''' Okay.
'''Elisabeth:''' that's fun which is advice or tips for getting on your level in your profession. Connor, we're-
'''Connor:''' Why me?
'''Elisabeth:''' starting with you.
'''Connor:''' Okay. Um-
'''Kirk:''' 
'''Connor:''' design is tough honestly. d- I'd actually say design and writing are both really tough to actually break into the industry with. I think there was a lotta good advice given last time about like just continuing to do stuff, and put it out there. I got my first job in the industry because I just happened to be making a game about debating dead philosophers, andthen like the company that came and saw it happened to be a sca- studio that did like educational games, and they're like, "That's interesting."
'''Lily:''' Socrates Jones-
'''Connor:''' And-
'''Lily:''' you should play it.
'''Connor:''' M- I'm not ... Anyway, um, but yes and it's a big ... It's a combination of just being persistent in making stuff and luck, right, and o- and obviously taking feedback because you never know when a position is going to o- open up at the place. You never know what, eh, the specifics are what they, of what they're looking for even like beyond what's posted on the job thing. So e- there are lots of things you can do to maximize your odds though. You can you know, make, make sure you're presenting your content in an ac- in an accessible way really getting to the core of what you contributed.
'''Connor:''' I know I edited my website a bunch of times until I realized I needed to start with like here are the specific things I did for, on these projects because especially as a designer if you're posting a project like again, because they're so collaborative, your, you, you put a screenshots of pretty art, and people ... You're not, you're not direct- You helped a little bit to f- determine-
'''Elisabeth:''' Yeah-
'''Connor:''' the art.
'''Elisabeth:''' I didn't make those pixels.
'''Connor:''' Yeah, yeah-
'''Kirk:''' Mm-hmm .
'''Connor:''' and and people honestly like a ver- A lotta recruiters aren't gonna download and play the games, right, so it's like some footage is good if you can do that. I know ... This is ... They asked how do you get to my level, but honestly I feel like a big part of it is just getting hired, and then continually trying to learn and con- learning before you get hired as well, so, yeah, I don't know. I'm done.
'''Elisabeth:''' Hot potato passes to Lilly.
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Lily:''' I don't feel qualified to give advice.
'''Elisabeth:''' That's-
'''Lily:''' Every, everything I've received has been through grace, and I don't know that that's a replicable process, so your turn, Kirk.
'''Connor:''' 
'''Kirk:''' Oh, come on. 
'''Connor:''' I mean-
'''Kirk:''' Launch.
'''Connor:''' that's kind of what I was saying, right? A big part of it is just things lining up sometimes-
'''Lily:''' Yeah.
'''Kirk:''' Yeah.
'''Connor:''' and that su- that really s- sucks to hear, right-
'''Lily:''' Right.
'''Connor:''' but like-
'''Lily:''' if there's one thing found, if you jump the universe will catch you.
'''Connor:''' You got caught-
'''Lily:''' I got caught.
'''Connor:''' I feel like that's survivor's blinds- 
'''Lily:''' It is.
'''Connor:''' like, which we also all have. Good point like ... Yeah.
'''Kirk:''' the big ones for me would be don't be afraid to take chances, m- m- like what they were saying don't be afraid to fail.
'''Connor:''' Yeah.
'''Kirk:''' You know, take, take that feedback and learn from it. you know, a- accept that you might not immediately get where your end goal is, you know, you have to see the entire path, not just the end. Um-
'''Connor:''' Yeah, I mean like-
'''Kirk:''' like-
'''Connor:''' Sorry.
'''Kirk:''' It's all right. For me I, I started in QA, I've always been wa- I've always wanted to work in games I always wanted to be a designer, you know, I wanted to build games, and I built games before I s- worked in the industry. You know, they might not have been crazy, fancy stuff, but, you know, just I didn't, may, may not even share them with anybody. Just on my own time, you know, exploring those ideas, and seeing how things work, being invested in, in not just the end product of a game, but the process and the pipeline of how they get made is, tho- those are all really important to me, and I think that helps like companies will notice that, you know? Other coworkers notice that kinda thing. your, your passion for not just the game you're working on, but the medium that you, you accomplish, and were able to tell these awesome stories, you know, so.
'''Connor:''' I, I do have actually one very concrete bit of advice in regards to the making stuff. it's okay to dream small when you're making things on your own. a lot of people, you know, look at like Guild Wars, or Halo, or like Mass Effect, and they're like that's what I wanna make, therefore I have to try to make iton my own, and those games takemultiple years with like a big team. it's okay to make like to especially when you're just starting out, like make small like one person projects, and then once you've made small one person projects find other people who have made small one person projects that have done things that you like, and make two people projects. And you can ... and then you slowly like get better at, better at working with dir- That's actually ... Work with different people-
'''Kirk:''' Mm-hmm .
'''Connor:''' is another big one 'cause collaboration is such a huge part of it.
'''Kirk:''' Yep.
'''Connor:''' yeah.
'''Elisabeth:''' So we'll clearly have to schedule a games industry best practices livestream.
'''Connor:''' Have we not done one of those?
'''Elisabeth:''' I mean we've done things here and there.
'''Connor:''' Okay.
'''Connor:''' That seems like ... Yeah, I do think that that would be ... It's obviously something people are interested in.
'''Elisabeth:''' any closing thoughts on Episode 4 for folks?
'''Connor:''' I'm just-
'''Kirk:''' It's-
'''Connor:''' Yeah, I'm-
'''Kirk:''' You first.
'''Connor:''' I'm just really glad people liked it a lot, you know, like-
'''Kirk:''' It was a lotta work, and just a lot of love went in, I mean a lotta love goes in every episode, but this episode had so much text in it and I'm really happy to have been able to work with Lilly and Samantha-
'''Lily:''' There was-
'''Kirk:''' in getting that-
'''Lily:''' 24,000-
'''Kirk:''' so.
'''Lily:''' words in non-view only, something like that-
'''Kirk:''' Yeah.
'''Lily:''' and we will-
'''Kirk:''' In Sun-
'''Elisabeth:''' In English only.
'''Kirk:''' Sun's Refuge alone had m- more text in it than most releases instances do-
'''Elisabeth:''' 
'''Kirk:''' it, it was a lot. it was a big ask, and everyone was just champions in making s- making it a cool cohesive experience, so.
'''Lily:''' That's a beautifully collaborative team, it was a joy to work on.
'''Elisabeth:''' Awesome. well, it has been a joy to have you all here with us. thank you for joining us, thank you for talking about what you do and pulling back the curtain a little bit for all the fans watching, so thank you. thank you to everyone who has joined us. we are always really excited to sit here and get a chance to kind of talk with you, and talk about the things that we're crazy passionate about so we'll see you again soon. Rubi will be back in the host chair 'cause she'll be feeling so much better and in the meantime we'll see ya in game.

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