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Week in the Life - Mod Osborne

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Mod Osborne

Mod Osborne

Jagex Moderator Forum Profile Posts by user
(NOTE - This was written on the 31st June, so some things will have already been released and seen by you. Regardless, it should give you an idea of the general hijinx I get up to).

Monday:

I begin the morning by chairing a meeting to determine the Runefest main stage and second stage sessions. There’s a surplus of post-it-notes on my desk (people just love to leave me messages on my monitor when I am away - I am currently looking at one that says “why do the goebies go squish?”) so I take various post-it notes, and we start sketching ideas. These post-it notes soon form a schedule, and we’re all on board. We have things to announce, a greater presence for Old School, a few surprises, and everybody gets allocated a session or two to manage. That’s one of several steps on the way to Runefest, and I book in a brainstorm for skillchip activities on Thursday with some lovely, creative individuals.

Over the course of the day, I knuckle down and create a survey that will be sent to a select number of players. This survey lists the large updates that the new RS management team are excited by, and asks players to rate them and pick a top 5. With everyone happy with the final survey contents, we grab a room and order them according to our favourite updates, as well as trying to predict the players’ order. We’ll come back to the final list when the survey is complete, to see how aligned we are with the players. I’m betting that you guys will surprise us in lovely ways.

The day is full of other things of course, some of which I’ll try to remember hazily. I talk to the Tuska team about some gentle changes to ‘hidden’ dialogue for the Tuska culmination, which I wrote over the weekend (Dave - and only a few people have spotted now it has gone live!). Let’s see if you can find this out-of-the-way character who has comments about the end of the event! I work with Mod Ollie on the Runelabs criteria for July, getting the wording right and offering up a few choice ideas for example questions. We decide that ‘Who would win: Vorago or Arraxor?’ is not the kind of question to lead the Runelabs criteria with. Finally, a few members of the team have concerns about how rewards are dropped in Raids. We have a chat and reach a conclusion that we all agree on.

I am also woken up at 4am in the morning by a lively baby who wants to play.

Tuesday:

Tuesday is livestream day, which means that Invention and Elite Skills are about to get their time in the sun. Me, Mod Moltare and Mod Ollo gather together some concept artwork that we are happy to show, form some bulletpointed topics that we want to make sure that we touch on, and we come up with some strawpolls that we think people might like. Mod James gathers some questions, and – yes – he does show us the questions before we go on. Not that we have much time to read them through, however – he normally lists forty to fifty, and you can only prepare so much for that kind of onslaught! The livestream itself goes pretty well – there is an unfortunate meme of Mod Moltare that goes viral, and general interest is decent. We make a note to talk about Invention again when there is more to get excited about –there is no set release date and no real items to show at the moment. Still, we learn a lot, and we’re excited about the project!

Tuesday also houses the first sprint review of the week, which is where a team gets to show off what they have done in a two week period, and I am one of the daunting ones in the room who gives feedback and okays the given content. This one goes particularly well, and features a pet that might be in my top three all-time pets (Dave - You've seen it now! This went out with The Beach, and was a fish out of water). Perhaps even number one. Needless to say, it gets sign-off, alongside some other pieces that have smaller feedback (mostly around complexity of game mechanics). Job done.

There’s a discussion of player numbers, chaired by our Analytics Team. I also send the first of my ‘Lead Design’ emails to the team. With a little bit of luck, this regular email will let the team know more about the decisions that have been made, and why. I talk about plans for giving 2015 more oomph, the broad plans for 2016, what we have been doing with Invention, and also gave teams some design directions to think about – asking them to consider certain design principles, like exploration and feelings of ownership. With this information, hopefully the team doesn’t feel that they are throwing updates into the air like clay pigeons, waiting for me to shoot them down.

I also lose a game of squash.

Wednesday:

Any given day is probably two-thirds filled with meetings. This is the first thing I learned when I became Lead Designer! Still, today is remarkably clear, and it gives me the opportunity to really knuckle down. I gather information on Runelabs, the number of people who use it, and what our plans are now that we’ve reached its six-month anniversary. Everyone is of the same opinion, and we prepare how we talk to the players. This is hush-hush, so I’ll let you find out more in the next few weeks (Dave - Although, you now know! We agreed to create a survey to gather sentiment from you guys, and provisionally talk about reducing the number of updates created from Runelabs).

Aside from a short meeting about how to coordinate our teams (lots of powerpoint presentations and jargon, so I won’t go into detail), I send an email asking for skillchip activity ideas for Runefest. I scurry around, looking for people to coordinate those tasks (delegation! A beautiful thing!). I receive lots of emails from the team, some of which make me worry about the submitters (one email is all in caps, THROW GARLIC AT JMOD VAMPYRES).

We look at Hero’s Welcome and whether it did everything we wanted it to. This is kickstarted by a report from the analytics team that does such juicy things as tell us where people are stuck, how long it takes to play the quest, etc. A lot of the conversation revolves around Barbarian Training and whether it was too big a requirement-obstacle to playing the quest. I also read through Mod Mark’s Behind the Scenes newspost, and give some feedback on the Raids and Big Cats section. We change a bit of language, but generally we sign it off and wait eagerly to find out what players think of the stuff in it. This is followed by the writing of the next poll, which is planned for a couple of weeks’ time. (Dave - And

I also get really hot in the boiling office (31 degrees!), so I buy a tub of ice cream on the way home.

Thursday:

Today is a little cooler, which makes working easier. I read through the brainstorm notes from The Guardians on an event they are working on (Dave - You now know this as the Falador Event). Their ideas are fantastic with a dash of crazy and I have to ask them to remove an idea for a two-person horse outfit. I feel mean. I also get to have a similar meeting with RS DOS, who are working on the Christmas event. This is just to get the project rolling, giving them my objectives for the event and what it would be great to see again (snowboards!).

I hold a skillchip brainstorm for Runefest (will there be garlic and vampyres? Who knows?), and follow that up immediately with a catch-up with the Runefest team about their plans for the event as a whole. To complete the afternoon full of meetings, we hold one about the content survey, and a general design meeting where everyone shares the issues with their current projects. Lots of closed rooms, lots of heat!

I also play squash, but fail to get revenge.

Friday:

The weekend looms, but there is so much to do! A free morning allows me to look over some creative writing that Mod Timbo put together for an upcoming ninja fix to wieldable books. This involves a large amount of cross-referencing with existing texts, as he has waded into a section of RuneScape that has already received a lot of ingame lore! Damn you Timbo, damn you. Still, it makes for an entertaining morning, and he’s littered it with a few jokes and riddles to keep me interested. To continue the theme, Mod Tony W hands me some more creative writing for the Seren Quest, as he wants to do something interesting to the player when they fail at a specific point in the quest.

I set up an email alias for the ‘Combat Council’ – a group of staff members who I consider to be crazy-helpful when it comes to high-level combat-oriented updates. I’ll be checking in with them on every combat-themed update, as their input is invaluable. It also makes up for the slight deficit of combat knowledge that I have at the moment (but am working on in my free time. I will get you, Kalphite Queen).

Excitingly, I spend a half-hour with two environment developers about the Oculus Rift and whether we can put together something new for Runefect that will get people salivating. I end the meeting by rattling off the top 10 areas ingame that I would like to see in tVR. Strangely enough, Aquarium is only my number 2. See if you can guess the others! I then catch up with Chronicle, who have their eyes on a particular character from RuneScape lore to host tutorial-like sections. We natter about actors that this person is most like, and come up with some example dialogue.

Lastly, I have some moments of inspiration about skillchip activities at Runefest. Only one of them involves an inflatable remote-controlled shark.

I share a bag of skittles with Mod Conor

29-Jul-2015 08:41:44

SwreeTak
Sep Gold Premier Club Member 2007

SwreeTak

Posts: 1,918Mithril Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
A wonderful blog post. I loved the small, ending details you put in at end of each day. You do have your fair share of sweet trouble, just as I expected. Getting woken up at 4 AM can't be too much fun, though I guess it is to be expected when you got a baby :P. Also RIP Mod Osborne at the Squash arena. Who did you lose to, if I may ask?

Thank you very much for reading this, it gave plenty of insight and was very entertaining!
Rite of Passage - Explore a new world, learn about the aviansie and ancient secrets!

31-Jul-2015 09:19:32

Erjolf
Apr Gold Premier Club Member 2015

Erjolf

Posts: 92Iron Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
So there's an NPC somewhere out there that has something to say about Tuska? Sneaky Osborne.
Rillah Far-strider, Fremennik Warrior

Prince of Miscellania and Etceteria

Champion, Hero, Legend. World Guardian.

31-Jul-2015 14:16:44

Black Death
Mar Member 2017

Black Death

Posts: 7,382Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
I like the idea of the combat council. :) A lot of things combat related still need work done and i would really like to see a team that we beta testers can talk to in more detail. Also i think it would be nice to get a fresh pair of eyes on combat as thats always a good idea and we can stop spamming Mod pi's Twitter.

31-Jul-2015 14:46:10

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