I am an Associate Producer on Star Trek Online and I work with a wide variety of our development departments, from powers and systems design to the ship team all the way to our amazing concept artists. This is great for me because I get to argue with all kinds of different people! I get to say things like, “Hey that Romulan cloth sash looks CRAZY!” one minute and then say, “That Borg assimilation power seems super powerful” the next. More tangibly, though, I create and manage schedules, set up and run meetings to deal with any new craziness we try as well as helping unblock any of my fellow STO teammates by finding what their problems are and making them disappear.
How long have you worked in gaming, and what did you do before Star Trek Online?
I am pretty new to the industry (see why a few answers below). I have been working at Cryptic for a little over a year and before that I had a brief stint at SCEA’s offices in Foster City, California.
Who is your favorite Star Trek character and why?
Data! Hands down. Data can have me rolling around laughing in one scene and the next I can be cheering on his awesome android heroics! I also love how his child like naïveté causes him to ask interesting questions about what we might consider “normal” and then his super android “brain” allows him to call shenanigans when things don’t necessarily make sense. Most of all I love when he tries to laugh “HA HA HA … … … “
What is an interesting fact about you that players would be surprised to know?
Before pursuing a job in the video games industry I planned for a career in social work. I graduated college with a degree in sociology and even became the first American to be hired as a full time employee at a government group home for abused and neglected kids in Japan, where I worked for a while before I returned to the States. Hey! Have another fact about me for anyone from the Bay! My first production experience was working on music videos. My favorite project: Keak da Sneak – Super Hyphy.
If you could choose to be an alien on Star Trek, which species would you want to be?
Create your own! Maybe I’m just too excited about this in STO but I just want to mash a bunch of things together. Andorian antennae (I need more appendages to emote with), human chest (Shatner looked good!), Romulan ears (Because I kind of already have them) and Vulcan forearm strength so I could nerve pinch EVERYONE!
Which is cooler: monkeys, robots, pirates or ninjas?
A Ninja Pirate’s Monkey… with a robotic peg leg?
What advice do you have for someone who wants to break into the gaming industry?
If you are truly passionate about getting into this industry you probably don’t need me to tell you anything because you have already done your research and you should know the answers. There are no magic keys to success; hard work, research, practice and putting yourself out there is “all” it takes. For those of you who understand what I’m saying, I look forward to working with you in the future.
What was your first favorite video game?
I guess this is where I try to find some super old obscure game to throw out to boost my nerd cred but that would be doing a disservice to my real favorite game: Final Fantasy Tactics. After the fantastic story I lost myself in doing ridiculous things: Full Oracle squad? Nothing but Monks? Calculator death squads … actually I think I remember that one not working out so well. It doesn’t matter it was a classic!
It is nice to meet you! You definitely seem enthusiastic about the game, which is a great thing -- plus I totally approve of your choice of favorite character. I am looking forward to being able to experience all of your hard work once the game finally releases!