Feb 18 2010

Leadership

Every once and a while I like to reflect on what I enjoy most about what I do. It’s kind of interesting to look through all of my experiences, previous self reflections, and currently where I am in my life, career, etc. Most of all I think about my experiences and which of those experiences I get the most fulfillment from, whether they are technical, managerial, or leadership oriented. Of all of my experiences in both personal and professional, I think that I enjoy any kind of managerial / leadership position where I’m helping a team build and perform. Mostly, I love supporting others.

Leading a strike team of developers on CPWeb over a 6 month process to resolve security flaws in a decade old web product. My time as an alpha medic, representing the players of Tabula Rasa, communicating to the developers on how they could improve the class. My experiences as a Admin / Developer / GM of Obsidian, helping shape a world for other players to enjoy. The ongoing saga of and all that guild has meant to me, leading a community of players who have like minded, respectful, play style. My attempts to start a leadership resource website for MMO leaders, giving them resources to learn how to be better leaders and write articles on leadership styles and techniques and my conversation with John Kotter about the idea and his support of the concept. All the volunteer work I’ve done to help small business, organizing volunteer efforts for work, and helping provide feedback to how we can improve our respect for remote colleges in a globalized corporation. My time as a manager of software development, both improving my product, managing a small team of developers, and all while making vast improvements to the product and customer delight. My attempts at leading an independent game studio to develop an XBox 360 title with a team of people spanning the globe from the UK, to the east and west coast of the US. If you really want to boil it down, my role as a healer in an MMO is because I enjoy being in that supportive role, helping others succeed.

All of these accomplishments I’m deeply proud of. All of these accomplishments have a central theme: they involve leadership and supporting others.

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Jul 24 2009

Been a crazy quarter

Published by at 7:55 am
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So I don’t think I can begin to write everything that’s happened in the last two months so I’ll keep it short to a bullited list. To sum things up, we did a lot, many things were accomplished, we got very tired, we are just now catching up to a semi-normal (for us anyways) way of life.

  • End of April / beginning of May made offers on the Pasadena house we were renting
  • May 15th, found out that it was a no-deal with our x-landlord, started searching on our own for a new house
  • May 16th, got a realtor (Lynn Cumberland, refered from Brad Hansleman who was refered by Mark Nortman), did drive-bys on the first huge set of houses
  • May 17th, did walk throughs of the first set of houses
  • May 18th, made a deal on Derry Lane house
  • May 20th, no-deal on Derry Lane, went on to search for more
  • May 21st, through drive by’s and other things shortened 3 lists of 50+ houses down to 12
  • May 23rd, saw all new houses and fell in love with Cougar Place, made an offer
  • May 24th, we had an accepted offer
  • May 27th, home inspection
  • June 3rd, had appraisal
  • June 6th, we got boxes and the packing begins!
  • June 11th, FHA docs to sign
  • June 15th, notice to Pasadena landlord
  • June 22nd, my 30th birthday
  • June 23rd, conditional approval
  • June 26th, final approval
  • June 29th, signing
  • June 30th, closing and got our keys at 7:30 PM PST
  • June 30th – July 4th, move-in of delicate items
  • July 3rd, our fridge arrived
  • July 4th, rewired / upgraded our ethernet in the house
  • July 5th, the big move in thans to UHaul and A+ Student Movers
  • July 6th, our washer/dryer arrived and comcast got us setup
  • July 6th, my final term of my Bachelor’s degree begins
  • July 7th – July 11th, move of final items including plants
  • July 11th, final cleaning
  • July 13th, move out inspection
  • July 16th, saw Dave Bixel, a tax professional that works with Mark Nortman (our financial advisor)
  • July 18th, went fishing
  • July 19th, painting in Kerrie’s office is compelte
  • July 20th, life returns to a semi-state of normal

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Mar 12 2009

Paintball with South and friends

Published by at 11:08 pm
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It has been a LONG time since I played paintball. I was looking forward to it because my brother had given me his old (but good) paintball gun which I was looking forward to using this evening. Unfortunately after John looked at the gun, it needs a little bit more equipment and I need to get my own O2 tank and other supporting equipment like I dunno… A FRICKIN HOPPER. Well anyhow, we had a good time. Shot through almost half a case of paint and played for around 3-4 hours. My legs are killing me, my welts are sore, but overall we had a fantastic time. Other than one particular instance of getting LIT up by balls at the start of a match, I was pretty consistent in only getting shot in the head (which as they say, that means I’m doing it right). Was glad to meet South’s friends and would be happy to hang out with them again. It would be good to expand my extended network of friends outside online gaming.

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Jun 03 2008

Do I have an audience?

Published by at 11:59 am
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I’ve been blogging since 2005. Over the years I’ve run a personal blog, a professional blog, and some gaming blogs. I got tired of blogging in so many places that if you are a reader of my blog you know that about a month ago I merged everything “under one roof” so to speak. Now that I’ve merged so many of my different blogs into one place, I am now forced to ask myself… do I have an audience? Has the merging of my content into one blog helped or hurt my ability to advertise and get comments on some of the things I blog about?

I originally made my blog for my own memory keeping purposes, but I wonder if this has changed. Do people care about the things I’m blogging about? I’m sure my guild cares about some of the guild blogging I do, but does the general public care about some of the leadership blogging that I do or general gaming blogging. Should I blog about game reviews more? I’m not sure anymore.

So in an effort to answer the question “Do people care?”, I head out to WarhammerAlliance.Com to ask the writers out there for feedback. Maybe people do care and I just haven’t ever bothered to advertise my blog. Maybe I should. I await their comments.

So if you’re reading this. What’s your opinion of my blog and should I bother advertising it?

Jun 02 2008

Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology

Published by at 11:54 am
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ESAK
http://www.guildcafe.com/zQuest.php
ESAK players often see the game world as a great stage, full of things to see and people to meet. They love teaming up with people to get to the hard-to-see places, and they relish unique experiences.
Achiever 20.00%, Explorer 86.67%,
Killer 20.00%, Socializer 73.33%

Funny because I’ve always through of myself a little more of an Achiever than this test rated me as. Although I believe the biggest achievements in an MMO at least revolve around exploration and building community (socializing). I really enjoyed the test, particularly the last question on my test which was Knowledge or Power. I of course chose Knowledge, for it is a stronger… more subtle power than direct power itself. There were many guild related questions and I continued to learn toward them. It really makes me proud of the group I’ve made and I am really enjoying gaming with them again. Can’t wait till Warhammer when we can all start playing the same game again though. Most of us are spread across several games.

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May 29 2008

DnD 4th Edition

Published by at 8:40 pm
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Today hallmarked a new day in the lives of pen and paper geeks everywhere. When Wizards of the Coast bought TSR many many moons ago, many Dungeons and Dragons fans were skeptical. DnD 3rd Edition alleviated most of the fears people had with a slightly expanded core rule set, expanding the D20 structure to allow 3rd parties to write modules, and graced the rulebook with the art styles we’re accustomed to from the Magic: The Gathering team. DnD 3.5 made a decent step forward for the game witha lot of new  classes and again further expanding the game. With the release of 4th Edition next week, apparently the game is going to change in ways no one saw coming.

Victor Hermenzee, great friend/co-worker/DM, is apparently spending his evening tonight going over the new rule set. According to what I’ve heard to far, “This is a completely different game. A great, but different game.” From another friend of mind I heard, “The changes between 3.5 and 4.0 is like the differences between 2.0 and 3.5”. It will be interesting to see what this does for the pen and paper genre and hopefully, if we’re lucky, we’ll get another DnD campaign going.

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May 21 2008

Common Courtesy

Published by at 4:10 pm
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Who deletes an account off of a website without telling the person why?
Particularly who deletes a friend off of your website without telling them why?

A day ago after watching more and more videos about Age of Conan, I was thinking about playing Age of Conan for a little bit. Particularly a Priest of Mitra. Why? Well because from a single player, story driven RPG standpoint, it seemed like that alone was worth playing. So I made an account on TheConclave.Org and posted on their boards letting them know I was thinking about playing. A lot of the Browncoats/HILYMI members are hanging out there until Warhammer launches and a lot of the other cool people I knew from Tabula Rasa. I said I had my doubts because I wasn’t sure if the healing was “up to snuff” for my taste, but there wasn’t anything horribly negative. Again, I am still at this moment downloading the client. /shrug

Well apparently somebody (I don’t know who… yet) thought it was a good idea to not only delete my post, but delete my whole damn forum account. Now I can’t even PM anyone asking why. I’ve had to go to PlanetTR and PM the moderators of TheConclave.Org, asking them why my account was deleted. Maybe it was a misunderstanding and someone who didn’t know me from TR nuked my account unknowingly (like a conclave member who didn’t play TR). Still though, it says a lot about their moderation policies if a potential friend of the guild can just up and get deleted out of the blue like that.

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May 13 2008

VictorLaurence.Com Reinvented

Published by at 3:49 pm
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Over the last two days I’ve been busy importing my LiveJournal Blog (http://cyebrvic.livejournal.com), my Tabula Rasa Blog (http://victeonus.livejournal.com), and merging it with the concepts held within the old VictorLaurence.com. I wanted one comprehensive blog that A. supported my personal journal writing,  B. my game blogging, and C. my career portfolio. I think this new blog format will do that all in one place. Additionally it has a lot more features built into it than LiveJournal and instead of having to pay a yearly fee for multiple paid LiveJournal accounts, I’m utilizing bandwidth and server space already paid for through Dreamhost (oh and I’m experimenting with Google Adsense, forgive me if it’s annoying).

As far as my overall theme of this new site, I’m pretty happy with it. It’s simple, yet says “Oregon” all over it. It’s a bit modern, but not super modern. I think it fit’s well and I like how the date is displayed on posts. Originally I was going to go with a 2 column layout, but then went with a 3 column.

One of the new features I love about WordPress is the built in spell checker is better and the fact that I can assign single posts to multiple categories. This allows me, and my readers to read specific categories of posts they care about. For example http://www.victorlaurence.com/topic/gaming/hilymi is all posts related to Hit It Like You Mean It. I’ve spent an extensive time re-categorizing all my old posts. I still need to go through all the Warcraft ones and make sure that the ones that should and should not be classified for HILYMI as classified as such.

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Apr 25 2008

Ventrilo 2008-2009 donation drive

Published by at 11:10 pm
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On April 15th I asked the Browncoats and HILYMI for donations for our vent server. Pretty simple, I wanted to pay for a whole year of one of the best vent providers with best codec around for a 32-man server. Donations at first came in rather slowly, then I put up one of those donation Thermometers/Bats and an amazing thing happened.

As of today, April 25th, thanks to the donations from the Browncoats and Hit it like you mean it, we hit our goal. I’m so proud of everyone coming together to pay for a resource that’s outside my normal scope of things I pay for myself (the guild website I offer for free because it’s all lumped into my Dreamhost account).

Oh and we actually went a little above goal, but that’s ok. I’ll keep those funds in the account until we need them again.

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Apr 01 2008

HILYMI Resurrection

Published by at 8:20 pm
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So today I decided to resurrect HILYMI as a Warhammer: Age of Reckoning guild. I assure you, this is NOT an April Fools joke. Don’t ask me why this came to me on a day like this but continuing frustrations about TR and seeing posts on the HILYMI forums motivated me to do it today… /shrug.

I will continue to hate Warcraft, but I miss the guild. I don’t like what Blizzard has done to the game. It is not the game for me anymore. I’m not interested in going back to Warcraft, but I’m not happy in Tabula Rasa. It’s a great game, but it’s not the kind of game I want it to be and will never be. Warhammer, now with the big budget of EA, is shaping up to be an excellent game.

    25 years of Games Workshop universe complexity.
    Financial backing of Electronic Arts.
    Realm vs Realm game play from Dark Age of Camelot.
    Instanced PVP and PVE concepts from Warcraft.
    Instanced raiding. World event raids.
    Truly the next generation MMO.
    I pre-ordered my limited collector’s edition copy on Sunday.
     

I was talking with Krommy in AIM chat and he mentioned “Isn’t Warhammer still in Beta?”. Yes, Warhammer is due in the fall. Yes it’s quite early to be discussing the guild’s future in Warhammer, but these things take time.

    Discussions take time.
    Revamping the website will take time.
    Finding lost brothers will take time.
    Gathering our forces will take time.
    Re-forming the officership will take time.
    Re-writing policy will take time.These things will take time.
     

I want all of it worked out BEFORE the game starts. That way we have time to enjoy the game and have a strong clean head start in the universe. We have a lot of lost time to make up. We can start that journey now.

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