Tag Archives: Stray Bullet Games

And the next chapter begins

Last week it was announced that I no longer work for Stray Bullet Games. At that point, I wasn’t sure if I could announce where I’d be working next and figured it would be better to err on the side of caution.

Well, today was my first day and it was confirmed that I could spill the beans. My current position is as the Community Manager at BioWare Austin. Yes, the very same BioWare Austin that was announced to be working on an MMO some time back.

What exactly is the MMO? Obviously, until an official announcement is released, I can’t say. So don’t ask. And yes, even those of you who have already asked via private messages, emails, and IMs… no, I won’t tell you on there either. Sooner or later, the official announcement will be made but in the meanwhile, I’m not even going to attempt to drop any hints. I will say that I am very excited about this and it is one of the very few opportunities that would even have me consider (much less follow through on) leaving Stray Bullet Games.

That’s all folks.

The Death of Ashen Temper

For those of you just tuning it, today it was announced that I have left Stray Bullet Games, LLC. Also, if you’re into Shadowbane lore or even just a good story, Sam aka Meridian published the first part of the Death of Ashen Temper.

Today has been very surreal so far. Many of the people at Stray Bullet Games I’ve known for years and years and they are so much more than co-workers but all also my friends. Shadowbane itself has been in my life for over eight years and its funny to think back of when I was playing Ultima Online (Pacific Shard) and Everquest (Rallos Zek) and heard of this crazy game called Carnage.net that morphed into Shadowbane. I was so intrigued by the game that I helped moderate the unofficial Shadowbane Forums on Stratics and then later ran the Shadowbane Vault on the IGN Network. Since then, I’ve been the Community Manager, Event Team Lead, and even headed up design on this immense labor of love. I have shed a lot of sweat, tears, and blood over this game. Granted, I’ll still be playing the game, much more openly even, but it won’t be the same.

Monday will start a new chapter in my life. But before moving ahead, I want to take a moment to thank the people who have helped me get here. First and foremost would actually have to be Todd “Warden” Coleman who, for some crazy reason, took in a U.S. Marine and let him (aka me) run the community for the Shadowbane. Also Frank “Kellion” Lucero, Mike “Ramsie” Madden, and Damion “Ubiq” Schubert for seeing the potential within me and taking a chance at directing the future of Shadowbane. There are a a plethora of people I’d love to thank that I’ve met over the years. Chris “Vosx” Mancil, Danielle “Sachant” Vanderlip, Brian “Xanther” Lucas, Jeff “Ashton Kai” Tony, and soooo many others. And of course, if I don’t mention Morigor, she might actually “PK me IRL”. I could easily turn this post into a CD cover (y’know, the music ones that people use to buy back in the day where the artists would thank EVERYONE). But I won’t. I will say that there isn’t a single person I have had the pleasure of working with that I haven’t taken something away from.

Where am I going? I’m not really at liberty to say quite yet. I will say that I am remaining in the Austin area, though. I love this city and not much will tear me away from it in the near future.

Why? Let me clear up any rumors before they start; I am a firm supporter and believer of not only Stray Bullet Games but also the product they are creating. It is a fantastic company and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I hold no ill will whatsoever and, truth be told, everyone there I consider a good friend. No, this is about me and my growth in the profession I have chosen.

I was presented with a fantastic opportunity that would take my career to the next level. The easy road would be for me to stay at Stray Bullet Games but I’m not the kind of person who takes the easy road; I’m the kind that will take a challenge if it will help me grow.

I truly wish the best to everyone at Stray Bullet Games; not that they need it. They are not only a company with a wealth of knowledge, talent, and skill but also are also thinking of games as they should be done… They want to make games that are fun to play, first and foremost. Some would say that is obvious but I would disagree.

Well, its time for this to go live; the announcements are about to go up. And maybe its because I’m biased, but if you haven’t read Meridian’s post on the “Death of Ashen Temper“, you really should.

Beware the Stray Bullet!

What a few weeks it has been! Since my initial trip on a job interview in late April, everything has become a blur; so much that I have a ton of catching up to do on my very own forums! A few days after getting back to Austin from there, it seems like I was back on a plane and this time headed for E3 2006 (which I definitely need to do a write up about still). Had a great time there and actually got about half the things accomplished I set out to (which is good for E3).

I headed back to Austin and wait the dreaded May 15th; the last day of Wolfpack Studios. I showed up early in the morning as I usually do, and sat down at my desk. Sitting there, though, I really was unsure what to do and, from the look of things, most others did not either. Our last deadline was upon us and there were no future ones.

Well, the day dredged on as employees were brought into the HR office and given their walking papers. Slowly but surely, the Pack started to dwindle. You would think that would be the end; but it wasn’t.

From the ashes of Wolfpack Studios, a new company has formed called Stray Bullet Games (SBG). Unlike Wolfpack, SBG is not a Ubisoft company. Instead it is a Third-Party Development Studio. This basically means the studio is, technically, answerable to itself. I say technically because, obviously if a studio undertakes a contract from a publisher, that publisher will be making payments and will garner them at least some say in the project they are contracting for.

Which brings us to Shadowbane. Ubisoft has contracted Stray Bullet Games to keep Shadowbane alive and well. Since SBG is not a Ubisoft company, things will be a little different than it was with Wolfpack Studios. For the most part, these changes will be transparent to players.

Is Shadowbane the only thing Stray Bullet Games is working on? At this point I cannot go into much detail but there are other things in the works. Stray Bullet Games definitely does not plan on being a one-trick pony. And, of course, we have the goal of designing and crafting our very own next-generation MMO.

What will it be? Well, it is much too early to say and it is something we are discussing internally as to what exactly we want to do. I will be blunt and say we will not be doing Shadowbane 2. The publishing and intellectual rights are not owned by Stray Bullet Games and we will, more than likely, make an original title. With that said, we plan on doing what we do best so it wouldn’t be unthought-of to expect player-vs.-player and strategic combat. And while the implementation and specifics may differ, the aspects I talk about in my (crazy) sandbox idea Dominion, such as an in-depth political system, territorial and economic control systems, and character building with meaning are echoed by everyone at Stray Bullet Games.

While Stray Bullet Games might be considered by some as a new start-up company, it is not really. In fact, Stray Bullet Games picked up most of the key personnel from Wolfpack Studios. Frank Lucero, the General Manager and founder of Stray Bullet Games (not to be confused with the Latino Comedian), has been in the gaming industry for over fifteen years. Most other members of the company are seasoned industry veterans, not even including their time in Wolfpack Studios, such as Ala Diaz, Clay “Nazgul” Towery, George Ruof, Ivan Enriquez, Mike “Ramsie” Madden, and Ranjeet Singhal. And we must not forget our loremaster Sam “Meridian” Johnson. With this much experience and passion under one roof, not even the sky is the limit!

Stay tuned for the new website (for Stray Bullet Games) which will contain much more information and official press releases.