By Aimee “Ashlanne” Rekoske
It is a brand new year and with it comes brand new SOE Employees to meet. We want you to get to know folks in Finance, Human Resources, Development, Legal, Quality Assurance, Office Operations, Customer Service, Administrative Assistants, and Marketing, just to name a few. We have people from all walks of life here at SOE.
Each month the Community Team will highlight one of SOE’s many diverse employees in a monthly feature titled, “SOE Employee Spotlight.” Each month our spotlighted employee will also appear in some fashion on the Official SOE Podcast. In our February spotlight for 2012 you will meet Carlos Mora, EverQuest II Game Designer. Take a moment to find out about what a typical day in the office is like for him, what his favorite SOE game is, and other fun tidbits. As a special bonus, we included a screenshot from his favorite SOE game for you to download!
Tell us about yourself! What’s your name and what do you do here at SOE? How long have you been working at SOE?
My name is Carlos Mora and I have worked at SOE for a little over 5 years. Before that I was in the US Military as a computer programmer. Gaming was a huge thing in the military and like just about everyone I worked with I was drawn to EverQuest like a moth to a flame. After my two tours in the military I joined SOE as a member of the Platform QA team working on stuff like the forums, websites, etc. From there I got a shot as an Associate Designer for EverQuest II which I have been working on ever since. I have also worked a bit on Free Realms which was a blast! In EverQuest II I have worked on numerous projects. The Haunted Mansion, Haunted Hedge Maze, Icy Keep (Heroic and Raid), Tower of Frozen Shadow (Heroic and Raid), The Hole Instances, The Befallen instances, the Najena instances, Crystal Caverns, Fortress Spire, The Ascent, Forgotten Pools, and Sundered Frontier. I’m sure I am leaving a bunch of other zones I have worked on but it’s so hard to keep track! I have also done a few heritage quests here and there. Also during this last expansion “Age of Discovery” I was in charge of the mercenary system. In Free Realms I did implementation on Seaside and worked on the Card Duelist Class quest lines.
How did you get into the industry?
I have always had an interest in video games but it wasn’t until I got a side job in the military working for a gaming website doing articles and features on EverQuest II and Star Wars Galaxies that I really knew I wanted to get into design. I met a lot of really cool people while I had that job and that helped when it came time to transition my life over to the civilian world.
Tell us what a typical workday is like for you.
A typical workday for me is pretty busy. The day usually starts off pretty early for me as that seems to have carried over from when I was in the military but that gives me a good amount of time to get some creative juices flowing on quests or boss fights or whatever I am working on for that day. I usually spend thirty minutes to an hour going through the previous day’s /feedback and /bug reports looking for stuff that needs fixing. Then there is usually a meeting or two at some point during the day, then right back to putting in more content. Some days get spent doing nothing but writing pages and pages of dialog while other days are spent debugging a fight that isn’t quite working like it should.
Every day is a new adventure in this job, but it’s not all playing games like some people may think. This job is tough! But it’s fun at the same time and totally worth it.
Let’s talk favorites… What is your favorite SOE game title? What is your favorite location, favorite thing about that game? Do you have a favorite memory or moment from that particular game?
I have played so many it’s tough to choose just one. EverQuest II is the one I always come back to though. It’s not because I work on it either. I genuinely love the game and have lost many hours of sleep raiding, dungeon crawling, and yes even decorating a house or two *blush*. My favorite thing about EverQuest II would be dungeons. I love the old school DnD dungeon crawl and doing that with 5 friends and cutting it up in voice chat is tops for me. My favorite moment in EverQuest II would be crawling through Laboratory of Lord Vyemm with my guild at the time. They were a great bunch of folks and to this day we still talk about rolling alts and locking them at that level just to go back and run that zone and Deathtoll again.
If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?
That’s a tough question… Well, if I had to choose one it would likely be the Flash. I mean how cool would it be if you wanted a burger you could just *ZOOM* I gotz me a burger! Oh noes, I forgot a shake… *ZOOM* gotz me a shake!
If you could go on vacation and money wasn’t an object what would you do?
I have always wanted to take my 4 kids on a Disney cruise. What can I say? I am a sucker for seeing my kids happy.
Let’s get real! Hobbies? What’s last book you read? Last movie you saw? What do you do to unwind after a busy day?
Well, I play an unhealthy amount of EverQuest II… I tend to go to the movies a lot when work isn’t all that busy so I haven’t been in a while. The last movie I went to was Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows. Outside of that I play Magic: The Gathering, board games, Airsoft, fishing, and you know the normal not sitting in my computer chair for hours on end type stuff. I also host a Minecraft server for when I just want to build something.
A typical unwind after a long day consists of finding a really bad movie on Netflix and laying on the couch with my kids and falling asleep.
Enjoy this screenshot from EverQuest II, Carlos’s favorite SOE Game!
We hope you enjoyed meeting Carlos and will take a listen to a future Podcast where Carlos will be featured. Return next month for another SOE Employee Spotlight.