By Aimee “Ashlanne” Rekoske
The end of year is upon us and we have just one more SOE Employee to meet before we say good bye to 2012! We’ve gotten to know folks in Customer Service, Marketing, Platform, Development, Facilities and more!
Please meet Steve Melton, Associate Software Engineer in the Operational Engineering department here at SOE! 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 include a screenshot his favorite SOE game!
Tell us about yourself! What’s your name and what do you do here at SOE? How long have you been working at SOE?
Hi! My name is Steve Melton and I’ve been at SOE for a little more than a year now. I work in Operational Engineering and I do all sorts of fun stuff like programming add-ons for the new forums, working on the tools that our CS people use, and programming things that (try to) make the lives of our Operations team easier.
How did you get into the industry?
Working with Video Games is something I’ve always wanted to do. In fact, it’s pretty much the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do! Since I started playing Everquest more than ten years ago, I played every MMO I could get my hands on while also studying computers and programming to learn how it all worked. After finishing college, I continued to play MMOs and even made a few single-player games of my own. A few years after graduating (and after many dreams of working on games), my long-time guildmate and friend Rich (the CTO here) knew I had a desire to be involved in the MMO industry and gave me a chance. Since then, I’ve learned an extraordinary amount about programming and the game industry. I’ve also learned that there is much more to learn, and I look forward to it every day!
Tell us what a typical workday is like for you.
In the morning I spend a few minutes catching up on the gaming news around the world, and I have an RSS reader on my keyboard screen to make sure I keep up to date with everything that’s happening throughout the day. After that, I’ll usually take a swim in some code for the project I’m currently working on. I’ll also usually spend some time talking to my boss, who gives me advice on my current projects and seems to teach me something new every day. I’ll also do some daily tasks such as completing small tasks for other departments like writing scripts for them. My favorite days (besides free donut and bagel day) are the ones where I get to dive deep into some programming and come out at the end of the day with something new and exciting.
SOE Live is still fresh in everyone’s memory, what was your favorite part?
SOE Live was amazing! My favorite part by far was being able to talk to fans of the games and get their feedback on things I’ve been working on, like the new forums. This was actually my second time going to SOE Live. I went once around ten years ago as an Everquest player and got to meet all of my fellow guildmates. It was an amazing feeling to be able to come back again, this time as an employee! I even had time to go to a few of the player panels which was great as well. I can’t wait to go back next year and do it all again!
Let’s talk favorites… What is your favorite SOE game title? What is your favorite thing about that game?
It really is hard to pick a favorite (I’ve been playing a ton of DCUO and PlanetSide 2 lately) but I have to give it up to the original Everquest. That game introduced me to the world of online gaming and it blew my 16-year-old brain when I first played it. Being able to play a game with people over my dial-up internet was one of the coolest things in the world to me. I remember sneaking the family computer into my room a few times just so I could play all night long without waking anyone.
The idea of raiding, though, is what really hooked me. When I was at the house of a friend of mine, I saw his older brother doing a raid, killing an enormous dragon with what seemed like a hundred other people. Determined to be able to do that one day, I leveled up my lowly Bard as quickly as I could to be able to participate with his guild. By the time I finally got there, they were just starting on the Planes of Power expansion. Working through all of those raids up to the Plane of Time is something I’ll never forget; zoning in to Plane of Time for the first time and seeing the massive, ticking clock gave me the biggest nerd-chills I’ve ever had.
If you could take an ability from in the game and have it in real life what would it be and why?
This one was easy for me: Bard speed! I was a cross-country runner while I was in high school and I remember wishing I had Selo’s more than a few times. I think having Bard powers in general would be pretty cool. I mean yeah, we all have a few singers in our lives that can be moving, but to actually be able to sing a song that would make people buff? I could have the worst voice ever (which I do) but everyone would STILL come to my shows!
If you could go on vacation and money wasn’t an object what would you do?
South Korea for sure! I love the emergence of ESPORTS that’s happened over the last few years and to be able to go to the finals for a popular game (that they actually show on TV there!) would be amazing.
PlanetSide 2 what empire do you play?
Vanu for life! I’ve always been a real techie and huge supporter of technology so the VS were a perfect fit for me. I admit our ways can be a little…extreme, but hey, who isn’t?!
Vampires or Zombies, and why?
Oh man. I gotta give it up to Zombies on this one. Strictly from a gaming perspective, the zombie genocide I’ve committed with my friends over the years has definitely been more satisfying than my encounters with the vamps. Although I love me some Castlevania, I’ll take some good old fashioned chainsaw-to-zombie-face action any day.
Do you have a hobby? What’s the last book you read? Last movie you saw? What do you do to unwind after a busy day?
My hobby is definitely playing games! Although I usually play MMOs, I also love to play tons of other games, my favorite being racing games and single player RPGs. The last book I read I think was either a book on programming or the instruction manual for a game. Does that count?! The last movie I saw was Wreck-It Ralph and it was amazing! They did a really great job putting so many video game references in there. After a busy day, I like to watch TV with my wife, watch some streams on Twitch, and play a game that doesn’t require me to think too much.
Enjoy this screenshot from EverQuest, Steve’s favorite SOE Game!
We hope you enjoyed meeting Steve and will join us in the New Year for more SOE Employee Spotlights!