But perhaps the most impressive piece of paraphernalia in the
entire building stood on our right. As we turned, most of us tilted our
heads backwards to see the top of the 12-foot LEGO brick that was
solidly stationed to the side of our walkway. The enormous red block
was big enough that later on in the day there was a heated discussion
about how heavy the thing was. For those developers taking bets on
whether it could be lifted or not, my wager is on that it can be lifted
with the threat of a herniated disc.
Next on our tour of the studio was the LEGO blocks area, where
thousands of pounds of LEGO building material had been shipped to
NetDevil and had been sorted into yellow and green bins. According to
Scott Brown, president of NetDevil, and Ryan Seabury, producer of style="font-style: italic;">LEGO
Universe, they have two LEGO Builders (the coveted
position that builds
models for any LEGO attraction) as part of their staff. One builder
works mainly as a liaison between the team and the LEGO community while
the other creates LEGO models for the NetDevil team.
alt="Folks gathering for the opening ceremonies."
title="Folks gathering for the opening ceremonies."
name="photo_j" border="0" height="113" width="150">
The crowd begins to gather for the opening ceremonies.
After our brief aside with Hermann Petersheck, producer of
Jumpgate, and Ryan Seabury, we made our way to the basketball court
(yes, the NetDevil team has a concrete basketball court) where the
opening ceremonies were getting ready to begin. All the invited
friends, guests, and press filed onto the court and found places to sit
or stand. By my estimates nearly 150 people were piled onto the
To officially start the celebration, Scott Brown, Peter
Grundy, and Ryan Seabury – the three initial developers of
Jumpgate - relayed all the highs and lows of their ten year existence,
telling entertaining stories of keeping the original Jumpgate servers
aloft over the sinks in Ryan Seabury’s house with a piece of
plywood. While many development studios have humble beginnings, few
have come as far as quickly as NetDevil’s success has.
“We built the Jumpgate server out of Styrofoam and duct
tape,” Scott said jokingly. During the opening speeches,
there were some tears, but it was all because of the incredible
atmosphere the team has with each other. Sacrifices are made at any
successful company, but Ryan Seabury, with a tear in his eye, thanked
everyone for “making so many.”
alt="Ryan Seabury and Quinn Wageman strumming to some Guitar Hero"
title="Ryan Seabury and Quinn Wageman strumming to some Guitar Hero"
name="photo_j" border="0" height="150" width="113">
Ryan and Quinn duke it out Guitar Hero style.
Following the opening ceremonies, all interested members of
the press, friends, and family all gathered in a small conference room
to listen to the progress of the three upcoming projects NetDevil is
offering. Even with all the press in the room, the NetDevil leads were
laughing and joking, and Scott Brown even suggested that Chris Sherland
work for free. Humorous moments aside, the entire group was more than
eager to talk about their respective games, and more than once I heard
a developer on one project talk about their excitement for another
project that NetDevil was working on.
In the end, there was a lot of fun had by everyone involved in
the evening’s festivities. Between games of style="font-style: italic;">Guitar Hero 2,
Yahtzee, Wii Sports,
performances by the well-versed
company cover band, the Deviled Eggs; and arguments over the weights of
the 12-foot LEGO brick; everyone in attendance was having a stellar
time. By the end of the night, nobody wanted to go home and the entire
event didn’t shut down until well after 2 A.M. It was a night
that no one wanted to end.
I’d just like to thank Scott Brown, Peter Grundy,
Ryan Seabury, Hermann Petersheck, Chris Sherland, Darrin Klein, Matt Shaffer, Jeremy
Brown, Paul Jackson, Dane Johnston, Grace Wong, Eric Gonzalez, and
Quinn Wageman for chatting and relaxing with me. With the help of you
and the rest of the staff, NetDevil will continue to succeed for
another ten years and more.
Ten Ton Hammer is your
unofficial source for LEGO Universe, Auto Assault, Jumpgate Evolution,
and Warmonger news and features!
Additional comments? Thoughts? Suggestions? href="mailto:[email protected]">Email me!
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Auto Assault Game Page.