(Editor's Note: As the
graphically advanced massively multiplayer sci-fi game to hit the
market, Anarchy Online has a long and storied history in our industry.
To learn more about the ground-breaking game and its current
development stage, we've given Nina "Aythem" Sund, Content
Designer/Writer for Anarchy Online, an open forum to discuss her
thoughts, background, and connection with this long-running game. As a
continuing series, Nina will disperse these developers journals on a
regular basis for you - the Ten Ton Hammer readers - to enjoy!)
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By Nina "Aythem" Sund, Content Designer/Writer for Anarchy Online

Greetings from Rubi-Ka!

My name is Nina and I have been given the opportunity to write an
ongoing developer journal for Ten Ton Hammer. Why did I decide to jot down
my thoughts, you ask? I work for the Norwegian game company Funcom and
through my updates here on this site, I want to give you a little
insight into our life in the game industry.

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Let's begin with some background. I am one of the quest designers for style="font-style: italic;">Anarchy Online.
That means I get to come up with ways for our players to discover the
world and gain experience, rewards and learn more about the continuing
story of the game and finding ingenious ways to test, challenge and
otherwise torture players!

So how did I end up here with such power at my hands? I've been here
for two and a half years and started out in Quality Assurance before
moving on to become a designer. It's been a bit of a longer journey
getting here though. Five years ago, I would never have imagined I
would do this for a living. Like many of the people who work here, I
started out as a player. The funny thing is that style="font-style: italic;">Anarchy Online is
the first MMO I ever played, way back in 2002. Now, a few years later,
I am lucky enough to work on the continued development of the very same
game that got me interested in the game industry in the first place,
and I positively love my job!

Those who play games on their PC or consoles usually understand what
this job is about and generally what kind of tasks you would have. For
anyone not used to playing computer games or MMOs, explaining what my
job is can be a little difficult. For the most part, I end up saying "I
make computer games" when asked by random people I don't know.

Now that introductions are over, I wanted to share a little about what
kind of games I play and like. In this article, I'll talk about how I
was introduced to Anarchy
(or more commonly called AO).

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title="Taking Out the Robot"> src="/image/view/15469/preview"

It's been almost 6 years (…six years?!) since I started
playing AO. I have to admit that at the time I didn't even know what an
MMO was and had no idea it was even possible to play a 3D graphical
game online! My only online game experience was a little browser based
game called Planetarion, so when a friend recommended me to download a
trial for AO, I thought it would be pretty much the same, just with
some highly basic graphics in addition. I was very sceptical.

Wow, was I blown away. There were people, other players! Walking
around! And I could see them! Before then, I had never heard of style="font-style: italic;">Ultima Online, Everquest or
Meridian 59.
I wasn't prepared at all, and I was completely smitten with the rich
backstory of the game, how it looked and how fun the massive
multiplayer online experience was. I was in love.

Since then I have, of course, played many other MMOs, but there's just
something about your first game in this genre. It's like your first
kiss. You never forget it, and it had a big impact on your life.

To this day, my own amazement and journey the first few months of
playing remains a huge inspiration for me, something I want other
players to experience through doing the quests I make and reading the
stories I write. It's a thrill, every time.

So that’s me, I hope that you guys (and girls too of course
– I know you’re out there!) will enjoy getting a
little bit of an inside view of what it takes to put together a modern
MMO even if it means putting up with some of my more inane ramblings!

Did you enjoy
Nina's inane ramblins? For future developers journals, what
would you like her to discuss with you? href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?p=188595#post188595">Tell
us more on the forums!

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016