G & T Show SL – Cryptic Trip 5 – Zeronius Rex
G & T Show SL – Cryptic Trip 5 – Zeronius Rex is now available to download. Check it out here. Mike recently visited Cryptic Studios and had the opportunity to sit down with the Star Trek Online team for several interviews. The next interview in our series is with one of Star Trek Online’s Producers, Zeronius Rex. Be sure to check out this interview and the others from Mike’s trip by visiting our G & T Show SL – Cryptic Trip Round Up page.
Maria joins Mike and Adrianne. She didn’t know how to pronounce Mike’s nickname. Adrianne admitted to having the same issues with it. Mike blows her away with the revelation that it is actually his last name spelled backwards. Moving on to her, Mike asks what is her role at STO. Maria is a Producer and handles all of the teams except for the ship art teams. Theoretically, she doesn’t handle content and environment, but she helps Stephen Ricossa with those tasks. She describes her role as sitting in meetings, taking notes, and following up with people, making sure they are doing what they are doing. She also plays the game and provides feedback.
She’s also involved with the Foundry. It’s her baby. She started out as the only tester for the Foundry and eventually took on the role of Producer. Now, she oversees it and makes sure that assets are added and determines if there are any features that Neverwinter has that STO can benefit from. She also adds costumes and adds ridiculous descriptions. She makes a series of sounds in response to Adrianne’s question about which description was her favorite. That particular description was for one of the Solagen-based lifeforms. She explains that she can only write them when she is in a good mood, or is in a bad mood and wants to feel better. She also had written a description for a burly Klingon that he likes to arrange flowers in his spare time. Adrianne comments that Mike can pull off the Klingon Chef because he’s big and jolly and because of the hair. They talk about Mike’s hair for a moment. Maria says they won’t take her hair because of its color, a lovely shade of hot pink.
Mike asks her if she’s a Star Trek fan. She’s a fan of the Original Series. She has not watched most of the others. She likes TOS because its an action show and it doesn’t take itself seriously. When people attempt to debate which Captain is best, she would go with Janeway because of the ridiculousness of it. She goes on to say when they were working on Delta Rising, she had marathoned Voyager for a month and a half straight. As she watched it, she liked the way they portrayed Janeway as an empowered strong female Captain, without focusing too much on the fact that she was a female. Adrianne agreed that Kate Mulgrew held the character together well. Mike mentions some of the issues people have with Janeway was mostly caused by the writers not writing her consistently. Despite that, he agreed that she was a strong Captain. Maria says that in the beginning, they didn’t know what they were doing with her and every so often there was the odd episode, where she didn’t quite fill the role of a strong Captain and appeared more as a girl. Seven and Kes suffered the same way. Adrianne being goofy suggested that in her quarters Janeway became more masculine than when she was on the bridge. She goes on to say that when she’s being tough, they had to balance it out by showing that she had a softer side. Maria understood why people didn’t like her because they weren’t comfortable with women in authority and giving orders. Some men and women view women like that as being bitchy. Mike admits that he likes his women strong and pushy.
Adrianne asks at what point did Maria start to get into Janeway’s character. She mentions a season two episode where Janeway and Chakotay are infected with a disease and sent to a planet to live out the rest of their lives together as if it were Little House on the Prairie. That episode made Maria angry. It was after that, when she really came into her own. Maria’s favorite was when they decided to turn her into Ripley from Aliens in the episode Macrocosm, where she fought the macrovirus infection.
Adrianne says season one was one of the more painful seasons of any of the Trek series. Maria admits that she’s the weirdo that likes Neelix and Kes. Adrianne doesn’t mind the relationship. Maria finds Neelix endearing. Mike didn’t have an have an issue with them until someone pointed out that it was May / December romance, but Maria told him that its not so bad when you equate Kes’ age in dog years. Maria thinks of Neelix as being mentally young as well, a teenager or in his early twenties. She’s surprised that she liked Neelix, since she usually doesn’t like teenagers.
Mike asks Maria which Trek species would she like to be. She quickly replies with Talosians. They have great brain power and have the power to make people see and do things. She sees them as benevolent despots. They spend a few minutes discussing some of the answers that her coworkers had given in response to this question.
Mike asks Maria if she reads Star Trek novels. She does not. Primarily, she reads 19th century English Literature and fluff murder mysteries. Her favorite living author is Neil Gaiman. She likes Jane Austen, but considers her to be more fluff than anything else, if you’re able to handle the language. She says that when Gaiman releases a new book, she has to get it. Adrianne mentions that she has a piece of hand-made soap from a party she once attended at Neil Gaiman’s house. Maria reveals that she makes her own soap. Mike was surprised by the revelation. Because of the soap making reference, she clarifies that she has not seen Fight Club. Adrianne shares a story about Jesse working late one night and how she thought that he was secretly involved with a Fight Club at Cryptic Studios and the reason he never came home with any wounds was because he was that good.
After sharing a laugh a Fight Club squirrel of his own, he pushes on with the interview by asking her what is the name of her starship. Maria says that it depends. On her dev account, it’s either the Planet Express or the U.S.S. Ship. They share a laugh about it. She goes on to say that on the account she plays regularly, she names the ship based on its class. Her scryer class is named the Nostradamus. She had named her Jem Hadar ship the Coleoptera, which is a type of beetle. She’s currently going through the pilot ships and they are named after people and places seen in the film Flight of the Navigator. A standby name was the Pillar of Autumn, because she really likes Halo, but didn’t want to bring Halo into Trek. Adrianne says that there are some horrible ship names in game.
Maria shares a story about when the game first launched and one of the designations given to a ship was PorkSauce. When she and Fark discovered it, they fixed the bug pretty quickly. She didn’t want to report it, but had to. Adrianne likes seeing people’s ship names. Maria says they have a white board where they post questions for the team to answer. The current question on the white board is which 80’s song do you live by. A previous question, however, was what was the best ship name you’ve seen and someone had put down her ship name.
Mike asks if she’s into SciFi in general. Not so much was her reply. She’s more into fantasy and can handle space fantasy like Star Wars. Expanding on it, Mike asks what are her favorite fantasy books, movies, or tv shows. The Princess Bride and Stardust are her favorite films. Her favorite book series is The Belgariad by David Eddings. It’s a five book series. These are short books, unlike the Wheel of Time. After starting the Wheel of Time series, she realized that trilogies work best for her, because she starts to worry about the characters to point where she gets anxious about them. With trilogies, she can get through them quickly. While reading the seventh book of the Wheel of Time, she found out that Robert Jordan got sick, which made her worry that the series would not get finished. She likes the Wheel of Time. It was one of the first fantasy series she had read that got her into the genre. But, she also hates it.
Mike starts winding down the show and asks her for any hints about what’s coming. Maria doesn’t give spoilers, but agrees to share what she is working on. She’s trying to get more assets into the Foundry. She recently taught herself how to add maps. She’s added the diplomacy room from one of the Deferi missions. The other thing she’s working on is scheduling. She’s got things planned through the end of June of next year. She says that even with the Iconian War winding down, they still have a lot planned for afterwards. They go off on a Twin Peaks and its upcoming remake/sequel squirrel before concluding the interview.
But, wait. There’s more.
He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.
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