Welcome to the next in our regular series of features on members of our wonderful MadPea crew! As always, the identity of this person won’t be revealed until the end.
However this time, I will break with convention and tell you that this crew member is a woman. You will see that, right from the start, her maternal focus on her RL and SL family is as much an intrinsic part of her as her fantastic creativity.
But can you guess who she is from the clues below?
Arriving at this person’s home, two things were immediately apparent: The place was HUGE, and she has very eclectic tastes. I asked if anyone else lived with her. “My sister and her husband live in a sky box way above us and my daughter and SL/RL husband live here too.” That is quite a family, but what about children? Well this crew member not only juggles a frantically busy role in the MadPea family, but has 6 children in her RL family! I couldn’t resist asking if she was training them up to be the next generation of MadPea designers and scripters. “My oldest son is super into computer programming and he is always taking online courses on the Khan Academy to learn new languages. My youngest daughter loves graphic design and has several computer programs she uses to create. It is a shame they are all too young for Second Life. They would be great assets to the team! They have created a CCG with over 200 cards so far. They are also constantly writing stories. All the ingredients are there for future game designers!”
She might even be in the running for a “Mother of the Year” award, if it wasn’t for her slightly less glowing record with SL children. An avid collector of mesh babies, this crew member is famed for neglecting them terribly in her inventory. I asked about one of her recent acquisitions, a mer-baby she named “Aqualad”. “Ohh I forgot about him!” she admitted, “I have so many babies in my inventory, I lose count, poor things”.
So how did this person’s story begin? “I actually came into SL in 2007, I spent about an hour here before I got frustrated and quit. Then in 2014 I was watching the documentary Life 2.0 on Netflix and thought to myself “I wonder if people still even go on Second Life?” So that very day my husband and I logged in and wandered around and I just happened to land into a really great group of people right off the bat and I stayed.” Then does her RL husband still play in SL too? “He works a lot and his free time is very limited but I would say about once a month he logs in to see what I am up to in here, and to go gambling with me. Those gaming sims are our guilty pleasure. He’s never been tempted to work for MadPea or do anything creative or artistic. He does love playing MadPea games though!”
This crew member didn’t take long to settle in to SL, but how did she come to find MadPea? “It was only a few weeks in to my time in Second Life. I had made friends with someone who told me there was this amazing group in SL that made games; my first one was The Lost Mine. I was so fascinated with this idea of a ‘game with in a game’! I thought it was incredible and it was a perfect first game for a SL noob because it took me exploring across the grid and I was able to visit sims I would have never in a million years known about. This was literally 2-3 weeks into SL! I still didn’t know how to alt cam or area search. I had to walk around and walk right up to items to see them . It took me sooooo long to finish it!” And how did she come to work for MadPea? “I had seen an advertisement for an event planner, and I had been a manager, a model, a customer service rep, and a hostess in SL so I had a lot of experience running events. I just thought I would see if I got at least an interview. I had no idea the holy hell I was in for. But now it feels like I have been here forever because I kinda dive head first into anything and everything I am allowed to participate in. Also, my voice and personality are larger than life. I know this can be an asset and a curse!”
I happen to know this person has an extensive background in game design, so I asked her more about that. “Well, I started table top gaming as a kid and as an adult visiting conventions I made friends with a group of game designers who were impressed with the games I was running, so they invited me to collaborate and it sort of grew from there. I started out writing modules for already established, well-known games like Call of Cthulhu or Dungeons and Dragons, and from there I branched out to writing my own game systems.” No wonder this crew member is such a natural! But is she still involved in any RL game design? “Yes! My most recent project involves running an indie publishing company with my friend. We publish supplements for large Role Play Games and we have recently in the last year or so started to publish books of short stories. It has been a dream come true!”
So, let’s cut to the chase. What does this crew member do at MadPea? “That’s so hard to describe! “I am sitting here thinking of everything I do, and it is all over the place really – we all just do whatever is needed don’t we?! But my official title is Game Designer. My major tasks are to write and project manage games and events, but the Peas probably know me best from my work designing and running the hugely popular ExPEAditions.” And what is in the pipeline? “Right now I am finishing up running the MadPea Summer Hunt, lending a helpful hand to Kiana’s new game Seven, writing a new ‘escape room’ style game, AND starting to write a new game which one of our scripters Levio and I have been itching to do FOREVER!” Ooooh! We need deeeeetails! “Nope. I have only just got Kiana to agree after months of begging, so you will have to wait and see! All I can say is if you like voodoo zombies, keep an eye on our “Coming Soon” pages!”
So other than persuading Kiana about things, what are the challenges of this person’s MadPea job? “The biggest challenge for me is that I am always crunched for time. It is a constant battle to balance out RL and SL. I am always mindful of making sure to make time for my RL kids and husband. But I feel it’s worth it, as I really enjoy the creative outlet I find here at MadPea.” And what is so good about MadPea? “I have had a lot of people ask me this, and my answer remains the same. I love the collaboration. I love that I can come into a meeting with a half baked idea and everyone feels comfortable enough to jump in and help flesh it out. I love that I work with people who are generous with their ideas and allow me to add to them. I have been in situations in my real life work where people get very protective and feel you are trying to take ownership of their ideas if you make constructive suggestions. MadPea is a place where creativity is welcomed and encouraged.” This is definitely a recurring theme with CrewPeas, and lovely to see that she agrees! “Oh, and I hope the Peas know that I am always here to talk to when they want! I love getting involved in the group chat, and am excited when one of them messages me to say they are happy with what we are putting out!”
Soooo….. did you guess? Yes! Our lovely crew member (and mesh baby abuser) is none other than Cynarah Foxx (hollowgirl78 Resident). Well done to everyone who got it right!