03-20-2009 09:24 PM
Crunkris:When do u get to work?
Locust_Star:I get in between 9 and 9:30 and tend to leave between 7 and 7:30 PT (sometimes later), Mon-Fri, and do some work from Home here and there on the weekend as well.
CRUNKRIS wrote: How many people work in your office or on NA home?
Locust_Star: As far as SCEA goes, I have no idea how many people work here. Its not a bloated company, but there are many offices throughout the country. As far as NA Home goes, I would say there are probably 25 people devoted to the project, though, of course, there are lots of cross-departmental synergies in place, so the amount of people working on Home is much greater than that at any given time.
msuman2k4 wrote: How were you assigned the positions you and cyd currently hold? How long have you worked for sony?
Locust_Star: I have worked here since Nov 08.
CRUNKRIS wrote: If your understaffed, who does the hirering? Can you give me a Job?
Locust_Star: Depends on what position you would be going for. If it was for Community Management, Cyd would be the hiring manager. However, HR, of course, handles these matters - not us personally. And if you interview, you interview with the entire team and everyone has a say in whether or not you come aboard. We're collaborative like that.
People that are interested in jobs should look here:
MistyLear wrote: As our specialist of NA Home, what exactly do you do?
Locust_Star: Whatever I am asked to, as it relates to this community. I have my fingers in a lot of pies here. Everything from reviewing creative that the devs are pitching to working with the marketing teams behind the biggest PS3 titles to help get them to support Home, to informing the big wigs as to the status of the platform, to crafting messages for the community and the world-at-large, to planning and executing events , to interacting with the community, to developing strategies for how to move this service forward in the best way imaginable, to doing boring paperwork, to answering hundreds of PMs and emails a day, to updating the blog and the forums, to uploading assets to the service (such as MotD, stuff in the menu pad), to coordinating with global teams to ensure that we are all in sync, to communicating your wishes upwards and to the devs,to making sure people that win at events get their prizes, to working with partners to try to get cool stuff in Home for you guys.
Its an enormous job. And a great one.
CRUNKRIS wrote: Do the home developers read these forums and the suggestion thread?
Locust_Star: Yes, but its our jobs to make sure that they stay informed. What they do with that information, though, is not entirely up to us. We influence them as you influence us.
SgtFlaman wrote: Describe a typical week for you. How does your week start off, how hectic can the Thursday maintenance be, and what do you do on your days off when you're not working hard making Home the best it can be?
Locust_Star: There really is no such thing as a typical week - especially not this early on in a product's lifecycle. Things are very fast-paced and hectic, especially when there is a publishing update. I think most of what you are asking is being answered in other posts, but do correct me if you think I'm dodging anything.
As far as my personal life goes, you'll have to forgive me being a little cage-y - I have some pretty strict orders not to let anyone know my true identity (makes me feel like a supervillain every time I have to say that, hahaha). Besides gaming, my biggest passion is music and literature. I'm a musician of 20 years (I'm in my late 20s), play in a pretty serious rock band in San Francisco (pretty serious is defined as time consuming and ambitious, not necessarily famous), and my background is in writing/publishing/communications, both professionally and academically. I'm an avid reader and writer, and not just on the games industry - everything from fiction to politics to entertainment. I consider myself a bit of a health nut and try to make time to get a good sweat in every day. I live in "The City" with my gf of 3+ years and our cat and try to spend as much time with them and the rest of my family and friends as I can in my off-hours. I also enjoy indie films and consider myself a bit of a wine connoiseur, so when I'm really relaxed you'll likely fine me sipping a nice California cab and either watching a flick, reading, writing music, or gaming.
MarkSinister wrote: Do you work from home or do you have the option to telecommute?
Locust_Star: On the weekends and in some rare instances (like if I have a doctor's appointment in the middle of the day or need to wait for the repairman to come by), but its pretty important that we be in the office due to the fact that this is a fast-paced job that requires a lot of communication with lots of different teams in order to work well.
NARDE15 wrote: how does one go about getting yourself or Cyd to visit a private clubhouse meet?
Locust_Star: Just ask. We don't have nearly as much time for this stuff as we would like to have right now, but we try to come visit people as often as we can.
leon4422 wrote: What makes you qualified to be a Home Manager? i.e. Degrees, etc? (p.s. Prepare for the fastest growing thread EVER!)
Locust_Star: I have a publishing and communications background. I am a college graduate (post-grad, actually). Prior to this job I was Editor-in-Chief of a national magazine (sorry, can't give specifics lest you learn my name), and spearheaded a lot of the interactive, web-based projects that were associated with that brand. On top of that, I'm an avid gamer, a PS afficiando since the release of the PS1, and used to being a public figure.
LUIGGY wrote:How often you guys talk to the dev. team regarding issues and suggestions for Home.?And from the scale of 100% , how much information are you guys allowed to give us?
Locust_Star: Constantly. Every day. On a scale of 1-100%, I would say 100% once we have a specific date for release, the "product" has been QA'd, everything has legal approval (and has been copyrighted, etc.), and all of the PR and Marketing teams have signed off on the messaging strategy. Before that, sometimes we can give 0 information, which is frustrating for us and the community, but necessary given the fact that what we are working with is intellectual property (oftentimes other peoples, in the case of 3rd parties and even some 1st party developers) and we have to be very careful not to leak sensitive information, lest we violate contracts and create Legal nightmares for this company.
asoccer wrote: What does Cydonia do on a daily basis like could you give us a day you remember that stood out the most? Locust, What are you required to do as the Home Specialist and could you explain why you are the specialist?
Locust_Star: Cyd does similar things that I do, but on a higher level. She is my manager, so she's one step higher on the ladder and therefore spends a bit more time with the execs and such. This is why some of you feel that you see and hear more from me than her. There is only so many hours in the day... The day that stood out the most? My first day. Talk about having the weight of the world handed to you. Granted, I was at least somewhat prepared, but you can never be completely ready to have 5 million registered users handed off to you. I started only 2 1/2 weeks before Open Beta, so I had a lot to learn about Home in a very short time. It was, and continues to be, an awesome experience though. I think your other questions are already answered, but let me know if they aren't clear enough.
CRUNKRIS wrote: Do u guys have a certain amount of time that you must spend on playstation Home?
Is there anything in your contract or Job discription that restricks you from certain interactions in Home?
Shurely you have another psn ID in which you use to play games right?
You are a gamer? Right? what games do you play on your freetime?
Are you a normal person? (say no! normal people suck)
Does "everything suck"?
Locust_Star: .) Nothing is dictated, but the expectation is that we, of course, stay very active. I'm signed in all day every day, though I keep myself invisible when I'm focusing on other duties. This translates to me being "in Home" ~ 50 - 60 hours a week.
2.) I'm expected to set an example in Home in terms of quality of behavior - I am representing this company, after all. I'm also not allowed to act like a mod, which I'm glad not to. It is important to keep community management and moderation seperate.
3.) This is my only PSN ID. I've been using it since before I came on board here.
4.) Absolutely I am. I just beat FarCry 2 and have been spending my time lately playing Killzone 2, Little Big Planet, and re-playing Uncharted and Resistance
5.) Definitely not normal.
6.) Nothing sucks. Except maybe the global economic state and the fact that some people just can't seem to stop behaving at the expense of others. Beyond that, life is a gift, and far too short to spend entertaining the negative.
Jossiah wrote: Do you need a secretary?
Locust_Star: would like one, yes, but I don't think that is going to happen. Not now, at least.
Archangel825 wrote: When it comes down to new content, how long does the process usually take, taking into consideration approval, changes, legal, and the like?
Locust_Star: It depends on the content. There's really no good answer to this. I'll say this though, from drafting the creative to getting approval to designing the content to putting things through QA to scheduling the release and then publishing, it takes much more time than one would assume. We're getting faster and better - these are the days of our infancy and we're all still learning how to run this thing in the best possible way - but it can still take months for a space. We're also developing content that is dependant on core client updates that haven't yet been deployed (they have to go through the same process as above, but are even more work). This means that the process isn't entirely linear in appearance to the user. We are working on things now that will launch in a month, and things that will launch in a year.
King0fHearts2007 wrote: What type of relationship do you have with the programers of Home. Not just the Sony guys but also EX: EA.
Locust_Star: Consider us advisors and ambassadors of the community in this regard (in every regard, really).
NARDE15 wrote: just how many of the posts on these boards do you read?
Locust_Star: I couldn't quote a number. Thousands. Its impossible to wade through it all, so I do my best to read the constructive and skip the nasty and unproductive. That still doesn't free up enough time to read everything, but I think we see the large majority of that which is worth seeing.
kingofmactown wrote: How far into the future has the Home team look into? What's the largest accomplishment you like achieve by the end of the year? How much pressure is the Home team under, knowing your making a product for almost every PS3 owner to use?
Locust_Star: 1.) We plan years into the future. We've had meetings recently about specific things that will happen in Home in 2010 and 2011.
2.) I want to see everything that was promised in the early demos of Home delivered - specifically, media streaming objects, trophy integration, user generated content, and game launching being supported by all the new titles (and patched for the classic titles we all know and love). I feel like we're on track to do all this and more.
3.) We're under a lot of pressure. But we can deal with it. This is an incredible group of people we have here - geniuses, across the board. I firmly believe that. I have the utmost confidence that Home will become exactly what it was meant to be, exactly what it was promised to be, and will enable the PS3 to bury the competition. Given that, I sleep very well at night.
the1cj wrote: Do the home developers read these forums and the suggestion thread? why does it seem like japans development team has been doing more in the last few months?
Locust_Star: .) Yes. But as said, it is our job to disseminate the information both ways. I want them developing great things for this platform, not reading messageboards. And you do to.
2.) Like beauty, this is all in the eye of the beholder. However, there is one explanation to why you all think JP is doing something different or greater than what we are (when in reality that isn't the truth - all of our regions are working together and dependant on one another to achieve global success): In order to evolve Home in the most rapid manner possible, sometimes we test different aspects of the platform and then, when something is stable, release it to other regions. This is absolutely the most efficient way to work - there are no redundancies in this scenario. For example, JP might be testing, say, reward fulfillment objects (like in the IREM carnival or in their surveys) whereas we might be focusing on pushing our memory limitations (like in the Warhawk space, which is a memory monster thanks to the sandtable). The thing to remember is that Home is a Beta. We are testing things. Thats part of the evolution of this platform, or any platform. Being as Home is a unique project, we've had to devise unique methods to match the unique challenges we are facing - namely, scaling virtual world without sacrificing the quality of the user experience.
I've included a link if you would like to read more about what actually goes into scaling virtual worlds. Its one of the most difficult computer science problems anyone can face:
MarkSinister wrote: Will you guys ever make a behind the scene video of home development? (Not giving away any secerts of course). I really want to know who are the people that hold up the good ideas.
Locust_Star: Its a good idea. We hadn't discussed it, to my knowledge. I'll see what everyone else thinks. You never know...
Ftwrthtx wrote: Will you, or another home rep, be at the GDC PS Blog meet up next week?
Locust_Star:I'm sure some of the team members will be at GDC, and maybe at the blog meet up, but me and Cyd will be sitting it out. We're frankly too swamped to afford that kind of time out of the office right now.
Jim777 wrote: This is so sweet as i have had a bunch of questions for you guys.
2.) Standard methods of communication - meetings, emails, phone calls, face-to-face chats, IM. We create weekly reports (sometimes bi-weekly) that update the execs as to how things are going with you all, let the devs know what you want and what to fix, and give our suggestions for moving forward. These documents are immense - they can take up to one full day to write (and I'm a professional writer, supposedly because they are so in-depth. If that helps put things in perspective.
3.) Daily. Usually read them first thing in the morning, during my lunch break, and at the end of the day. Reading them takes time, and writing in them only doubles that. I answer PMs and emails and messages on the XMB while I work on higher-level tasks.
4.) Yes. Often. Though Home is divided into regions, this is a global product. Its very important that we all stay in close communication.
5.) I like to think I have a pretty strong resume and that I interview well, but Cyd would have to clarify why, as my manager, she decided to steal me away from my old job
Jersquall wrote: OkeyDokey..I understand not every question will get a responce. Well, Here we go..
I see you post blogs on PSN. You and Cyd run events in Home. What does your job consist of? Can you take us through a typical day of work?
What do you like most about your job?
What is it like working with CydoniaX?
It's been 3 months since the opening of the beta. Do you feel like Home has set up a good foundation? Is everything on track?
There are over 4,500 comments in "suggestions for Home.." It shows we users have lots of wants. Some good things- Stereo's, HDTV's. Some questionable things- Pets, Cars, Food. Do the 'Devs' (Developers) think we're crazy? Are suggestions still being read?
The forums get a little rough some times with comments about Home. Most want more of this or more of that. You handle it well. Is there something you know that we don't?
Will there come a time when Home gets content on a consistant basis? Like the Playstation store.
Where do you see Playstation Home a year from now?
Ask your boss what exclusive exciting new information about Home can you give to the faithful Playstation Home forums users.
1.) Gaming media hipped me to its existence. Cyd introduced me to the project this past fall after she started and asked if I was interested in possibly pursuing a position that was opening up to work with the community. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity. After interviewing a few times and doing a huge project to show the team what I was made of, I was brought on board. The rest, I learned the hard way
2.) As said, there is no typical day. I've posted what this job entails in a response to another user. I think it is a pretty accurate snapshot of a day (all of those tasks are infinitely repeatable when you are working on an ever-evolving platform).
3.) Thats a tough one to answer. I really like being involved in the creative process and sitting around discussing ways to make Home better (it doesn't hurt that everyone that I work with is really cool and a pleasure to be around). But bringing that stuff to the community is what is really rewarding. Coming in the morning of a publishing day and seeing people in-world enjoying new stuff is very rewarding. Beyond that, Sony treats their employees very well, so I have to say that working here is the next best thing to being independently wealthy and not having to work at all!
4.) Its awesome - she's very bright, tons of fun to work with, and an awesome and efficient manager. We've worked together in the past and I still enjoy working with her to this day. We keep each other sane in times of duress, I think.
5.) Yes, I feel that the foundation is mostly laid, and that we are on track. Most of the work has been on teh back-end and not necessarily apparent to the user, which has left a negative impression on some, and that can be a bummer. I'm as antsy as you all are to see Home fully-realized - clearly we are not there yet - and it can be frustrating knowing about the great stuff coming down the pike and not being able to come here and brag about it, but I'm 100% confident in the future of this platform. It is truly a revolutionary product.
6.) Yes, those suggestions are read. And noone thinks your crazy - you can be crazier, actually! In fact, every month we compile a wish list of 100 things from these threads that we want the community to have. It won't all be released at once, and some of this stuff is dependant on core client updates that are scheduled out in the future, but that stuff is getting made.
7.) Yes. I know that Home is not going to fail. I know that it will be what you all want it to be. I have empirical proof of that. Unfortunately, I just can't share it all right now, but it will be shared. There are big announcements coming in the next few months.
8.) Absolutely, yes. These next few updates look pretty significant, and I anticipate everything to continue to ramp up. We're gaining momentum. By no means is the Home of today the Home of tomorrow. One day, you will have more content than you will know what to do with. You just gotta hang in there with us.
9.) I see Home a year from now bearing almost no resemblance to the Home of today. This is a baby thats just starting to crawl right now. It'll be a varsity basketball player with mad dunking skills a year from now.
10.) I don't have to ask. They get it. We've hammered it into their brains. They take this very, very seriously. As said, be prepared for some pretty major announcements in the not-so-distant future.
CRUNKRIS wrote: R u gonna propose to your girlfriend? R u gonna do it on home? (don't do that. No offence but home is no place for anything romantic) When u get married, send me an invite! (and don't do it on home or lbp either. Now that is something I would throw the word lame at )
Locust_Star: If I propose to her, I promise to do it mid-Running Man and say "LOL" afterwards. But it probably won't be in Home.
smokey_vols wrote: On a weekly basis how much new content is presented to you to eventually be released in Home by Sony and 3rd party companys?
Locust_Star: So far this week, we've went over 3 brand new core areas to Home (think: Central Plaza, Bowling Alley), 2 new game spaces, 1 new game-related apartment, 2 non-game related apartments, and hundreds of virtual items.
CVR84 wrote: Hahaha tricky question, its cool if you can't answer.... say for example the "other" box releases a game that you will LOVE to play but unfortunately we don't have it on PS3.... are you allowed to get it, meaning the game + the "box" ????
Locust_Star: I'm allowed to spend my paycheck however I like, but I'm a diligent consumer. I don't buy hardware that breaks after 3 months.
x__Hollie__x wrote: Do you regret starting this thread? For every answer you give there are already a dozen new questions. I predict overload.
Locust_Star: I'm having a blast. Totally avoiding some other work I need to do by the end of the day doing this, but I think it is time well-spent. Can't promise that I'll be able to post this much every day, but I take you all seriously when you say you want to hear from us more. We're doing what we can to make that happen.
Trioptical wrote: We know what the official line on PlayStation Home is, but as a team of people working on it, what do you view the service as? As I'm sure that it's more than one thing, is emphasis placed on it being one thing more than another when it comes to creating and publishing content (from spaces, games, to messages of the day, etc)?
Locust_Star: It's a next-generation social-gaming platform and entertainment hub for the PS3 community. First and foremost, it is about integrating social interactions with your day-to-day gaming habits, but it also serves as a means of other entertainment, targeted at our demographic. To me, that is what Home is, and should always be. We're getting there.
tearsofash wrote:What's the favorite part of your job? Least favorite?
Locust_Star: I've answered the favorite part in another response. The worst part is the commute (I'd love it if our offices were in SF and I didn't have to drive nearly an hour in bad California traffic to get to and from every day - I despise driving!)
JVBGFR wrote:Your a musician to Locust, well it looks like we have something in common, I'm a musician also going for my Music Education degree,So who is in charge of organizing the events?This isn't exactly about your job, but are you guys going to post the people who won the St. Patricks Day Event?
Locust_Star: Cyd and I work together on the events, using whatever resources we currently have at our disposal to try to make them fun. We understand that there is work to be done, and we don't plan on managing events the way we've had to manage events indefinitely (trust me, I got better things to do than type voucher codes in the XMB for hours at a time).
We won't be posting the list - its much too long. But if you want a list of winners, you can write SCEA at the address provided in the thread outlining the official rules and regulations and they will provide them to you.
modelchick8806 wrote: How did both of you all get into the industry? Did you guys major in computer scienece or something more general? And specifically for Cydonia, as a female, how did you make it to your position? Did you face any gender specific roadblocks? I'd love to work in the video game industry but my problems are I can't draw and I'm not a math wiz, so programming would not be for me, but I'd love to do character design. I think it would be great to work in other aspects of the gaming industry so I'd like to know more about how you guys got to where you are today.
Locust_Star: Cyd can answer for herself regarding the experience of being a girl in the gamer industry but, much as people believe this industry to be a boys club, there are a lot of girls that work. My background is in publishing/media/communications. I'm definitely not a programmer (not a math genius or a visual artist either). Gaming companies are like any other companies - they need biz dev people, marketers, PR, facilities, IT, HR, receptionists, lawyers, project managers, etc. There are opportunities for good, smart, hard-working people in this industry even if they aren't programmers or environmental artists.
crypto-3000 wroteo you like pie? If you do, does the place you work have a huge fridge full of pie?
Locust_Star: I love pie, but I'm currently abstaining from sugar (I'm on a cleanse), so unfortunately I can't be partaking of my favorites: Key Lime and Lemon Merengue. They do have a lot of good food in the fridges here though.
KillerBread wrote: do you enjoy your job?
CRUNKRIS wrote:You said u were political or had political interests in your reading and such. U might not be able to answer this, but what side of the political spectrum would you side on? Seeing as how your band is in San Francisco, I can already assume the answer.
Is your girlfriend Cyd? If so, don't tell asoccer!!!!!
Also, would u like me to kick your butt in K2, R2, or LBP?
Locust_Star: 1.) I'm going to have to abstain from political discussion, but coastal California does tend to attract birds of a feather.
2.) No, Cyd is not my girlfriend, hahaha.
3.) Some day, yes.
03-20-2009 06:27 PM
03-20-2009 08:28 PM
godsgift1989 wrote: Two question's i hope you answer XD
1. Throughout the home process do you always work in conjuction with SCEE SCEJ SCHK or do you keep it with USA
2. Are we allowed any more information regarding Xi that recently appeared
Locust_Star: 1.) Some things are region-specific, so in that sense its more about making the other regions aware of what we are doing and less about getting them involved on the ground-level. Many other things require global coordination.
2.) I don't even know what Xi is. Maybe you can tell me?
jayyy91 wroteo you guys work with Jeff Rubenstein? If so, how awesome is he?
Locust_Star: Yes. And I can't say enough good things about the guy. Reminds me of one of my best friends, and is an absolute pleasure to work with. Very smart, very hard-working, and very kind. A+ dude.
mener wrote: Hey Locust how long is the playstation home going to be a beta or is it just named like that??
Locust_Star: I really do not know the answer to the question - that decision will be made by people much higher up on the ladder than I.
jayyy91 wrote: Thanks for doing this Locust_Star! Here's my questions: I would like to know what Jack Buser does. Or does he even work with you guys? I see him on Home videos and stuff but I'm just wondering what his involvement really is with this project. I would also like to know if we will be hearing any of
Locust_Star's band's music in Listen@Home. Thanks and keep up the good work guys! P.S. Tell the guys at SCEA to hurry up with the Canadian PSN Video Store!
Locust_Star: 1.) Jack is Home's Director. He is Cyd's boss and, yes, he works with us constantly.
2.) My band? Probably not. Conflict of interest to use home to promote personal projects (and against the EULA!).
Peach-Zombie wrote: How much do you make?
Locust_Star: Sorry. Thats a little too personal of a question. No hard feelings, of course, but I'm gonna stay away from that one.
rgoff31 wrote: Do you think the Higher ups understand the Home community's frustration caused by the inability to tell us what is going on and what is in development?
Locust_Star: Yes. And we're changing some things to make sure the information flows more freely. We're not going to be able to be too loose-lipped, but i'm confident we can provide more visibility into things for you all.
azula-the-ruler wrote: I have a question, that is actually about your job, guys you could learn if one of you was to become ill or fired or suspended, for a period of time, and needed to be replaced, would that mean that the replacement would pretend to be you until you get back? Or be introduced as a new character?
Locust_Star: We wouldn't try anything sneaky like that. We have to maintain a level of trust with you, and doing something like that would be counter to that prime directive.
Peach-Zombie wrote: Well, You dont really have to say your exact salary Locust.Maybe just an idea of how much your job is worth.And it's not a rude question. Lol!I read the title of the thread so I think it's a good question.
Locust_Star: I'm not offended, its just against company policy. We don't discuss our salaries internally or externally. I keep a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and games in my PS3, so I can't complain.
Wolverine8780 wrote: wow I never knew you had a band Locust .. that rocks man .. I never really thought of asking this before but what kind of music are you into and whats currently in your car stereo to listen to at the moment. About your job do you consider yourself lucky to be in the position you are in? Being able to touch so many with the simplest thought must be very powerful indeed.
Locust_Star: Honestly, I listen to all kinds of music (I even studied Ethnomusicology for the majority of my undergrad and even performed flamenco guitar whilst in academia). Getting spins right in the old Ipod now are the upcoming Silversun Pickups album, Wu Tang's first LP, Neurosis' Through Silver in Blood (hence my username), Pink Floyd's Meddle, Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, Albert Ayler's Ghosts, Angels of Light, a bunch of Lil Wayne tracks, and some rare Johnny Cash bootlegs. And, yes, I feel very fortunate to have this job - which is different than "luck." Luck implies something just happening; being fortunate is having something that is great that you worked hard for!
Krall12 wrote:Just got done reading all the posts!!Alright, first question: What do you guys (Sony) have planned for Playstation Home this year at GDC? Of course you can't tell me exactly whats going to be said, but can you give us an idea of whats going to be said. Thanks,krall
Locust_Star: Nope. Thats a suprise!
WisemanJ4y wrote: Actually I got one, will there be a option to change the colors from the default clothing and purchased clothing? It would only make sense for that option.
Locust_Star: This is certainly an eventuality - it only makes sense. But lets keep questions about content and features seperate to another thread, please.
Versace_Raver wrote: As Being a manager of Home, how do you manage the funds allocated through the purchase of all home content. I don't need numbers. Example: lets say 500 people bought high tops at the mall. How much of that profit is used towards making us another pair of shoes?How does the dev team, and your higher ups feel about fan submitted content? I.E. Conceptual designs for new spaces or items including Clothing Furniture and ornaments?Also when it comes to avatar items that do not have a gender bias such as headphones and sneakers. Why does the dev team release them for both male and female avatars? More specifically I am referring to the Beanie DJ style headphones which are only currently available for female avatars.Next, when will the jeans on the male manikins and the furniture in the display window at Linger Roset be available for purchase.How hard are you working with Namco Bandai to have their Space released for NA home?Who's decision was it to give other regions free furniture and clothing in the mall while users on NA home need to pay for those items?
Are you even allowed to tell us these things?
Locust_Star: 1.) We don't oversee P&L. That is the director's job and above. We don't set prices, decide what is free and what is not. Cyd has a budget for events and such, but the whole e-commerce/microtransactions side of the biz is completely seperate from what we do.
2.) There are IP issues. We can't just take someone else's ideas and implement them without paying that individual for the rights, so we use the community's feedback to shape the direction, but we don't accept fan-submitted content. UGC is a completely different issue, and there is work being done to allow you guys to create some of your own content in Home.
3.) There are no unisex clothing items, as there are no unisex avatars. Different regions publish content that is sometimes then used by other regions, and those regions have their own guidelines regarding male and female items. We (SCEA) publish an equal amount of stuff for guys and gals, but that doesn't mean we make the exact same items for both sexes. This is determined on a case-by-case basis, of course.
4.) I really don't know if they even will be.
5.) You'll hear more about this later. We are working on it though.
6.) Each region has their own contracts to honor for 3rd parties, and their own 1st party guidelines. These are determined by people much higher up than us. Its misleading to say that we charge for content while other regions don't. In fact, its patently false. I know you are referencing the Diesel items and we are inquiring about that because, frankly, we are as interested as you are in getting that answer.
Versace_Raver wrote: How often do you guys contact third party devs, to bring cotent onto NA home that May be on another region?
Locust_Star: We don't contact 3rd Parties for that, we contact that region. We ask for everything they have, and get what they are allowed to give us. The conversation plays out the exact same way from their end to ours. We all want what everyone else has because all of our communities ask for everything from other regions. What you don't have is not from a lack of our trying. Its just the way that it is.
Jersquall wrote:I'm guessing you guys had to ask 'permission' to get this thread underway yes?It's just a little after 5 P.M. SoCal time and you two have been here pretty much all day. Was this theraputic for you guys?You definatly bandaged a wounded community by hanging with us today. TY.
Locust_Star: Nope. We just did it. If we step over any lines, we'll answer for it. This has been fun, but it needs to wind down for the day, unfortunately. I think it has been time well-spent.
kingofmactown wrote: What would be the biggest disagreement that LS and Cyd have gotten into? playfully or professionally
Locust_Star: Ninjas vs pirates, naturally.
jayyy91 wrote:How closely do the different Sony divisions work together? (PlayStation, Bravia, Sony Music, Columbia Pictures, etc.)The reason I ask is because I'm wondering if we will be seeing different products from Sony's divisions in Home?For example, will we be making calls from a Sony Ericsson phone, watching Columbia Pictures' movies on a Bravia TV, listening to Sony Music's music, etc. in Home? And will we be able to start purchasing music and movies from Sony Music/Columbia Pictures for viewing in Home? Thanks again. I think myself and the entire Home community appreciate you guys doing this!
Locust_Star: Sir Howard Stringer says "Sony United!" and we are living that to its fullest...
03-20-2009 09:23 PM
asoccer wrote:What does Cydonia do on a daily basis like could you give us a day you remember that stood out the most? Locust, What are you required to do as the Home Specialist and could you explain why you are the specialist?
Hello! Sorry to get here late (I took a late lunch).
I generally come in and read my email first...there are usually anywhere between 40 and 80 waiting for me in the mornings so that can take up a lot of time. I often take a latte break with GlassWalls (he makes a mean latte) mid-morning. I have meetings scheduled everyday with various people...the whole Home team, PR/marketing, my boss, Legal, other departments. Some days are super-meeting heavy, others I might only have one (yay!).
Besides that, I spend the bulk of my time planning for and tracking the support of new content coming into Home. This can be anything from new game spaces our Content Production team built, stuff like the EA Sports video, the 50 Cent music, the movie trailers from SPE, etc. I'm not the person bringing this to Home (that's Biz Dev), but I am the person who supports it. There's a ton of stuff to coordinate for all this...like I'm in charge of making sure all the posters and videos get made and get into Home, planning events (which necessitates getting an event plan written up, getting Legal to approve contest rules, getting sign-off by the 3rd party if necessary, letting the moderators know what's happening, messaging it to all of you via blog, forums, and MotD, and writing event reports afterwards. Locust helps out a lot with all this as well.
Apart from that, there's a lot of ongoing planning that needs to happen, like making sure we get virtual items for holidays and events far in the future (it takes like 90 days of turnaround time), and other stuff like the community volunteer program (yes, still happening), approving creative for personal apartments and other spaces in Home, writing weekly reports, communicating with Japan and the UK's community managers, and of course doing whatever is necessary for the community team to do to support the Thursday publishing windows. Things can sometimes go wrong or change at the last minute with these, so we have to be ready for that too.
I get a lot of last-minute stuff thrown at me too like when our Biz Dev guys come back with sweet deals for Home that need to happen ASAP! Lots of fires to put out every week also.
On top of all that I need to make sure Locust_Star is kept in the loop on everything, and gets any support and direction he needs to do his job. I also just hired somebody else, so that meant a lot of time in the past few weeks spent in interviews and dealing with HR.
THEN if there's any time leftover, I try to hang out in-world and on the forums. As you can see I haven't been here much recently, which means all the other stuff has been taking up like 150% of my time.
So, yeah, 0% time spent on eating jelly donuts.
CRUNKRIS wrote:What requirements, experience or credentials did you bring to the table when obtaining the Job and title you now hold? Cyd?
CydoniaX: Before I got the Home Community Manager position, I was a community specialist for another virtual world! I've done several other contract community mgt. jobs too, and my CM experience started way back in 2000. I also used to be a senior editorial manager at a search engine company. So basically I had the right background: people management experience + online community experience + virtual world experience. Plus, startup experience! Home is pretty much like a startup within a bigger company (Sony).Having a strong editorial background helps for this job (you have to be an expert at all things related to communications), and the fact that I went to advertising school doesn't hurt either cuz I understand things like branding, viral marketing, taglines and promotions.College doesn't matter so much...I was a Comparative Literature major.
NJShadow wroteAbout Locus_star)
So basically, you're the all-around cool person.
CydoniaX: He's a Renaissance Man!
modelchick8806 wrote:How did both of you all get into the industry? Did you guys major in computer scienece or something more general? And specifically for Cydonia, as a female, how did you make it to your position? Did you face any gender specific roadblocks?I'd love to work in the video game industry but my problems are I can't draw and I'm not a math wiz, so programming would not be for me, but I'd love to do character design. I think it would be great to work in other aspects of the gaming industry so I'd like to know more about how you guys got to where you are today.
CydoniaX:I explained that in an earlier post, but no, I'd say the gender bias for this position is much lower than for others. Community managers are skewed toward being female more often than male, but it's still a pretty new job so who knows how things will pan out?I was actually recruited for this position which was a very lucky scenario for me indeed, as I was unhappy at my last job and looking to leave. They interviewed a ton of people before they found me...I just happened to have the exact background they were looking for and said the right things in my interview and gave a kick-ass presentation (that's part of the hiring process here at Sony). Also, the fact that the team personally liked me didn't hurt. We don't hire people we don't like or don't want to work with!
jayyy91 wrote:Thanks for doing this Locust_Star! Here's my questions:I would like to know what Jack Buser does. Or does he even work with you guys? I see him on Home videos and stuff but I'm just wondering what his involvement really is with this project.I would also like to know if we will be hearing any of Locust_Star's band's music in Listen@Home. Thanks and keep up the good work guys! P.S. Tell the guys at SCEA to hurry up with the Canadian PSN Video Store!
CydoniaX: He's my boss and the Director of Home...he does a lot of press for us and helps sell Home to third parties. He's an awesome guy.
Jersquall wrote:Hi Cyd what is the community volunteer program?
CydoniaX:This is somethign we mentioned wanting to do way back in closed beta, but got held up by Legal. It's basically just a small group of core volunteer community members who will be selected to help us out! They will help manage events, help spread the word about Home, maybe preview or beta test some stuff before it's public, etc. The positiion will probably get swapped out after about 90 days so that lots of people have a chance to take on this role. It's unpaid, but you do get a nifty volunteer virtual t-shirt to wear when you're volunteering!
cooper2667 wroteK, my turn:Few weeks ago i asked to Cyd about MODs, if they talk many languajes, well, Spanish, she told me that she don't know, ok. The other day, to be exactly Friday the 13, RE5 day, i was in RE Space talking spanish to one of my friends from SouthAmerica, and the mod post a warning, (not to US) to all of us, you know Mod stuf, lol.My friend ask me to translate what the mod said, and i did, but while i was doing that the mod anwer him in SPANISH,Finally, my question.....
Do the mods Know Spanish, or was a coincidence the mod just knew
CydoniaX: Probably just a coincidence....it's by no means a requirement of the job for SCEA. SCEE is a different story, as they have so many languages in Europe to translate for.
jayyy91 wroteo you guys work with Jeff Rubenstein? If so, how awesome is he?
CydoniaX: He's a totally cool guy and very smart!
godsgift1989 wrote: (asked about more info on Xi) Cydonia can you comment a bit more on it then
CydoniaX: Guys, more will be revealed very soon...promise. Asking questions just ruins the mystery. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. Xi is classified info as far as me and LS are concerned.
Jim777 wrote: CydoniaX wrote: He's a Renaissance Man!
And of course Cydonia is the Renaissance Woman Wait Cydonia is posting on his thread....guys where is asoccer?
CydoniaX: I'll go along with that...I also have always been into film, music, art, etc. But not in a snobby way, I loves me some pop culture too! I could tell you what happened last week on Lost and how Natasha Richardson died (so sad). I also spend a lot of my free time reading and writing, taking advantage of SF nightlife, and playing with my 2 cats. And sorry asoccer, but I live with my boyfriend of almost 4 years. I'm on the same cleanse/health program as Locust, and hit the gym as much as I can so yeah...health nut too. Also a wino. Moderation in all things, including moderation.
You can see that we have lots in common, including a somewhat twisted sense of humor. The main difference between us is that I am way more of a dork. Or at least way more willing to act ridiculous in public. LS is a bit more reserved, until you get enough wine in him. Not shy, just self-contained. I am too until you get to know me, or get enough wine in me.
Jersquall wrotepicture of donut) (removed to make room see on pg 20 post 193)
CydoniaX: I WANT TO EAT IT!!!
leon4422 wrote: Hmmm. Not so surprising is how Cyd completely ignores Canada.
CydoniaX: I simply don't have an answer for you on that. That is not my decision and is up to the higher-ups to fix. Guys, this thread is not about when we're getting stuff for Home, but about our JOBS! Let's try to keep it focused, please.
Versace_Raver wrote: "As Being a manager of Home, how do you manage the funds allocated through the purchase of all home content. I don't need numbers. Example: lets say 500 people bought high tops at the mall. How much of that profit is used towards making us another pair of shoes?How does the dev team, and your higher ups feel about fan submitted content? I.E. Conceptual designs for new spaces or items including Clothing Furniture and ornaments?Also when it comes to avatar items that do not have a gender bias such as headphones and sneakers. Why does the dev team release them for both male and female avatars? More specifically I am referring to the Beanie DJ style headphones which are only currently available for female avatars.Next, when will the jeans on the male manikins and the furniture in the display window at Linger Roset be available for purchase.How hard are you working with Namco Bandai to have their Space released for NA home?Who's decision was it to give other regions free furniture and clothing in the mall while users on NA home need to pay for those items?"
Are you even allowed to tell us these things?
CydoniaX: Not really, we don't manage pricing of items in the Home store. That's more of a business manager kind of job. Luckily, we just hired someone to do exactly that, so you should see a better Home Mall shopping experience overall soon!
Krall12 wrote:If I turned on your iPod, what kind of music would I find? (Cydonia can answer this aswell)
CydoniaX: Well, I usually have my iTunes on shuffle during the workday. Just in the last hour, it brought up:The Kills, Beck, Goldfrapp, Jamie Lidell, Tupac (California Love!!!!), Bon Iver, The K&D sessions (oldie but goodie), The White Stripes, Spiritualized, Massive Attack, The Presets, and Grizzly Bear.A little bit of hip-hop, a little indie rawk, a little bloghouse (ha, love that term), a little folk-rock, some dirrrrty disco, some trip-hop. That's me...eclectic.
Yosho-sama wrote:Here's a good one.What games do you two play? Up for a challenge from HOME users?
CydoniaX: I'm still stuck on Uncharted (love that game), and am expecting Resistance 2 to get to my house anyday now. Sometimes check out LBP too and have SOCOM and Warhawk at home I have yet to play.
godsgift1989 wrote: the home volenteering programme was mentioned a few pages back and was wondering its its going to happen or not ?
CydoniaX: Oh yes, it's happening...we had the t-shirts made and everything! We also got brand-new Staff jackets...if you can find me in-world now, I'm wearing mine.
jayyy91 wroteoes TedTheDog work in the same office as you guys?I know he's the European Home Manager but I remember at one point he was the Home Manager here so I'm just wondering if he works at the same place as you guys but manages the EU forums from the US or if he actually works at SCEE in Europe. Thanks again!
CydoniaX: No, and we have yet to meet him! He's in London. I got to go over there when I first started but alas, Ted was on vacation that week, so I missed him!
kingofmactown wrote: What would be the biggest disagreement that LS and Cyd have gotten into? playfully or professionally
CydoniaX: Probably when I used to give him rides home from work everyday and he tried to tell me when we would leave. LOL....
*****I would like to thank Locus_star and CydoniaX for taking time out of there busy day to come to the forums and give such a great QA with the community,we take the two of them for granted i think and as you can see from there QA we should be happy they have time to do what they have done so far.Keep up the good fight guys on bringing the best HOME that any of us could ever imagine possible.*****
Also some quotes where taken out to try and help with lack of space, anything I missed or added wrong feel free to PM