Michael H. Patino     phone: (734) 536-7558     email: mpatino@gmail.com
Michael Patino's MMOG Portfolio : Header
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No matter what you do, players will decode every formula, statistic, and algorithm in your world via experimentation.
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Raph Koster

Download Michael's Resume




  • Creative Highlights
  • 15 years of experience as a web designer (HTML, DHTML, CSS, JS, Java, Dreamweaver, Cold Fusion, MS Frontpage, and similar programs, PHP, Python, CGI/Perl, Ruby on Rails, MS SQL, My SQL, Postgre SQL, Oracle, Java)
  • 6 years experience in web hosting and server management (sales, marketing, administration, backup, maintenance)
  • 4 years of experience in Search Engine Optimization
  • Strong graphic design skills, artistic sense, and fluency in Photoshop
  • Understanding of information flow, readability, and interface usability design principles
  • Familiarity with web scripting languages such as JavaScript and ActionScript
  • Extensive knowledge of browser compatibility issues
  • Extensive writing experience with fantasy fiction
  • Vast background with in-game event development and management
  • Knowledge of video editing with Adobe Premiere (or equivalent package)
  • Exhaustive knowledge of the MMOG and Gaming genre
  • Developed and run story arcs in a commercial MMOG for a player population of 150k+
  • Run hundreds of events and quests
  • Solid experience policing/moderating large scale events
  • Comfortable with free form/improvisational events
  • Experience writing fiction and prose for the fantasy and sci-fi milieu
  • Written and adapted several plays for implementation in the MMOG world

Websites

As part of building and running online communities, I eventually reached the point where web sites became an integral aspect of community construction. Thus, spurred on by the needs of my hobby in online gaming, I began to dabble in web site creation. At that time HTML was as rudimentary as it gets, with cross-browser incompatibility being a very nasty issue, but as technology moved on I grew fascinated by the intriguing mixture of tech geek and artist that personifies a web designer. Eventually, I developed a confident host of web programming skills, and even dabbled in web site design as full time job. Today, I use my design skills to compliment my expertise with business programs, developing customized solutions.

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As a web designer, I am a huge fan of Content Management applications. I prefer to spend my time doing development, not changing emails on someone's bio, so I build my sites to allow the users to manage their own content. In the development world, this mentality could be just as useful, with the use of wiki's, internal intranets, code repositories, and other such programs that I am sure you are familiar with. As a manager who believes that clear lines of communication lead to a significant drop in problems and missed expectations, I would push to develop tool sets that clearly map my department's needs, requirements, and deadlines.

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Signature Images

As a community activist, I also participated in hundreds of online forums. My graphic design skills were frequently used to create signature images for users on these forums.

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Player Quests and Events

I have run hundreds of quests over the years, so here is a sample of a few to give you an idea of how I think and plot them out:

Short Term Quests

These quests generally take only a day. Since I ran most of these as a player, I had to develop all sorts of interesting work arounds to pull them together. Take a look at the Riddle Quest for more details.

Long Term Quests

Scenarios like this generally take months to finish off, and some have taken as long as two years! Read over the design document for a quest currently being run in the world of Sosaria (Ultima Online) for Upheaval in Delucia.

Dev & Player Coordinated Quests

This is an article with a few examples and suggestions on how Dev run programs and players could work together to create a more viable dynamic quest solution. Go ahead and give Developer and Player Coordination: A Better Questing World a read.

Events and Festivals

Over the past decade, I have run literally hundreds of events for players in various Gaming worlds. Here are some samples of those events I have organized:

  • Scavenger Hunts (your typical retrieval oriented fun)
  • Bardic Contests (for those poets and storytellers in our midst... we've run dozens of these)
  • Rituals (rituals for a host of subjects, from cleansings to season blessings)
  • Archery Contests (pretty obvious)
  • Dart Throwing (obvious as well)
  • Murder Mysteries (a bit of intrigue is always interesting)
  • Sack Races (this can be a fun one, depending on game mechanics)
  • Casino Nights (all sorts of games of chance)
  • Horse Races (many MMOGs have built race tracks for these purposes)
  • Relay Horse Races (group racing)
  • Pet Races (the same as a horse, except using a pet.... we've done everything from chickens, rabbits, and more)
  • Crafting Give-Aways (helping out your newbies)
  • Crafting Contests (speed/difficulty contests)
  • Summoning Contests (call up your favorite monster and let him fight for you)
  • Riddle & Trivia Contests (to test the wit!)
  • Fortune Telling (just for fun)
  • 1 vs 1 Dueling Contests (for the more militant minded)
  • Grouped PvP Contests (for larger groups, generally 2 vs 2 to 5 vs 5)
  • Themed PvP Contests (only certain classes/skill sets)
  • And many more!

As you can see, I have organized and implemented a large variety of activities in the Gaming world. With a position at your studio, I believe I could utilize these experiences to help refine your vision from my own experiences, as well from information gathered from the public player base.

Event Moderator Events

As an Event Moderator for Electronic Art's Ultima Online, I had the opportunity to run events for a player population of approximately 150,000. I was assigned as the Lead EM for the Origin shard/server, and wrote up dozens of quests and events specifically built to compliment the existing communities. Here are a few samples to review:

Writing

Most Role-players love to write about their characters, and I am not immune to that bug. Here are few stories from the RP life of Talanithus, one of my "online avatars":

I have hundreds of pages of other tales, but I doubt these will really sway you one way or the other in the hiring process. *chuckles

Songs & Poems

Here are a few of my fantasy based poems and songs:

Plays

I've written and adapted a few plays over the years, some for MMOG use and others for RL theater. Here is one to give you an idea of my style:

RumpleFaern:

An Elvish version of the children's Fairy Tale, Rumplestiltskin. A very tongue in cheek production, but feel free to read the script.

Download Section Content

If you would like to download this page, including all samples and associated materials, I have also provided them in a printed format.


Creative Philosophy

I believe in a "sitcom" styled development phase for events. By this, I mean that each individual event within a greater story arc should be an independent entity, including all of the necessary elements to enjoy the event on it's own while concurrently improving on the depth and meta-resolution of the greater story line. An "episode" should include the following elements.

  • 1. Some form of notification to the players that an event is coming soon
  • 2. Reference to previous event "hook"
  • 3. Crisis with multiple solutions to allow the player's the freedom to choose their actions
  • 4. Crisis resolution
  • 5. Hook for next event in the story arc
  • 6. Recognition for players that have acted selflessly

When developing a story arc, I prefer to use morally ambiguous story lines that allow players on either side of a conflict to feel that they are "right" in defending their views. Good versus Evil plot lines can work for mass events, but anything that encourage involvement of the players should allow them the opportunity to feel justified in their choices and actions. In my experience, this sort of foundation allows the development of a viral form of player fanaticism, and stimulates a secondary cultivation of player communities that arise to defend the ideologies the player's have chosen to identify with. I am a firm believer in the power of player communities to evolve a story line's path, and adapt my plot lines to the player's developments.

I generally develop several RPCs (Role Playing Characters) to handle different elements of plot development. In a conflict oriented story line, there will of course be the protagonist and antagonist, though as I stated earlier I prefer conflicts of a more "grey" nature. I also create a character that exist primarily as a source of information, be they an Oracle, Librarian, Scholar, or so on. I am a huge fan of history, and will frequently hold book readings or symposiums in game with this character to elucidate on game history, many times with an emphasis on how it applies to the current story arc. I also develop a sort of wandering minstrel character for more casual encounters with players out adventuring, using his songs and stories as a platform to encourage players to seek out alternative story branches, or just to notify them "in character" of story arcs they might not have discovered on their own.

All events and quests should be witnessed and transcribed to the larger player audience. The means of this information dispersion is not as important as the fact that the information gets out. It could be from a player reporter for a fan site, or from the event writer on the official web site, but the player's need to have a record of exactly what happened and how it fits into the greater scheme of things. Failure to properly chronicle and event story arc will leave most players feeling like they have been excluded from the "in crowd", which should be avoided at all costs. To compliment this, players also need to have a definitive meeting area or notification system to alert them of new events. Again, the form is not as important as the fact that it exists, so that players that wish to participate have a clear path to do so.

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My experience in QA and Beta TESTING follows.