Saturday, February 10, 2007

Bugging SunSword

There's this guy, Anthony Castoro - known to the gaming community as SunSword. He was a designer on Ultima Online for awhile, then came back as producer. During both his tenures there, I bugged him incessantly.

First, about his proclamation in early 1999 to fix the boats of UO, which he said he was "damned serious" about fixing. Later, as producer, I bugged him to get the Serpent Pillars, an oceanic gateway for boats, fixed so that ship traffic through them could resume. I landed a brief email interview with him in May of 2003, at the end of which he proclaimed "Admiral, someday I'm going to make you a happy seafarer".

In August of 2003, he arranged to meet me at the Ultima X Odyssey Unveiling Event, at which he promised me that the next expansion pack for Ultima Online would be a seafaring one. He even made me sign an NDA, and also promised that my UO fansite would get to announce it, and that I personally would get to be involved in some way in the design and testing of it.

Shortly after I sent in the NDA, he stopped repsonding, and only though weeks of bugging one of his designers did I find out that the expansion was scrapped. I was so upset that I actually closed my fansite and quit UO, until the next summer when designers Fertbert and Leurocian started doing some work on the things I wanted to see done in the game.

I met up with SunSword again at the UO Community Day event in September 2004, and he sat next to me at lunch, where we discussed what had happened with that failed expansion idea, as well as possibilities of future endeavors in that area. This time he made no promises.

Skip ahead to today, where SunSword has a blog too. I tried to bug him there by leaving a comment a few weeks ago. I registered with TypeKey and was logged in, and left a comment, but it told me that it needed to be approved by the blogger (SunSword) before appearing on the blog. It never did.

I tried again with his latest blog entry, but even after I logged in with TypeKey, I can't do it. I'll be all logged in, click on "Comment", and the page will briefly say "Thanks for signing in," at the bottom before quickly switching to "You are not signed in. You need to be registered to comment on this site. Sign in...". When I sign in again, it still says this. After the first attempt to sign in, it goes back to the "not signed in" page every time.

Either he knows it's me and has banned me somehow, or only the most internet-saavy online gaming elite are allowed to post there. Either way, his most recent post announces that he has quit yet another online gaming publisher (this officially makes him a nomad) and has started up Heatwave Interactive in Austin. This time he says he's dead serious. Sounds familiar.

I wish him the best of luck even though I know he'll probably quit his own company two weeks before the release of its first product. Oh, and I'm still going to bug him when I can. Maybe for a job.

1 comment:

Ghosty said...

I am SO not surprised. Sunsword has disappointed time and again, in UO and, apparently, elsewhere. I wish him well in Australia, but I think we're on the same page as to what might happen a bit down the road.