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Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:47 am
by WackyMeetsPractical
As you may have known, this ARG has eaten up the lives of many a metaguard, causing some of us to lose sleep and on occassion neglect real life obligations and enjoyments. How has it been for you guys? Some of you have mentioned having to deal with this while also dealing with school, and surely most of you have jobs, friends, and family. Did you guys do better than us at organizing your life schedules to deal with everything, or did you end up missing sleep, neglecting obligations, and stressing about not having enough time as much as we have?

Also, some of you have mentioned that many of you would take over for the same character, such as Joe or Mr. A. How did you decide who would play who when? Were there shifts? Or was it more of a 'who ever was available at the time' sort of thing?

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:30 am
by Connor Fallon
I had to uninstall Skype on my phone, because when I had it on my phone I was literally working on the game 24/7. My friends got upset with me at one point, at at least one teacher called me out on it. =P

Even after that, if something major happened, entire days would disappear as I dealt with/orchestrated the reaction.

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:43 am
by BlackWolfe
Connor Fallon wrote:I had to uninstall Skype on my phone, because when I had it on my phone I was literally working on the game 24/7. My friends got upset with me at one point, at at least one teacher called me out on it. =P

Even after that, if something major happened, entire days would disappear as I dealt with/orchestrated the reaction.


Now I have this image of a college professor stopping you on your way out of class to talk to you about the ARG. Did any of your friends start following the game (if only to have a way to interact with you)?

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:03 am
by Tom
Everything Connor said, except I foolishly kept Skype on my phone. When it was on, it drained the battery every five hours. The notifications were literally constant.

I quit an internship to work on the game. It wasn't such a big deal, though--it was also unpaid. I liked it, but when the ARG launch happened and everything was not immediately perfect, I knew what I had to do.

The work that had to be done came down to whoever was around to do it. If there was a remote deadline, it got delegated. If it had to happen now, it had to happen now. Every one of us can tell you horror stories from when they had to step up. Here's a few of mine.

I stayed up til 7AM after a full day of travel editing Sicon's audio. I stayed up til 6AM the night before the Moriarty refic, because everyone else had gone to bed before I realized the ugly realization that all those fics for all those characters (4 of them) had to be picked before noon, had to go live in a VERY particular order, and had possible contradictions with canon if I didn't pick them carefully.

That night, I sent out 3 different emails to Raikes, Mark Slabinski, and the other Leads, each one saying to ignore the last, each one spelling out exactly what had to be done, and begging them not to second-guess my reasoning, because although it looked flexible, moving something around would have seriously broken stuff. The worst part was, by the end, I was so tired, I couldn't be sure it even made sense anymore. I couldn't keep all the gambits straight in my head. I went to bed hoping the game hadn't broken because I was the only one awake.

In the morning, Dana woke up early enough to check my work, and I talked her through the why's and how's in a dazed stupor. She understood what I was going for, made some changes with my help. She made it happen, and I went back to bed until the afternoon. At that point, it was her turn to have all other plans set aside for the ARG.

None of this compares to the Herculean task Alex had at the end. He finished the Farrell video, did the Cthulhu video start to end, completed the rebel video and the finale video and the congratulations video in the space of less than two weeks. All I could help him with was making noises into a recorder to help with his sound editing. He barely slept.

Sometimes, that's just what it took.

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:20 am
by Connor Fallon
BlackWolfe wrote:
Connor Fallon wrote:I had to uninstall Skype on my phone, because when I had it on my phone I was literally working on the game 24/7. My friends got upset with me at one point, at at least one teacher called me out on it. =P

Even after that, if something major happened, entire days would disappear as I dealt with/orchestrated the reaction.


Now I have this image of a college professor stopping you on your way out of class to talk to you about the ARG. Did any of your friends start following the game (if only to have a way to interact with you)?


A few of my friends follow the ARG. Enlil is actually a friend of Alex Moser. We had to work really hard to keep him from overhearing stuff =P

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:22 am
by Tom
You asked about schedules. Look at me and Connor, still in the habit of working on this thing so much that we're still checking to make sure everything is OK, at 4:30 at night, after the game is done.

"Because something could be wrong," the voice in my head tells me. "I should check the Forums and see."

"It'll only take a minute!"

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:24 am
by Connor Fallon
Tom wrote:You asked about schedules. Look at me and Connor, still in the habit of working on this thing so much that we're still checking to make sure everything is OK, at 4:30 at night, after the game is done.

"Because something could be wrong," the voice in my head tells me. "I should check the Forums and see."


Yup.

Think about it this way: We worked for a year on setting this up, and then we only have ONE CHANCE to get it right. The care factor is very high.

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:27 am
by BlackWolfe
Connor Fallon wrote:
Tom wrote:You asked about schedules. Look at me and Connor, still in the habit of working on this thing so much that we're still checking to make sure everything is OK, at 4:30 at night, after the game is done.

"Because something could be wrong," the voice in my head tells me. "I should check the Forums and see."


Yup.

Think about it this way: We worked for a year on setting this up, and then we only have ONE CHANCE to get it right. The care factor is very high.


Dude, it shows. I've been going over the stuff I missed (most of the game) and the amount of work you guys put in was just staggering.

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:52 pm
by Rick Healey
I was under a bit more of a schedule crunch than most folks, because I have a day job (I'm a professional editor, seriously), and I couldn't just constantly be "on the pulse" of the ARG. I did watch remotely about all the happenings, but I generally just watched unless I saw something major happen. If something needed immediate attention, I flagged Tom via text message (granted, he usually saw it as it was happening anyway). But for the most part, from 9-5 on weekdays, I observed.

I ended up working late most nights, because I also still have a marriage to maintain (though my wife still describes my schedule as "all the time"). Though the advantage of being an editor is that, as long as folks have their materials in ahead of time, I can edit damn near any hour. Plus, late hours had one huge advantage for me - since the heart of the leadership is out in the west coast, it meant that I was up right when Dana and Tom were in the midst of major planning, so I could be sure to provide input as things developed.

More than once, though, dinner ended up being after eight because I'd come home from work and immediately do ARG work. My wife was not exactly thrilled with this. But she's very understanding; i was half-tempted to give her a specific shout-out in the end credits because of that, but that wouldn't have been fair to the understanding families of everyone else.

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:50 pm
by Val Reznitskaya
I think our advantage was having a little more foresight for when the time-consuming things would happen. Though there were still plenty of unforeseen situations that would arise at the most inconvenient times.

Logging into Skype each day usually meant reading backlogs for at least an hour, then being handed a WItch email or Joe post to draft. I'm one of those people who really needs to see the big picture all the time, so I was pretty active in parts of the ARG I wasn't originally responsible for. It would be a lie to say that my social life didn't suffer at all as a result. >>;

I think my biggest horror story was working on the Sicon Witch script. Three of the four leads were on planes that day. That was an interesting day.

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:54 pm
by Rick Healey
Oh, I remember that day. We managed to keep things running at a smooth pace despite shooting 75% of our leadership into the air in giant slingshots.

That said, I never wanted a repeat of that.

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:01 pm
by Val Reznitskaya
That was the day Rick had to do Poirot voice acting with a soar throat twice because of a really epic breakdown in communication regarding the script. Among other things. Um yeah, that day.

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:01 pm
by Sicon112
I got a taste of the mess that day when I logged in at the time Tom wanted it posted to find the only person there/conscious was Sophie and no one had sent me the file once you finished cleaning it up.... We ended up delayed by over an hour and I spent most of that time getting increasingly worried that I was screwing SOMETHING up. Luckily, Sophie is awesome. :D

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:03 pm
by Val Reznitskaya
That was actually the next day. =) I'm still really sorry about that, but I was unconscious.

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:05 pm
by Sicon112
Val Reznitskaya wrote:That was actually the next day. =) I'm still really sorry about that, but I was unconscious.


By that first sentence of my post, I meant to imply I was dealing with the fallout. I'm sure I didn't help matters that evening by keeping Eric in a recording session for as long as I did though.

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:46 pm
by Rick Healey
Val Reznitskaya wrote:That was the day Rick had to do Poirot voice acting with a soar throat twice because of a really epic breakdown in communication regarding the script. Among other things. Um yeah, that day.


In retrospect, the "Oh Crap" reaction from everyone when they found out that I'd have to rerecord was hilarious. I mostly had a huge coughing fit in lieu of crying.

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:19 pm
by Bill Cohen
Like Rick, I have a day job, but it's a 9-5, Mon-Fri gig in the education sector. Add to that I was studying part-time for some extra subject certification and my modest contribution was basically checking email through the day for stuff from the leads, getting home and reading 800+ messages on the GM Skype chat, and then emailing whatever needed to be emailed back to the leads.

It was frustrating to feel out of the loop on the day-to-day of the game (I swear to you I have NO IDEA what happened with the Holmes/Poirot storyline) but I knew from the outset that with the time difference the best I could hope for was a 'daily digest' approach to seeing what was going on.

I nearly got an official warning from my boss when the Sydney Wall Piece puzzle was in it's final stages - I had my smartphone on the desk next to my computer and was checking Facebook (as Agent X) and email every 5-10 mins.

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:27 am
by Enlil
Connor Fallon wrote:A few of my friends follow the ARG. Enlil is actually a friend of Alex Moser. We had to work really hard to keep him from overhearing stuff =P

If any of you thought the Cheshire Cat was cryptic, you should have heard some of conversations Connor and Alex had over lunch to ensure everything went over my head.

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:30 pm
by Tom
Didn't they repeatedly tell you Joe was going to die?

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:39 pm
by Enlil
I believe that was among among the lies they told me... I also recall discussion of Joe turning evil, though I think Alex maybe really wanted that.

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:43 pm
by Scarab
Enlil wrote:I believe that was among among the lies they told me... I also recall discussion of Joe turning evil, though I think Alex maybe really wanted that.


I am trying to imagine Joe going evil. The thought amuses me. Scared into being a bit of a jerk sometimes? Sure, but I just can't imagine the guy stepping over to the dark side, even if they had cookies. Or perhaps I am just hopelessly naive about people

Besides, even if they did have cookies, ours are better. :D

Re: Schedules and Shifts

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:38 pm
by Connor Fallon
Yeah, Alex and I trolled Enlil pretty hard with fake plot point discussion =P