Articles - Community Interview: Sprklygrrl, Director of GSPThis week we've managed to interview Sprklygrrl, Director of Gridstream Productions. GSP is currently the oldest MMO based online radio station in the world, and it's in Anarchy Online.
Hello Sprklygrrl, could you give us some background info about your AO life?
Sure! I started my first character in AO not long after launch. She was an adventurer named Kaia. I only played for a couple of months, but I wasn't able to pay for my own account, so real life circumstances took me away from the game. Years later when AO went free-to-play, I picked up a froob account and played as Lylah (a nanotechnician, who my cat is now named after), and Bonnbonn (a martial artist) - both members of the RK2 organization Fighters For Freedom, which is since long gone. Again, real life circumstances got in the way and I had to leave, but I've been back in AO since 2009, and I'm thrilled to be here! These last couple of years have been my first experience with any of the expansions, and I'm really loving that I'm learning so much more of the game than I knew before.
You're one of the veterans in the game who many people know through Gridstream Productions, how does that affect your gaming time?
It doesn't affect me as much as you'd think. It can be hard to keep up with tells from people sometimes when I'm trying to run an inferno mission or calling in a raid. But on the flip side, it's not as easy for me to find a team as you might think! Recently some of my other AO community-related projects have taken a big toll on the amount of time I get to actually play, but I still log in to play AO several nights of the week. I'm co-president of Valor Eternal (a clan organization on RK1) with my 220 fixer, and wish I had more time to spend with the great guys in that org. I absolutely love the game of AO though, and I suspect I'll always wish I had more time to just get in game and shoot stuff. As a side note, my 220 fixer needs to do an Alappa run and a Beast raid pretty bad. *hint*
You became Director (Leader) of GSP after Tarryk stepped down last year, how do you feel filling his shoes?
I'd like to back up that timeline a little bit to give credit where credit is due. Way back in the early days of AO, Tarryk took the awesome idea of DJ'ing within AO and created GridStream Productions, and over the years nurtured it into this gigantic beast that it is today. He currently retains legal ownership of GSP and the option to fire me if he so chooses, but he won't because I can make him sleep on the sofa. Long-time GSP Director Ashval really deserves a lot of credit as well for all the years he contributed to the org and helped mold it into a well-oiled machine. It was late 2009 I believe when Ashval retired. Directorship saw a few handoffs during a transitional time, and I took the helm at some point in early 2010. It's definitely a different dynamic within the organization with a bubbly girl in the captain's chair, but the members of GSP have been so fantastic in accepting me and going with the flow and forced evolution I threw at them this last year. I'm so proud of all of their hard work and the progress we've all made together, as well as the rich foundation that Tarryk and Ashval laid and maintained - I work hard to try to make them all proud.
Approximately how many events does GSP host throughout the year on both the Atlantean and Rimor servers?
If you're referring to special events, like the ARK parties and various events that players request us to DJ, I'd say on average we do around 100 special events every year. Most of them are on Atlantean because that's simply where the people who request these events ask for them to be held. But our regular calendar is filled with live DJ's every day of the week, so there's never a lack of parties. We are always ready to DJ special events free of charge, and anyone can request one through our website.
We got word that there is an AO Con planned for 2012, could you give us some details?
Yes, I'd love to! Over the years so many people have come forward and suggested an AO Convention, but it was always dismissed due to the presumed amount of work and money it would take to make it happen. I used to plan conventions in my former professional career, and when I saw this suggestion come up, I decided to investigate just what it would take. Skipping all of the boring stuff here, I took my research to Funcom and asked for sponsorship for the convention, and they granted us the sponsorship to make this happen! AO Con 2012 is going to be August 10-12, 2012 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We're keeping the registration fee super low so we can entice as many people to come as possible. The official schedule of events for the weekend isn't entirely finalized yet, but we are accepting registrations and have all of that information at http://ao-con.com The crew working on this convention is made up entirely of volunteers from the AO community. In particular I want to thank my awesome Assistant Coordinator for AO Con, DJ Andyz from GSP.
GSP is currently the oldest MMO based online radio station in the world, how is the station funded, through sponsors, donations or both?
We are sponsored in part by Funcom. As a 100% legal online radio station, we do have some bills to pay, and a combination of funding gets them taken care of.
One of the services GSP provides is the creation of high quality advertising which is added to a rotation and then played during and in between shows. Could you walks us through the process?
Absolutely! We're happy to make requested advertisements/commercials for special events, AO organizations or any non-profit AO-related service. We do this all free of charge, but do ask for some in-game credits as compensation. All you need to do to initiate the process of having an advertisement made is go to our website and contact our Marketing department. We'll cover all the details with you and make an advertisement to your specifications that you can be proud of, and display on your own website if you choose.
GSP works closely with ARK on certain events, how is the communication between GSP and ARK for the larger events like the yearly ARK Expo?
It's good! ARK, as you know, maintains their professionalism at all times, and it makes working with them so easy. ARK Director Yarkona has been tremendously helpful and easy to communicate with. We've shared ideas in the past to help create new event collaborations, such as last year's Valentine's party where ARK was on hand to perform in-game weddings during the event. We love ARK!
You married Tarryk in real life, and many guys want to know, how did he manage to land one of the most charming females in AO? Did you guys meet in-game or did you know each other before that?
Oh, who's the charming one now? You flatter me, kind sir! It's a funny story though. I knew Tarryk before he was Tarryk. In fact, sometimes it's kind of awkward to call him that. We dated and were engaged to be married many years ago. He was the one who introduced me to AO when it was first released, and my first AO character that I mentioned was on HIS account. But we split up, and that was the cause for my leaving AO that first time. Eight years later, I tracked him down because I missed all the fun we had together, and the rest is history! He's a fun guy, but anyone who's ever heard him DJ already knows that.
Many of us older guys remember with fondness Epicine, will there be any more episodes or adventures from the 'pink mowhawk wearing Atrox'?
That's not really my department, but I hope so!
Thank you for your time Sprklygrrl, is there anything else you wish to add in closing?
You're welcome! I'm excited that you asked to interview me! I like to talk. I do want to squeeze in a tiny promotion of our new GSP merchandise shop. We have GSP apparel available for purchase at http://www.cafepress.com/gridstreamorg. We do not profit from this shop, but we're happy to be finally able to make this promotional merchandise available to those who've been requesting it for so long. Thanks for the opportunity to chat with AOU!
Article written by Silvana
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