Daniel Stahl is a lead producer for Champions Online
"Meet the Team" InterviewEdit
Q: What do you do on Champions Online?
A: As a producer on Champions Online, every day brings something new. Some days, it is reviewing bug lists and prioritizing the things to fix first. Other days, it could be making sure dinners get delivered for the crew working late. It boils down to helping out in any way needed. It's my job to ask a lot of questions, keep track of the big picture, and never lose sight of our goals.
Q: How long have you worked in gaming, and what did you do before Champions Online?
A: In 1996, I launched a popular Battletech fan site and from there I was recruited by Wizards of the Coast. I spent 6 years working on projects such as Magic: The Gathering and various other collectible card games (Pokemon, Star Wars). During this time, I also co-developed the Pirate's Cove board game with my friend Paul Randles. I then moved on to work with the Xbox Live team for the launch of the Xbox 360 and continued working on Xbox Live features.
Q: Describe a typical workday for you.
A: Every day begins with a stand-up meeting where we discuss the big ticket items we’re working on that day. From there you can find me bouncing around departments with my laptop taking notes, answering questions, writing down hot issues, sending e-mails, walking into offices and asking for bug fixes. Communication is a big part of the day – I make sure that everyone understands what is happening on the servers, what the big ticket bugs are and what is the status of upcoming features. During our Alpha play tests I also act as the GM – helping players out and answering questions.
Q: What part of Champions Online are you the most excited about working on?
A: Having come from the Xbox 360 Launch Team, I'm most excited about how Champions Online is shaping up for the Xbox 360. I remember many hallway conversations with co-workers at Xbox wondering how would the controller work and would it be fun to play on one? Now that I've see the game in action and played it with the controller, I'm stoked! I can't wait for all the console players out there to experience a new type of gameplay on their big HDTV's.
Q: Who is your favorite Champions Online character?
A: There is something special about the first time you meet Grond. He's charming, big, and green. He punched my character once and I flew halfway across the Desert. It was glorious.
Q: What is your secret superpower?
A: My soul patch grants +10 to Super Suave.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: Wander the streets. Play the Guitar. Sit on the beach. You know – stuff that I'll be doing once I become a homeless bum.
Q: What games are you currently obsessing over?
A: When I'm not playing Champions Online I'm playing some 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons and any new EURO board game I can get my hands on.
Q: If you had to live on one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: It would definitely be cheese. I think I could eat cheese every day. Oh wait. I already do!
Q: What advice do you have for someone who wants to become a producer?
A: Become involved in your work. You need to take an interest in everything related to your product or project. Challenge yourself to talk to your co-workers instead of e-mailing them. Don't be afraid to walk into someone's office and ask the tough questions. Being a producer means wearing many hats and keeping your calm in the face of danger – but it all hinges on having great communication skills and a rapport with your team.
Q: Is there anything you would like to add?
A: Your arch nemesis will not be a chump!