Victor Watcher is the online community relations manager for Champions Online.
"Meet the Team" InterviewEdit
Q: What do you do on Champions Online?
A: I manage the Online Community Relations group here at Cryptic. My team works the forums, puts content on the web site, coordinates events like our upcoming preview/alpha/beta and appearances at events like GenCon and PAX. We deliver feedback to the rest of the company from the community on our games so we can make them the best they possibly can be. Basically, our goal is to make the out-of-game experience as fun as the in-game experience for our community.
Q: How long have you worked in the gaming industry, and what did you do before Champions Online?
A: I've actually been paid to work in games for about seven years. Before Champions Online, I ran community for Dungeons & Dragons Online and PlanetSide. Before I decided to work for a living, I was a grad student in Mass Communication, studying online communities.
Q: Who is your favorite Champions character?
A: Back in the day, I bought just about every fourth edition sourcebook, and choosing just one character is hard. More than any individual, I always like the large groups – especially DEMON. I loved that they had a front organization committing crimes that they didn't really care about, just to keep attention off of the inner circle's agenda.
Q: What should a fan site do to get noticed?
A: I appreciate the news sites, of course, but the ones that really get my attention are the ones that find their place and do it better than anyone else. I like to be able to recommend sites by name when people ask where they can find a map of Monster Island that highlights every point of interest or where they can find the best guide to mental powers.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: Play games, of course. I'm also a world-class contender in the field of hanging out and not doing much. If I'm out and somebody asks what we should do, my first answer will always be "let's find someplace with karaoke."
Q: What's on your mp3 player?
A: I like Japanese pop music – I don't really like anime, but I really like the music. So I have a lot of T.M. Revolution, Asian Kung Fu Generation, Shonen Knife, Nana Kitade, Utada Hikaru, and that kind of stuff. Beyond that, I'm pretty standard: a little hair metal, a little emo, a little jam band, a little lounge.
Q: What's your secret superpower?
A: Unfortunately, I am just a highly-trained norm. But today I realized how handy it would be to be able to create quantum duplicates of myself. I was walking down the hall and past every door I heard "Hey Victor. Come here a second." If I had dupes, I could send one into each room and still keep walking to fetch that soda I wanted.
Q: What is the last book you read?
A: In comics, I'm working my way through the '90s JSA series, and I just finished Book 9: Lost. Nonfiction, it was Now is Gone. And if you're talking about fiction, it was Jennifer Government.
Q: What advice do you have for someone who wants to become a community manager?
A: The most important thing is to be a part of the online community. The best community managers I know got into the field after they wrote a blog, designed a great fansite, ran their own in-game events, etc. I don't know that it helped me get the job that I have today, but I was a very active participant (flamer, even) in the newsgroups for the games I played before I got into the business. I think I took a lot away from that experience that helps me today.
Q: Do you have anything you would like to add?
A: Three things, actually.
- I am going to be at Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle next month, and everyone should come to play Champions Online for themselves and to come to Cryptic's awesome party.
- I recently decided that if I were a D&D character, I would be level 5. I spent my ability point on charisma and through my feats, I have pretty good reflex and fortitude saves.
- I can drink a can of Diet Pepsi faster than any of you.