Dark Age of Camelot Developer Profile Interview

MMORPG.com has published another one of their developer profile interviews, this time with Dark Age of Camelot associate producer Lori Hyrup.
Q: What is your job at Mythic Entertainment? How did you get your foot in the door?

A: I'm currently an Associate Producer of Dark Age of Camelot.

In 1996, I volunteered my time as a remote staff member for a variety of AOL channels, mostly so I could earn enough compensation to play their online games (they charged hourly for the games back then). In September of that year, I began beta testing Dragon's Gate, a text-based RPG developed by Mythic (though they were called Interworld Productions, back then). When I learned that Dragon's Gate needed a person to develop their forums, I offered my skills, and my offer was accepted. I eventually cross-trained from forum development to in-game staff.

By 1997, I became a remote-staff administrator for Dragon's Gate, which included the management of the forums and the monitoring of the overall game performance. I also spent a large portion of my time designing content and improvements to the game's systems. In the summer of 1997, I visited the Mythic home office and ended up having a very short, impromptu interview. In September of that year, I moved from San Diego, California to Fairfax, Virginia and began working for Mythic full time. Originally, my first priority was to administer Dragon's Gate and act as a liaison for everything we did on AOL. During the next three years, I wore many hats simultaneously, which included the managing all of the company's customer service, public relations, remote staff of over 250 people across 10+ different games, overseeing content development and design for our text games, coordinating beta tests, and continuing to act as a liaison to AOL, Engage, and Gamestorm.

When we first began our work on Dark Age of Camelot, I continued to handle our early game PR, customer service, beta invites, and feedback. However, I was also asked if I could "help" with some of the world building, which included the physical building of some of the zones, planning monster groups, encounters, AI implementation, etc. Very quickly, my "help" grew in to full time content development where I took the initiative to shape much of the top-view of the world, conceptualized many of the monsters, and come up with big-picture backstories, etc., and I spent hundreds of hours implementing those concepts.

Through that pre-launch period, I also came up with and implemented the Team Lead program for DAoC. Because I knew that I could not possibly know what was going to be best for every class we implemented, I wanted direct access to representatives/liaisons of those classes so the company could obtain focused feedback.

Though neither a programmer nor artist, I am still something of a Jack-of-all-trades and make myself useful wherever possible.