Haven’s Hideout is a blog for the Divine of Lusternia (i.e., the volunteer admin and staff) to post articles on their thoughts, experiences and insights about this awesome game. This will be a place for the Divine to let down their hair and go out-of-character, to share anecdotes about the drama, humor and intrigue they see, to ruminate about events and politics, and generally let players peek behind the curtain.
To kick things off, I’m Robb French, the Head Producer of Lusternia, which is mainly my creation. The seeds of Lusternia began in 2003 when I was a volunteer admin in Achaea, known back then as Eris, Goddess of Chaos. Matt Mihaly, the head honcho of IRE, was contemplating a second spinoff of Achaea (the first one was Aetolia). While I created many quests, mobs and areas in Lusternia, I didn’t have a strong coding background, but a volunteer coder (who would become known as Roark in Lusternia) there teamed up with me on several projects (notably Occultism, a skillset I designed and the volunteer coder coded). Therefore, we applied for this new project. Alas, we didn’t get the job but rather it went to another volunteer named Jeremy Sanders and that game was known as Imperian.
While we didn’t get Imperian, Matt Mihaly was impressed by our proposal and determination and offered to back an original game if we wanted to design it. But I would also need to learn to code in Rapture (the proprietary language of the IRE games). Three months later, I taught myself to code and even coded an original skillset to prove myself (Riding) and gave Matt a thick proposal for a new game that had everything from how the world would be laid out, unique twists on game design, original skills, and an 18 phase implementation plan (we still haven’t completed all phases!). With several appendices full of skilltree charts and maps, the proposal was 111 pages long. If Matt had any doubts about how serious we were, I think that laid it to rest!
Once we had the green light, we basically disappeared for one year. We emerged with the world of Lusternia, something I am truly proud of, and where I took the mantle of Estarra the Eternal. I have always preferred to roleplay female characters (even in pen and paper D&D campaigns) and had this idea that I would be roleplaying Estarra a lot. In online games, I would always hide my real gender (guess that could be a whole future blog article!) so I took pains to keep it secret that Estarra was played by a male. However, the truth of the matter was that I very rarely roleplayed the Estarra character, many people knew who I was already, and so I eventually decided to “come out” as the Head Producer of Lusternia.
And so that’s me behind the curtain!