Inside Relic Entertainment
When I joined Relic back in November, I was incredibly excited. I’d never worked in gaming before, and I was eager to find out what life at a leading studio was really like. I soon discovered that there were all sorts of events and activities going on, some of which I expected, and some which came as a real surprise. I figured I would try everything, get to know some folks, and hopefully have some fun along the way!
First on the agenda was the Magic the Gathering Draft/Tournament. Drew, our “Dungeon Master,” did a great job of organizing the most recent event. He paired new players (and there were quite a few of us) with seasoned vets for a crash course in all things magical. I was lucky to be placed under the tutelage of Chris, a super chill guy and arguably Relic’s most renowned Planeswalker.
After us noobs had learned the basics, about 30 Relicans convened to build our decks. The draft was pretty bewildering, but also a lot of fun. Surprisingly, come game day, my library wasn’t a complete disaster; a small miracle given I was clueless about the strategy behind building a deck. Credit probably goes to Steve, who scryed over my chaotic draft selections and salvaged a playable roster from the nooby madness.
So it was that Relicans of all tenures braced themselves for many matches of wizardly battle. It was a brilliant way to get to know people around the studio, and what’s more, due to the tournament format, each day you ended up playing someone with a similar win/loss ratio, so the games were always fun and competitive.
All in all, the tourney was an absolute blast. My sensei, Chris, covered himself in glory, emerging from all battles undefeated, after a tense show down with runner-up, Rohit.
While I might not be quite ready to knock Chris off his perch, I’ll be signing up for the next draft with no hesitation.
Switching gears from magic to mountains, I jumped at the chance to tag along to bouldering night, as I’ve always wanted to get into the sport.
Cam is Relic’s chief rock climber. He’s a veritable Ninja full of useful tips and encouraging words. He used to teach climbing, and his skills were in full effect when he coached me through one particularly difficult climb that had bested me numerous times. I was elated to finally conquer it.
Climbing was really addictive and I can’t wait to go again, even though my forearms felt like they were going to explode for a couple of days afterwards.
The Hive (a local bouldering gym) is where the action goes down. It’s a really inclusive environment with tons of runs that suit all ability levels.
While bouldering tested my resolve, board game night thoroughly broke it. We played “Dead of Winter,” a bleak, crisis-ridden zombie survival co-op.
One of my starting characters was unceremoniously executed for attracting a zombie horde. The other, crestfallen and haunted by demons from her past, decided to take her own life. Cheerful stuff!
Towards the end of the game, our remaining survivors were beleaguered, having narrowly escaped annihilation on more than one occasion. Moral was low, however it appeared we were on the cusp of victory having almost achieved our primary objective. That was when the traitor in our midst revealed himself. Pursuing his own selfish ends, Neil broke ranks, sending his Mall Santa character to die in a zombie infested school. Neil knew this would crush the party’s remaining moral and spell doom for our survivors, but that was his cold-hearted objective and he didn’t care. Damn you Neil!
While I didn’t expect a bunch of programmers to be into rock climbing, or for the studio to put on elaborate MTG tourneys, there was one Relic activity that came as no surprise whatsoever; Warhammer.
I’ve been along to a few of our Thursday evening painting and modeling sessions, which are super relaxed and sociable. Regulars such as Kat and Darwin are usually working on some mouth-wateringly cool models, and it’s just generally a great spot to chat Warhammer, Dawn of War, gaming, and loads of other geeky topics until your heart’s content.
As I was a collector of Eldar when I was younger, I’ve commissioned a new squad of Wraithguard to bolster my dusty Ulthwe Strike Force. They’re still very much a work in progress.
I’ve also heard about the occasional team Warhammer effort, in which loads of Relicans will get together to build and paint an entire army from scratch! Count me in.
Our social club also organizes a movie night every month. I went along to my first one recently and had a great time watching The Lion King while stuffing down pizza and snacks. There couldn’t be an easier way to chill out, enjoy yourself, and get to know a few people.
I’ve been pretty busy, but there’s still plenty more to discover on my Relic activities odyssey. I’m yet to try our running club, get involved with an art crawl, or kick back on video game night. So many activities!