About a month, maybe month and a half ago, suphaltus popped up on IM. "You're still playing Dungeon Runners, aren't you?" she asked. I answered in the affirmative. She related to me that the night before, she'd struck up a conversation with someone at a party. They'd talked gaming and geekery, and it turned out that he was Matthew Weigel, one of the original developers on the game. Knowing that the game was about to be closed, she mentioned to him that I was not only still playing, I was quite enjoying it. He was pleasantly surprised, saying that the game was "his baby" and told her to have me contact him, as he might have some swag he could send me.
This sounded pretty cool, and I thanked her profusely, dropping the Dev an e-mail that very day. Now, I was raised with a certain set of ethics and tenets that some people call Southern Gentleman™, and there's some things you just don't do. In this case, what I was not gonna do was say "hey, I heard you have stuff for me, gimme." Besides, it was pretty cool just to get to drop a line to the guy and tell him how much I was enjoying the game, the laughs it gave me, etc. How often do you truly get to get word like that to the people actually responsible and not just a faceless CS department? We mailed back and forth a few times, just chatting and talking about the game industry. Glad I did, too, as he was grateful for the praise, and told me how good it was to get to hear it from someone right in the thick of it. I can imagine it's easy to lose sight of that sometimes and to get mired in the corporate end of things, or disheartened by the standard load of forum rats any game gets. Besides, the latest game idea he and his crew pitched wasn't picked up, so it was a good feeling to get on a crappy week. He did mention that if there was any memorabilia from the game I might want, to give him my address and he'd see what he could do.
Now, I'm not even sure what kind of memorabilia might exist out there. Original concept art? CD's of the beta code? Coaster from the launch party? I truly don't know. The only object that I know of was from the launch of the boxed game. Buying it got you a special in-game bonus: a "Bling Gnome". In the game, the gnome (named "Pope Sweet Geebus") would follow you around, eating unwanted treasure and (I'm not making this up) crapping out gold, all while spewing hip-hop comments in a high, squeaky voice. To celebrate this release, the devs bought 200 plastic gnome banks which were in a squatting position with their pants down. They then glued rhinestones to them, added some costume gold chains, wedged a gold coin in the buttocks, and then signed them and gave them away in a few contests.
Anyway, I mentioned that it was the only memorabilia that I knew of, saying that I wouldn't even know what to ask for, but if he had anything laying around he was willing to part with, I'd be only too honored to have it. And what did UPS bring me today?
My very own Gnomie Homie, signed by the guys and shimmering in his bling-y aura, gold sliding out of his backside for me. Yes, it's silly, and it's also very badass. A souvenir of something that's made me smile, and a reminder of making someone else's day.