Lucky Pickens

1. What’s your favorite kind of video game to play with your family?
Creative/building games

2. What’s your favorite quality in a male game character? Female game character?
My favorite quality in any game character is driven to succeed in achieving their goals in spite of their flaws. I don’t think that needs a gender-based distinction. Characters that are confident in themselves and who they are make up the core of the most memorable characters in my mind.

3. What kinds of game do you avoid?
Sport simulators

4. What’s your favorite quality in your gaming buddies (kids or not)?
Acceptance of occasional defeat

5. What’s your main fault as a gamer?
I don’t like to be beaten by a computer when I’m convinced I can win.

6. How has gaming shaped your identity?
My uncle Jon worked at TSR and both of my parents were classic tabletop gamers, so from an early age my brother and I were engrossed in fantastic worlds filled with monsters and robots, dystopian futures, lush green kingdoms, gnoll fights, the works. By the time I could read, I was competing with my brother on my father’s Commodore 64 playing games like Mario Bros. and Rampage! Then, with time and increased processing power, came Doom. My father spent hours on Doom and my brother and I absorbed it all, playing occasionally, and having fun when given the chance to play with WADed after watching my father mess around with it. I didn’t start playing console games until much later, and I go back and forth freely between platforms these days. Evolving from a love of storytelling wrought from a strong foundation in tabletop roleplaying games, I had set my sights on making movies as a young man; I even attended film school on the Universal Studios Backlot in Los Angeles, CA. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a very practical option for me to continue pursuing when I became a parent. I chose to provide for my children, until I discovered that I had a talent for programming—that opened up a new approach to storytelling, one that I was already fairly familiar with: storytelling where players decide what happens and I just set the scene!

7. What’s your idea of a miserable gaming experience?
One where, due to poor response time, a lack of intuitive controls, or an assumption of skill that doesn’t acctually exist, I repeatedly fail to achieve my goals.

8. In which virtual world would you choose to vacation?

9. Which game did you find most visually appealing?
Guild Wars 2

10. Which game soundtrack would you listen to on repeat?
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

11. Which game has your favorite story?
Half-Life has my favorite story, though it has many close runners-up (to include Bioshock, Bioshock: Infinite, Borderlands 2, Fallout: New Vegas, Half-Life 2, and The Secret of Monkey Island). Half-Life consistently treats the player as though they are Gordon Freeman, and assumes their responses are what Gordon Freeman would say. The story of a human caught in the midst of an alien invasion brought on by experimental teleportation technology reminded me strongly of Doom, my first FPS experience. But the tie-in with the G-Man, the mysteries it brought as well as the repeated play-throughs for the purpose of exploration made Half-Life one of the first games whose dialogue I began to memorize and recite in the shower.

12. Which video game character would you choose to be a hero for your kids?
Red (Pokémon: Red Version) for his tireless perseverance and dedication to his friends

13. What are your favorite gaming snacks?
Any cheesy chips

14. Who’s your favorite video game villain?
Handsome Jack

15. Which video game ability/item/superpower would you most like to be gifted with?
The power of the Thu’um

16. What video game character would you pick to cosplay if you had unlimited time and resources?
A Big Daddy from Bioshock

17. Most interesting way you’ve ever died in a video game?
My brother and I had agreed to use knives and throwing knives only in a deathmatch on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. He accidentally threw his knife while looking up, and it eventually came down on my head and killed me on the other side of the map.