In the Spotlight: Doctor Tyche
Transcript for In the Spotlight! Season 1 Episode 2
[Theme music ends, spotlights come on left wing, Shadow Elusive enters set]
SHADOW ELUSIVE: Hello, hello [pause for cheering] all you future members of the City of Titans, and welcome to: IN THE SPOTLIGHT! [pause for cheering] Yes, here is the time and place where we drag key members of MWM up for your personal perusal – by their heels if necessary [pause for laughter]. And I, Shadow Elusive, PR and Community manager, am still your masked host for the evening – they almost caught me changing identities but I got out a window [pause for laughter]. But enough about us, lets get to our new guest! And we've got a real star tonight. Please welcome, the one, the only, the long standing and original, founding member and current President, Nathaniel – Doctor Tyche – Downes!
[cheering, Doctor Tyche enters from right, takes a seat]
DOCTOR TYCHE: Hello, thanks for having me.
[Shadow Elusive takes left seat]
SHADOW ELUSIVE: Our pleasure. I just hope we haven't topped ourselves so early in the series. Any chance of a new President to interview someday?
DOCTOR TYCHE: Actually, yes. How it works is, we elect 6 people to the board, and they select one of themselves to be the company president. This happens once a year.
SHADOW ELUSIVE: [excited] We could have a yearly 'meet the new President' spotlight? Awesome! [turns towards left wing] Hey, is somebody writing that down? ...Okay okay! [turns back to Doctor Tyche looking annoyed] Sheesh, break character for two seconds...Okay, so that's how that works. I assume you could stay president if they decided to reinstate you.
DOCTOR TYCHE: Yes.
SHADOW ELUSIVE: Well, what exactly does the President do?
DOCTOR TYCHE: Honestly?
SHADOW ELUSIVE: Well, yes. Why, that little?
DOCTOR TYCHE: Manage the board, act as the interim step between the board and the company. Generally manage the company and make sure that the game development and business sides are all on the same page.
SHADOW ELUSIVE: So, important but boring, mostly.
DOCTOR TYCHE: Yup. Most of my work is still being Technical Director.
SHADOW ELUSIVE: Okay then, lets move right along to that. Basics first.
DOCTOR TYCHE: As technical director, I have to oversee and manage the technical aspects of MWM. This ranges from developing the software development toolchain to hiring the programmers. While I do not program myself, I need to keep a close watch on the programmers to make sure that they are delivering what was asked for. I also work as 'company scrounger', a lot of the time, digging for better deals for any piece of technology needed. Saving $200 here, $80 here, it adds up. It does mean we do not always get the latest gear, nor get it as quickly as we could if we just dropped on it, but we do get what we need when we need it, well, most of the time.
SHADOW ELUSIVE: That would be a sort of unofficial position right?
DOCTOR TYCHE: Yes and no. Being the technical director means that I am in charge of procurement. My frugalness is one of the reasons I ended up in the position. If someone better came along I'd be happy to work with them, the key is getting the most bang for the buck. For instance, today we needed a new switch, as we had outgrown the simple one for our servers. This is time critical so we did not have the time to wait for the best price. But I still dug around and found an open box model for almost $100 dollars less than retail, from the manufacturer.
SHADOW ELUSIVE: So, what were the other reasons you got the job?
DOCTOR TYCHE: I've managed a team in a high stress/high output environment. In other words, I was the manager of a retail store. It may sound unusual, by the reality is, retail management has a lot of skills needed for handling people, regardless of the actual job roles they manage. So, combine my technical know-how, my management skills, and my skills for procurement, and you get a technical director.
SHADOW ELUSIVE: No cookies? I hear cookies are supposed to help too.
DOCTOR TYCHE: Nope, no cookies. Fudge was the secret bribery material. My wife makes killer fudge.
SHADOW ELUSIVE: Ah, the out-of-the-box approach, nice.
DOCTOR TYCHE: Heh.
SHADOW ELUSIVE: Well, moving on. You mentioned technical know-how. Got a quick and dirty list on that for us?
DOCTOR TYCHE: I've been working on computers since my grandfather broke the 6510 in our Commodore 64, forcing us to resolder the socket in order to replace it. I was maybe all of 9 or 10. My father recruited my for his website business when I was 19, which got me familiar with Linux as one of his day job workers, Jon Hall, recommended I learn it.
SHADOW ELUSIVE: [nods]
DOCTOR TYCHE: I quickly got wrapped up in Linux kernel modifications and building. Eventually got involved with an effort to produce a faster Linux kerel. Stemming from the Stampede Linux effort a small group thought to make a Linux optimized for different systems. It began as Enoch Linux, but was renamed to Gentoo, after a breed of penguin. Those in the Linux community know Gentoo, and the rather maddening methods we employed to create the fastest Linux on the planet.
SHADOW ELUSIVE: Uhhh..is that a good thing or a bad thing?
DOCTOR TYCHE: Yeah, let's move on and let the IT folk either groan or celebrate at that. After that, wound up working with a neo-Amiga company. When the bottom fell out of the PowerPC market I wound up working for Ritz Camera. Spent a few years in retail before going back into computers. At first a contractor, developing web server solutions, improving the performance of database clusters, I wound up working for Stream Global Solutions, a major support sub-contractor for Dell Computers. I worked for them for two years, moving up the ladder to their server training area. Left them to become a writer. And yet, here I am, working on technical systems instead of the novel I'd planned on.
SHADOW ELUSIVE: Do you regret that? I mean, I'm sure you don't regret helping CoT in general, but do you regret letting the novel slide?
DOCTOR TYCHE: Nope, there will be time to write it when the time comes.
SHADOW ELUSIVE: So, one dream at a time eh?
DOCTOR TYCHE: Don't have time for more than one.
SHADOW ELUSIVE: Which beats having time for none. So! I think we're out of time and I think we got our time's worth – even if you didn't bring me any fudge. You realize this was technically an interview.
DOCTOR TYCHE: But you didn't even pa—
SHADOW ELUSIVE: [interrupts quickly] Well wasn't that a great interview folks, so long and see you next time [announcer voice] IN THE SPOTLIGHT! [canned cheering]
Note (from producer): Can we please have someone talk to Shadow about his professional behavior on screen? He's driving me crazy
[scrawled underneath note by hand] 'Give me fudge cookies! Shadow Elusive'.
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