And just like that, we’re halfway through December (audible gasp)! The sun has almost set on 2017, but even as the team slowly begins to file out of the studio to spend some quality time with family, friends and a plate or four of Christmas dinner, we’ve still got time to have a nose into the life of another one of our awesome community members.

But who, you ask, does our final spotlight of the year shine on this week? Introducing Chris, otherwise known as Tartansnake over on the Forums! Not only is he a big Sea of Thieves fan, he’s also one of the latest recruits to our crew of Deckhands. Here’s what this snake-loving Community Moderator had to share with us (we’re noticing a trend here)…

[Q]: Tell us a little about what got you into gaming?

[A]: I had to scratch the old noodle for this. My earliest memory is having a Nintendo Donkey Kong Game & Watch handheld. I played this all the time and would take it everywhere with me. When it eventually died, probably due to overuse, I got a Donkey Kong Jr. Game & Watch.

Some other early gaming took place on an Acorn Electron, Commodore 64 and an Intel 486 PC.

Things really took off one Christmas when my parents got me a Nintendo games console with Super Mario World and Mario Kart. Within an hour my brother and I had completed them both. My parents weren’t impressed as they thought we’d get more mileage out of the games considering how much they spent on it.

What they didn't know was the days leading into Christmas my brother and I would wait for them to leave for work. Then carefully unwrap the console and play it all day before putting it back in the box before they got home. I was hooked and have been addicted to gaming ever since.

[Q]: Were you a Rare fan before Sea of Thieves and do you have any favourite Rare games?

[A]: I wouldn’t say I was a Rare fan growing up, not that I disliked their games, I just played so many games that once completed I just moved on to the next. The only one in the Rare family I would go back to regularly was GoldenEye. I would play this for hours with my friends.

Fast forward to today and yes, I’m a huge fan. The pirate life is for me and I can see myself sailing the seas for a long time. Not only is Sea of Thieves my favourite Rare game, it’s becoming my all-time favourite game.

[Q]: What games are you playing currently? Any favourites?

[A]: Sea of Thieves is my go-to game at the moment, whenever there’s a session running I’m there. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had access to the Tech Alpha for almost a year and even though the early sessions ran from 2am my time, I rarely missed one.

To fill in the gap between voyages I’m playing Destiny 2, XCOM 2 and FIFA 18. I also have Assassins Creed Origins ready to fire up, but I know once I start that I won’t put it down until it’s complete.

[Q]: What was it that first drew you towards Sea of Thieves?

[A]: I’ve always loved pirates and I’m a big fan of The Goonies. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is one of my favourite games and I was so excited when I heard a rumour Ubisoft was making a separate pirate game.

While looking for information on this project I stumbled across Sea of Thieves. Everything I’d seen and read pointed to what I was looking for in a pirate game. As time passed, my love for Sea of Thieves grew, leading me to the Forums at the start of the year.

[Q]: You recently became part of our growing team of Deckhands. How has it been so far?

[A]: Since coming on board it’s been awesome! The other Deckhands have been great along with the employees from Rare. This has only given me more respect for Rare and increased my drive to help the community.

And don’t worry everyone; I harass them behind the scenes about snakes too!

[Q]: Is this your first time being so involved in a gaming community?

[A]: I’ve been involved with gaming communities in the past, but never this much. I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to be part of this game development voyage and fortunate to have met some great people along the way.

The approach Rare took with the Insider Programme and the great people within the community made it easy for me to be involved. Having an awesome game is just a bonus.

[Q]: You knew this question was coming, but we had to ask. Can you tell us more about your fascination with snakes?

[A]: I have no idea what you’re talking about, next question.

Okay, it started when I was around 10 years old, at a wildlife display where we got to hold a bunch of different animals. One of these was a snake; it got passed around like a hot potato until it was my turn. I had a pocket in my shirt and the little guy quickly hid in it. He stayed there for the rest of the display until I had to leave and so give him back.

At the time I didn’t know much about snakes so started watching every wildlife programme I could find about them. My love for snakes only grew when I immigrated to Western Australia and in 2008 I started working as a volunteer at a wildlife park. Since then I’ve continued to work with wildlife and have been a volunteer reptile relocator for the past six years.

[Q]: Having played Sea of Thieves, do you have any standout moments?

[A]: Erm… how long do I have?

Seriously, I have so many I don’t know where to start. I’ve seen sharks kiss, ships fly, accidentally marooned crewmates, got drunk, been sick, been fired out of a cannon, duelled another pirate in mid-air, sunk ships, been sunk, visited the Ferry of the Damned and made many new friends.

But one memory that my regular scallywag LogansDadToo will never let me forget is the one where I misplaced a chest. We got boarded by an enemy crew’s ship that we quickly dealt with. I checked our usual chest storage spot and noticed our mythical chest was missing. We quickly set off after them to reclaim our prize. We must have chased and harassed this crew for about an hour. We were approaching them for another volley of cannon fire when we clipped a rock.

I ran down below to patch the hole and lo and behold, what was down there? Yup, our chest! I’d forgotten I put it down there. “Erm guys, you know that chest we’re trying to recover from the other crew? Well, it’s down here. It’s been down here the whole time.”

Well, let’s just say I got called a few things as we sailed towards an outpost to cash it in.

[Q]: What are you looking forward to most in Sea of Thieves?

[A]: Well, apart from snakes (fingers crossed), I’d have to say the kraken. I can’t wait to see this creature making its debut and causing havoc within the world. Also looking forward to all the pirate shenanigans I’ll be getting up to with friends, old and new!

[Q]: If you had to choose a pirate name, what would it be?

[A]: Farquhar McHugh, try saying that after a bottle of rum!

[Q]: What kind of hobbies do you enjoy outside of gaming?

[A]: I’m very passionate when it comes to football, just ask my neighbours. The games here are usually late at night or early morning, so yeah, I won’t be getting a Christmas card from them. Also love travelling, bush walking and working with the awesome wildlife down here.

If there’s one thing we learned from this Spotlight, it’s that Chris’ covert Christmas shenanigans were signs of a professional pirate in the making and so we’re pleased to welcome him to our growing crew of Deckhands!

Sadly, that wraps up our last Community Spotlight of 2017, but of course next year will bring many more as the community grows in the lead-up to Sea of Thieves’ launch and beyond. We’ll see you in 2018!