Community Spotlight - Liz

Catch up with Deckhand, arts & crafts master and veteran pirate, Liz!

It’s been a couple of weeks since we got to know the ins and outs of the streaming duo TwoAngryGamers. As always, we came away with a chest full of interesting stories and insights, showing how much hard work goes into some of the things that the community does to support game makers and to make gaming such a big part of their own lives.

We’re always looking to find out even more about the fans who’ve been supporting what we do, so here we are at our next Community Spotlight! This week, Deckhand Liz, also known as ‘lizalaroo’ on our Forums, takes centre stage to talk to us about her pirate history and what it’s like to be a Deckhand.

Liz is one of our latest Deckhand recruits and a Pirates of the Caribbean Online veteran.

[Q]: Tell us a little about what got you into gaming?
[A]: Gaming for me probably started with my sister and I playing Pong on our old television one Christmas many years ago. Ahh, the simplicity of hitting a small, pixellated white square back and forth across a black screen. How things have changed!

A few years later at college, studying for an HND in Engineering, Space Invaders was a favourite in the arcades. It was there I’d spend many a lunchtime, or bunk off the odd lesson to try and beat the high score. I’d always loved the arcades and that’s where I’d spend most of my time off until a few years later when I bought a NES and my love of Nintendo started. I stayed with Nintendo until I bought a PC to play my first online games: Toontown and Pirates of the Caribbean Online. After Pirates closed I kept looking for a good pirate game, but nothing quite had the feel of POTCO until a chance conversation about Sea of Thieves. After watching the E3 2015 trailer I wanted to find out more about the game.

[Q]: Were you a Rare fan before Sea of Thieves and do you have any favourite Rare games?
[A]: When my son was young we would play Donkey Kong Country together (we had progressed to the SNES by then). Riding the minecarts, launching DK and Diddy out of the barrel cannons and collecting all the bananas in each level (hmm, barrels and bananas sound familiar) was some of the best fun we had gaming together.

I’ve played a bit of Banjo-Kazooie, loving the idea of collecting the ‘Jiggies’ to complete jigsaw puzzles to open new levels. This game consisted of all the things I enjoy in a game. Solving puzzles, gathering objects and defeating enemies. Hours of fun!

Finally, my favourite, Viva Piñata. Making and tending your own garden is quite therapeutic and easy to pick up after a hard day’s work. It’s quirky, which again I love, and as I’m a bit of a collectaholic, it kept me busy trying for all the different Piñatas and their variants.

Am I a fan of Rare? I’d say yes as you make some fine, cartoony-style games which I love.

[Q]: What games are you playing currently? Any favourites?
[A]: Two favourites, both on PC. Guild Wars 2 and The Legend of Pirates Online, a fan-made remake of Pirates of the Caribbean Online. After the original game closed in 2013 there was a distinct lack of good pirating games around, so in the interim I played GW2. It’s a fantasy MMORPG along the lines of WoW and set in the land of Tyria. It has plenty to keep me busy even after maxing 10 characters!

Oh, and I play a little bit of Cloud Pirates with the other Deckhands when time permits.

[Q]: You’ve been a member of the community in our Forums for a long time now. What first brought you over?
[A]: I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year already!

I was thinking back to how I first heard about Sea of Thieves. I was part of a group conversation on another pirate forum talking about this ‘new game’ that piqued my interest. Our lovely @KattTruewalker was part of that conversation, and during our long conversation someone mentioned the Forums so I decided to check it out. What I found was a community already excited about a game that wasn’t even out yet! Amazing!

The Forums were buzzing with ideas and speculation. I lurked for quite a while before plucking up the courage to say anything. But the others behind the posts were encouraging and so began my time trawling the threads for any new information. It was the pirate game I was looking for, so I stayed and have met many fantastic people from all over the world.

Being an advocate of the pirate life leads to plenty of plunder.

[Q]: You’re also one of our Deckhands! How has that been for you, and how have you approached the role?
[A]: With such a diverse group of people all from different backgrounds and time zones, the Forums have grown immensely since I first joined but there is no toxicity. As @WoozyPlacebo3 said just this week in a post: “The community here is amazing and it goes to show not all pirates are scallywags.”

And with the Technical Alpha out for both platforms now, it brings with it a rush of new people interested in finding out more, and a multitude of new posts to sort through every day. We are busy to say the least!

It is a great honour to work closely with the other Deckhands. What I like is how, even though we are all different, we gel together to make the perfect package for looking after the Sea of Thieves Forums. At first it was a little daunting joining the others to be honest, but they have made me feel very welcome and the teamwork is excellent. There is also a great team from Rare working hard behind the scenes and they offer us continued support.

[Q]: We’ve also seen your artistic side through the Sea of Thieves props that you’ve made!
[A]: Sea of Thieves to me is the perfect pirate game. Even now in its infancy it has me hooked. The cartoony style and ‘wonkiness’ of the game lends itself really well to props from the game being made. There are so many neat things within the game, I have a list of items I’d love to make as long as my arm, including a bit of remodelling of the spare room into my own Sea of Thieves tavern.

[Q]: Can you tell us a bit about the creation process for a prop such as the lantern?
[A]: There have been a few posts recently showing some awesome things made by the community. I love a challenge, so I thought I’d print a picture of one of the pirates holding the lantern and have a go. I purchased some EVA foam and got cutting, gluing and painting. I was pretty pleased with the outcome, so much so I made @KattTruewalker one for her birthday! She was over the moon to receive it!

The latest treasure I’m making is one of the Rare chests from Sea of Thieves. It’s almost full size but I shall make mine open so I can store all the SoT items I have made so far.

[Q]: Do you have any standout moments or stories from your time playing the game?
[A]: There are many wonderfully funny people testing this game who I have had the pleasure to crew with, but on this particular voyage it was @Clumsy-George who made it special.

It was as two ships were battling in front of us, cannons blazing, and we were just watching, deciding what we should do when George announced he was going to swim over to one of the ships and steal their treasure. Before we could say anything, he disappeared over the side and started swimming for the two ships! We followed his hilarious commentary as he climbed aboard one of the ships, killed a member or two of their crew and stole a chest! We were cheering and laughing back aboard our ship and really encouraging him.

He escaped the ship as it sank and made for an Island near to him. Eyes were now on our ship as the victor headed towards us. I think we sailed around that island two or three times trying to pick up George and the treasure chest while dodging the flying cannonballs! It was easily the best fun ever, my sides ached from all the laughing!

Naturally, Liz has also built up a treasure trove of artistic tools as well!

[Q]: What are you looking forward to most in Sea of Thieves?
[A]: There are so many things to like, but my favourite thing will be having a ship again and sailing. Looking at how beautiful the sea has been made, I am sure I will spend a lot of time at sea.

Exploring the islands comes a close second to sailing on my to do list, as well as treasure hunting, another great experience to be had, especially if different types of cursed chests are added.

And pirate customisation. Who doesn’t want the ability to make a pirate of their own! I’m looking forward to maxing the ‘wonkiness’ slider.

[Q]: If you had to choose a pirate name, what would it be?
[A]: Since the early days of POTCO I have had a pirate called Pretty Polly. She was pretty famous among pirates in the Caribbean and was featured as the first ‘Player Spotlight’ on Disney’s POTCO’s monthly Newsletter. I’m hoping to follow in her footsteps and become a bit of a legend in Sea of Thieves.

[Q]: What kind of hobbies do you enjoy outside of gaming?
[A]: At the moment, we have a large back garden that needs remodelling, so with the better weather that’s probably where you’ll find me, with a fork, digging and planting. Failing that I’ll be at my computer, nose to the threads in the Forums or in the spare room up to my eyeballs in EVA foam and glue.

[Q]: Share a fun fact about yourself. Anything is fair game!
[A]: Hmmm, a fun fact… I like to eat my baked beans cold.

How's this for a trophy? Wouldn't mind one of those in our cabinets...

Thanks Liz! If you’ve missed any of our other Community Spotlights, or the anticipation for the next one is just too much, you can click through our archive to check out no less than 24 previous Spotlights.

Until next time, be sure to keep it locked to our social channels to stay up to date with all things Sea of Thieves!