Over the past couple of Community Spotlights we’ve introduced some fans that have supported us for nearly as long as we’ve been around. As a studio that’s always looking to create new characters and worlds, we also look to bring new fans into the Rare Community with each new game we make. With Sea of Thieves it’s no different, and in this Spotlight, we’d like to introduce Sebastian. Since we announced Sea of Thieves at E3 last year, Sebastian has been playing a big part in helping to establish and grow a community around the game. If we say too much more we’ll steal his thunder – so we’ll give the floor to Sebastian, also known as Paladin Topaz.

Over the past year Sebastian has quickly become one of our most dedicated fans.

[Q]: Tell us a little bit about what got you into gaming.
[A]: Well, I have to say that games have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I spent days playing Spyro on the PS1 and Star Wars: Battlefront on the PS2.The first game I ever beat to the point of 100% completion was Lego Star Wars and I was incredibly proud until my older brother “accidentally” deleted it. I believe it was out of jealousy! Nevertheless, I've forgiven him. Of course, I spent a lot of time on browser-based games like Club Penguin and RuneScape. Pokemon for the Game Boy was sprinkled in there as well, a title that might have consumed my childhood. Eventually, I graduated onto the Xbox and Xbox 360 which is where my passion for games developed. It started very meagrely with Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic and Halo 3, then I found Fallout 3 through a friend whom I'm eternally grateful to for the introduction.

There was something about this game that was different and my curiosity spiked. I had to know more about it so I looked into it, discovering the incredible thing called the games industry. I figured out there were entire companies dedicated to creating video games and the process and concept fascinated me. YouTube was a prime place to learn more about this realm so I spent time consuming content there. Leading to a whole new curiosity. That's about it. The journey began modestly and then it took off to become a big part of my life and I'm happy it did. Games can make you experience things no other medium can by combining all art forms into one.

[Q]: What is your favourite Rare game and why?
[A]: Now this is a difficult question! Can I say Rare Replay? No? Oh well can't blame me for trying. My favourite classic Rare game has to be Gunfright, which I discovered in the Rare Replay collection. It was such a fun title that I still find myself playing every now and then. Battletoads is another one that instantly hooked me with its retro style, quirky storyline and best of all fun game-play. Even though I never did get over the trauma of the Turbo Tunnel level, it made quite the impression.

Originally released in 1985 for the ZX Spectrum, the port of Gunfright in Rare Replay is arguably one of the most challenging games in the collection.

[Q]: What games are you playing currently? Any favourites?
[A]: Right now I'm playing a combination of a few games. I'm trying to finish the Back to the Future game, which so far is holding up to the standards set in the movies! Next one I'm trying to finish is The Last of Us which is just a masterpiece in almost every regard. Naughty Dog can do no wrong. Nowadays I look for games that do something different, and make the playthrough meaningful. Most of the time that comes down to the stories within games and The Last of Us has an impeccable story up to this point. I can't wait to see how it ends so I can begin Uncharted 4! Lastly, I just started Life is Strange which I've been putting off for a while. This game so far is the pinnacle of gaming culture. A title that gamers can show off to the world with pride saying “this is art, this is what games can be”. It hooked me within the first 15 minutes and I can't wait to really get into it. Some games don't deserve their success, but Life is Strange is too deserving.

[Q]: If you had to pick a pirate name, what would it be and why?
[A]: My pirate name has to be Captain Jack Sparrow for sure... oh wait, that's taken. How about Captain Bones? No. Alright, I guess I would go with Captain Kraken because it rhymes. I'll let that sink in. So punny… To be honest, I would like my pirate name to be Captain Topaz with a possible beard at the end because why not. Topaz is an important call sign to me personally for a few deeper meanings so I like to carry through most of my endeavours including video games.

[Q]: How are you involved with the Rare community?
[A]: I'm involved with the Rare community in a couple of ways. For starters I'm always on Twitter talking with or about Rare to fans or other website owners. ALWAYS! It's unhealthy. Additionally, I am a co-host for the Pirate Port Radio podcast which is a lot of fun to record every month. The final thing and what you might know me from is YouTube. I run the channel Sea of Thieves Central, where I talk about everything Sea of Thieves at least once a week until it gets annoying. In all seriousness, it combines a passion of video creation and producing with video games providing an excellent creative outlet even though the channel itself isn't very creative. I love doing it and my favourite part is hearing feedback from the viewers. I get to talk to people who share interests and live in different parts of the world, it's incredible. The community there is amazing and involved. I love it. Thank you so much for being a part of it and allowing me to do what I do.

A closer a look at some of the imagery you'll grow to associate with Sea of Thieves central.

[Q]: What sort of hobbies do you enjoy outside of gaming?
[A]: Outside of gaming and YouTube my life is actually very well balanced even if it seems like I am a basement-dweller. I play a variety of competitive sports like baseball, soccer and football. I also enjoy fishing and the outdoors. Something about the country is inspiring. I play the ukulele and guitar which is fun to play around with when I can. Travelling is another thing I love to do whenever the opportunity presents itself – even if it is just a new city I'm always up for exploring! So I do a lot of different things because variety is important to my lifestyle, I need to try new things and learn to stay happy.

[Q]: What do you hope to do the most in Sea of Thieves?
[A]: Sea of Thieves still holds mostly mystery but I can safely say that I want the experience of a pirate’s life. I want to virtually feel the sea breeze, I want to bury my booty in the sand that I stole and draw a treasure map to it, I want to explore unknown islands filled with beauty, I want to board ships, live a dangerous life with my crew and fight Krakens of course. Above all else, I want to experience a pirate’s life in a pirate’s world and I'm sure Rare will deliver.

We can only hope Sebastian is working on flexing his ukulele skills by writing a pirate shanty!

[Q]: Share a fun fact about yourself. Anything is fair game!
[A]: Fun fact? I don't know if this is fun, but a fact is that my dream in life is to write scripts and stories for video games and the like. Writing is a secret passion that I don't do as often as I would like but, if I could give one person an experience like ones given to me though games and film my life would have made a difference. One person caring, enjoying and possibly changing a viewpoint of something because of me would be incredible. I hope one day I can do that for someone. Another fun fact is that I have a very hard time tying my shoes.

And there you have it…

We’d like to thank Sebastian for taking the time to answer our questions and an even bigger thanks for supporting us as a studio and Sea of Thieves over the past year! As always, we hope you enjoyed this community spotlight and you can be sure we’ll be back with more over the coming weeks.