One expects a World of Warcraft developer to play the game quite a bit. But what about the dad of one of those developers?
Such is the case with J. Allen Brack (in image by Kevin Sullivan, at right), senior producer of World of Warcraft. As we sat down with Brack during the first press tour of the company’s new headquarters, he admitted that his dad is hooked.
When Brack started working at Blizzard two and half years ago his dad asked about the game. On a Saturday, Brack showed his dad the land of Azeroth.
“He’d never played a video game,” Brack said. “He had no clue on how to move or control the camera.”
It started with Brack showing his dad how to walk, control the camera and do other basic tasks. By the end of that first day, his dad’s mage character was at level 2.
“From that humble beginning, he sort of took off,” Brack said.
Now, Brack says his father’s mage has is at Level 70 and the father-son duo play together in the same unnamed guild. In two and a half years, his dad has played over 190 days (24 hours each) as his main mage character — an average of five hours per day.
Brack said WoW is a way for he and his dad to interact throughout the weeks, as Brack left his family in Texas to work for Blizzard Entertainment in Orange County. And working on the massive online game WoW is a big step up from Brack’s first job.
He laughed and said sarcastically that his first job was “stressful” — he sorted processor chips at an unnamed electronics company. Good chips went in one pile, bad chips in another.
When driving home one day, his friend suggested a job at the gaming company, Origin. That became Brack’s first foray into gaming, as “quality assurance” on the game “Wing Commander 3,” playing the game and reporting any problems to the developers.
That job lead Brack through other gaming jobs until today, where he is the producer managing developers who fix problems found in trial versions of WoW. Still, he admits that he’s just in it for the gaming. He plays about 15 hours a week and has about four main characters, with his most common character being a priest.