Written by Ixarix; PSHG Team Writer
“If you always put a limit on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
I imagine that there can be nothing more thrilling for a Home developer and their employees then to log into Home and finally see a virtual item they had been toiling over brought to virtual life. Then, to see other Home users using and enjoying the fruits of their labor must be especially gratifying. How cool would it be to log into Home to play some poker maybe at the casino and spy someone wearing a jacket , or a dress you helped to design. To know that someone has actually spent some of their own money on something you helped create because they liked it and wanted their avatar to wear it on Home must be an awesome experience.
Very rarely do regular Home users get to know what it is like to have an idea brought to life on Home. But the stars do align on occasion and their ideas do become a reality. Recently, a friend of mine, McJorneil, or Jordan as I have come to know him got to experience just this. He won a contest sponsored by Juggernaut that gave him the opportunity to create some content that they then developed for Home.
I first met Jordan back in June of 2012 at a party I covered for the Gazette. The party was thrown by the the Angels and Demons club, and I interviewed him, along with Y2David and Miss_Ann_Thrope about the party and their club. Since then I have joined the Angels and Demons club and Jordan and I have become friends.
It was at one of the Angels and Demons meetings back in September that Jordan excitedly informed the group that he had won Juggernaut’s contest, and that Juggernaut was giving him the chance to design some poses for Home. I was excited for him, that he was being given this opportunity to showcase his ideas on Home and wondered just what he would dream up.
Then in January of this year, Jordan informed me that the poses he helped to create were finally being released on Home. Now, because of Jordan and Juggernaut, the community has a series of cool new martial arts poses to choose from.
I wanted to hear from Jordan about what it was like working with Juggernaut on these poses. So, I invited him over to my Peakvox Ninja personal space for an interview, I could think of no better space to showcase his martial arts poses then this one.
As I photographed Jordan, we fell into conversation and he described the poses he created, his source of inspiration and other thoughts about this and that.
He began by showcasing the female poses in the martial arts package.
Female Poses 1
“This is actually a Kung Fu stance known as a Dragon Stance,” Jordan explained. “I suggested this pose to Juggernaut because the reference picture featured a woman doing the stance and I thought it was perfect for showing off the female form. It looks really cool with some hand items.”
Jordan was kind enough to supply the reference pictures he sent to Juggernaut for each of the poses. It was pretty neat to see what he had in mind and just how the poses wound-up looking once they were created. Here is the reference picture for the first female pose.
Second Female pose – Alita pose
“This pose doesn’t have a name but it is a very special pose.”
“What makes it special?”
“This pose was actually inspired from a fighting stance used by a character in my favorite manga series from Yukito Kishiro’s Battle Alita (or GUNNM as it’s known in Japan). It was the first pose I suggested to Juggernaut.” Jordan explained.
“Originally, I was told they were looking for a static pose. The product manager, Elena, said I could pick one for males and females, and it could be anything I wanted as long as it passed Sony Q & A. However, Elena also said I should provide a few different pictures as references in case they couldn’t animate one for whatever reason. So I sent the best suggestions I could and to my surprise they used all of them. Instead of them making one pose per gender, they decided to make three per gender. I was overjoyed.”
Female Pose Number 3
“This is a traditional back stance, there’s a male version too. It’s common in martial arts.”
“Did you have any idea what the poses would actually look like when Juggernaut was finished with them?”
“I had no idea until I got an email back from Elena with an image of the poses attached.” Jordan explained. “I saw that and my jaw dropped.”
“When was the initial contest?”
“Looking back on Twitter, it was an impromptu contest they announced on September 27th, 2012,” Jordan explained to me. “I saw the tweet and thought to myself ‘Ehh, I guess I’ll give it a shot.’ I never expected I’d be the one to win. I figured they would get hundreds of entries, so my chances were probably slim to none.”
“Did you have to submit a sketch?”
“It was a Decorative Lounger picture contest Brock. Basically you just needed to tweet them a picture of your avatar using their new decorative lounger. I actually sent them two versions of it. I’m not entirely sure which they selected.”
(Personally, I love the Decorative Lounger and have used it now several times for various photo shoots for the Gazette.)
“I sent three different images and some time later I checked my email to discover I won. I was like no ‘Wait, what? Huh? No way.’ ”
“I know what it’s like winning a contest sponsored by Juggernaut” I said. “I won their Adventure Fun pack contest back in July. The result was the Nautilus Adventure being created for Home. I was very excited about that and I didn’t know I had won until someone pointed it out to me on one of the forums.”
“It is a great feeling isn’t it? I’ve never won anything this awesome before ” Jordan enthused.
Jordan then left and returned to show off some of the male poses.
Male pose 1
“This pose is special just like the other one for females. It’s based off an opponent Alita faces in the Battle Angel manga, Jashugan. I suppose you could call this the Jashugan Stance and the other one the Alita Stance. Alita and Jasugan are my favorite characters from that manga, they’re like heroes to me. The values they stand for and their fighting spirit, these poses embody those characters and what they represent.”
“Your experience with Juggernaut seems to have been a bit more involved then mine was, what was it like working with them?”
“The funny thing is after I won the contest, I realized I hadn’t even thought about what kind of pose I wanted to see made. I was like ‘Oh crap, time to get to work.’ ”
“Were you nervous about this, having to actually create a pose?”
“Well at first I was kinda intimidated.” Jordan stated. ”I thought ‘Should I see what other people would want, or should I just go with what I want?’ that sort of thing. I ended up asking my closest friends their opinion and eventually I went with the first idea that came to mind, which was martial arts. Not to rag on the creator, but ever since I first laid my eyes on that silly “Get Ready” pose I have wanted a real martial artist fighting stance in place of it.” Jordan laughed.
The Second Male Pose
“This particular stance, I don’t know the name of, but it is like the Dragon Stance for females. I thought this one was good for showing off the male form, it looks manly.”
“Do you practice martial arts in real life?”
“I used to do Tae Kwon Do, well I kinda still do, it stays with you,” Jordan stated. ” What would be fun? What would be cool? What would allow people to extend their wardrobe selection? Those were the questions I asked myself. One of my closest friends has always told me “Express yourself” and martial arts are a great way to do that. Since people in Home use avatars and emotes to express themselves or communicate, I knew martial arts poses would work together with that nicely.”
“Some people probably see the words “martial arts” and think, ‘Oh that’s just for fighting!’ But there’s a lot more to martial arts than fighting. And fighting doesn’t always mean violence.”
I asked one of my closest online friends, Ms. Pam, who is the owner and operator of the Basalt Family Martial Arts near Aspen, Colorado, to elaborate on what Jordan said about Martial arts. “I feel that martial arts, “forms” in particular can be akin to dance.” Pam told me. “Although it has to be done in a traditional fashion, everyone can put their own spin on them and make it their own. Fighting and sparring also are good ways to express yourself. To use what you know creatively and quickly.”
“Jordan mentioned to me Pam, that fighting doesn’t always mean violence, but martial arts isn’t really about violence is it?”
“Yes, it is about gaining self-confidence which is one of the best ways to assure you won’t be the one picking a fight. Just knowing your own capabilities is usually enough. It’s true, that even though we might hurt each other sparring, and it looks violent. To me, it’s more like a game…like chess. It’s more a thinking person’s game than you would think.” Pam stated
Male Stance 3
“This is a back stance for males, the legs are more apart compared to the females.”
“You must have been happy that the Ninja space was released in North America.”
“That was a bonus” Jordan laughed. ”With the release of Peakvox’s ninja, and if this idea became popular, even more could be done with the martial arts poses. There are a lot of different martial arts styles, moves and techniques that could be incorporated into Home in some capacity.”
“There’s obviously people who would prefer fighting animations rather than just static poses, like Konami’s Fighting Animation Pack.” Jordan related to me. “When that came out I was kinda of nervous about my poses. But I think they both go together nicely.”
“Some people may have preferred poses for modeling, others may have wanted something funny or sexy. I went with what would be cool and fun. Especially with there being all sorts of action themed costumes and clothing already available, and knowing Peakvox Ninja was on its way. It’s not every day you get to suggest something to a content developer and actually see it made. This was a one time opportunity so I did my best to make it count.”
“What sort of contact did you have with Juggernaut during this process?” I asked.
“Well, I only communicated with their Product Manager Elena, but she is very nice and responded to my emails when she had the time. If I knew who all designed my poses I would give them a big hug.” Jordan laughed.
“What did you learn about developing content for Home from this experience?”
“It did give me a better insight on the development side of things. For example, I learned Sony’s Q and A takes at least 8 weeks, and they have a major backlog of content.”
“Sony, in my opinion, suffers a lot of grief from the community sometimes.” I said.
“I think if people had a better understanding of what these developers go through to bring us this awesome content, there would be much less grief and a lot more appreciation for what they do. It’s not like the developers are a bunch of people in suits who only care about money.”
As we wrapped things up Jordan said wanted expressed his gratitude towards Juggernaut.
“The first thing I wanted to do when I received the email from Juggernaut saying I won, was share a video of myself with friends, enjoying their Minibots space, you were in one the videos we made Brock,” J0rdan laughed. “I thought that it would be the perfect way to show my thanks and appreciation to one of Home’s best developers.”
Here is the MiniBots video Jordan wanted to share, it was made by Y2David, with The All-Mighty Club.
Juggernaut is one of the best developers on Home in my opinion. They’re constantly releasing fun, new items on Home, and are very much engaged with the community, talking to us, and getting us to share our ideas, so that everyone on Home can enjoy it.
So, on behalf of myself, Jordan and the entire Home community who have come to love and admire Juggernaut let me simply say thank you.
A big thanks to McJorneil, (Jordan), for coming for the interview and taking time to strike a pose.
As well, thanks to my friend Pam, for taking a moment to share her thoughts on martial arts. Check out the Basalt Family Martial Arts Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Basalt-Family-Martial-Arts/188797191161313?fref=ts
And a big thank you as well to Elena from Juggernaut for taking the time to answer a few questions, and being a totally awesome person.