by Evil Chris Priestly
Hi everyone, and welcome to another BioWare Facebook Friday.
So did you hear about the two BioWare developers who got engaged through the game Minecraft? Well, for this week’s Facebook Friday update, I asked the recipient of the Minecraft proposal to give us an look into her life and job here at BioWare. I’ve known Heather Rabatich since her start in teh PR department here at BioWare. Since those days, she has moved on to the Dragon Age team and, among other things, met her future husband here at BioWare. She’s a great person and it tickled me to no end to learn that it was Heather and Joel that were the “2 Minecraft proposal” devs here at the office.
I should point out that no matter what Jimmy Fallon thinks, I doubt this will be their first dance at the wedding.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan but now call Edmonton home.
I have always had a love for the fantasy realm and typically those are my old stand bys when I go to re-watch old movies. I got my nerdish leanings from my Dad who at a young age introduced me to classics like Dune, Blood of Heroes, LadyHawke and Dragonslayer. I’m pretty sure I was the only 10 year old girl in my neighbourhood who knew who Rutger Hauer was.
We don’t have cable at home so I rely on the internet to tell me what I should be watching these days. Typically, I tend to lean towards bizarre/funny/fantasy and have been watching True Blood and Damages. My favourite series will always be The Kids in the Hall. I also love cooking/eating shows like Shopping Bags and No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain. I love cartoons too and enjoy the Venture Brothers, Clone High and Futurama.
I have a pretty diverse book collection with roots again in sci-fi and fantasy, Enders Game is a probably the most re-read book I have, as well as Dune, the Hobbit and more along those veins. My favourite author is Anita Diamant who has written The Red Tent and The Last Days of Dogtown. I also collect cookbooks and cooking magazines. I have a cookbook that was my Gramma’s in the 30’s and it has recipes that teach you more ways to suspend food bits in gelatin than I ever dared dream.
Favorite pizza toppings:
I want a question where gravy can be the answer. This should be changed to what is my favourite mashed potato topping.
Job or title at BioWare:
How long have you worked for BioWare?
I just passed the 4 year mark at the beginning of February.
What does an Associate Producer actually do?:
The really rewarding work comes with working alongside the creative teams. I currently work with the tech design and level art groups as well as on the downloadable content teams. To work with such creative and passionate people is a really inspiring part of the job here. I love getting to be a part of the teams who are crafting the gameplay design. Sharing ideas and going through plot flow and the story/lore connections with some of the greatest minds in the industry is more than I could ever ask for in a job.
What is your average day like at the office?
Meetings. Typing. Talking. Planning. Reviewing. Updating. Documenting. More Talking. Brainstorming. Debating. Problem Solving. Counseling. Laughing. More Meetings. Pint-Drinking. Repeat.
Favorite BioWare moment Game related/thing you are most proud of at BioWare:
I have been here for 4 years and had in that time, 3 totally different jobs. Each role has been rewarding and I have gotten to learn so much about the games industry because of these internal career changes. Thanks to my time in Public Relations I have been able to meet fans of BioWare from all over the world. I have been so fortunate to get to hear first-hand about the emotional experiences of people’s playthroughs. On a recent trip to Australia I got to promote Dragon Age 2 as a dev for the first time and I had no idea how much I would end up talking about Dragon Age Origins while I was there. I felt so proud to have worked on that game and so honoured about the kind words from the people I met. It was awe-inspiring to hear about the commitment people had made to their Origins experience and one of my best moments as a developer to date.
Favorite BioWare moment not game related:
The coming of age saga of a low poly cheese wheel…Oh and I guess meeting my future husband while making coffee one day in the office kitchen. That’s turned out pretty ok. What I want to say and what I am supposed to say can be very different things.
What do you do to relax/do you have any hobbies:
I love painting, right now I’m working on a portrait of Joel wearing an ascot and holding a giant ragdoll cat to hang over his exercise equipment (he asked me to do this, I swear). I’m also a summer person but with only 35 minutes of summer a year in Edmonton I can’t do the activities I enjoy year round, but I love to canoe and camp and sit around a campfire and drink beer. I know, it’s such a prairie stereotype, especially when I bring a pil cube with me in the canoe (it just fits right under the seat!). Cooking is probably my favourite thing to do though it’s my ultimate zen time after a long and stressful day.
What game are you losing sleep for right now (that you are not working on)?
I’ve been playing Titan Quest the Immortal Throne with Joel a lot lately and I’ve just gotten into Drakensang – The River of Time. Goodbye friends and family, hello alchemy.
What is the most “nerdy” thing about you?
Right now, I would say being the girl that was proposed to in Minecraft is up there as it went surprisingly viral. But we’ve got nothing on that drunk Las Palmas baby.
I would own a little café with my own comfort food creations, good beer and wine selection and my favourite music playing all day. In this daydream I am also independently wealthy.
What do you want people to know about you?
I appear smaller in real life than I actually am.