Chris's Halloween Surprise
October 23, 1996. I was the CEO of a videogame company, Turbine, that was just a tiny unfunded startup of 30 people, but we knew it had potential! Well, we hoped it had potential -- and it did. Turbine pioneered massively multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORGs), launched Dungeons and Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online, and eventually employed nearly 400 people and was bought by Warner Brothers. I bought a company luncheon for everyone at Turbine in honor of Chris Dyl, arguably the company's most prolific programmer and hardest worker. Chris eventually went on to become Turbine's longest-lived employee, working there for 17 years and being CTO for most of those years!
While everyone was at lunch, some artists and I ran out to Paperama and my credit card gave them carte blanche to buy scary stuff. We ran back to Turbine and decorate Chris's desk and the hallways. So when Chris returned, there was an entire path of Halloween fun leading from the front door to his cubicle. It was an expensive prank -- we spent $300 -- but I always found that such pranks and free lunches lifted the spirits of my hardworking and underpaid programmers, artists, and game designer.
Chris was a stoic, but even he had to burst out laughing at this one. Happy Halloween!
Trick or Treat!