Author’s note: This post may contain embellishments to increase drama.
Though the two studio are viewed separate entities, EA Canada in Burnaby and EA Vancouver downtown share a lot of infrastructure. As such, when something goes offline in Burnaby, we get e-mail notices downtown as well.
Today, we got one of those e-mails. At around 4pm, we received a message from IT that the Burnaby studio had experienced a power fluctuation. Phase I lost all power, while Phase II suffered a slight flicker but recovered to full power almost immediately. With Phase II almost ten years newer, they were likely saved by a much more advanced warp containment field located right next to the Phase II lounge, you know, right next to those funky, velvet chairs.
You can imagine what a loss of power means to a video game studio. Programmers can’t program, artists can’t art, producers can’t produce (I will refrain from making a snide remark here), and development directors can’t DD. A follow-up e-mail noted that after consulting with BC Hydro, the ETA on power restoration would be 8:30pm.
My friend Tim works in Phase II and I began to get worried for him. The loss of power means a loss of order, which means a loss of civilization as we know it. The people in Phase I would be looking jealously at the occupants of Phase II. No power means no web surfing, no coffee from the Starbucks, no afternoon snack from the EAt cafeteria, nothing. I know human nature like the back of Jessica Biel’s hand. I knew trouble was brewing.
Things were going to get violent and nasty. The focal point would be that walkway that connects the two Phases, the one with that weird bump right in the middle. Phase II would probably barricade that area while Phase I would probably make some sorta siege engine from old Xbox dev kits. In front of my shrine to Kristin Bell, I prayed for my friend’s safety and well-being.
I saw he was still on MSN, so I sent him a good luck message. Several nervous minutes went by before he responded. When he finally got back to me, he was breathless, or as breathless as one can get on MSN. Apparently, I was right. He had just returned from battle lines. Phase II had somehow rallied their people and managed to beat back the initial invasion force. Their triumph was not without a cost though. Tim was lucky but several good people were lost in the repelling of the invaders. People from Phase I were swinging original Xbox controllers around their heads and then flinging them in deadly strikes.
I didn’t get any more details from Tim, partly because he went silent and partly because I really wanted to get a coffee. I’m pretty sure power got restored to all of EAC before 8:30pm. Man, it’s gonna be awkward in the cafeteria lineup for some people tomorrow.