Julien, Rail Nation’s Lead Community Operations, has asked Lenny, the Game Director, a few questions. Meet the man in charge of your game’s team and, please, read until the end. You won’t be disappointed!
Julien: Can you introduce yourself to the Rail Nation community in a few words?
Lenny: Hi, I am Lenny, the Game Director of Rail Nation; I am 41 years old and from the most beautiful city in the world.
How did you come to work on Rail Nation, and what attracted you to the game?
Bright Future approached me, and I was very attracted to the game as I enjoy strategic games. What I like most about Rail Nation is that it is a peaceful game where you do not have to fight. It is important to me that the games I am working on make the world a better place, not a worse one.
What’s your gaming set-up at home?
I honestly cannot say; I am not an AAA gamer who needs the newest gear, as I enjoy old-school games more.
You’ve been kidnapped by an organisation that forces you to play a video game for 48 hours straight. No breaks, no pausing. They let you choose the game. Which one is it?
The politically correct answer is Rail Nation, but as it is impossible to play 48 hours straight, I would go for “Stray”. I have not yet played it, but I’ve heard many good things about it.
I’ve worked with you before, and I’m lucky to work again with your team. It is quite a diverse team with many origins and talents. Can you tell us a bit about them?
My team is from all over the place, be it Iran, Italy, France, Munich or Cologne. Rumour has it; we even have someone from Hamburg (the most beautiful city in the world)!
Imagine you were born and raised on Uranus. Let’s go with Neptune actually, less NSFW. Picture that you end up working as Rail Nation’s Game Director. How will you address problems, difficulties, and unexpected situations as an alien from Neptune?
Not many people know that the Neptunian society is way more advanced than ours. They are not using any currencies and have an AI that serves as a leader for the greater good. Of course, not everything is perfect on Neptune, though: their internet is worse than in Germany, and their Virtual Reality technology is so advanced that several train spotters were run over by virtual trains! All that said, my focus as Game Director stays the same: I am trying my best to keep stress and other external influences away from my team so they can focus on their work.
What do you see in the future for Rail Nation?
We have invested a lot of money, time, and work since I started my job in July 2021, and it is not a secret that we are living in very volatile times (corona, inflation, etc.), so I have come to terms with planning and not necessarily being able to execute the plans. I do not want to promise something we end up not doing, so I will not share the exact plans we have made for next year right now, but I can share with you what we are working on currently. We will keep updating Rail Nation with our product care updates. These updates have been neglected for too long, and we know we must improve the game for our players. In addition, we will release a new option to get Gold without spending real money, and we will release a new scenario/map, so stay tuned!
What do people say about you?
I have no idea what people say about me. I hope they say I am a good “boss” because I love my minions.
If you could be any animal, which one would you be?
That’s easy. I would be a seagull because I could fly and eat junk food all the time but not look like a dirty pigeon.
Okay, now imagine the animal you picked just went extinct. You have to pick another one, which is it?
Okay, a dirty pigeon because flying and junk food trump all other things.
(What Lenny didn’t seem to know is that the first answer usually refers to the animal people would like to be perceived as by others — while the second choice indicates how they genuinely see themselves…)
What is the most challenging aspect of your job, and also, what is your favourite part of the job?
The most challenging aspect of my job is having to let people go. My favourite part of the job is finding a solution to a problem and enabling my team to solve it — be it job-related or otherwise.
What’s your favourite train?
I am a huge Harry Potter Fan. It’s obviously the Hogwarts Express…
You end up on a desert island all alone. What would be the two things that currently exist in your real home that you would be glad you didn’t have with you?
The only thing I would like to have less of in my home are spiders and mosquitoes. The former scare me and the latter keep me awake at night.
What do you consider the next gaming platform to be?
I assume that 50 years from now, every new house will have a dedicated Virtual Reality room.
Could you describe the Rail Nation community with one word?
Do you think there’s such a thing as the “perfect game”?
If I were to make a new game, I would want a fun, challenging game that serves a specific target audience. I prefer making games for a niche audience rather than making a game for everyone. To me, a game is perfect when it can make people happy, and I want this for every possible player in the world.
A flamingo wearing a fancy suit, a top hat, and a monocle shows up in the office. What would be the first thing he says?
“Damn, the teleporter is broken again, I wanted to appear on Neptune.”
What would you like to improve the most in Rail Nation?
I will go with my personal favourite and say the art needs a rework. However, I know this is not the feature the community wants the most and I intend to listen to them.
Is it true that Bright Future drove a company out of business called Dark Past?
Yes and to be honest, we can all be happy about that. They were planning a world domination scheme by transmuting everybody into flamingos.
Can you give us some goodies?
*: redeemable once per player, valid until October 1st.