A Look at RuneFest 2011 With Mod Nexus

RuneScape's Mod Nexus can normally be found at his desk or running around with his hair on fire, doing his product manager thing but we managed to track him down for a rare interview to tell us a bit more about we have to look forward to at RuneFest 2011. Here's what he had to say.

Published on: September 13, 2011 08:33 PM UTC

The Interview

RuneWise: Hi Nexus, first of all - is that your real name?
Mod Nexus: Lol no, although over the years I have considered changing my name to suit. I don't think Mrs Nexus would approve but if I can convince her, then that might just happen.
RW: Fair enough. So tell us, how did you find last year's event?
Nexus: RuneFest 2010 was the first time that we'd organised a player event like this and we were pleased to see some of our avid fans turn up and have a great time. It was very hard work, and I remember only getting about 4 hours sleep over the entire weekend but the adrenaline kept everyone going. What really made the day for me though was the reaction from staff and players alike. It was the first time we'd all been able to hang out together and that was something pretty special that I can't wait to repeat again this year.
Sal's Realm: There was a nice homely and intimate feel chatting to the developers when we came to London last year. Can we look forward to having this again or is RuneFest too big?
Nexus: Being able to chat with players one on one with enough time to make some really good friendships throughout the day was something that we all really got a big kick out of last year and we want to make sure we can do that again this year. Not just with VIPs either I hasten to add! We'll have loads of J-mods from all over the studio intent on meeting as many players as possible. The venue itself is much bigger than last year but that's mostly so that we can really go to town with decor. We're making sure that there are also more chill out spaces to enjoy as meeting new people played such a big part in people's enjoyment of the day last year.
RW: At the end of the event last year, there was a balloon drop, a party and a band. Were you behind the band last year?
Nexus: I didn't choose them but I did enjoy their rendition of the RuneScape theme! True fans for sure! I think it was SJ who found and booked them.
RW: The photos from last year showed some great costumes. Did you have a favourite?
Nexus: That's a tough question but I think the effort that the guy who wore full Bandos went to was amazing. There's YouTube vid of the production process if you fancy a look. It wasn't just the costume either, he was able to RP a bit and had relevant jokes lined up. Pure class. It was that kind of creativeness that's lead us to holding a costume competition this year so that we get to hand out prizes in recognition of the community's design talents.
Sals: What did you look for in a venue for this type of event?
Nexus: Well, for a start, it's got to be somewhere grand befitting the RuneScape environment. It also needs to be somewhere big to fit in everything we have planned and it also has to have different areas so that we can theme them all to reflect the various game regions. We checked out loads of places before we settled on Old Billingsgate. I think it was the vast underground area, the impressive Varrock-esque pillars and the bridge that really made it stand out for us. Oh, and being on the Thames in the centre of London in full view of London Bridge certainly made that decision a little easier too. =)
Sals: And how does this year's venue compare with last year's?
Nexus: Last year we were at Vinopolis which was a fantastic building full of character and a great place to hold our first ever live event. It had loads of space and places to meet and hang out and it provided us with lots of opportunities for theming. In those respects the two venues are fairly comparable. Where Old Billingsgate wins hands down is location, floor space, grandeur and architecture. As RuneFest 2011 takes shape, last year's now feels like it was a good first start that we can really build on and improve.
RW: What sort of improvements are you talking about?
Nexus: Well there are elements that'll seem familiar to those who attended last year like the Insider Sessions, the main stage activities and the game area but going to town as we are this year, they'll feel like new areas too. The game area for example is now in a giant gladiatorial pit and the main stage is going to be a spectacle in itself. Then there's the new stuff - we're keeping some of them as a surprise but I can tell you that the live Dungeoneering challenge will be very cool and the market and Clan Camp will really let you fall completely into the world of Gielinor. The CM area will be all new too with more space and a fansite stand among the treats in store. We also looked hard at last year's range of activities and did a full review of what really worked and what could be improved. The results will give attendees and much improved and more engaging experience than last year and personally, I'm pretty excited about seeing how those activities will add to the overall experience.
RW: What is the first thing RuneFest attendees will see when they come in? Party Pete was cool ; ).
Nexus: First impressions matter and so the immediate experience is something we're putting a lot of effort into. In fact, the experience will start before you even get through the doors so that queuing to get in will itself be entertaining and worthy of a few dozen photos. Quite what that means is something you'll have to come to the event to find out though. ;)
Sals: Will I be able to see the London Eye from the queue? And what about at night? It must be stunning!
Nexus: From the venue you won't be able to see the London Eye but there is the famous Tower Bridge is but a ranged attack away. As a lot of people are coming to London for a few days though, I totally recommend taking a bit of time out to check out cool stuff like the London Eye.
RW: Any quick sneak peeks of the Halloween party?
Nexus: I don't have any pictures to show you just yet but what I can tell you is that it will be a very classy affair. If you can imagine RuneScape Halloween Chic, you're getting close. Bands and DJs are being booked, drink and food menus are being prepared and some of the surprises in store are being dreamt up by the RuneFest team as I speak.
Sals: I guess we should let you get back to product managing RuneScape so thanks for your time Nexus and if you decide to change your name to Nexus IRL, add me on Facebook ok?
Nexus: Lol, sure thing. See you at RuneFest!

Photo of Mod Nexus

It's true that Mod Nexus is an elusive character over at Jagex Studios, and it's rumoured that no one has ever actually seen his face. That is, until now! Feast your eyes below for an actual photo of the man, the myth, the legend: Mod Nexus!

Photo of Jagex's Mod Nexus

Yes, I was surprised too!

Video: Visit to the Runefest Venue

Lastly, Jagex has shared a brief video showcasing the venue of this year's RuneFest celebration!

Video Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7rtSuEJGP8

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