Oddworld’s Inhabitants: Eli Rodriguez, Sr. Systems Administrator

Oddworld's Inhabitants:  Eli Rodriguez, Sr. Systems Administrator [Hosted by Oddworld.com]

Date: May 2003

Interviewer: Oddworld.com

Interviewee: Eli Rodriguez

Oddworld’s Inhabitants are as diverse as the world they’ve worked together to create. Here’s where you’ll find interviews and other informative articles spotlighting the many creative folk that work at Oddworld Inhabitants. Be they headline players or behind-the-scenes heroes, the Inhabitants profiled here all share Oddworld’s ceaseless dedication to bringing you the best worlds and games that you’ve ever experienced.

Eli Rodriguez, Sr. Systems Administrator

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Eli and the Systems Staff: Dave Rothman, Erik Tweedie and Randy Hicks.

Q: What’s your job in Systems?

Eli Rodriguez: Well, simply put, I baby sit computers. Or as someone put it the other day, I’m a glorified repair guy. You can imagine how my wife feels when I say that. She asks why I don’t explain what I actually do. That we keep the technology running at 100% efficiency, we also try to continuously improve upon our procedures, processes, or anything that we can to make our department even more efficient and productive. While all of this is happening, we also learn and implement the latest technologies. Oh, she forgot to mention that we have fun doing it, too!

Q: What kind of a place is Oddworld?

Eli Rodriguez: If I were to describe Oddworld in one word, I would say, “AWESOME!” I’m extremely lucky to be working with such a talented, passionate, and professional group of people.

Q: Do you have any stories from the early days of Oddworld that you could share?

Eli Rodriguez: Actually, I have a story from right when Oddworld was being formed. I worked with Sherry and Lorne at Rhythm and Hues before they left to start Oddworld. I remember seeing Lorne around and commenting that he looked like a movie star. When I found out they were leaving, I commented to John Hughes, CEO of Rhythm and Hues, that they were crazy for leaving Rhythm to start some game company in some small town up North. Five years later, I thanked them for taking that big step. What a small world.

Q: What is a typical day like for you?

Eli Rodriguez: A typical day is typically untypical. There are always different fires to be put out. There are different projects to be worked on. There are different conversations to be had and most importantly, there are different Judge Judy shows to be watched. Seriously, everyday presents a new challenge that requires not only a technical solution but a creative one as well.

Q: What’s your favorite video game?

Eli Rodriguez: Well, you’d be very surprised when you find out that I haven’t played a computer game in a long time. But, if I were to say which game was my second favorite, I would say “Metal Marines” developed by Namco. It’s totally fun and you can play against someone else on the network.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

Eli Rodriguez: I like to log into Oddworld and work! Well, that’s actually half-true. I log into Oddworld and get work done while having fun doing my own computer stuff. I hang out with my cutie pie daughter, my rambunctious son, and my hottie (can you say that?) wife. I work on the never ending stuff around the house. Before work, I like going to the park and playing with the kiddies. I like watching movies at home, although I don’t have much time for it, yet somehow I manage to watch lots of late night T.V.

Q: Where do see Oddworld in 10 years?

Eli Rodriguez: I see Oddworld continuing to create quality games for the masses while pushing technologies to their fullest. People don’t understand how far reaching and how ahead of his time Lorne is with his vision. It’s mind boggling to think where we’d be right now if the technology would just catch up. Honestly, if I won a million dollars right now, I’d still come into work É I’d live in a mansion and fly a helicopter to work, but I’d still come in.

Q: What do you like best about coming to work? What’s the worst part?

Eli Rodriguez: You know, there’s no single thing that I like “best “. I get this feeling when I come into work that I can only describe as utter happiness. I love coming to work. What’s the worst part about coming to work? Traffic! Sometimes, there’s like, like 5 cars around and they’re all going like 65É pisses me off. Damn traffic. (I hope you know I’m being totally facetious. I used to live in Los Angeles after all! )

Q: Is it true you can’t eat junk food and still be an Inhabitant?

Eli Rodriguez: On the record, yes, it is true. Off the record, nope, there’s a secret underground with an elaborate network of drawers with all kinds of goodies! Oh, I think I just let the cat out of the bag!

Q: If you could change jobs with one of the other Inhabitants who would it be and why?

Eli Rodriguez: Maurice, my boss and C.O.O. of Oddworld. He’s super smart and I am not.

Q: What is the longest “day” you’ve ever spent at Oddworld?

Eli Rodriguez: There have been a few times that just about everything was broken and everyone was depending on every single thing that was going wrong for this major deadline due yesterday É wait, that’s the story of my life. It’s a wrap, fade to black É

Q: What at Oddworld are you most proud of?

Eli Rodriguez: The games we produce and the fact that people are passionate about those games and the content in those games. I’m proud that we don’t compromise our vision even though external sources are trying to pull and push us in every other direction.

Q: Who is your favorite Oddworld character? Why?

Eli Rodriguez: That’s easy. It’s a character that’s totally top secret, hush hush. It’s coming out in the next few gamesÉit’s a *bleep* *bleep* that can *bleep* *bleep* through the *bleep* with only *bleep* *bleep* and *bleep* *bleep* *bleep*. I remember when Lorne first told me about *bleep* *bleep*. My jaw hit the floor! I didn’t believe him at first, but then, I saw it right in front of me. Yes, it was *bleep* *bleep* *bleep* in *bleep* *bleep* with *bleep* and about *bleep* *bleep* tall and it looked so *bleep* *bleep* that I almost *bleeped*. So, that’s my favorite character! (NOTE: Some parts of the *bleep* were *bleeped* to protect the *bleep*. Oddworld; “*bleep*” Legal)

Q: How has the switch to the Xbox affected your dept.?

Eli Rodriguez: We scurried around like headless chickens for about a minute and then, once the dust settled, we found them to be much easier to support. The previous platform was not only a pain to program for, but it was also a bit of a pain to support. Suffice to say, the Xbox has made our lives a little easier, and heck; it’s making it possible for us to realize our games with the best possible game console out there.