Gearbox Community Badass
Noah and Tia Yamen
You may remember that at the end of August, the community was abuzz with talk of love. We were about to have a PAX wedding and everyone was talking about this amazing Borderlands proposal. Web developer Noah Yamen (@noahyamen) shared the story of how he concocted a truly legendary Borderlands proposal for his then girlfriend, Tia. We’ve been working on featuring Noah and Tia as our Community Badasses for a while now, but with a whirlwind proposal and then a wedding in Paris, they haven’t had much time to slow down … until now. In this week’s Gearbox Community Badass, we finally get a chance to chat with Noah about not only the proposal, but also Borderlands and the future.
How long have you two been playing Borderlands?
Tia and I both started playing at the same time. I had to think about when we started playing it though. A while back we started buying batches of only couch co-op games for our PS3. So we’d have games we could play together. One of those times, I remember taking a picture of 6 games in hand at the store, and I know it included our first Borderlands game. Dug through my iCloud photos and found it: We bought the game on December 27th, 2014. But we didn’t start playing it right away. After going back in time on my facebook wall, I found a post from January 14th 2015 where I said “I think Borderlands 2 is the most fun I’ve ever had in a co-op game. Had no idea how good this game is.” So sometime around then.
Who are your favorite playable characters?
Tia will ALWAYS go for the Siren in the group. So in BL1 she’s Lilith. In BL2 she’s Maya. And in the Pre-Sequel, she’s Athena. I on the other hand, always go for the more stealthy guys. BL1 I play Mordecai, BL2 I’m Zero, and Pre-Sequel I went with Wilhelm. Unfortunately we never downloaded any DLC until long after we had beaten all 3 games. Because we’ve discovered how much fun the new characters are to play too. She loves Gaige, and I discovered just how awesome Axton’s turrets are.
If you guys could have a real-life action skill, what would it be?
What a loaded question! Well if I were Zero, I’d be pretty content with his Decepti0n ability, coupled with Execute (dashing forward). But if we’re just talking about super powers, hands-down it would be teleportation. Can’t really beat that. Cuts down on some major costs when traveling haha. Tia would definitely like having the Phasewalk ability from Lilith. Mainly because she laughs her ass off whenever she zooms past me in-game to steal all the loot.
So, tell us about your awesome Borderlands wedding proposal. To just call it a “proposal” feels like it’s kind of doing it a disservice!
Well, I know most of the readers have probably already seen it now (since it was posted on the official Borderlands Facebook page, Twitter, AND picked up by Kotaku). So I’ll try to avoid writing a novel. Here’s a link to my original write-up of the whole thing://www.noahyamen.com/blog/borderlands-proposal
What inspired you to put together such a radical plan for your proposal and how did you pull it off?
Well, Tia and I would always appreciate super nerdy proposals done by other people that ended up popular online. And Tia is just the special kind of girl that deserves something epic out of me. I spent ages going over different possible proposal ideas. And I couldn’t shake the idea of doing something themed after Borderlands but it took a long time before the plan just “hit me”.
The week I put it together, an opportunity opened itself up where I knew I needed to do it on the following weekend. I still didn’t have any solid plans or ideas yet. But then the idea as a whole just hit me out of nowhere on a Tuesday evening. And I knew I only had virtually 3-4 days to build it. But I knew how it needed to be done, and I knew I was going to have to sacrifice virtually all of my sleep that week haha.
That Tuesday night, I made secret arrangements with her dad that would have otherwise kept her stuck in-town on prior obligations. I booked the flights for our trip. And I began storyboarding the whole thing (yes, actually storyboarding the entire thing).
Wednesday I began development. I believe I spent that day building the 3D loot crate and shield generator, then sent the 3D files off to a local printer. Designed the Echo Device iPhone case and ordered it online, expedited. Then designed the iPhone mini-app interface in Photoshop. By the end of Wednesday night (in all actuality, it was Thursday morning now), I had started programming the interface.
Thursday was spent continuing programming. And I definitely did not work on anything else for the entire day.
Friday I was still programming, but eventually finished the functionality, making sure animations, transitions, and interactive elements worked. And then had to come up with the actual 8 missions to put into that app. So I literally had not defined what the missions were until after building the app and everything else. Later that night, around 11:30 pm, I picked up the 3D loot crate and shield. Spent that night sanding, smoothing, painting and wiring it up. I believe I went to sleep around 6:30 am.
Saturday, woke up a few hours later. While she was getting ready for the Art Festival that day, I was adding in a little more development to include the voice-overs and sound FX. And when she jumped in the shower, I installed it on her iPhone, on one of the secondary home-screens. Then, finally, placed the ring inside of the loot crate and hid it inside the hidden bag set aside for the trip later that day. While we were out at the Arts Festival, I managed to actually book our hotel rooms. You want to talk about cutting it close, we were leaving for the airport in only a few hours! And so I kicked it off from there. The details are in the link provided to my write-up.
What are you most looking forward to seeing from Gearbox in the future?
Well I understand a Borderlands 3 game is in the works, so definitely awaiting news on that. And if I’m really lucky, maybe a job :smiley:
Where can people go to check out the latest from you?
NOAH YAMEN (@NOAHS_ONEOFFS) • INSTAGRAM PHOTOS AND VIDEOS
See Instagram photos and videos from Noah Yamen (@noahs_oneoffs)