When did you join ST and what convinced you to sign up? Ryan: I've been a member since the beginning. I joined up because the clubhouse was dying and I didn't want to lose track of my friends from that site. Dirk made me a moderator of an early SimCity 4 forum and then an admin of simtropolis when the site launched.
Sam: I started playing the game, and looking around the fansites. I joined early in Simtrop 2.0, a few months after the site launched. I really liked the way that Dirk, Ryb, SimJez, Hodges and Golfbunny interacted, it was a good forum and they had fun - that’s pretty much why I signed up.
Rybolton - could you tell us a little about the clubhouse. What was it like?
The clubhouse was the first online community I ever joined. I was looking for strategy and information for Sid Meier's SimGolf and noticed it in the fansite links on the official site. What made it so attractive was the sense of community and good fellowship. There wasn't any cursing or fighting, everyone seemed to respect one another. It was unique in that regard. I still don't find many sites that have accomplished that.
How long have you been administrators here at ST?
Sam: About a year and a half. Have you ever had any other positions as staff?
Ryan: I haven't.
Sam: I've been a chat op and a moderator at simtropolis
Samantha - did you ever have any parts that you enjoyed about any particular one of those posts?
I really enjoyed getting to know the people responsible for making simtropolis. Helping out was fun and getting to know the members was a blast too!
You just recently were involved in a move to another city for promotions. How did that work out that you were both promoted to the same city at the same time?
Sam: Ry was offered a promotion, which was great - but left me a little stuck. My HR director suggested that one of the clinics could use my help. I applied and got the job as assistant manager. It worked out well, but took some coordination!
Speaking of jobs, what do you two do for a living? Ryan: I manage a small office for a financial institution
Sam: I help manage a local dental clinic.
What part of being an admin do you prefer the most? Ryan: I've always liked handling the tougher issues that Dirk has to deal with. When Dirk has had to remain diplomatic, I've been able to speak my mind. I tend to enjoy taking out the trash, if you get my meaning...
Sam: I've enjoyed making strong friendships with the other admins and members of the site. I've met so many wonderful people at simtropolis, some I'll know for the rest of my life, and others I'll remember with fond memories.
Any particular places you like to hang out when you're browsing on ST?
Ryan: I like the chat room, though I haven't been around much. I also check up on threads in the simtrop related forum to find out what’s going on.
Sam: I like off topic and simtrop related the most.
When and how did the two of you first meet? Ryan: We met in the chat room at simtrop the first time. We traded msn information and photos about a month later. We were both playing Simgolf at the time as well as SC4. I was making Simgolf mods and Sam actually requested one from me. That might have been our first encounter at the site.
Sam, you were living in the UK at the time, correct? That gives a new meaning to the term "long-distance" relationship.
Hehe, yeah - the phone and internet are wonderful! We still got to see each other everyday, and talk before falling asleep.
What part did you guys have in the creation of simtropolislovesdirk.com and where did the idea come from?
Sam: simtroplovesdirk was the brainchild of GouRou really, thats where the inspiration came from. Gou did all the programming kind of stuff, Ryan helped with graphics and design, and I worked mostly on content and approaching people for their comments. It was a fun time, and we gave Dirk a real surprise!
Rybolton, what was the inspiration for proposing to Sam on ST and not doing it privately like most people would do?
Well I decided to make it very meaningful to both of us. I figured that I should ask in front of our extended family and since I couldn't afford to take simtropolis out to dinner I just asked in the forum.
Sam: He did actually propose twice, there was a private occasion...I came home (to the States) to a bedroom filled with red and pink helium balloons...and a huge pink carebear, with an engagement ring on a ribbon around its neck.
When were you two married?
Sam: January 26th 2005 What kinds of things do you like to do in your spare time when you're not on ST?
Ryan: We enjoy traveling and seeing new places. We both love roller coasters so we're planning a winter trip to SixFlagsMagicMountain.
Sam: We actually live next door to the most beautiful gardens, so we enjoy walking and picnics there now that the weather is getting nicer.
Any particular places that you've traveled to that you wish you could go see again?
Ryan: The San Juan Islands are beautiful and we both enjoy visiting there. Its one of the few places we keep going back to.
If you could only three roller coasters again, which would they be and why?
Ryan: If I were able to visit only 3 roller coasters in my life I'd have to ride X at MagicMountain, Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point and Nemesis at AltonTowers. I haven't yet ridden any of them. Of the coasters I've ridden, I'd say Great Bear and Storm Runner at HersheyPark, Viper and MagicMountain.
Sam: I'd just go ride whatever Ryan wants to ride but I'm looking forward to our trip to MagicMountain later this year.
Besides SC4, what other games do you like to play? Ryan: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is awesome! I usually enjoy FPS games but I've played and enjoyed The Movies, Civ4 and Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 recently as well. I also own a PSP so I play a few games on that too.
Sam: I'm currently playing Super Princess Peach and The NEW Super Mario Brothers on my Nintendo DS. I play The Sims 2 and the expansion packs.
Do you ever play against each other?
Ryan: We have before. We used to play America's Army together with my clan. That was before she was in the US and we had to start sharing a PC. Before we wrap this up, is there anything you would like to say to the community?
Ryan: I'd like to thank everyone for being supportive when I needed them and for being good friends. I think of almost every simtrop member as a friend or a friend I've yet to meet.
Sam: I'm very grateful for everyone that I have met on Simtrop, my husband, and all my close friends. It’s been an awesome few years, and I know that this community will continue to amaze me for many more years to come! Cheers!