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Tony Astone Employee Spotlight

Meet Tony.

As you can tell by his employee spotlight, he’s an incredibly creative and unique character who works on the publishing team. Can you tell who the real Tony Astone is from these responses? Take it away Tony!

What's your current title and how long have you been at Harmonix?

A.) Excitement Co-Ordinator: I wear the “Harmony the Harmonix Hamster” mascot outfit to increase morale around the office.  It can get hot in there, but it makes it all worth it when I let out some of my classic witticisms like “Hang in there slugger” and “Go get ‘em slugger!” to the annoyance of my colleagues.

B.) ….?: I’m unsure exactly what my current title is, but I work in marketing/publishing making motion graphics, shooting video, recording video, delving into the game engine for glamour shots, storyboarding, concepting, making a yearly holiday video, yadda yadda.

C.) Stand-In:  I actually don’t do anything. I just keep showing up, wandering to my workstation, and no one has asked me to leave yet...Hint: if you plan on doing this as a career, choose a standing desk, it makes you look more competent and productive.

What are you currently working on, what role do you play in the project?

A.) Um...I’m actually working on myself right now.

B.) Being in marketing I get to play a role in all projects, the biggest thrill is getting to work on trailers, but also general marketing requests.

C.) I am under strict NDA, so I cannot tell you lest our enemies get their hands on our superior beat match technology...The geopolitical ramifications would be catastrophic.

What were you doing before Harmonix, and how did you find your way here?

A.) I assumed I was bred in a laboratory to be the perfect employee, as I have no memories of life before my first day at Harmonix.

B.) I translated Shakespeare from its native Nahuatl to Olde English. Not many people know the works of Shakespeare were stolen by conquistadors from the Aztec’s theater-temples.

C.) Remember that housing market thing that almost crashed the world economy in 2008?  Well before coming to Harmonix in 2007 I was charged with selling a bank’s riskiest mortgages to bigger banks who would pay quite a bit for garbage. It paid well and required little effort. It pains me I never applied for a million-dollar loan back when you didn’t need to prove you had any assets or income.

What has been your proudest accomplishment / favorite Harmonix moment?

A.) That’s a tough one. I don’t have any one moment that stands out in my mind. The first time someone was very complimentary of the lip sync animation I did to the lead singer in Rock Band 1 on the song “Maps” by the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, and that thrilled me. Ultimately, I get a thrill whenever I can impress my colleagues as they’re an impressive and talented bunch.

B.) Being born in an era and land area with flushing toilets. I realize being born isn’t an accomplishment, but if people can be a proud American even though they had nothing to do with it. I can be proud of this.

C.) Defeating that mouse in our basement in 1 on 1 combat.

Are you working on anything outside of Harmonix?

A.) I had been working on a unified field theory...Things were going well until I got to long division, that’s some tough maths.

B.) I’m always working on outside projects as most Harmonixers are (though this last year has been a bit rough). Generally, I’m writing, or creating large scale paintings with fairly in-depth narratives, but ambiguous enough for people to piece together their own narrative.

C.) I’ve been working on a philosophical treatise. One that would mend the divisions of humanity, erase our invisible borders and usher in a new age of cooperation, turning swords into plowshares and heading off into a grand future of knowledge, love, exploration, and leisure...It will work, and I know humanity needs it asap...but I have yet to think of a catchy title.

What’s your home office set up like?

As I need to run video editing, effects software and video game engines depending on the assignment I have a VERY sweet and beefy computer, as well as a Cintiq.  It’s all set up on a drafting table connected to an adjustable electric standing desk with my sketchbook for jotting down ideas laid down in front of my monitors.

Is there anything special or fun on your desk?

My desk looks like a landmine went off in a landfill. 

If you could trade places with anyone else at Harmonix for a week, who would it be?

A.) If I could acquire his brain power as well, it’d be Ryan Challinor. If we just traded places but I retained my own mind I’m sure the day would be a frustrating paranoia inducing experience.

B.) If I were to trade places AND have access to their bank account it would definitely be Alex Rigopulos.  It’d be hard to make any large-scale purchases in one day, but I’m sure I could buy a few Bitcoin and send it to my wallet.

C.) ANY illustrator from Harmonix….Jamie, Amanda, Perly, Nate, KeDong, Jam….I can paint, but as I’m not trained it takes me forever to get anything done...It’d be nice to usurp their talent for a day and knock out a bunch of projects.

D.) I’d love to have a cool punk rocking singing voice like Helen McWilliams, I’d just spend the day doing karaoke to Plasmatic, Pixies, Billy Idol and Joan Jett songs.

E.) All of the above.

Any funny or memorable moments from your interview at Harmonix?

A.) A funny thing about my interview at Harmonix was my ignorance of the interview process. My past interviews usually entailed no more than a 30-minute meet and greet to make sure I could talk at a 5th grade level and was not utterly insane.  Harmonix was an all-day 8-hour affair.  At my former job, I left for my interview saying, “I’m going to take a long lunch, I’ll be back in an hour, maybe an hour and a half.”  I was off by a good 7+ hours.

B.) When I was in my interview with Helen McWilliams and Naoko Takamoto I essentially got on my knees and begged them to get me out of my bank job. I know the normal recommendation for landing a job is to project confidence, but never ever discount the value of pity.

C.) Since I came from a bank job to interview at Harmonix I wore slacks, a button up shirt and tie.  All day people kept giving me this look as if to say, “What kind of tool wears a shirt and tie to interview at a VIDEO GAME company!?”

D.) All of the above

What are you doing to stay sane these days?

A.) I am just embracing the insanity.

B.) Crime

C.) All shut in and no go out makes Tony a dull boy. All shut in and no go out makes Tony a dull boy. All shut in and no go out makes Tony a dull boy. All shut in and no go out makes Tony a dull boy. All shut in and no go out makes Tony a dull boy. All shut in and no go out makes Tony a dull boy. All shut in and no go out makes Tony a dull boy. All shut in and no go out makes Tony a dull boy. All shut in and no go out makes Tony a dull boy. All shut in and no go out makes Tony a dull boy. All shut in and no go out makes Tony a dull boy. All shut in and no go out makes Tony a dull boy. All shut in and no go out makes Tony a dull boy. All shut in and no go out makes Tony a dull boy.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

Ooooh tough one...I’d probably have to go with invulnerability. I’d like telepathy, but once people figured me out, they’d probably kick my ass. I’d go with flight, but I just know I’d run into something too fast and shatter my body or splatter myself on a building. Maybe super intelligence could solve all other problems, but it’d take some time to get the necessary resources. Superspeed would be fantastic, except for the time dilation that would make time trickle by…Imagine the least favorite movie you’ve ever seen taking the equivalent of 3 years to get through…so invulnerability.

Do you have any secret talents?

A.) I am an incredibly good guesser, which I sometimes peddle as “psychic powers”

B.) I can say and sing the alphabet backwards...for years I kept said talent in my back pocket lest I be suspected of driving under the influence, but now I just use it to impress my niece.

C.) My secret talent is keeping secrets...though now that that’s out, it’s no longer a secret talent.