Among the Xbox Community Ambassador Program there are many members of all walks of life, from military personnel to nurses, police officers to office folk like you and I, and the occasional coder. Recently within the Xbox Ambassador program, but not directly involved as staff, a group of Ambassadors have gathered together over the internet to create what looks to be an amazing feature. It’s called SNAP, Super Ninja Ambassador Portal and if accepted by Microsoft/Xbox Community developers, it will be alongside the Ambassador program as a platform for Xbox Ambassadors to help members in need.
The Xbox Ambassador program, over recent months, has changed dramaticlly with the program now offering support in realtime over the internet at Xbox Support via a MSN messenger style application. Community members volunteering their time to help fellow members out with their Xbox LIVE issues.
Now not every Ambassador knows about every issue that is out there, some have been around the block a few times, but there is always something new to learn. If that is ever the case, they certainly do have the right tools and infomation avaliable to find out the right infomation to help the troubled souls that they have encounter. One of these Ambassadors had a great idea into which to make the whole experience easier, faster and smoother for both parties.
“A messenger application with integrated Xbox Support resources into a neat, and easy navigational Toolset.” Here at The Inside View we managed to get a brief interview with the Creative Strategist and the Lead Designer and Coder, just two of the Ambassadors working on this amazing project venture.
The Inside View: Hi Grayson & James
Both: Hello, thanks for having us!
The Inside View: So how did the idea for this support application come about?
Grayson: The idea came about when I was becoming frustrated in constantly having to switch out of Messenger to look up a problem. If we had all these features into one sole application which i believe could be easily integrated (such as Report Function, Xbox LIVE Status’s, etc.) it would benefit the program from both the Ambassadors and other LIVE members coming to us for help.
James: To add onto what Grayson is saying, we all had “THE” dreaded thought on our minds, “How can we make it easier to serve these people who need help and provide ourselves, as Ambassadors, a sense of comical relief by not daring to ever get online to the dreaded Windows Messenger layout.” Grayson, took a problem finally decided to take action! And to be honest, what better person than that of someone who is so deeply involved with the Microsoft Community.
The Inside View: It is always great to see the ideas of improvement knocking around, so what roles do you have within the project?
Grayson: I was the one who came up with the idea of an Ambassador Desktop Client, it’s only natural that I will be overseeing progress, due to not being a coder and informing the community and covering all the media aspects.
James: Currently, I am the lead concept artist, designing how the application is going to look. Further down the road, I will offer my limited but semi-valuable assistance in the coding and development sector of this project. That is something I most look forward to, learning something new to use later on in life.
The Inside View: So whats the name of the project? #
Grayson: Currently It’s “SNAP:” Short for“Super Ninja Ambassador Portal.” Awesome right? You can find snippits of infomation from the dev team on twitter as we are all using the hastag #SNAP or #AmbassadorDesktopApp
James: As Grayson has said, it is SNAP, a crazy awesome acronym for Super Ninja Ambassador Portal. Of course I take credit for the genius title, but I am not a man of boasting.
The Inside View: What interested you James into working on the project SNAP?
James: I love a project that presents a challenge. Of course something this large of a scale will present a huge challenge. The coding and development work designing this application is of course going to be very pain staking and will most likely take months out of our year to complete. One thing that frightens me the most is, “…how are we going to acquire the WLID API to make this whole thing possible?” To this very moment, I still worry about that. I believe that that is something on all of the crew’s mind and I believe it is not going to go away anytime soon.
The Inside View: Talking about the team Grayson, who else is involved?
Grayson: We have about 5 on our core team, consisting of myself, as the Creative Strategist of the Project. James Rock, the lead Designer and coder on our team. A well respected UK Ambassador “IRB” will be a back-up designer and coder. (Making sure all the 1’s and 0’s are correct). Another Ambassador from across the pond in the UK, Xenovive who will be helping me with Community Relations, and Other Media efforts. Our newest member is GrindstoneElite he is also assisting in platform and client development.
The Inside View: So the project in its Alpha stages and i’m sure you will be holding a beta. Any plans to open it up to other Ambassadors out of the project team?
Grayson: We already have several Beta testers that will be assisting us in testing and managing the App, and we’re always looking for more talent to join us. I’m extremely confident in this group of passionate individuals who are focused on better Community!
James: We are looking to pick up a few more talented geeks out there to help on the Beta testing of course! Right now as it is in Alpha stages, it is still being developed so there is no possibility to test it when it is not done. We do hope to set up a Beta with the help of GrindstoneElite later on, but that is something you will have to stay tuned on all of our Twitters to find out when it will be happening.
The Inside View: Thanks for taking time out of your schedules to answer these questions for us, in your final words today can you sum up the purpose of Project SNAP?
Grayson: To make the help that Ambassadors give much easier by giving them an ‘all-in-one’ Resource for Providing Support, and answering questions using A clean, simplistic, and easy to use, place to use the Ambassador Chat, answer questions, and provide Support.
James: Well, that’s an easy one. To make life easier for all the Xbox LIVE Ambassadors out there., from the neeeeewbz that just joined the rankings to the veteran originals, it is our goal to service our own so that they may better service you.
Both: As a gift to you, we would like to share our concept art of what we are looking to achieve. All images ©James Rock 2012 used under permission from Grayson Everitt. This project is not Endorsed or yet supported Microsoft, Xbox or the Xbox Ambassador Program. All trademarks belong to their respected owners and are used for concept purposes only.
You can always contact the developers of SNAP on Twitter at the following locations: Grayson (@TehAgentE), James (@MajorRod), IRB (@IRB), and Grindstone (@GrindstoneElite). Cheers!
Leaked Alpha Concept Art of Project SNAP