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Interview With DarkUnderlord
[ Community -> Interview ]
Interview posted by POOPERSCOOPER Sat 13 Feb 2010, 5:29 PM

I have interviewed DarkUnderlord (past caretaker of DAC) and he responded;

1. How did you get started in the community?

I'd just finished this game called Fallout only not the way I wanted to. I was playing a speech guy but couldn't get into that Glow place so ended up just running and gunning the rest (epic battle with the Gun Runners - me with crappy armour and a dodgey rifle taking on all of them in full combat armour and lazers). I decided to see if getting into the Glow was some kind of trick I was missing so I googled it. Found this black and green website called NMA where someone mentioned "the beam in the crater". For the life of me I swore I'd moused over every inch of that mother-fucking beam, re-loaded my Fallout game and AHAA! Then finished it again only this time with the speech way I'd wanted. I thought that was all really cool having finished the same game in two fairly different ways (The Glow opens up the whole Brotherhood of Steel which was a massive chunk I'd missed before and then the whole killing everyone vs talking to them was nice).

After that I started posting at NMA (I think my first post was something about wanting cars which is something I still disagree with Saint over). Some-time later I got involved with Arcanum and after writing the Arcanum Modding Tutorial, ended up on staff at Terra-Arcanum. Around about then Killzig went nuts, Saint Proverbius didn't like what Kreegle did in response (shutting the site down and giving the content to NMA), the two of them got booted off and I got asked onto staff at DAC. I then set about re-writing all the code that runs the place. I mostly stuck to The Wasteland when it came to posting at DAC though.

2. What do you do for a living?

That's a good question. I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars if I were to rate it.

3. What do you think of FO3 and it's DLC content?

I've never played FO3. My intention is to pick it up in the GOTY Edition with all the DLC bundled with it when it's out at about half-price. That's what I did with Morrowind. It's what I should've done for Oblivion. The track record of the studio in question didn't really have me jumping up and down and wanting to play it anytime soon. Oh yeah, there's also a bunch of info they released and reviews about the place now which don't help, so I'm happy to wait.

4. Would you consider yourself the sole owner of DAC and Codex?

Yeah, that's a funny one. I only came onto DAC's staff as the code guy, not to run the place. Teatime and KoC were supposed to take on that role. I officially resigned a while back but I still do the odd things here and there (because there's no-one else who can do them). Actually, expect to see some lovely advertising text appear on DAC any day now.

Pretty much the same thing happened at the Codex too. Things I get involved in usually start off with me just being the technical support guy and then morphing into running the place because everybody else leaves. I'm happy to do it but you do need other people around to help out. Ideally you'd have some kind of news and content tag team but it never seems to work out right. One person ends up doing the bulk of it and the other disappears.

5. What do you think of DAC versus NMA?

I actually have no idea how that all started or what it's even all about. I figured it was something Khan kicks up from time to time whenever he wants to see web stats.

6. What do you think of Mammas Gang, St. Toxic, and Megatron?

They're totally butthurt over how the Codex kicked their ass in the recent military campaign. The Flying Cock Squadrons of the Codex are ready at any time to serve and protect. They are not to be taken lightly. :salute: Still, Smiley was supposed to surrender earlier. His obstinance ultimately meant more extreme measures had to be taken. And then zerotol hacked DAC which totally caught me off-guard but we cleaned that up all right.

7. With having experience with the Arcanum editor and tools, why did you decide to start making a mod for Fallout? The time you spent on FMF could have been spent on much needed quality mods for Arcanum, what is your response to that?

Arcanum's combat is shitty (I'm one of those few that actually like Fallout's combat) and overall I like Fallout more (better setting). The map editors for Fallout were released at a time when I was thinking of starting a serious Arcanum mod. Given my preference for Fallout, I decided to focus on that instead (notes still exist for that Arcanum project in a drawer). 7 years later I think any project I'd been working on ultimately would've failed due to time commitments and the expectations of those involved. Being easier to mod and seeing how people wanted all sorts of stuff added into FMF (originally there'd be no new art, talking heads or sound but that all changed), I can tell you that the scope of any Arcanum project would've expanded into some horrible kind of monster and the same core issues would've beset the project. Motivation, time availability and technical difficulties.

I think mod projects have a history of failing simply because the only reason to do them is because "it's fun". When you start making something bigger and involving more people, there comes a certain point where it stops being fun. Then you're left wondering what the fuck the point is and why you're wasting what little spare time you have on this thing when you could be chilling by the pool.

8. What do you see for the future of DAC and the Codex?

I think they'll keep ticking along. A lot of people have talked about shutting down DAC but as long some retard somewhere has lofty ideas it'll stay around. If it does get shut-down, someone will just set another forum up somewhere else anyway. I think DAC's focus on all things post-apocalyptic would've been good (IE: as was discussed when I initially came onboard) but it all boils down to time and motivation. Most websites end up being run by a single person and it can become quite time consuming to do it all.

At the end of the day, the websites are just more forums on an internet already filled with them. Whether they last or not all depends on whether the people posting news and content want to keep posting news and content. Even if that stops, a website can be kept alive for a long time simply by having people active in its forums. It just depends on whether you're willing to keep it online or not and keep paying for the domain name, regardless of how many people are visiting.

9. What games are you looking forward to and what games have you been playing lately?

Plants vs Zombies has been pretty fun. It's replaced Chess as my time-killer. Finished Far Cry 2 before that after GamersGate had it out for $20.00. That game was utter shit but bearable in 30 minute slices. Otherwise it's X-Com. There's really nothing I'm looking forward to other than finishing two of my own projects which I'm reluctant to talk about given past failures referenced above. I'm a creative guy and part of me seems to need to be playing around desigining some shit or another.

10. In retrospect, do you consider your retaliation to the attack on the codex over board?

DAC was supposed to surrender after the Flying Cock Squadrons made it clear they had no hope. Then we'd have had a victory parade. People are stubborn though. DAC was simply out-gunned from the beginning and didn't know it. Like the Japs in World War II, they clearly needed two atomic bombs dropped on them before they realised that. The word filter was pretty fun though. Especially because I could simply put in a bit of code that handled the French accents automatically for all of my posts.

It was either that or DAC would've been spammed up to buggery by about 20 Codexers... and then I would've had to clean it up anyway because your mods aren't very cluey about cleaning up any of that stuff and your admins were mostly AWOL or not interested.

11. If DAC had not given in, what would have happened?

Zerotol's Playground looked like it would've been fun. I think Ausir wanted to re-direct it to The Vault though and Taluntain wanted to shut it down. The problem is no-one's really sure what DAC is and who's in charge any more. Websites tend to revolve around their technical and content guys and DAC pretty much has neither. It's a little sheep that's lost its mother and can't figure out where to go or what to do with itself. As I said, the post-apoc focus would've been nice but no-one really did anything about it. The content system is there for it though.

12. What is your favorite movie and book?

Leon The Professional - International Uncut Director's Edition (whatever the one is with all the extra shit). Don't know much about favourite books though. Most of the shit I read is either Government reports or really boring long shit that may as well be a Government report. At the moment I'm trawling through what has to be the most boring book in the world about climate change.

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