Ausir, the polish master of fallout, has decided that he is able to spare us 5 minutes of his time after months and months of pestering for an interview.
1. How did you get started in the Fallout community?
My first Fallout community project was a fan translation of Fallout 2 into Polish around 2000, since the original Fallouts had not been published in Polish back then. Later, I was recruited by a guy called Dark One, who started a Polish Fallout fansite called Sierra Army Depot. Eventually, Dark One left and I ended up as the site’s main admin. I started going to DAC, NMA and the now-defunct Vault13.net for news more and more often, and eventually became a regular member of the international fan community as well, becoming a DAC admin for quite a while.
2. Is it true that you never played all the through Fallout 2, you just listened to the sound files at the end?
No, it’s entirely untrue. I didn’t listen to sound files, I read all the dialogue text files.
3. Did you play Fallout 3 at all? If you haven't then why not?
Yes, I did play it for a short while, but I did not finish it. I probably would have finished it if not for the fact that my computer back then wouldn’t run it, and I played it only a bit on a friend’s computer. I do have a computer that could run it now, but I don’t really feel much of an urge to.
4. Why did you start the Fallout Wiki originally?
The wiki’s original purpose was, to an extent, to continue the work started by Chris Avellone in his Fallout Bible – to document all information about the Fallout universe, partly for the players themselves, and partly with the hope that Bethesda would use it as a reference when creating new installments in the series, which would help ensure consistency with established canon. It was a pretty bold goal considering that we started with just a handful of articles. Surprisingly, it somehow managed to work. Funnily enough, I didn’t focus much on gameplay information and worked on documenting the lore initially, especially given that there had already existed extensive guides to all things Fallout 1 and 2 in that regard, like Per’s Nearly Ultimate Guides. However, especially with the release of Fallout 3, and mostly thanks to the contributions of other people, especially my co-admin Porter21, the wiki became the place to go for all gameplay info as well.
5. What are some of your favorite memories of DAC?
Stuff like when Killzig went all Assange and released leaks about “Fallout Fantasy”, which turned out to be a mix of info about Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel and Lionheart. He was banned by GameSpy, who hosted DAC back then, and the whole site left in protest. Also the founding of The Vault wiki, with much help from some members of the DAC community (and no, he doesn’t look like Marlon Brando at all).
6. If you haven't played Fallout 3 why do you insist on covering it at the wiki?
As I said, I did play it for a bit, but didn’t finish it. Still, for better or for worse, Bethesda owns Fallout now and it’s part of the official canon – even if I disliked it enough not to work on any Fallout 3-related articles at all, I still wouldn’t be able to stop all those thousands of people who came to the wiki in order to read and write about it. And a lot of these, even if they came to the wiki for Fallout 3-specific info, eventually ended up reading the Fallout 1 and 2 lore as well, and sometimes playing the original games too. And we decided from the beginning to cover even crap like Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel in order to have info about all official Fallout publications, although of course we marked it as non-canon.
7. You are a big fan of the Witcher and Fallout but you barely play either of them why is that?
Well, I don’t play computer games much in general these days. As for The Witcher, I’m primarily a fan of Andrzej Sapkowski’s books that the Witcher game is based on. Other people have been adding detailed info about the game to the Witcher Wiki, while I mainly focus on information about the books.
8. How accurate do you think the fallout wiki is and did Fallout 3 go against any of the canon set by Fallout 1 or 2?
I think it’s pretty accurate, although errors do happen, even because of oversight or vandalism. We constantly work to improve the quality of our articles, and often we end up being much more accurate than the official guides. As for Fallout 3, it didn’t go directly against the established canon much. Any direct contradictions were minor things. However, even taking the gameplay differences aside, the quality of the plot and writing left much to be desired, and some explanations for e.g. Brotherhood of Steel and Enclave presence were not really convincing.
9. What games do you play, books you read, or movies you watch at the moment?
As for games, I’m on my second playthrough of Fallout: New Vegas now. I’m reading Jacek Dukaj’s collection of science fiction stories Król Bólu and I’m watching HBO’s Generation Kill.
10. What are your thoughts on Fallout: New Vegas?
I think that although it’s still basically the same game in terms of gameplay style, it’s a vast improvement over Fallout 3 in terms of story, writing and quest design. I’m still not a big fan of Caesar’s Legion, though.
11. You said in the past that Bethesda would often visit the wiki when they were developing FO3, do you think Obsidian is using the wiki as a tool in the games development?
Yes, I know from the developers themselves that they have been using The Vault as a reference.
12. Why is it that you prefer DAC much more than you do NMA?
I don’t see much of a difference. Non-wiki fansites are so 1997 anyway.
13. There was a Polish forum here once what was that all about?
The forum was for Sierra Army Depot, my Polish Fallout fansite hosted by DAC, and later renamed to DAC PL. However, when DAC was changing hosts, the encoding of Polish characters got all screwed up and no one was able nor willing to fix it. While the site, and the forum, weren’t very active by then anyway, that was pretty much the final nail in the coffin. It’s still at sad.duckandcover.cx, but there has been no news there since 2008.