Q&A interview with Schnoog

It’s time to publish another Q&A, since it’s been awhile when the last one was published.

 

This Q&A interview is with Schnoog, manager of Splatterladder and founder of Wolffiles.

 

Q. Hi Schnoog and thanks for having this interview.
Hi Ray, you’re welcome. Thanks for having me.

Q. How are you these days? Alot to do?
Thanks, fine. Let me say it so. A long time gone since I got bored the last time.

Q. Can you tell our readers about yourself abit, for those that don’t know who you are.
I’m a 40 year old child named Volker. My first contact with computer games was on XMAS 84, when my parent made me an Atari 800XL as gift.
In real life I’m a scientist at ”big pharma”. 

Q. You have been a long time in these scene..how long has it been now?
Back in 2004, I got my hands on a copy of RtCW and the SP rocked. But at some point, Heinrich was killed and I had to look for an alternative, when I stepped over to Enemy Territory. I was used to play on the ETW-FunZone 40 maps ETPRO server and joined the Clan in 2007.

Q. What have you been doing these years within the scene?
In 2007 I wrote a small server browser called ET Server Watch. Later in this year, I was asked to become admin of the ETW-FZ clan.
Because of the 40Maps server ( you know, setting up a !working! campaign with 40 maps, to be exactly 4×10 maps, can be a pain in the….) I wrote a little php script to generate campaigns, copy all the needed files to an ET test server and run it. In principle, that was my first touch with the php-language.
We organized several Night-of-Fight events in cooperation with several other clans.

Q. When did you start to run Splatterladder?
In May 2011 Rippchen dropped me a note to offer me to take over ownership of the Splatterladder. And the message was clear: You can take the SL, or we will switch it off.
At this time, I already had 2 server to manage, one from my Clan, one with Wolffiles. But life is about challenges.

Q. How is Splatterladder doing these days?
Technically, quite well. Like all ET/RtCW linked pages, the user visit counter has slowed down over the years.
If you like some statistics:
SL has moved 3times during the last 6 years.
During those 6 years I was connected for 613 hours via SSH to the server and we had a total downtime of 51 hours, caused by several defects like broken hard disks (in total 9 were destroyed yet), a broken power supply or a runaway update.

Q. You also founded Wolffiles. What made you start that website?
Back in 2010 Wolfmap published the approaching shutdown of their service. I asked for a copy of their file base. Because I only had a very slow internet connection, I decided to rent a server to be able to mirror the files and make them available to the public.
For Wolffiles the idea was to make one task every server admin is knowing very well as easy as possible: Map testing.
I don’t know any other service which offers this for any game.

Q. What was your primary tasks of working with Splatterladder
Coding, coding, coding and fixing all the bugs I’ve implemented.
I needed several months to understand the code behind the SL.
I like to solve problems, but when it comes to perform “standard” tasks, I’m unwilling to work.
So all the hard daily work was and is done by other people.
StoerFaktor, TomDome, Krauerstaut, Dogster and Gangster just to mention a few (there are many more)

Q. You also the maker of ETkey generator?
Yes, I am.

Q. I remember the time when Evenbalance stopped supporting ET..that was a struggle for a lot of players joining servers. That was the reason for making the ETkey generator?
That was one of the reasons. When EB stopped the support, several key-makers popped up. You have had to download an unknown executable. Then I stepped over an online version, which failed to produce valid etkeys, it used randomly each alphabetic character, when the ETKey should only contain the hexadecimal ones. So by accident the generated keys worked some time.
During my facepalm I decided to do it better.

Q. Any other projects you’ve done we don’t know about?
I also host et-install.com and splattervoice.com and I’m the developer of Passknacker.com a Motorcycle centered project.

Q. Where you involved with Wolfmap back in the days?
No, I visited Wolfmap on a daily base, but I was not involved until the very end when the allowed me to download the files in one package.

Q. Do you know if Berzerkr is still around? (Berzerkr is one of the founders of Wolfmap.de)
Long time not heard from Berzerkr.

Q. Do you still play these awesome games?( ET/RtCW)
No, not really. 2 hours during the last 5 years maybe.

Q. Anything new coming from you for Splatterladder/Wolffiles?
No news at the moment.
Some years ago we started to track the CoD series, UrbanTerror and Quake 3 and even an own low-cost server hosting. But the community response was reluctant.
I’ll try to keep both, Wolffiles and Splatterladder, alive as long as possible, but tbh. spending a lot of money for projects dedicated to games you not even playing anymore isn’t the most motivating thing ever.

Q. How do you see the ET/RtCW scene today?
It’s difficult. One could say the scene is gone. But on a closer look, there are some hard core ET and RtCW fans, still loving to play the games.
They are my main reason to keep Wolffiles and Splatterladder online.

Q. What kind of hobbies do you have?
I’m a passionate script kiddy (some of my small coding projects can be found at github.com/schnoog) and an enthusiastic motorcycle driver.

Q. Anything else you would like to share with us?
Don’t believe in populism and they say you will eat around 23 spiders in your life, but really you can eat as many as you want. Treat yourself, you deserve it.

Q. Thank you for taking time for this Q&A and I wish you all the best for the future. 🙂
v5.8.2 . Thanks a lot for the opportunity and only the best for you.

 
Links:
Splatterladder
Wolffiles
ETKey

 

 

Q&A with Mateos

 

 

 

I had the honor to do an Q&A with Mateos (Thanks WuTangH for the hint) yesterday.  Who is he? Let’s find out..

Mateos is a mapper and waypointer for W:ET, heavy metal fan, huge FPS fan old or recent (Duke Nukem 3D, Painkiller, Wolfenstein Enemy Territory, Blood, Left 4 Dead, Killing Floor, Doom, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Borderlands, …) just to name a few.

Q. Hey Mateos! How are you doing?
Hello, fine thanks, and you ?
Q. Thanks for taking this Q&A interview with me.
No problem ^^
Q. Probably not many knows of Mateos. What kind of guy is he? 
I play ET since 2006, been an admin, mapper, waypointer, and programmed a bit on the map editor, GtkRadiant. I used to be active on Splash Damage Forums, helping people whenever I could, especially mapping-wise.

Q. Is there a special meaning behind your nickname? Or just random?
It’s simply my family name 😛 Which translates into ”Kill yourselves” in spanish, for some reason!
Q. You’ve been a long time in W:ET and RtCW scene. What got you in to these games?
It started back in 2006 when I first got an internet connection. I bought a little magazine about windows software, and in the games section ET was listed. I recall my XP couldn’t run the game in multiplayer once the 2.60b patch was installed, so back then I used to play on 2.55, until I upgraded the RAM from 256 to 256+512 MB  😛 
Q. Have you played W:ET and RTCW since it’s release?
Well no, I wasn’t gaming on PC until I got an internet connection on my own PC, then started with ET and Duke Nukem 3D I played when I was a kid on a Windows 95 ?
Q. Do you still play these games?
Yes! ET-wise I still play and make waypoints (I plan to make maps again, and learn to programming to tweak GtkRadiant), and I play from time to time DN3D ; More rarely, RtCW, mainly MP or the Co-Op mod, also following ioRtCW progress, just like ET: Legacy ?
Q. I see sometimes you play other games too? What games do you play?
I mainly play FPS and solo RPG games, to name a few: Killing Floor, Left 4 Dead, Borderlands, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Serious Sam game series. I appreciate more co-op games than deathmatch, though CTF is an exception. I like team-based games ?
Q. You’ve been mapping also for a long time for ET, how many maps have you made?
I mainly fixed or reworked existing maps, I helped people make some, but I have one made from scratch in preparation. And some ideas for others  😛 
Q. Can you tell us about your maps?
It started with 1944 Nordwind, an old popular but buggy map (spawns appearing/disappearing, Tank going through built Truck barrier, …), and it evolved into reworked, more detailed version: 1944 Nordwind 2. I released the source a while ago on SD Forums.
Then I fixes 1944 Huertgen Forest (Final 2 version, also made a Christmas version). I plan on going back to it because it has a few issues still, and some admins wanted to control the Tank speed.
I did (with permission) a rework of Supply, called Supply Depot Winter Edition (Supply_WE.pk3), which includes options available to admins (enable or disable cabinets, just like a popular ETPro script does, fixed the mortar and crane controls exploits natively). A map most have forgot about 😛
I have a map called Berghof Assault in the pipe, it has some balancing issues (because I expected some ETPro behaviors, and on pub servers it turned into a massacre ^^’), it’s on hold for beyond a year now. I’m trying to finish my currents waypoints first before going back to it.
I helped Devil Right Hand rebuild the geometry of Biohazard.
I promised Kemon to look into Dingenskirchen B1 performances (Dingenskirchen B2 is the latest release), but I couldn’t compile it well on my computer back then, planned to retry here again 😛
Also promised Magic years ago to finish a map.
I did some tests on map by WuTang regarding optimisation, but it led nowhere, due to lack of time.
Q. Have you done any maps for RtCW or other games?
I tried Source mapping but never got beyond tutorials.
I’d like to map for Duke Nukem 3D someday too.

Q. Any new maps coming in near future?
Perhaps… But no date yet 😛
Q. You also do waypoints for bots for ET maps. What got you started with this?
Back in 2009, I was part of a clan called The PartyCafe.
Fliquid, its founder, wanted to retire, and a vote was called to choose a new leader.
I got elected and started managing servers, which were running Omni-Bot 0.66; I noticed they weren’t quite smart, just running around like headless chickens, and then I started to learn waypointing, and still so to this day 😛
This is what made my choose my professional career later, as I am now a software engineer (so v6 works in game and IRL :P)
Q. Some say it’s hard to make waypoints, is it really?
The wiki is quite complete with text and video tutorials, you have a lot of waypoint on the official repository over at Assembla with commented scripts and various examples, plus the forums… If you’re interested in making or improving waypoints, you’re welcome ! It’s not that hard, just like mapping it takes time and motivation ? You’ll always find some help, no worry !
Q. How long time does it approx to make waypoints for one map?
It highly depends on the map, and it complexity: is it just straight, can you do several objectives at once, can some parts be bypassed (for instance, Fuel Dump covi+engi skip once the grate is destroyed)?
The human factor is something really big that waypointers usually take into account.
You have to think a lot when writing the script, sometimes you even need to create your own triggers to avoid bots playing in an incorrect area of the map (OB uses the printed text called upon events to know what’s going on, but stuff like switches or other objectives don’t always print something, this is something as mapper I do a lot since I started waypointing first 😛 ).
I started some waypoints in 2009, and they’re still not finished, while some were done and complete in an evening…  😛 
Q. Are you involved in any other projects now?
I’m a lot interested in engine and map tools programming for ET and Duke Nukem 3D, I worked a bit on a HD-fying mod for Redrum add-on for DN3D (I try to learn mapping, waypointing, engine programming, texture and model making for these two games, all the aspects of the game design in fact).
Following I always ask, they are standard 2 questions these days  🙂 
Q. How would you make W:ET and RTCW better?
Both scenes have a dedicated community still making custom content to this day, what more do you want?
Perhaps making RtCW free ?
Q. How do you see the RTCW and W:ET scene today?
Active and interesting! I follow several projects around these on GitHub and ModDB (Venom, Remake, RealRtCW, ETL, ioRtCW, …).
People saying games are dead since 10 years… lol
Q. Anything else you would like to add here about W:ET or RTCW?
I guess if I still play them to this day, it means I’m fine with them as is  😛 
Q. Do you have any expectations of the Wolfenstein2 franchise in the future?
I liked The New Order, bought but haven’t played The Old Blood yet, The New Colossus looks cool. They have a good atmosphere and character work. Some people are sad (perhaps almost upset) that there’s no MP, but like many I prefer a good SP game than a rushed SP and generic MP. ET is there and free ? (Sidenote by Ray: I‘m doing a playthrough of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood and will be uploaded on YouTube in some days)

Q. What’s your favourite metal band?
Ouch, hard question!
I mainly listen to thrash and black metal, and some heavy and industrial. I often go see gigs with friends.
I can’t really give a favorite as a single, and even if I split by sub-genre I can’t really 😛
I’ll just quote a few: Amon Amarth, Annihilator, Anthrax, Asphyx, Bathory, Black Sabbath, Clutch, the Cult, Deep Purple, Gojira, Havok, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Korn, Led Zeppelin, Machine Head, Ministry, Nostromo, The Offspring, Overkill, Rammstein, RATM, Sepultura, Slayer, Tchornobog…
I’ve seen most of them live. Perhaps I could meet some ET player at a fest like HellFest?  😛 
I also listen to some pop (Coldplay, Keane, The Killers) and quite a lot of synthwave (Carpenter Brut, Dan Terminus, Dynatron, Perturbator, …).
Q. A non-related question: What do you have in your fridge right now? 
Cheese, beer, eggs, a lot of charcuterie, milk… 😛
Green stuff, I don’t store, I buy when I need ?
Thank you!

Links recommended by Mateos:

Splashdamage

TheWolfteam

Omni-Bot

Mateos personal links:

Deviant-Art

Twitter

Q&A interview with Yo$hik from RTCW.

It’s been awile since last Q&A interview. Yo$hik is an Ukranian RtCW mapper who has contributed alot for the RtCW scene.

One of his creations is DARK MATTERS SP MAP MISSION, VENDETTA to name a few.

Q. Hello Yo$hik. How are you doing?
Hi Ray. Very well, as far as possible in this cold and wet deep autumn, thanks.

Q. Thanks for having this interview with you.
This is also a very interesting event for me. Not every day to you: knock-knock, we’re up to you to take an interview 🙂

Q. Is there a special meaning behind your nickname?
So, by this nickname hides a small particle from my childhood. My true name is Sergey, but when my godfather came to me on birthday’s or holiday’s, he always called me a hedgehog. Yes, it sounds funny. Hedgehog is the verbatim translation of the word from my native language, but if somebody said it on my language, you would have heard like «yoshik» (?????). And when in the far 2004 I got access to the Internet network, and there was a question of choosing a nickname, I chose «Yoshik». So he lives with me to this day.

Q. What made you first discover RtCW (Return To Castle Wolfenstein)?
That year, when RtCW came out, I did not have a computer, just like my friends. And neither me nor my comrades knew about the existence of this game. At that time in our small city, there were popular computer clubs where you could rent a PC for a fee and play some game to take fun. Popular then was in most cases networking multiplayers modes, but sometimes played singles campaing. And on the some day, the club’s administrator put a few new releases, among which was the Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Severance Blade of Darkness. I played a small amount of time, but both of these games fired me deeply into my heart.