Hey guys thanks for returning for this week's interview. As listed in the title, this week's interviewee is a returning individual who has been many places in the Halo Community including here, ForgeHub, and now HaloCustoms as an admin of the site and working for 343 Industries. Read on about Psychoduck:
DD: "Alright Psychoduck, you've been lots of places and done many things since we last had an interview. Let's focus on the online part first: you've been part of HaloCustoms since the beginning. Can you give us an overview on your road to HaloCustoms admin and the stops between?"
PD: "As you mentioned, I have been with HaloCustoms since the site was founded back in December of 2012. When I joined the staff team, I was more focused on my YouTube channel, but I quickly fell in love with the HaloCustoms community and began looking for opportunities to cross-promote HaloCustoms and THFE to strengthen both and improve the experience for followers of each. This desire to work with other community groups extended beyond my own personal projects and helped set a precedent for partnering with other communities for the benefit of all involved. This helped open the door for some cool events like the original Meet Your Maker contest, THFE Throwback Weekends, and others.
After a few years of juggling moderation, promotional, and event organization roles for the site, I stepped into an administrative role when some of the previous admins stepped down. Now my duties are mainly to ensure that we have our staff team pointed in the right direction, to pitch and organize events, and to handle some of our web development. My most recent projects have been bringing back an improved version of our 'OG' custom games system from back in the Halo 4 days as well as to organize and help judge the Meet Your Maker Big Team Battle Forge Contest. I've been fortunate enough to work with another admin, Adderrson, on the former and with the fine folks here, at BTB.net, and at several cool YouTube channels on the latter."
DD: "You've had a long career in the online Halo Community full of twists, turns; bumpy rides but also really fun ones. Bringing back the original-style customs lobby system seems much more convenient in my opinion and I'm glad it's back. Much easier way of organizing a lobby and Adderrson has done a great job adding nifty new features like messaging members through their profile. So you brought up Meet Your Maker. Can you give us some specs on the competition?"
PD: "This installment of the Meet Your Maker contest was intended to bring out the best of the best in terms of Big Team Battle Maps from the forge community. Matclan and I began discussing a BTB contest a while back, and summer is usually the best time to host these contests. We focused on Magnum starts for the contest due to the negative effects BR starts have on vehicle use and long range engagements in Halo 5.
For this contest, we really wanted to branch out in terms of partners. Bringing 343Industries.org back into the mix was an obvious choice and we also partnered with BTB.net, Vetoed, ZannyVids, Ultimate Halo, and Unsorted Gaming for the first time. It's been exciting working with so many talented and dedicated people from around the community to make this event happen, and that talent and dedication has been reflected in the maps submitted.
Right now, the judges are in the process of narrowing the maps down. We're looking forward to selecting and announcing the winners very soon."
DD: "We're really excited to see the winners announced and get to play on these Forge maps filled with hours of dedication. I'm sure a lot of people want to know this since you are one of our Community Cartographers: do these maps get considered for Matchmaking if they win this Forge contest?"
PD: "The Community Cartographer title is actually a little outdated. While it's true that I work with 343 to test and select forge maps for matchmaking, the system has changed somewhat. Maps are reviewed and pulled from a group of submission threads on Waypoint. I merely help narrow these maps down and run the testing and polish necessary to make the best ones matchmaking-ready. On that topic, I highly encourage everyone with forge map they're proud of to submit it to the appropriate thread over there; just make sure it's been tested and refined to a reasonably polished state before doing so!
So, the short answer is that all Waypoint map submissions are given some degree of consideration for matchmaking. Will some of the contest winners find their way into the Big Team Battle playlist? Well... it seems entirely within the realm of possibility."
DD: "That's really cool that you get to work with 343 Industries on a regular basis. So it sounds like winners of this contest are really having their efforts paid off with the great prizes being given and this possibility of maps being considered for multiplayer use. So is the Community Cartographer title outdated for you specifically because you do other work now or is it kind of not a the title that isn't really used anymore at all?"
PD: "The Community Cartographer title in general doesn't really apply anymore. 343 will work with various forgers and community members where the situation calls for it. That, combined with the new emphasis on the submission threads, is a pretty big change to how things are done. At the end of the day, it was only ever a title anyway. We're all just community members helping bring fresh experiences to matchmaking and other aspects of Halo."
DD: "A great quality that you have is that you're very community-oriented and community-driven which shows through the various inter-site events you've hosted like the Meet Your Maker Contests mentioned earlier. Do you have any upcoming events or updates that you wouldn't mind sharing?"
PD: "I've been very busy with work lately, so I haven't been able to plan too far ahead in terms of future events. Wrapping up the Meet Your Maker contest is my main priority currently. I'm really looking forward to Forge coming to PC and seeing what kind of custom game community forms there. Past that... I guess we'll just have to see what the future brings."
DD: "Hopefully the future brings HaloCustoms and 343i.org together again among other Halo Community members and entities for some more contests, events, and support. We love HaloCustoms on our site quite honestly. I'm here every day with always a tab always open. I also steal all your featured lobbies and put them on our calendar for our members to message hosts if they wanna join and have their streams set up for viewing. Let's throw a silly one out there before we close this one out Duck: do you ever get hatemail after playing a game online in Halo? If so, can you give us an example of some really bad XBL hatemail?"
PD: "I'm not sure if some of the hatemail I receive is entirely appropriate to share. I did, however, receive a message simply saying "MOTHER?" recently."
DD: "Oh boy. Well that's good enough then lol so Psychoduck let's wrap this up right. Do you have any messages or anything at all you wanna share with the readers?"
PD: "I have nothing else in particular to share. Thanks for reaching out, and keep doing what you're doing!"
Unfortunately, I was not able to press him for any inside information . Big thanks to Psychoduck for enthusiastically participating in this. He's so pleasant for such a corrupt, but handsome (/hint), guy. Thanks 343iCF and other readers for tuning in.