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  1. Here are the links to the Interviews with Stars of Community which will be updated when possible by yours truly: 1. ZB-85 2. Quantum 3.Nova 4. Mr. Biggles 5. Vitamin PWN 6. adamj004 7. Choot 'em 8. RedStarRocket91 9. Twinreaper 10. John-117 11. Archangel Tyrael 12. Absolute Dog 13. Undead 14. Ms. Mystic 15. One 16. Luke 17. Insignia 18. DoctorB77 19. Total Mayh3m 20. Kurt S-501 21. Azaxx 22. SuperIntendant 23. Smokin Shadowz 24. Psychoduck 25. The Director 26. imakequilts 27. The Podcast Crew 28. Insane54 29. Redemption1272 30. DocSpartanO07 31. AbleSir Thomas 32. Flying Shoe ILR 33. Bob 34. Zelda 35. The Gryffin 36. Spades N AZ 37. Zandril 38. Edward Kenway 39. onsokumaru 40. Vitamin PWN Part 2 41. Ledgend1221 42. BATMAN 43. Self Destruct 44. Maestro 45. Dax 46. Media Bias 47. Ducain23 48. Matclan Credit to the one and only Spectral Jester for the idea of an index and pinning it! Thank you!
  2. Hello 343i Community Forum and other readers. This week I decided to interview Sir Iron Wolf who is a recently appointed admin on ForgeHub. He's a totally nice dude who supports his community and provides content. He's also the reason our Community Calendar has anything on it. Enjoy: DD: "Hey SIR IRON WOLF, so how long have you been a member here on ForgeHub? SIW: "I'm still actually a little new to the site, I have only been here for close to 9 months now" DD: "9 months and already an admin on the site? You must've been doing something very right! ForgeHub has gone through a staff overhaul lately actually. Can you give us a little insight on that?" SIW: "I had the skills they were looking for, I honestly didn't expect to get the position but I am grateful I got it. For our recent staffing overhaul we needed more staff to help with producing additional content and help spread the responsibilities a little bit. With the large staff we have now, we have been able to provide more content to the community and update the site where needed." DD: "I really admire how active the new Staff members are and I'm sure I speak for many when I say we're looking forward to what ForgeHub is going to bring to the community in the near future. This place is home to groups like Creative Force and the ATN. Speaking of which, can you tell us what the Creative Force on ForgeHub is?" SIW: "Sure thing, but I think the person who could answer that better than me would be Ray Benefield (Godly Perfection) himself, the one who created Creative Force: 'Basically it's a team I put together to create a content pipeline. Responsbilities are split by parts of the creation process and you are only really responsible for a couple parts of that process. We have people that create Blockouts, people that do Art, people that work on writing/lore, people that help with publishing, people that work on marketing. The person who perfects the blockout doesn't also do the art for that layout, someone else does. This encourages collaboration, shared investment, and allows projects to quickly and easily be passed on to others to finish up. No single person is in charge of an entire project. The team is in charge of it. There are 17 active members.'" DD: "Awesome stuff! That's something I've been curious about for some time. So what are some of the responsibilities you've taken on moving from member to Staff to admin?" SIW: "Well when I first was accepted onto staff I was tasked with creating articles and i helped out making new graphics for the article pictures. When i became one of the next admins my responsibilities and tasks greatly increased. Now I handle things like moderation reports, scheduling articles, helping come up with site improvements on the backend, writing Forge-Cast and everything else in between." DD: "I'm sure you know, but I'm a big Forge-Cast fan lol. Can you let readers know what the Forge-Cast is and maybe how they can get a lobby on it?" SIW: "Gladly! Forge-Cast is an article idea that i came up with that comes out every Monday. It gives a little recap of the previous week but mainly lists and talks about upcoming lobbies and article that are happening through out the week. This way people who visit the site can click on the front page article and be taken to a list of lobbies and what time they start, as well as a link to the lobby's thread. Getting a lobby into the Forge-Cast is easy, all you need is to be a member of the site, post in the forums that you are starting a lobby, and list the times and other details about the lobby. I then see the lobby and put it into the article." DD: "That's really convenient for Forgers and players alike. I actually like to post lobbies found on the Forge-Cast on our Community Calendar. So about Forge, do you have any Forge projects of your own?" SIW: "That's awesome! hopefully people are able to make it to the lobbies, i know sometimes the lobbies need people after they have been going for a while so if someone can't get in right away then chances are a spot will open up a little later. I have a couple projects going on. I have my SPLORF Arena and game type that is completed and just going through a couple small game type tweaks (it's a minigame) and I am currently working on a BTB map that is almost done in its final stages before testing. I also made a couple of Prefabs already, a Energy Reactor and a loud speaker (still needs pics though). I have a couple ideas I want to do, one of which is a Griffball map, but it will probably be a little while till i start those." DD: "Yea I even keep streams embedded in the Calendar event for members to watch the lobbies! BTB is something I've had a lot of experience with this year and I'm really looking forward to hopefully get in on a testing session of yours. What would you say is your favorite Forge feature that came with the latest update?" SIW: "I'm looking forward to testing mine too, it has been going on for a almost 9 month build haha. That's what happens though when you are busy and time flies by. My favorite feature with this update is the ability to forge on the PC. Prefabs are a close second but with me on the move a lot I don't always have my Xbox or have it set up so Forge on PC allows me to forge without setting the Xbox up and I can also forge and watch my shows. Hopefully now I can start creating more maps." DD: "Solid choice. There are so many players making the switch or just starting now that Halo 5: Forge has released on PC. Forge in general is just so popular now that Halo 5's can do so much more than ever before. Can we expect plans from ForgeHub in the near future to maintain this reputation or even grow more?" SIW: "Forge is definitely bringing more people to Halo 5, I have seen a lot of people recently come back to the site and forge because of Halo 5. Since December, ForgeHub has grown an immense amount and we have updated the site and pumped a little more life into it. With the growing staff we are able to produce more content for those that visit the site and with our growing connection with 343i we are becoming more well known in the general community and even got to get an exclusive interview with them for Halo 5 Forge for the PC, something we were really excited about! I can't say too much of what we have planned since some of it is on the down low but i can say we are going to continue to do what we can to make sure ForgeHub continues to grow like this, and we have some sun stuff planned for the months to come." DD: "Awesome stuff Sir Iron Wolf. I was surprised (and super jealous) when I saw that you guys had Tom French and Nahil Sharkasi for an exclusive interview. The ForgeHub community as well as the general Halo community is definitely looking forward to the site's future content and developments. With all the info you've been able to provide, I think it's safe to say we could wrap up the interview! So, Iron Wolf, do you have any words for the readers or any shoutouts you wanna make?" SIW: "Thank you for interviewing me, it sure was fun! I'd like to give a shout out to the staff at ForgeHub, they have been incredible and really active in getting more content out there for everyone. We wouldn't be where we are today without everything they do. I'd also like to tell the readers that if they ever need any forge help or want to join in on some testing lobbies they know where to come!" That's it for me Sir Iron Wolf's conversation but head on over to the Announcements to see the full Community Spotlight on ForgeHub! Thank you for your time Iron Wolf and thanks to anyone who read!
  3. Hello everyone and thanks for coming to read this interview. This week I linked up with my good friend @@Adv Jones from the Halo Archive and a fellow Community Manager there- Preston Cole. If you don't know about the Archive then you will soon. Hope you get good info from this one: DD: "Can you each give us a brief history lesson of your time here on the Halo Archive?" PC: "Sure. So, I became aware of the Archive through Twitter. I joined in October of last year, and I quickly jumped into lore discussion. I was made a Builder because of that. Eventually I was a candidate for a Community Manager position, and became one in December/January. I am still a Community Manager today." BJ: "So I came across the Archive through Waypoint from a PM from someone...can't remember who. But they told me about this place and back then it was still on ProBoards. I joined and was still in college then, so I only lurked, for like years. At least until sometime last year I knew graduation was coming so I would have more time on my hands and wanted to learn more about Halo and it's universe. I started as a Lifeworker and then I became a CM same time as Cole (could say the same "rush" class ayy Cole?) and a few others. And still one today." DD: "Awesome so you guys have been here for some time and know the ins and outs. What has kept you guys sticking around the Halo Archive all this time?" PC: "I would say the community. The Archive is made up of a diverse group of individuals that bring a lot to the table. Everyone gets along. It's great to see game days where you can have a dozen or more members of the Archive playing ridiculous custom games or matchmaking and everyone is laughing. It's a place where everyone has someone in common and can talk freely whether it be Halo lore and life talk." BJ: "What Cole said. Along with I see this place to become a large name within the Halo community. When you hear about Halo and its universe one of the next things you should hear or see is the Halo Archive. We are always open to partnerships and the community helping hand. It's a fun place to meet new people who are knowledgeable of the Halo lore and love the games too!" DD: "I definitely agree with both of you. The people here are friendly, welcoming, and the most knowledgeable people I know about the Halo Universe (not to say there aren't any smart members outside of that realm, there are plenty). You brought up a great topic there Jones about partnering with other entities. Can you tell readers about the current affiliations you have?" BJ: "So far on our list of Affiliates that is always growing, we have: Podcast Evolved (From Rated M Gaming Network dedicated to covering the latest Halo news, events, and more.) Halo Fan For Life (Exactly what the title says, A blog from one of Halos biggest fans) Haruspis Blog (A knowledgeable Halo fan whom writes deep analysis on Halo lore and more. Halo Canon (Halo fan whom creates lore videos, unboxings, and more all related around the Halo universe) Halo.fr (French platform of Halo fan news and their own wiki) Halo Swallower (The Onion style news soruce. Your 1th Halo News Source) Hidden Xperia (Halo fan whom creates lore videos and knowledgable theories for future events in Halo) Halopedia (The #1 source for all Halo Universe information. The Halo Wiki) and last, but not least you guys! 343iCF! That is our list so far and currently have one more on the way which will be announced in the next beacon. But each of these affiliates we help lead our members to their content and resources and vice versa. If they need help in anything we can help with, we will do it. We want to help make the Halo community be known to all and for all to know each group and organization. So many groups out there all focused on one universe, but each so different in their own way." PC: "I'll add: We are always looking to work with other Halo fans and communities. No one should ever hesitate to reach out to us. Our goal is to continue to make Halo an enjoyable community to be a part of through cooperation and collaboration." BJ: "" DD: "I really do think it's awesome how you work with so many different communities and you guys on Staff always seem to be up to something with various switches and additions. It's a big Staff really. Kind of makes you wonder what such a place would need so many hands on deck for . Do you guys have any projects in the works that you may be able to hint at a little?" PC: "We have some ideas in the work. The Beacon will most likely touch on this, but we have do have an interest in generating much more of our own content and outsourcing of content in the future. I expect this will kick up with the approaching release of Halo Wars." BJ: "SPV3, @Ellisrael got us goin with these guys. Maybe info of this will be in the beacon too. Not sure though. Other things of secrecy are planned so far ahead in the future that its all up in the air right now so no need to put light on it, at the moment." DD: "SPV3, wow. So much hype with that right now it's awesome that you guys will be in on it. Speaking of the Beacon, I'm a big fan of the Archive Beacon and I'm pretty enthusiastic about it. Can you explain what the Beacon is and the process of putting it together?" BJ: "If anything it is our Tri-Weekly Newsletter. I'll let Cole explain more..." PC: "The Beacon is an article that we publish every three weeks that details happenings at the Archive, announcements, projects our members are working on, etc. We choose a Staff member to be the main writer for each Beacon, and other Staff members chip in to help. Drafts of Beacons are due the Tuesday before the Friday publishing date. We proofread, edit, and add what is needed up until Friday. The Beacons are published that Friday. I would compare it to a college term paper. It takes time to complete and we all give our input on what is included." DD: "I think my favorite thing about the Beacon is that since one Staff member is mainly writing it, they're personality leaks into the article. It makes it a very enjoyable read and a good way to show members you guys are paying attention to what's going on. So if anyone wanted to play with the Halo Archive members on Xbox Live, when and where should they look?" PC: "You will see Archive members on throughout the week, but the best chance would be on Friday and Saturdays. Those days tend to be our game days. We will play anything and everything from Infection to Warzone Firefight to custom games on forged maps. We usually have a great turnout on those days. You can find Archive member gamertags on our profiles or on the side bar of individual posts on our forums." BJ: "Some of us have our GT's attached to our profile on here and shows up when we make posts. Feel free to add whomever, even me! We are usually all on during Thursday-Sunday, but you can catch us any day just about. Come join our game days!" DD: "Awesome guys thanks for throwing down the info! What are your favorite threads on the site?" PC: "Off-topic: I'm a big fan of politics so you'll usually see me in the world events area. Besides that I would say the Banter thread. My phone consists of social media and memes so the Banter is perfect for a meme frenzy. On-topic: Probably the Canon Fodder thread. It's always awesome to read what GrimBrotherOne posts in there, and the discussion is always constructive and informative." BJ: "Off-Topic: The music discussion/post thread. I love music and love to share new sounds with everyone. Not many people like some of the music I post, but they acknowledge it at the very least ha ha. And some Science and Tech threads, mostly air and space. This universe we are in is amazing. On-Topic: I like almost all the on-topic threads. I don't know which ones I don't like really. And I enjoy reading them all. I learn something new of the Halo universe almost every time I do read something on-topic." DD: "Very cool! It's good to know a little more about what you two like outside of Halo. It's been great but it's time to put this to a close. Do you guys have any words or shoutouts for readers?" BJ: "Follow us on almost any and all social media. If you do that sort of thing. We don't spam, it's all relevant Halo info or other fun/funny info. Facebook, youtube, twitter, tumblr, pintrest, deviant art, just search on the social media platform and we should be on there. And if you haven't made an account on our forums, you should. If you like Halo lore and such, then there is nothing to loose. Plus a Halo Wars 2 giveaway will be coming too, physical copy of the ultimate edition. So follow us on twitter and facebook for more info on when that is. Other than that......I got nothing else...keep doing what you love." PC: "Feel free to join our forums to see what we are all about. It's a fun and rewarding community that you won't regret becoming a part of. We hope to see everyone soon!" Thank you Jones and Cole for an awesome interview and I hope you all enjoyed it as well. Check out the Community Spotlight all about the Halo Archive in the Announcements! PEACE.
  4. Hello all, we're back with another good interview this week with one of the funniest Halo YouTubers right now, a member of our Forge Group, and a friend of mine: Zandril. I could go on about how Zandril is known on a number of different Halo sites and things like that but I fanboyed enough in this interview. So enjoy the followup with Zandril 3 years later: DD: "Alright Zan so it's been almost 3 years since we last did an interview. Back then you were still a recognized name and you had a lot of success with Halo 4 competitive Forge maps and your Map Marker Pack. You've had ZannyVids forever but things really popped this year with Halo 5. What do you think contributed to that?" ZAN: "Well, I don't really think I had a lot of success back in the Halo 4 days. I was relatively known around some forums but that was because I hosted regular testing lobbies and usually left feedback for maps. I'd say I was only slightly successful getting my name out there. The YT channel and the Map Marker Pack definitely helped. As for my channel getting more traffic with Halo 5, I think a big factor for that happening is because I made tons of map features when forge got released. People wanted to see cool forge maps and I made good quality videos showcasing them. Although I had to change things up a bit when interest in Halo 5's forge lessened. I couldn't just make good quality videos. There had to be something that set me apart from the other channels. And that's how my channel is getting decent attention until now. I kept on featuring good maps but I started including jokes and comedy sections in my videos. Anyone who watches my videos would notice this in most map features. People seem to like them " DD: "Comedy is big in the ZannyVids, that's a fact. There's always at least 2 or more parts in all your videos where I laugh out loud. The editing and jokes are really amusing and make your videos interesting to watch. Even simple map features get turned into funny videos. So how can people keep up with your current lobbies and activities?" ZAN: "To stay updated with my custom games lobbies, people can follow my lobby thread here. I post there some hours before I host a lobby. My regulars, friends, and subscribers also sometimes post jokes or comments about the lobby there. I also make lobby announcements and random updates on my Twitter." DD: "Glad we got that plug in there! Your video, , was an amazing piece. Your biggest fanboy (this is me) may even call it art. What inspired the creation of the video?"ZAN: "Ok, first of all (in high pitched, teasing voice) FANBOY I made that Forge YouTubers video purely because I wanted to do some light teasing to the people in it and to also publicize certain inside jokes like Stigma. Each YouTuber featured in that video had something about their channel I wanted to tease them about. iSpiteful had his pack opening videos. Ducain has his Halo Vanguards disaster. Sean (Forge Labs) had his habit of saying specific buzzwords, etc I was also kinda inspired to "roast" Halo channels and figures because of my friend, Yeti. He made teasing videos of Forge Labs, Spiteful, RUL, etc long before I made the Forge YouTubers video. I don't think I would have gotten the idea of making that video were it not for Yeti's YouTube content." DD: "Fanboy? Please, call me Dandril. The video is hilarious like I said and as for Yeti, I gotta say my favorite video of his is . So quotable and so funny (and so handsome). You're always working on testing other Forgers maps and featuring them. Do you have any Forge projects of your own that you've been working on since Boarding Pass?" ZAN: "Actually no. For me, forge actually took a backseat and YouTube's been more of a priority. Back in Halo 4, I made TONS of maps and in Halo 5, I was only dedicated to Boarding Pass. That's not to say I didn't make anything else before Boarding Pass but those other maps just ended up failing due to my disinterest in improving them. Those failed projects actually led me to a realization. It was that I'm kinda bored of making core maps. I made a lot of them back in Halo 4 but I'm a complete Infection kid now. I have plans for some original Infection maps though. I'm hoping I can make them when Forge comes to PC which would allow me to forge in school during my 5 hour breaks. Fun. DD: "You've become infected by Infection then you would say? No? Ok I'll go die after this interview. Anyway, I remember always seeing multiple submissions here from you for core maps back in Halo 4 and I even got to see Weekend at Warden's in its early stages. You definitely still have the talent but even as someone who wasn't huge on Infection before, I gotta say 343 has stepped it up in this one. Forgers definitely have too. Speaking of Infection though, can you to tell us about a certain gametype you have been testing on some maps?" ZAN: "Ah yes. For the past couple months, I've been working with PA1NTS on testing the official Last Stand BETA. Some of you may recognize Last Stand as a gametype that is in Halo 4 Flood Matchmaking. To those unfamiliar with Last Stand, it's basically an Infection gametype where the humans can't jump but the Infected can. Of course, there's more to it than that but that's the basic gist of it. Anyway, there's currently 3 Last Stand maps (that I know of) that are more or less final. I'm keeping an eye on 3 others that are under development/testing. I think once there's 5 or 6 ready maps, I'll make a Last Stand announcement video." DD: "Having played Last Stand in one of your lobbies before, I have to say it's really fun on the right maps. PA1NTS has always been into Forge and is a good Forger at that. Are there any Forger's works that you really admire in Halo 5?" ZAN: "Well I know a lot of great maps and great forgers so I can't really just pick one. But off the top of my head some of my current favorites would be - Fever Pitch and Old Salt by Sikamikanico - Littlemonk 5's and CaptainDireWolf's minigames. I admire both of them for making good, fun, and ORIGINAL minigames - There are so many Infection maps and forgers I could name but if I was to name a few, they would be Storms End, Lunar, Doubloon, Dubious Depths, and Heavy Metal" DD: "Awesome! I'm so glad I've gotten to play on most of the maps you listed and I hope the readers check them out! A lot of Forger's maps have been coming in through your submission forums here on-site. Do you feel like this is an easier way to receive maps than your previous method?" ZAN: "I certainly do. For one thing, using a forum for my submissions page makes it easier for me to interact with the people who submit maps to me. It's easier to leave feedback and give any suggestions I might have. It's also easier to view the submissions and understand the main idea of maps because people are more free to talk about it and include screenshots. I also like that the forums allow me to pin the submission threads of maps I featured. It's nice street cred for the forger to have his thread pinned and it also allows others to view the discussion in the threads and maybe learn a thing or two." DD: "Awesome well we're really glad to host your submissions here! It's been a blast testing some of the latest submissions in your lobbies and meeting some of the map makers. As a Forge YouTuber, I know you're friends with Sean of ForgeLabs, Comedy Aerosol, Pyschoduck, and many others but are there any other Forge YouTubers you hope to work with in the future?" ZAN: "Well I'm pretty curious of what it would be like if I collaborated with RecklessRi1ey and Ducain23. I've only talked to them a few times so I'm not that great friends with them but they seem like they'd be cool to do something with. And something about me is that I'm usually pretty open to collaborating with smaller forge channels. I enjoy helping people get subscribers because then they'll be in my service forever until death. no one endorsed or collabed with me when I was a smaller channel and I understand how annoying it can be to have such slow growth. It's also a good way to establish multiple connections around the community. Plus, it means more people will say nice things about me when I eventually die of lung cancer." DD: "That last answer was pretty much the definition of ZannyVids. Key points: philanthropic, started from the bottom now you're here, connections around the Halo Community, a need for sympathy and memorial when dead/jokes about dying from a horrible disease. Honestly, golden answer. Let's wrap it up then Zan: Do you have any words for rising Forgers/YouTubers in the Halo scene?" ZAN: "1. Keep doing what you're doing. The Forge communty isn't all that big and the more people participate and share maps, the happier we'll all be. 2. Try to have something in your channel that sets you apart from others. You don't want to be a discount Forge Labs or discount iSpiteful. Give people a reason to subscribe to you. For my case, I have memes and offensive jokes in my channel. 3. If you want your stuff to get more attention, don't just sit around and complain. Do something about it. If you're a forger, join lobbies and stuff and get your name out there. Get feedback, take it like a man, and get gud." That's it for me and Zandril's interview, thank you everyone who took the time to read. Check out the Spotlight featuring Zan in the Announcements!
  5. 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.
  6. Hello 343i Community Forum and other readers. Thanks for clicking this link to the latest interview. This time, I did my second collective interview with a rising Halo-oriented (among many other games) group whose members many of you may already know. Enjoy the latest chat I've had with Halo Team Assemble comprised of Yoshi1176, Fishy and VinWarrior DD: "Hey guys, how did Halo Team Assemble come to be?" YASH: "Well what started off as a bunch of summer time customs lobbies on MCC, became what you see today. In fact it was a joke that started at this time that we would assemble like the avengers, in the shoutbox at 343i.org. So we sort of just adopted it after a while and named our group Halo Team Assemble and expanded from there." DD: "Some of the best things start from small lobbies of players getting together like that. What are each of your roles in the group? FISH: "I like to take the events and get our lobbies set up in advance so we have a basic understanding of who's going to be coming to the events. I am also the main-streamer. And by streaming I mean... I'll do anything" VIN: "I don't really like to define myself by one simple "role", I like to do a lot of things. If I had to go with a term, I suppose it would be Creative Outreach? I write a lot for HTA as well as Podtacular, and hold a pretty prevalent position on Reddit, so I get news pretty fast. Besides that, I consider myself good with community outreach and organize some stuff on the Twitter, as well as Halo related projects for our YouTube. Of course, I'm not just limited to Halo." YASH: "My role in the HTA universe is more on the side of the social sphere I feel. Vin uses the Twitter often and Fishy has a multitude of series on our Youtube channel, but I focus on the Twitter as much as possible, as well as intersite, and inter community relations, I talk to community leaders trying to spread the idea of HTA to sites like Halo Archive, and even still to 343i.org, I find myself talking to "HaloTubers" as well. So I suppose I deal with community relations the most." DD: "It's great that you guys all seem to not limit yourselves to just one role when it comes to the group. For Vin: you say you write Podtacular as well as HTA. Can you tell us about that more?" VIN: "Sure. I was recently hired to work alongside DustStorm and the Podtacular team as a news writer. I've just recently settled into the role, so I don't have a lot yet on that front. All I can say is that the Podtacular team are a wonderful bunch and I look forward to writing more for them. As for those links to HTA, I'm still setting up some cross-article promotion and trying to balance both jobs, as well as integrate them. I certainly couldn't imagine running HTA on my own with this job." DD: "Really cool stuff. DustStorm is well known throughout the Halo Community for the Podtacular podcasts among other works. Good thing you have a team to rely on so you don't have to run things alone; I could imagine how stressful that may be. Where do most of HTA's interactions with the Halo Community occur?" VIN: "I'd like to believe that we are most seen on Twitter typically. Twitter is where we have seen the most support and communication from the community. We recently posted the first episode of our new project, Lost: A Halo Machinima to YouTube and we felt the results were great, but without the help of the community, we couldn't have done it. Twitter works well for us to because we can communicate with the community as well, like Ultimate Halo (specifically Wangtime) who actually helped voice act in the Machinima." YASH: "Whether it be talking about the state of the community with Greenskull or planning some customs with our followers, we love interacting with anyone and everyone." DD: "Twitter is a great platform for reaching audiences. I find that we have the most interaction on the 343iCommunity Twitter as well. Some pretty big name drops so far- DustStorm, Greenskull, Ultimate Halo's Wangtime. Do you guys have any dream collaborations for any projects?" VIN: "Dream collaborations? Well, speaking from probably my deepest desires, I'd absolutely adore to interview Joseph Staten. My longtime goal has been a writing position at 343 Industries, but even meeting and engaging with their team would be a dream come true. As far as community interaction, I'd love to be part of a Halo Canon video. Toa and I interact on Twitter occasionally via my private account, and he seems like an awesome person that shares a lot of my interests." YASH: "Dreams of any future collaborations? We have a few, but the one that seems most possible, and in my opinion the one that would be more fun for everyone involved is a group podcast that was brought up about a week ago. Kenny from Ultimate Halo had been alking about one of Podtaculars recent podcasts and Greenskull, HTA and Ian (Halo Canon) joined in. There was a mention of a group podcast and being able to talk to rather than type to these pillars of the community would be a blessing. Being just under a year old (Our one year anniversary is actually tomorrow [August 11]) and being identified up near those guys is just incredible. Being able to participate in such a podcast would definitely be a dream come true." DD: "Those would be some amazing opportunities I really do hope HTA gets the chance to say they work with people of such high caliber names in the Halo Community. It's definitely not impossible, we are all just people. Does the Halo Team have any upcoming projects that they may be able to talk about?" VIN: "Well, we certainly have a lot of stuff in the back-burner. What we can wholly talk about right now is Lost Episode 2, which will pick up after Episode 1 left off. There will be plenty of new characters, and the story is going in a direction I think everyone will be intrigued by. Speaking of Machinima, we may or may not have a little tease in the works for a project that you're going to love... That's all I'll say on that." YASH: "Less in the way of projects in the way that Vin described we also have some projects that will help us be easier identified in the community as well as achieving our final goals which are bringing the community as a whole closer together. One of those is making ourselves stand out, in this case a fancy new logo that will represent HTA's ideals and values which is being made for us by one of HTA's members and should be ready to roll out soon. Another project is more focused on actually bringing the community together, and that's actually through working side by side with Halo Archive and setting up a possible affiliation in the coming weeks. One of our first members, Adv Jones is a huge supporter of HTA and is helping us achieve this goal since he is a high standing member on the site." FISH: "With the return of the #Throwback's were hoping to bring in the audience of all those who enjoyed the OG systems. Whether they were just born and couldn't experience it or those who currently no longer have the system or the game. With Season #1 being a start of testing the bandwidths and pushing the systems to their maximum quality, I would like to say it was a success. We do know where we stand and what we can and can't do, as demonstrated. However, with the return of #Throwback and the upcoming Season #2. Which is (rumored) to be in September sometime. We are hoping to give the experience for everyone to enjoy. We already have equipment en route for webcams and audio. That way you aren't just watching a boring stream that's pretty much just a walkthrough with trial and error. We're pushing towards sorta what Game Grumps has done, but with success. I have people already setup ready to help out, everything we need is already here. We're just hoping not to reach to the audience in Halo, but to (hopefully) reach out to all of those who have a hobby in gaming, as well as provide as much entertainment to keep those drawn. We've done our research, and we've talked to the critics. I think we're ready" DD: "All these different things in the works is really exciting. I know there have been some asking for episode 2 of Lost already and I am one of those people. #Throwbacks Season #2 sounds like a blast and I've known Jones a while now and can vouch for how good a guy he is. A real supporter of the Halo Community and someone who is willing to meet people and hear them out. To clarify though, you insinuated earlier that there are more members in HTA than currently present but you guys are the founders. About how many are in Halo Team Assemble and how can one join?" YASH: "Yes there are more than just us, but there are just too many to count to be completely honest, everyone that we played with that showed up to our lobbies last summer which were packed to give you an idea, to the people we encounter in Twitter, everyone is in HTA, whether you play with us, participate in our machinimas, or just play Halo, you are part of HTA. The reason being is that we just want to help better the community, and community isn't built by making exclusive groups, it's by including everyone, from game developers to your average gamer." VIN: DD: "Very well said. Universal inclusion is pretty much the idea I think of when I think of Halo Team Assemble at its core. So you love Halo and gaming in general. What are each of your favorite games and franchises other than Halo?" VIN: "Oh, that is a very long list. I suppose counting my favorite games here, Mass Effect is certainly one I could never leave out. It's my favorite science-fiction universe behind Halo, and I cannot wait for Andromeda. I'm also a big fan of Gears of War, simply due to the grittiness of its campaigns as well as the really diverse character personalities. Bioshock was an amazing ride with a lot of interesting gameplay elements and anything from Naughty Dog catches my eye. Finally, I have to give a nod to Destiny as my really guilty pleasure. I know it has a lot of problems but I deeply enjoy it and have already pre-ordered Rise of Iron." YASH: "Other than Halo my favorite game would probably be Jak 2. Yes I know it isn't even a relevant game anymore, but it is a symbol of how I first began playing video games. Through my cousins and their visits to my house, which is actually how I was introduced to Halo. The game's chaos was something a very young me found hilarious and entertaining. Franchise wise I think I'm tied between Star Wars and Pokemon both had a big role in my childhood but Star Wars interests me a little more than Pokemon now, even though Pokemon Go is ridiculously fun. Star Wars is so big that it's hard not to find something you love within." FISH: "I'm going to have to say, I don't necessarily have a favorite franchise or games. I'll pretty much play anything and everything. Rarely ever will you hear me say "I think that games trash" or anything along those lines. The only thing I DO have is a weight-ratio. I will play some games over others if asked. For example, if you asked me right now if I wanted to play GTA Online with you and someone asked me if I wanted to play Rainbow Six: Siege. I would be playing with the other person. But, if you asked me if I wanted to play Gears of War: Judgement and nobody else asked anything. I would play Gears of War: Judgement. Simply because I'll play whatever. Even Kinect Sports." DD: "Solid games in these lists. Gears is also a personal favorite of mine along with Pokemon. Back onto Halo, I want to speak more about the general community specifically since this ambitious group's ultimate goal is to unite it and other gamers. What do you think of the current state the Halo Community is in and what do you think attributed to this?" VIN: "Honestly, I think the Halo Community has really worked hard to pull itself from the disgusting cesspool it was around the late Halo Reach to late Halo 4 days. This community still has plenty of problems in terms of size and accessibility, but 343 has the perfect game on their hands here, and they need to utilize it. I frequently see Halo 5's Forge and customs on Reddit's front page, and people have responded to the multiplayer as a whole with near complete happiness. 343 needs to implement a custom games browser and more social playlists so that these people have a way to play all of this fun stuff. But what do I think attributed to this? Plain and simple, Halo: Reach's multiplayer was way too poorly balanced and Halo 4 didn't have enough sustained content to hold over an audience. Halo 5 does both of these with flying colors." YASH: "Well, the large majority of the Halo Community I believe are genuine fans of the series and that's great but we can't go and pretend that the community hasn't been hurting the last few years because it has. The hurt, I feel comes from those who constantly talk down the community and put down those within it probably because they no longer enjoy Halo. There is the issue right there, they stay in the community and complain, and talk bad about everything that 343 does with Halo instead of just going to a game community that they like better. It creates a toxic environment for the fans of the series and those trying to do something with it. In fact something that I've seen become more of an issue in the last few months is the fact that people are beginning to blame the YouTubers themselves, who have no ability to change Halo in anyway. While this is all happening though the good people of the Halo Community (and there really are some) keep trying to maintain the greatest gaming community to ever exist in my opinion. The cause of all this is most likely attributed to the hand-over of Halo from Bungie to 343. Personally I love 343 and think they are doing fantastic, but their first game was a little rough, and that soured the community. MCC which was hopefully going to renew that launched with horrible bugs and made the issue worse, so here we are today with Halo 5. The game is terrific, but some have been too upset to want to come back or accept the changes to Halo which we have seen over the last few years. When it comes down to it, the problem is people accepting the change that happens in a franchise when it lasts as long as Halo has." DD: "Long, but insightful nonetheless guys and I hope readers can figure out what to do with those words and how it relates to the general community and not just one or two sites. Thanks for keeping the answers coming but we're gonna have to close out soon. Do you have anyone you want to shoutout or anything you wanna say/address?" VIN: "I'd like to thank my mom, my dad, and BoJack Horseman... Kidding aside, the 343i Community Forums got me where I was, and I do want to thank everyone on there for all of the support they gave me. Thank you to Podtacular for granting me an amazing job. Thank you to every single person on HTA that supports us day in and day out. You guys are what keep me going." YASH: "I'd like to shout out our friends on 343i.org and on Halo Archive, love playing games with y'all! I'd just like to say, that if you love your community get out there and do something. Whether it be playing in lobbies, supporting YouTubers or even making videos yourself. Try to make the community itself better and better yourself along the way. Thanks for having us." FISH: "And one last thing, make sure to stop by our YouTube and Twitch Streams and give us a like and/or follow. I really appreciate that sort of stuff and I do pay attention to it. I'll just leave this here: " Thanks readers for reading and thank you to the HTA founders and members for being around. This was really fun and I hope you guys check them out! Follow HTA on Twitter for gaming news, streams, and other fun stuff. Peace out 343iCommunity.
  7. Hello 343i.org and other readers. Welcome back to the latest interview with a big star in the Halo Community: Matclan. Matclan is the admin of bigteambattle.net and I decided to do this interview as part of the Community Spotlight this week surrounding the site he works for. Enjoy: DD: "You've told me before, but could you explain the origin of bigteambattle.net for the readers?" MC: "I believe it all started with a few BTB themed private groups on Bungie.net back in the heyday of Halo 3. After much drama and various leadership changes between then and the launch of Halo: Reach a player who goes by ANUBIS x MT of team Master Theory decided to move the community offsite. So he bought the bigteambattle.net domain and had it set up. After initially getting bigteambattle.net set up Anubis began to drift away from Halo as Reach wasn't (somewhat understandably) to his liking. Initial staff members were overwhelmingly Anubis' team mates. This spawned the meme of "MTbias", implying that everything from forum moderation to map/gametype decisions and settings were in someway biased in favour of us. Fastforward a bit and Anubis passed the site on to Molly aka a400poundwhale who, although friends with a lot of MT members, had no direct skin in the game as she was neither a competitor nor a member of any team or clan. This was by far our most well organised period. And so everything was good until Halo 4 came along. We managed to galvanise interest in a game that was struggling to retain players and pull them back in for a short while; unfortunately what could have been our greatest moment fell foul of miscommunication and personal issues leading to a community revolt in the face of a significantly delayed cash payout. Eventually everyone got paid, however the damage was done and the site was closed with important members of staff no longer considering it worth their time or effort to deal with. Some time later TsengMao then went on to purchase the site and revive it in anticipation of The Master Chief Collection, which as wel all know was a swing and a miss, especially with regards to the stability of custom game lobbies with 16 players at the time. And eventually Halo 5 rolls around, and since the launch of Forge I've been working on getting settings ready to play. The right push came around and we (quite successfully) ran our first H5 event at the end of July. The bigteambattle.net community still feels like it's in hibernation, but we did attract upwards of 160 players of all skill levels to our Summer Shootout tournament which shows that the desire to participate and compete in our events is still very much alive, and so our goal moving forward will be to become the best possible platform for competitive BTB events in Halo's Anglosphere. For anyone just jumping into one of our gametypes there should be a healthy mix of familiarity with Halo 5's default and HCS tournament-ready settings and a little bit of new hotness to adjust to in the form of maps, either completely new thanks to the Forge community, or tweaked slightly in order to improve gameplay flow and tournament viability." DD: "Lots of history with the site. It's an older community than I anticipated. It's a shame that things went downhill with a lot of places after Halo 4. It did well for a period of time but ultimately died and deepened the cracks in the Halo Community. Where do you enter into this story?" MC: "Towards the end of 2010 I ran into Mao and Audley in BTB matchmaking. I don't recall the exact circumstances but that was my in with the BTB community and by the end of the year I applied to join their team and got accepted. The team itself isn't really a thing any more thanks to so many people moving on from Halo or with real life. The community itself goes back much further to the days of Halo 2 and its built-in clan feature. You'd have to ask someone who has been around more than I have to get any info from those days." DD: "So you've been involved for some time now. Do you feel that competitive Big Team is put on the backburner? Like not getting the spotlight as much as other gametypes featured in tournaments and leagues." MC: "Well, in a way I'd say that. But I also don't think it's ever really deserved that kind of focus. Throughout Halo 2 and 3, yeah, people played Ranked/Clan Match and would always get competitive running into other big parties they recognised, but ultimately, and I know some would strongly disagree with me here, the settings were never particularly great. From game to game either the gametypes were too easy to tie, the maps could be escaped/exploited, the vehicle balance was tilted too far in favour of the vehicles (no longer the case, although it's slanted a little heavily against the Warthog in Halo 5 which sort of interrupts some of the infantry-vehicle fluidity that the 'Hog usually bridges). Until Reach did away with ranks for BTB completely people were quite happy just searching the playlist for their BTB fix. Between that and the gameplay issues of Reach people finally were willing to look to custom games in an attempt to fix or alleviate their problems with the game itself. We jumped on this opportunity and found it to be fairly successful, despite reaching out to the wider community feeling like an uphill battle at times. Looking back I think the thing we most closely take after would be the more restrained Squad Battle experience in Halo 3. I try to make use of the sandbox to allow for cool, fun, and competitively sound matches while staying away from the flat out crazy and overpowered stuff that BTB has been easy to associate with in the past. I guess you could say that our approach to Halo 5 has been "8v8 Squad Battle", which I think has worked very well with the sandbox for this game. So far with Halo 5 this approach seems to have been working as we've managed to be spotlighted in 343's own Weekly Community Update and the official @@halo Twitter account has helped spread the word of our event. Next step? Maybe we can try to wrangle a playlist or something. Currently I'm looking forward to an announcement coming soon (depending on when this gets posted). I guess this is an announcement of an announcement saying to keep your eyes on bigteambattle.net's homepage and Twitter account @OfficialBTB" DD: "And yea that's something I was going to mention. The $1000 Summer Shootout Tournament turned out to be a great success. 160+ players of mainly high skill levels duked it out for some awesome J!NX HCS apparel and part of that $1000 prize pool. Is it alright to ask about what may be in store for the future or should we just stick to your word and keep our eyes peeled for announcements? Feel free to keep it disclosed." MC: "It would be best to wait for the announcement as we've still got a few things to set in stone before we want to make any definitive statements." DD: "I make sure to add that to our Community Calendar each week so you're covered there. Let's talk about another contest you're currently involved in. Judging for the most recent Meet Your Maker Forge Contest is upon us. You're obviously an expert on Big Team Battle and that's why you're a judge. How'd you and Psychoduck develop this idea for the latest MYM?" MC: "I think I just got asked if I'd like to judge. Likely some time after consulting with Duck and Fated on their map, Artemis. The contest itself isn't something I'm involved in organising." DD: "Yeah so it's not mentioned but you've had a fair deal of influence on Artemis, one of my current favorite BTB maps that I hope comes to matchmaking. You've also modified other maps to adapt to Pistol/AR starts. Can you tell us what other maps you changed?" MC: "After discussing things with the original forgers I've made adjustments to Guillotine (often with Duck; it's always better to have to convince someone else of why a change should be made rather than just doing it on a whim), Fracture, Scavenger, and wait for it... Torque! Yes, that Torque!. At least, those were the five maps we played in our tournament last weekend. However the event revealed a few issues with all of them except Artemis so I've gone back into Forge to apply further adjustments to the other four. Download any of them with the understanding that they're back to being works in progress. That said, I'm hoping to increase the map count for the next tournament (oops, did I let that slip?) so there are a few other maps that will be doing the rounds in my testing lobbies. Additionally I'm expecting the Meet Your Maker contest to unearth a few hidden gems that might be usable for my purposes, so we'll just have to wait and see what becomes of that." DD: "We'll see if anyone catches that . I actually do enjoy BTB Torque and I love when people say things like, "Who thought BTB Torque would be a good idea?" There's some pretty good stuff going on in the BTB scene in general right now and you seem to play a part in just about all of it. As for the Forging however, have you always been involved in Forging maps?" MC: "I've always loved the concept of Forge since Halo 3. Initially I was introduced to the game with endlessly silly Forge fun-fests with school friends; spawning the most ridiculous items we could and killing each other in weird and wonderful ways. Once I started playing the game more seriously I used it mostly as a tool for learning spawns - you have no idea how much I suffered with Halo 5 until Forge launched with Cartographer's Gift and I could finally go and memorise spawn locations. Since Halo: Reach I've taken to Forge primarily as an editing tool rather than a creation tool. I have one reasonably popular map under my belt called Fortress, and I considered remaking it for Halo 5 but after building the bases I realised that the difference in height that a player could attain from a basic jump - let alone a Spartan Ability assisted one - simply broke the flow of the map. As an editor though I thoroughly appreciate Forge; especially in Halo 5 where the more great content the Forge team pushes out for creators the more little options I have access too, such as the recent additions of a good chunk of the REQ sandbox. Can I just take this time to state how much I love the Recon DMR? And all of the different loadout weapon options, really - they give me a much finer amount of control over how I can approach balancing any particular part of a map. I enjoy refining maps because it's a constant back and forth of experimentation until eventually you hit the sweet spot that a lot of map creators simply don't quite reach at the time of their map being released simply because they have a lot more to think about and gather feedback for, whereas I tend to be able to pull in higher level players and review a ton of film to come up with solutions to problems that may go completely unnoticed during initial testing sessions. For example: our Summer Shootout tournament brought several issues to light on Guillotine and Scavenger that despite months of testing with varied lobbies of players simply never showed up previously. Similarly early pre-tournament scrims revealed a nasty spawn trap on Artemis and a host of ways to escape the map boundaries on several maps, all of which we were able to fix prior to these affecting any games that actually mattered." DD: "One of the great things about Forge and custom games is the fact that you can play maps over and over and see what is right and what is wrong. Different players of all skillsets will reveal different issues on the map and give different feedback as you've mentioned. I think your BTB lobbies are a great way to help enhance the maps you choose to play on. So with all that said I think we're going to bring this to a wrap Matclan. Do you have anything you want to say to the readers and/or the Halo Community in general?" MC: "First of all I'd like to thank anyone who participated in or watched the BTBnet Summer Shootout tournament last weekend. Keep your eyes open for more events from us because they will be coming. If you want to get in on testing maps I run a lobby at 9pm EST on most Saturdays to help work out what is and isn't tournament worthy. All players are welcome; all we ask is that you treat the matches somewhat seriously. Finally, thanks for the interview. It's always nice being able to get a bit more exposure for our competitive BTB scene." Thank you Matclan for participating in this! It's been a pleasure working with you on various projects lately and attending your lobbies. Hope you readers liked this and look forward to more soon. Hail peeps
  8. Welcome back everyone to another installment of Interviews with Stars of the Community: Unfinished/Failed Interviews. This was a fun interview at the start until I got ignored due to business or boredom or I don't know what. But at the time when I actually was psyched about talking to Ducain, this was a big deal for me. The interview is from February 2013: DD: "Ducain, can you give us a short synopsis of how you became the greatly looked up to guy you are?" D23: "To tell you the truth, I have no idea...lol... I started my channel to just show off my maps I made in Reach. I never expected people to actually look up to me, but I guess my nice and optimistic personallity could have contributed " DD: "You have what we all dream of as Halo fans, you've reached the Halo Fan's Dream Ducain it's pretty incredible. What are some things that 343 Industries has had you do for them in the past?" D23: "343 Industries has sent me videos to upload to my channel before they are officially released! Also, they sent me one video that was exclusive to my channel " DD: "That is nothing short of awesome. Have you had any personal contact with any members of 343?" D23: "You bet!! I was emailing back and forth with Jessica (BS Angel) at 343 Industries since I started doing Halo 4 news. Then when I went to RTX 2012, I got to meet most of them! The craziest thing is that every 343 employee knew who I was when I met them (even Frank O'Connor) and they said they love my custom maps!! Then I was invited to a late night private party at RTX, where I got to hang out with 343 Industries, Rooster Teeth, MLG people and of course play Halo 4. During the private event, Adam Crist, Lead Designer at Certain Affinity, came up to me and asked if I wanted to come to their offices in a few weeks and play Halo 4. Of course I said YES, but unfortunately when they asked Microsoft's permission for me to do this, Microsoft said no Anyways, currently I am still emailing back and forth between 343 Industries and Certain Affinity " DD: "That's freaking incredible. Freaking is not the word I want to use but to keep it rated PG-13 let's just use that. That is what I dream of haha. So with meeting RoosterTeeth, Certain Affinity, and 343 Industries, has anyone talked to you about making a cameo voice over in any games or anything?" D23: "No they haven't, but you never know for Halo 5!! My friends over at ReadyUpLive have known 343 and Bungie longer than I have and they actually got a little Easter Egg in Halo 4. Lethbridge is the town where they live and 343 created a "fake" Lethbridge Industrial, where that company creates Spartan Armor. Just look at where some of the armor is made next time you are in Halo 4. If something like this ever happens, I don't know what I would do! Just imagine being immortalized within a video game... awesome " DD: "Just imagining the contact you've had with 343 and RoosterTeeth and Certain Affinity is already awesome! That would be truly amazing though if you got to be a voice extra in the next game. So Ducain, how did you come in contact with 343i.org?" D23: "It was a while ago when the someone, I can't remember who, told me to go check it out. So I figured I might as well and from then on I loved the site! Then just recently, Absolute Dog contacted me and wanted to collaborate with each other to help out the Halo community. I would never say no to helping the community, so that is how this wonderful partnership happened " The end. Ducain eventually got invited as a Cartographer to test Halo 5's Forge. Thank you for reading this failed interview and hail Twam.
  9. So after Yoshi started heckling me about putting out more interviews I came up with the idea that I'd put out some failed and/or interviews that never got finished for one reason or another. The interviews never stop people it's just that sometimes I don't get replies and they die out because I can't keep reminding or pestering the interviewee and then after a while I don't even know if they're in the Halo community! So anyway, here's an interview I did with Dax from HaloCustoms when he was made an admin. DD: "Hey Dax, glad we could do this buddy. So first thing I wanna ask is how did HaloCustoms become your home forum?" DAX: "Hey Dan! Thanks for inviting me to do the interview! It's always a pleasure talking with you guys here at 343i.org. As for my relationship with HaloCustoms - it all started way back in January. I had gotten word from a few of the older ForgeHub members about this new site starting up called Halocustoms.com. So I went ahead and made an account, and next thing I know Insane54 sent me a private message asking if I was interested in becoming part of the staff. It all happened so fast, I was pretty surprised to say the least! But yea, over the past 6 months it's just been a fantastic experience working with everyone in the community. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere has made it hard not to call it my home." DD: "I know Insane used to be a veteran of ForgeHub and that's great to hear. Now I'm seeing you've been promoted to Admin! Congrats on that! Do you feel like you have more responsibilities now and a tougher job?" DAX: "Thanks! To be honest, I don't see things changing too much for me since being promoted to Administrator, other than having final say in some of the bigger site decisions. And even then, I'll discuss with the other Admins before anything is truly final. I don't look at it as being a "tougher job" or anything - I love the community we have there, so being promoted to the administration team is something I view as an awesome opportunity!" DD: "And that's wonderful Dax really. You guys have a strong team of Staff over at HaloCustoms and I'm glad I know most of you. So I don't know if this is confidential or anything but what's it looking like for the expansion of HaloCustoms? You guys are obviously a growing site and are well known for having such a unique and great idea for a site. Any new affiliates on the horizon or any upcoming projects?" DAX: "You mean, besides world domination right? In all seriousness though, there may or may not be some work being done to the custom games aspect of the site in preparation for the next Halo installment, but I think I've already said too much! Besides that though, we just plan on staying active and growing closer with all the awesome Halo communities out there." DD: "We will certainly be keeping our eyes open over here for that! Speaking of being active with the other Halo Communities, I know you guys recently had an FC vs HC game. What were the parameters of the contest and how'd it turn out? Did you take part?" DAX: "Indeed we did! A while back, undr zid (Forge Cafe's head admin) came to me with the suggestion of a little inter-community rivalry gamenight. It sounded like a super fun idea that we couldn't pass up! To make it even more interesting, we decided that the losing staff team would have to put up embarrassing avatars chosen by the winning community. Unfortunately, the HC staff didn't play as hot as I was expecting us to! Needless to say, Psychoduck wasn't so happy about his new Justin Bieber avatar... I don't want to spoil anything, but from the sounds of it, I think we're going to try and host more regular inter-community gamenights with other communities as well. So be on the lookout soon! " And that's where it ended. I asked another question and never got an answer and I don't know where Dax is currently but I miss him. Dax is a very nice dude who made it fun to visit HaloCustoms back in the day. This interview took place in October/November 2013. So yea, there are interviews that I consider "ongoing" that are almost 2 years old and there are interviews that are ongoing that are less than a month old. I'll post what I can find of these for now. Peace out people. Hail .
  10. Hey guys so this has been in the works since like the end of April but a lot of time was taken with finals and then sheer laziness got the best of me at times. But I think posting this today has a lot more purpose in it than if I were to post it at the end of last month. So here's @Maestro: DD: "MAESTRO! Glad you agreed to this! Let's start with a little background here: What's your experience with Forge in Halo?" M: "Oh boy, you're starting off with the tough questions, aren't you? Anyways, I started tinkering around in forge back in the days of Halo 3. I didn't make anything worthwhile; all I did was hide power weapons in places that cannot be reached or add teleporters to areas that are otherwise inaccessible via the turret glitch. When I did try to make a map on Sandbox, it was usually an obscenely difficult racetrack. Keep in mind I was only 14 at the time, so map design was not my forte. And designing minigames...? Pfft, forget about it! When Reach came along, I actually tried to make something cool. There's a plateau war map sitting on my Xbox hard drive right now, where you have to shell the other plateau using tanks or sneak over to the other side. I also tried making maps where you had to explore all of Forge World to find power weapons and opponents. But again, none of this stuff was ever released. And then Halo 4 appeared. This game, in conjunction with seeing some of the cool things that THFE showed off, convinced me to make something and actually release it. Although my very first map is long gone (the remake was the subject of my 500th post), it's still the first game where I released my finished products. And... well, you can see where pursuing the art of forge got me. " DD: "That's great stuff! I've been following your work for some time actually and I've even featured one of your map packs in the old WSW. Switching up, Locke or Chief and why?" M: "I think it was Fort Leonard and Synergetic RS that got featured, right? Anyways, I'd pick the Chief. His dialogue in the trailer had a lot of power, and you could also hear a bit of the traditional Halo choir theme we're all familiar with. Locke... I can't quite put my finger on it, but his trailer just didn't have the same impact. I blame nostalgia." DD: "Yes it was exactly those two that were featured. I think a Fort Leonard remake is in order when you get an Xbox One. But I gotta agree with you I'm a Team Chief guy as well but I really like what 343 is doing with this campaign. Have you been following Hunt the Truth? Do you think that story will be telling of Halo 5 at all or do you think it's a waste of time?" M: "I haven't been following Hunt the Truth. But I think it will fill in some plot holes that Bungie left behind in Halo 2 and perhaps Halo 3 (which there are a lot of if you didn't read the books) and shed some light on what humanity thinks of the UNSC's actions. And obviously, it will also build up a lot of hype and anticipation for Halo 5." DD: "I think it's already doing a good job of that to be honest. So which Halo would you say had the best Forge?" M: "I haven't tried forge mode out in MCC yet, so my current favourite is Halo 4's forge. It introduced magnets, which made lining pieces up easier for the most part, and also had a variety of mods available. Were it not for a modded King of the Hill gametype that enabled the parent-child attachment feature, the remake of Halo Gear Solid would not have been possible." DD: "I think Halo 4's Forge was very user-friendly. It wasn't perfect but I played the best customs I've ever played on including any minigame by Charles Stoot or competitive maps from the Meet Your Maker Contest Infinity Slayer Forge Contest along with other maps by Forgers. It is arguable that Reach actually had better customs I've heard. Which game had better custom games in your opinion?" M: "Excluding mods, I would say Reach had the better custom games, since there were more built-in options to alter gametype settings and the like. Including mods, Halo 4 wins. Prior to the release of MCC, 0iah did a great job of showcasing what the modding community was up to." DD: "0lah is someone I've played with and talked to before, he makes really good videos. It's good to get your insight on these kinds of things Maestro. Are there any Forgers whose work you especially admire?" M: "I would say Charles Stoot and my fellow forge group member Zandril. Charles makes great minigames and Zandril makes amazing competitive maps. Delpen's work is also pretty good! He's made some interesting competitive maps as well. Other than those three, most creators of interesting maps tend to not release anything else and are one-hit wonders as a result. It's unfortunate, since they have the potential to make more great maps. But there's nothing we can do as a community other than give feedback and wait patiently for their next map." DD: "I totally agree and I actually didn't know Delpen Forged! So as a member of our Forge Group, do you have any interesting plans to execute in the future when you get MCC that you're willing to share a little info on?" M: "Sorry Dan, that's classified." DD: "Maestroooo ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°). Ok then could you fill in some readers on how the Teleforge 2.0 works? I think people have seen it but might not know exactly what it is." M: "For full details on Teleforge 2.0, I'd recommend checking out the thread. But basically, it's a Halo 4 community forge project where everyone puts a few pieces in at a time. For example, I would place 10 blocks, then Zandril would place 10 walls, and RSR would place 10 bridges. The three of us would keep placing pieces down (structure, scenery, gadgets, weapons, and spawn points and objectives in that order) until we have a finished map. You can put any combination of whichever type of object is being worked with at a given time, as long as you do not place more than 10 pieces down." DD: "The TeleForge has always been a great idea in my opinion since it started as Slik's CFP because it's like a Community Event on a different level. You're working together on a project but not in each other's presence. The collection of additions is a nice surprise when it comes back to your turn. So if you've noticed, your name was the first to officially be listed in the candidate for nomination in the upcoming USF so congrats on being in the race! What do you think of the USF Elections as a whole?" M: "It's all good fun so long as no one gets hurt... by that, I mean it's fun so long as there's no moderator intervention because people act childish and insult each other." DD: "Spyro's actually had to implement rule and policy updates because of things like that occurring in the past. He makes them a point by capitalizing them in the beginning of each thread. Unfortunately it's necessary. Glad I got your two sense on that topic Maestro but it's time to wrap up and post for the community. So what are some words of wisdom for our enthusiastic and involved readers?" M: "Live long and ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°), and... this world is made of LOVE and PEACE!" Thank you Maestro, thank you readers, thank you . Maestro is up for United States of the Forum Presidential nomination against USF General Fishy and Ash the Strong. Keep an eye out for your Forge Group members on the site. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°).
  11. So this time around I went with Self Destruct - former MoM and damn good GFX artist. But he's lousy at shapes. Shapes are his absolute weakness. You'll notice one of the questions is dated but here we go: DD: "How did you land on 343i.org?" SD: "The first forum I ever joined was Halo4Nation in the summer of 2012. Unfortunately by summer 2013 the place was nearly dead, and I was forced to search for a suitable replacement. This eventually lead me to 343iCF in June of 2013. Initially I assumed it was 343i's stomping grounds, but I quickly discovered it had no relation to the company (I learned later on that there were a few connections, but not many). The place looked high quality (meeting my ridiculously high standards), and snazzy so I decided to join up on June 13th, and see what happened." DD: "I came here looking for the official website too when I started but quickly figured out that it wasn't it and stayed because it was awesome. So besides the quality of the site, what has kept you around here?" SD: "1: Activity. Most days on 343iCF are nearly the same as H4N at the height of it's popularity in 2012. 2: Frequency of contests, and events that people here host (this was very apparent in early 2014). 3: The amount of just downright funny people to talk to. 4: The ranks, and awards. It may sound dumb, but I was a sucker for these things after I joined, and I still see people here indulge in this. Not so much anymore since I've become uninterested (it seems a little pointless now). However I'd definitely try to get past Dedicated if another user group is added. 5: And finally (we all knew this would come), to talk about Halo, and other crap." DD: "Those are good answers. Honestly everyone was into ranking up and gaining site Awards at one point or another lol you're not the only one that's for sure. Do you have an Award that you're most proud of?" SD: "The MoM award. Notoriety, and Quality Posts come in second." DD: "I thought you might pick that one that's a very good one in my opinion. SD what keeps you busiest when you're on the site? What do you like to do the most I mean." SD: "Messing around in the Shoutbox, and hosting/playing the Mafia games." DD: "Mafia has been going on for a long time and it's very popular on the site I noticed! Are there any Events you're looking forward to or that you want to see this year?" SD: "Old vs. New is #1. I'm just hoping I can actually make an Event this time since I've been absent for more than a month. I'd also love to see Staff/Mods vs. Members, or one of Boss's Clue Events." DD: "Those are all my favorite Community Events for sure and I'm psyched about Old vs New coming up in a few days. I hope we get enough attendees. The Calendar is back on the sidebar of the forums page. Do you think that'll be useful in the future for announcing Events?" SD: "Heck yes. " DD: "Great I do too and I'm glad it's back! SD you're known for being a great artist in drawing and GFX. How long have you been doing those things?" SD: "Basically from around 3-5 years old. I started doing Graphics later on." DD: "That's a lot of time to hone your skills. I do all my GFX work on MS Paint because I'm a boss. So the Hunt the Truth countdown ended recently and we got some details on a war journalist named Benjamin Giraud. What do you think of the new character aspect 343 introduced?" SD: "Giraud seems interesting, and the voice acting feels convincing. There's not much to work with, so at this moment I'm a tad bit neutral on his character. I want to see how intricate, and thought out this "Hunt The Truth" thing really is, and if Benjamin Giraud has a larger role than what's said about him (like if he becomes a criminal for asking too many questions)." DD: "True we don't know much yet, those are interesting thoughts though. Do you think it's best for Halo 5: Guardians to release this year or would it be better for 343 to wait until next year (if they were ever not being rushed)?" SD: "I'd rather have Halo 5 release next year, and more of the 343 team working on overdrive to fix the MCC... this goes both ways for the game being rushed, or not." DD: "Same here I would rather have this game be everything we want it to be. Alright Self Destruct, you're a previous MoM, continuous name of the Top 15 List, and a hell of a member. Do you have any words of wisdom for the newer members we're seeing more of lately maybe for being successful on the site?" SD: "Posts: Quality > Quantity. Be yourself, and treat the girl members like everyone else. Try not to turn the SB into depression central (the topic may be serious, but we're all here to have fun. This hinders that... not to mention it becomes awkward for everyone). Join the Contests, and Events pls. That's all I got. Thanks for interviewing me, Dirty Dan. " And that was that! I'm real grateful to Self Destruct for agreeing to be interviewed and I'm glad we got it done! Sorry it took so long to post ;3. Hail .
  12. Hello 343i Community Forum. Keeping up with the string of interviews we have BATMAN, a long time member more dedicated than some of our grays. This is hands down the most personal interview I've ever done so hopefully you guys will learn something while having fun reading it. Here's BATMAN: DD: "BATMAN so I've heard the story of why you're the BATMAN off our site but can you tell the members that don't know how you got your name?" BM: "Honestly, I picked the name out of a hat. And since I was one of the first hundred-or-so-thousandth member, I was surprised when "Batman" wasn't taken; so I took it. I remember there was this one guy in the shoutbox a few thousand years ago who thought I was "hiding behind the name." I say what I believe needs to be said, and you're damned right I'd say it even if my name was "Nutty Squirrel" or something. After the notfunny jokes of Robin became old and notfunnier, I switched my icon to Batman Beyond's symbol, hoping to stop the unfunny. Mixed results. So, yeah, I thought of changing it a few times, but then I realized I'd have to reintroduce myself over and over again, and being as socially awkward as I am, I just stuck with the name-- through Hell or High Water, I guess this site's gonna have a Batman with my influence or without; so I may as well be said Batman." DD: "BATMAN has an unfunny history, there's a shocker ! Only joking there BATMAN. So on the topic of you being one of the older members here. What's kept you returning to the site for so long?" BM: "To be honest, I don't really know. I've been relatively antisocial on the site, considering how long I've been a member but still haven't gotten out of the Drones. Instead, I stick to the shoutbox, and despite the occasional awkward pauses, I find it enjoyable. If only they could count SB posts towards member rank " DD: "Lol then some people would reach the highest rank immediately! So do you wish to achieve a different member status on the site? Or do you feel it makes you unique and would like to keep your green name?" BM: "That'd be scary. I think it'd be interesting to see what would summarize me for the forum members in a simple title. While I want to remain active, I rarely find anything relatable enough in the forums to have an opinion on, so my forum post count is always going to remain low. So, I'm stuck in the conundrum of "Feeling like I didn't earn a title because I didn't actually meet the requirements" or "forever a noob." I'll leave it for staff, on that one.. if it happens without my influence, I'll still retain the 'satisfaction.'" DD: "I think you've earned something for being here this long now . BATMAN if you could have an Award made for the site that you thought of, what would it be and how would it be attainable?" BM: "I think it'd be a stylized pentagram with a transparent background. I'm not too sure on how it'd be attainable or what it'd be called, but I'm not the best designer. I'd want it to be difficult to attain, but anyone could get it. Team Demon, maybe... unlocked by playing a game with me or someone who already has it. *shrug* That's the best I can come with. Oh, and I think I've got an idea for my own unique member title, too. Exorcist. Might not appear as too friendly (it's honestly nothing to do with religion and whatnot, but I'm a rather spiritual type), but I'm pretty sure people know I've got a rather abrasive personality by this point." DD: "Both the Team Demon Award and Exorcist Member Title suit your characteristics perfectly. Next thing I want to ask you about may be a bit personal but I know you're feeling more comfortable sharing it recently as you've told me earlier: So BATMAN, when most members talk to you or meet you I would assume they think you're actually a BAT-MAN when in fact you aren't am I right? Care to go on a little on the topic?" BM: "Heh, yeah, I don't have the equipment most members do on this site; I've trained myself to articulate my opinion in a way that's abrasive and seemingly male; but in all honesty, yes. I'm a girl. And if I'm going to be punished (as in b&) for trying my best to appear as a dude on this site, go right ahead. I know how women are treated on the internet, and I wanted to do my best to avoid that. And since I know this isn't 4chan; I'm not gonna fall for the 'pics or GTFO;' It's either you take my word or ban me for finally coming out with the truth. A friend of mine let me use his image for the community yearbook (I'm sure a few members remember that event; first it was him, then I changed my name to Slenderman and posted a pic of him; pretty sure my post was deleted from the yearbook thread). But, when it comes down to it, I don't like taking pictures of myself. I don't like anyone taking a picture of me; I just quite simply don't like cameras (the unblinking eyes that they are... they creep me out; the same as mirrors). I don't consider myself a religious person (God will judge me), but Team Demon and Exorcist are really just things that came from the aforementioned friend; He's just as sick and twisted as I am and gave me a few pointers on how to let others think of me as my opposite gender. While I understand it's probably a bannable offense for trying to trick people it to believing I'm someone I'm not, fact of the matter is; I'd rather be called a liar than deal with mountains of people trying to hit on me and whatnot (I've dealt with my fair share of creepers); So my profile has been left unkempt for quite a while for that specific reason. It's better to be paranoid and virtually anonymous than having to deal with eff-tards that think that some text on a screen will stop me from being a *******. Yeah; when I'm cornered, I'mma be that blunt with it all. Even now, my girlie's reading over my shoulder, chuckling at my outrageous sense of humor with it all." DD: "Well when you have a good reason for hiding your identity, it is not punishable with a ban. It's simply a security measure for you. People in the past have not used it for a security measure but more for harassment. I think it's great for you to finally share that information publicly with the forum. I hope it feels liberating! So who were some of the first people you really got along with on the site of all the time you've been here?" BM: "Ha! When I first joined, I was blatantly told 'You should leave; Noone wants you here.' Sadly, my brain would rather hold onto the negative than anything else. Some kind of memory issue that I think I can't elaborate on.. Nothing to do with privacy or paranoia, but much more to do with what I've learned through meditation: 'There's a reason the mind hides things from itself.' (And to quote Supernatural, 'Don't scratch the wall.') And since this is gonna be a thread, if anyone has a better memory than I do, they're definitely free to recall the friendlier times I was here." DD: "Everybody had different experiences when they joined. I remember I got a sarcastic response from Azaxx on my very first thread after my introduction. I will never forget that Azaxx... What's one of your most memorable moments on the forums?" BM: "Back when the shoutbox had font sizes. People breaking it constantinuously because they wanted everyone to read their spam. Oh, the glory days of broken shoutbox and shout spam.. it was hell. Funny.. But terribad." DD: "That sounds like torture do you have any goals you wish to achieve here on the site BATMAN?" BM: "I'd love to get purp'd. Then, I'll work on the higher ranks, but I'll aim low for now But hey, even in this case, it's still aiming pretty darn high. Then again, MoM would be fun, but I can already feel the motherhood jokes piling up. And that's a no-fly-zone for me." DD: "All attainable goals if you ask me. So BATMAN what would be some words of wisdom you would give to newer members?" BM: "'Don't drink and browse the forums' would probably be the most sound piece of advice I can give. It's not too bad of a thing, but I found myself making really harsh jokes that were only intended to be taken lightly, but the inebriated mind will forget that sarcasm doesn't really show through text on a screen. I think that about covers it.." So that was me and BATMAN going about our interview! I hope you guys liked it and are looking forward to more because there's one just around the corner!
  13. Hello guys glad to have these back up and running. This interview features our January 2015 MoM. This one was really fun and I think you guys will have a laugh or two reading it. Here's Ledgend: DD: "Ledgend, the King of the Thunderdome, what makes something ledgendary in your opinion?" LDG: "What makes something ledgendary? That is a good question. It's something I'd like to hear other people's opinions on, but for me... You need to be robust. You need to never be serious. You need to question the cost of a predator tank. You need to include the word pls somewhere. And you need to be given an 11/10 rating on IGN. But most importantly, you need to make sure everyone is having a good time and laughing, either with you or at you. In the case of the former, great! In the case of the latter, 1v1 me irl m8. Or you could always just change your name to "Ledgend1223" or something like that. That works too." DD: "That answer was most ledgendary indeed. 11/10 on IGN pls. Ledgend how would you describe your time since joining the forums? " LDG: "Short answer: It's been a hell of a ride. Long answer: For the first few months on the forums, I dared not venture beyond the Fan-fic section. It was there where the RP's where happening and it was there I stayed put. It was good back then, there was plenty of RPs and plenty of RPers. I really enjoyed it and I still long for a return to those days of just RPing. But after a few months, it seemed the RPs had died down. So me, being brave(plot twist) decided to venture up to the shoutbox. It was fun. I came back the next day and the next day and so on. So that's what I did on the site. RPed and Shoutbox. Sometimes I even RPed in the shoutbox. It was great, I met a lot more people. I really enjoyed it, always active and always someone to chat with. It carried on like that for another few months, until finally it seemed RPing had died off completely. So I continued to just use the Shoutbox. Maybe once in a blue moon I put my man-pants on and decided to post in a random thread. But mostly Shoutbox. So that carried on, until one day a few of us started playing SS13 together. That branched a whole other story that's insane. But anyways, after that it my time got divided. I still got on the shoutbox, but it wasn't as often as before. Eventually, there was a minor incident, but I decided to take a break due to it anyways. All I remember is that Bnus was green then. So I took a few months off from the site and then I came back. When I came back, I had actually done a bit of growing up(ledgend don't lie).I tried to restart the RPing on the site, but that didn't end well. So we remain RPless...for now. I also got much more involved in the community then before and I started taking parts in playdates. I regret not doing that earlier, those were some great fun. It's one way to really get to know members. Nothing like a game of Halo to get people talking. It was good fun while it lasted, but eventually a few things came together and destroyed my ability to play online. Lack of gold (Which was somewhat defeated by the kind donations of various forum members. Thank ye kind sires.), terrible wireless internet for my Xbox and of course the 360/Xbone community split. Still, I had managed to get through the first GFW(For the Syndicate!), so that was nice. And that brings us here, where I pretty much try to turn up and poke my head in a couple of times. Of course I do find myself involved in other things. I did a podcast, though I don't think it ever saw the light of day. It was still fun. I got made MoM. I still don't know why. But yeah...it's been a hell of a ride. inb4 "'Tl;DR'" DD: "Being MoM means you set an example for members on the site by participating frequently and livening it up a little which is exactly what you did. You didn't ask for it either, that's how it works. Podcasts are always great fun. Shame to see the long hiatus of RPs though. What do you think of the idea of more ranks for members who have been here a while?" LDG: "Well you'd think I'd be all for it considering I myself have over 215 days spent online at this point. But here's the thing, how much of that was me actually participating in the forum? I just have the tab open while I'm off playing C&C or STO. So I'm against actually having rank tied to time online just for that reason. It doesn't really require any participation or communication with the community in any way. I'd also be against having it tied to "likes". I just see that leading to a whole mess of a situation where members would actually be going at each other for not liking their content, or spamming and promoting their posts in order to get others to like it. Post count seems fine to me. It at least encourages people to participate in the forums and bring forth their ideas or opinions. I feel like the number we have right now is good, although a rank for 1000 posts (comms blue pls) wouldn't be bad either. It's a number that requires effort to get, but doesn't seem impossible. Although there's still the question of shoutbox content. While there's one side of me that would like to see some sort of rank tied to shouts, the other side of me sees it as just another form of offbeat. I mean, anything goes in the SB(within raisin). People take part in the SB for the sake of it , same as offbeat. They're doing it because they want to, not because they feel the need to get a different colour. I don't think we should change that." DD: "A good answer! I know that it's been a discussion among many for a while now and I think you gave a well thought out explanation of why it shouldn't be implemented in your opinion. Ok let's get into some funny business here. Which would you rather do: be MoM again or temporarily ban RedStarRocket for 5 minutes with no consequences?" LDG: "While pink is very stronk, I don't think anything could compare to pressing the big "BAN HE" button on Red. It'd be glorious. I predict I would receive a strongly worded letter of complaint and be taken off his christmas card list." DD: "I told you there'd be no consequence for banning him but let's see what Red has to say about you saying you'd ban him . Good answer though I like it Ledgend. What do you think of your successor in the chain of MoMs, Delpen?" LDG: "I'll start off with what my immediate reaction to the announcement was: delpen pls But srsly, I thought Delpen was MoM already, which kind of says something in itself, but I don't know what. But he's my Buddy and he'll do a fine job of doing that thing the MoM is supposed to do. I look forward to reading his MoM post *HINT HINT COUGH HINT DELPEN PLS COUGH HINT COUGH WINK COUGH HINT*" DD: " You and me both! I think he forgot about the whole MoM post thing but hopefully this will remind him. Ok from MoM to USF President now, what are your thoughts on Yoshi being our Forum President for a second term? Are you a President Yoshi fan?" LDG: "Yoshi is my bro-hammer. He's already done one fine (extremely long and somewhat marred by insurrections and rebellions) term in office, he'll have another fine term this time! I'm confident he's the best, last hope for humanity and something something darkside." DD: "I agree I think Yoshi is one of the finest Presidents our forum has ever seen. Are you aiming for a spot on Congress?" LDG: "Me? Nah, I was apparently on the previous congress and we did...uh...nothing. But srsly, best of luck to the current congress. They'll need it." DD: "I was actually part of the previous Congress as well. I swear Yoshi just did a year as President it feels like! Ledgend if you could make up your own branch of 343iCF Staff what would the position be called and what would their job be?" LDG: "I actually tried to think of something serious, I swear. But the new staff department would be called the forum merheens. They fight for honour as forum merheens, as haler playehs and they fight in the name of the Twamperah. It would be their job to go and spread the love and kindness of Twam by reking face in Halo." DD: "So like missionaries of the 343iCF? Ok I can get on board with that. Tell everyone how great Twamis by taking their face haha so Ledgend where do you see yourself on the forum a year from now? " LDG: "Banned of course. Really, I don't give much thought to things like this. It's always ends up in a crazy place. I mean, a lot can happen in a year. But I suppose if I had to say something, I'm pretty sure I would be the same old grey guy hanging out in the SB. Well I hope so anyways. There's gonna be a lot happening for me this year, so who knows where I could end up." DD: "Well it's true what they say: You either leave or you stay long enough to see yourself become a villain. I think Abraham Lincoln said that about the forums back in his day. Alright Ledgend it's been good but we're gonna have to wrap it up finally. What advice would you give to newer members joining the site reading this?" LDG: "Avoid troublemakers like Ledgend1221 and Drizzy_Doge. And really, the only piece of advice I can actually give is get involved with the community. Talk to people on the shoutbox, participate in playdates and forum games, discuss things on threads and whatever else, it's all good. But the worst thing you can do is not get involved with the community. I would've wrote something longer, but to the point is better. Also, don't start every response with a bad joke and then say "but really" or "really" or "and really"." Thanks a lot Ledgend for participating, like I said I had a really great time with this one. I know the readers and the members mentioned sure will too. Thanks all for whoever read. HAIL
  14. Hey guys so it's been a while but Sikslik encouraged me to get these back and running again so thanks Slik and here's interview number 40, a follow up with Vitamin PWN. DD: "Vitamin, thanks a lot for coming back to do your second Interview with the Stars of the Community. What have you been up to on the forum lately?" VP: "Thanks for having me back for a second interview. As for what i have been up too, basically i've have just been hanging around here, talking with friends, making posters for Yoshi's presidential campaign, and basically anything to make the day go by faster lol." DD: "That's great . I know you've always enjoyed the USF Elections by Spyro for a while now. Could you tell us about your past experiences with them?" VP: "yeah i do love them, i think they are loads of fun. As for my experience with them, i mostly work as a propagandist for a candidate, which basically means i make them a ton of posters and things for them to use in their campaigns. I started many moons ago backing The Director in the first election,then i helped Zelda in her campaign, then i left the forums for a while and came back and i ran for a change, and ended up barely tying with Zebra then l helped Yoshi last election and now we're at this one and i'm helping yoshi once more" DD: "A former President of the United States of the Forum, that's a great thing to say. Yoshi was one of our best Forum Presidents to date. How do you fee about him being eliminated after the Pre-Poll and then coming back after Melody was disqualified and winning it?" VP: "I'd like to say as one of the biggest fans of the USF elections, this election has disappointed me with all the mudslinging being done towards the end of the pre poll.I understand that things can get competitive, but at the end of the day it's just a game meant for fun, and mudslinging and attacking other members over it make us as a forum look bad. and i hope nothing like this ever happens again. i was disappointed when he was eliminated because at the very least i wanted him to make the finals, and when he replaced melody it was bittersweet,i was happy that he got there, but it was sad that he didnt get voted in, but i was still ecstatic when he finally won. " DD: "I totally agree with you and that's actually why the USF Election Policy Update was put into place. It got a bit too hectic instead of staying a friendly competition between members. So the Spring Update is coming up for the forum in just about a month. Anything you want to see done or redone for the forum?" VP: "well like a few members posted in the spring update thread, i'd want the calendar side bar brought back, because it really made it easier keeping track of all the events we had coming up, other than that i really can't think of anything else i'd want to see done. I'd rather let more creative people come up with the ideas for the forums, that way i can be surprised by all the new features that get implemented when the update hits lol" DD: "Yes the Calendar has actually been brought up many times before so I hope it makes a comeback as well. Alright now Vitamin let's get down to business and talk Halo. Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta: what were your impressions?" VP: "yeah about the beta, i didnt actually play it, i didn't get on my xb1 for almost 2 months and the beta dropped during that time so i missed it " DD: " Hey that's ok it happens to the best of us. So if you've seen any gameplay, how do you think it looks in your opinion? " VP: "Now i haven't seen much game play, mostly because i like being surprised when i finally get the game, but from what I've have seen it looks good. It seems more fast pace compared to past halo games, and i like how you don't regen shields when sprinting. The ground slam ability looks pretty cool and while im not to crazy about iron sights being added im sure i get use to them real quick lol. Overall from the little bit of gameplay i've seen i'm really impressed and it's definitely gonna be a game i preorder." DD: "I played it and I actually found strategic advantage to all the new Spartan Abilities and not just aesthetic values and found that the new smart scope system is very useful as well! What are you playing nowadays VP?" VP: "i'm few games right now, i've been playing mostly Saint Row 4 and Gat out of hell on the Xbox one, and i just got Titanfall so i'm gonna start playing that soon, i have also been playing Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion on my PC, and AC: unity on the ps4." DD: "That's cool, good game choices there. Do you have a preferred next gen console?" VP: "No i dont really prefer one over the other, both consoles are great IMO,both have good things and bad things about them,and both have good games on them. That being said i've been focusing more on the XB1 lately mostly because played all the games on my ps4 to death already and im focusing on building my XB1 library" DD: "Very cool! I'm an Xbox One fan myself despite the horrible connection issues. Are you thinking about joining any Events in the future?" VP: "well i'm gonna join in Fishy's Titanfall event that's coming up soon, and i want/plan to join more events overall because i've been in a pitifully low amount of events in the past and i hope to rectify that. " DD: "That's great news! I hope we play together in the near future at an MCC Event. It's time to wrap this up now though VitaPWN. Words of wisdom for newer members in the community?" VP: "definitely, i look forward to playing with you and other members of the forum. and i dont really remember what i said in my last interview for my words of wisdom and i dont want to repeat myself lol, so im just gonna quote Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, 'Be excellent to each other and party on dudes!'" Thanks to everyone who read and thanks for the millionth time to Vitamin. If you don't know him you should talk to him, Vitamin's a very cool member and knowledgeable of the site.
  15. Hello everyone are you happy this one didn't take 5 months!? I sure am and I'm incredibly happy with who I got as my interviewee this time around. He's our head Forum Ninja! Onsokumaru, everyone. Enjoy: DD: "Onsokumaru! Thanks for complying to this interview. Ok here's something I've always wanted to ask you and it's very important. Where on Earth do you get your ninja gifs from??" ON: "I just want to say, all will be revealed soon.... As the ninjas will soon be getting new upgrades ;)" DD: "All the ninjas will be getting upgrades? Very interesting.. Can we talk about Ninjas and Forums and Forum Ninjas and Ninjas vs the Forums and any other combination of the two? How did getting your clan involved with our site hit your mind?" ON: "Well let me say that only a select Ninjas receive this upgrade! And I just thought hey a lot of people talk how they are lone wolves or how they're better by themselves, so I just wanted to see how the forum does if the work together! And from the past games they work really well! And Ninja VS The Forum became an event which brings the forum to work with one or another to see who's better, The Ninjas or The Forums?" DD: "Well your idea proved to be pretty awesome and very successful. So for those that don't know, who are your Ninjas that are also members of 343i.org? Let's out some of these guys here :shuriken:" ON: "Well only ninja members here are: Mayh3m and Spyro!" DD: "Mhm. I see. I'm fighting my suspicions about there being other Ninjas hidden among us and trusting your word on that . Onsokumaru, how'd you find your way to 343i.org?" ON: "That's a good question! Well let me see.... I remember back I was just looking around for halo help and such and I came across this site!" DD: "And we are all very lucky you did . So is there an initiation to becoming part of the Ninjas? Are you allowed to reveal such information?" ON: "Classified" DD: "A man of mystery I see . When you joined, who were some of the members that first made an impact on you?" ON: "Not really anyone impacted me :P" DD: "None at all? No one you looked up to? With that being said then onsokumaru, what would you say is your favorite thing about this community?" ON: "Well when I was first on the forum, I was still getting around so not much known yet lol and my favorite thing about the community has to be the dedication to halo! :P" DD: "It's true we are very dedicated fans of Halo and we really enjoy each other's company when playing. In the short time you've been here onsokumaru, you've already become the Member of the Month and part of the Staff on Promotions and Events. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by how much you've achieved in such a short amount of time or do you feel like you were meant to do this?" ON: "Well to be honest here I did feel overwhelmed, I thought I would be one of those members who wouldn't take this site seriously but I guess I was wrong!" DD: "You are great at what you do and we are all grateful for it onsokumaru. Since you've already gained some of the site's highest titles, are there other accomplishments you strive for? Maybe not a title or position but maybe an Award or just a general event to occur?" ON: "Hmm well I would love to help more out and maybe go for community moderator like you! but Promotion and Events is where I am, so I guess I am here for the time being :P" DD: "That's great goal and I don't think it's unachievable for you. Onsokumaru, do you have any words of wisdom for the members of the 343i Community?" ON: "Well members of the community, there is one way to get around here, and that is respect! Just treat everyone the way you would wanted be treated, and always think before you type because you only get one chance and if you mess it up, you will always be stuck with it... And who knows, if you treat other people with respect, the will treat you the way you treated them. So be polite, and respect one another. :3" Love the words or wisdom. Round of appluase for our whacky Promotions and Events Department's onsokumaru! If you don't know onsokumaru he should be on your list of people to meet! He hosts great Events and is a pleasure to talk to and is hilarious. Thank you all for reading. HAIL
  16. It's been about 5 months since one of these has come out and I'm ecstatic I got to finish one. This member was bound to get an interview with his passion for gaming news, his rise to MoM, and his story of how he turned over a new leaf. Guys put em together for Edward Kenway! DD: "Edward Kenway, it's good to have you for an interview especially with your newly achieved status here on the site. But before we get into that I wanna talk more about you before you were the MoM and before you were even Edward Kenway. Edward, some people in the community are familiar with you as OMEGA from not too long ago. Also, a lot of people don't know this but you've been here for quite a long time but didn't become active until just last year. What kept you waiting so long and what sparked your interest all of a sudden?" EK: "Well actually, you're correct Drizzy, I have been here quite a while. I joined up around June of 2012, and was here for a bit as your average member on the forums. After a few months, I lost my account on here, as I logged out and my e-mail got hacked, so I couldn't log back in, and I was really bad with passwords at the time. I regained my account when I popped back in around the beginning of 2013, and logged in by Facebook. A decision I regret now, I started getting into the Role-playing scene. During that time, I kind of laid low on the forums, not really 'contributing' per say. Fast forwarding a bit, since a helpful Community Moderator named Church and a close friend in Communications named Bnus began talking to me, I realized what I was doing was wrong, and pulled a 360. I decided to attempt what I'm skilled at, and work on reporting on News for the community. A certain MoM actually really inspired me to aim a bit higher as well, I remember when he was wearing the pink back in the Summer, I think that was the spark that attempted to convince me to join a better crowd, and attempt a better opportunity." DD: "Well you certainly have a knack for finding some great news. I make sure to put one of yours in the Wrapup when I can. When you started posting news, did you think MoM would ever be attainable in your future?" EK: "The idea passed around in my head but I always kind of shrugged it off, my goal wasn't ever to get an award, I just loved posting news, and, evidently, that got me noticed by some staff members like yourself. But no, when I began posting, I never really imagined myself in the position, my heart almost discharged out of my chest when I read my name on that post, because I was so in shock that I got it." DD: "It was truly deserved Edward and I can only imagine the excitement! So since OMEGA is in your past now and you are now Edward Kenway, does it bother you when members continue to call you OMEGA?" EK: "Sometimes it does bring me back to my past, which is what bothers me, not the members who do it. I still regret my past, and try to leave it behind, and usually that name pushes my actions back in my face again. It's incredibly alarming when someone looks at you with the knowledge of your mistakes and your fears. But, I realize it's gotten attached to me though, so the best thing I can do is remember what I did, and prevent it from bubbling up to the top again. But I never really cared what people called me honestly, it even says it on my About Me." DD: "That's a great way to think about it. It's not like any members are trying to disrespect you with it and I feel like you definitely understand that. Does becoming MoM give you bigger goals that you want to achieve for this site in the future?" EK: "Oh yes, definitely, I don't plan on stopping at MoM. I'll still do articles each and every day, still do Events when I can, and still defend the forums the best I can, even long after my MoM title is gone. In the process of doing that, I've set up my own personal goals, to eventually reach to far lengths on the forums. I always admired the now gone Absolute Dog and his status on the site. He was absolutely legendary, known far and wide on here, maybe even more than Twam. It's a high goal, but you set goals not just to reach them, but to gain new skills with them. A goal is much less if it is not a difficult expectation. People don't expect you to reach it, which is what makes the glory when you finally get to it so much sweeter. Which is why I'm aiming as high as AD's status." DD: "How very ambitious of you. So you're looking a possibly long career on this site! So Edward, do you feel you have obligations to the site as its MoM? If so, do you feel like we're expecting something of you as a Community or are you expecting something from yourself as our site's MoM?" EK: "The obligations I feel I have are the same as though I was a normal member, I simply attempt to follow the rules and put out daily content that the community enjoys, really nothing else. Being a MoM didn't bring any "weight" on to me if that's what you're wondering, it's the same, just a different shade on my name. I simply believe that the community (and myself) expects what it normally would, to be a good member." DD: "That's great Edward! And I've noticed you haven't let up at all which shows great dedication. When you get news, what types of articles pique your interest?" EK: "Well, I usually judge by community interest. I started out doing all types of articles back in, I'd say November or December, and then narrowed it down a bit. Really I look for what the community enjoys and reads, which, at the moment, is Titanfall, which is why I post a lot of Titanfall articles. Xbox One articles also get quite a few views, so I do post them regularly as well. It's not really what piques my interest, though that does play a part in it. For example, the recent article about the CEO of Microsoft stepping down, and someone else replacing him, I had seen about a day beforehand, but I wasn't all that interested in it, so I left it to our news group to do, despite the fact I knew it would be popular news among those in the community. I go by articles that are both interesting to me and to the community. I am very interested in Titanfall, despite the fact some think I dislike the game, which I don't, It does look like a cool concept, so since I am interested in Titanfall and so are the majority of users, I will post a lot of Titanfall articles near release." DD: "Catering to your community is what makes for great news Edward and I like that. That's what I try to do with the Wrapups. They can't be serious all the time, our community loves fun and jokes and laughter! Speaking of fun, what are some of your hobbies besides being our MoM?" EK: "Real life hobbies? Well, I'd have to say I do enjoy writing poetry and doing video editing if that counts, haha. I never really do "outdoor" activities. I do enjoy free-running and parkour though, still a novice in that field. My hobbies on the site are pretty much the same lol. Write news, edit videos, work on photos, and just chat. That's really it for me, I have few hobbies compared to most." DD: "Few hobbies but some pretty challenging ones. None of those things are really easy in my opinion. Edward I've noticed that even though you've been writing articles on the site for some months now, they've actually changed a bit. Have you had any help or guidance when writing your articles?" EK: "Actually, yes. I received a Personal Message from the news group member TheCooliestOne telling me he wanted to share the guidelines with me, as well as just give some tips. Then Red actually shared some guidelines with me as well to help out. Both really did an awesome job and I know they're trying to improve my skills." DD: "Like I said, it's showing. And I'm glad you're still putting articles out there even after The Pink Age of Piracy. I know it must be a little bittersweet going from minus green to the sophisticated silver color but what does this mean for your news articles? Will we still be seeing an Edward Kenway piece as often?" EK: "Of course, in fact, I expect double the articles now! When I was MoM, I had a lot of events going on my life as well as on the forums that got in my way. Now, I'm for the most part clear, so I expect instead of the maybe 6 articles a week, about 9-12 a week! Plus, a lot more news has been going on that I've been dying to cover, so expect quite a bit these coming months." DD: "Wow that's a lot. Let's hope your new doesn't get stolen again while you're at school! I certainly look forward to that and I'm glad to hear you won't be declining. So Edward, it's that time now. Time to finish up the interview with this Star of the Community. Edward Kenway, what words of advice or tips do you have for members who wish to seek and write articles the way you do?" EK: "Well, if you're looking to get into writing articles, just know this: Anyone with a passion can write the article, I myself have never taken a single professional writing class, and rather I study the topic that I'm writing about! No matter what age you are, no matter what your writing or grammar is like, if you have the passion to do it, you can! You just have to believe in yourself! That sounded corny, but it's true. If you're having further troubles, ask for some advice from a member of the News Group! Thanks for having me Drizzy_Dan!" No thank YOU Edward for participating. It feels good to get one of these back up again. More interviews with more special members are on the way so don't you fret! I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. PEACE.
  17. Good gosh it's been some time since I've gotten one of these done. I've been working on them believe me but with the laptop issue and school and work coming up things just really slowed down. This interview was maybe over a month in the making but one I was looking forward to. Ladies and Gentlemen, your September Member of the Month: Zandril: DD: "So Zandril, how long have you been Forging in Halo?" Z: "I forged a little in Halo Reach. But that was casual forging. I only started forging for real in Halo 4. So I guess you could say that I've been forging since Reach. :)" DD: "Casual Forging and Forging for real? So what divides the two? Is it the play-style of the map?" Z: "I think it is safe to say that the phrase casual maps is a category that are meant for maps that aren't very good for competitive gameplay. To understand the difference between the two categories, one merely needs to know what qualifies for competitive maps and for casual maps. I would define competitive maps as maps that can test the skill of an individual or a team and allow them to demonstrate their abilities in Halo. So, for me, competitive maps are maps that are designed in such a way that a player can show his skill at Halo. Of course, this is simply my opinion. I've heard other people say otherwise and cite different reasons. _________________________ Back in Reach, I forged obstacle courses, Horse maps, etc. Now in Halo 4, I forge competitive maps that are similar to maps that you'd see in competitive Matchmaking." DD: "Yea and I've looked through your maps and I'd say I'm quite impressed. So ForgeCafe? Is that your home forum?" Z: "Yes, I'd like to consider Forge Cafe my home forum. I love it mainly because of its community. The regular members there are as dedicated and friendly as one could ask for. The weekly Custom Game Nights can also be a blast to play in." DD: "Zandril how do you feel about the success of your Map Marker Pack? It was a great idea from the start and now it's blown up and is pinned on every map submission forum and recommended to be used by Forgers in the Meet Your Maker Dominion Forge Contest." Z: "I'm very happy about the success of my Map Marker Pack. If I counted the total number of downloads from the very first version to the latest, it'd be somewhere around 700 downloads. So yeah, I'm very happy with its success. My Map Marker Pack was actually inspired by Sillygoose's weapon blueprints. I used it a lot to improve the quality of my map posts and to give viewers more information about the map. But I noticed that the weapon blueprints don't always agree with the overview picture of a map in terms of contrast. So I decided to come up with my own weapon markers. And soon after that, I came up with images for gametypes, vehicles, and spawns. With some help from xAudienceofone from Forge Hub, I was able to make multiple styles for the markers making the Map Marker Pack what it is now. And I honestly didn't know about it being recommended for the Meet Your Maker Dominion Contest. But now that I do, then...yay! :D" DD: "Well that's amazing and I'm sure the number of downloads has doubled already! Zandril you post an incredible amount of maps in a short time and they're all beautiful for competitive play. These are maps that have time put into them it's clear. How many hours a week do you Forge would you say?" Z: "I'd say that I forge at most 5 hours total every week. This is mostly because during the weekdays, I'm stuck in my college and sadly, there's no Xbox there. The only time that I posted more than one map was just recently. About two days ago I posted three maps. This was because of a rainstorm that happened in my place that destroyed my internet connection. The silver lining is, classes were suspended for a week at my college, allowing me to forge for a whole week. I'm not saying that I forged nonstop for the whole week but I definitely spent quite a bit of time on those three maps. One of them, I started before the storm. So maybe I only made 2 and a half maps, if there is such a thing. Forging a good map requires time. And thinking. A lot of thinking. Back then, when I was still starting out as a forger, I made a lot of maps really fast. Sadly, all these maps came out mediocre because I was just placing pieces without any real thought process. Now, I'd like to think that I'm past my stage of mediocrity and am capable of producing a map that would really shine. Here, take a gander. http://www.343indust...ic/31044-xenos/ http://www.343indust...31045-praelium/ http://www.343indust...ic/31046-silex/" DD: "That's a little less Forging than I thought seeing as you post so many maps. I've taken a look at the last 3 you've posted and they look great. Thanks for providing the readers with the links. So Zandril! It's happened! Your work has been noticed and you're now 343i.org's newest Member of the Month? Are you totally out of your mind excited? Does it mean you might like us a little more than ForgeCafe *wink wink*?" Z: "Haha. I'm very excited about being 343i's new mother MoM. Out of mind excited eh? Uh, let me think. Yes! Uh, I mean, you know... no big deal. Liking 343i more than Forge Cafe? Allow me to present a list of my favorite forums. 1. Forge Cafe 1. 343i Community forum 1. Halo Customs 2. The rest We have a three-way tie!" DD: "I was only kidding but that's great to hear! I'm glad we made that big of an impression on you! So what makes those your top 3 Halo forums and what's different between the 3? What do you like most about each?" Z: "I love Forge Cafe because of it's community. A lot of the members there are very dedicated to the site and are very willing to help new members. They're fun guys to play Halo with too. Another thing that I like about Forge Cafe would be its friendly and more or less mature atmosphere. When you go into the FC shoutbox, there would be no curse words. No foul jokes. No cursing. Mostly because FC has an Oracle Bot that monitors the chatbox. But at least you can interact with it. Not to mention that the weekly FCCGNs (Forge Cafe Custom Game Night) are super fun. ___________________________________ Now, on to 343i. I like this place also because of it friendly atmosphere and community. But something that sets it apart from Forge Cafe would be all the events. One would be the Community Forge Project. I'd join the CFP if I had the time but college gets me pretty busy. Another thing I like about 343i are all the conversations. There's always a forum discussion that you can participate in. Forge Cafe and Halo Customs have their "dead" moments where there's like 2 guys in the entire site. I'm yet to see that happen here. ____________________________________ Now, for Halo Customs. It's simple why I love HC. Because of all the customs. I've lost count on how many hours of enjoyment Halo Customs gave me. There are customs happening everyday and it's not all map testing lobbies. There are lobbies for Flood. Lobbies for mini games. Lobbies for campaign. For Race. There are just so many to choose from and if one chooses well, he can have the best time." DD: "Well those are some of the best things about our site and the others. Speaking of Forging events, are you working on projects in our Forge Contests going on at the moment? The Free Roaming Flood Forge Off and The Meet Your Maker Forge Dominion Contest." Z: "Ah, those forging events. For the Free Roaming Flood Forge Off, I wanted to submit a map. But it turns out, my map doesn't qualify for the contest because I made it too early. It's a shame too. I honestly thought that my Flood map submission could've made it far in the contest. Not necessarily win the contest but make it far enough. It was the first Flood map that I've ever forged too. Despite that, I think the map turned out pretty well. Here's some pictures. ___________________________ I'm also not joining the Meet Your Maker Dominion Contest. For two reasons. One, I have college to attend to. Dedicating my time to a map would definitely get in the way of my studies and schoolwork and I'd rather not get distracted by a Forge contest. Two, I've never forged a map for big teams. As I understand, the proper amount of players needed for a Dominion map is more or less the same as the amount of players for a BTB map. I've only forged maps for 1v1 to 5v5. Haven't made one for 8v8 yet. And I'll still have to learn about forging BTB/Dominion maps as I have next to no experience to forging them. __________________________________ I wish I had the time to join both of them. But my personal schedule just didn't agree with the contests. Best of luck to the participants though." DD: "Wow those screenshots look great! I'm sorry you couldn't submit previous work Zan! And I'm sure everyone understands why you can't enter the Meet Your Maker Contest. It would've been awesome to see what you could do in that gametype though. So being mildly new to our community here at 343i.org, I'm sure you don't know that upon becoming MoM, each new one gets a MoM Wish that could be almost anything (within natural reason of course. For example, the Offbeat Forum is actually a MoM Wish of a previous MoM). Instead of asking you in your announcement thread I thought I'd ask you here and have everyone read it as one of your answers. So Zandril, if you had to make a MoM Wish, what would your MoM Wish be?" Z: "A MoM wish? This is quite the difficult decision. But I'm gonna make my wish a simple one. Can Zanny have a custom title?" DD: "You sure can! I hope you like it! Now Zandril, the community wants to know, what is your advice to the members that want to follow in your footsteps and make an impact on the Halo Community?" Z: "My answer: Easy. Just be willing to help anyone and everyone you can. Don't do it for the 'fame', do it because you genuinely want to help around in the Halo community. But know your own skills. That way, you can offer them at the area that will be able to make use of them the most. For example, you're good at forging. Then you give feedback to maps that don't get any. I guess I'm saying that you should stick to what you're good at. I'm no saying that you shouldn't try other things but it's important to know if a certain activity is just 'not you'. I can imagine if I gave tips to players on how to be a skilled Halo player. "You must abandon your teammates and rush the enemy position any time you want without and regard for teamwork!" That would have been a disaster. Another tip is, be nice. No one likes a ****** and if you get known for being one, it'll be very hard to get "******" off your plate. And, for one last tip. Listen to the people who are more successful than you. They most likely know what they're talking about and I'm sure you'll find their advice very helpful. That's all I can share because those are what I did to get where I am now." What an interview! That last answer was a little racy but hey! If you want to follow in Zan's great footsteps take that advice! Thanks guys for reading this, I know it was long but there were pictures! The pics were nice right? Thanks 343i.org and look out for some other good ones coming soon!
  18. BOOM! I just hit you with what could've been a third Double Feature but separated them! I separated them because each interviewee deserved to get their own shine for their time put in. This particular member is getting a LOT of shine however this month. That's because this member is our Member of the Month. Ladies and Gentlemen.... Spades N AZ: DD: "Spades N AZ, name origin story, GO! I've tried asking you in a lobby of yours once and you didn't want to answer so I'm asking for you to tell the community now!" SAZ: "I remember that lobby actually and I totally dodged the question that time but it looks like I have some explaining to do. I have been nicknamed Spades for a very long time now. The nickname came from real-life poker but the location and players associated will stay anonymous for several reasons. I won't leave you hanging, however, so here is a little background associated with the name Spades. I have enjoyed poker for 20+ years and have had my fair share of pots from playing. Enough that my friends stopped inviting me over on those nights, whoops. For example, for something Xbox related, World Poker Tour had over 3 million people playing and I stayed in the top 100, and as low as 62. Now the suffix tends to be very simple yet often misunderstood. Let's clarify that I am not a Russian Spetnatz nor do I have AIDS. But I can sometimes be a spaz because Halo is exciting. The real background is very simple and straight forward. For several years, when I lived in North Carolina, it was Spades252 ( NC area code) but before and after that it was Spades480 (once again AZ area code). Then I got sick of names with numbers after them and needed something original so I changed it to this one. I have always appreciated knowing where my friends are from in this great Halo community so I made it part of the nickname. Is that too long?" DD: "Nope that's perfect. Write to your heart's desire because we're here to talk and give the Community something worth reading haha. That definitely gets rid of some the mist shrouding your name's origin and I'm willing to accept that we can never know the full story . So Spades is it weird not being apart of the 343i.org Staff now? Do you see your name in the Shoutbox and give it a funny look?" SAZ: "I really haven't ever been someone who needed a title. So it really doesn't have an affect on me. I was helping Doggy dog out long before I became staff, however I could. I was just helping a friend with similar interest and a common goal. Which was, to make Halo better and provide an outlet for the voice of the community to be heard. When I met him we kind of clicked instantly. We both had a passion to serve and connect the Halo community. Guys like Absolute Dog, Warholic, Insane54, and Oakley HiDef(too name a few) are few and far between in this Halo world. They are natural leaders who want to improve the game they love." DD: "And I couldn't agree with you more on that statement. All of it, not just the thing about Dog, Insane, WARHOLIC, and Oakley. You've never needed a title. You are the host of the, hands down, best custom game lobbies in the Halo Community. Renowned by more than just our corner and HaloCustoms. Speaking of those Custom Games Nights, you've stopped a couple months ago. Now I've heard of plans of your return, how likely are those plans looking at becoming reality as of right now? SAZ: "Yes I have been killing time on Happy Wars and now Fable 3 until Destiny comes out. They are both great games but honestly just time killers while I wait for the much anticipated Destiny game. I have been on Halo a few times (3) since I left 4 months ago and the updates do not look like 343 is learning or listening to the community. Therefor, I am putting all my hope into Bungies (the creators of Halo) new project Destiny. However, to answer the question directly......... Yes CGN will return! When I stepped away from Halo 4, I realized that I missed the community and friends more than Halo 4 itself. I have even had gamers from Happy Wars send me messages, asking if I'll do CGN again. Custom games have been limited with the lack of options, that we got used to, from REACH. This doesn't mean that there are not amazing maps and gametypes that the community has created. From the beginning, I have tried very hard to let forgers get some exposure through CGN and I have neglected that service to the halo community. It will not be weekly anymore but I will definitely be doing random sporadic lobby's here and there. I never realized how much the community loved it until I left." DD: "But of course! You have, hands down, the best custom game lobbies on Halo. I'm not just saying that and there are many others that agree. I believe it was Psychoduck who said this when he was showcasing Squally's map for the Meet Your Maker Contest Runner Up Winner video and I remember thinking, 'That is so true.' Let it be known that I had only gone to your lobbies 3 times and those 3 times were unlike any others. Always something new and fresh, always a good job hosting. And I guess you could say that the Community also didn't know what it had until you took it away? And with what you said about waiting for Destiny and being disappointed in Halo 4, what would you say about your thoughts on what Halo 5 could potentially be like?" SAZ: "Thank you for the kind words Drizzy Dan. It was definitely good times and I miss the fun we had. As for Destiny and Halo 5. I have been back to play Halo 4 recently and played some terrible maps like Settler in matchmaking. With all the amazing maps that this community forges, why would they think that Settler is worthy of matchmaking? I don't feel that 343 is listening to the community and because of that they are loosing their fan base. The statistical plummeting numbers don't lie. Of all the games I have ever played, this is the most supportive community that a game has ever had. Without the support of fans their legendary game will end. Lets hope that Halo 5 can rejuvenate the hopes and trust that the community is loosing. As for Destiny....I CAN'T WAIT!!! It finally makes sense why Bungie would let their most prized game go. They had bigger and better in the making." DD: "Destiny looks fantastic and I've been into it, and I know many others have too, since before their ARG a few months ago. So Halo 4 is ultimately not looking good (to put it in a good way). I've seen the recent announcement for CGN's return and I'm flippin (to put it in a good way) PSYCHED. But now it's going to be on Halo 3? Why Halo 3 as opposed to Halo: Reach? Because I can certainly understand why you wouldn't go back to Halo 4." SAZ: "Halo 3 instead of Halo REACH? Good question. Most people who have played customs have started either on REACH or Halo 4 and many have never played Halo 3. This is one of the most loved Halo's of all time. The beginnings of forge, true matchmaking game list, great playable maps, and of course the largest and longest of any Halo's online gameplay. Many true fans of Halo (like Absolute Pomeranian) still prefer this Halo to any other. I personally liked Halo 2 and Reach more but that's because of the memories associated with them. As many people know, Halo 3 has been announced to be FREE during July to download. This means that those who do not have it can try it with nothing to loose but a lot to gain. My only advice for the CGN nights is try to RSVP (@Halocustoms.com) early and be online at least 15 min beforehand. I expect a ton of people trying to get in each night and those who RSVP and sent messages will have better chances of receiving invites." DD: "I hope everyone hoping to attend Custom Games Night pays attention to that answer and jots notes! Personally, Halo 3 was my favorite. So many good memories on there, I asked because it was the most recent Halo before 4. Thank you for clearing that up for us. So I might be jumping the gun here Spades but besides CGN's return, do you have any other projects in the making at the moment? Maybe some ideas that you'd like to see come to life?" SAZ: "Well you may not like this answer Sir Dan the Man but the answer is "YES", I do have other projects and ""YES" they involve Destiny. Unfortunately that is all I can say at the moment. Also for the record CGN may only be returning for the month of July. Whether or not it continues further is totally depending on the amount of people willing to go back and play Halo 3. If we rock the month of July, I may do Halo REACH the next month." DD: "Nonsense, I love every answer I'm getting right now Spades. I love that we're even having this interview at all! Alright so news was released that the teaser we saw at E3 for the next Halo was not Halo 5. With that being said, do you think that there's any hope in 343 rebuilding and regaining the love and respect of their fan base with this new game with this new game?" SAZ: "That is correct it has only been nicknamed Halo 5. Although you can't really give it a completely new title if the Master Chief is a character in it. Master Chief equals Halo, bottom line. So maybe another game like ODST or REACH, who knows. You know I hope that they learn from their grievous mistakes but as we approach the year mark rapidly, Halo is not changing for the better but rather still rapidly declining. I have been playing more Halo recently and the common consensus is that they only play because of the social interaction of being in large lobby’s with friends not because they like Halo 4. I wish that this new generation of Halo gamers understood why we are all up in arms about these changes but they tend to enjoy Halo 5 more than the veteran Halo players. So I think that Halo will always be able to continue but with a new and younger community which might be refreshing, who knows. However, I have a feeling that a large part of the community will shift to Destiny all together and the sales for Halo on Xbox one will be much smaller this time around." DD: "I think that that's a great observation and great assumption of what the future would be like for Halo and Destiny both. Well I've been waiting for an announcement to be made and it has. You're our new Member of the Month, our MoM. For someone who's never needed a title and always thanklessly supporting the Halo Community, does this feel like it should? Like you're getting the admiration you rightfully deserve? How's it feel MoM??" SAZ: "Haha well um thanks. I see this more as a pat on the back then a title. With so many great people who do so much for this forum, it does feel pretty special to be singled out. I can be blunt and straight forward with a lot of things but those who have truly taken the time to get to know me also know about my softer side. It's like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing going on. Disciplining the obnoxious or rude gamers in lobby's or verbally slapping a thread one minute. Then counseling someone in need of help for hours online or defending the guy getting bullied in a custom lobby. I guess that's how my passion for boxing was so misunderstood back in the day. People would always be shocked when they saw me in the ring because that other side came out. Usually I'm just seen as a 6'3" softy with a big heart who works as a L.M.T. Honestly that's the way I prefer it though. Oh and the part where admiration is deserved. No one deserves admiration or respect, too many people think it's owed to them. You earn those things in life by giving your time, energy, and most importantly respect to others." DD: "Well damn, if that isn't the most humble, modest answer I've ever read . Is it possible for this place to like you any more than we already do? Spades N AZ, you are a fantastic member not only of our corner of the Halo Community but across the whole shebang. Please give the readers some words of wisdom from your creative mind. And I mean that in question form. Will you please?" SAZ: "Well I will bestow to you my own life personal motto. Two words which will encompass a pathway to true happiness. Trust and respect. Think about it. If you offer these qualities to others then you would not steal, cheat, lie, or mistreat others, among many other things. These two words are important enough to me to have a tattoo of them. Demonstrate them to everyone and don't be fearful of it being maltreated. It is human nature to be guarded, but simple genuine feelings break down barriers which might prevent you from your next opportunity. You miss out on great friendships, job opportunities, and good times when you don't allow yourself to be free. More times then not, people will let you in. As humans we like to experience trust and know we are respected. Be the first to offer these fine attributes to others, be genuinely concerned of their welfare, and expect great results. The balance of life will return to you more than you give, if done selflessly. Apply this to your own life and test it out unless the super-fluidity of my phraseology is too copious for your diminutive comprehension." BOOM AGAIN! I just dropped the atomic bomb on you with the interviews! Everyone please thank Spades N AZ for this because I couldn't thank him enough. RSVP for CGN coming up July 12th right here! Thank you everyone for reading this because like I said, I'd just be an idiot without your support. PEACE. HAIL
  19. Ok so here's an interview I've been waiting to do for some time. Everyone should enjoy this read a lot. The Gryffin is a well liked member by all who know him here on the site and is part of a major YouTube Channel called The OnlineKnights. Here's my interview with GryffinGuy: DD: "Alright GryffinGuy, where does the name come from? You like Gryffins a lot yeah? :lol:" TG: "Gryffins, Griffins, Gryphons... however they're spelt. Indeed I do. I tend to write stories often during English classes and examinations at school, and depending on the stimulus I will usually write about the same characters and plot; A boy named Roger, with his pet Griffin, in the hopes to find the Griffin colony and set his free. I actually have a teaser of what I wrote in an exam, buried somewhere in the "Offbeat items" section... Anyway, Griffins have played a major role in my childhood, to the point where I decided to change my GT to the known: "GryffinGuy007". The word "Gryffin" is now used in almost all of my usernames online. The obvious change of the "i" to a "y" was done because, well... I thought it looked cool. You'll also know I'm a... sub-fan, if you will, of the James Bond series." DD: "Yes I've noticed you mark your signature maps like Shipwreck and Airliner with your 007 suffix. Two great Infection maps. So is that what you like to Forge most Gryffin, Flood/Infection maps?" TG: "I like to call myself an Aesthetics forger. Although I don't forge a flat canvas with various aesthetic creations on it (not anymore), my maps are focused mostly on aesthetics. I'll be honest, I can't help myself. I can't forge symmetrical arena-style MLG maps with no aesthetics; I MUST have aesthetics. You'll see its very noticeable through my maps - I don't focus so much on gameplay (as I probably should), I just focus on creating a beautiful map where players are permitted to soak in the aesthetics. To answer your question, as of this day I believe I have more Slayer maps on my Fileshare than any other gametype. These aren't typical Slayer maps however - I like to call them "Aesthetic Slayer" maps. I do enjoy forging Flood because there's plenty of room for aesthetics, so be on the lookout for any Flood maps being uploaded, especially after I had my first watch of "Zombieland". *hint hint*." DD: "You just watched Zombieland for the first time?? Well I'll take those hints that you gave as a clear indicator that you're still thinking of ideas but ultimately have no clue what you'll be making. I wanna talk about the OnlineKnights if that's alright with you Gryffin. The OnlineKnights are pretty well known on YouTube and in the Halo Community and I think it's awesome that you're with them. There was a time when people thought the OnlineKnights had disbanded or gone on hiatus. Why did people think that? Was there inactivity or did you guys really stop and then get back together again?" TG: "Since I'm somewhat new to the channel, I may not know of this inactivity. However, when I did join, the channel was very busy with a variety of new series' being released and welcoming the few new channel members - including me. So no, I don't recall the OnlineKnights disbanding or re-grouping, but we were settling in with a plethora of new additions to the channel." DD: "Really? I'm sorry I didn't know you were new to it! Well that sparks up some different questions then! Firstly, how did you come to be a part of the OnlineKnights?" TG: "Haha well, it's a long story, so I'll keep this as compact as I can. Basically, I've been running my own small channel for a little while. I didn't get as many views or subscribers that I'd hoped, but I continued. After watching successful channels such as THFE and The PFL, I realized I had to join a group - be part of something greater. Therefore, there'd be regular uploads, more recognition and I could be part of a great community. Robius5991, the obvious leader, had provided me with great feedback on my maps, on this very forum. I too, had seen multiple of his maps; they looked amazing. Eventually, he uploaded a video with one of his map submissions. I had a look at it, then looked at the channel, explored it - I saw it had... Almost 1k subscribers if I recall. Not too small, not too big. After OnlineKnights featured a few of my maps, I realized I could offer myself to the channel as a member, and continue my trailers and content over there. He took it into consideration, I gave him a commentating demonstration, and we had some later discussions. Eventually, I read through some Terms and Conditions, signed them off, and I was in. I haven't done too much for the channel yet, and I do have to be discrete in describing what's coming soon, but I'll be hosting a brand new original series which I hope will attract a whole new crowd, as well as participating in the others. I suppose that block of text I just wrote isn't really compact at all, but I tried. xD" DD: "No it was not compact I'll say that but I loved every bit of it. Now that is awesome. The want to go out and be something and help the Halo Community in some way has drastically decreased lately so you're doing a great thing Gryffin. I actually know of Robius, he's a Dedicated Member here on the site and is one of the 2012ers. So a new series you say? I know you can't go into detail but is this going to be a machinima or a map feature series? Can you just give us the genre of what you'll be doing?" TG: "Oh okay, if you insist. Trailers. Where the community has the chance to submit their map for a trailer, made by yours truly. More information on the trailer-submissions will be provided on the channel VERY soon. That it mind, I've actually began to direct a Machinima using users of this site, but also recognizable forgers as voice-actors. However, I'd like the series to be a surprise to the community, so I'll keep quiet" DD: "Trailers! Awesome! I love map trailers they're so much more interesting than fly throughs and such. That's a really cool project you're working on Gryffin. So how many of you are there in the OnlineKnights?" TG: "As far as I know, currently we have 9. 7 on our Halo team, and 2 on our Minecraft team. The 7 Halo members are: Rob, JKR, Tikitorch, Mimi, H2AKON, AbandondedData and myself. Some of us commentate, some record, some cover gameplay. In our Minecraft team, we have N1CK and 10chickens. There's also, however, a Pelican-load of players who have signed up for our Customs team. Although not 'official members', these people have first priority in our Customs. You can easily just ask to be signed up for this." DD: "You guys have a pretty close knit team of Knights! I think it's very cool that you are apart of this team and I love the idea of the upcoming map trailers. Is 343i.org your preferred Halo forum Gryffin? You will not be shunned if it is not :lol:" TG: "Oh, most definitely. I'm so glad you asked that question. Not only is this my preferred Halo forum, but my preferred website. This forum is unarguably the most amazing website I've ever been apart of. The community here is amazing, and surpasses all others: by being so kind and organized. This has been my most memorable and satisfying experience... ever...of all time. I've met incredible people, such as my big brother-from-another-mother Azaxx, and the moderators, such as yourself. I can't express my deep love for this forum enough; it's sparked almost all of my hopes and dreams. I first came here for THFE, but now I come here for the community." DD: " Excellent answer. Not just because you made this your home but because of the reason why it is your home. We fall into the same category there when we're talking about just over the top excellent members coming together to be a close knit community even though there's quite a bit of traffic coming on the site. So Gryffin would you say you enjoy Halo 4? Because Halo 4 has not only gotten a lot of flak from the Halo Community, it's been nuclear bombed. What are your views on it?" TG: "To be completely honest with you, Drizzy, I don't mind Halo 4. Sure, Halo: Reach's forge was sleeker, and more refined, but I guess we'll have to make do with what we got - and we got a fair bit of new nifty objects. I feel the Multiplayer is tighter, but lacking that teamwork touch due to the lack of Falcons available. Overall, I felt Halo 4's Campaign was utterly amazing; truly one of my most memorable gaming experiences. That aside, there's really no need for all this hate towards Halo 4. It's a relatively good game - not great, but not terrible. Some aspects are pulled off remarkably well, some not so. The fact that the Multiplayer is now dead, saddens me, as this may be the fall of a once brilliant and renowned franchise that has shaped not only my life, but I'm sure others' too." DD: "I love Halo 4 and I think the gameplay is great. I don't play it all that much but that doesn't mean I don't like it. I think you made very strong points and these are clear to the community. What do you think about 343 handing the Flood Playlist over to the community and using some of our maps and gametypes? Do you think they should do this with other playlists as well?" TG: "I very much appreciate 343i handing over the playlist to the community. My friend, Auxi Klutch, was one of the three whose map got into Matchmaking. Other friends are either having maps considered, or participated in the creation of the new Flood gametype, Hivemind. Handing the maps over to the community for other Matchmaking playlists, may not be so fantastic. For playlists such as Action Sack and Skirmish, community maps would be very beneficial. However, for playlists such as Big Team Battle and Team Slayer, the map list may begin to clutter with arena-style symmetrical maps. I'm not suggesting that's such a bad thing, but 343i's beautifully crafted maps may go to waste. I enjoy the beauty and aesthetic-appeal of the standard maps in Matchmaking, as they provide a sense of variety. I do, however, really get a kick out of playing other forgers' maps and seeing what they've created. Seeing some beautiful, asymmetrical maps in the other playlists would be a nice sight to see though." DD: "Astoundingly put my friend! And although I don't think it'd be so bad if they took out Settler and let in some more Community maps in BTB, I like the idea of maps being put into Skirmish and Action Sack. Action Sack has a lot of potential for minigames getting put into it and that would be AWESOME. So ultimately I agree with what 343 did here and it's pretty cool that one of your buddies got their map into the Flood playlist. Well Gryffin, it's been a hell of an interview. It's time to conclude and give the people what they want though: a published version . Gryffin, what's your advice to members of the Halo Community who wanna go out and do something in it like you have with the OnlineKnights?" TG: "There's a simple process you may undertake in order to be greatly involved in the Halo Community. YouTube channels or clans tend to be the best option available. Whether you're like to forge maps for the community, provide them with combat tips or just wish to provide entertainment, you may not know it but you're already doing something for the community. If you'd like to get recognition for your efforts, submit your doings to a channel. I can really only go into detail with FORGING in the community, so here we go: Start with submitting your best map to a small channel, that have moderately low standards and are willing to accept your submissions, however not too small to not get any feedback from possible viewers. Once your map review has been uploaded, your self-esteem fires up, at the feedback begins to roll in. Congratulations, you're already recognized, but don't stop there. Work your way up. Submit your maps to gradually larger channels, and be sure to ALWAYS soak in and consider any feedback given by viewers - even if they're not forgers. Uploading your maps on this very forum is a great way to request feedback and constructive criticism. Once you're recognized, as you'll quite easily discover, consider giving back to the community who raised you up. Either start your own channel, or join another. Commence reviewing others' maps. Doesn't even have to be on the YouTube channel either, simply chat to someone having trouble forging on XBL, and raise their self-esteem. That's really all the tips I can give you, as it's pretty much exactly what I did. Thanks for listening!" That's it right there guys. That was The Gryffin of the OnlineKnights! Shout out to Auxi Klutch in our interview. And you heard it here, 343i.org is his home! Thank you Gryffin you were freaking awesome and thank you members who read these and actually think they're cool. Without your support I would look like the biggest idiot ever! There's another on the way and it's as big as this one if not bigger. Stay tuned.
  20. Thank you for clicking this link and I promise I will not let you down with this one. I mean did you read the title of the topic? It's ZELDA! She's been a member here almost as long as I have and is one of this site's leading ladies if you ask me. Here's my interview with Zelda: DD: "Hey Zelda, when you joined I knew you as IrishElf. What's your background with Zelda and why'd your change your name to it?" ZA: "I have always wanted the name Zelda on different sites, and usually its already used by someone else. So when Vitamin Pwn told me it wasnt taken, I asked him to change it for me." DD: "Alright fair enough haha. Zelda you've been frequenting the site for over a year now, what do you like most about this site? What keeps you coming back here?" ZA: "Thats an easy question. The people. The member's of this site. I have made many great friends and its the members that kept me coming back. Its my virtual home. In fact, if I am not on here at least once everyday, it drives me crazy. I like coming on here and making sure everything is going ok, and that everyone is well. But there are those times when I miss something and I feel bad for missing it. Like how I missed you becoming Mod for instance. But alas, at least I got to congratulate you anyways. :)" DD: "That just happened 2 days ago! You didn't miss it by much! But I know what you mean. Everyone takes an absence from the site for one reason or another and it's well known by anyone who has that real life takes priority when something comes up. You were gone for some months not too long ago though, what was going on in that time if you don't mind me asking?" ZA: "Well, I was kinda gone from here for a few months. But I was actually checking in everyday at the end of the day before bed. I wasnt in the shout box because I was only on here long enough to check for mails and do a quick look through the threads to see if I had missed anything. But during my somewhat absence, I was in the middle of moving everything out of my dad's house before it could go into foreclosure. Seeing as how I had just lost him in February, I didn't want to loose everything he and my mom owned. My sister, Chantay was here as well trying to help out with the packing and everything. But now that everything is done and over with, I can finally just sit back and enjoy the forums like I used to before January. Well, as long as my internet allows me to enjoy them. :)" DD: "I'm very sorry to hear that but I admire how open you are with sharing that with the Community Zelda . What are you excited to see on the site when you come on and what do you enjoy most when coming online?" ZA: "I think what I get excited about is seeing member's get promoted a new staff position or making it to MoM, or even turn into a Trusted Member or Dedicated Member after all the work they have put in. As for what I like to see, is more the fact that we all like to joke around and play with one another. I also like looking at people's art and seeing their forge maps in the pictures. :)" DD: "Those are some of my favorite things too for sure. And I've noticed you've reached Dedicated on the site not too long ago so congrats on that! Let's talk Xbox One. What do you think of it from what you've seen so far?" ZA: "And thank you. About Xbox One.... Well, I can say is that its not something I am interested in. I'll not go into detailing it, because there are people who do want it and are anticipating it, and I dont want to ruin the excitement that they are feeling towards the Xbox One, by going into a rant. But I am definitely buying a PS4 when I have money saved up for it. Well, actually I will be buying three PS4's eventually. lol But I will say this, I will be keeping my 360. There is a Fable Anniversary, (that I am ecstatic about) coming out near the holidays and I need my 360 in order to play it. ;)" DD: "Big into Fable? Which do you like more, Fable or Halo?" ZA: "lol. Sorry guys, I have been a much longer fan of Fable than I have with Halo. :P" DD: "Oh no! The dreaded answer! No that's totally cool there are many members on here whose favorite game isn't Halo. Zelda if you could create a site Award, what would it be and how would people get it?" ZA: "A site award? I've thought about it before, but never really asked about it. It would probably be the Triforce, and to get it, you'd have to be seen doing 3 of the things in which the Triforce stands for. (Power, Wisdom, Courage) Power- Win a game on Halo with the community of 343i members Courage- Stand up for the members of this forum whether on xbox or right here on the forum Wisdom- Make some really good posts As for what it would look like, well, a smaller version of whats on my profile. DD: "That's actually a really cool and really creative idea! I think it's great that it's a challenge to get! So if you were offered a Staff job on the site, Zelda, which do you think you'd take if you could choose?" ZA: "A staff job? Well, I'd rather them (the decision makers), decide which one I most likely qualified for and to see how it would work out. Never hurts to try something new. :)" DD: "Alright just wanted to see what you were thinking if you were thinking about it! Alright we're hitting the end of June and our amazing MoM, Beckoningzebra1, is about to serve his full term. Is there anyone you'd like to see get Member of the Month for July?" ZA: "I know i have always wanted to see ZB-85 become MoM. But I dont think he's been on enough recently. Bloody Initiate has done some amazing posts. He doesn't talk to anyone, but I have seen his posts. And Zuko is on rather often." DD: "ZB!! I've wanted to see ZB become MoM since I got here basically. He was my first interviewee. Sadly he isn't as active anymore, no. Those are some interesting candidates you have there though! I guess we'll see in some days! Now it's been an amazing interview and I know a lot of members are going to have a great time reading this so let's bring this to a close. Zelda, what are your words of wisdom to the new generation of members on the site?" ZA: "Just keep posting, having fun, and that sort of thing. And that I'll see you around the forums. :)" Now you can't sit there and lie to yourself and tell yourself that that wasn't a fun and interesting read! Zelda is a great friendly member on here (Azaxx can vouch for that) and she's always willing to make new friends. More on the way soon thanks for reading the 34th installment of Interviews with Stars of the Community!
  21. Hello everyone my latest interview is with the newest member of the HaloCustoms Staff: Flying Shoe ILR. I've played with him before and he seemed like a really cool dude and I wanted to find out more about him and thought the Community would like the read. We mention relations between us and HC briefly and mostly talk about what he does. Enjoy: DD: "Hey Flying Shoe so how did you come across HaloCustoms back in December?" FS: "I first heard about it when it was just getting started. Insane was talking about it with Psychoduck and a few others and so I also came to hear about it. I was actually offered a staff position back in the beta days of the site, but I turned it down at the time because of school." DD: "Interesting! And a good segue into my next question. I want to ask you how do you think you got the position of Staff on HaloCustoms?" FS: "For a long time on Forge Hub I was a member of the Tester's Guild, and I was writing long, detailed articles on map design a weekly basis because of this. I've also been a fairly active member of the community for the last 3 years or so and in that time I've proven that I can deal with people fairly well, both in good and bad situations. I think those would be some of the main factors." DD: "Excellent. That's always something good to look for in Staff members. HaloCustoms is much bigger now than it was back when you joined. Have you noticed any major changes in the local community?" FS: "The community is still fairly similar as to when it started. It's much bigger of course, but for the most part people have been friendly and interested in the game and the site from the beginning to today. Everything is very loose here so long as no one is causing any problems, bot those have continued to be few and far between." DD: "That's awesome, yea one of the things that attracted me here most at first was how nice and interactive the Staff is and how dedicated everyone was to this site. Along with the way the RSVP system works. That I thnk is amazing. What do you feel the biggest difference is between HaloCustoms and 343i.org?" FS: "I haven't spent a lot of time on 343i, though I think the main differences is that Halo Customs is focussed on getting people into custom games primarily. The site also has a lot of other features common to Halo sites, such as sections for forge, discussion, etc... but the main feature here is customs, and therefore the point to get more people to play Halo." DD: "Definitely a noticeable difference between our sites. The lobby system on HaloCustoms is more convenient for that. So being affiliate sites, do you ever feel there's a competition between us?" FS: "I haven't really seen any major competition between HC and other sites. We've had a few friendly custom lobbies between members on other sites, but HC is more interested in cooperating between different halo communities." DD: "That's excellent man. Yea I never felt like our sites have had any competition but I ask because there was a member from HC who brought it up in our shoutbox recently and I wanted to see what someone on the Staff here had to say about that. So Flying Shoe how long have you been apart of the online Halo Community? Did you start at Forge Hub?" FS: "I found FH during the last year of Halo 3, about 11 months before Reach came out. I got Halo 3 a few months later and started forging on foundry and such, though I didn't have Xbox Live Gold until a few months into Reach. That's when I really started designing, testing, and polishing maps and posting them to Forge Hub. Over the next few years I kept at this, met a lot of cool people like Psychoduck and MockKnizzle, who are also staff here, and just slowly improved and got more integrated with the community. When Halo Customs was just starting up I jumped over here and made it my new "Hub" so to speak for forge and other things in the community." DD: "So a long time now I see, that's really great dude. So what's your favorite thing about Forging in Halo? Your favorite aspect of all that goes into Forging.' FS: "Well, a lot of what I love about forging is that it's very easy to make something tangible, something you can play within a relatively short amount of time with other people and something you can polish and feel good about. Other programs allow you to design in much greater detail exactly what you want, but forge allows you to take an idea from concept to playable product very quickly. I feel I have learned a lot from being able to build lot's of maps, realize both what worked and what didn't, and then apply that knowledge to my next designs. The fact that we have such a large community to help is another huge aspect of forge, as well as the fact that we can design for Halo, which immediately puts it a step above other in-game editors for me, even if they may offer more freedom." DD: "I have to agree with you. Being able to spontaneously change something in a map you or someone else Forged is a very handy aspect that Halo has over other games. So are you active on other game forums or is HaloCustoms where you reside?" FS: "I am slightly active on a few other Halo forums, as well as the website Polygon, but nowhere near as active as I am on Halo Customs. For the most part yes, this is where I reside. :)" DD: "That's great haha. Flying Shoe where do you think you'd be without HaloCustoms?" FS: "I might have gone over to The Halo Council. I know a few people over there and they have a good setup over there. If nothing else had worked I had considered just talking to people over XBL and keeping up with people." DD: "Well being Staff on HaloCustoms I think that you are doing much more for the Halo Community than if you were on Xbox just keeping up with people and since you do your part in the Halo Community, I decided to interview and let them know your point of view and what you're like as a member. So Flying Shoe to wrap it all up, what words of wisdom do you have for the members of the Halo Community? Maybe some who want to become Staff on a HaloCustoms like you." FS: "The best advice I can give there is just to be cool. The people that I'm most happy to see on HC or any part of the community are those people that have a level head, common sense, and enjoy being here and playing halo. Having a good attitude is everything. That's not to say that you can't have complaints about aspects of the game or community, but there is a difference between that and being a negative nancy. Also, always know where your towel is. Those things are damn useful." I have no idea what that last line about the towel meant but it was great! I think he had strong closing words that the Community should adhere to. Thank you Flying Shoe for taking the time to do this interview and I hope to see more of you around. And thank you 343i Community Forum for being you! PEACE.
  22. This could be the most exclusive interview since the one I did with Absolute Dog when he returned from his leave of absence last year. For the current newer members, he was the first Site Moderator on this site. He was the first Man in Orange. Please read my interview with Bob: DD: "First thing's first, here's something I've been interested in for a while now. Bob what's the picture? Your profile picture I mean, what is the story behind that? I heard there was one haha" BOB: "A story? not really.. But I believe the picture it's itself was apart of some album art by the band "Nirvana". I like it cause of it's retro comic book feel and the phrase "Don't Be Stupid" is one to live by... plus I like the irony that it's coming from a blonde. I've been known to sport many-of psychedelic wallpapers/profile pictures in the past. I thought this picture would round that style out." DD: "I thought you said there was no story! That right there is a very interesting one! Bob, how often are you lurking on the site these days?" BOB: "I lurk about a handful of times a week for a few hours, mainly the general discussion and the halo 4 sections. I find the "View New Content" tab at the top can hold some interesting stuff, mostly random though." DD: "The 'View New Content' tab is my home. That's where I always am on the site and that's what I use to refresh the page I love that tab . Being the site's first Site Moderator, what do you think has changed about that position today?" BOB: "Well the forum was younger back then and required ALOT less attention. Nowa days I have no idea what the mods are going through. But in the early days at the dawn of Spectral Jester, the staff always tried to retain a liberal sense of power. With mainstream community outlets being so ban happy it was obvious members appreciated our laidback staff, even today. I like to think that part hasn't changed. With all the members and sub-sections there are today I would imagine mods having to check their logs and flagged reports a hell of alot more frequently than before. I just hope the shoutbox isn't as tricky to edit and remove shouts as it once was, maybe a few updates took care of that. So to answer the question: more work, I'd have to guess. Few people are even aware that I was the first, and some may not believe because of the creation date my profile displays. The date is inaccurate because of some bug back when the forum switch over to the lovely IPB Board we see today. Because my profile was created back when the forum was using phpBB and any profile created in the phpBB forum experienced minor cosmetic bugs when we upgraded to IPB. Unfortunately the true created date to my profile maybe lost in cyberspace but I assure you I was here when Twam made the site live. To set the record straight, Scotty was not the first moderator." DD: "Thank you for letting everyone know all of that because I agree, I don't think many in today's population know that you were the first in the orange letters. Although back then all the Moderators were blue on the phpBB version of the site right? Anyway, so is it true you know Twam personally?" BOB: "Can't quite remember if it was blue, this place has gone through so many changes. For the better, clearly. Twam? Personally? HA! Nobody knows Twam personally... Nobody..." DD: "So it's true then? He's really a Canadian spy and no one knows exactly what he does other than that? . Bob do you plan to come back and catch up with the site and maybe become a Moderator again?" BOB: "That's classified... I haven't given up on Halo or the community unlike most classic Halo players. (Halocharts says it all) Time will have to tell that one. If I did desire to come back as a mod I would have to go through the staff ranks as a Cmod since the the forum has so much structure now. As for the foreseeable forture, I have made no such plans. BUT If there comes a time when my assistants is required I would gladly reenlist." DD: "Classified answers. I love those, it makes me want to find out even more! Well Bob that's actually great to read and I'm actually surprised to hear that you think you'd have to come through the ranks of being a Community Moderator first, I would think that they'd put you write back in orange after some weeks of being a secret Mod. So let's jump to your status now then. What did you think when you became a Legendary Member? Any opinion of the Legendary Member status?" BOB: "Honored. The Legendary Member Group still had a fresh face when I was put into the group. I think it had more to do with the timing of me stepping down as a mod. But respectively, I feel it was "overzealously bestowed" on me. This profile has a low amount of posts especially for a mod. Though my time as a mod had me do some of our first events and forum activities as well as alot of back door things, deleting spam and monitoring an in some cases restarting the server. (we had some server problems back then) My time started to fade when jester joined the ranks, he was fast and stayed on for long hours checking reports deleting spam and banning bots (thank god we don't have these spam problems today) he was beating other mods to the punch to be frank, which in any case is a great thing. As the staff grew I found I couldn't insert my efforts as often as I once did. after being idle for a month I asked to step down, Twam sorta gave me, what I like to call "a time of purgatory" to think about it. After I insisted I was moved to the Legendary Group. my time as a moderator is just history." DD: "Wow that's an interesting perspective to have on your time here on the site. Very humble but raises some questions for me which is great because we're doing an interview! . Would you do anything different with your active time as a Site Moderator if you could have?" BOB: "lol That's a frugal question. Thinking about what could have been done in the past is quite fruitless, and it's something I try not to do. I try not to think, I let impulse guide me through my choices in life." DD: "Indeed, I didn't want to ask too much haha I wanted to separate that from this question: Do you have any goals you still wish to achieve on the site?" BOB: "definitely! and plenty of them. Will I [reveal] them? No... These concepts are classified and have yet to be implemented. but heres a hint; more Halo content, much more. Lets just say I still have a few aces up my sleeve. in a biblical sense, of course." DD: "Alright!! Now those are the kind of answers we love to read! I was thinking there had to be some reason you were lurking more often lately. What keeps you returning to the site after so long?" BOB: "The community.. and my love for Halo... Plus you can always find some good reads and info around here." DD: "Community, was the number one answer (Steve Harvey on Family Feud voice). Bob, it's been a great interview do you have anything to say to the Community? A message, advice, etc?" BOB: "if i had to give some last words to the halo players (if you could call it that) 'Keep your chin up and your DMR straight'" That was a very rare interview and it meant a lot to me to talk to Bob and get to know more about him. It was an honor truly, and thank you Bob for taking the time to get the interview done. I hope we can talk more even beyond this interview because of all the older Staff members and Legendary Members, you are the one I have hardly ever talked to. Besides Twam of course. Thanks for reading everyone HAIL !
  23. Here it is, part two of the second Interviews with the Stars Double Feature! Here's a member of one of the most esteemed Forging and map reviewing groups in the Halo Community, The Halo Forge Epidemic, and their Dominion specialist: AbleSir Thomas. DD: "AbleSir Thomas, how long have you been involved in Forging in Halo?" AST: "I started forging soon after the launch of halo: reach" DD: "What interested you about Forge in Halo: Reach?" AST: "I enjoyed playing playing Invasion in matchmaking. Unfortunately 2 maps just wasn't enough, so I set out to forge my own Invasion map. My first map was called Outpost FW. It was an invasion map that spanned most of Forge World. I spent about 6 months forging it. Of course being my first map, it was a colossal failure." DD: "That sounds really cool! So how did you get noticed by The Halo Forge Epidemic and become part of it?" AST: "After about a year into reach and 2 failed invasion maps, I joined a random custom game. Oakly was host, at the time he was testing his "Island Complex" map. It looked great, but played awful. After everyone in the lobby said it was awesome, Myself and Yardbird told him it had issues. We brought him into forge and explained invasion theory. He was impressed. One thing led to another and we made our first video explaining basic invasion design on spire." DD: "That's sounds pretty awesome. Were you familiar with THFE at the time?" AST: "At the time of that custom, I had no idea what THFE was." DD: "Wow and you became part of the biggest and most knowledgable group of Forgers in the Halo Community! And what gained you the title of being THFE's Dominion Host AbleSir Thomas?" AST: "When I started playing halo 4, I immediately became fond of the Dominion game-type. It has many of the cool game-play elements from Invasion (attack and defend game-play, heavy weapons, lots of map movement, etc) but with more flexibility for forgers. I focused all of my efforts into learning and building for the game-type. I collaborated with allot of talented forgers and players. We worked to identify similarities between the Matchmaking Dominion maps. We then implemented those ideas in forge, which resulted in some quality maps. This process is still ongoing. Most of the maps we've worked on have seen hundreds of revisions, to nail that Matchmaking feel. Here are just a few of those projects. Outpost 7.4 by Unwanted soul 91 Catacombs by Wraith 2098 Corrosion by AbleSir Thomas Scrapyard by Mexican torta 7" DD: "I know Wraith and Torta and I know they're very skilled Forgers and I've actually played and featured your map Corrosion and it's not only a very good looking map but it plays very well. Thomas what do you think is the most underrated aspect of Dominion? What do people overlook most that you think if they appreciated, they'd enjoy it more?" AST: "One of my favorite aspects of dominion is base busting. Breaking an enemy's teams control over base and clearing it, is one of the most exhilarating experiences in Halo multi-player. This is achievable on all of the MM dominion maps. The basic strategy is to send players to the "weaker" base, ( the base with less players usually) have those players surround the objective and attack from multiple angles. Sometimes you can have players in a position to cutoff or delay reinforcements to a location (ghost is boss at this). At times this results in epic, almost "movie swat team" style base clears. Assessing a team's control of a map and breaking that control, with smart decision making and teamwork, is really what makes Dominion awesome." DD: "That absolutely makes Dominion sound cooler to me than it did before although I was a fan of it already. Would you argue that Dominion takes the most skill and strategy to play than any other objectives? And why?" AST: "I wouldn't argue that it takes the most strategy. Each game type supports certain elements of strategy. The strategic elements in Dominion are just different than other objective game-types. Dominion is less about individual skill and more about teamwork. Examples include: Making call-outs when ordinance is available (both friendly and enemy). Calling out enemy positions and using team-shot or ordinance to deal with aggressive pushes. Quickly moving ordinance to powerful positions to counter enemy map control. Timing an attack on a base to deny a resupply or steal power weapons as they drop. Putting pressure on a base to allow for a flank at another base. Deciding when to reinforce or abandon a base. Exploiting weaknesses in base defense setups, to allow a capture( sending a rocket guy through an unprotected doorway). Most of the strategy in Dominion focuses around communication, quick decision making, and team coordination." DD: "Very interesting! So AbleSir Thomas, what do you look at when reviewing a Dominion map?" AST: "I first check the basics. Things any map should have. Does the map have playable frame-rate? Can player orient themselves and navigate easily on the map? Is the map interesting? (height variation, visuals, theme, etc.) Does the map have good movement options? (good cover, routes, and proper sight-lines) Then the dominion specific stuff. Traits that all of the MM Dominion maps share. Alpha/Charlie segmentation (Sight lines between Alpha and Charlie must be blocked) Bravo Dilemma (Bravo is the only base with influence on both opposing bases. This can be based on sight-line control, route control or both. Bravo is somewhat difficult to hold) Alpha/Charlie flank (At least 1 path between Alpha and Charlie, that Bravo has little control over) Objective based spawning (You spawn at bases you own) Well placed Objective drops (At least 2 per base, on every resupply, in easily accessible locations) Vehicles (Must be in accessible locations. Are a part of base balance) Base layout (Proper segmentation, at least 2 entrances, and some verticality) Dominion objects (Base stripes, barricades, base shields, turrets, and monitors all add to the "MM Dominion Feel") Of course on top of all this we vigorously play-test possible features. The maps usually undergo a dramatic evolution over the duration of testing. Some maps have had massive rebuilds to accommodate feedback. While others have had a large amount of minor tweaks. My Map Corrosion has been completely rebuilt from the ground up, about 4 times. My new map Impass has already had it's Bravo base rebuilt." DD: "Wow so much more goes into Forge than I thought haha. So let's get into the knitty gritty part of being apart of quite possibly the most renowned Forge map reviewing team: The Halo Forge Epidemic. Recently you were a part of a predicament with a mapmaker who submitted their map to the Competitive Map Submissions for THFE. When you give feedback to Forgers and it's something they don't want to hear and they react in a negative way? What do you do about that? What do you say to that?" AST: " But in all seriousness I do my best to work with forgers to improve their maps. I try to clearly communicate my feedback. I will often join authors in forge after a game. To provide suggestions and seek a "compromise" to address an issue. In the case of the Submission forums, I don't have time to play maps for authors. There are just too many submissions. I look over them in forge and try to make them aware of "potential issues". I also do my best to test maps. Most of my feed back in the competitive forum invites players to submit to TNT, to get a wide variety of opinions from forgers and players after a game. FlyingShoe ILR made a very interesting write up regarding feedback, I recommend forgers read it." DD: " Great answer. So AbleSir Thomas, it's been great and it's time to end this thing and post it and give the community something very fun to read so I ask you: what is some advice you give to learning Forgers or to the Halo or Forge Community in general?" AST: "To forgers starting off. I recommend doing your best to be open to input and suggestions from other forgers. Look at whats popular (in Customs and MM), try to figure out why those maps work and try to "assimilate" those ideals into your own forging. With these ideals in mind you can add your own twist based on your personal preferences and creativity. Attend as many customs as possible, try to connect and network with as many forgers as possible. As a forger your supporting the community. When you respond to input and integrate good design you will create maps that the entire community can appreciate." Everyone please give a hand to THFE's AbleSir Thomas, the operator of Tuesday Night Tests which he mentioned in his next to last reponse. Catch TNT here. Also fun fact: in the question about Forgers reacting negatively to feedback, AbleSir originally just used the picture of Ackbar for his answer which I thought was hilarious but then later edited and added text because he wanted to give a good professional response, which he did! Thank you AbleSir Thomas for taking the time out when you could to complete this interview and thank you 343i Community Forums for showing your support in these little threads. HAIL
  24. Here is the first of the 2 interviews in our second Stars of the Community Double Feature. This was one of my favorite interviews I've ever done and I really hope you guys like it. I give you DocSpartanO07: DD: "DocSpartanO07, what's the story behind that name?" D07: "Well, back when I created my live account, I went by txdandit911,back when the original Xbox was out. When Halo 3 was released, I dropped the 'bandit' and replaced it with 'Spartan', I pretty much only played Halo, so it fit. The 'Tx' was there because, well I'm from Texas. The O07 was added because the first random service tag Halo 3 generated was O07, I thought it was funny, so on it went and its been my service tag ever since. My first username here was 'TxSpartanO07'. After I enlisted in the US Army as a combat medic, everyone called me 'Doc', so after some suggestions from AD and the other long time members of the forum, the TX was dropped and Doc was added, I also changed my GT to reflect 'doc'. So, pretty much every part of my GT/username has at least some meaning." DD: "It certainly does and that's pretty awesome. There isn't one bit of your name that doesn't have meaning to it . Ok Doc, being a long time member I know you have tons of memories and I've seen you post in SykoWolf's Forum Memories thread some of them but do you have a favorite memory on the site? If not could you just tell us one that really sticks out to you and why?" D07: "Well, my favorite memory? That's a tough one, my time here has been full of great ones. But one that really sticks in my head was while I was deployed to Iraq, I had a really terrible day, lost a soldier that day and had been working for at least 14 hours. I remember walking back to the tiny little room I lived in and just couldn't stop thinking about my day and how out right mad I was at EVERYTHING. When I got to my room, I changed out of my dirty uniform, laid down on my bed, opened up my laptop and logged on to 343i.org, and to my surprise, my username was purple, I only had like 75 posts at the time so I was kinda confused. Then AD chimed in on the shout box and said "Hey, we promoted you to trusted, to thank you for your service to our country". I was shocked, at that moment, AD nor anyone on the forum knew about my day, and at that moment, the thoughts of my horrible day went away. I remember feeling a tear roll down my face when I read what AD said in the shout box, to have someone appreciate what you do, even on a really bad day, when things don't go right means a lot in my line of work. It was that moment when I knew I belonged here in this community. The support I had from AD, SJ, and the other long time members during some really bad times made a huge difference in my life, and I can't ever do enough to repay the community for it. Since that day, I have been around. After deployment I took a break cause I spent lots of time with the family, but popped in from time to time. I will be here till the end, period." DD: "That's incredible Doc. That's nothing short of an incredible story, truly. And just so you know, we do all appreciate what you do. 3 of my best friends are going into the Marines or are Marines so I very big respect for them. And your dedication to the site is uncanny and it's to no surprise that you are a Community Moderator here. Doc what's the biggest difference in the community from now and back then when you joined the site in 2011?" D07: "What's changed? Well, the obvious stuff for sure, looks different here then when I joined, there are way more members, things are a lot different in that aspect. However, to me, it still feels the same. The community has grown, and grown better. There have been some shenanigans in months past, some members not around anymore that I thought would be here forever. But I feel like the community is stronger now than ever. Its an even bigger part of my life now. I've seen the community grow from a small group of buddies that love Halo, to what it is today, and I love every minute of it. Its like having a family that keeps getting bigger. The way some of the members pulled together to help me get this Minecraft server up really shows how close we really are. I've grown also, I love being a Community mod, I'm very honored to hold the position, I'm still surprised everytime I log on and see my name in blue, lol" DD: "What a fine answer . And we love that you're a Moderator too Doc, you do a great job. Now speaking of the Minecraft server you guys just put back together, who do you work with and why go through all the trouble that you guys did to get it back up?" D07: "Ahhh, the MC Server...well, we almost had the thing ready to be opened and the host did a server upgrade and they screwed it up and we lost a month worth of work. I then swapped to a new host and we got right back to work. We felt the project had to be finished, it was a no fail mission at that point. My son, who is a member here, ThomasScott02, wanted to build a server. I had never done one before, so we decided to build one for the community. I thought it would be a good way to show how much I appreciate what the community has done for me. Its my gift to the community. So, I paid up the host for a full year, posted up in the forums asking for some help. As of right now, the people working with me are skummgummigubbe, HaloGeek, ThomasScott02, Azaxx, DoctorB77, Zaguroth, Church, and D-38 Boss. I can't thank them enough for their help and dedication to the project. It couldn't of happened without them." DD: "That's just awesome Doc, really. And I hope you guys get a lot of members to join your server. Now jumping from Minecraft to Halo Wars, I know I know what you plan on doing with it but could you tell everyone else what your plans are for Halo Wars Play Dates and anything else involving Halo Wars on the site?" D07: "Well, I wanted to host a weekly or monthly play date for HWs. It is tough to host a play date every weekend though, with all the kids and work and stuff going on, lol. What I would like to see happen with the play date is gain some demand for it. To be honest, I would like to see more members participate. We had a decent turnout last time, but for it to really take off, there has to de a real demand for it. My plans from the start were to run a few play dates and judge interest on HWs, then at some point, host a competition, something like a simple elimination, games of 3v3, 2 competitors fighting it out and the 3rd player being the host that is just there to observe and judge the contest , and the last man standing advances to the next round of the competition the following week, this would continue till we run out of players, last man wins. Give prizes to maybe the top 3 from the competition. I think it would be fun, and something fresh for the community that hasn't been done before here. But the bottom line is, members have to come to the play dates for it to really get going. It will also take more than myself hosting, If we have a few members in the first round, it will take a few hosts to get all of the matches played in a reasonable amount of time. I believe I will post up soon about the next play date, so stay tuned for another announcement on the forum!! I also have some ideas for a Reach FireFight competition, but that's a whole other conversation, lol." DD: "Another conversation?? Nonsense you're being interviewed my friend! What are your plans for the Firefight Play Date? :D" D07: "Well, I thought about putting on a firefight tournament at some point. I think it would be simple to do. Have 3 competitors and a host that observes. The three competitors play for points. At the end, the player with the most points wins. I come up with these crazy ideas because I like every aspect of halo, and I believe the more we tap into the areas of the games that we tend to forget about, the more fun we will have over all and it will bring the community closer together and offer something for just about everyone. Keeps the excitement of just playing with our buds going strong." DD: "Absolutely, I totally agree with you. It's like we forget about the things we used to play that were fun at the time and we think they wouldn't be fun anymore but if we gave them a try again we'd remember why we loved them. What's your favorite aspect of Halo?" D07: "Well, what got me into Halo when C.E. was released was the story of the Chief. To me, he's one of, if not the best character ever created in a video game. The Master Chief is one of those rare people that when you put him in motion, he will not stop, no matter the cost to complete the mission, period. In the Army, we follow what we call the 7 Army Values, they are Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. Among these, Selfless Service is what motivates me, and the Master Chief is the definition of Selfless Service, in all the Halo titles, and all the books, the Master Chief does whatever it takes, and he does it for those around him, he puts himself in harms way for those that cant. Its the same thing that motivates me when it comes time for me to do my job. So, in a nut shell, the Master Chief is what got me so into Halo. When the times comes to do a soldier's job in the worst conditions and situations, you have to fight like you are willing to lose everything to complete the mission, or you WILL fail. I learned that from the Chief, that's how he does it, and it works for me. :)" DD: "And everyone on the site can see your selfless service Doc don't think it goes unnoticed, we all appreciate it for sure. I don't think a lot of people know however that you're in the US Army doing that in real life as well. Can you give the readers a brief history of how you joined the Army and juggled that with life on the site?" D07: "Sorry in advance for the long answer, lol I appreciate everyone's support from the community, you guys are awesome. Lots of times I feel I am unworthy, I'm just a soldier doing my job....the best I can. Well, I enlisted when I was 33 years old. Before I was in the Army, I had had several different jobs, I worked in California for a while building racecars, was a truck driver for a few years, I even did a little time in Law Enforcement in my early 20's. I had lived quite a life and done lots of things, even been a real race car driver, owned my own car and everything. After driving trucks for a few years, work started to slow down and I was feeling the need to do something bigger, as in bigger than myself. Me and the wife walked by a Army Recruiter's office one day in 2009 and I said 'Babe, I should join the Army' and she said 'Go for it'...so in I went and got some info and told the recruiter right then 'Put me in the Army, Sgt. I need to do this' I refused any job but Combat Medic, its all I wanted to be. I wanted to live for others, as so many had lived for me in the past. I had always wanted to join, but real life always got in the way, but I felt it was time to just go for it. I always felt like I owed a debt, my Grandfather served in the Army and Deployed to Normandy during WWII and landed on the beaches on D-Day. He was in an Armored unit and rolled up the beach in a tank, his tank ended up being destroyed and my grandfather was badly wounded, he told me a medic saved his life that day, he told me he never had the opportunity to ask the medic's name, because he got him out of there and ran back into the storm of bullets and explosions to get more soldiers out. My Grandad said he wished his whole life he could just tell that medic 'Thank You', but he never saw him again. This happened years before he married my Grandmother and before my mother was born. So, if it wasn't for that medic, doing his job, no matter the cost. You guys wouldn't have the Doc around. I owe that Medic my life. That's why I serve, that's why I do what I do, to give someone else what that one medic gave to me. My Grandfather passed away when I was 15, he was 74. He lived a pretty good life, too. Juggling the Army life, a family, and being a part of this community is no easy task. But I love every minute of it. When I first put on the uniform I knew this is where I belong. This is what I was meant to do. I found this Community while I was Deployed to Iraq in 2010/11. And I belong here, I don't think my life while deployed would have been bearable with out this community, and I think I am a better part of this community because of the army. Soon I will be talking with all of you from beautiful, sunny Afghanistan, and I wouldn't have it any other way." DD: "That's a truly incredible story through and through and I hope that everyone who sees this reads that answer fully. You live a very fulfilling life and your wife sounds really supportive of everything you do which is just awesome. You're so ambitious Doc which is a great quality because you don't take it to the point of arrogance. You never feel like you're owed something and that's beautiful. You have my utmost respect. So is there any goal that you wish to achieve here on the site?" D07: "Goals? Um, to not get destroyed on every play date!!! LOL. Seriously though, I don't know where I'll go from here in the community. I like things to be a surprise, being a community moderator was more than I ever thought I would get to do around here. But, if I had a goal, I would like to somehow get us all together in real life for a chance to shake your hands and play some Halo together via LAN party. I think that would be awesome to do like once a year. I can't think of another way that things around here could get any better for me. Its been nothing short of amazing to be a part of this." DD: "Wow that would be ASTOUNDING. Doc, it's really been more than a pleasure to interview you honestly. Can you please give some words of wisdom to our newer members who are reading?" D07: "Well, to the newer members...Welcome to the best Halo Community on the net. Treat others how you would like to be treated. Take your time, don't get in a hurry to make a name for yourself here, respect in the community is earned and that takes time. Be yourself, I promise you we will like the real you better than anything else. Most of all, remember, every Halo title is different and each one had its strong points and weak points, look for the strong ones and you'll continue to love Halo as I have. One more thing, us mods are not here to make your life hard, we are here to make the community the best it can be, for you guys, cause we love the community and its members." That's it guys! That's part 1! I hope everyone who read enjoyed it and now understands Doc a little better. He's a truly great and dedicated member who only wants the best for this site and all members should strive to be like him. Thank you DocSpartan for doing the interview and thank you again for being patient and waiting for it to be posted. Part 2 coming soon.
  25. For those of you who have been wondering why you haven't seen an interview in a while it's because I was waiting. I was waiting and waiting for the judging to end so I can interview the winner of the Meet Your Maker Forge Contest. I thought I'd be talking to someone who didn't really have much of a care to give his thoughts out to the community (no offense Redemption) but this individual turned out to be the exact opposite and then some. He's one of the unspoken voices in the Halo Community that needs to be heard. Please read my interview with the grand winner of the Meet Your Maker Forge Contest: Redemption1272. DD: "Hey Redemption 1272, how long have you been Forging in Halo?" RED: "3 years, about 500 plus map concepts that have never been truly finished. So much testing I cannot even fathom how many test lobbies I have had with all those maps, I was lucky because of being in a clan at the time. I was never able to publish anything because I didn't have a harddrive, but when I got one I must have published around 30-40 maps. In other words, I have forged so much I have lost track of how much I have done. Wasn't a big forger in halo 3 because I had to sell my Xbox at the time. When I first started forging, I was honestly a terrible forger. But after countless maps you really start to realize what the community likes." DD: "That's an insane amount of Forge time and absolute HUGE dedication and that's what we love to see in the community along with how well your maps are put together. Edifice, the winner of the Meet Your Maker Forge Contest. How long has Edifice been in the works?" RED: "4 months and still ongoing. I am still taking in feedback as I hope to see the map in the throwdown playlist. Ghostayame has already shown interest, so I am excited to see what the future holds." DD: "Again, extreme dedication shown there. For people who don't know, Ghostayame is a former MLG pro in Halo (before Halo was dropped from the Pro Circuit) but is still considered one of the top players and has been since Halo 2. So Redemption how do you feel about your map being picked out of 103 to be the winner of a major Forge contest and gaining all the prize and praise? How does it feel to have your hard work pay off and finally be rewarded on a scale as big as this?" RED: "Odd... maybe I am still interpreting all the mixed feelings. Being recgonized like this is a huge step for me as a forger, and it has shown not just in the contest but the FFA and all the youtube channels. I feel unsatisfied in my creative mind oddly enough. Plan to build more, as I love to step into that new realm everytime I develop a map. That in a way is where I feel amazing, doing better than I did before. So the best thing I can say is, I am not done yet. You ain't seen nothing yet." DD: "Awesome! Love it Redemption! And that's a big deal with Forgers and Forging you know like you're never really done when you're passionate about it and you and all the other participants of the Meet Your Maker Contest embody what it means to be passionate about Forging. What inspired Edifice?" RED: "Competitive Asymetric Arena design. Not a lot of maps like that and maps that can be compared to hyper competitive maps like lockout or guardian. Even those maps had their flaws, I wanted to make a flawless Asymmetry design that can be on par with maps like the Pit or Sancturary. Fast-paced, aggresive yet enjoyable gameplay is something Halo 4 lacks in most maps. This experience is sorely needed on top of clean, aesthetic and ORIGINAL forging. Something the community truly desires, and thats what forgers forget. I forge for the community, not myself. So to answer your question, Edifice was inspired by a combination of everything I have done so far." DD: "That's very admirable of you and I gotta say when I played Edifice in the Community Forge FFA Playlist, it definitely lived up to that. Such a fun map, I kept thinking though that I'd love to play Team Slayer instead of FFA on it. Now, Meet Your Maker Play Date held by 343industries.org. Are you gonna be there? There's no date and time yet just know it'll probably be a Saturday and probably and all day event." RED: "Disappoint my new fans? heck no, damn straight I am gonna be there. I am still taking feedback mind you. All day is a tough cookie but I will show up one way or another. Plus spades would kick my A** if I didn't show up." DD: "You don't have to stay all day but we'd sure love to see you there at some point and I'm glad you're going to show up! So how big a fan of TheHaloForgeEpidemic and Ducain23 would you say you are? Were you a fan of any of the judges in the contest by any chance?" RED: "Honestly, I wasn't a big youtube watcher until my map Imago got featured back in reach. Ducain's channel only came to my eyes through the annoncement of the new Cartographers. Plus, Psychoduck was and has been a phenominal BTB forger and someone I respect a lot for his skill and determination, and I only watched THFE whenever he got featured by them. I feel a bit disrespectful on that regard, as THFE has done so much work over the years. My bad, I do feel I should be more interactive with the channels. They are both dedicated to halo and all it's aspects, that I can respect. Their work leads towards a better halo, nuff said . Saltykoalabear, Warholic, Alzahran, are all really respectable forgers. They are all so humble, specially Salty. Bro hug!" DD: "There's no rule that says you should be following them and all their videos haha you're a Forger and that's what you do. You respect the judges and their work in Forging and the Halo Community in general and that's enough and probably all they ask for you know, someone who participated that appreciates the work they put into judging over 100 maps for this contest. So why is Redemption1272 the name you stick with? What's the story behind that GamerTag?" RED: "Do you remember the halo 2 lan parties?. I do, too well. There is where my passion all began for halo. Some of the best friends in the world back when I was 16, who just played halo for the heck of it after school, during exam week, birthday parties and just whenever occasion suited us. That was the nickname I went with at the time, just random really but that was my tag. That time was the best time of my life, I will never forget it. Only one of those friends will actually get to read this, and he knows of what I speak of. Thats a part of why I forge, because I want people to experience that we only live once. Those friends that you may never see again, will always have some place in your heart. That friend is who introduced me to Halo, and to this day he is still the best friend I could ever have. My passion and strength comes from them and all those who appreciate good halo. So in a sense it's an attachment of old but fond memories, that is why I still believe Halo will never die." DD: "Incredible Redemption. You have quite the way with words and what you wrote was truly special. It was also a very wise thing to say because the truth of it is that Halo won't die. As long as you have the memories and a friend, you can recreate those memories to the best of your ability in the newer Halo and gain some new friends. So, is this friend well known in the community? Can we know the name, maybe give a shoutout to this friend of yours who you've spoken a bit about already?" RED: "He isn't someone known in the community. While I cannot say his name, I do hope to see him in the future of Halo as his passion is very much similar to mine. Maybe one day you will get to know his name after this, but not today. To my friend, I hope you get an xbox soon so we can have a hell of a time testing maps." DD: "That's a great shoutout and I hope he reads this at some point, he sounds like someone you're very close to and someone who could do good in the Halo Community and Forge Community of Halo like you do. What are your plans now, directly after the contest? Do you have other projects in the works or are you just chilling and playing the game mainly focusing on updating Edifice?" RED: "Updates on Edfice will continue but my main focus will be School then my next big project. The greatest of all the maps I have made. Such I feat will not be easily met but with the new forge Island, I think something will come along. Minor changes and adjustments are all waht Edifice needs at this point and will only come with feedback. At this point I am chilling out this week, taking my time and just listening. I hope to continue helping the community grow and I will continue to do so." DD: "And that's all nothing short of fantastic I can't wait to play on Edifice in the Meet Your Maker Play Date and see your future creations which I hope you post on here for everyone to enjoy and praise. So Redemption I gotta ask you, do you have any advice for up and coming Forgers?" RED: "Never just forge for yourself or self gain, always be open and always be different. We don't grow as designers by closing our doors to opinions, so be open to even the negativity. Make bridges with people, be honest but respectful, never say never and lastly but not least remember why you play and to always improve your skill not just as a forger but as a player. A better understanding of the game will lead to greater designs. As a friend has said, keep your head small and keep on forging." That's all folks! If you didn't like that interview I hate you... Just kidding but what's not to like!? This man is incredible! Gifted with the ability to understand Halo not only on a Forge level where you create cool and competitive maps but on a community level saying not to build for yourself, accept any feedback, improve, and repeat! I truly enjoyed this and I hope you did too. HAIL
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