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Interview with Narcogen, of Rampancy.net

 
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MainAdmin
Ogre Tamer
Ogre Tamer

Joined: 11 Apr 2004
Location: Comfortably numb

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 6:23 pm    Post subject: Interview with Narcogen, of Rampancy.net Reply with quote
Narcogen

Here's an interview with one of the pillars of the Halo community (read: old dude), Narcogen, proprietor of a fine establishment known as Rampancy.net.

Taso did an excellent job with the interview. Read on!

*********************************************

Taso: To start off, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to read and answer the questions I, and the rest of HIH, have.

Narcogen: My pleasure.


Taso: On to the questions; Could you tell us a bit about yourself? Your name, age, where you live, and so forth?

Narcogen: Sure. My name is David Josselyn, and I'm 34 years old. I've lived for the past six years in Almaty, Kazakhstan, which is a large country in Central Asia, wedged between Russia and China.


Taso: What got you interested in Halo?

Narcogen: I've been a Macintosh user since the early 1990s, so I was familiar with Bungie's early games. I was an avid player of the Marathon series, and I enjoyed playing the first two Myth games to a degree that was completely unjustified by my meager talents with the game (to which others in the community with whom I have played may attest).

Narcogen: Early in 1999 the Blam forums opened with what seemed to be mysterious hints about what Bungie's next project would be.

Narcogen: By mere coincidence, I happened to be watching the QuickTime feed from the MacWorld show in New York in 1999, and was shocked to see Jason Jones demonstrate Halo running on a Mac in real time. At that point, I was hooked.


Taso: How did you get to where you are today? An important position on a prestigious website.

Narcogen: Wow... Not sure I would put it that way, but if you insist!

Narcogen: Also in the spring of 1999 I met several other people in the Blam forums; one of them being Rob "Noctavis" Swenson. He had run a Myth website earlier, and we started talking together about doing a Halo website that would be HaloNews.com. However, at the end of that summer I moved to Kazakhstan where my access to the Internet was severely curtailed.

Narcogen: Noctavis instead began to work with Tyson "Ferrex" Green, who had also been involved with a Myth site formerly, as well as designing Myth levels. Ferrex had a site called The Core (it didn't have it's own domain name at that time).

Narcogen: However, Ferrex had registered the name "Rampancy.net" with the idea of using it for a Bungie fansite. Eventually, both HaloNews and The Core identities were dropped, and Ferrex orchestrated a change of the site's design over a dramatic series of days into something that is quite recognizable as today's Rampancy.net. I wasn't involved with the site very much at that time, although I was a great supporter of the idea of using the "Rampancy" concept for the site, and being inclusive of all Bungie games, not just Halo.

Narcogen: Later I joined Rampancy.net's staff as a newswriter and editor, and eventually took over the hosting duties as well. Many community members, including other Rampancy staffers, drifted away from the community after the Microsoft buyout. Ferrex himself now works at Bungie, so for the better part of the site's existence now it's been mostly me.


Taso: What do you like most about Halo?

Narcogen: What I like about Halo is what I've liked about each of the Bungie games I've spent any amount of time playing-- an attention to details that goes beyond what is strictly required to have successful games. The Marathon and Myth backstories are incredibly detailed; and while Halo's story so far seems to have been drawn with broader strokes, it seems to be getting ever more interesting as it goes along, and is able to fill in details that can't be squeezed into the games by using the novelizations.

Narcogen: I like that Bungie doesn't just put out the basic elements of its backstory and leave it at that-- here are some aliens, kill them and go to the next level. If you want to enjoy the game on that level, you can. However, if you choose to, there are all sorts of other things to wonder about-- like who the Flood really are and what they want, what the Prophets knew and when, what will happen as the Covenant collapses-- things like that; questions that don't really ever come up when playing a game like Doom, for instance.


Taso: How well do you think Bungie's done with Halo 2, Xbox Live, and all their updates?

Narcogen: Given the sheer ambition of the whole project, I think they've done fantastically well. In fact, I was pretty skeptical about their ability to pull it off at the start. Before Halo was released, the last time Bungie had done a first person shooter, the engine was still not true 3D and all the enemies were sprites. The game had no built-in capability for playing over the Internet, just over AppleTalk LANs, and the AI was pretty simple-- enemies overwhelmed you more with strength and numbers, rather than intelligence, because when enemies were merely sprites you could load up a lot of them on a screen without much problem.

Narcogen: Myth, of course, did have Internet multiplayer, but the demands of an RTS game in this respect were quite different than those for a shooter. Again, the AI in Myth didn't have to be groundbreaking because in most encounters you were seriously outnumbered, and enemy behaviors were tightly scripted. The game engine again was not true 3d and the units were still sprites.

Narcogen: Rather than going down the 3d road with shooters, as Id Software did when transitioning from Doom to Quake, Bungie changed genres; so they had a lot of technological catch-up to do to vault Halo to the forefront of the FPS genre; in terms of graphics, in terms of AI, and in terms of networking.

Narcogen: On top of all that, they had to do this for a platform that was brand-spanking new, and make it all work on a console, where shooters had not been the most popular or successful games.

Narcogen: I think the fact that Microsoft is persevering in the console space and releasing the Xbox 360 this fall is in large part due to the success of Halo and Halo 2. If those two games had been flops, would Microsoft be seriously still pursuing the console market? I wonder.

Narcogen: Xbox Live play was of course another hurdle to leap over, and while the implementation certainly wasn't perfect from day one, it has brought the kind of Internet multiplayer that's been ubiquitous in the PC space for quite awhile now to the console, where for a long time it was something that was merely talked about. An improved version of Halo 2's matchmaking scheme is become the de facto standard for all Xbox 360 games. Halo 2 is by far the most popular Xbox Live game.

Narcogen: So, yes, I think it'd be hard not to call Bungie a success at this point.


Taso: Who is your inspiration? Who made you what you are?

Narcogen: Well, you see, you have these two bees...
(Note from the desk of Taso: This made me laugh a whole lot)


Taso: What would you like to see in Halo 3?

Narcogen: I think my most fervent wish for Halo 3 isn't anything I want to see. I want to be surprised. I want to see the story develop in a way that is entirely consistent with what has happened so far, and yet is something that no one predicted.

Narcogen: There are also things I don't want to see. I don't want to see it turn out that Humans are Forerunners, for instance, because I just think that's far too trite and obvious. We'll see, I suppose.

Taso: How good do you think the Halo Movie will be?

Narcogen: I think that so far the way everything has been done seems to indicate that everyone involved wants to make a film that will be true to the Haloverse that fans see in the game and to some extent in the novels. So far it doesn't look like anyone is taking the cheap way out, and nobody is pushing Bungie's visions off to the side to make something completely unrelated, as one might argue happened to the Doom movie.

Narcogen: Aside from that, I think it's way too early to tell. Myself, I don't think I'll be wholly satisfied unless the Halo movie is as good a film, compared to films in the same genre-- and by that I mean science fiction-fantasy, not videogame adaptations-- as Halo is compared to other games in the same genre.

Narcogen: That is a pretty tall order. So far, the pedigree of those involved seems consistent with getting a result of that level. Whether the project reaches its potential is something I can't really guess at until we start to see what those people do with what they've got. However, at this point I think there's every reason to be cautiously optimistic.



Taso: Enough with the work/halo related questions...

Taso: Do you have any pets?

Narcogen: Not at the moment, no. My parents and my in-laws both have cats, and an ex-cat of mine lives now in the Washington, DC area. The rumor that she is in fact a lobbyist for the Kazakh government is, of course, a scurrilous and unfounded lie.

Narcogen: Before that I had a goldfish that became ill and had to be euthanised with vodka. But that's another story.
(Note from the desk of Taso: This made me laugh for ten minutes)


Taso: How many siblings do you have?

Narcogen: Two. My younger brother is better known as Blackstar, and my younger sister is better known as someone who doesn't own an Xbox. However, her Bungie pedigree is safe at least insofar as I once managed to convince both of them to play through all the Marathon games straight through in a single sitting.



Taso: What's your favorite food?

Narcogen: That's a loaded question. But to try and come up with an interesting answer, I'll say plof (also sometimes written plov) which is an Uzbek national dish consisting of meat (usually beef or lamb) and rice, carrots, and onions, cooked in a large dish.

Taso: Oooh... that sounds REALLY tasty. *mouth waters*


Taso: And my final signature question; Do you like pie? And if so, what's your favorite kind of pie?


Narcogen: I'm more of a cake person than a pie person. Chocolate cake with chocolate icing.

Narcogen: If it has to be pie, then it's pecan pie, without a doubt.

Narcogen: And with that, I'll shut my pie hole.

Taso: Well said. Good man, good man.


Taso: Thanks again for taking the time to answer these questions, and I hope you have a great day ^_^

Well, there you have it. A day with Narcogen. Nice guy...

Good morrow Rampancy
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WonkierBubble

Joined: 12 May 2005
Location: R.I.P LTL ELITE and little zanzang

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
ooooh good interview, although what is rampancy.net?

lol J/K, i know what that is silly!

w00t first post!


Last edited by WonkierBubble on Thu Nov 03, 2005 8:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Keasbey

Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio Clan: HimpactRetards

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Nice interview taso. Learned a lot. Keep up the good work.

-Keasbey
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TheMaker420
Movie News Crew

Joined: 02 Jun 2005
Location: Teh Movie Critic

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Wow Taso, very interesting interview man! Great job thinking up all those questions.
PS: I also got a new GT Taso, so send a FR to TheMaker420

~Maker
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Taso
Interview Staff

Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Location: Sharing the HALO GOD's wisdom

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
will do chief. Thanks for the comments, and Duke... I will ALWAYS ask the pie question...

always.

good morrow Rampancy (Ironic that I use the rampancy smiley Very Happy )
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El Bastard

Joined: 30 Dec 2004

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Narc is right about one thing...

He did suck at Myth Mr. Green

Nice to see many old bungiefen out and about after so many years.

Sad to see most of them far more active than I.

Cheers.
--El B
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chin12

Joined: 05 Feb 2005
Location: on the pooter, GT = chin12

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Very nice interview, I learned a whole lot about Rampancy.net I didn't know... (I'd always wondered who spearheaded that operation). Keep up the good work Taso. Very Happy
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Mr Sprout
Stupid Brit
Stupid Brit

Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Location: New GT: Schlapskie

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Great interview. Kazakhstan! That's unusual. Smile
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NewYorkTrigga101

Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Location: Playing on my new 360! :)

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
i dont like pie but good interveiw
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iPkaboo

Joined: 12 Sep 2004
Location: On meh 360.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ha. I laughed out loud on some parts. Nice job. Very Happy
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jman571

Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
awesome...But I'm surprised Narc lives in Kahazekstan(sp.?). I mean I didn't even think they had internet there....or EB games for that matter...
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Catalist

Joined: 27 Dec 2004
Location: Launching to the temple on DH

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
There is a ton of never shown behind the making stuff. The time and effort involved. I mean, I thought my site was special.
-Catalist
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CardinalCDXX

Joined: 18 Jun 2005

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Wow, kazakhstan? I think I misspelled that. Intense, nice interview.
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Freddish

Joined: 22 Jun 2005
Location: Sthlm, Sweden

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Great interview Very Happy Really enjoyed it!
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EternalSlayer

Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Location: GeeTee: EternalSlay3r

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Very nice dude.. *thows a pie at Taso*
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panic zone

Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Location: Land of teh frenchies

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
He seems like a pretty interesting guy, I got a kick reading the review Wink

-panic
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MaThRix

Joined: 07 Jul 2005
Location: R.I.P. LTL ELITE

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
poor little goldfish well luckily he was as drunk as hell before he died
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fatal reaction

Joined: 09 Jan 2005
Location: CLAN: ICON GT: Fatal Reaction

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
There's an interview staff? May I be on it? Shouldn't I?
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panic zone

Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Location: Land of teh frenchies

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
fatal reaction wrote:
There's an interview staff? May I be on it? Shouldn't I?

There were job interviews for the position a while back, taso was one of the people selected for the job.

-panic
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shadowsniper

Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Location: H2F > HIH. www.halo2forum.com

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Heh, my friend is from Kazakhstan (Well, his Mom is. He was born in America.)

Also -

Wow, I thought I had a big vocabulary...

Double Dead

Haha, nice interview Taso.

//shadow\\
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GreekXboxMaster
In the Flesh
In the Flesh

Joined: 23 Jan 2005
Location: Outside the Wall

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Great interview Taso, probably the most interesting and best one I have seen from you yet; that Narcogen is an interesting fellow. Keep up the good work.

-GXM
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princeofthesword
Noble Trickster
Noble Trickster

Joined: 11 Jan 2005
Location: MESA GOTS HI-SPEEDZ!!!!!! *zoom*

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Well done Taso, Narcogen! Glad to get to know one of the legends a little better.

*shakes head at Taso's humour* Do you think that the "Goldfish Smileys" were made by Narc and he secretly runs that company, living as a wealthy baron with the Kazaks off of cracker revenue?

Cause you know that little fish had a smile when he passed on.

Farewell 343 Guilty Spark
0={====>

EDIT: *grins evily at shadowsniper* I live to torment others with my superb language skills. Torment, I say. Snar. Snarrrr....


Last edited by princeofthesword on Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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shadowsniper

Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Location: H2F > HIH. www.halo2forum.com

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
princeofthesword wrote:
Well done Taso, Narcogen! Glad to get to know one of the legends a little better.

*shakes head at Taso's humour* Do you think that the "Goldfish Smileys" were made by Narc and he secretly runs that company, leaving as a wealthy baron with the Kazaks off of cracker revenue?

Cause you know that little fish had a smile when he passed on.

Farewell 343 Guilty Spark
0={====>


Well, I presumed that I could have at least have the second best vocabulary in this thread, but then princeofthesword came in.

DAMN YOU TO HELL PRINCE!

/me shakes fists vigorously

Laughing

Just kidding... <3

//shadow\\
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* Scaposy *

Joined: 16 Jul 2005

PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Good interview Cool
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