Interviewee: Alex Zinner (aka Ghost Ship)
Interviewer: Jack English (aka Captain Harloch)
Date: 15th January, 1999 (mid-Beta test)
Reason/Significance: Alex reveals his plans for the upcoming Infantry League as well as plans to revitalise the currently lack lustre InfantryZone. He also gives a few tips on how to shepherd soldiers into a the embracing arms of sweet napalm while they're afk (using Harloch as an example).
Captain Harloch: Heya Alex, thanks for taking time out to fill in NmeBase readers with some inside goss :)
Ghost Ship: No problem, glad to. Give me a sec, gtg afk for a second...
While Ghost slips away from the keyboard, Harloch slips into action, torturing Ghost in humiliating ways. The tirade begins with a repel onto a plasma mine (bwuhaha)...
...followed by some festy-smelling exhaust. Eat it biatch!
Ghost Ship: Back :) Oi!
Realising Harloch's skullduggery, Ghost fires his GodCannon. Harloch wimpers to his knees and asks for a fair fight. With a glint in his eye, Ghost accepts the duel while the two continue the interview....
Captain Harloch: So let's begin firstly with your role...what IS your actual position with regards to Harmless Games?
Ghost Ship: Well, my relationship with HG is that of an affiliated contractor, Maximum/Gamefan contracted me to run the Infantr League(s), So I have signed all the prerequisite Non-disclosure and non-compete, so they are very free to be able to work with me.
Captain Harloch: Who are Maximum (for clarification)?
Ghost Ship: Maximum is the parent company over all the affiated Gamefan/Gamefan-network/Gamefan Magazine etc companies. To the best of my knowlege, they aare all closely affiliated companies.
Captain Harloch: I understand. Harmless seem to have taken to your employment pretty well, how have you found fitting into the family so far?
Ghost Ship: A little slow to start, but they have gone full out to help get the League launched and going. I couldnt ask for better responces from Jeff, Yankee, ljc ect, they are all really trying to make this all work for us.
Captain Harloch: The decision to have an independent contractor for Infantry League in particular - was that a decision that was reached by Nick Fisher only or was Rod intimately tied in as well?
Ghost Ship: It was a combination of Nick Fisher and the people at Maximum, the recommendation for me was made by Nick.
Captain Harloch: Does that mean Infantry League wasn't something Harmless Games intended to have originally?
Ghost Ship: They have been concentrating on game completion and zone developement, actually they like the idea of the league, but dont have the resources themselves to start and support it.
Captain Harloch: Which is where Nick comes in :)
Ghost Ship: Yep.
Captain Harloch: So tell us about the league - how is it progressing?
Ghost Ship: Slow to start but initial progress IS happening. We have a 2nd draft of the Infantry Flag League (IFL) rules, a web site being set up, a map in developement (especially for IFL) and lots of ppl offering to help/staff/ref/web etc.
Captain Harloch: What's your perception of how the players have received the idea of an Infantry League?
Ghost Ship: VERY positive, they want it NOW, hehe.
Captain Harloch: You mentioned a map in development - is this a map you're creating? What's the design/idea for it?
Ghost Ship: I was designing a league map, but someone with MUCH better map skills (Yankee) stepped in and said he had some ideas and started developing a map that is much better than I could have done.
Captain Harloch: Can we expect to see a league map similar to Twin Peaks or are we looking at something more like NivaG's SS map?
Ghost Ship: He mumbled some things about trenches and sandbags, but with Yankee, who can be sure :) It will probably be loosly based on Twin Peaks CTF with a lot of equalization and improvements.
Captain Harloch: I guess to answer that question, we should ask the specifics of how the league will be run...rumour on the grapevine say that the league will be a "ladder" league, is this true?
Ghost Ship: The final structure may not be worked out until the number of squads signing up is known, a ladder vs pyramid vs seasonal divisions all is still a bit up in the air, although the pyramid is probably the most fun / but time intensive.
Before continuing, the pair decide to start the duel completely even steven - they both setup in their respective crater bunkers and wait for the other to make the first move.....
BANG!!! Before he can shout "CHEAT!", Harloch eats a suprise mouthful of GodSlugs. Harloch asks for a ceasefire and admits defeat. Ghost promptly apologises with a snicker and promises to never ever ever ever do anything like it again. Harloch breathes a sigh of relief and continues the interview.....
Captain Harloch: Are the current squad activities helpful in deciding which of those schemes you're going to take? Do you see the squad matches taking place recently as a precursor to a league or do you see them as isolated scrimages resembling little of what you see as the upincoming league?
Ghost Ship: Not so much as the league structure, no. Game / match structure, these "gentlemen's" matches have been a real help in setting things up. Knowing what has to be reffed, how to make match set up easy, player limitations, materials, its been a great help.
Captain Harloch: Have you managed to sit in on any player matches so far (out of interest)?
Ghost Ship: Lots of them, yes, reffed a few as well. Very instructional and frustrating at times. ;O
OMG!!! After finishing his answer, as if from no where, Ghost Ship spawns four fierce looking robo rocket droids in strategic positions, trapping the hapless Harloch...ACK!
Needless to say, Ghost Ship is left cackling to himself as he watches Harloch prance around like a headless chicken....
After Ghost has had his fun and Harloch has wiped the charcoal from his face, the pair sit down and a grumpy Harloch apprehensively continues the interview....
Captain Harloch: So when can we expect this League to take place, any speculations?
Ghost Ship: With a basic structure in place, roster system, zone with settings optimed, the right map, and a good basic rule set, we could be trying out some "beta" league stuff within several weeks.
Ghost Ship: Hopefully all of the pieces will come together so we can try this stuff out soon.
Captain Harloch: Really that soon? That's great, there'll be alot of happy little campers out there shortly :) What are your speculations for when the Beta period will end?
Ghost Ship: None. I have no idea how much Jeff needs to do yet. Or how far they will take zone developement before they start whatever method of market releasing the game.(I have suspisions, but better that we dont pub those).
Captain Harloch: Moving away from league, i understand you've just been put in charge of InfantryZone is that correct?
Ghost Ship: Hehe, was a suprise to me as well. It looks like the stuff that nivaG was handling has been given to me to update and get current, I started with SSZ, but it looks like Ill be working to get IZone rocking as well.
Captain Harloch: What are your plans for getting IZone back on its feet?
Ghost Ship: They have had no active administration (webmaster) since nivaG left. The assistant webmasters and journalists there and I have just started chatting over the past day or two. Face lift plus is a start, plus more active, interested and motivated reporters.
Captain Harloch: Will Georgia once again be called in to do the design duties? She's got some talent that girl :)
Ghost Ship: She does, and she already is. She is the one has has spammed my ICQ account the most in the past 2 days :)
Captain Harloch: Great! And when can we expect to see the new and improved InfantryZone?
Ghost Ship: Within the next couple of weeks I hope. She is fast too, so expect some changes coming pretty quickly.
Captain Harloch: Kikass. I wanted to ask you what Maximum/Gamefan have in mind with recruitinjg you for managing and directing leagues - you m entioned that you will be managing the leagues for OTHER games also... Can you fill us in as to GameFan's plans for leagues in games other than Subspace and Infantry?
Suddenly Harloch is greeted by a quote so familiar, its almost family:
WARNING: Connection broken. Server has not been receiving data from you.
As he reconnects and reenters the arena, he ponders the possibility of a "forced disconnection" command for all sysops.....
Ghost Ship: There has been discussion of HL TFC, Q3A, UT, etc, but its all conjecture until the Infantry league is up and functional with all the tools and widgets we need to run it.
Captain Harloch: So this is almost considered a test run then?
Ghost Ship: Not really, Subspace is the test League, and its running. Time to use what i'we have learned there and do a kick@ss job setting up and running the IFL.
Captain Harloch: Before we finish up, i'd like to ask you a few general questions about your impression of Infantry.... In your opinion, do you see Infantry as a worldwide best seller at the end of the next 3 year period for example?
Ghost Ship: I really like it. This is a game that with the right zone/settings lterally DEMANDS teamwork. Friends really enjoy playing together. This game while not 3D and look up/downm based, changes the users perspective from a adreneline based twitch game, to one where strategy and teamwork, and skill become critical to winning. That is the key that makes it attractive, marketable, and fun to play. I dont think it will topple Halflife or Quake 3, but I think it will have a definite impact on the game market.
Almost enjoying the interview, what with the lack of roboturrets firing at his ass, Harloch's enjoyment is quickly stripped away by the realisation that the entire time he has been talking to a decoy! Ghost has been in spec the entire time!! This only angers Harloch more...
Feeling sorry for the poor bastard, Ghost begins something to cheer up the charcoal ridden, bemuddled Jump Trooper while the interview progresses.....
Captain Harloch: Do you think the game is becoming more popular (during this, the beta period)?
Ghost Ship: It really seems to, zone numbers have all been rising while HG tries to keep signups at the current level, so SOMEONE is playing this game a lot more (me included) :)
Captain Harloch: Do you think the best is yet to come?
Ghost Ship: Yes, after a lot of conversations with Jeff, Yankee and the group at HG, they have more goodies built into this game, than they have time to implement and test. I like that.
Captain Harloch: Got any inside goss that you'd like to divest yourself of? :D
Ghost Ship: Yeah, it looks like League will be a seperate zone / map, with settings and controls that will make it easy for squads to practice and play matches.
Captain Harloch: Sounds sweet :) Before we head off i've got one last question...
Ghost Ship: Shoot.
Captain Harloch: Is Yankee obsessed with sexual objects in some sick Freudian way or is it just me? I mean..Twin Peaks - youre kidding me right? :P
Ghost Ship: LOL, really? :) (comment withheld by request)
Captain Harloch: Lol - is there any significance to the big "3" above the top bridge in Twin Peaks or is that a "coincidence"?
Rumour has it there were 3 Titan Militia backpackers who went missing in some woods near Twin Peaks.....(true story)
Ghost Ship: Is there a 3 there? The Trinity, are there 3 6's somewhere. Only Yankee know :)
Captain Harloch: Haha alright Alex thanks very much for your time. Sounds as though the IFL is well on its way!
As if to say sorry, Ghost Ship offers a gift of a set of autoturrets in the shape of Harloch's initials "CH". Awwwww how thoughtful! Despite being simultaneously fired upon by over 50 plasma turrets (the red ball of light in the center is Harloch's corpse btw), Harloch forgives his friend for his abuses of power, the two settle their differences, and walk off hand in hand into the sunset, bestest of friends. Yay