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 Post subject: Interview with Freelancers w0dk4 *
 Post Posted: Thu May 08, 2008 8:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 3:44 pm
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[align=center]Welcome to another addition to FreelancerCommunity.net! As Freelancer ages, and us too, we thought it was time to start honoring those who have helped to make this such an enjoyable adventure. From tool makers to coders to mod builders to board admins, welcome to the 'FreelancerCommunity.net Interviews'!

I have gathered most emails for these prominent members of our community and have sent out many of them (but not all). If you think you deserve an interview, feel free to email me [email protected]. You may also nominate someone for an interview, please give me their email.

Interviews will be posted in the order I get them back and will be showcased for at least one week. All interviews will be archived in our forums for prosperity.
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Hello w0dk4, what other names have you been known by in the Freelancer Community?
Only w0dk4 :)

What part of the world do you live in?
Germany

How old are you?
22

How many years have you played Freelancer?
4-5 years. I played for a short time when FL was released, but then dropped it.
I rediscovered Freelancer in 2004.

Have you released or helped to build a mod? Please describe it.
I developed a lot of the features we have on the Hamburg City server.
I released several server side modifications/fixes, for example the 128player limit hack of the flserver.
Apart from that, the only mod that is also interesting for players, i.e. on LAN play, is the Working Cloak Mod.

Have you written a tutorial? Please tell us about it.
I have not written any traditional modding tutorials, but I posted a lot of reversing stuff on the FLHook coders board.
For example how to make player ships mobile respawn points.

Have you created any tools for the community to use? What does it do?
Well, I only did one "real" tool, which is no real tool actually, since it does not work external, independant from the Freelancer client.
Its the Global Server Workaround. Since the global server went down, there was no easy to use replacement solution that would list all remaining servers.
Since more than a year7 we queried the official global server for every server ip and generated a statistics page.
Because of that, we were able to come up with a global server replacement that just listed all server-ips that were buffered in our database.
Shortly after realising that the global won't come back, I added a simple "add server" page.
The homepage is at http://stats.freelancerserver.de
Besides the gls replacement, any server admin can get a server-player graph there to display it on their website.
It also generates a ranking of the most active servers.

Have you ever been an Admin of a mod community or website?
Yes, one of the admins of the Hamburg City server.
www.freelancerserver.de

Okay, let's get to the meat and potatoes! How and when did you first get involved in the wonderful game of Freelancer?
The demo I think. I was amazed but dropped it due to reasons I've forgot.
Anways, a year later, I somehow got to play it again, first singleplayer and then multiplayer.
Due to the technical advancements back then on the Hamburg City server (FLCD was the first "real" anti cheat solution) this
particular server catched my interest and at that place I discovered the potential of FL in multiplayer.

What aspects of Freelancer are you most interested in?
I think this question is covered later in this interview.

What groups / clans have you been affiliated with?
I have been a member of the -]uSF[- Clan (mainly playing on Hamburg City) for a long time, but eventually quit.

List your accomplishments and projects you have participated in.
hmm something for the ego, huh? ;)

List any awards, offices or positions you have held.
none I guess

How has the Freelancer scene changed since you started playing?
The "scene".. well I cant really tell.
Some things evolved to the good, others to the bad.
All in all I would say there was no major change.

Are you currently active on any servers?
Only on Hamburg City.

What mod really stands out in your mind?
I simply dont know since I dont play a lot of mods.
I would do injustice to other great mods if I would name the few ones I've tried.
What Im really looking forward to though is "Freelancer: War Torn" because it looks like a high quality mod
while being true to the original Freelancer story/universe. (and hopefully it will not contain custom ships with bugged sur files and no destructible parts)
I cannot stand when mods are only half-conversions, i.e. half of the universe is fl, a quarter is Star Trek and another is Star Wars..

What do you find most interesting about Freelancer...the single player aspect, clan wars, being a pirate, a cop, vanilla servers, hugely modded, Star wars, what?
On the playing side:
Massive, epic battles! Dynamic gameplay dynamics .. ok that sounds stupid ;)
But I dream about an FL universe where almost everything you do matters and you see "progress" in realtime.
This leads to the modding side:
I'm mainly interested in evolving the multiplayer gameplay to a "Freelancer 2" level.
Currently Im working on a dynamic base implementation, where clans and/or FL rpg factions can fight over bases on specific times,
and the bases would then change their reputation (= owner) accordingly, in realtime.
This in turn generates massive, epic battles, maybe I will even join a clan again to take part in battles about those bases ;)

What will be your role in Freelancer in the coming years?
Maybe a more important role, maybe not - time will tell ;)

Describe in detail any memorable Freelancer experiences.
First time entering a tradelane.. WOW!
The storyline, that was a wow too.
Then in multiplayer, seeing clanbattles with 40 participants - holy crap ;)
Patrolling with the pirate clan mates through Omicron Beta/Alpha - awesome!
One particular experience:
During one of our large scale server events (Rheinland vs Liberty event with 128 players), I was flying towards the Berin Jumpgate in Hamburg,
only to find out a Liberty battleship coming right from there escorted by ~10 fighters, all with RPG liberty weapons.
WOW, that was an immersive moment, seeing the battleship and fighters starting to engage me, all with their blue liberty lasers.
Those Rheinland vs Liberty events were generally memorable experiences to me, they were really outstanding.
I can tell you, you've never seen such a massive war, and all the ships are actually players!

Why do you spend countless hours building mods, making tools, answering questions or writing tutorials?
Because its fun to me! Simple as that ;)

What other games do you regularly play?
Natural Selection, Team Fortress 2

Do you have any hobbies other than games?
No ;)

Is there anything new coming up in the future for you?
Well, checking if my field of study was the right choice ;)

How do you view the future of Freelancer?
Interesting question. I am sceptical.
FL will surely never really die (only when its no longer running on Windows XX), but I think the next years will be the
real decline of Freelancer as an active online game. Granted the GLS will not be redirected and the source wont be released. *still hoping*

Can you recommend any others in the community for an interview?
Crazy, Niwo, mc_horst, akataka

Are there any last things you would like to add?
OPEN SOURCE FTW :)

Thank you for the interview! It is the contribution of folks like you that help to keep the game and the community alive!
You're welcome!


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