Welcome, ladies and epsilonians, to the third GNN interview on this channel. As promised, tonight we have a very special guest. Someone you all know, we all have heard of him, but noone knows him.
Wizard is here with us and I myself would like to thank him on behalf of GNN for his time. There are not many MMO's out there where an Admin takes some time to give people the opportunity to learn more about the people behind the game they love.
Keep in mind, this is a Goon interview, so not 100% of the questions will be totally serious. I also would like to inform the audience that this interview wasn't done „live“ in a channel, but sent via email, so dont expect really fast changes in question/answer pacing. I hope we can get Wizard to do a follow up on this one, maybe even make it a regular thing, but thats just an idea, so don't get your hopes too high.
Relax and enjoy the show. As always, Losanda is asking the questions for GNN. We both hope you enjoy it.
Q:Wizard, it's a pleasure. How are you and what are you working on right now?
A: Hi everyone. I’m fine. First of all sorry my English, is not very good... Well I’m working in the normal stuff, managing some game issues, also working in the new stuff that have been announced recently, Tachyon Communications and Capital.
Q: Would you mind telling the audience something about yourself? I suppose you are a guy, since a woman would rather pick a feary theme for her name.
A: Well, I’m a guy, 29 years old, I ever liked programing and computer games, beside all normal things.
Q: Astro Empires is growing incredibly fast. Galaxies are opening, players stream in from everywhere. How did it all start? You obviously picked up some stuff from other browsergames like Ogame, but whats the story behind it? Did some of you guys go like „hey, we can do that as well and better!“ or is it some large company that had the idea and hired you boys?
A: Since young I always wanted to do a computer game, I have started others (2D games, 3D games) alone or with friends, but I have never finish one by the lack of time. More recently I start work with Internet web pages, and decided to make a browser game, as the space theme always have attracted me, and also strategic games, I have decided to make this space strategic game. Xaman have joined me when I lunched the game to help me out in some tasks, and right now there are a few more people working in the support and game operators tasks.
Q: What are we playing on? Is it some kind of server for each galaxy in your living room? Some huge cluster in a futuristic provider-place? Or is it a rented and highjacked CS server for 30$ a month, cause every 30 minutes it sure feels like it.
A: The servers are located in a data center about 1 mile away from the AE office. Each Astro Empires server is made of 2 servers, one web server and one database servers, boths have the last generation core 2 Due processors, 4 GB ram, lots of hard disk space, etc... We some more specific servers for some functions. The pikes of lag, like at debris collecting is because there are lots of database processing during those events.
Q: How much traffic are we producing. Can you share that number?
A: Well about 8 to 15 Mb every second, with compressed web pages, without compressed web pages it can be the double.
Q: How can we imagine the „AE-place“? Is it some office building where your team works from 9 to 5 or is it more like a startup thing? Hell, would it be possible to get a picture of your staff and where you work?
A: Is at the office where we do most of the work and have our meetings. But because of the nature of the activity we regularly log also at home or using a laptop. I don't have right now pictures to share...
Q: AE is running for a 27 months now. If you could go back to day 1, what would be the first thing you would change?
A: The game have run well since beginning, I don’t think that changed something special, maybe just some tweaking.
Q: How about pictures to ilustrate stuff. Other games have changing pics for different ship types, some even let you customize your astros/cities/whatever. Do you have plans to make it more... appealing for the general audience in the future? Will AE go web2.0 one day with user generated content like self drawn planets?
A: Right now there 2 persons working in game graphics, like ships, the work have been very good so far, but will take a while to be finished... the graphics will turn the game more appealing to the general audience. As a side note, who don’t want to have them because of bandwidth or some reasons, will be able to turn them off, or even change them with graphic package. Regarding AE using web 2.0 there is not plans at the moment, but maybe in the future we can work on that.
Q: What was the last CD you were listening to? Yes, radio does count. And to throw that in, whats the AE-Wizards favorite music?
A: At work I just listen radio, or non when I need to be more concentrated, but outside work I like other stuff like metal!
Q: What was the biggest trouble you guys ever ran into? Did you ever start your computer and like... „Oh *beep*, where is Delta???“?
A: No big problem so far, we never had restored a game backup for example. Just minor hardware problem that have been solved fast by the hosting, and some Internet problems out of our control, like routing problems already outside the data center.
Q: Now for our new „iAsk“ feature. We have two questions from forum users. First is Ronin, he has a question about the recent problems you had with Wikipedia:
Ronin: Question fo the Wiz manz:
What happened to AE on wikipedia?
And I heard you hate it too, whats up with that
A: I think the AE article in the Wikipedia was removed because so far AE have not received many cover in the medias, but I hope is just a question of time until AE will be there for good. And we have much more notability and players that some of the game that they have listed.
Q: Thank you very much for your time, Wizard. Is there a final sentence you would like to spread out here? I know you dont talk much to the community in general since there simply isn't enough time to keep track of all the forums. What is it you would like to tell the people that love your game?
A: I don’t have much time to post in the forum, but I read most of it. Just want to give a word of thank you to all players for playing the game, and I will keep working on it, to keep the good service, and to improve the game. Good game and good luck to everyone!
That was a feature by GNN. We are always happy to bring the real guys in, so stay tuned for our next show!
This was Losanda for GNN. Good fight, good night.