Starfleet Command: Inerviews: MagnumMan
By Captain Stoneyface
for BlackOps Station, 2001-04-15
Co Founder of
KhoromMag, Maker of SFC2 patches.
So you want to do this thing?
Sure, sock it to me.
Cool so, what's up with the name MagnumMan, how did you come about that
MagnumMan is a college nickname.
Let me explain the story. In my freshman year at RIT (Rochester, NY)
I had a box of Magnum condoms in my drawer.
My roommate decided to go
rummaging through my drawer.
He found one of the condoms
and started calling me MagnumMan.
It has nothing to do with
So there you go... at least
I'm not "TinyMan"... I didn't complain.
That is a funny story, I wondered if the picture you had on the Taldren
announcement meant anything
Yeah, actually YnrohKeeg helped me design that little thing.
So I know that the iCoP is a group and I have done some reading on it.
why don't you give that a
plug for those that don't know
Right... well iCoP stands for Interstellar Consortium of Privateers.
Back when SFC:I came out I was new
to online gaming entirely. I got hooked up with Starlance http://www.starlance.com/
and started playing.
I think I was in one or two
units before I realized I was tired of dealing with the notion of not
being the one in control... so I decided to form iCoP.
iCoP is a pirate unit, thus
my affinity towards the Orions
Interesting. Control is important for me with this game too.
I love the Orions too. I
was very excited to play your Orion missions when they came out
How soon did you start messing
around with API scripting
That was my first shot at writing a script for SFC.
Well to be honest I saw it
on the disc and decided to see if I could do it.
As a software engineer I
really love a challenge.
On the SFC 1 or 2 disk
This was on the SFC2 disc. SFC1 kept me busy playing in Starlance with
all my free time.
I'm not sure iCoP played
any games in the league until 184.108.40.206 came about.
So I had some free time.
Hmm...so what are you feelings about the Orion expansion pack the is
I'm very excited to see Taldren is taking steps to progress the product
line in different ways.
Indeed I am very happy that the Orion Cartels package is coming to fruition.
Are you involved in any way with the scripting of it. I only ask because
I know you are an
Inner Circle member. Were you approached by Taldren?
I wish I could do more to make the game even better than it is... unfortunately
game companies don't pay
very well. If they did I would have been there already.
I am not involved in scripting
SFC: OC, no. I have not been asked.
That's too bad, I would have loved to see your influence on missions
Believe me I would love to do it...
How did you become an Inner Circle member, was it Starlance affiliation
Not really... apparently being a scurvy pirate for 18 months didn't
pay off. However, I did catch
the eyes of a couple people when I opened the Orion Script Library http://www.orionscripts.com/
Believe me I had to beg and
plead just to get in... And I am glad Jinxx decided to give me a
chance to help out. I do feel I've been able to make a better contribution
to everybody with the membership.
So how many pages is that non disclosure statement anyway.
You know that's a good question. Maybe I should find mine and read it.
How long have you been hanging around the Taldren forums. What is you
opinion of them,
I don't see you in the general forum very much
Well I didn't really get into the Taldren forums for a while because
the Starlance forums used to be so active.
Now only a handful of people post there, and it wasn't as fulfilling.
The reason I don't go into
the General Forum that much is because it is really filled with a lot
useless and off-topic stuff that can be hard to sift through.
Definitely, sifting the sand to get the gems
There is occasionally something I make note of and process though...
not everybody posts useless stuff
but a few people seem to have made the Taldren General Forum their home
and forgot to clean up.
I prefer the model, scripting
and fan fiction forums there. And the Apoc forums
Damn man, some of those ship models are totally and absolutely incredible.
I can't do that stuff so my
jaw just drops in amazement.
Did you get to read the thread by someone named lbeam
They tried finding out info about Starlance
Nope, I don't believe I did get to read a thread by Ibeam.
Referring to what exactly?
They said some Starlance people snubbed them on gamespy or mplayer I
Then told her she had to
join to find out the rules, something like that. wouldn't tell her about
I know a lot of people thumb their noses at Starlance... it provides
a very valuable team management
service for me and it has many different facets. I wrote the tournament
system that they will be testing in the
SFC2 league soon.
What other projects do you
have in the works
I have a couple open items on Co-op Ace to address - one of which I
had to consult with Dan at Taldren
and I'm just waiting for an answer.
Dan, by the way, is a great
guy... he is totally helpful with every question I ask. Ken and David
also great people.
Yes, Dan was great to interview, did you get to read that?
I did read Dan's interview, yes. I can't remember a word of it now but
I was glad to see him "out and about"
My latest creation is Sector
Assault. It allows selectable FRDs, DefSats, base, and planet.
It dumps game results and health of all ships left to a results file.
Ghis was poking me over and
over and over about it... so I finally got to it.
Well does that mean I can keep bugging you and you will do a BlackOps
If I have the time to do it, and I think it will be an asset to the
community then sure - bug away.
Are you looking forward to Dynaverse2
Ahh, I was wondering when you might ask about the Dynaverse II.
Well, Im not a trouble maker or anything but...
I have some mixed feelings about it. For one thing, it opens up a whole
new avenue of SFC play,
and I think that is really great.
I can't wait to at least try it
Don't forget about the BlackOps
maneuver. That would really suck in a game
Add to that the fact users can set up their own servers and customize
them... I set up a "Orion Enclave"
server a while back and made the Orions 100 times as active as they
After 12 hours the Orions
had 75% of the map.
Wow 12 hours
Are you going to do a D2
server for Orions?
No, probably not. I don't think it is technically feasible to attempt
that right now.
That's too bad. We are getting questions from people trying to get us
to do a BlackOps D2 server
We try to add more role-playing
Like the threads in the models
forum with pictures.
The Dynaverse II is very much like the single player campaign - with
humans mixed in.
There are probably some surprises
waiting out there for you, though.
Man those models rock.
I am not sure how much control we would have over the server
Which the BlackOps models?
Sorry, add a comma in that last sentence somewhere.
A lot of them - but the screenshots on your site are very cool.
One of the things I like is that the user models are very, very detailed...
and since I have a
GeForce2 GTS 32MB DDR overclocked to 215/375 I can use them without
we try to use a lot of different modelers and then we do retextures
to them to make them that
Wow. Since you brought it up, how about an outline on your PC specs
I'd love to try a program that rendered any model in a 3D VR box for
viewing / debugging etc.
I've never done 3D graphics
I have a Pentium III 600E
overclocked to 800MHz by jumping the FSB up to 133MHz. That's sitting
Soyo 7VCA with BIOS 2AA7, with a pair of 128MB DIMMs running at 133MHz
CAS 3 at 4 way interleave.
I have a Sound Blaster Live!
card and the GeForce2 card I mentioned, as well as a IEEE-1394 card
Wow, you are a techie aren't you?
No I don't think you would
have any problems with hipoly models.
And a Licent WinModem and a 3com Performance Pro modem (hardware modem)...
UNFORTUNATELY I can't get
DSL because Verizon sucks and AT&T just bought our cable system
so I should get cable this year PHEW.
I use iSpeed from www.hms.com to optimize my dialup connection.
My computer at work has 10
fans, this one only has 4.
I have verizon too. I ordered my DSL line 4 weeks ago and still haven't
had it installed and it
took 4 months of trying just to get it available in my area
Am I a techie nut? Yeah I guess so. As a Software Engineer I feel knowing
your computer in detail is
yep, I am building a new
PC too. it's going to be a monster. can't wait
I've tried THREE TIMES and got rejected each time - from third party
providers. There's a class action
lawsuit against Verizon for it.
I can't stand union based
companies like Verizon which is 95% unionized.
So do you have a favorite modeler
To be quite honest no... I love models with incredible details. I hardly
ever mod my game - not really
into that much.
Really, I would have figured you to really be into modding
I can't wait for the AMD 760DP chipset - I want a pair of 1.5GHz Athlons
in dual CPU configuration :>
oh yeah babeee
That's funny I think a lot of people may feel as you do... I'll use
new models on top of existing ships
but I don't like changing the game from its original intent.
Perhaps in that way I am
I am going to over clock a 1.33 athlon to 1.5 gig and 300mhz front side
bus. I have 2 microns
256mb dimms with cas2
Yep. You bet.
Mushkin or generic?
gonna be fast and hot
Um yeah - hot is right - 1.5 gig Thunderbird would put out about 80
watts of heat.
The thing I like about the
Athlon in multi-CPU mode is that there is no bus arbitration -
each CPU has a dedicated path to the north bridge so without bus arbitration
the CPUs are
free to scream to their full potential. I simply can't wait for one
of those bad boys.
Yep. Wow, kinda far a field think Ill talk geek at you privately
Yeah, sorry, I do get carried away. :>
me too, my wife and birth mother say they need to take a class to talk
to me sometimes LOL
You know your stuff.
I've been playing a lot of Lyran lately.
I'm trying to figure out
why people whine so much about Lyrans.
Well, not my first choice.
They are very powerful at almost every bpv...
The only think Lyrans lack
are long range assault weaponry.
That makes it very difficult
to take a base or planet.
But in ship to ship combat
I am quite happy playing Lyran. The disrupter on the 240 degree arcs
I don't get to experiment much as far as different races since we are
doing this whole role-playing thing.
that's why I love reviewing the scripts from a different races point
Knife fights are very viscous
with the Lyrans
Ahh I see. Well I think it is wise to learn all the races - it is the
only way you will know the strengths
and weaknesses of each and how to counter.
Atticbat and myself have started mixing races and ship designs
Very interesting results.
Romulan warbird with Federation textures
Federation Akira class with
Must look interesting.
Very satisfying too. How would you like to see races mixed?
How do you see different
races exchanging technology?
I'm not sure I would... heh. Maybe Lyrans with Hydran textures
Hmm, that would work.
A ship with ESG AND hellbore would be neat - you could hit your own
ESG whenever you fire... LOL
But hey, that's what Orion
pirates are for - mixing technology together.
Exactly! The pirates would take what they could get and put it together.
Right... in SFC2 the Orions have a little mini SPZ.. it has 4 Plasma
F on it. Only 18 energy but oddly
that seems enough.
I like JZ Temple too as a scripter because he wrote so many pirate missions.
one of my first favorites
I should change Orion: Random Encounter to Orion: Select Your Own
So it sounds like you are old school SFB
How long have you played
and yes "select your own" is kind of catchy.
Surprise... I never played SFB or even heard of it before SFC:I.
That is surprising
I learn really fast, plus
I have lots of helpers.
So do you have favorite scripters? do you play others scripts?
Well I'm sure other scripters will be irked when I say no, I don't...
not because I don't like them,
but because I don't want to use anybody else's ideas in my scripts subconsciously.
It is much like going to
your competition's web site and seeing what they do - and finding something
I know that SFCvixen/furrygirl is working on a player made campaign.
are you working on one
Right she's been busy with work lately but she focuses on Campaign (Dyna2)
scripts. I focus on Multi- and
What is it with ICQ tonight
- I've received 3 unsolicited messages from people. Sheesh.
I hope to be able to interview her soon, I haven't heard from her lately
but she said she was interested.
I can send them your way if you want.
Good choice. Your wife may not approve.
oh, those kind of messages... unsolicited. riiiiight.
I follow Jinxx on this one...Spam must die.
Yes, but let's not take out people standing next to the Spam when we
I think SFCVixen got a new job and had to devote more time to that and
less to scripting.
That's what I heard too
That was a while ago though.
So how close are you to the guys at Taldren?
What do you think about how
they are treated in the forums?
Well I have e-mail correspondence with Dan and David on a fairly regular
basis now. I think they know
Who I am and probably cringe when they see my name in their inbox.
"It's that damn guy again"
So do you get to be nasty to them in email when testing patches?
No, I do not. It is not professional.
One should not get emotional
about bug reporting - it is dangerous.
Especially with a game -
if it were a defibrillator that might be different.
What is the overall feeling about the next patch with the testers. (without
breaking any confidentiality)
Well to answer your question above - about how they are treated in the
forums - I think people need to realize
that Taldren does not make all the decisions - especially ones like
"you must ship the game by this date -
So we can get Christmas sales
into our Q4 ledgers (i.e. Interplay)"
They need to vent you mean? So Taldren gives them a target?
Yeah the way that interplay
treats Taldren is fairly bad
Hearing other stories about Interplay and how they screwed one Aussie
company lead me to believe they
are only out for themselves. Personally if I ran a company I would make
it my top priority to treat my employees
with dignity, respect, and honesty. Happy employees are better employees.
Definitely, how many patch releases have been screwed up now by Interplay...
Let me see...
My feeling about the next
patch is that I think everybody is going to be very pleased with the
and balance. I'll give Taldren extra credit this time around for working
with us to "Squish bugs".
What's the testing experience like?
Are you given specific things
to test, tell us about that process?
Large, large downloads on a 31,200 bps link suck. I can tell you that.
:> We are given general directions
on what they would like tested. The real test is getting all the IC/MC/OC
people to load the game and play it
as much as possible. More exposure = more bugs identified = more bugs
fixed = better game.
How many circle members are there?
That's probably something I should not discuss.
Okay, I can respect that. there are rules.
The members of the circles are for the most part very motivated people
who want to see this game as good
as it can be - so they attack it with vigor.
Are there alot of coders and tech people or more like players?
That is hard to say. People obviously know I am a coder and a tech guy...
but you never know what other
people do for their real job. I think there are more players than techies
It seems that the more vocal circle members (interpreted as circle members)
are the higher tech
people or coders in their occupations
And that is the way it should be, I think... you want the game to be
tested by players who can sense
a balance problem or some such thing.
Perhaps, but you never know
who is a circle member either... especially on the General Forum.
I had a good laugh at the
latest troll/rumor thread on the general forum. the one where he claimed
that Jinxx told him in ICQ that there was going to be no Dynaverse2
Yeah... that was so out of the blue and why not on the announcement
forum? Heh. Not even funny stuff.
It was just plain lame.
Besides I have talked with
Jinxx on ICQ and he would never say something like that - not even to
Interesting, looks like it's gone now. *(the tread)
Now that is interesting... heh.
I have talked to him in email, but from what I have heard, he just wouldn't
do something like
this guy claimed.
That reminds me I have to
bug him about a couple things. Thanks.
I don't think he really enjoys being nagged... then again who does.
So is that as nasty as you
get in an interview Hawkeye?
So do you think the patch will be out this week? I believe that Jinxx
said that interplay has
the patch right now.
Were I to make a decision I would say "ship it". It is not
my decision - it has to pass Interplay's QC
Seems like they move slow on the patches though
I would expect to see some more information on Monday about a status
update though. Jinxx and Eric are
doing a good job keeping us all informed through the new forum thread.
Yes, I would have to say that is one benefit of the read only forum.
We get more updates
Yes, exactly why I asked for it.
Yeah I was glad to back you up when you asked. the OT threads were killing
Were you allowed to make
you announcement because of some antsy feelings by some (at Taldren)?
Well I did some custom programming to do regression testing on the shiplist.txt
file; I don't know if that
was a "thank you" from Jinxx or if they felt giving out some
more info will help make people feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I suspect
the latter. I was just glad to be of service - I enjoy doing that stuff.
http://www.icop-sfc.org/taldren/ *(note details on the patch release
can be viewed here)
Those were interesting reading. how many changes in general were there
to the shiplist?
Every change is documented there.
I have not bothered to count
A lot of things were fixed
though - due to the keen eye of many people.
It seemed like there are a lot.
What is you favorite era
and race in the game?
Is it true that the difficulty
level on your machine is stuck at admiral?
Do you remember the vic20?
I like Late because you get the most options... and right now my favorite
race is Lyran. I play a wicked
nasty F-BCF though... just ask the legendary SL people.
Heh here's a funny one -
the difficulty level.
It is unplanned but the Co-op
Ace script is full of sexual innuendo.
In the settings file you
The Easy - Captain
The Hard - Commodore
The Nasty - Admiral
Now if that isn't strange...
Oh lord, I didn't even think of that!
Yes I programmed a VIC20 - and recorded the programs to the external
cassette tape drive.
Do you remember the voice synthesizer
Don't think so, maybe been too long.
I've owned or operated the
following computers though...
You couldn't tell what it was saying unless you knew what it was supposed
to be saying
Preparing for list
It's now been 15 minutes
folks...he's still typing
No answer for one hour now
Magnavox Pong, Atari 2600, Vic 20, Commodore 64, Apple IIe, TRaSh-80,
DEC VT-103, DEC Rainbow, DEC MicroVax,
Oh god the TRS 80
Was expecting more of a list
VAX 11/780, many Macintoshes (many!), and now I program on Windows 2000
(Win32), Mac OS, Linux, AIX, and Solaris.
Now that is a list
for Windows XP (office XP rocks!!!)
What is you favorite StarTrek movie/series?
MagnumMan: Let me see...
While MagnumMan is typing out this next list, I will plug his webpage
at www.orionscipts.com and
join his mailing list
Let me see, I really like I, II, VI, VIII. I liked IV, IX. III and VII
were ok. V was lame.
Tell first contact didn't rock your world.
Maybe I got the movie numbers mixed up :>
The first one, Khan, Kang,
and the borg ones all rocked big time.
My favorite series would
be ST:TNG followed by ST:DS9 and then ST:V
How do you feel about the move towards pre TOS in the next series and
modeling community too
Not sure... did those ships have weapons at all or what? :>
I think they spit out the window
As for TV, I'm ready to watch another trek series.
But TOS trek?
I don't know
I stopped watching Voyager about 2 years ago.
I like the advancement
I missed the last year of DS9
I've seen every TNG episode
at least 3 times.
Yeah I like the TNG series alot.
It is true to the original while advancing forward in many ways.
Yeah, but TOS?
I really don't like how they
are dodging the whole Klingon thing. Human looking Vs TNG looking
Oh well, new trek is still
Someone brought up an interesting point... how come nobody's explored
the Enterprise C era timeframe?
Sounds like a good war series like that episode with the alternate 1701D.
I LOVED that
episode and the way the crew and ship morphed from "our" reality
to "war" reality.
Yeah that would be cool to see a cross over that way.
Well, it's has been a pleasure
and I don't have anything else, would you like to add anything else?
Uh oh another list here folks
I'm glad we finally hooked up to do this... nope nothing else to add.
Thanks for reviewing my script, by the way.
Heh... am I that bad?
Nope you were great.
the current iCoP thing is that apparently someone purchased some scaffolding
to support my
The company also has erection services (for scaffolding - get your mind
out of the gutter)
(you are) too much
I had to play the bonus missions
so I will need to get back to reviews now.
Thank you MagnumMan it's
Hey so now you can review Sector Assault 0.9 and if it works you let
me know :>
You bet, until then. see you in D2
See you out and about the galaxy.
Note: As of April 5th, 2002,
the fantastic scripting resource "Orion Script Library" is
no more. Due to the creation of the new KhoroMag website, it was decided
that his efforts would be better placed with the Community Code Crackers,
er, heheh, I mean Patch Providers ;)