SFC Orion Pirates
By Captain Stoneyface (hawkeye) for BlackOps Station, 2001-06-04
(Interview conducted over ICQ)
I had the chance to talk to Dennis Greene last night, better known in the community as SFCShadow. As the author of the Starfleet Command 2 Strategy Guide and a member of the Inner Circle of Beta testers, and all around cool guy, he had much to say. Look for the Starfleet Command: Orion Pirates Strategy Guide soon from him. This interview was conducted over ICQ and also had some interaction from the GameSpy Arcade crowd in the SFC2 room. With that said, lets go to the interview...
Hawkeye: Will this work for you
Dennis Greene: No problem...fire away.
Hawkeye: So, you were saying you were just invited to a convention, tell us about it.
Dennis Greene: Yes, one I
used to "hang out" at when I was just a geeky eyed fan, meeting
friends I haven't seen in a year from last time, and now I'm being asked
to be one of the panelists.
Hawkeye: You don't walk around
in the StarTrek Next Generation suit do you? You know, the overly
Dennis Greene: LOL...no I
don't do that.
Dennis Greene: I met my wife as a matter of fact at a Star Trek Convention for the release of the Second Star Trek movie (The Wrath of Khan). But this is more a local convention here in Tucson, sort of a lesser cousin to LepreCon and HexaCon in Phoenix and Scottsdale. (Which I used to hang out in too).
Hawkeye: So how is the book going?
Hawkeye: The next book being the SFC Orion Pirates Strategy Guide
Dennis Greene: About usual,
lots of frustration, panic and desperately trying to do a great job
in a very short time.
Dennis Greene: Correct, I'm writing the next strategy guide for SFC:OP
Hawkeye: How many words was the SFC2 Strategy Guide
Hawkeye: What, are you counting
right now lol.
Dennis Greene: Umm...well,
not that many. <smile> I think it published with about 58,000.
Hawkeye: Had you the choice, anything that you would have done differently with the first one?
Hawkeye: HeeHee as long as this is fun for you.
Dennis Greene: Oh hell yes!
LOL More time! As a writer I have really very little say in what time
I'm allowed as a
Hawkeye: What do you want to cover in more detail?
Dennis Greene: Well, this book will include a (well as complete as I can) compendium of EVERY ship, for EVERY race and Cartel present in the game, something like 2000 ships. That's a complete history and description for every model, variant and ship present.
Dennis Greene: In addition to more strategies, and tips on how to improve your game from newbie to veteran.
Hawkeye: All those ships, with histories is a big undertaking.
Dennis Greene: Yes it was, a MASSIVE research project and it took a lot more effort then I thought it would.
Hawkeye: So, also will this be a Dynaverse 2 Strategy guide as well?
Dennis Greene: The goal was so that EVERYONE, that played the series whether they had the SFB background or not, had a common frame of reference.
Dennis Greene: That is one of the things I hope to cover in this book, a lot of that depends on Taldren/Interplay at the moment and unfortunately I can't make comment on that right now.
Hawkeye: So what do you use for references on that kind of project like that, in regards to ships and races?
Dennis Greene: Well first
I contacted Chris Taylor through Taldren. I told him what I was doing
(at that time I was just doing it as an independent effort and was going
to privately publish an addendum to the game manual for SFC2). He sent
me his original manuscript for the SFC1 manual. From there I looked
up references in SFB material, websites and people I knew who might
have the information I needed.
Hawkeye: Wow. Do you want to give us a brief overview of the rest of your work?
Dennis Greene: Work as in writing work or in General?
Hawkeye: Writing mostly, but anything else that you find interesting enough to mention
Dennis Greene: Well lets see, credits listing: Written for the following paper magazines:
Written for several online magazines like:
Developed my own online Magazine
(put out like 8-9 issues and the first 6 issues were included in the
SFC2 bonus CD published by Interplay) Hailing Frequencies.
That a good enough summary?
Hawkeye: Wow, amazing!
Dennis Greene: Realize though that as a writer, professionally I'm just getting started. I really just started to do this professionally in the last two years, and been trying 'professionally' in the last three.
Dennis Greene: So I'm still pretty new. :)
Hawkeye: Do you go to the Fan Fiction Forums much at Taldren's forum
Dennis Greene: Yes, I know
a few of the writers there, some of them I speak to on a regular basis
and give as much encouragement as I can.
Hawkeye: Plans for your novel career? Is this your favorite genre?
Hawkeye: And did you go to writing school at all? or just pure born talent? ;-)
Dennis Greene: I love Sci-fantasy
or sci-fi. Yes I hope to get published in those areas this or next year.
Dennis Greene: LOL... I
Hawkeye: So, with your busy schedule, do you get to play very much?
Dennis Greene: Not when I'm
actively writing. When I'm on the job so to speak I write or research
16-18 hours, I average 14-15 hour days when I'm in "writers"
Hawkeye: What is you favorite race to play when you have a chance and do you have favorite tactics?
Hawkeye: Which Dynaverse2 server is you favorite?
Dennis Greene: I play them all, I have no real favorites. My favorite is the one I'm currently playing. I find some like the Romulans and Lyrans to be pretty simple, but I am as skilled with any race and have not specialized, or perhaps I should say that I've specialized in SFCx as a whole and not on just one facet of it. But Dependent on my mood, it can be any race...here this about describes me in SFC....
Hawkeye: Okay, shoot.
Dennis Greene: I play them
all, I've mastered them all. Currently the Federation and Klingons are
the ones I've been playing a lot. But that can and does change at any
time. I have the heart of a Klingon Warrior, the convictions of a Federation
Starfleet Officer, the cunning of a Lyran commander, as ruthlessness
of a Mirak leader, flexibility of a Hydran merchant, the Mystery of
a Romulan Centurion, toughness of a Gorn Warlord, and lay down justice
like a member of the ISC.
Dennis Greene: I enjoy Arcticfires and Elfe Wolfe's servers the most I think.
Dennis Greene: Actually that quote was an old quote, I've been playing more Lyran and Hydran of late. :)
Hawkeye: Excellent, very eloquent response. So much like a writer. Who is the quote from?
Dennis Greene: From me, the
website put up about me for Task Force Delphinus.
Hawkeye: Excellent, I will have to check that out.
Hawkeye: So, how is the testing for SFC:OP going. When does the serious Beta testing take place
Dennis Greene: Ummm...I can't comment on that. It goes.
Hawkeye: Okay, understood. Can you discuss your opinions or impressions at all?
Dennis Greene: I think it
will be a lot of fun. It adds a very important element into the game
that has been in each of the series before it, playable Orions. It will
have outside of SFB, the most comprehensive ships to date, as I said
over 2000 ships. It will do everything SFC2 does and then some, I'll
be using it when it comes out and I'll buy a copy of it (like I have
for every SFC title).
Hawkeye: Very cool. I will be buying it too. I can't wait, no matter what.
Dennis Greene: :)
Dennis Greene: I do hope that more play the game then debate about it though in future. That is probably a vain hope, but I do hope it just the same. LOL
Hawkeye: I like a lot of the player made scripts because you can play as Orions in a limited way. How much do you get to play around with the modding community?
Hawkeye: Be it either ships or scripts
Dennis Greene: I love a lot of what the mod community has done and think it's incredible. I get to see and get invited to test some of the material that goes out, which is cool. I really look forward to its maturing and coming out with stuff we think is impossible now.
Hawkeye: Yes, amazing stuff is available. Right now we have a hosted Dynaverse2 friendly mod pack by Rick (Pneumonic81) and I love to see his ships in the Dyna. I am glad that Taldren asked some of the Community for involvement with SFC:OP
Hawkeye: I love the ships I have seen so far by he and Cleeve.
Dennis Greene: :)
Hawkeye: What do you think of the ships so far. Have you seen them In-Game?
Dennis Greene: No, we've not gotten to see the new models or artwork yet.
Hawkeye: Hmm. Oh well...Have you seen the screenshots from the various sources?
Hawkeye: How is it working for Taldren?
Dennis Greene: Like any job
I imagine, it has it's ups and downs. Taldren is a group of great guys
Hawkeye: Absolutely, I will support them as best I can Too.
Hawkeye: Do you mind if I get say 3 questions from the community?
Dennis Greene: Ah, sure, fire away.
I then opened the floor on the SFC2 chat on GameSpy and told the room that I was interviewing SFCShadow and I would take the first three questions for him.
<nevian> SFCShadow: What was your favorite part of working with OP?
Dennis Greene: Getting a chance to write the next strategy guide. :-)
<afCUB-K9> SFCShadow: whats is you favorite race to play and why?
Dennis Greene: (Interviewers note. Dennis gave the same answer as above for convenience.) I play them all, I've mastered them all. Currently the Lyran and Hydrans are the ones I've been playing a lot. But that can and does change at any time. I have the heart of a Klingon Warrior, the convictions of a Federation Starfleet Officer, the cunning of a Lyran commander, as ruthlessness of a Mirak leader, flexibility of a Hydran merchant, the Mystery of a Romulan Centurion, toughness of a Gorn Warlord, and lay down justice like a member of the ISC.
<EFF-Ams_-Murjuri> SFCShadow:: Whats it like turning SFB into 3 different games?
Dennis Greene: Fantastic
Dennis Greene: But you have
to realize, that I didn't really turn anything into anything. Taldren
Hawkeye: Thanks Dennis. That's all I have for now.
Dennis Greene: No problem, wife wants to watch a movie anyway. :)
So, there you have it, all. I want to thank SFCShadow for taking time out of his busy schedule to do this sit down. I also wanted to thank the community for being able to provide interviews and for their questions on GameSpy Arcade. Dennis is very busy right now with the next strategy guide and is one of the most professional people I have met in this humble community. My appreciation to you, sir.
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