The PlayMyth.net interview
April 26, 2002
Bungie's own Mordia, recently sat down to chat with Asyd Rayne, *LonE MWA, bloo, Strkie, Blades Oliva, and StoneCold PMA. These are the men behind the PlayMyth.net Myth server. PlayMyth has taken upon them the task of creating one universal home for players of all three Myth games. While their efforts are still in the early stages, their efforts could prove to become a home all Mythers have dreamed of since the Bungie.net sever was taken offline. Following is a transcript of the discussion that took place.
Mordia: so, to start with, what all do you do on the project?
Asyd Rayne: Some Loser is Team Leader
Asyd Rayne: <-- is the lead server programmer
*LonE MWA: Asyd is our fake GOD
Asyd Rayne: bloo and darkstalker do the website
bloo: DarkStalker and I are the Webmonkeys yah..
StoneCold PMA: I'm just an Admin, I help when I can and.. that's pretty much just about it
*LonE MWA: I am the Administration Supervisor (in other words I have Mordia's job now :( big unboos there)
Strike: I handle public relations, server interface graphics and changes, pc installer (and mb a mac one)
Blades Oliva: I am the project coordinator, hardware technician and system administrator. I'm the guy that gets woken up at 3am if the server goes down
Mordia: do you own the server hardware, blades?
Blades Oliva: yes
Mordia: what does the thing run on?
Blades Oliva: It runs on a Compaq 5304 with a Cyrix M2 processor running at 400 MHz. with half a gig of ram. It's also connected via 10-base T to the largest fiber optic pipe in the southeast united states
Mordia: heh, so lag isn't a problem, eh?
Blades Oliva: lag isn't an issue :)
Bla+des Oliva: It's a dedicated box - meaning the web site and game server operate off the same platform. It runs a heavily bastardized version of Red Hat 7.1
Mordia: how much communication is there between the web site and the server itself, e.g. leader boards, etc.?
bloo: I can answer that
bloo: For launch we have account creation and maintenance going between them. Orders as well will be shared between (late beta coding there pushing hard on that). Once the basics are in play, we're going to pull stats etc. back from the game server for website perusal
bloo: :;sits back down::
Asyd Rayne: We've actually divided up ranking into pure, third party, and overall. We're planning on allowing those stats to be viewed in game as well as on the server.
Mordia: does that involve a client side UI modification for the end user, or will do be doing that with dot-commands?
Asyd Rayne: Basically .commands you will type in .style pure for example and the stats you see will be pure stats, but it will be displayed via Bungie's standard stat interface. We didn't want to try messing with the client without source :)
Mordia: Did you, either with the gamer server code or on the web end, do much to streamline that process? To send more or different information than the old bungie.net stuff did?
Asyd Rayne: We didn't streamline the process as well as we could have if we gave ourselves a longer schedule. We have a great database programmer on the team, but time dictated a simple approach.
Mordia: Do you plan on continuing to tweak it after you go live... working for the perfect and ultimate myth server?
Asyd Rayne: definitely!!
Blades Oliva: fer dang sure
Mordia: Right now you support Myth2? are you going to try for TFL and Myth3 as well?
Blades Oliva: Yes
Asyd Rayne: Myth3 is next.
Strike: The whole project really started out for myth3, but when Bungie announced the close of b.net, we moved effort over the myth2 whilst still working on getting rights to continue developing myth3 (which we now have).
Mordia: What's the situation with your team and Take2? Do you have permission to work on the code or do they want a "real" company to do that with you as directors, or what the hell's going on there?
Asyd Rayne: strike?
*LonE MWA: That's an SL/Strike question
Blades Oliva: We're not in any way affiliated with Take 2 - we're a group of programmers who have been taped to help develop the M3 code. We can modify the code, but it still belongs to Take 2.
Mordia: So you're not "compensated" for your time and effort, eh?
Blades Oliva: we'll be making the M3 code work with a new server
Blades Oliva: No, we will not be paid, at least not by Take 2 but we're open to sponsorships :)
Mordia: In short, you're doing this out of the kindness of your hearts, for the benefit of all mankind and the fattening up of your resumes?
Asyd Rayne: Basically.
Blades Oliva: I'm part of this so I can frickin play M3 online and have more than 3 people to choose from.
bloo: World domination too..
Blades Oliva: ...and making game servers helps get the girls!
Blades Oliva: Everyone knows that!
StoneCold PMA: I get all the chicks, Mordia, no matter what :)
Mordia: Now that we've put getting chicks aside, we can move to Lone... So, you're the head admin, sort of like I was... and since no one ever really knew what it was that I did... what is it that you do?
*LonE MWA: Its a leadership position on the server to help maintain it, to keep things straightened out and fair, and being able to get people to play NICE :)
bloo: The rest of the team isn't sure, but he's comet at least once daily...
Asyd Rayne: He's kind of like the manager of a company. He spends his time telling everyone what to do, and everyone else spends their time ignoring him :p
StoneCold PMA: He gets a mullet and goes out with his buddy who has a afro and tries to pimp :(
*LonE MWA: wtf mullet?
Asyd Rayne: mullet's are good for pimping
*LonE MWA: Not to mention mord, I sprained my ankle again, partial tear in the ligament... gg
*LonE MWA: Basketball is a killer :(
Asyd Rayne: You always use that excuse when your about to lose lmoth
Asyd Rayne: :)
StoneCold PMA: oh yeah.. that :(
*LonE MWA: No I'm normally looking at a picture of Stone's girl friend and not paying attention to the game :P GG STONE!!
StoneCold PMA: Lone, meet your right hand... :(
Asyd Rayne: lol! The interview is rapidly devolving...
Mordia: (attempts to keep it on track) You've more or less taken the old bungie.net rules as they were, with some tweaking, and posted them. what kinds of changes are you going to make, administratively, to ensure that cheating and general lamerness isn't as much of a problem as it was on b.net?
bloo: Firstly account creation. Since we don't have the benefit of Bungie's serial numbers database, we're using a no free email service policy...
*LonE MWA: We also will come down on cheaters: padding issue is no longer a problem, and believe it or not, the way the system is set up it will be a lot harder to dummy.
bloo: 2 prong attack
Blades Oliva: Life is a huge battle of wits between programmers and the universe. The harder the programmer works to make programs safer and more idiot proof, the harder the universe works to churn out bigger and badder idiots and hackers. While you can't really prevent someone who is absolutely determined to cheat, you can make it as difficult as possible for them to succeed. Our ranking system has some nice surprises in store for people who like to "unimap" or play one particular kind of game over and over and over again. We've also embedded a few surprises designed to make them go "WTF?!?!?" then when we get asked, we know who to watch. Of course, I don't wanna spill all the beans here - that wouldn't be any fun! :)
Mordia: Its obvious you've taken some lessons from b.net.. have you taken any lessons from marius net?
Blades Oliva: I think we came away with two things from Mnet. I think we came away with a good sense of what service should and should not be, and what our roles should and should not be as game server administrators. We also learned that more .commands don't necessarily make the game more fun.
StoneCold PMA: I would have to say no, I rarely played on Marius.net; I never really liked the interface of it with all the .dot commands. I just didn't want to get used to the TFL style so quickly when I know I would be on a new SB server in a matter of months.
Mordia: (Something I should have asked earlier on) What do each of you do in the real world? What are your backgrounds, what kind of schooling do you have to be able to do what you've done here, what do you like to do when you're not Mything, or coding for Myth?
Blades Oliva: I'm a web site developer and programmer based in Lebanon, TN. I own and operate the corporation with my wife, Paula. I have a B.A. Degree in Speech Communications and worked in radio for 10 years before going into business for myself, which was much more rewarding. A dirty little secret is that I once applied for the Bungie.net webmasters position .... I never got a call... It scarred me for life.
StoneCold PMA: I'm currently taking classes in Advanced Graphic Arts and Computer Programming (which includes HTML, Java, C, and some perl), When I'm not on myth, I like to do anything from Hanging out with friends and playing sports to just listening to music while laying on the couch.
Mordia: How did all of you guys hook up?
StoneCold PMA: I got hooked up from Lone, He asked me if I would like to be an admin, I obliged and took the role of an Admin. I decided to take a step further by helping out in anyway I could from coding to doing hardcore testing or to just hearing the coders vent because they didn't know what the hell was wrong.
Blades Oliva: I knew Spond through working/consulting with him on my other Myth project (mythmaps.com). I've been offering to help various myth entities over the course of the last six months. We hooked up with Some Loser and offered to help. SL brought Asyd Rayne, I brought Spond, spond knew Dark Stalker who was working with Blue already on a version of the server. Asyd hooked up with DaRooster, and I think Strike came with SL. One great big family stump.
Mordia: Well, that's about it, anything else you guys want to say?
Blades Oliva: It's taken a lot of blood, sweat, tears, sleepless nights, and countless hours put in by everyone on this team. It truly was a team effort. Everyone here has worked VERY hard to make this site and server the absolute best that it could be and we hope that nobody is let down by their online gaming experience on it. We'll be working on M3 after a couple of weeks of downtime.
Play Myth.net is live and ready for play. Check out their site and get instructions how to connect at http://www.playmyth.net/