Wednesday, 17 February 2021

January 2002 - LuNaTiC

LuNaTiC/LuN then afterwards known by his own name of Asher had started out with his download website AbandonRom Paradise. The likes of Dafastlane (DFL) started to gain popularity (and notoriety for the disputes in 'Da News' section) in the scene; LuNaTiC started his own community website called The Abandoned Galaxy (TAG) the aim had been to deliver a one-stop shop for the community and it had produced the initial Abandonware Awards and editorials which where opinions on the community and also had guest editors. This would serve as a rival to DFL, however from memory it had not been as interactive (the ability to leave comments) LuNaTiC had immersed himself into the community and had become a beacon of information as he knew all walks from the scene, which helped to serve him well for the popularity of TAG.

The Saint Hi LuNaTiC since the opening of The Abandoned Galaxy, quite a few things have happended over there - such as the awards and the whole Anon editorial situation a while back, can we see anything else that might be as talked about as those two things in the near future of TAG?

LuNaTiC Well, i guess we'll just have to wait and see ;) Basically, i dont go looking for controversy (which some have claimed) but i wont hide away from something if needs be. So if something in the future annoys me enough, sure, ill write up an editorial on it, but if not, things could just stay peaceful :)

The Saint What are your goals for The Abandoned Galaxy?

LuNaTiC When i first started, i wanted to use things like The Abandonware Awards to help unify the scene a little. Since then, my goals have changed slightly. Now im more interested in providing the best possible resource to webmasters & abandonware enthusiasts that i possibly can. With the site reviews, game reviews, everything else and several upcoming features, i hope to provide all that any abandonware person could ever need, except the downloads of course.

The Saint If there's something about TAG you could change, what would it be and why?

LuNaTiC Hmm...thats not an easy one. I'm quite happy with the site right now, and the way its heading. If i could change anything it would be the download site reviews, which have taken longer than expected to do, but we are getting on to those now, so its not such a big issue. Other than that, i cant really think of anything i would change.

The Saint The Abandoned Galaxy awards, a few people are saying these awards where 'Fixed' what is your view on this?

LuNaTiC Well, i know they werent, so it doesnt really bother me a whole lot, to be honest. Anyone who wants to accuse me of fixing the awards is free to, but they will be doing it without any basis whatsoever for their accusations. Besides which, The Awards are just a bit of fun, and fixing them wouldnt really serve a purpose anyway. On another note, many of the sites i wanted to win didnt. Surely if id fixed them i would have changed this?

The Saint What are your views on the current state of the scene? Is there anything/anyone that's really getting on your nerves?

LuNaTiC The community (i dont like the word scene) as a whole is going quite well. Abandonware is just as large and more well known than ever before. However, many people know my views on certain sites and people, and i dont feel that they have the community's best interests at heart. But then again, they probably feel that they do, so i cant forsee that going anywhere. Overall, i feel the community is growing, and will continue to grow, however certain influences are slowing down that growth.

The Saint If you could sum up in just one word to describe TAG, what would it be?

LuNaTiC Alive

The Saint If you could sum up in just one word to describe the state of the Abandonware scene, what would it be?

LuNaTiC Expanding

The Saint What are your views on other the community sites, such as DFL and ToT?

LuNaTiC As an idea, they are great. In practice, they seem to flow up and down like the tide. In general, ToT has improved a lot since its relaunch, although it still seems to be seeking controversy from time to time. Overall though, i think its quite a valuable resource to the community. DFL is an interesting case. It showed a lot of promise when it first launched, but since then has failed to deliver. TGARL has always had problems with out of date and/or just plain incorrect information, although that has improved of late. Da News has not impressed me at all in its short life. Its news stories seem to really lack anything interesting or out of the ordinary generally, although they do have the occassional good topic.

The Saint Your time spent in the scene as up to yet, if there is something/someone you would like to see return to the scene, that has been long gone, what/who would it be, and why?

LuNaTiC I would love to see a return from blargy & his site TACT, as ive always had huge respect for him, and TACT in its day helped me a lot with the download site i was running at the time. But there are plenty of others that would be valuable if they returned to the scene, like Turnip, HaZZeL or Hawk (who still idles on IRC, but has more or less abandoned the web scene)

The Saint What are your predications for the Abandonware scene of 2002, is it going to be a quite boring one or do you think this year will somehow be better than 2001?

LuNaTiC Well, in 2002 i can see some significant changes, but overall i think the community will remain fairly static. I think a few big names are likely to leave, and we will probably see the return of one or two people. Other than that though, i think it'll be business as usual.

The Saint Just as a question that I've been wanting to ask about TAG, how often do you publish editorials? And when will the next Abandonware awards be out?

LuNaTiC We publish editorials as often as they are written essentially. Usually it works out at about 1 a fortnight, but there isnt anything concrete. Note that the editorials space is open to the public, so if anyone feels like writing one, we'll be happy to put it up unedited as long as its not mindless bullshit. The next abandonware awards will be around the same time next year, although i am thinking of putting them on in december only, not running into january, as ill be away again same time next year.

Friday, 5 February 2021

January 2002 - TZ

TZ ran a webring called ACRing which he inherited after offering his services as Updater to the original owner Nick. Once TZ took to the helm of ACRing (after Nick decided to call it a day) he revamped the ring and gave it a new lease of life - by way of professional designs (there had been a design cold-war between TZ and NeoPickaze at the time) and reviews for member sites. TZ kept out of the 'community' forums and chats, which seemed to be the only reason it didn't reach the heights that it had the potential to reach - marketing and PR played a big part in boosting the popularity of Rings / Community websites and TZ did not feel the need to get involved. His only critque could be that he changed the designs far too often and you felt like you were visiting a different website each time (however, with his design skills - who could blame him?) a thoroughly nice chap who liked just getting on with his own project. We had discussed merging ACRing and EchoRing together at one point, but for some reason or another it never went ahead.

The Saint: Hi there TZ, since you have taken over ACRing - you have been steering the website into a great direction. How has it been running ACRing? Did you actually expect this kind of experience from running a webring? Would you say it's been very diffrent from running your old website?

(TZ) Well, running ACRing for the past 4 months has been difficult at times when there are no joins and little updates for large periods of time, but thats what comes with running a small web ring like ACRing. Yeah, i expected it, when Nick handed the site over, he told me it wasn't going too well, only 13 sites at the time with 10 of them dead, so i was expecting alot of trouble at first. It's quite different, mainly because i have to update every single day unlike with my abandonware site where i only had to update whenever i felt like it. I am running ACRing very differently to Abandoned Classics, things like the design have to be much more professional.

The Saint: The scene consists of a lot of webrings, currently there are 10 - including the 3 oldwarez rings. If I were a webmaster and I was seeking to join a ring and I asked you 'Why should I join Acring, whats so unique about this ring compared to all the others?' what would be your reply?

(TZ) Well unlike the 2 biggest rings, ACRing reviews all sites in depth and alot of detail without giving preferential treatment to large popular sites. We also offer the games list for all members which list all games on your site and would easily increase a members hit count. We also sometimes offer services like helping out webmasters with site problems which we have done quite a few times in the past.

The Saint: Is there anything you are unhappy about, with it?

(TZ) Yeah, quite alot of things, i would have really liked to do a Flash version of the site, flash is alot of fun but is very time consuming sometimes and noone but me thought it was a good idea. I would also like to do the site in PHP, it would make things faster, easier to update, the games list would be alot better being searchable and everything. I am unable to do it in PHP just yet because i dont have a reliable host to host it on for a few months.

The Saint: What are your goals for ACRing, what do you hope to accomplish with this webring?

(TZ) To become the biggest and most respected ring, i am almost on my way there, currently there is only 1 critic against ACRing. I'd like to have the most members, the most hits etc...

The Saint: How long are you hoping to be running Acring? Has it ever crossed your mind, that you should recruit a crew to help you out with your projects?

(TZ) I'm hoping to be running it as long as i have the time and as long as i am interested. It has crossed my mind, but the problem is that i'm too bossy, too controlling, and i like things to be done my way, i didn;t like the way nick was running ACRing, thats one of the reasons i took over!

The Saint:​ What are your views on the current state of the scene? Is there anything that's really getting on your nerves?

(TZ) Well there is quite alot of bitchiness in the scene, and quite alot of favouritism given to bigger more popular sites from the big rings which i dont like very much. One thing thats getting on my nerves is webmasters from larger sites and big rings pushing the little lesser known webbies like me around.

The Saint: If you could sum up in just one word to describe ACRing, what would it be?

(TZ) Spanktacular

The Saint: If you could sum up in just one word to describe the state of the Abandonware scene, what would it be?

(TZ) Screwy

The Saint: Would you say that are any webrings which have gave Acring inspiration?

(TZ) TUOL gave me some inspiration, not alot though, very little actually, No others because before acring, no rings had reviews + screenshots at all. I did get some ideas for parts of ACRing from other sites though

The Saint: And finally, will you be sticking with the design you have currently, for a while?

(TZ) hehe yeah, i dont think i'll be changing it, its fine the way it is, it could do with a bit of improving, a bit more customisation for each section. Noone really has complained about this design, and ppl always complain that i change it too much so i'm not changing it.