faker speaks out
Posted on: 15.01.2014 00:51
Interview made by Finland 2006 for the XJ Weekly Reloaded #12
Finland 2006: Hello faker!! As the CEO of XJ you're known by everyone in the community, and will be known as long as it exists, but why don't you give us a little introduction about the man behind the legend?
Germany faker: Hey everyone, I'm 24 years old, a student and I currently live in Munich, Germany. I joined XJ back in 2005 and became a member of the staff in the same year. I basically started to play KZ maps shortly after I found out about KZ and XJ by co-incidence (I was trying to learn the famous nuke "red rock" jump and a member - and XJ admin - named "ernstaugust" assisted me and showed me a great tutorial and the XJ website) and fell in love with KZ maps ever after. Furthermore I was recording some record demos as well, mostly in the years 2006-2007 and my best position was #5 in the top5 with about 20 demos (if I remember right).
Finland 2006: Now, lets get to the major point. You are one of the most well respected guys here, how did it all happen?
Germany faker: Thanks for the flowers, I'm not sure if I'm really one of them but I surely do hope that the things I contributed to XJ - and to the whole KZ community at all - are satisfying and appreciated by one or the other user :)
After I became admin in 2005 I basically tried to help as much as I could and sooner or later I got involved into demo releases, rule changes and updates and even coordinating tasks (such as talking to our coder eDark about possible updates, cheaters, new cheats) and a lot of other important work. I basically grew into the position of a (or at that time into the position as one of the) head admin(s) and after some of the former ones retired I was officially announced as one of them.
Finland 2006: What is your honest opinion about XJ?? Do you think it was better in the time when you were still new to it?
Germany faker: Wow, that's a very good and tough question which, of course, depends on your perspective. Back then the community was a friendlier (but way smaller) place for sure, it was less competitive and the main focus was on playing together, making friends and having a good time. If I would have asked the same question (the one I mentioned in my first answer) "Can someone teach me how to do the nuke-jump properly?" nowadays, I would probably get answers like "RTFM", "Check the tutorials" or "Use the search function" instead of an admin offering his help :P But it's not really fair and reasonable to compare the things in the way I just did; the present community is ten times bigger than it was back then, it is way more competitive now and with competition there comes ambition and jealousy and battles between the users - it's kind of self-evident. Also the current skill level, the extreme challenge of some of the maps and the competitions/events with prize money were simply unimaginable back then.
Finland 2006: What do you think should be improved to make XJ as it was few years back?
Germany faker: That's the very same question we're discussing for quite a while in our internal forum ;) I think it's not really possible, the present community is way bigger than before and it has its own "will" and its own dynamics - as a member of the staff you got to work with what you got and try to make the best out of it. We're definitely going to reform the rules and improve the forum guidelines and the whole standard. Competition and battles are a good thing to have and create tension and joy for our users, but people should be able to communicate and treat each other with respect nevertheless. However, I doubt it's possible to get back the "special old school feeling" we had back then, not only because the community is bigger now, also the users and their approach and prospects towards the community are different these days; they are not solely here to make friends or having a good time, they want challenge and competition, taking sides in battles, post their opinion and criticism about everything and everyone. It's the new era and it's not necessarily bad, it's just different.
Finland 2006: While many admins have quit after a short period, what is the source of continuation for you?? What keeps you doing the the same job over and over again?
Germany faker: Yeah, that's true, we've seen a lot of fluctuation in the staff lately. I actually don't even question peoples' motivations in the first place, I'm sure most/all of them wanted to help when they originally signed up for the position in the staff, but what people need to realize is that working in the staff CAN be a lot of fun (and satisfying if you see that your work can make a lot of users happy), you'll make some new friends in the staff for sure, but it's real work as well and you are going to be responsible for what you do (or don't do). Realizing that and seeing your fellow admin (or users) being disappointed or mad at you can be pretty frustrating and discouraging at times. Also real life priorities are playing a role here, sometimes people realize that they don't have as much spare time as they thought they would have, so they rather decide to retire instead of stepping back from some of their real life events and/or sacrifice some of their remaining spare time. That's just a general analysis of course, I'm sure every one of them had his or her own individual motives.
The key, or at least my key, to success is coordination. If you talk to your fellows, try to make up a schedule for each of your days and sync it with theirs, you have more time than you might think and you'll be able to reduce frustration to a minimum at the same time. Other than that, XJ is my "baby" for years now, so it definitely has a pretty high priority in my own schedule.
Finland 2006: What do you think is the best achievement during your time as CEO of XJ?
Germany faker: Well, I think it's hard for oneself to judge that, but if I have to choose a few of my achievements I'd say that the most important thing was that I never gave up. At times I made a few mistakes (probably like every human out there) or at least decisions that didn't find 100% acceptance and I was too impulsive towards the people that criticized me and/or disliked the decisions; resulting in a time when I wasn't really popular and thought about quitting, but I didn't. When it comes to non-commercial admin work it's really hard to find constant motivation and activity, which are both needed for stability, and I think I was able to provide that stability no matter if I had still fun playing kz myself or not, I just didn't want to let XJ/the community down. Also I think I have an eye for the "whole thing", I can and I like to coordinate projects, communicate with several persons in order to make everything happen and observe and step in to assist when needed. That pretty much was and still is my job on XJ for the past few years. Please let me drop one note to all the new users who don't know me yet and try to contact me: my schedule usually doesn't allow me to answer every PM that is sent to me, but I try to answer all the important ones nevertheless. So please, if you have a trivial problems, please try to contact one of the other admins first; also in your interest, since you might get the needed help way faster this way.
Finland 2006: What do you think about the future of this community, and about your future here?
Germany faker: This is a brilliant question, thanks for asking it ;) Basically it's on you, the community, to decide that; which is a point that some of the users didn't understand yet. Instead of sitting around and expecting new projects (or criticizing the staff for not offering them) please come forward with your ideas and dreams, talk to us and we'll sit together to see if we can make them true. I know it might sound like an easy excuse, but you need to realize that the admins aren't paid employees, they are users just like you who decided to make an sacrifice and join the staff to work for the user users in the community and make XJ and KZ overall a nice place to be; they give as much of their spare time as they can, but in some cases it might not be enough to offer several new projects and make them come true. In this regard we'll offer a new application form in the future. That form will be online and open 24/7, to make it easier for your guys to send over your application and/or ideas and to elaborate them.
Without spoiling it too much project wise, I can say that we're trying to focus on live events and competitions in 2011, involve moviemakers and moviemaking even more (you might have noticed our new youtube channel which is going to be filled with all kz movies on XJ and some old and classic movies from 2006-2007 as a surprise, once we hit the magical count of 1000 subscribers).
My future on XJ, well, I can say that I won't vanish from XJ but I have to admit that my commitment is not the same as it was when I was still playing kz myself and I know that this situation is not ideal for XJ's efficiency. Therefore I'm trying to involve other people in XJ's daily business (you might have noticed that ndR became a part of our management) and to trust and teach some of our (recently recruited) admins with our daily business as well and let them take more responsible jobs and positions.
Finland 2006: Are there any secrets you can reveal, or if not reveal, give us a little insight of it?
Germany faker: As I mentioned in my last answer XJ is trying to focus on live events and competitions more and more in 2011. Exolent's new plugin for our public kreedz-servers is open beta at the moment and will be finalized soon (and installed on all of our gameservers; one addition gameserver might follow); it offers a great and vast top15 list that can be browsed ingame and on our website. There is also a really cool feature included where people can gain VIP permissions by collecting pro-points by nochecking maps on the server (the system will be elaborated once the plugin is finished and will be released). Furthermore we're planning to establish a livecup system where people can play cups 24/7 by simply joining the cupserver(s) and without having to use IRC; the stats and toplist/points might be combined (if possible). If the system works out we we might be able to offer more servers (with 1vs1 cups, melee cups, bhop cups for example) with one big toplist and have a system that comes pretty close to the idea of a real kz league.
Furthermore it will be on the community to decide which way to go in the future. We'll be offering a live competition starting off in the first quarter of 2011 that will be having an unseen amount of prize money in the kz community. If you want to donate into the pool for the prize money (any donation is appreciated and will be mentioned in the event and newsposts of course) please contact me via PM or IRC. There will be several qualifiers for the event, so every user can try to take part in the final event and everyone who made it to the final event will get parts of the prize money, hopefully that will ensure that everyone is motivated and battling it out until the very end. Matches will be held online and live, everyone can spectate them by joining our HLTV server. Furthermore demos will be available for download and the events might get even live-streamed on own3d.tv :) That's just a very rough roundup, details will follow at times.
Depending on the feedback we'll be getting about this tournament, the activity in the event and the possible/attraction for sponsors or esports related companies we'll see if there will be more events in the future or not, so it's basically on you guys to be active, follow the event and post your opinion or ideas what was good or bad.
If this won't work out and won't get the appreciation that is needed, there is another possible draft and direction to take: to focus on the community, the forums and the being together; meaning fight spam, remove trouble-seekers and remove users that are here to battle it out with other users and/or to troll; and trying to get back the old feeling people once had in KZ in the "good old times", being together with other people, playing for fun and making new friends - like a big family. This could be achieved, for example, by setting the website to invite only and offer the full functionality of the website without registration. Before newcomers are allowed to post on the website they have to write an introduction in the forum and have to be voted in by older members of our website. This is, once again, just a very raw roundup of how the final concept could look like.
It will basically be on everyone in the community to decide these things by his or her activity, behavior and dedication/activity. We, the admins, are just offering a platform for the whole community depending on your wishes and try to satisfy the majority of our users.
Finland 2006: I'm truly glad and also honored that I was able to interview you. You have done amazing work for XJ and also for all the members, we all have tremendous faith in whatever you do. We will all remember what you have done and have many positive memories from you. I'm sure you have some shout-outs you would like to make, so go ahead!
Germany faker: Thanks for this interview and allowing me to give people an insight into my thoughts. I know it's a lot of text but I hope it will help you to understand what's going on behind the scenes and reduce frustration (and make it easier to contribute and/or step forward at the same time) in the future. My shout-outs and my respect goes to everyone who was and still is sharing this amazing journey with me and/or contributed to XJ in any way. You know how you are! :)