Posts Tagged ‘Gamer Interviews’

October 2013 Gamer of the Month Profile: Dave Vogt

Dave-VogtDave Vogt, gamer and indie developer, was our second Gamer of the Month, competing on Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved for our October competition.  Many gamers know Dave from multiple gaming sites, including but not limited to Twin Galaxies, Retroids and Gaming World Wide, which he works for as well.

An all around good guy and gamer, I had the privilege to meet Dave back in November of 2011.   I appreciate his willingness to complete this interview and the time it took to answer the questions to allow us a little more insight into his world.  We will be doing a follow up developer interview with him regarding his game, The Bounty.

Name: David Vogt

Nickname: LudicrousDa3ve

Non Gaming History:

Where do I start? I’ve been an odd mix of introverted, while close to people. Mostly family and a handful of close friends- but that grew outward as I got older and it was pretty much necessary to be more public oriented. Well, as a kid I really spent a lot of time out playing with friends, exploring and whatnot. A good deal of reading… actually was into a lot of nerdy stuff. Along with being an honor roll student, it led to some having some odd impressions of me. Not always positive. My really big interests- besides video games, of course- were martial arts and music.

We’ll condense the rest. I learned and adapted several styles of martial arts; eventually taught in a studio for a bit. I wanted to compete… but I learned fairly quickly that while I was really good at hurting people, I hated doing so. Music took over at that point. With the help of some really fantastic friends, I taught myself how to play guitar, picked up some music theory, and went off. I played in a few bands, the last of which being Ununbiun which I played with until mid 2006. I still play and write- some of that work has been recently adapted to work in my indie RPG, The Bounty.

Gaming History:

My parents were already gaming buffs- so I was born into it on that last day of ’79. My first full sentence-according to them- was “Mommy play Oh Shit”… “Oh Shit” being what I thought Defender was called. From Atari to Colecovision to NES and onward; games were a huge binding part of my life, with family, friends, and my own intellectual development. I got into and appreciated pretty much all of it; and besides a year or so of holding up the flag of the SNES, have been a fully nondiscriminatory multiplatform guy, too.

Throughout it all, I’ve been a pretty strong player. However, that didn’t really equate to being competitive. I played competitive games, especially fighters and Quake- but I didn’t really play competitively until 2008. Even now, I see it as more “me vs. me” than I do as myself against other players. Just a mindset.

I’m overall more about experiencing the medium as artistic expression- and the wide range that is available. There have been those landmark titles- Zelda, Doom, Street Fighter, Final Fantasy IV (II US), Metroid Prime, Diablo, Shining Force… y’know, the big favorites? But it’s the weird stuff that rounds you out. I’ve always loved hunting down and discovering the lesser-known games.

This broad spectrum has had it’s influence in my drive to develop games. Besides the score chasing RPG “The Bounty” that’s in development now, I have about half a dozen games existing as design documents or scraps of demos- all in a variety of genres, styles, and design philosophies.

legend-of-zeldaFavorite Classic Game:

There are SO many that could go here, but it has to be The Legend of Zelda. Nothing has ever replicated that feeling of wonder that I felt the first time played it; hell, even looking at the box, booklet, and gold cartridge on the way home from the mall that day was pretty damned mystifying. It has influenced all of gaming- including my own design work. The best part might be that after all these years- it’s still satisfying to play.

Favorite Modern Game:

I’m tempted to say Geometry Wars: Galaxies or The Legend of Zelda:Skyward Sword. In fact, if I had to name “the greatest game of all time”, it’d be Skyward Sword. But for personal favorite game of right now, I’ll call Zombi U! It’s a first person survival horror with rogue-like tendencies; it does so much, has an intensely oppressive atmosphere, and truly pushes the envelope in immersion, thanks to it’s synergy with the Wii U’s suite of controls. There is nothing else quite like it.

wii-uFavorite Platform:

I love ’em all, but the top dog is Wii U. It’s modern, multifaceted, and plays home to amazing new content… including Nintendo’s, of course. Add in backwards compatibility and the Virtual Console, and you have access to huge amounts of games from several different platforms spanning over thirty years. It’s beautiful.

Why do you game?

I play to compete. I play to experience the artistic expression of others. I play to express myself. I play to unwind, and I even play to have fun.

Is there a gamer or personality that inspires you to achieve your gaming goals? If so, who is it and why?

I get inspired by pretty much everybody. For a less broad answer, if you strip everything all the way back, it’s my late mother. Obviously, she had a huge influence on my personal development. But, she was the first person I knew to really kick ass at games; and the first world record worthy game I ever witnessed was her maxing out Zanac on NES.

What was the first world record you set – with any entity? How did that make you feel? Why was that game the first game you set a record on and did that affect the scores you chase today?

geometry-wars-galaxiesThe first one was actually was the first galaxy in Geometry Wars: Galaxies with Twin Galaxies(say that ten times fast!)- though it was on a tape with multiple scores, so the first might technically be Wario Ware! I shot for Geometry Wars because, after seeing King of Kong, I thought “that might be a cool way to push myself… now which arcade game suits me”. The answer was Robotron, but since Geometry Wars is similar and I enjoy it far more, the arcade idea was dropped and it was the choice. It was a great feeling; but the thrill of victory is fleeting. It’s the process that I loved, which keeps me going and pushing into different categories and experiences.

What is your favorite record that you’ve set? Why?

Doom. More specifically, speedrunning Episode 3: Inferno. I’ve been a gigantic Doom fan since the day I saw a preview in a PC gaming mag. I’ve beaten the entire series many times on many different platforms, but to break it by speedrunning was a different experience.

What records are you looking to set in the next year? What challenges do you see for setting those records, if any?

extra-life-2014There aren’t many I have in mind, really. Besides some oddball games like Gain Ground, the only big one planned is to top my 50 hour fighting game marathon record. It’ll be a part of Extra-Life 2014 for Children’s Hospitals. The goal is 75 hours this time. The hard part is keeping the body from giving out… but if I can manage to have enough external stimuli (conversations, etc) then it should be possible.

You were Gamer of the Month for October on the game Geometry Wars. What was the hardest part about that challenge for you? If you could have done something different, what would it have been?

Well, the hard part was realizing that my GeoWars skills had atrophied so badly! It took a day or so to knock the rust off.

1032631_thank_you_sign

If you could say one thing to inspire future gamers wanting to set world records, what would it be?

Setting world records is a surprisingly difficult process. It’s also surprisingly rewarding, and revealing. You get to know yourself better, and improve on your weaknesses.

Any other comments, thank yous, or anything else?

Go for it. Set a score. It’s fun, it’s hard, and you’ll be glad you did.

I want to thank Walter Day and Twin Galaxies for getting the ball rolling on this whole crazy thing all those years ago. I want to thank Grace Snoke and Video Game Scoreboard, Trickman Terry and Ken Williams from Retroids, Josh Jones and Recordsetter- everybody who is doing their part in pushing competition. Huge thanks to everyone who competes, has competed, or will. We sharpen each other.

About Grace "Kayhynn" Snoke

Grace Snoke is a corporate journalist and author who enjoys gaming, reading, writing and jewelry making. Outside of her day job, she writes for a number of sites including: Video Game Scoreboard.com, Obsolete Gamer, SciTech Nerds and for a couple blogs and sites she owns. You can learn more about her adventures as an author here.

Gamer of the Month Profile: Mitchell Meerman

Patrick O'Malley, Mitchell Meerman and Glenn Thomas at Star Worlds Arcade

Patrick O’Malley, Mitchell Meerman and Glenn Thomas at Star Worlds Arcade

It took a little while for us to get with Mitchell and complete the gamer profile interview as he was our first Gamer of the Month, getting the best scores on the Classic Crazy Challenge Gamer of the Month Contest.  But we finally got everything squared away to get this interview completed.

I had the opportunity to meet Mitchell at Star Worlds Arcade when we were out there for their Summer Sizzle Event and verified several of his scores live.

Name: Mitchell Meerman

Nicknames: YoshiEgg25, MJMeerman, Admiral Yoshi

Tell us a bit about yourself – non-gaming history.
I am 21 years old and from Sycamore, Ill. I’m a Computer Science major at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. I work in information technology and am looking to gain CompTIA A+ certification in the near future. Among other things, I’m a club president at UW-Platteville, an accomplished pianist, a fan of many sports (mainly hockey, football, and baseball), and an amateur music producer and songwriter.

Tell us a bit about your gaming history.
I began playing games at a very young age with my dad on PC, playing such titles as King’s Bounty, Hover!, Chip’s Challenge, and King’s Quest. I received a Nintendo 64, my first console, when I was five, a Jungle Green colored set bundled with Donkey Kong 64. I started on the Game Boy line soon after and owned solely Nintendo consoles until I began my collecting phase in the summer of 2010. During the second half of that year, I acquired three Dreamcasts, a PlayStation 2, a Nintendo Entertainment System, and a Game Gear. I’ve gotten out of the collecting for the most part now, but I’ve still got a lot left, and I still am attempting to get every North American released Pokémon game complete in box. I was turned on to arcade gaming at the start of 2011 and have been a regular customer at Star Worlds Arcade in DeKalb, Illinois, since I first visited at the end of May 2011.

dk-64Favorite Classic Game? Why?
Donkey Kong 64. It was my first console game and I fell completely in love with it. I’ve actually gotten 101% completion on the game, getting all 201 golden bananas, including the Rareware banana. It was actually my introduction to arcade games as the original Donkey Kong is included as a playable game on the cartridge and playing it is required to fully complete the game.

Favorite Modern Game(s)? Why?
If I was forced to narrow it down to just one game, it would be Elite Beat Agents. I had an insane amount of fun with that game and I often find myself wanting to go back to playing it. I also love such games as the Pokémon, Ace Attorney, and Professor Layton series, and right now I’ve been loving Octodad: Dadliest Catch.

Favorite platform? Why?
nintendo-game-cubeThe Nintendo GameCube. That little box has an insane amount of power that was untapped by just about everyone, and I’m determined to get all I can out of it. My first disk when I got the system was The Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition, a collection of four Zelda games and my first experience with the series. I love playing such games on it as Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Mario Sunshine, Chibi-Robo!, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Super Mario Strikers, Mario Superstar Baseball, and Pac-Man Vs. I currently own three GameCubes, all with Game Boy Players attached, three Broadband Adapters, and even a component cable, which is a pretty pricey piece of equipment nowadays. I’ve used two of the Broadband Adapters to play Mario Kart: Double Dash!! over LAN and have played eight-player races with my friends. I’m hoping to get to the point of being able to play sixteen-player MK:DD and possibly a five TV, five GameCube setup of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (http://www.racketboy.com/retro/nintendo/gamecube/legend-of-zelda-four-swords-5-gamecubes-5-tvs).

Why do you game?
I game because it’s fun and it gives me the opportunity to have fun with my friends. I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of cool people through gaming and have formed some lasting friendships. If gaming ever stopped being fun, I’d stop doing it. Luckily, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Star-Worlds-Arcade-Logo150Is there a gamer or personality that inspires you to achieve your gaming goals? If so, who is it and why?
It’s tough to say if there’s any one person. If there is, it’s been Patrick O’Malley. Him and Glenn Thomas have both been extremely supportive of my goals and various record attempts at Star Worlds Arcade. Tim McVey, who taught me how to play Nibbler, has also been, and seeing what he did at such a young age with being the first gamer to break a billion points on a video game and his attempts to take back his record nearly thirty years after he got it are also inspiring. I also aspire to be like other various “go for the gold” and “never say die” figures like Billy Mitchell, Steve Wiebe, William Carlton, Thor Aackerlund, and Doris Self.

What was the first world record you set – with any entity? How did that make you feel? Why was that game the first game you set a record on and did that affect the scores you chase today?
Though they were never submitted anywhere because of the archaic format I recorded the video on, I first achieved many records on both Mario Kart DS and Pokémon Pinball. I first went after those because of the lack of times/scores on both games, and because I could already beat them at my then-current skill level. I felt great after getting those records and it made me feel like I could do that on more competitive games. I still have the tapes from those game sessions at home!

nibbler_000What is your favorite record that you’ve set? Why?
My score of 251,169,160 on Nibbler on December 26-27, 2014. Though it wasn’t even close to a world record, I felt that I really didn’t give up, especially after a seven-hour game before that ended with the reset button being accidentally tripped when we were cleaning the joystick. I intend to improve on that score and eventually break the billion-point barrier, if not go for the world record.

What records are you looking to set in the next year? What challenges do you see for setting those records, if any?
At some point, I hope to have another go at the Nibbler marathon record, as I mentioned. I also would like to go for the Avalanche world record, which I had with 2,503 points but was never officially submitted anywhere before it was beaten by Lars Bull. I’ve also been slowly improving at Donkey Kong and hope to get much better, though I don’t envision myself competing for the world record any time soon.

classsic-crazy-challenge-video-game-scoreboard-winnerYou were Gamer of the Month for July on the Classic Crazy Challenge. What was the hardest part about that challenge for you? If you could have done something different, what would it have been?
The hardest part was definitely BurgerTime. Nibbler was a cakewalk for me (setting a one-man world record on my first try) and I was confident with a good score in Donkey Kong, but I put a few weeks of practice time into perfecting the patterns on the first two boards of BurgerTime. And even then, I was getting unlucky on it! My strategy, though, worked to perfection and I’d change nothing about what I did.

If you could say one thing to inspire future gamers wanting to set world records, what would it be?
Just do it! Pick a game, and you can probably get a record on it somehow. Even your favorite game! It really isn’t hard to do. Being a world record holder is extremely gratifying and it’s something that you can bring up in conversation and people will be impressed. Even if it’s a video game, that term “world record” gets envy from even the most tech-deprived of people.

Any other comments, thank you, or anything else?
Thank you so much to VGS for giving me the opportunity to become Gamer of the Month, Patrick O’Malley and Glenn Thomas of Star Worlds Arcade for their support and enabling my addictions to arcade games, Tim McVey for his support and teaching me how to play Nibbler, and to my family, Kathy Macco, and everyone else who has supported me through playing and had to deal with me talking about arcade games for hours on end!

Many thanks to Mitchell for working with us on the interview and congratulations once again on your Gamer of the Month Achievement.  There are plenty of opportunities for other folks to compete in our Gamer of the Month Competitions.  Check out February’s contest which ends March 15 and the March Giga Challenge for more information on how to compete.

About Grace "Kayhynn" Snoke

Grace Snoke is a corporate journalist and author who enjoys gaming, reading, writing and jewelry making. Outside of her day job, she writes for a number of sites including: Video Game Scoreboard.com, Obsolete Gamer, SciTech Nerds and for a couple blogs and sites she owns. You can learn more about her adventures as an author here.

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