When did you join the community?
It must've been somewhere around 2002 before the server moved to Hubba's loving arms and when Wolfsbane took over things. It's all a bit fuzzy - a man's memory is max 2 weeks and 2002 was.. umm.. 5 years ago? I recall first joining the Missions Depot or 'Command HQ' as it was called back then. Mike Beil was in charge of the missions. When the server moved I helped with the Editors Depot stuff and got stuck at it when snYpir asked nicely, but after about 6 months of rewriting tutorials and FAQ's I found my true calling again from the Missions Depot.
When did you buy the game and what were your first impressions?
Unlike many others still around in the community, I never played the demo. I don't do demos. I burned version 1.1 from a friend. Played the campaign, made 20 missions and posted them to OFPEC's beta board, fell in love with the game and bought the gold pack with version 1.3 and Red Hammer campaign. I loved the freedom both in the game and in the editor. I've always loved the ability to 'build my own stuff' in games starting from Stunts and going to Civilization and so on. It wasn't until I had posted my 20 basic missions to the OFPEC beta board when someone told me there's the 'advanced' tab in the editor too and that was it.
How long before you started editing?
I played the campaign through first and then started placing units in the editor. Like most new things, I refused to learn scripting for the longest time, but with the constant nagging of people like Pins_Da_Smoka and Wolfrug that 'all my stupid questions could be answered by reading a few tutorials and learning how to script', I had to kneel down and get learning.
A series of 20 small missions that tried to be a campaign of some sort. I remember even back then they got many replies in the OFPEC beta board... but I must admit, I only posted them there to amuse others and myself, not to make them any better.
How were you introduced to OFPEC?
I can't remember exactly how I first stumbled across to OFPEC, but I can remember that I registered to the forum straight away and made some topics that got locked very fast. Then I read the posting instructions like a good little boy and started asking all the questions that you ask when you first stumbled into the game and the site - "I saw the campaign had burning campfires. How does one light them in the editor?"
What was the site like back then?
Very open and friendly. Same place, different people (mostly). There were Tigershark, Wolfsbane, Mike Beil, Wolfrug, Anmac... www.archive.org - go see for yourself.
How long before you were recruited? To what position?
I don't remember when it was exactly. I had some experience from the editor and applied to the Missions Depot. I always had the highest respect for the OFPEC staff. It all seemed a bit mysterious and a higher authority group. I also read the reviews a lot and thought "I can do that".
You were involved with the missions depot for a long time. What's the deal with the missions depot? What's it for?
I started as your regular reviewer, the lowest of the low, and just stuck around like a bad case of crabs. The OFPEC MD has a very long and proud history. OFPEC was founded as a place for editing resources by LustyPooh, but soon after TygerShark incorporated other services for everyone's delight. Mike Beil was the first MD admin I believe. After Mike left for war (Blackhawk pilot) came Anmac who was then replaced by yours truly because he had to go to war too in a way - a new baby born.
OFPEC Missions Depot has always been about quality over quantity. The user submitted missions are played by the reviewer as many times as it takes to write a good and accurate review. On many occasions the mission .pbo file is also ripped open and examined for a scripting quality check. I believe OFPEC is the only site who does this and you can only imagine how much time is consumed on one single review. This is why the OFPEC MD is the best in its field.
What makes a good mission?
The player. Likes and dislikes are as many as there are people. A good mission doesn't need to have external scripting. It doesn't need to have any fancy effects or addons used or a plot that only Sherlock could follow. It has to have quality though. The sort of 'I threw this up in one afternoon' missions usually get a 'I deleted it in 3 minutes' response from me. Honestly speaking, we all know Toadlife's Operation LoJack, macguba's Unimpossible Mission ect, I never liked them much. I got bored playing them. I like my missions short and full of action, but made with class.
What's so great about OFPEC anyway?
The community. OFP has the most wonderful community a game could ask for, and OFPEC has that community wrapped around it, and also its own little community inside it. It's the warm feeling of belonging to something greater than yourself and you know the guy next to you is on the same cause as you are, driving for the same direction, caring for the same thing as deeply as you do. A bit like being in the army I suppose.
Why is it you've stayed with the game (and the community) for so long?
I'm not sure exactly, guess I've found my thing. I've also made some very good friends and you never walk out on friends.
What was the best MP game you ever played, when, and why?
It was back in the early days. We had one of the OFPEC staff refreshment games. They were all there, the old timers. It was with some vietnam addons before SEB Nampack 2. Sefe was scouting some 50-70 meters ahead when we were meant to demolish a NVA armored column accompanied by some infantry. We all got in one line behind some bushes on a very nice spot. Sefe was still the 50-70 meters in front of us in a bush. When the shit hit the fan, I shot Sefe in the back of his head with a one clean shot. I mistook his ugly figure for a gook. Anyway, he got so angry about it that I'll never forget it. :D
We've had many many other wonderful games too. Most of them with Hawkins and MI_Fred.
Where does the name Artak come from?
A friend of mine from an old Floorball team just started to call me that one day. I have no idea why, but he even ordered the next game shirt with that name printed in at the back. My real name is Arto, so there's a bit of resemblance there, but Artak doesn't mean anything and I have no idea how or why.
Played ArmA? What d'you think of it?
You had to ask, didn't you. I don't like ArmA. I dislike it. I despise it. It's the textbook example of high hopes being utterly squashed with a incomplete product. I've beta tested it, I've played it myself, played it with my buddies. Eww... no no, I'm not touching it again until they make some serious patching, and I don't just mean the bugs, I'm talking about the whole playability compared to OFP's. Candyass graphics sucking all the life out of your computer to come up with a playability of Mr. Robot with Commodore 64 and a 30cm long Quickshot joystick..
Any parting shots for the folks out there?
Keep the flag up, your pants down and act like men. Erm... hmm... OFPEC's taken a lot of beating in the past. A victim of unwelcome circumstances, of hacking, of hardware breakdowns and just sheer bad luck. See how she still is today. After all the trouble compensated by the thousands and thousands of man hours spent on the site... there's no killing her because it's the community that keeps her juiced up.