Recently I attended the Deal or No Deal game show at the Elven Song Community Center.. I was impressed by the time and effort that had been put into this Community Center and the surrounding buildings..
So I tracked down the proprietor of the establishments and asked for an interview… We met at the Community Center and after snapping some pictures of the various buildings there, we retired to my favorite bar.. The Cats Lair.. and chatted over ale and wings…
(Ludes): Hi there, Thanks for meeting with me..
(Ludes): So Inkboy the Wild.. Interesting name.. is there a story behind it?
(Inkboy): There is, a bit of a story and the rest is more enjoyable to let others figure out on their own. Being a scribe and someone who has a deep interest in the archiving of written records, books, stories and so forth.. Inkboy just seemed fitting.
(Ludes): Brings to mind a scribe apprentice with ink stains all over him.. *chuckles*.. So first give us a little background on your gaming history.
(Inkboy): My first experience with RPG gaming goes back to the days of Telengard, until I found Ultima I. I can’t recall the exact year, but it was the 1980s. I was instantly hooked on the story line and spent countless hours playing that game and looking forward to what may come next. As more ‘expansions/versions’ came out — I was addicted to every single one and had to play each.
(Inkboy): I have played Ultima I all the way to Ultima: The Ascension
Heck, I even played Lords of Ultima on the web.
(Ludes): Did you end game them all?
(Inkboy):That’s going back a long time ago, I remember finishing Pagan after a lot of trial and error. Ultimas 1, 2, and 3.. I know I completed. It’s so long ago, although I can still see Shadowlords in my head lol — ending a game is not as rewarding as it is ‘depressing.’ When Ultima Online came out and the idea of a persistent world, without ending, now we’re talking awesome.
(Ludes): You mentioned you played Ultima IX Ascension… was it weird seeing the graphic innovations that showed up in that game.. and stepping down in graphics to a more Ultima VII type feel for Ultima Online?
(Inkboy): I really liked the graphics in Ultima IX, even though I found the interface a little clumsy, but it was nice. However, when Inkboy the Wild first entered the World of Sosaria in 1998 .. I never even considered or compared the graphics. The world was totally immersive and the interface easy to understand and utilize.
(Ludes): Did you have a “favorite” Ultima pre-online?
(Inkboy): No. I enjoyed the blocky 4-bit.. What would you even call those graphics back then with Ultima I..? As enjoyable as any of the series. The depth and complication increased but it’s the overall story line.. the struggle between good and evil, the characters.. it’s a package deal of those elements that made each one just as addictive as the last.
(Ludes): So when Ultima Online hit the scene.. Sept. 1997 What where you doing that day?
(Ludes): Not being part of Ultima Online, sadly. Back then, I was the owner/operator of an online community for Teens. It wasn’t until December of 1998, when I was given Ultima Online as a Christmas present that the sixteen year addiction began.
(Ludes): So what was your first impression of the game then?
(Inkboy): My first impression? I think there were several, although the predominate one: amazement. Quickly followed by “Oh, I’m dead.”
(Ludes): Tell us how you ended up on Catskills… after all it was a small shard at first… dedicated to RP…
(Inkboy): Well, that was the first time I had ever experienced “Shards” or picking a place to ‘belong.” So, I just figured that since I was East Coast it made sense. Although Atlantic and Chesapeake made sense too. It’s not very exciting, but I think the major reason was I just liked the way it sounded: “Catskills.”
(Ludes): What year was that?
(Inkboy): December of 1998 *smiles*
(Ludes): So you have some history on the shard obviously, you mentioned you remember The Travel Lodge.. that was a great place. Have you played steadily through the years or have you taken time outs?
(Inkboy): For the first several years, it was a daily ritual. Come home and be in the game until the messages would pop up about the server going down. That went on for a good number of years and then life, as it has a way of doing, and other obligations interfered so it became more a hobby than a daily experience. That lasted for a few years and then I slowly began to come back on a more consistent basis. Now, it has become a daily ritual again and there are no plans on ending that any time soon.
and yes, Travel Lodge, Brass Monkey, Vendor Castle and a small little sandstone potion vendor deep in a forest — all fond memories, that are sadly gone.
(Ludes): Now the sudden return.. with a vengeance.. multiple houses, all the decorating you’ve done, running events.. I hear your even running for Mayor of Minoc.. what prompted the big return?
(Inkboy): Vengeance, I like that. Call it a passionate vengeance. The world has declined, our population is not even a reasonable portion of what it once was. I see a need in Catskills to create more community, strengthen and rebuild friendships (old and new) and enliven our Shard for the enjoyment of it’s current citizens and to help attract new ones. So, I saw an unfullfilled need and decided I wanted to fill it to benefit our world.
And yes, after review of the cities, I see Minoc as needing help also. It is also the part of the world I call home, so it made sense to seek change there as well.
(Ludes): I hear you built the Elven Song Community Center to UORadio’s specs so they would host events there… the recent game show seemed well recieved. Is UORadio going to host more events at the Center?
(Inkboy): The Community Center was built primarily to provide an easy to reach gathering place. It hosts a theatre on it’s second floor for use by the general public, a community chest on it’s ground floor for anyone to pick through or donate to – but, yes, the third floor and rooftop have been built as game show studios in conjunction with the amazing people at UORadio. The Deal or No Deal event we hosted had one of UORadio’s largest player turnouts both in game and on air. I was informed, just yesterday, that their sponsors have approved further games at our location and we will continue to host Deal or No Deal, along with Price is Right which will be our next upcoming event at the Center. However, the Center itself will also host events seperate from those of UORadio.
(Ludes): That’s Great! I attended Deal or No Deal myself and had a great time.. Everyone will be glad to hear there are more such events upcoming.
(Ludes): You’re running for Governor of Minoc.. yet you built your establishments in Luna.. Some might wonder about that.. of course I personally feel Luna provides a more “central” location for venues. Care to comment on that?
(Inkboy): I like that you feel that way, I don’t see a concern either… In fact, it was a strategic move. However, politics of any type can be brutal, so I expect anything that may afford the opportunity to be twisted or misrepresented to be fully explored.
(Ludes): The previous Governor of Minoc was a PvP’r I believe.. many of Minoc’s citizens might be hoping the buffs and so forth will remain PvP orientated.. do you see that as an issue in running for the seat?
(Inkboy): My goal as Governor has a large focus on unification, which includes reaching out to Felucca. Whether elected for Governor, or not, Elven Song will begin to provide pardons, on a case by case basis, to those wishing to free themselves of murder counts and return to Trammel. However, a Governor may come into his or her seat with their own ideas and intentions, but you’re there to represent the people. So if the people of Minoc want the buffs and effects which benefit their PvP activities than it is theirs to have.
(Ludes): Nice.. well thats all the questions I had.. is there anything you’d like to address here before we wrap it up?
(Inkbpy): Not that I can think of, other than our upcoming Grand Opening of the Tavern next to the Community Center this Friday at 8pm Eastern. We will be hosting 5 million dollars in prizes, answering questions regarding my running for Governor of Minoc and discussing the expansion plans for Luna, our growth in the realm of Minoc and why these may well assist King Blackthorn in expanding his reach, as well.
I’d also like to put out a plea for books for the library to be donated.. everything is needed from Player written stories and histories , to Runebooks etc.. The Library is in memory of the Travel Lodge and any donations to it would be greatly appreciated.
The Library is located near the other buildings.. a little north of Luna.. near the mountains.
(Ludes): Very cool.. I’d like to thank you for meeting with me here and doing this interview.. If you like you can help me finish this pitcher and yon wings before you leave.
(Inkboy): It was a pleasure meeting you, as well. I hope to speak with you again soon.