The Questioning (of Karsten)

By Dean

How long have you been involved with WF and What brought you to WF?

I started to get actively involved at beginning of december 1998 -upppss the time has passed very quickly -. Before I had read through the webpages and found the "client vision page", which caught my eye. I thought: "Hey, they show a screenshot of Diablo2 there, so they seem to prefer the 2:1 isometric perspective - not the ugly Ultima Online style. This is cool !"

Since then I had a lot of time, because my studies of Eletrical Engineering had a lull phase, I started to code a very simple isometric graphic engine using ClanLib. Pegasus had been so kind to draw several tiles for it and thus by chrismas 1998 isoclient was born - showing a still nice map through which the user could scroll. Isoclient even featured a very basic way to edit the map - I guess no one else ever found out ;).

I must admit that at this time I had no roleplaying background ... I liked to code, I liked to hack graphical effects and most of all I liked to create networked applications.

What do you like about WF?

Hmm... I guess the most I like the open idea behind it - several people all with different aims work together to form a working game in a ,perhaps I may call it that way, chaotic system. Sure there are rules ... but I guess the real power of the open source community is that the people involved are allowed to work and create how and what they like ... As having worked as a "coding servant" for several years besides my studies I know how it can be the other way...

What problems do you see with WF?

The chaos may grow too big ... ;) Well personally I think that even an Open Source project, especially such a broad one like Worldforge, needs some sort of "strict" organisation in order to survive - but I guess the real power of Open Source is that it works chaotic and that it is boss-free. These two facts contradict our real life and thus, I guess, are the reasons why so many people spend all their freetime (or big parts of it) on Worldforge. - at least so do I -

What is your personal background? (What do you do in RL?)(What sorts of things have you done that you are able to use with WF?)

I have finished my master's degree in Electrical Engineering in december 1999, and now I have got a job at the University of Kaiserslautern and am heading for a philosopher's degree. At University I work (and do research) in a small research group developing design methods for asynchronous switching circuits.

(asynchronous switching circuits ??? A switching circuit is the base for each electrical computing device; usually these devices are clocked. e.g. I am writing this on a 300MHz clocked K6. Since today the clockrate tends to reach the physical limits alternative techniques are needed - we think there is a possibility to create computing devices without any clock. These devices would compute as fast as they can, would never overheat, consume very low power and have very low em-emission - uppsss I drifted away .... ;)

Unfortunately this works consumes much time ... but I am re-trimming my schedule every week to get more time for WF. - haven't succeeded yet :( -

What projects or tasks have you worked on for WF before?

(isoclient) / uclient ever since ;)

What are you doing for WF now?

uclient ?

Tell us about Acorn.

I count Acorn as our second demo release - it will be our first real game!

I do not want to talk about the game itself and the rules .... there are others who can explain this much better. Releasing Acorn will be a prove of how well our libraries, rule and world conceptions, server and clients work together. Each of these had been developed individually and Acorn forces us to make these parts work and fit together.

Even for the artists this will be a milestone, because each artist has created his/her own art and I guess I will be very interesting how the artists and world developers come together and build our gameworld.

Releasing Acorn will be a prove if Worldforge is still able to do real work. I think we really need to release something playable in order to prove that we are not some bunch of "open source fanatics" as someone had said some time ago.

In my eyes we will be able to release Acorn this summer. It would be cool if we (Pegasus, sdt and I) would be able to show Acorn on the LinuxTag at end of june - but even the skeleton demo is worth showing !