A companion to the TRON 2.0 Unofficial FAQ that provides up-to-date
news about the TRON 2.0 gaming community and TRON in general.

If you're having trouble with the TRON 2.0: Killer App Mod
Read this Troubleshooting Guide

Syd Mead Candid Video Footage

By TronFAQ on Monday, July 31, 2006 at 11:21 PM
Visual Futurist: The Art & Life of Syd Mead director Joaquin Montalvan has done it again: giving the fans another peek at events that went on, the day of the documentary's world premiere screening!

This time, we see him chatting with Syd Mead after the screening and Q&A. Richard Taylor is also briefly seen, talking to Syd.


Visual Futurist Wins An Award!

By TronFAQ on Friday, July 28, 2006 at 7:35 PM
The film Visual Futurist: The Art & Life of Syd Mead, has just won an award from the Dances With Films festival: for best documentary!

The festival founders informed director Joaquin Montalvan (pictured left, with Syd Mead) that the average audience rating for his film was 4.97 out of a possible 5, the highest rating in the history of the nine years that the festival has been operating!

Congratulations to Joaquin! After seeing the short sample clip of the documentary, I knew it would be a huge hit with the fans!

See the original announcement at the documentary's home page. Also be sure to click on the "Gallery" link, to see some new pictures that have recently been posted.

LDSO Site Is Moving

By TronFAQ on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 5:00 PM
If you visit the LDSO site today, you'll notice that it's currently down. But there's no need to worry.

Site owners Mor.Evil-1 and Load"*",8,1 are moving the LDSO site to a new host. This will allow for much greater storage space and bandwidth. Which means map downloads and the Unofficial FAQ will be returning.

It should be back online within the next week, likely with a new address. As soon as I know more details, I'll update you all on the situation and also update the links here on TRON 2.0 News.

Visual Futurist Q&A Video

By TronFAQ at 3:03 AM
Visual Futurist: The Art & Life of Syd Mead director Joaquin Montalvan has just posted a video: summarizing the Q&A session held with Syd Mead after the world premiere screening of the film at the Dances With Films festival, this past Sunday.

In it, one of the Dances With Films co-founders interviews both Syd and Joaquin. See it for yourself, below!

Visual Futurist Q&A Session video

I hope the screening was a resounding success, and best wishes to Joaquin for getting the documentary a distribution deal: that will hopefully put it on DVD and in stores, so more fans can see it!

Don't forget to visit the documentary's home page, and check out my earlier article where you can see a sample clip of the actual film!

BVG Updates Web Site: Killer App Now Available For PC! (HUMOR)

By TronFAQ on Saturday, July 22, 2006 at 8:44 PM
Too bad BVG didn't do this at the end of March. It would have made for such a good April Fool's joke . . .

I just found out that Buena Vista Games has updated their web site. Apparently, TRON 2.0: Killer App is now available for the PC! (snickers) Ah, if only it were true.

I do wish they would take the time to do things properly. At least in the last web site update, from last year, they still made a distinction between TRON 2.0 for the PC and Killer App for the Xbox. (Though they still used the Killer App screenshots, for both.) Now, they've been lumped together under one title.

Click here to see this part of the web site for yourself,
select PC from the Platforms list

Why is there a problem with this? Because there are things in the Xbox version that don't appear in the PC version. PC (and Mac, for that matter) owners were gypped by BVG, when only the Xbox version got the extra Multiplayer features they were asking for. So having a title and features that don't apply, when referring to the PC version, is misleading. False advertising, in fact.

Click here to see this part of the web site for yourself

The descriptions for all the versions are very minimalist. Where are the quotes of acclaim, talking about how TRON 2.0 won so many awards back in 2003? It's like BVG is ashamed of their own product. And there are still no obvious, useful links to updates or support. There should be a clearly visible link to the latest patch, and out of courtesy (considering how much we help owners of the game) links to TRON fan sites. I guess even that's too much to ask.

It's not all bad, though. At least the Support tab at the top stands out a little more than it did before. (You still have to do a bit of digging in there to find the patch, mind you.) They also fixed the "Buy Now" link, which didn't work properly before. And the site does look a bit better than the last incarnation. Still, none of it compares to the original dedicated site.

Thanks to DaveTRON, for the tip!

August 2nd UPDATE: Some time within the last couple of days: the listing for TRON 2.0: Killer App was removed from the Games Index, for all platforms. (However, the direct link to the actual game page still works.) Will the listing return, in corrected form? We'll see, I guess. I wouldn't be surprised if it remained absent from the Games Index, permanently.

If that turns out to be the case — hiding the problem, rather than fixing it — then, great work as usual, BVG. (sarcasm)

Visual Futurist Director Joaquin Montalvan Interview

By TronFAQ on Friday, July 14, 2006 at 8:34 PM
There's an interesting new interview (not by me this time, heh) up at the site BullFighter's Cafe, with Visual Futurist: The Art & Life of Syd Mead director Joaquin Montalvan. Check it out. He definitely has some very intriguing things to say.

Joaquin Montalvan Interview

And don't forget that this documentary on Syd Mead's life and art will be screening at the Fairfax Theater in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday July 23rd at 12:30 PM, with Syd Mead himself attending for a Q&A session afterward.

You can buy tickets to the event HERE.

I won't be able to attend (very depressing), but I'm hoping my friends Mor.Evil-1 and Load "*",8,1 will be there so they can let us all know what it was like!

New Derez Map Coming Soon - Recognizer

By TronFAQ on Thursday, July 13, 2006 at 7:14 PM
Zook_One just announced another Derez map he's going to release in the future, apparently called Recognizer.

Sample Screenshots of
Recognizer DM Map

Looking excellent, as always . . .

An Interview With Bigred

By TronFAQ at 6:19 PM
Today I present the final (at least for now) interview that I've done, with people in the TRON 2.0 community that I feel deserve recognition for their efforts and contributions. This time, the interview is with Boxhat site owner Bigred.

I hope you enjoy reading this interview, and also hope that I can bring you more of them in the future.

FAQ: Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where do you come from, and what are your interests/hobbies (aside from TRON)?

Red: Tall, dark and handsome . . . well at least the tall part is right. My monitor tan hasn't done much to make my skin any darker than "Pantone 7499". I'm from Ontario, Canada. Not much else to say about it, other than there is no snow on the ground right now. Other hobbies: computers, networking, gaming, rugby, ATV sport riding.

FAQ: What were the circumstances behind the decision to start Boxhat? Why did you create a web site? (I remember you telling me something, about it having to do with brewing beer? LOL. From beer to TRON, quite a jump.)

Red: Well the domain itself was around for a while, before I even knew TRON 2.0 was being made. One night, with some friends I was living with at the time: we were enjoying a few (read: a lot) of beers, and my friend John decided he was going to go and talk to a few girls that were walking by. Well, he felt that he was in need of some appropriate headwear, and apparently the best option available was the cardboard box from a 12-pack of Moosehead . . . thus the term BoxHat, was born!

Around the same time, we decided to get into "Home Brewing". We had a pretty decent setup and put out about 30-60 bottles of beer per week. We decided to use the name "BoxHat Tipple" for our beer, and the idea was to create an informational web site on the brewing tips we had collected from the internet, and from our own experience. Unfortunately, consumption of our product seemed to be of higher priority, and the website never materialized.

So, maybe a year later I was reading an issue of PC Gamer, and there was a full two-page ad for TRON 2.0. Months later there was a demo, where I met the now infamous Inode. After a few weeks, I got the idea to start a forum for the community. With Inode's help we put up the site, and started to advertise in-game. A big part of that initial advertising was the server that I ran, during the demo phase. Since BVG hadn't released the Dedicated Server app yet, I just ran the demo on a spare computer that I had laying around. One downside was that one in-game player slot was taken up by the host. His name was Boxhat. He was a white ICP, and now only exists in our hearts and minds. Haha. :)

FAQ: When was the first time you heard about, or saw, TRON? Did you see the movie, or play the arcade game, first? Did you own any of the Atari or Intellivision TRON games?

Red: Well the first time for TRON, was the movie. I don't think I saw it in theatres, but at some point in my childhood I saw it. At the time, I was blown away. I went to Disney World but never saw any TRON rides or displays, and I was a Nintendo-only gamer — so over time, my memory and interest faded. That, however, all changed when I saw the ad in PC Gamer that I mentioned above.

FAQ: When did you first find out about TRON 2.0? Was it one of the demos? What was it like, in the early demo days? Were the demos really popular, in your opinion? What did yourself and other players, think of them?

Red: Oops, I guess I should have read through the questions before I started . . .

The demos were great. Lots of people online. (And at the time, there seemed to be lots of BVG people lurking around.) I'm glad they used the levels they did. The Infected Sector level was tough, and really prepared me for the full game. The only level that I think is harder in the original maps, is the Rings.

FAQ: Can you tell us a bit about the clans and players that were around, back in those days? (e.g. Sector Nine (S9), Digital Revolution (DR), Dark System Operators (DSO), etc.)

Red: Sure. S9 was the clan that Inode and I founded. I'm not certain, but I think it was during the demo that we started using it. There were some really great players around back then. Flexy, Falty, IOstream, Blackraven, and many others that were around from the beginning (I think). Ah yes, DR. I don't know if this is totally true, but I was told that DR was formed in response to S9. They wanted to "Revolutionize" the community, and put S9 to ruin. ;) And yes DSO, (now LDSO). The only two people I remember from DSO are: of course X (at the time he went by Xistence), and Simanator. I remember that Inode and I wanted to recruit X very badly. He had some wicked disc voodoo.

FAQ: When did you form S9? What made you decide to form a TRON game clan? Have you been part of any other game clans, before or since? Who were the first members of S9, aside from yourself?

Red: Mainly Inode and I wanted to create a persona online. A group of the best players that we could scrim with, and enter tournaments with. Before TRON 2.0: I was in another clan for the game Vietcong, it was short lived as the leader stopped playing shortly after the clan was formed. Since TRON 2.0: the only clan I've been in, was for the game Battlefield Vietnam. We ran our own server — and actually, I've continued to play almost all my other games with the same group. We're not really a clan, but we play together . . . and usually use in-game names that have a tag, or something similar in the name.

Wow, that's going a ways back. But let me think . . . Cricket was one of the earlier members for sure.

Oh, look at this I found an old post on the Boxhat forums. Here's a list of all the S9 members:

* Inode - Founder
* bigred - Founder
* Flexy - Joined Aug 10th, 2003
* /dev/null - Joined Aug 16th, 2003
* pr0n.mpg - Joined Aug 16th, 2003
* Voodoo128 - Joined Aug 21st, 2003

FAQ: When was the TRON 2.0 forum on Boxhat first opened to the public, and why did you decide to create a TRON 2.0 area on the Boxhat site?

Red: I think the forum was created on the 2nd of August, in 2003. The main reason, was that Inode and I wanted to create a meeting place for the community. At the time I didn't know about TRON-Sector. I don't think PGB was around, or at least they didn't have a TRON section. And the Official TRON 2.0 forums were a bit of a joke. So the idea sort of presented itself. At the time, I had hosting for the domain, but I wasn't really using it for much other than a photo gallery and file hosting. So the idea of putting it to better use sounded great.

FAQ: What do you think of the current state of affairs, on the TRON 2.0 scene? You created special areas on Boxhat for people interested in discussing their editing projects for TRON 2.0, and helped found the TCDG (Tron Community Developer Group). We tried very hard to get BVG to release more editing materials to the modding community, but there were strings attached and in the end we were rebuffed. How do you feel about BVG's lack of support?

Red: I think it really is too bad, that things aren't more healthy. The online component of the game has some very unique gameplay aspects, that you can't find anywhere else. If things had been handled differently (read: better), I think we would have had a much larger community. For starters: releasing the DM gameplay mode with the initial game; and adding some more gameplay modes, like CTF for LC and DM. On top of that, there should have been much more support from BVG for the developers. It's the community that makes a game live or die, online.

Yes the TCDG, we did some cool things . . . but it never really took off. The big hang-up was not getting the source code. I know that you tried desperately to get your contact at BVG in gear on it, but that person didn't seem to have the passion or focus needed to make it happen. Don't get me wrong, I think your contact is a great person. For the community: that someone, went above and beyond what normal people in their position would have done . . . on many occasions.

FAQ: In closing, I just wanted to thank you on behalf of the community for providing a place to discuss TRON 2.0 editing, and for hosting downloads of all the maps and mods that have been created. If it weren't for your generous hosting of these files: I doubt many players would have the custom maps and other projects, in their possession.

Red: Hey no problem, I'm glad that I was able to be such an asset to the community. The Downloads and Design sections have been a great success, for sure. I'm glad that people are using it.

Also, if I could take this opportunity to thank you Mr. TronFAQ, for your unending support for the community. Without your dedication and continued enthusiasm for all things TRON 2.0, I can't even imagine what the community would have been like.
(FAQ: Thanks, Bigred. :)

TRON Comic Issue 2 In August

By TronFAQ on Wednesday, July 12, 2006 at 1:19 AM

I just found out on SLG Publishing's site, that issue 2 of TRON: The Ghost In The Machine has been pushed back to August. (Hopefully it's early August.)

As soon as I find out the exact date, I'll update this article.

TRON 2.0 - The Present

By TronFAQ on Friday, July 07, 2006 at 8:42 PM
This is the second of three articles: discussing the past, present, and future of TRON 2.0. Today I'm going to focus on the present state of the game and its community.

Despite BVG's best efforts to abandon their own product: TRON 2.0 is still being played around the world, and being discovered by new fans every day; people are still talking about it; it's still being discussed on TRON sites and even sites devoted to the game itself; and there are still people creating Maps, Mods, and other projects for it.

Sure, the audience for it is comparatively small to other video games and franchises. But the TRON film is a cult classic, with a dedicated following. And the game completely does justice to the film: providing a "dream come true" interactive environment for TRON fans to experience, as Xistence put it.

Disney and BVG don't really understand how lucky they are, to have an existing fan base that is still interested in TRON for what it is, even decades later. BVG's later ass-backwards approach to updating and changing the essence of the property — as evidenced by certain pointless alterations in TRON 2.0: Killer App — is proof of that. And Disney fared no better, with their announcement of a TRON film remake from last year.

I thought the first thing they taught you in marketing, is that it's easier to keep an existing customer than gain a new one. (Or putting it another way: it's more expensive to gain a new customer, than to keep an existing one.)

Every customer lost, costs the company revenue. Not just for that particular customer: but also due to word-of-mouth, which can affect others' purchasing decisions. But it seems Disney — and BVG in particular — would rather forsake their existing customers, in an attempt to gain what they believe will be a larger audience marketshare: that will supposedly more than make up for whatever they lose in the existing fan base.

This makes little sense, when you consider that marketing attempts are always based on scoring a percentage of what are called "warm" to "hot" leads. Marketing pushes can never capture 100% of their intended new audience. The company behind them always has to be content with only a fraction of their targets becoming interested, in the product or service being offered. So a campaign that is seen by hundreds-of-thousands, may only generate a few thousand new leads.

It's then — when you compare the money spent to gain a potential new audience, compared to keeping existing customers by giving them what they want — that sometimes the decisions made by companies like Disney and BVG, can really boggle the mind.

It's because of the way BVG (and to some degree, MacPlay) have treated their TRON 2.0 PC and Mac customers, that a petition exists. And it's because of this poor treatment, that there's even a section in the TRON 2.0 Wikipedia article, discussing the game's disappointing legacy. (Which reads suspiciously familiar . . .)

Bravo, BVG.

With all that having been said . . . for those fans visiting because they just read the new TRON comic, or played Kingdom Hearts 2: I encourage you to buy a copy of the TRON 2.0 game if you haven't already. To put a positive spin on the situation regarding TRON 2.0 — look at BVG's loss as your gain. You're now able to pick up a fantastic game that continues the TRON story and pays great homage to it, for a great price.

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