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An Interview With Bigred

By TronFAQ on Thursday, July 13, 2006 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. :)
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2 comments so far.

  1. Anonymous July 13, 2006 8:27 PM
    Thanks BIGRED. Boxhat has been a fantastic resource!

  2. Anonymous July 09, 2007 7:23 PM
    Isn't nostalgia great?

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