Friday, December 31, 2010

Interviews with Runescape Fan Sites: Impact IRC Bot

Today's interview is with Cryptic, one of the owners of Impact IRC bot (and related Runescape fan site). Cryptic is one of those nice people who helped me to get started with IRC (see my previous post about IRC and Runescape). Also Impact is the only Runescape fan site (at least at this moment) which uses "lite" data APIs provided by Runewise. Their !Advice and !Utip commands are based on corresponding Runewise's services (I'll talk about it in one of my next posts, I promise :))
And now the interview. Enjoy!

Q: How would you describe your site in a few words?
A: A fully documented site dedicated to the Impact Range, also has a few help pages directed at RuneScape.

Q: What's Impact?
A: Impact is a RuneScape IRC help bot located on the SwiftIRC network, it takes commands from users and does things they want it to do, such as searching player statistics.

Q: Can you tell us about major milestones of your site? A little bit of a history?
A: Its been changed quite a lot so I guess finding the one that we want to stick with is a milestone! :)

Q: What inspired you to start a Runescape fan site/RuneScape Bot?
A: Interest in mSL (mIRC scripting language) drove us to start writing a bot and we went from there. The site came because of the bot!

Q: What were your original goals for the site?
A: Really, to let the users of the bot find/have more information at there disposal!

Q: Had your goals changed over time? If yes, how and why?
A: Sort of, our goals change daily as the use of bots and site changes daily and more and more commands come to mind to add!

Q: Was it the first web site you ever created?
A: Impact is

Q: What technologies were used to create the site? Did you add new technologies into the mix after you created the original version?
A: PHP, HTML, and JavaScript

Q: Is there a unique feature/service your site provides to Runescape players?
A: Not at this current time apart from images for Fairy Rings and Co-Ordinate locations. The bot itself does most of the helpful things. But we are open to suggestions!

Q: Which feature/service took the most time and effort to create?
A: The bot easily! The site wasn't terribly hard, the bot however has taken almost 2 years to develop!

Q: Which feature/service was the most complex from the programming stand point?
A: I would say the bot itself, but since we have experience with mSL it wasn't as complex as you'd seem!

Q: Is there a feature/service of the site you are most proud of?
A: Mainly the Bot Statistics because that uses mSL and PHP/HTML, providing live stream updates of status.

Q: Did you start the site alone or with friends?
A: With a friend.

Q: Are you the only developer of the site's code?
A: At the moment yes, but we'll be looking into web developers as Impact grows!

Q: How much time do you normally spend supporting the site? A few hours a day? A few hours a month?
A: A few hours a day if not all day, it all depends on what needs fixing/changing/updating!

Q: What is the most difficult/challenging task you have to do to maintain the site?
A: Personally, I wouldn't say there is one!

Q: How many staff members do you have? How did you find/chose them?
A: 3 Owners (Tom-, Cryptic[me], and blue), 2 Helpers (Mfoust and Josh`Erotisch) so a total of 5 at this current time.

Q: Did you even had to deal with hostility and/or attacks from other fan sites?
A: No, were are mainly a site for the bot, with a sparse amount of RuneScape pages. All RuneScape pages are linked to the bots in one way or another.

Q: Did you ever consider making money with the site or is it just a hobby?
A: It's just a hobby.

Q: What do you think about the current Jagex's fan sites support program? Do they do too much, too little? Is there something you'd wish would go differently?
A: I guess I'd have to say the help is rather sparse, but I guess it's because they're busy!

Q: Do you still play Runescape? If yes, how often?
A: Yes, daily when I have time!

Q: What's you Runescape goals, if any?
A: 99 in all skills :)

Q: What kind of Runescape player are you? Which Runescape aspect is most appealing to you: quests, role-playing, skilling, pking, minigames etc.?
A: Quests and Skilling mainly!

Q: Are there other Runescape fan sites you personally use as a Runescape player?
A: I try to use all of them and show my support, but generally or RuneWise for their advice!

Q: Do you follow/read Runescape blogs and news papers from other sites?
A: Sometimes

Q: Is there something you don't mind revealing about your RL (age, country, hobbies etc.)?
A: age:19 country:uk - work full timeish (its complicated) :P

Thank you very much, Cryptic!

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