Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wolfer Q&A: Balames87

Name: John...just John
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Wolf3D nickname: Balames87

Q. Where did your nickname come from and why did you choose it?
A. Well, first off, I didn't choose anything. Never have and never will. Secondly, I never thought this name would have anything to do with Wolf3D since it's simply a combination of my last name and my childhood friend's name (James). The 87 is the year I got my first NES.

Q. When did you first play Wolfenstein 3d?
A. I was about 12 when my other childhood friend, Ricky, introduced it to me. We would be in the computer lab and he installed it on one of the computers. Of course, we weren't supposed to be doing that which is why I let him do it. After getting caught numerous times and getting banned from ever going into the computer lab again (what can I say, we were troublemakers), I finally felt it the safer option to simply install it on my own little computer and just leave it there.

Q. Why did you start doing playthroughs with commentary for Wolf3D on Youtube?
A. Like many folks who upload YouTube videos, I was inspired. After watching quite a few videos, I thought I would like to see how it felt to make my own. I originally wanted to make playthroughs of NES games. Unfortunately, those didn't pan out too well and as a last ditch effort, I brought out my old pal Wolf. I thought if this doesn't work, I'll just watch videos instead of creating them. Lo and behold, I started to get some fans and the rest, as they say, is that.
Q. You have created a couple of videos where you express your dislike for most of the redesigns Youtube does. Can you put into words what annoys you about these redesigns?
A. I always viewed YouTube channels as a person's house. We decorate them how we want and we get visitors. With the old layout, the designs were so interesting. Going to everyone's little house and seeing what they did to the place was just as fun as watching their videos. On top of that, all the content was easily accessible - no need to click on so many different tabs and buttons just to send a message (and find our own messages, at that). It's annoying. Now everyone's page looks the same. Granted it's the videos that matter, but still there's no personalization to anything.

Q. You have played games on 'old-school' consoles. Which console is your favorite?
A. I would say the NES is always going to be my favorite.

Q. What is the best part about being involved in the Wolf 3d Community?
A. Everyone is so nice. I had no idea this community even existed until after I finished Spear of Destiny. Then I found Spear Resurrection and was blown away. It was about that time that more and more modders (and enthusiasts) came out. The advice was great (even though I did have quite the potty mouth at the time) and the whole idea that I'm not alone felt very reassuring.
Q. Who is your favorite modder?
A. I'd have to give that one to AReyeP. Aside from his outstanding designs, his was the first mod I ever played. I suppose the Lost Levels could be considered the first I ever played, but those are crap and they don't look good on my résumé.

Q. Have you ever considered creating a mod yourself?
A. Honestly, I don't think I'm creative enough. There are people who drive cars and there are people who build them. I'm happy driving. Though I suppose the same could be said about creating videos. Some people make them and others are happy just watching them. Creating a video does take time from coming up with a strategy and so forth, but I can't imagine the amount of time and patience it must take to come up with an idea, create any new artwork (if it applies), map it out, test it, work out any problems, test it again and come up with a finished product. That takes time, creativity, patience, and in some cases coding skills (of which I have none).

Q. What has been the most rewarding thing that's come from Wolf3D and your Youtube channel?
A. I would be reiterating a little bit, but it's definitely the response I received. Not just from the Wolf Community, but from the public in general. It's the support and feeling that I am appreciated. I get messages all the time saying how much my vids have helped. If you told me that I would have over 1,400 subs, I would never have believed you back when I first started.

Q. What is your favorite Wolf3D mod?
A. I don't think I have an absolute favorite. There are plenty that I like with equivalency for different reasons. I mean, there are Spear Resurrection and Castle Totenkopf. Both are brilliant in their own ways. There are Operation Letzterschutz and Wolf Extra III. There's no way I could say which one I enjoyed more. Still, one mod that I'm still drawn to and play is Spear of Destiny Reloaded. I think it's the grenades. I love throwing those things and killing clusters of Nazi scum.
Q. What is your favorite playthrough of your own?
A. I would have to say that the playthrough I had the most fun creating was Trench Warfare. Only because I love the characters and giving them voices was so much fun.

Q. Why do you feel that Wolf 3d has such a long lasting legacy being it was released so long ago?
A. It's easy to pick up and play and yet so much can be done. Modern FPS's have become so brainless. I mean, a good chunk of them simply have the player shoot and duck away to regain health. With Wolf, things are done in such a way that, although they can run in and start shooting, many of them make you think. Without regenerating health, the played needs to be resourceful. Besides all that, we get to kill Hitler in a mech outfit. Where else do you get to do that?

Q. You did a couple of videos on philosophy. What attracts you to philosophy, are there any 'philosophical' topics you often think about, and are there any philosophers in particular that you like?
A. I've always felt that there is no free will. Now, as depressing as that may sound at first, just hear me out. Here we are on this giant rock (or extremely small rock depending where you look at it). Everything plays a part. What is our part? Our own selves are a planet. On us are tiny micro-organisms and they each play their own part. Some are good, some not so much. Either way, they don't have free will nor do they want it or need it. They simply do what they want at all times. Well, why can't we be the same thing? Except it is we who are the micro-organisms playing a part on a larger thing. We are just doing what we want whenever we want. Granted we have things called "rules," but so do our bodies. A bad germ shows up and our good guys kill it (or try their best to). This is Hard Determinism in a very small nutshell. Even though I have no free will, as a strange sort of paradox, I am as free as a bird. I do what I want when I want, never needing to make a choice. As for philosophers, Emmanuel Kant is probably one of my favorites since I did a term paper on him concerning the Categorical Imperative. It's very similar to the Golden Rule of do unto others as you would have done to yourself. The difference being that you should do things that you want to be a universal law. Hugs and kisses for everyone!

Q. Any words of wisdom you would like to leave us on?
A. I have no idea who said either of these (I think I read them somewhere a while ago), but here are a couple of my favorite quotes:
- Anyone who tries to bring you down is already beneath you.
- Be grateful for the things you have and you will receive more. If you keep dwelling on the things you don't have, then you will never have enough.

Balames87's Youtube channel can be found right HERE

1 comment:

  1. Excellent Q&AA. I thoroughly enjoyed it.