Disclaimer – This Q&A session was held with Warvault.net owner, Angron, on 7/30/06. It has been split into two postings due to its length. In the belief of full disclosure please note that I have known Angron for years. Additionally, wargamingforums.com is a member of Warvault.net (henceforth called WV) and I have and continue to be a member of other forums that members of WV also belong to. Lastly, until several months ago I was a Mongoose Infantryman doing demos for Mongoose Publishing (MGP). I no longer am affiliated with MGP.
- = ^Raven^ for CWF
- = Angron, Owner of Warvault.net
CWF: The online gaming community has buzz on a project called Warvault. What is Warvault?
Ang: I could be here for hours trying to explain it all, but the simple term we’ve always used is a ‘next generation database’. Warvault is a toplist for all miniatures sites, be they fansites, forums, blogs, companies or online stores. With two toplists, forums, and all sorts of gubbinz, Warvault hopes basically to be the hub of minis on the net
CWF: If I may put words in your mouth, Warvault is combining all the traditional online venues into a single location from which visitors can access a diverse array of gaming related communities. Is that correct?
Ang: That seems like a suitably apt way of describing Warvault. I’ve never been good at rounding my thoughts down into such a concise statement, but you’re pretty much spot on.
CWF: How long have you been involved with WV?
Ang: I’ve been with Warvault since early September 2005, as the co-creator of the project and admin all the way through. I’ve owned Warvault since May 2006.
CWF: Who was your co-creator in September 2005?
Ang: The co-creator, and essentially ‘lead-designer’, was Brannick, one of the old Chiefs from Imperial Literature (indeed, he gave up his ImpLit position to focus on Warvault). He came up with the idea of Warvault in the first place, though it must be said his original design differed a whole lot to the WV we know and love now.
CWF: May I ask, what caused you to become sole owner in May 2006?
Ang: I think the incident in May was very much that infamous straw and camel’s back scenario. About mid-May saw a hacking attempt that caused Warvault to go down again, the latest at that point in a long line of downtime. Brannick decided that, in the face of all evidence and work, that he could no longer justify owning a site that spent more time offline than on. He decided to quit. It was either scrap Warvault, or have me take it off his hands.
CWF: At the risk of editorializing, it seems that people should be thankful you stepped in to take over.
Ang: I’m pretty thankful myself that I did, it’d have been hell for me to see that much work disappear. But I like to think we do our bit for the community.
CWF: After the hacking attempt what has WV done to bolster its defenses?
Ang: The first step was to examine what happened. From there, we decided that the postnuke was a bit like an open door (though I must point out, the hacking attempt was stopped by our server security). Skennedy and I decided that a total redesign with one coder would help to tighten any holes, make it a bit more seamless than before. But you can’t really stop yourself being available to a good hacker.
CWF: You mention someone named Skennedy. What have they done to help with WV and who else is assisting with the WV project?
Ang: Skennedy has done some HTML work here and there, but he’s been on board since about December helping with admin and ideas. There’s all sorts of people in WV though, which makes it more of a community thing. I could list names but I’d be here all day… Elwood from thewarband.com, Langmann from druchii.net, IBBoard from Hive World Terra, Gruntboy from Scorched Earth, Adders from Astronomican.com… Many, many people. I try to keep the credits page up to date but, it’s tricky.
CWF: That’s an impressive crew you have. Each of them have their own special set of skills they bring to the table. What do you bring to the table in terms of special abilities or skills?
Ang: I play the everyman. I do HTML editing, all the text, page design for promo pages, all the company correspondance, interviews and contacts, and all the ideas. I like to think that I’m the guy pushing Warvault onwards and upwards. Stuff like HTML and Photoshop aren’t my specialties, but I can do them to an extent.
CWF: Speaking of you. Who is Angron? For those who can’t walk up to you on the street or talk to you describe yourself.
Ang: I’m a soon to be 18 Year Old Brit from the North West of England. Also a god found amongst the wreckage of a fallen star…Nah, I’m just an ordinary kid who loves his minis, and his internet. A varied taste in films, an even more varied taste in music…Oh, and also an aspiring writer (isn’t everyone?) and a library assistant in the fabled ‘RL’.
CWF: Hehe, you and I share many things in common it seems but the one that stands out for me is our occupation. We’re both library assistants.
Ang: Ha, fun job eh? I’ve been catching up on my Black Library since I started, effortlessly useful.
CWF: Would you say that your job has helped to facillitate the WV project? Or, perhaps the other way round?
Ang: In which way? I know that as funny as it sounds, the people who interviewed me were absolutely fascinated in the concept of Warvault when I explained my hobbies to them. They seemed fairly impressed, so in some ways I think WV has got me where I am now. It’s a funny ol’ world.
CWF: For me, being a library assistant has been a springboard into everything else. It is how I met my girlfriend, it is how I made a splash into politics where I now am trustee of my local library, it got me on the board of directors for the local Boys & Girls Club, and it has fostered numerous other projects and endeavors. When I game I go for armies and systems with strong storylines and plots. I wondered if perhaps your love of the Dewey Decimal system, haha, spurred a desire in you to put all online gaming communities into an orderly method that are easily searched and found.
Ang: haha! That’s an interesting idea. I think it was really just my dislike of old ones like wabbithole.com (RIP) that got me into WV. RL work is about 4 months younger than Warvault work.
CWF: Since we’re discussing the man behind WV I’m going to ask you some questions based on ones from the hit show Inside the Actors Studio. What is your favorite food?
Ang: Erm. I have a neverending love for scampi, which is entertaining, but it’s not beyond me to eat a two litre tub of chocolate ice cream in a day before
Ang: Ok, for those who don’t know what I look like, they’ll be getting a mental image of Jabba the Hutt now, great.. :( I feel so publicly shamed
CWF: We’ll be sharing your picture from WV credits so no worries.
Ang: Ah thank God, that’s ok then.
CWF: But if you want to further put people’s minds at ease, how tall are you and what do you weigh (roughly)?
Ang: Erm. I’m about 5’8″, if that, and about… 10 stoneish? Oh, and rippling with bronzed muscle.
CWF: haha, for our American viewers I’ll translate that 10 stone into standard lbs. Translator’s Note: 10 stone = 140 American Lbs.
Ang: You and your Yanks eh? Hehe.
CWF: Yep, if I can find an online weight converter that converts stone into lbs. Couldn’t have given it in Kilos could you? Gotta make life difficult. :P
Ang: Hey, I’m Imperial at heart.
CWF: The sun never sets and all that jazz I guess. Moving on, though, what is your favorite film?
Ang: That’s definitely a toughie. I have a handful of movies I adore more than anything. Serenity, as any true browncoat would agree, is one of the best films ever. Then Downfall, Akira, The Football Factory (soccer hooligans for the American readers), Shaun of the Dead…
CWF: For all those librarians out there, what is your favorite call number/dewey decimal number?
Ang: haha! Ooh, Im gonna go for… 360s, with the crime, hehe
CWF: What is your favorite book/comic?
Ang: My two favourite comic series are Spawn, and Preacher. Book is a bit trickier, as I prefer my own writing to everyone elses… but, it may well have to be LOTR. Though Eisenhorn has left its mark on me, too.
CWF: What’s your favorite musical genre/artist/album/decade/country?
Ang: Nice way to round it down. I’m a metal fan, plain and simple, though my tastes reach other things too…Favourite band has to be Tool, who I caught live last month. Then Nine Inch Nails and stuff like that. I couldn’t name an album, but decade has to be.. the 90s, actually. I’m a modern music person
CWF: What word or sound do you like least?
Ang: What an odd question. I have nothing against any word, I’m a very liberal person with my own tongue anyway. Sound… hmm. The anti-cat thing in my back garden. They claim its too high for human ears, but I swear I can hear it, and it’s horrid.
CWF: What word or sound do you love?
Ang: Good music. I can’t even sleep properly without music playing. And I’ve always been a fan of the word ‘wibble’. It’s good for a chuckle, I find.
CWF: What swear or curse do you hate?
Ang: I don’t have a problem with anything like that. I only see them as nonsense words, and they don’t offend me at all. You can’t dislike them if you’re gonna watch a film about football hooliganism!
CWF: What swear or curse do you love to use?
Ang: Fuck is probably the most used word in my vocabulary, though its its own fault for being so damn versatile.
This interview was not paid or influenced in any way by Warvault.net. Stay tuned for other Q&A sessions with leaders in the field of online gaming communities.