TA Community Interview - Dog of Thunder

By zigs00, 5 years ago
DavieMarshall is away this week, so we’re posting one of his backup interviews with one of the members of our awesome Newshound team. Just to clue you all in: we decided to have a handful of backups in our barracks for weeks like this one when Davie has been too busy with that whole “real life” crap (nope, I’ve not heard of it either!) to conduct an interview. The general idea was that if we had some backups, I can easily post them for Davie like this, as opposed to missing out a week of interviews because of his unavailability. So that's the reason why this interview is with another staff member, before anyone starts moaning! wink

This week's Community Interview shines the spotlight on the most anthropomorphic 'hound of all, Dog of Thunder. Dog registered with TA in 2008 and joined the Newshound team in February last year. Since then he’s been a regular name on the front page and notably has a penchant for some of the more obscure games out there, such as Record of Agarest War and Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad. He is also the proud owner of an impressive goatee:

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Davie: Hi Dog. Thanks for your time completing this interview. First questions first, the Gamertag. Is there a story behind that, or any deeper meaning?

Dog of Thunder: There was an old Dilbert cartoon which had Dogbert playing with static electricity: You can read it here. So when my girlfriend (at the time, now she's my wife) called and needed a big, tough name for her new 2 lb. Pomeranian puppy, I thought "Thor, Dog of Thunder" was perfect.

Fast forward 5 years, and I needed a Gamertag for Xbox LVE (I joined in 2008). I looked down at Thor, Dog of Thunder and well, it stuck.

D: The second ‘traditional’ question would be, what convinced you to sign up with TA back in 2008?

DoT: It looked interesting, and appealed to my gaming style. Oh, that and the large wheelbarrow of money dumped on my front lawn for signing up and dragging everyone I knew along with me.

D: Have you found being a member at TA has influenced your style of gaming at all? Do you chase those higher TA ratio achievements harder than before?

DoT: Some people simply want a large Gamerscore, some want completion. Me? I love the TA Ratio. While I have not been as focused on that for the last year as I could have been, my gaming is coming back around to that particular style. I also look down on those with a ratio under 1.4 the same way I'm sure people with a GS over 100k look down on others. :-)

D: I understand you’re very busy both here at TA, and also at 360Voice. Most of us are aware you’re a regularly contributing Newshound on our front page, but what are the ins and outs of your role with 360Voice?

DoT: I am the Community Manager for 360Voice, which is one of two staff positions. Essentially what it means is that I run the forums, coordinate contests and events, oversee the team of 360v Community Experts (our term for Forum Moderators) and handle the minor support issues that come up from time to time. I am also in charge of the Badges, dictating what goes into our Genres/Collections. The other staff member, Fshguy, can also be found around TrueAchivements, in fact, he was the second person to finish http://www.trueachievements.com/ADRENALIN-MISFITS-xbox-....htm in the US over here.

D: Moving on to gaming in general, you’ve already some tough achievements under your belt. Whether they’re annoying to obtain, such as Topher Would Be Proud in Red Faction: Guerrilla, or an impressive collection like the full 1,000G in Soulcalibur IV. Let’s talk theoretically for a moment. Say there was an issue, be it profile corruption on Microsoft’s servers, or a ‘system glitch’, and your gaming history and Gamerscore to date was wiped. Would you be willing to reinvest your time in these games and re-earn those lost achievements, or would you march on to the next game and not look back? How important is your gaming history to you?

DoT: If I lost my 180 points in Dead or Alive Extreme 2 (LEGIT! No casino glitching for me!), or my 1k in X-Blades, I would freak out and go for them again. Something such as http://www.trueachievements.com/Red-Faction-Guerrilla-x....htm, or the very easy completions (CSI, 2k6 games) I would just ignore and move on without them.

D: Speaking of gaming history, where did it all begin for you? Our Xbox 360 Gamercard only tracks us so far. Pretend for a minute that every game ever made had achievements. What may your *very first* achievement ever been. Mine would likely have been ‘Long pole in that hole - 5G: Maximum number of lines cleared’ for Tetris on the original (non-colour!) Gameboy.

DoT: Ducktales for the NES - Complete the Game. When I got a NES way back when I was 5, I had Super Mario Bros., Ducktales and Little Nemo as my first three games.

D: Your bio here and at Xbox.com doesn’t give much away. Care to tell us what your role out there in the world is? Sniper? Medic? Gunslinging Cowboy? Krogan warrior? Mage?

DoT: You know in a classic Japanese RPG there is always that one character that travels with the party and is very important outside of combat? Like say, Sir Astral from Shining Force 2. The guy that has all this knowledge, keeps the hero on the right path and generally mentors the player characters? That would be me.

$10 says I am the only one to ever say "I would be a NPC".

D: And how about your non-gaming hobbies?

DoT: I play D&D 4th edition (Chaotic Sorcerer!), Warhammer Fantasy (Skaven) and Warhammer 40k (Orks, Tyranids). Oh wait, you said NON-gaming. I enjoy the outdoors and was lucky to have gone white water rafting, kayaking with manatees and canoeing in the last few months. Just have to wait for May to get around and do it all over again!

D: Is it just me who muses frequently if ‘real life’ had Gamerscore I’d have more hobbies and be the fittest, healthiest and most unpredictable person in my town?

DoT: I hate the term "real life" regarding off-line. Makes it sound as if things done on the internet are not real, or that they do not impact real people. On that note, Achievement Unlocked - Got on a soap box (10 GS).

D: Dropping back in to the world of gaming. With quite the background of gaming in your life, how do you see the future of games panning out? We have 3D TVs and some games (such as Black Ops) now playable in 3D. We have motion control on all three major consoles, do you think these will stick, or are they just stepping stones? What would you like to see in the next generation of consoles? Downloadable games perhaps?

DoT: Back in my day, we did not have color on our handhelds. We had static images that would fill in when you pressed a button. Who else remembers the Tiger handheld games? Anyone? I loved those games. I do not care what doohickey and doodads or thingywizits these consoles get added to them, give me a good game with some solid gameplay and 8 bit graphics if you have to, just make it fun.

D: And how about the more immediate future. Which upcoming game holds the most promise for you?

DoT: MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 3!! Ahem, sorry, I must suppress my inner fanboy. Do not let my GS in the XBLA version distract you, but I love the entire Capcom vs. series of games and owned every one possible for the PS2 (including Capcom vs. SNK 2, the best fighter ever).

D: Do you feel like there is enough originality in the games market these days, or does the thought of a year bringing games such as Gears of War 3, Mass Effect 3 and Elder Scrolls V excite you, but ultimately leave you wishing for something new?

DoT: I still get surprised by games that come out, Pinball FX 2 and the Pinball Hall of Fame: Williams Collection caught me off guard with just how much fun they are to play. While not too original, the fact that some one created such a deep strategy-RPG like Record of Agarest War for the 360 leaves me excited. I want to see more of these 'throwbacks' to the root of gaming: Gameplay. Less focus on flash and the NEXT BIG THING, and just these quieter innovations that draw on the rich history of gaming.

D: What if a developer gave you a blank canvas and a blank cheque. What would your ‘dream title’ include? Perhaps a reworking of a childhood classic?


D: Where did your interest for some of the lesser known games come from? Your ‘regular’ gamer doesn’t tend to care much for Record of Agarest War for example.

DoT: The lesser known games are in their own way, the most innovative of games out there. I have always loved things that were not considered to be "popular." I was a big fan of RPGs long before Cloud meet Aeris and that trend has simply continued with the 360.

If everyone is running in one direction, I will go the other way. Not on purpose, just that my interests have always been offbeat.

D: And if you could ‘game with fame’, who would you like to hit the Xbox with? Doesn’t matter if they’re not a gamer at heart, we can suspend disbelief for a minute!

DoT: I want to play Dante's Inferno with the original Dante. Sure I would need a translator but I simply want to see his reaction to the butchering of his poem.

D: I feel we all know a bit more about the man behind the profile now, so to finish, is there anything you’d like to say? Any tips for next years Game of the Year, or a personal motto you’d like to share with us?

DoT: The night before I gave my election speech for Class President of my High School, my father sat me down and imparted upon me these words of wisdom:

"In order to gain people's respect and attention, make them think you are crazy. Not really crazy, but just little off. Throw them off just enough so that they stop and think, What exactly is this guy capable of doing?"

Needless to say, not only did I win the election (with over 75% of the votes for me), but I have lived by those words ever since.

And that concludes Dog of Thunder’s Community Interview. Hopefully it offered up an insight into the mind of one our members of staff here at TA, and a prominent member of the community at large.

If you’d like to be featured in a future Community Interview, or would like to nominate a gamer on this site to be featured themselves, please send a PM to DavieMarshall.

If you have any questions you’d like to be put to future interviewees, send me your Questions From The Community too!