It’s the 10th of April, and this Sunday DTI April
is the gamer of the moment. She’ll be answering questions relating to gaming of course, as well as a host of other subjects!
____________________________________D: Hi DTI April, thanks agreeing to an interview. You’re a community nomination! How does that feel!
A: Haha I feel so popular! I’m fairly pleased with myself actually, it’s always nice to know you’ve made a good impression, well at least with some people!D: I’m assuming that the DTI prefix on your Gamertag is attributable to a gaming clan/group etc? How about the April part? Is that your real name?
DA: DTI stands for Dream Team Inc (see DTI Gaming.com
). It’s not really a clan as such but a small group of real life friends that was started up by my boyfriend. The name came about from them getting their asses kicked in Halo
, and not realy caring about it, they just run around singing songs and shouting “Dream Team!” regardless. After playing a ridiculous number of hours on Halo: Reach
with them I got invited . So much love for my DTI buddies.
My real name is actually Louise. The April part of my tag is actually referring to April O’Neil (TMNT).D: A TMNT reference? What prompted you to go down that route when choosing a Gamertag?
DA: Well, we already have a DTI Bebop
and a DTI RockSteady
. A few beers and an invite to DTI and it just seemed like the right tag to go with. There wasn’t any major thought process behind it.D: I had to call Xbox Support recently and they first asked me to give my Gamertag. She then asked, with a laugh, if I could confirm what my real name was. She admitted that security check was most likely redundant! Are you happy with your tag as it stands? I know Microsoft released a lot of disused Gamertags recently, were you tempted to change to anything else?
DA: Yea, I was tempted. Back in the day I was RK1 SeduLOUs. I broke away from RK1 Gaming mostly because of how much time I was spending with the DTI boys. I still have a lot of love for RK1 though. The SeduLOUs part was quite thought out, sedulous having a meaning that very much reflected my play style (OK, I might be a bit rubbish, but I’m persistent!) and I capitalised the LOU part to have a bit of my real name in there. I’m still quite tempted to try and get just “SeduLOUs” and drop the expectations that come with having a clan tag, but I don’t really care enough about it to fork out on points.D: Pinning this interview down location wise, where are you from?
DA: I live slap bang in the middle between Manchester and Liverpool (NW UK). I’m currently residing in Newton-le-Willows which falls under Merseyside, but I’d rather tell people I’m a Manc :DD: And how do you like living there? What would be the ‘best bits’ that you could show off to any visitors from TA?
DA: It’s just a typical small town with not an awful lot going on. If I’m completely honest I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone! The city centres are obviously good fun though, and we have one of the biggest B&Q’s (hardware store) I’ve ever seen – I’ve already picked out all my tools for the Zombie Apocalypse.D: What are you up to at the moment? Working, studying etc?
DA: I currently work in finance for a small GP practice very close to home. It’s different to the city jobs I’m used to and can be pretty boring at times, but as jobs go it’s not a bad one. I should be studying CIMA but I’ve kinda lapsed on it for a while because real life just has far too much fun going on for the time being.D: Looking forward five to ten years, what would you like to be doing? What would be your dream job or lifestyle?
DA: Wow. I hate this question in job interviews – far too many variables. I don’t wish for a lot if I’m honest. I don’t want to be particularly rich, I just hope I’m doing a job I enjoy and working to live comfortably rather than the other way around. D: Do you get up to much aside from gaming to help you relax, or to get an adrenaline rush?
DA: Gaming is definitely my free time priority. It chills me out but I’m also concentrating on doing something rather than just sitting in front of the TV. I don’t really watch any TV other than old reruns and DVDs of shows I used to love. I’m currently rewatching Black Books and Red Dwarf.
I also like to chill out with a bit of ridiculously loud music :D I play piano and am gradually getting better at bass. I’d love to buy a drum kit again and try to get into actually being able to do something useful with it, but I know I don’t really have the patience for it anymore.D: Black Books is brilliant! When I was at University my flat likened me to Bernard Black for reasons never quite clear to me! We can take it that you’re big on British comedy then?
DA: I love anything that can make me laugh, and I guess I love the classic British comedies for being so dry and witty. I can’t stand stuff like American Pie which tries to be funny just by using a lot of swear words and sexual references – OK, it might be funny for about five minutes, but I can’t take a whole movie…D: Who would be your favourite comic actor, or perhaps stand-up comedian?
DA: For stand up I’d have to go with Bill Bailey. He just makes me laugh constantly and is an amazing musician to go with it. My favourite unofficial ‘comic’ though would have to be Douglas Adams. I’ve read the Hitch Hiker’s Guide about 20 times and that stuff never gets boring to me. It’s so funny and yet so clever. He writes as if he’s actually speaking to you and anyone who’s a fan will know that you can share his jokes with all of your friends, but you always get the feeling they just don’t understand it quite the same way you do. If you’ve seen the movie, shame on you – go buy the book – your life would be a complete waste if you didn’t read it.D: You told me in a PM that you were able to play piano. I'm impressed. This is something I dabbled in years ago myself. I managed to teach myself some pieces of Genesis and Pink Floyd but as the years have passed, so has my knowledge and I don’t play anymore. How long have you been playing?
DA: I know the feeling well. I got to Grade 7 in my younger years but went 4 years or so without a decent piano because I didn’t have room in my flat. I still play but I get so frustrated that I’m nowhere near as good as I used to be.D: Do you mostly play for leisure at home?
DA: To be honest I very rarely play at home anymore because I’m in a band. Anything I need to learn for that is pretty easy on keys so I have to spend the majority of time learning lyrics or bass which I’m fairly awful at!D: You must be pretty good then! What’s the band called?
DA: The band don’t have a name! We only got together in late 2010 and haven’t actually done any gigs in our current set up. We have all played with each other in previous originals or covers bands and know each other quite well, but are just starting out with the current project. It’s a slow start (pretty much on hold) at the moment because the lead guitarist is currently working full time and studying for a master’s degree.D: And do you play covers, original music or both?
DA: Just covers. I just wanna sing and play the songs I already know and love and it’s so hard to get a gig as an originals band these days. I have no intention of getting signed and see it purely as a hobby that could potentially make me an extra few quid.D: What keys do you use? I’ve always absolutely loved the sound of the Yamaha CP70 electric piano with a ton of chorus applied to it. Some brilliant music from 80s era Genesis used this liberally, and more recently Keane have tried it too.
DA: At the moment I have a Yamaha DGX-630 as it sounds pretty decent as an acoustic piano but has gig portability. I’m determined to own a Yamaha Clavinova CLP F01 in orange soon though – such a beautiful piano :DD: Can you remember your best and worst gigs that you guys have played?
DA: The worst was my first. It was in the bar at the JJB Stadium (now the DW Stadium – home of Wigan Athletic/Wigan Warriors) and it was for some fundraising thing. We did our own version of footloose which sounded amazing in practice but I was so nervous for the real thing I just though it was awful. The middle section of crowd were old and just sitting still too which didn’t help. The best gigs are always in our home turf at The Fleece – there’s always an amazing crowd who are ready to have a good time with us.D: And when it comes to rehearsing a new song, how long does it take you to learn your parts? Which songs in the setlist gave you the most trouble to learn?
DA: In typical fashion we mostly leave our part learning to the actual rehearsal. I make sure I have the song on the ipod in case we can’t remember how a bit goes, but generally as long as we vaguely know the sing it’s just a case of printing a lyrics sheet and making it up as we go along.D: Does this mean you’ve played Rock Band 3 and dabbled in the keyboard on there at all?
DA: Not at all. I haven’t even been tempted to try because I’ve never really liked Rock Band
. I’m a Guitar Hero
gal all the way – I just can’t grasp the fact that the notes are square in RB!D: Sticking with Xbox now, are your friends avid gamers too?
DA: I have quite a few gamers friends in real life, but I guess the only one who takes his gamerscore as seriously as me is my boyfriend. I actually met him through gamecrush which was a total shock as I was expecting to make bundles of cash, not meet the love of my life (lol, awww)D: Really! I’m going to have to ask some questions on this! How does that work then? You applied to join the team? But then what? How does it move from business to pleasure?
DA: I’d been on the site a little while, but taking a lot of time out because I was getting fed up of being labelled a ‘cam whore’ when I was actually playing games with guys andnot doing anything I’m be ashamed to tell my parents about. He came along not wanting to pay to play but to see what the whole thing was about. We got talking about games and gamerscore and Halo 3: ODST
firefights, and in the end I did the right thing and sacrificed potential cash for getting achievements in Halo
. We were friends on XBL and MSN etc for a good while after that, it turned serious (skip the boring details), and he moved over from Cyprus to be with me (yea, I’m THAT awesome!). I think he played on gamecrush with me once, but it was more as joke as we were already fairly close by then.D: Well, there we are. The system works! How long have you guys been together now?
DA: We “met” online in July 2010, then met for the first time IRL in November last year. We moved in together in December, so it was all very insane but it seems to be working out so far :PD: Do you both like the same games, or are you both into different genres?
DA: Bit of both really. We both obviously play games the other doesn’t like (I’m not really into racing games) but for the most part there’s a lot of stuff we like to play together. Regardless, there just isn’t enough decent co-op out there and I don’t want to play with him all the time anyway so we both have our separate consoles. We have ours both set up next to each other though :DD: Two setups in one room, sounds like a perfect existence to me! Can we get some pictures of the games room?
DA: This is just our’starter’ setup. Money is a little tight from moving countries and houses but we’re hoping to upgrade to two 42” matching TVs in the near future – I hate that they don’t match at the moment :PD: Amazing setup! My favourite yet! Now, jumping back several years before the Xbox 360, what was your first console and favourite game on that platform?
DA: My first ‘games’ machine was an Atari ST. I just played Arkanoid
, Rainbow Islands
and Bubble Bobble
all day. My first console was a Sega Megadrive but I only ever had Sonic 2
. That seemed to be enough to keep me addicted for several years though!D: How did your hardware progress from there? Can you remember the other consoles you had on the road to the Xbox 360, and the reason you ended up with Microsoft?
DA: It didn’t progress much at all, I had a fairly typical female teenage existence which generally didn’t involve gaming. I got a PS2 at some point though and got ridiculously addicted to GTA 3
and the original Guitar Hero
. Once I moved out of my parent’s I had another console-less phase until I randomly bought an Xbox 360. I was pretty late in the game – my original console came with Grand Theft Auto IV
as a new release!D: What would be your preferred kind of game now? Are you big on FPS, music, puzzle?
DA: I like all kinds of games really. I don’t tend to play much FPS because I’m generally not great at them, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying it with friends. I don’t really like RPGs, simply because my mind can’t cope with having too many decisions. I prefer nice simple laid out objectives and a fairly linear plot. I’m having a massive arcade phase at the moment though, mostly because they require low level concentration so I can play whilst watching a movie on the 2nd TV!D: And of course, achievements, how bad do you have it for them?
DA: OMG. It’s bad. It doesn’t make any sense but I just can’t help wanting them! I didn’t care much for them at first, but I realised they’re such a good way of making you get the most of the game (well in some cases anyway) and once I started aiming for 1000G on Left 4 Dead
I was hooked.D: Do you and your boyfriend help each other with multiplayer achievements? Is he even into them?
DA: We shouldn’t, because we had a £500 bet before we got together as to who would get to 100K gamerscore first. As far as I’m concerned the bet still stands so I’m always trying to stay a few thousand ahead. We do boost and do co-op together though, and obviously we help each other with certain pain in the ass achievements that the other is struggling with.D: Between the two of you, do you run up a big bill on gaming, or are rental systems the way?
DA: We currently rent though LoveFilm. We do buy games that we want to play long term but we haven’t bought any retails for a while now to be honest. I’m focussing on going back to old games at the moment and trying to get my completion %age up and he’s working in a job that gives him access to Microsoft Expert Zone and cheap MS points so it all seems to be about arcade games for the time being :DD: Is there any game you’d love to see on the Xbox 360 which you feel is missing? I’d love to see Codemasters tackle a ‘proper’ British Touring Cars game like they did in ToCA 1 and ToCA 2 on the Playstation 1. Both brilliant games.
. I used to play it really drunk at my friend’s house on original xbox and I honestly never had so much fun. Harms Way
was a similar idea but it just made me crave mashed all the more. D: How is your line up of anticipated games looking for the year ahead? Are there many titles you’re excited to get your hands on? The new Batman: Arkham City and LA: Noire are absolute must plays for me before Christmas comes.
DA: We ‘said’ we’re not buying any new games until Gears 3
. There’s nothing coming out that I know about that I feel I can’t live without. I doubt we’ll stick to the plan though!D: When you pick up a new game, how do you approach it? Do you dive straight into the multiplayer, or work through the single player first?
DA: I normally have a quick skim read of the achievement list just to see what I’m letting myself in for and then dive into the SP without looking at the achievement list again. I love getting lost in a SP campaign and not worrying too much about achievements. You can usually clean up on a second play anyway. If the multiplayer is fun I’ll play it whenever my friend’s are, or boost it out at the end if it’s a load of rubbish.D: Last week’s interviewee had amassed around 100 XBLA titles as yet unplayed. Do you download much from the Marketplace or have a stash of unplayed games?
DA: I don’t have many unplayed games at all. I reckon I have 10 unplayed games including arcade and a lot of those are ones my bf brought with him.D: I see you have a Gamergoal of hitting 100k, so every point counts to make that goal on time. Have you played any of the easy thousands? Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Burning Earth, King Kong etc?
DA: Hell yea! There’s nothing better than bashing out an easy 1000G, I’m not ashamed of it. I tend to enjoy easy games though – I genuinely thought Hannah Montana The Movie
was fun. It’s like the arcade rule where I like to get in from work and do something that’s fun and colourful without having to try too hard.D: We’ll let it slide for being multi-talented and having such interesting stories to tell! Bringing our interview to a close now, is there anything you’d like to say in closing your spot on the front page?
DA: Thank you to whoever nominated me, and thank you Davie for a not-so-scary (actually quite fun) interview. I hope I’ve not bored you all to tears – now get back to gaming!
And there we have DTI April’s Community Interview. A gamer, musician, member of a band, Gamecrush player and achievement addict! That’s set the bar pretty high for next weeks interviewee! If you think you fit the bill, or know someone who does, make sure to send me a nomination ready for the next interview slot.
On which note, I'll be taking a two week break from Community Interviews for work and personal reasons. However, never fear, it's not terminal and I'll be back and ready to go soon. My inbox is still open to all requests and feedback!
So, 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