Thanks for taking time for this interview,
and hope to see more from you in the future!!
What is your Name?
DeadBolt (aka Ryan)
How old are you?
Male or Female?
Sting: What is your website's URL?
Tell us a bit about your site. When it was started,
what did you set out to achieve, plans for the future etc.
The site was started about two years ago when Favorites was first
released. It have moved around a bit, existing in different forms here and there
until it found a more permanent home at DFCenter. There are not really any big
plans for the site itself. The content it contains is there to support DF Favorites
users vs trying to be snazzy or cute. As long as it serves the purpose it will
remain mostly the same.
For the few who have never heard of or used the programs
you have written for DF..could you please explain them and what they do?
Full support for DF2, LW, and TFD
There is primarily a single application, DF Favorites, which is composed
of a group of inter-related programs. Publically, the tools are broken down
into the join tool, the remote tool, and the cheat blocker technology. The basic
feature set includes, in a single downloadable package, the following:
Favorite server lists (locate and keep track of servers)
Ping, game type, passworded, etc (everything you would
Embedded Novaworld lobby browser
Embedded DF Favorites World lobby browser
Join and auto-join on full servers
Trace route to a game server
Player profile editing (fancy/hexed names, weapons, specialty,
Novaworld Lobby download and search
Buddy List and Messaging (send messages back and forth)
Tool messages (send links to running games, voice software,
Game link sharing (send via ICQ or buddy lists
Integrated Community Chat
Run your own private chat servers
Game Screenshot Viewer (save images as JPEGs)
Web Remote Control of servers (simple web page)
Full Remote Control of servers
Remote Map Manager (enable disable map use)
Remotely Start/Stop Servers (including setting all options)
Automatic messages (rules) shown at start of each map
Standard messages can be sent out on demand
Automatic net delay 0
Map Manager for enabling/disabling maps
User Manager for providing different levels of access
Web based remote control
Manages multiple game servers on a single machine
Supports CERDIP's campaign manager software
Alternate lobby for NW game servers (can be used when NW
Provides the buddy list and messaging services used by
Provides the Cheat Blocker Server/Player publishin
Provides Server Status Web Bugs for squad forums and sites
Provides Chat Server publishing
Provides the Favorites Community Chat Server
Publishes server and player information to DF Favorites
Cheat Blocker technology supports DF2 and LW
Server publishing supports DF2, LW, and soon TFD
Blocks the use of skins (DF2) and virtually all trainers
Directly integrated into the game, no external programs
Auto-Update ability to keep up on the most current CB technology
score2txt converts scores.txt files to text files you can
Chat Server extension allowing you to use CCServer within
the chat program
What inspired you to write these programs?
A brief moment of insanity just about two years ago when someone asked
me to decode the Nova Key (NK) used by NovaLogic (and a few other reasons I
won't bother to mention). Really, it mostly derived from the simple belief that
there should be a nice, simple, and single location you could do most things
from for the DF games. I despised the fact that you had to go and find a bunch
of different programs to do the smallest thing in the game. I wanted it all
in one place and so do alot of others. Virtually everything the programs do
I firmly believe that NovaLogic should have provided and I look forward to the
day that they do. Until then I will continue, with the support of many online
friends and beta testers, to provide a solid and complete tool that a new user
can download and have just about everything they need for the DF game series.
The other driving factor in the general design and features of the programs
is that the community is greater than the game. There is a very strong focus
on sharing and meeting other players via the community chat, link sharing, and
messaging. The remote control features help establish good clean moderated servers
for everyone to play in.
Do you think that cheating will ever come to an end
in the DF series games?
No, cheating in one form or another will always exist in all the DF
games. It is simply human nature to seek an advantage and a matter of morales
how far you will take that desire. There is no business model that would support
NovaLogic continuing to address cheating in an ongoing basis. None of us could
afford the game if they tried. The other issue surrounding cheating is not really
the cheating but that fact that there was no viable way to disprove a cheating
accusation. It is all the flame wars, screen shots, and general disatisfaction
that you have no idea whether you are playing with others that do not cheat.
The Cheat Blocker is a first step in addressing the cheating issue. If you believe
in cheat free games, download it and use it. It will stop you from heating and
provide a place on the Internet to actually show that you are not cheating.
Virtually every average or better player has been accussed of cheating, this
addresses that problem directly. It follows a simple model that can be used
at all times by any player regardless of the server they are in. I firmly believe
in the Cheat Blocker and it is a non-optional component of DF Favorites.
What is your background in programming? (Self taught,
I have been professionally programming for about ten years and have
a math and computer science background with a keen interesting in operating
DF Favorites has probably been most influenced by a desire
to test new programming and distribution models. I use it as a place to try
out different methods of peer and client server commnications. The fact that
it has a viable use at the end of the day for others is a great benefit.
What process do you use to find new "cheats"
to update the system?
The Cheat Blocker is actually a container for multiple cheat detection
methods (there are about nine different methods used at present). Each of these
blockers runs concurrently and the vast majority of trainers/cheats are detected
by at least two or more of each of the blockers. This approach makes the Cheat
Blocker very effective, since no single method could possibly find all trainers
or game manipulations.
In terms of keeping the Cheat Blocker up to date. For the
most part, I spend a bit of time browsing around looking for publically available
trainers. Additional trainers and information are provided by the community
as well (in the future this is where I hope most of the information comes from),
and finally when trainer usage is detected that information is sent to the favorites
server for further analysis. For completeness, any trainers that are found are
cataloged to determine that they are in fact caught by the blockers.
Typically, the cheat blocker will be updated every 1-4 weeks,
updating the list of cataloged trainers, improvements in detection methods,
and simply to shuffle the code and data of the cheat blocker itself around.
The Cheat Blocker pages will only display users of the last two released versions
of the Cheat Blocker and the pages always indicates the most current version
of the software that is available.
Have you ever used cheats/trainers
before you began writing programs to block them?
No, I have
not used any cheats/trainers or game modifications before - it strikes against
my morale fiber. At the onset of the Cheat Blocker portion of the DF Favorites
project I spent two months simply gathering trainers and when the actual beta
began another three > months. All toll I have been watching the DF cheating
community for about six months.
That said, I am not against people cheating -- it is their choice. I understand
why the trainers are made and why someone would bother to use one. I think there
are four basic groups when it comes to this.
1) those that make them mostly to see if they can;
2) those that openly use them;
3) those that use them but don't want anyone to know; and
4) those that openly oppose the use of cheats regardless of reason. For those
players that go into a Novaworld hosted server and then complain about cheating
need to re-evaluate why they went into the server in the first place. If you
go into a cheaters only server then you know what you are in for. It is the
players in group #3 that bother me and most other players. It is simply a game
but I do believe that cheating reflects on you as a person and in a negative
How much time out of a week do you devote to DF?
Far too much ;) I don't actually play any of the DF games other than
DF2 and I only play it perhaps every couple of weeks. I would probably easily
spend about 20 hours or so a week on support, forums, and code development.
Which squads have you been in? If you've been in
multiple ones - why did you leave?
I have never been on a squad. I do like the idea of competitive play
but simply cannot devote the time and energy that is required to really participate
in a squad. I did have the opportunity to play in an S&D league as a merc
for a squad that didn't have enough members (yes, designated mercs were permitted).
I had a blast and hopefully will get other chances like > that. That league
was the first use of the Cheat Blocker technology.
Tell us a bit about
on the prior answer... since there is only me there are only a few arguments
and the command structure is really easy to follow, lol
What weapon do you use most often?
My preferred weapon is the M4/203. Works for just about every type
of game and purpose. I don't have any preferences for LW or TFD since I don't
really play them.
In the game of DF, what would be your best abilities?
Pressing the spacebar.
And your worse?
Just before I press the spacebar.
Favorite map type?
Search and Destroy
Do you have a favorite map? If so, what is it?
TDM High Desert
Are you happy with NovaLogic's current level of support?
It depends on the context. I have never had reason to call NL for
support but I expect they a moderately acceptable level of support to new users.
On the ongoing support and and improvement of the game I think they come up
short. NL was one of the pioneers of the game lobby but they simply have not
stayed up with current technology and requirements of the players. In my ideal
NL game there would be all the tools that DF Favorites provides and more. And
real grass like DF2 as well.
What do you like about Delta Force?
The actual gameplay of DF2 with the grass provides for a large number
of styles to be used. This offers a great deal of variety in the way the game
What don't you like
about Delta Force?
The loss of
grass in the newer games, zero support of 3rd party developers, and stagnant
feature set in regards to remote control, lobby, and cheating.
Do you think the DF series is dying?
bsolutely not, I started playing the DF series shortly after DF2
was released. The number of online players has flucuated but remains pretty.
There will always be diehard fans of each of the games and so long as NL keeps
the basic services available I can see each game continuing on for a very long
Your stance on cheaters?
Could do without them. The closet cheat should be ashamed.
Besides your own, which sites do you like the best,
or visit the most?
Well, DFCenter when it is up and running. DFBarracks for news. DFArena
and DFHQ for forums.
Do you intend to keep going? As in when BHD is released?
Unless something significant changes there will be BHD support for
join and remote control. The Cheat Blocker, as planned right now, will probably
stay in the DF2 and LW portion of the series. NL appears to be taking a more
active role in addressing cheating so I want to see where that goes before butting
Do you write any simular programs for other games?
Not really, the thought has crossed my mind and I do have a lobby
page for OFP but it is not really for public use.
think we have just about covered everything. I would just like to
say I am glad to see the return of DFBarracks and am looking for exciting things
to show up on your pages. I would also like to thank you for the chance to be