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Interview with Aaron Hunter, The Original Creator Of StarPort
(alias Toonces, God, The Great Creator ,Our Salvation,
The Reason We Exist, Jawhe, ...).

MadAce: Good day. Thank you for granting this interview, Mr. Hunter

 

Mr. Hunter: My pleasure!

 

MadAce: Are you the original creator of StarPort?

 

Mr. Hunter: Yes, I am. Starport was conceived in 1997, seven years before its release. Sometimes people ask me, what is the point of all this? To which I say, the point is to dream, to have fun, and to inspire a generation to look forward and achieve great things.

 

MadAce: What’s the birthday of StarPort?

 

Mr. Hunter: February 4th, 2004 is the day it went live to the public.

 

MadAce: How did you think of StarPort?

 

Mr. Hunter: We wanted to make a massively-multiplayer game because we always enjoyed the social aspects of games and we wanted to be on the cutting edge of entertainment technology.

 

MadAce: What was the hardest part of developing StarPort?

 

Mr. Hunter: The hardest part is the sum total of all the work that must be done. There are countless little bits of work that must all go in to make a quality software product. If I had to pick out one difficult thing, I'd say it was the GUI (graphical user interface) programming.

 

MadAce: What’s the biggest difference between the current and the first version of StarPort?

 

Mr. Hunter: I'd have to say the refinement of the game experience, the level of polish. After more than a year of listening closely to the community and implementing fixes and suggestions, today's StarPort experience is closer to my original vision of what the game should be than when it first came out.

 

MadAce: How many hours do you still spend on updating, debugging, improving,… StarPort?

 

Mr. Hunter: It probably comes out to over 40 hours a week. And then there's business and promotional jobs to take care of as well!

 

MadAce: What part of StarPort are you the most proud about?

 

Mr. Hunter: That it is complete, an overall game experience. I'd have to say the space combat engine is a good achievement too.

 

MadAce: Do you have time to actually play StarPort, in a non-work related way?

 

Mr. Hunter: No. What time I have to spend in-game is usually spent monitoring and refereeing as an impartial judge.

 

MadAce: How do you decide which ideas to put in and which to ignore?

 

Mr. Hunter: I simply apply my judgement. Of course, a suggestion that isn't well-written or well-thought-out can be immediately discarded. Another tool that's used is looking at the frequency of a suggestion or idea. If three different people make a suggestion, it probably has merit. If fifty people make a suggestion it's probaby a very good idea!

 

MadAce: What’s your impression of the StarPort-community?

 

Mr. Hunter: I think they're great and I'm thrilled to have attracted such a friendly and insightful group of gamers. I rely on them to let me know what's going on in-game, with bugs, or if someone is harassing others and I need to come stop them. And they help newbies as well as provide a fun social atmosphere.

 

MadAce: Could you give some info about what elements you are planning to implement in the future?

 

Mr. Hunter: I want to improve some of the data screens, primarily the holdings display, the galaxy map, and the game options screen. The galaxy map will have more data on colonies, planet types, and a better system of demarcation than the current colored flag system. The holdings screen will provide more information on each colony. Also, there are going to be some things added to make the galaxy a richer place with more interesting scenery. This includes planetary outposts, and space debris/asteroids. Also, a quicker version of the game will be launched as the "Blitzkrieg" server. This game will be nice because it will start and finish in just 4 hours so it won't require much commitment from players.

 

MadAce: Thank you for this interview! Good luck with StarPort!

 

Mr. Hunter: You're welcome! I hope that you continue to improve your website and make it a most enjoyable place for someone to come and read a little about Starport. Cheers!