• New Citizen Interview - Neadal and Sheridan

    Hello and welcome all. I am finally here with the fourth 'New Citizen' interview - you will have to excuse the delay in this being published, I haven't been as a sharp in responding to the interviews as I should have been. However, I am confident this interview will be worth that as we have not one, but two fantastic new Citizens being interviewed, alongside the Patron they both share - the seemingly omnipresent Aikianár! Originally, this interview was going to be published as a 'special' version to commemorate the fifth interview, alas some unseen delays with another interview has pushed this one up the docket. Please join me in welcoming Neadal and Sheridan, for an excellent bumper interview. You can find their respective Citizenship applications here and here, if you haven't already taken a look. Enjoy!


    Q.) A big welcome and congratulations to both Neadal and Sheridan for passing their Citizenship application, I can't wait to hopefully see you guys around the Curia! And of course yet another welcome to Aikanár - for all you wondering, yes there are other Patrons available. Speaking of Patrons, would you two mind telling us how Aik became your patron? How he approached you with the offer etc.

    Neadal.) First of all, thanks for this interview!
    Well, how I first came up to Aik? It was during his patronization of Iskar. He approached me with a pm, concerning information about Iskar's modding activities on The Italian Wars Mod. And after answering all his questions, he asked me if I already was approached by somebody. I said, no and before I knew where I was, he offered to patronise me. So I grab this chance and here I am

    Sheridan.) Thank you! Aikanár approached me with this question nearly two weeks ago, which came a surprise in many ways as we didn't even know each other from before. At the time, I had no idea what being a Citizen meant, but this was promptly explained. As you might imagine, it did come across as an intriguing offer, but did in fact require a bit of persuasion on Aikanár's part before I was able to make up my mind. There are many other deserving candidates for sponsorship, some of them much more so than myself I would argue, but Aikanár explained that he was familiar with my work and contributions, so I figured he knew what he was doing. Not only did I get a very friendly patron who supported my application for Citizenship and saw it through, but I'd like to think a good new friend as well. So, I'd like to thank Aikanár again for this opportunity.

    Q.) He certainly has been busy, you guys may need to start your own House of Aik soon! Going to Aikanár, could you tell us what made these two candidates stand out to you, and why you offered to be their Patron?

    Aikanár.)House of the fiery spirit? we'll see about that. As for your questions, Shank, Neadal took me completely by surprise, it was when I researched Iskar that I came across Neadal's mod and that was pretty much a wtf? moment if ever there was one. A relatively new hosted mod forum with a 4.0 release and a very small team, Nedal and Iskar, that is noteworthy.

    As for Sheridan, there are so many aspects of TW games that you can mod and even if some are harder or very hard to mod with todays TW3 engine than when I was modding there's still plenty you can do. Sheridan's enhanced particle mod is a perfect example for what I mean.

    What both have in common other than being modders is that both are friendly and helpful, you know the kind of people who's postings simply are a pleasure to read. You can see their attitude right here. It's always a good sign when people think others are more worthy to be recognized than themselves. Do you need more reason to approach them for citizenship? I don't think you do

    Q.) Are you sure they are yours? Joking aside, they both seem like excellent members - and we will get on to hear more about them in just a sec. But before we do, would you mind sharing any plans you have with regards to the Curia? e.g. things you would like to see changed, or get involved in.

    Neadal.)You mean, how we will support Aik on his way to Curia dominion? Well, our plans are... ah hold on, I was not allowed to talk about that, sorry Shank
    OK, joke aside That is hardly to say right now, because I am still busy with reading through these many fora, so I get at least a small glance of what is possible and what was achieved so far. Also, I would like to know more about the process within the Curia, then I see, what I can do for the TWC community or what need to be changed etc.

    Sheridan.)You must have heard this answer before, but it's to early to say.

    I've yet to delve into deeper reading about the organisation and structure of the Curia. It's one of those things that will come naturally, as you become more invested in it. Until then, I couldn't give a very sincere answer to this question, let alone helpful I'm afraid.

    Q.) I'll let you off! I'm glad to here you are both interested in learning more about the Curia, and looking forward to seeing what you may get up to there in the future! Whilst you guys busy learning about the Curia, could we learn a bit more about you two? How did you come to TWC etc.

    Neadal.)Let me think, it was at August in 2012, as I recall, when I visited TWC the first time. I was in search of new mods for MED II. Well, which one, I can not remember, but I was familiar with most of the greater mods. The frustrating thing was, all these mods didn't really suit my needs, they all weren't "the mod". You know, the one everything is perfect for you . So I started to wonder I how could create my own mod or at least realize some smaller ideas and adjustments. That is how I came across the Khamsin modding team in one of our Total War fora in Germany. I joined these guys and started with scripting events, researching and minor stuff. Well, while I was working on this project, I started to set up my own one, In Nomine Dei. Due to my work on IND I gained most of my basic modding skills. Khamsin was very slow progressing and was abandoned soon, so I came up to The Italian Wars, created by Vlad Tepes on Strategie Zone. In the first place I only created a small extension, but then got intoxicated by the scenario and well.. the result can be seen here on TWC. With version 3.3.1 I have created a thread at the "Released Mods" section and was shortly granted a sub-forum and so I started to visit TWC regularly. After a while I started to think outside the box and glanced around for interesting ideas, topics, etc. One day Aik send me a pm, with questions about Iskar's modding activities, well you already heard that story
    And as you may have noticed, I am still working on "the Mod" In Nomine Dei

    Sheridan.)Well, it must have been years ago when I first visited TWC, probably referred to the place by friends if I recall correctly. Back then it was in search for new mods, like Darthmod for Empire and Third Age for Medieval II. Honestly, I wasn't a big fan of mods in general back then, but some of them seemed too great to not try out (who would want to miss out on an opportunity to take the Fellowship of the Ring to Mordor? ). Anyway, around the time Rome II was released, I made my account. At that point still without having produced a single mod - but it wasn't very long after when all that began. So, TWC has also served as an excellent platform for released mods, an alternative to Steam and from what I've found one that many people prefer. It's better than the Steam workshop in my opinion in the sense that you often get better and more extensive feedback/criticism here, which is often necessary to keep improving a mod - in fact sometimes it feels necessary just to gather motivation to keep going, knowing that there are people who appreciate the work you've done and would like to see more. It can be a tedious task at times, however fun it may seem.

    Fast-forward to today, I'm now working on two major conversion mods; Ancient Empires and Rise of Mordor. All thanks to TWC, as I would never have discovered the amazing modding community supporting the Total War games otherwise.

    Q.) You both mention your modding activities, and also focus on it a lot in both your applications, so what do you guys enjoy about modding? Is there a particular part of it you enjoy more than others?

    Neadal.) What is my most favourite part of modding? Hard to say... actually there is no favourite one for me. It is more the whole concept of your changes and their result, which you see afterwards. You know, to see your ideas mirrored within the game, this is a great pleasure for me! But the thing, which keeps me mostly on track, is to give joy to the community, so that everyone can enjoy the mod we have created. That is why I spend hours of hours to find the typo in my newly written script or try to re-rec the bones of the new model a third and a fourth time
    Some would say, I am a litte bit crazy, but it is my greatest plesure to give pleasure to other people

    Sheridan.)Combat modding is a big favourite. There is so much you can do to enhance the battle atmosphere, both abstract and concrete things. What's most exciting about it is when you're able to provide more direct visual feedback on what's going on, rather than focusing too much on the statistics (which too are important in their own way). Of course, there are a lot of limits to what can be done, but there are still ways to think outside the box. Visual effects are also a lot of fun to mod - with the large variety of effects already in place, you can do just about anything. I did a smaller mod together with a friend a while ago giving a (rather ahistorical) sulfur ballista to Sparta, which had ammo that on contact would explode in a yellow cloud. It shows just how many ways there are to play with particle effects.

    In general, modding is enjoyable as you get to be creative. Make no mistake though, it can get very dull from time to time and is certainly time consuming. As a whole, modding is rewarding - or as rewarding as you make it to be, not the least if working in a team where people share that same interest. That's not to forget the satisfaction from getting a lot of subscribers.

    Q.) You are obviously both passionate about modding, which is always great too see! Are there any other places on TWC that interest you or you'll pay the occasional visit too? Things you like to do when you aren't modding etc.

    Neadal.) When I am not modding? Well, I am very fond of philosophical questions. So I read through the topics of the E&EM sub-forum. There are many people of whom you can discuss every aspect and receive a detailed and well thought answer, which is quite a rarity in these days The sad thing is, my English isn't fluent enough, so I am more reading than taking part in the discussions. But I spend a lot of time reading english literature, so maybe in the future it will get better
    Besides modding, writing is one of my greatest passions. I write poems, but also short fantasy stories. I write in my mother language, so the rhythm and rhyme would get lost with the translation, probably I will never translate them into proper English. But that is not the only part of my writing me, I also like to write reviews and reports, that is why I have joined the Eagle Standard. Speaking of the Eagle Standard, I finished my research yesterday, so I am ready to write the article and finish it hopefully soon.
    These are my two "major" interests on TWC, besides modding

    Sheridan.) Other activities on TWC? That'd mostly be taking part of the historical debates. There are some genuinely interesting points raised in many of them. The topics can cover pretty much anything, and so it's a kind of helpful place to go to to gain ideas that can be used for modding, if not for pure interest. (I know, the subject keeps finding its way back to modding).

    Outside of TWC - if the question also concerns that - I like to watch comedy sketches from talkshows with hosts like Conan O'Brien and James Corden. It may not be considered a very sophisticated interest, but it is certainly a great way of spending the evening. British and American humour is quite remarkable - and frankly we don't have anything comparable here in Sweden where I live, in my humble opinion anyway. A bit like Neadal, I also enjoy delving into philosophical questions, as well as psychology. It's not strictly academic however, but more of a general interest in the subjects. Politics, another interesting area - although admittedly one I haven't given that much thought to after the last elections. I hope that answers the question.

    Q.) A fellow writer, you should have mentioned that earlier Neadal! Feel free to pop over to the Writers' Study if you get the chance. Sheridan, you didn't specify that you found British humour funnier than American, but I know that's what you mean. Glad to hear you guys are engaged in a range of different area of TWC. Now, to wrap us up, do you have any advice for people who may be reading this and thinking about applying for Citizenship? Anything final you would like to say about the whole process?

    Neadal.) A piece of advice? Hmm.. .. if you have skills of any kind, is it writing, modding, doing art, etc. don't be shy and conceal them, show them! And if you are eager take part in our discussion for the betterment of TWC, well, what the hell you are waiting for? It is much easier than you think, just be yourself and you will get a chance, for sure!
    In case you are not sure if it is worth trying, just ask one of us, I am certain we can answer all your questions!

    Sheridan.)If you've made contributions to the community or site and wish to do more, chances are you're citizen material. There are several ways to become a citizen - just chiming in on threads to help people out, answer questions and participate in discussions is a great way to support the community and could at some point be enough to warrant the citizenship award. That's what it is at the end of the day, an award to recognize your contributions. You can apply for citizenship by approaching a current citizen (who are generally recognizable by their badges), or wait and hope that one of them will come to you first. Both are legitimate ways, so don't be afraid that you might not deserve it - that's decided by a citizen vote anyway. Best of luck!


    That concludes our double bill! A big thank-you to both Neadal, Sheridan and Aikanár for agreeing to be interviewed and taking part - you can see more of these guys by clicking on their names... after you have clicked on the little green plus sign next to each one to award them a rep of thanks. I would implore any members thinking about applying for Citizenship to listen to what both Neadal and Sheridan have said, it is sound advice. If you are reading this and are thinking about applying for Citizenship then please follow this link for more information about the whole process.

    As always if you have any comments or feedback about this interview, or indeed any aspect of the Curia, then please drop a post in the Curial commentary thread, and if you have enjoyed what you've read here today then please feel free to check out the other interviews over on this page.To round us off, be sure to check back on the Curia homepage for the latest Curial news and articles, alongside other New Citizen interviews that are in the works and soon to be published.

    Shankbot de Bodemloze