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Introduction & the Guides

One of the more public faces of Barrysworld, SAS while writing guides for several games also has views on many of the lighter sides to gaming, and the future of gaming itself in the UK. We caught up with him to ask him about the various things he is doing and how the current saga of cheating in the Counterstrike community affects the future of the game.

[rocker] So SAS, lets start at the beginning. What is your name and your age?

[SAS] Scott Grenney age 21. Grenney said as Gren n ey, some pronounce it as Green y. I'm English but it sounds French?

[rocker] How long have you been playing games online, and what is your favorite so far?

[SAS] I have been playing for 4-5 years now. QuakeWorld was my first every game online. I only played it once or twice, but my connection was poor so I gave up, until Quake2 hit the streets. I played loads of q2, but got bored, until the CTF mod came out and I was hooked (no pun intended with the grapple hook ;) ) Q2CTF I found was so new people had problems with it so I created a 4 page guide so really that's where my guide stuff started. I became well known for my Q2CTF skill, but I moved away from q2 because of the aimbots e.t.c. Favorite games now = Tribes, Quake3, CounterStrike. Favorite so far = CounterStrike :)

[rocker] What made you choose SAS as your nickname?

[SAS] When I played online I knew I needed a name. So I thought about it. SAS is related to the UK ( I knew gaming was world wide so wanted a UK name), also the SAS are seen as good guys, so fits my view on helping people. And the SAS are tactical thinkers. That's what I do. Always assess a situation. I added dots to make S.A.S to stand out from the other SAS name users :)

[rocker] You mentioned your Guides in the last answer, what made you start writing guides for games?

[SAS] I really started doing guides to help players. I was always in a game of q2ctf answering questions. A 'newbie' would say "How do I bind the grapple" e.t.c. It got to the point I was talking more than actually playing so I created a guide site on my old virgin ISP space and pointed people to it. Then I increased the guide to CTFs size from 4 pages moved to Barrysworld because Virgin net was so slow there I made the CTF guide huge, but after a while I found tribes the game rocked BUT it was really hard to get into. So I guided it and from then on I've been doing guides for loads of games. I do like to pimp the guides (ed : understatement of the year?) but only when people need the URL.

[rocker] So do you feel that the guides have come a long way from your first one?

[SAS] The Quake 2 CTF guide was my first, and probably has the most content, however I feel more happy with the tribes guide which was the 2nd I created it's more compact and easier in my view to use. each guide I create now is base on the tribes guide and the plans I have for the future are huge. I would say I am the only major guides writer in the UK I've seen other guides most are not that good, apart from Aqua's excellent tweaking guides other web sites try to do guides but they lack detail and also are never updated. However there is more guides out there. when I did the Quake 2 CTF guide there where no guides at all as far as I could remember. now there are more guides, but the quality is varied. I don't want to sound big headed but I would say the guides I do are probably the best a gamer could use as a starting point?

[rocker] You said you have 'great plans' for the Guides, could you give us an insight into the things we can look forward to from your guides?

[SAS] Well at the moment I've noticed something new MODs are released along with maps that people love but after a few days the links disappear and a player will ask "Where's this map" e.t.c. What I am working on is having a page per game. Take Quake 3, on the site there will be a bit about the game + patch lists, links to web sites, maps, MODs (+ details and links), demos e.t.c also IRC channels so a gamer can find the whole q3 community on one page. It is much easier than looking around for it however I'm not sure if anyone else has done this? Also I'll update the pages for each game so they are up to date. Other plans I have, are increasing the guide team. Not many people know I wrote all the content on the guides myself (unless someone is credited for there work on a page) most think that S.A.S's guide to {game} is a team called S.A.S :) It's funny reading a news site like www.q3arena.com and seeing "The S.A.S team over..." :))) I want to add more people to the guides at the moment I have Leviathon who does excellent map reviews. A handful of other people who do bits on certain guides I feel that as more people input stuff to the guides the more they reflect that games community and not just my own views, so I want to get more people to send in stuff (all of which is credited) that way the gaming community benefits more.

[rocker] Out of the guides you have written already, which has given you the most satisfaction?

[SAS] mmm not easy one to answer I would say Tribes, or the CounterStrike one. The Counterstrike guide is new and is getting a lot of hits, but that's because the mod is huge. The Tribes guide though was well liked and I enjoyed doing it the most.

[rocker] How long do you spend researching the game you are going to write a guide on?

[SAS] If I have a game in mind to guide. Say take the CounterStrike guide for example. I started playing the game and it took me a few days to learn. I'm an experienced gamer and even I found all the choice of weapons and all the maps difficult to digest. I looked for a guide (as I do with all new games) and found only 1 but it was limited and not user friendly so I thought sod it I'll create one a gamer can enjoy reading so the CounterStrike guide was born. Research wise say 1- 4 weeks it depends on the game say Tribes 2 which I plan to guide. I will buy the game then play it for 2-4 weeks get into the community side of things, meet other players + clans and generally immerse myself into the community. That way when I am happy I start to write the guide also as I will be a 'newbie' to Tribes 2. I keep note like what did I find hard to understand then research it. I build a guide from the ground up from when a player first enters the server until he's a fully clanned player.

[rocker] So do you feel that 4 weeks is enough to know about a game that you will write a guide for?

[SAS] Technically no, but I can absorb information fast and the guides start out as a guide for 'newbies' so technically I am still fresh into the game as I grow with the game (after 4 weeks) I add more to the guide so the guide becomes aimed at a wider range of players. The problem is time though. I can guide 1 game in 4 weeks say, well 5 (+1 week to write it) but I would love to do loads of games so I could spend half a year on a game, totally rock at it, then guide it but then I would had missed all the other games so I generally play a game to a point where I know 99.9% of it and I can play it well then guide it. Also the main problem is I have no team I have to look and hassle people to write things for the guides, if I can get a full time team I maybe able to do more than one guide at a time.