|Interview with *DAMN Mauti|
October 10, 2006 | Anthony Wang
Inside Mac Games recently had the chance to interview Mauti, who heads the *DAMN community. One of the largest parts of *DAMN include the battle league which for years has offered competition for Tom Clancy games including Rainbow Six and Rogue Spear, as well as others like America's Army for a brief period. Presently, Mauti and his team are working hard on the next upgrade for the popular battle league and chats about Mac gaming in general.
IMG: First, could you tell us about yourself and the *DAMN organization you helped found?
Mauti: Hi, my name is Mauti, I'm from Austria, 23 years old and I'm studying computer science at the Vienna university of technology. Originally I founded *DAMN together as a clan in 2000. Shortly afterwards I used the website to contribute my selfmade mods with the community, and worked with the most popular clans to create an accepted ruleset for clanbattles. My personal reason to create a clan was to compete with other clans, but I found out that there were no standard rules for cbing or clan battling. So back in those days it was really demanding to setup a cb and to discuss every time the rules before you can cb. Times changed as soon as we have worked out the rules and created an extra part of the *DAMN website for it. The *DAMN Battle League(*DBL) was born.
IMG: How has *DAMN evolved over the years from just another clan to the center of Mac tactical gaming community?
Mauti: *DAMN just satisfied the wish for a common clanbattle environment. Obviously no other clan was dedicated enough to create one. However I also think the combination of offering selfmade mods, and later converting PC mods, helped us and the *DBL to become popular. We started with the excellent tactical ego shooter Rainbow Six and when I created mods I noticed that almost nobody knew how to mod the game. So it was just a question of time until we were the number one website for Rainbow Six related mods. With every released sequel and increased interest in online gaming we grew bigger and evolved to what you call the center of Mac tactical gaming.
IMG: In what ways do you think *DAMN has affected the Mac gaming community?
Mauti: I think *DAMN didn't affect or influence the Mac gaming community much. The only exception might be that you have to download the *DBL Final Map Pack or other mods to join most Ghost Recon games in GameRanger. Also I think the *DBL made cbing more popular in GameRanger. On a side note Aspyr and MacSoft had and have probably much less technical support requests because of our very helpful forums. Besides that *DAMN just offers some community services and brings people with a common interest together.
IMG: What does it feel like operating one of the only active Mac gaming battle leagues, the *DAMN Battle League(*DBL)?
Mauti: To some point it makes me proud on the other side it's frustrating to see that the Mac gaming community didn't grow as fast as the PC community and we now face some serious competition with hundreds of active clans. Right now the community is ever decreasing. However the fact that *DAMN and the *DBL still exists after six years encourages me to keep working on it. It was not always like that, and more than once I wanted to throw the towel. But the dedication I have found within the community kept and keeps the whole thing alive and inspires me to still make improvements.
IMG: With stiff competition, usually comes trash-talking and drama, what was the funniest incident that happened in the Battle League?
Mauti: Oh man, there were so many drama's and trash talking I can't decide what's the funniest. Starting with the obviously 500 spam mail attack from Romeo and Juliet to the famous and beloved "everything is a conspiracy against me and my clan" Rapid. But with the time it's really annoying and I have noticed that no matter what you are doing there is always one or more persons who cause unnecessary troubles. It's like a law of nature and often spoils the fun. Well I usually keep calm and try to take it with a smile. Another funny thing are the *DBL dead sayers. I don't know how often some people claimed that we gonna fail, but hey we are still alive!