Staff Interviews Return! Round 3!


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The long-awaited Pokemon Showdown Staff Interviews are back! Your (fabulous) host, Tiksi, is here to guide you to all the spicy details unearthed in this third round... and all to come later!

Terribly sorry for the delay (there was a miscommunication, and then my college application season :fun:), but the calendar has come to the point where these can be early Christmas presents!

To begin the fun, Team Pokepals takes on Raineko (Yuki)!
%Team Pokepals: Alright, so we'll start with the basics:
%Team Pokepals: What's your gender, age, occupation and residence (if you're comfortable with sharing)?
%Yuki: Well, I'm Male, 15, obvs a HS student, and I live in Toronto.
%Team Pokepals: Sweet, is there anything you're interested in studying when you graduate high school?
%Yuki: I'm looking into linguistics mainly right now, but there is plenty of time for that to change.
%Team Pokepals: That's pretty cool, what languages do you know or would like to learn?
%Yuki: I know English, German and some Japanese, French and Italian. I don't know what else I'll learn yet.
%Team Pokepals: Oh wow, that's impressive.
%Yuki: Languages are fun!
%Team Pokepals: What's your favorite part about languages?
%Yuki: Well, I enjoy breaking down the aspects of language and analysing the features of it.
%Yuki: And I love the culture of the countries I learn the languages of.
%Team Pokepals: I took a course in Spanish in high school and Arabic a few years back, and I agree it's really fun to learn not only the language but the culture surrounding it.
%Team Pokepals: Anyways, how did you find PS and Smogon?
%Yuki: Well, I started playing Pokemon competitively in 2012 in Juniors. A year later, I joined PS, and a couple years after I was mostly done with VGC joined Smogon.
%Yuki: I kept mainly to myself, though.
%Team Pokepals: That's pretty cool.
%Team Pokepals: Do you still keep up with VGC on here? What tiers do you play?
%Yuki: I mainly play the DOU formats, and I keep up with the VGC meta.
%Team Pokepals: What are your thoughts on this generation for those tiers? Is it more interesting with the addition of z moves, were there any new mons that made it easier to handle older threats from gen 6, etc.?
%Yuki: I feel this format was way too limited, being Alola dex only, but Z-Moves added a great element to the game with many different strats.
%Yuki: So I found it interesting to play with a bit. The issue I had is that I preferred the megas, but that's a little bias cause I love Gen 6.
%Team Pokepals: Yeah Z moves really changed up the game in a lot of ways.
%Team Pokepals: When you first joined, who did you look up to? Who do you look up to now?
%Yuki: It was always players like Ray Rizzo and Wolfe Glick, but I heavily respect a lot of people I have played alongside like my buddy Kano.
%Team Pokepals: Nice, what's your favorite part about PS?
%Yuki: Am I allowed to say Video Games? In all honesty, a lot of the community have become really good friends of mine - especially a lot of the fellow staff both globally and in other rooms.
%Team Pokepals: That's great!
%Team Pokepals: Having friends on here really makes it hard to get offline or stay away from Showdown, and it's fun to talk to people from around the world.
%Team Pokepals: So moving along, what's the hardest part about being a global?
%Yuki: I think sometimes it's just the trolls who don't like to listen, every now and then we get people who we can talk to professionally, but sometimes you get the usual pm spam trolls
%Team Pokepals: Yeah I get a handful of those too...
%Team Pokepals: If you were to give one piece of advice for a new user wanting to contribute, what would it be?
%Yuki: Don't be scared to put your ideas out there, we love hearing suggestions. Otherwise, make a subtle effort to connect with us staff, just not too forward.
%Team Pokepals: That's pretty good voice imo.
%Team Pokepals: Especially with posting on forums, since I can attest to being hesitant about posting on threads in fear of someone calling me out or it being seen in a negative way.
%Team Pokepals: The first few times might be hard, but it'll get easier as time goes on.
%Team Pokepals: Alright, so what are your hobbies outside of Pokemon?
%Yuki: I love music, reading, and - if you couldn't guess - video gaming.
%Team Pokepals: What video games do you play?
%Yuki: I have played a huge variety of games, I recently started doing some blogging to put some of my thoughts out there on the topic.
%Yuki: Best video game of all time is easily Chrono Trigger in my mind.
%Team Pokepals: What kind of game is Chrono Trigger?
%Yuki: It's a JRPG.
%Team Pokepals: That's pretty interesting.
%Team Pokepals: Do you have a favorite console?
%Yuki: PlayStation 2, what I grew up with.
%Team Pokepals: That's awesome.
%Team Pokepals: I haven't played too many games on playstation, but the controllers are pretty nice.
%Team Pokepals: Alright, final question!
%Team Pokepals: What is the silliest thing you have seen in a battle?
%Yuki: Unfortunately, I wasn't involved, but it keeps happening this year. A couple of my friends outside of PS practice with each other, and one of them keeps getting KO'd by Pyukumuku.
%Yuki: But, if it involves me...
%Yuki: Wynaut vs Wynaut at a VGC event with Kano.
%Team Pokepals: Lol, Pyukumuku scares me sometimes.
%Yuki: It is truly horrifying
%Team Pokepals: When you think it's unaware, you KO it by accident and end up getting KO'd by Innards Out.
%Team Pokepals: I think that covers it, thanks for taking the time to do this! It was fun getting to learn more about you and I hope to chat with you again sometime :)
%Yuki: Thank you, and thank you again! (Another Tiger & Bunny reference this week!)

Now Brandon~ joins us with Paradise!
%Brandon: So hi para
Paradise: Hey, sup
%Brandon: Too much is up tbh...
%Brandon: So let's start off with how you found out PS.
Paradise: Found PS randomly in like December 2014, a couple of my friends were big into Pokemon and showed me it.
Paradise: I made an account, then didn't look at PS for another 2-3 months...
Paradise: After that, got semi-interested in The Happy Place and started talking there, pretty much set the whole thing in motion.
%Brandon: I guess you found your happy place eh?
Paradise: lol, I guess you could say that
%Brandon: Outside of ps, what do you do?
Paradise: Outside of PS, I'm currently in what I hope to be my final year of med school.
Paradise: I also work as an administrator/occasional field agent for an anti-sex trafficking agency on the side.
%Brandon: That's pretty interesting; what all does it entail (if you're able to say o:)
Paradise: well, on the admin side, it's just a ton of paperwork. Usually I'm assigned as the admin for a certain team in the field, so they send all their individual reports to me and I synthesize them into one giant report for our higher ups. I also have to make sure that I keep track of their finances and that they have all that they need to get their field assignments done.
Paradise: The fieldwork stuff is interesting, I did it more when I wasn't in school.
Field agents are assigned as needed to certain areas, and you're given a set of goals to get done. Most of it is observation stuff, you get sent into an area of interest for a few days/weeks and are given a few people to meet. Then you record everything you saw and all the conversations you had so that as much info as possible is on file.
Paradise: Sometimes you feel like you're just writing a bunch of irrelevant stuff (like the weather at that time), but it helps your admins make the best report possible.
%Brandon: Sounds like something straight out of a television show!
Paradise: Yeah, my work's definitely one of those things that sounds more interesting than it actually is, most of the time it's just me getting mad that someone hasn't replied to one of my emails.
%Brandon: Since you're a Help and Fitness RO, I think I have to ask: do you even lift bro?

Paradise: I do lift, it's how I got RO in the first place.
Paradise: If you can't at least squat 300 lbs, you can't make it to mod... though I'm not sure how GeoffBruedly got to be mod with those standards. All jokes aside, H&F is one of my fav rooms on the server because I've always enjoyed lifting and fitness culture.
%Brandon: Yeah, you've really spread yourself across many different rooms on ps. How did you get yourself invested in so many rooms?
Paradise: A big part of any room is the people in that room, and it's generally how I get invested. Most of the rooms that I've hung around in have users that are fun to be around, and I just found myself hanging out enough to end up being staffed there.
Paradise: I've found a lot of users fall into this mentality of "I'm going to work hard and become staff in this room" or "I'm going to make a real difference once I become staff so I need to become staff." Don't get me wrong, people that treat PS like work have a place here, they do all the stuff I don't want to do and make my experience better.
Paradise: However, that mentality doesn't work for me because the second I end up treating a pokemon website like work is the second I'm not going to enjoy it. As a result, my modding style and rooms I stay in are designed to make it so that I'm enjoying my time the most while I'm on PS.
%Brandon: I think it's a good idea to make the best out of PS. What are some of your best memories you've had on here?

Paradise: I'm not a big memories guy, I usually just end up finding small moments here and there every day that I get a laugh out of. If you want a specific memory, here's a modlog screenshot from Survivor that I'm not sure I should be posting:
Paradise: Messing with the room while they were all trying to join a game is probably tied with the moment I learned that user: PenQuin doesn't know how pronounce the word "cello" properly.
Paradise: Just the other day, I had a dude in H&F talk about how you should dehydrate yourself for 3 days in order to "purify" yourself, then link an article about how immunizations were made by the devil. I've always been a fan of quality trolling (keyword is quality) and that was a pretty good way of going about it.
Paradise: Oh, found the thing the dude linked if you wanted to learn how to leave the church of modern medicine:
%Brandon: Well it sounds like you have had a very colorful time on showdown!
Paradise: Not sure if that was patronizing or not :^)
%Brandon: Oml.
%Brandon: Besides hanging on showdown, what do you think are your plans for the future if you happen to have any?

Paradise: Well, finishing med school and then finishing all the stuff that I have to do after that, with residencies and finding someone to pay me for all the school I did, is my top priority. That and making sure I can still lift more than all the other HF ROs.
Paradise: As far as PS related stuff, I don't really see myself going anywhere anytime soon as long as I keep enjoying it. I think a large part of global staffing/staffing any room is realizing that it isn't worth stressing about... from what I've seen, most of the users and staffers that stick around for some time don't prioritize PS to the degree that they worry about it.
%Brandon: Yeah I, too, am looking for someone to pay me for the schooling I'm doing, but that's still a WIP.
%Brandon: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Paradise: Yeah, if you actually read these staff interviews, pm user: Swirlyder on PS or write a post on his smogon profile and let him know that you have. He volunteered to collect all the data and userstats for this project :^)
%Brandon: I'm sure he's a diligent worker on that...
Paradise: He's p decent.

Well, I think we're done with this third round as well! Don't worry, though: more interviews are sure to come. And I'm admittedly glad I didn't make a promise as to the last interview's release date...
Do you know anything our next interviewers should ask the staff? Have any comments on their interviews? Post away!

Archived Interviews:
#Tiksi: So first, i gotta go with an obvious one; what got you into ps?
%HeaLnDeaL: Well, as a kid I discovered shoddy and played on it a bit, took a break, and then eventually discovered Pokemon Online.
%HeaLnDeaL: In 2009 or so I discovered RNG and went to Smogon as an unregistered user to read RNG guides so I could get shiny mons. Eventually I registered a Smogon account so that I could use the search function and find more RNG stuff (it was also fun to read some meme analyses, like for caterpie and stuff).
%HeaLnDeaL: And then when Smogon switched from PO to PS, it seemed like a natural transition and I followed and began laddering a bit more frequently in OU and in NU (before discovering that the CAP metagame also had a permanent ladder).

#Tiksi: oml caterpie, i remember when it didn't have enough moves for a set
#Tiksi: Speaking of the CAP meta though... with your ROship there and shiny CAP contributor badge, i could clearly guess that you're involved.
#Tiksi: But i've always been a bit curious how that works beyond the voting part
#Tiksi: How does CAP work beyond, well, the basics i guess?
%HeaLnDeaL: Well, essentially a few times a year the CAP forums start creating a new Pokemon. The process is very ordered and happens in steps. After leadership positions for the creation process are filled, concept submissions are opened; a concept usually relates to the desired role of the Pokemon we want to make or otherwise explores some mechanic of the competitive game.
%HeaLnDeaL: After concept selection and voting, there's concept assessment in which the community discusses a feasible avenue to accomplish the project, and the decisions there help to serve the rest of the stages. From there, certain competitive aspects of the Pokemon are discussed and subsequently voted upon, such as typing, primary ability, stats, secondry ability (if any), and movesets.
%HeaLnDeaL: Throughout these competitive stages, members of the leadership team help guide discussion to keep achieving the concept at the forefront, and to do so they usually ask questions for the community to answer. The indivdual leaders then use what the community has said to come up with a "slate" that compromises of plausible submissions that help the concept, and then the community votes, and then the next stage is started.
%HeaLnDeaL: Meanwhile, concept art submissions normally open right after typing is decided but aren't closed and voted on until after movesets are finished. From there, a variety of other flavor stages happen, including full movepools, sprites, name submissions, and Pokedex submissions. Even 3D modeling has been used to create some PS renders for many CAPmons that match GameFreak's gen6 and gen7 in-battle models. Once finished, the CAPs are implemented onto Pokemon Showdown.
%HeaLnDeaL: In the past, many CAPs have been playtested in an OU environment in a separate ladder so that players can see the Pokemon in action and judge its effectiveness both in the metagame and to its assigned role/concept. However, the last CAP, Kerfluffle, was made for the CAP metagame and our next upcoming CAP will be made for our own metagame as well. The CAP metagame is essentially all of the CAPmons + anything legal in OU.

#Tiksi: Wow, very ordered is right! A ton of steps at every part of the process, and it seems to give everyone a lot of say without driving anything haywire.
#Tiksi: And now with kerfluffle I'm pretty sure thats over 20 mons, without even counting all the pre-evolutions!
#Tiksi: I have to ask: do you have a favorite mon and a favorite part of the whole process?
#Tiksi: Breezi and fidgit look pretty adorable to me and trick room can FINALLY get extended via their Persistent
%HeaLnDeaL: Favorite mon questions are always hard for me... I won't say anything is my flat out favorite but some of the CAPs that I really like in terms of design include Mollux and Necturna. In terms of playing with, Fidgit is definitely a fun mon and it essentially is the speed control king of the metagame. Being able to use a Tailwind or Trick Room that lasts 2 turns longer than normal (thanks to the ability Persistent) really makes speed control so much more viable in the CAP metagame compared to OU.
%HeaLnDeaL: [But speaking of Persistent, I guess I should clarify that some of the older CAPs have custom made traits (abilities or moves) but as a project we don't make any of the customs anymore and prefer to create with the tools in GameFreak's games.]
%HeaLnDeaL: My favorite part of the process? Again, a very hard question to answer. I participate in discussion in pretty much every stage. I think certain concepts make one stage the "most defining" for a particular CAP but it changes every time, which makes the stages seem fresh for each new CAP.

#Tiksi: Hmm, I never would've thought of it like that but I can see it, even with concepts and such coming beforehand things like movepool choices and abilities can really make or break a mon.
#Tiksi: Rip in hard questions though because I have another one for you!! If you could make any change to Smogon or Showdown, from a new tier to finally making a PS digimon background, what would be some of your picks?
%HeaLnDeaL: Well, I would like for CAPLC to one day get a ladder on Pokemon Showdown. It's certainly not ready to have one at this point and is only an experimental challenge-only/roomtour format right now, but I think it's a really fun meta and would like to see it getting enough player support for it to have a ladder some day. I would also really love all the CAPmons to be included in the Smogon strategy dex.

#Tiksi: When you're not discussing things in the CAP forums or moderating its Showdown room (or making CAP LC tours!), where are you on smogon and PS?
%HeaLnDeaL: I sometimes hang out in the LC room (I've been in the past 3 LCPLs), but I probably spend more time in the Wi-Fi room. In-game breeding and stuff will always have a place in my heart (as my early interest in RNG might suggest), and Wi-Fi has the most enjoyable in-game outlet for me on PS. I also visit the Art room occasionally but there I'm mostly just known as the CAP guy.
#Tiksi: assuming there actually is a real person behind your screen (gasp!), tell us about yourself in real life! what are you into?
%HeaLnDeaL: Sadly I'm just an artificial intelligence coded by Zarel and I don't have a real life (he's got to fill his server with "life" somehow).

%HeaLnDeaL: Err, I mean, well, I'm a nerd. I'm an art student and in the spring I got my bachelor's degree in studio art and art history, and in August I'll be starting grad school (for studio art). Describing myself as an artist is always weird, but to say it in a few words I guess I'm interested in how space and objects in space impact the social world around us and how authority is expressed through space.
%HeaLnDeaL: Some of my biggest artist influences include Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Marina Abramović, and Fred Sandback.
#Tiksi: What mediums do you like to use?
%HeaLnDeaL: I live in a post-medium-specific artworld. Many of my works are woodworking pieces or paintings that involve physically folded canvas, and I've dabbled in shadow projections. But all of that can change and the materials I use are usually related to the concept rather than using a material for its own sake.

#Tiksi: Well, you clearly know what you're doing there! besides your art, what are some of your other hobbies, and are you as good in them?
%HeaLnDeaL: Zarel hasn't programmed many other hobbies for me, sadly. Almost anything fun that I do outside of mons or the occasional other Nintendo game will just relate back to my art interests. Sometimes I like going for walks outside in nature. Hoppies are expensive, artists are poor.

#Tiksi: Well, at least he made you like a good game series. what mons games do you actually have?
%HeaLnDeaL: Blue, Crystal, Sapphire, Leaf Green, Emerald, Colosseum, XD, Pearl, Platinum, Soul Silver, PokePark 1, White, White 2, Black 2, X, Omega Ruby, and Sun.
%HeaLnDeaL: I got all of the main series games that I own from Pearl onwards on release day, and from Soul Silver onwards I would go to the midnight releases with friends (and pretty much the same group of friends throughout the occasions). Zarel indeed coded a nerd when he made me.

#Tiksi: How were Colosseum and XD? I've always been curious but don't have any consoles besides the wii lol.
%HeaLnDeaL: They were great. The pacing is probably different from the main games, but something about the villains just make them so much more memorable than the vast majority of the handheld villains.
%HeaLnDeaL: Some people might complain that XD was just a glorified clone of Colosseum... which isn't entirely untrue, but it's a more polished version with enough variations that allow it to still be enjoyable.
#Tiksi: Too bad they were never brought to virtual console. Hmph.
%HeaLnDeaL: Well, gamecube games are still playable on your wii at least!
%HeaLnDeaL: (but not on Wii U or Switch, of course)
#Tiksi: Oh, i always forget that! I may snag a copy before my wii becomes a literal dinosaur instead of just the figurative one (still so good tho).

#Tiksi: Well, that's probably about it for the interview. Any eloquent closing remarks (roasts are also acceptable)?
%HeaLnDeaL: Pls don't break CAP, Mr. Deck Knight.
%HeaLnDeaL: Also, don't do drugs, kids. And nerds rock.
#Tiksi: *hic* what was that second one again?
#Tiksi: Nevertheless, thanks a ton for your time and for the great interview!
%HeaLnDeaL: Thanks for being so patient with me!

#HoeenHero: Ok lets get this interview started.
#HoeenHero: What's your age, gender, occupation and residence?
%Crestfall: I'm 23, male, currently in med school, and from Long Island, New York.
#HoeenHero: Oh cool, are you trying to become a doctor or something else? I'm not sure what a med school graduate can become.
%Crestfall: Yeah the plan is to be a doctor, though I'm still not sure where exactly I want to go with it. There's a few fields that interest me but at the moment I'm undecided.
#HoeenHero: What fields interest you?
%Crestfall: Well, although it's detached from patient contact, Clinical Pathology is certainly a field I can see myself delving into.
%Crestfall: In essence they are the doctors who are sent the samples from a patient's tissues and through examination underneath a microscope can help rule out or determine what the cause of their condition is.
%Crestfall: Apart from that I'm quite interested in Infectious Disease which is a sub-specialty of Internal Medicine. It's self explanatory so no need to bore anyone with details about ID.

#HoeenHero:Thats pretty cool, aside from your medical studies is there anything else you want to share from your real life. Maybe any hobbies you have?
%Crestfall: My old passion used to be reading, mostly fiction but a wide range of genres. Unfortunately with social events and school taking up a lot of time I've not found the time to commit to it as often as I'd like.
%Crestfall: I've definitely shifted into more media focus as well which doesn't help. I have a deep appreciation for movies prior to my time period (though not too far back!), and try to constantly explore hits from before I was born.
%Crestfall: I keep up with a lot of the more well known TV shows but nothing too expansive. I definitely recommend Legion (on FX) to anyone reading!
%Crestfall:I've definitely become interested in Speedrunning again, at least spectating. Might even pick it up again as a casual hobby nothing ultra-competitive. Depends on time!
#HoeenHero:Thats alot! It seems that older movies are something you really enjoy, do you have a favorite?
%Crestfall: Well I don't like using the term "older movies" as it gives the vibe of the black and white era of film - which I don't watch much of at all. There are of course a few black and white films I've seen that I've found impactful and engaging.
%Crestfall: If I were to choose one that stuck out to me, it would be Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train. It's well known but still a fantastic piece of filmography. In recent years I'd probably say Gone Girl was absolutely brilliant; the novel was better but the movie did quite a good job.
#HoeenHero: Ah cool, I didn't think black and white when I say "older movies" tbh, anyways lets keep this moving. How did you get into PS?

%Crestfall: Well I had first heard about it through posts on Facebook made by various competitive Smash Bros. players and used it briefly in February of 2013 (date of my registration) just to check it out.
%Crestfall: I actually quickly dropped out of it, however once I shifted overseas for Med School I decided to give it a go again in August of that same year and I've been here since.
#HoeenHero:Had you ever played pokemon before getting on PS? Or was PS your first time experiencing it?
%Crestfall: Oh yeah absolutely, HUGE Pokemon fan even before finding Showdown. I've been playing since I was in elementary school - my parents got me Blue and my brother Red. Hooked instantly.
%Crestfall: We both played yellow, then I cleared Silver + Crystal, skipped fully finishing gen 3, and later my favorite generation of the series came along in the form of Diamond. I believe I've got about 900-1000 hours on my Diamond still?
%Crestfall: And that's without doing any breeding or EV training. BW and BW2 were excellent additions as well albeit the mons introduced being quite lame and not as creative as prior iterations in my opinion.
%Crestfall: I've unfortunately still yet to play ORAS or SM but I plan to check these off my list quite soon! Also 2 > 4 > 5 > 1 > 3. RSE's map format, art style, and even most pokemon just weren't "me."
%Crestfall: s/o to HoeenHero for his bad taste
#HoeenHero: I like my bad tastes thanks :^)

#HoeenHero: So back to PS, how did you come to be Driver?
%Crestfall: Hm, well I guess the full answer is I'm not entirely sure. When I first joined the only room I used was Anime and Manga. I rose to driver relatively fast, and when the room moderator position was added I was promoted within a few days.
%Crestfall: After about a year or so I branched out to the room Would You Rather (now deprecated and a small part of the room Game Corner), Old Gens (now Ruins of Alph) and Zarel's old pet mod NEXT.
%Crestfall: I was honestly just myself and contributed to the rooms in meaningful ways generating activity and not being a shithead LOL.
%Crestfall: It's hard to pinpoint how exactly it happened, but if you're a decent user and use a room for it's intended purpose the promotions will come naturally as the staff recognize your posts. Someone among global staff must have noticed my efforts across the sim and nominated me.
#HoeenHero: Wow that must of been a long time ago, I wasn't even aware there was a time when room moderator didnt exist!

#HoeenHero: So you have been on PS for a long time, Whos your favorite Staff member?
%Crestfall: Ah that's a tough one, I'll list a few who I consider either great friends or amazing staff members (or both!) since I'm a coward and I can't just choose one. In no particular order, useless trainer (RIP ;_;7), asgdf, scene ( RIP :( ), ashiemore (RIP ;;), vacate (RIP ;_;/), Acedia, Skitty, jdee18 (RIP ;;) prem, kay, and Zarel.
%Crestfall: I'd say these are people who have genuinely made my time on Showdown better time and time again and are just great people. Whether or not it seems it or not, all of them (at least at one point or another) helped their room(s) and make PS a better place.
%Crestfall: I'd love to list at least another 10 names to those who may be offended they didn't make the list but it'd feel like a bigger cop out.
%Crestfall: P.S. For those who might be intimidated by staff or maybe the leaders/admins I can tell you without a doubt all of these people (head honcho Zarel included!) are personable and easily approachable.

#HoeenHero: Sounds like you've made alot of friends here, I think were just about done here but I have one more question for you. If you could be any pokemon which would you pick and why?
%Crestfall: Hm well I'd probably be one of those super cute pre-evos. Most likely I'd opt for one of my favorite pokemon in general -- Snorunt since they're absolutely god damn adorable (funnily enough a Gen 3 mon heh).
%Crestfall: However, as a more serious answer, likely Celebi just because time travel is far too interesting a concept to pass up on.
#HoeenHero: I didn't think of celebi myself tbh, its a pretty good choice aside from being wanted by almost every trainer lol

#HoeenHero: Is there anything you want to say to everyone reading before we end this?
%Crestfall: Yeah I'd honestly like to thank Zarel for making this simulator, and more importantly - every single person I've had a positive interaction with on this website.
%Crestfall: It might have been a one-off conversation or maybe hours of talking to eachother, but it's those times and experiences that make continually using this site still worth it despite the negatives that come along with showdown (doubly so when moderating it).
%Crestfall: Thanks for the interview Hoeen, was a pleasure.
#HoeenHero: np, thanks for doing it!

#biggie: Alright, so lets start with the basic demographic stuff:
#biggie: What's your age, gender, occupation and residence?
Rico: I'm 28 years old and live on the east coast of Australia. I'm a guy on a pension, although I do a fair bit of amateur theatre.
#biggie: Oh, cool. How long have you been doing theatre for?
Rico: I think my first show was in 2008, so 9 years now.
#biggie: Wow, so a fair bit of time then. What would you say is your favorite production that you've been in?
Rico: It's hard to really nail one down. Playing Francis Fryer in Calamity Jane was definitely a unique experience, as I had to learn how to put on lipstick, wear a dress and sing in falsetto for part of it. In terms of singing, my favourite has probably been Trial by Jury.
Rico: It has a part that seems made for my voice. The usher requires a deep and commanding baritone voice, something I have in spades.
#biggie: That seems like some sort of vocal range that you have if you can pull off both of those types of roles.

#biggie: Coming to PS, how long have you been involved in a moderation capacity here?
Rico: About 5 years now. Started back in early 2012.
#biggie: Quite a bit of time. Certainly longer than myself. What brought you around to PS? Were you a member of other earlier simulators?
Rico: Actually no. A friend of mine saw the reddit post about it back then, so a few of us got on, made shitty teams, and battled. I'm an awful battler, but they were worse so they didn't stick around for long.
Rico: I only stuck around because I got voice for my impressive Jasmine-themed roleplay in the Lobby.

#biggie: That actually brings me to the next topic I wanted to talk about. I know that you're a Room Owner of the Roleplaying room. What is it that attracts you to roleplaying? Also, what's it like having one of the largest, yet polarizing rooms under your command?
Rico: I've always been in to roleplaying. I went through some difficult times after school, but I was in to video games a fair bit. Started playing Neverwinter Nights and by chance ended up on a roleplaying server there. After that I remained hooked on roleplaying in general.
Rico: By the time I joined PS RP I'd already been roleplaying longer than some of our users have been alive. I wanted RP to be what it was for me, somewhere that anybody can get started, but also that anyone can make something truly great.
Rico: The RP community (global, not PS) tends to have a very hostile line between people just starting out, and those who have been at it for a while... so trying to make a community that welcomes both can be quite tricky.
Rico: As for actually running it, I don't do a whole lot. Primarily, I introduce new features and offer advice to the rest of my staff. For the most part I try to let the room run itself.
Rico: RP in general... I mean, once we hit our teens, we're expected to stop enjoying our imagination. As a person who loves theatre and writing, I can't stress how important your imagination is. I think that's a large part of why we are so polarizing. It is very weird if you're not in to it.
#biggie: It seems as though you've striven to create a welcoming environment - where no matter what one's experience with roleplaying is, they can find a place for themselves, and grow in their choice of hobby.

#biggie: Speaking as a fellow room owner, I feel as though that's probably one of the more important things we can do as it sets the tone for how other users should treat each other.
Rico: PS can be a stepping stone from one community to another. If you like Pokemon, you might also like these other things. You might just want to stick with Pokemon and Roleplaying, but you may also like to leave and get in to Dungeons and Dragons or FATAL.
Rico: That's a joke. Don't play FATAL.
#biggie: I can honestly say I've never even heard of it, so I think I can adhere to your request.

#biggie: Do you have any other interests or hobbies aside from acting, roleplaying and PS? Something that you devote a fair chunk of your time on?
Rico: As I mentioned earlier I'm massively in to videogames. Everything from Dwarf Fortress to League of Legends. My steam library alone sits at about 700 games now.
#biggie: Wow, that's quite a collection. Do you stick mainly to PC, or have you also done some console gaming?
Rico: At the moment I don't own any of the current generation consoles, but sitting around the house are a PS3, PS2, WiiU, N64 and SNES. I think my brother took the Atari ST to show to his daughters when they're old enough.
Rico: My wife and I are thinking of saving up for a PS4, I just want to wait and see if the price moves after E3.

#biggie: Oh wow, I had not realized you were married. How long have you been betrothed?
Rico: We're at about 6 months now, but we've been living together for an additional year.
#biggie: Well congrats to you! Does she ever play PS with you?
Rico: Well... she's also a driver here, so occasionally. You'd know her as Articuno or Blue Kitteh. #biggie: Wow, I feel so out of the loop...
Rico: We didn't really share the information initially. I think we only let people know we were together after we got married. When you have a community as tight as PS is, it can sometimes be a good idea to keep personal things secret until you know for sure where they're going.
#biggie: Fair enough. I think we can all agree that some things are just better left private, until the moment is right at least.

#biggie: Well I think that about covers it. Do you have any last words of wisdom you'd like to pass along to the masses? Or a shoutout to anyone in particular?
Rico: I'll give a shoutout to Cheesy Chips, my main squeeze. Other than that, I'll just repeat what I said earlier. Pokemon is a kids game, but that doesn't mean you have to be a kid to enjoy it. Don't let growing up change what you're 'allowed' to enjoy.
Rico: Except diapers. You can probably stop enjoying those.
#biggie: Way to kill my Saturday plans.

#Reverb: OK, so im new to this...
#Reverb: Let's start with the basics. What's your gender, age, and profession/educational background? Also, where do you live(if comfortable sharing)?
%panpawn: I'm a dude, 19, currently studying computer science from Boston.
#Reverb: awesome

#Reverb: What languages do you know?
%panpawn: Programming languages? Or like, language languages?
#Reverb: Programming.
%panpawn: I'm pretty good at JavaScript (not to be confused with java), python, and bash scripting in terms of programming languages. I'm also good at HTML and CSS, though those aren't programming languages.
#Reverb: As a mod, I should probably know this, but... besides HTML, what languages are used to make PS work?
%panpawn: PS mostly uses JavaScript actually, especially server-side.
%panpawn: mostly uses*
%panpawn: (Oh, i said that, lol)
#Reverb: yeah lmao

#Reverb: You've been around PS for some time. When did you join PS, and how did you find PS/Smogon?
%panpawn: I actually found PS from my schoolmates in my computer class; they were playing Pokemon, when I realized that it was a website and got really interested.
#Reverb: cool
#Reverb: Do you remember when this was?
%panpawn: I hadn't found out about Smogon for a few years to come; for a while I thought "smogon" was just the name for the main PS server.
#Reverb: Ah thats funny.
%panpawn: I believe it was sophomore year of high school.
#Reverb: So 2013?
%panpawn: Yeah, around there.
#Reverb: nice

#Reverb: I understand you are very active in programming for PS. what features can PS users attribute to your efforts (that you're allowed to talk about)?
%panpawn: Hm... I actually do most of my programming for PS in the summer-time historically, as that's when I have the most free-time.
%panpawn: Last summer, I implemented the bot rank, roomsettings, slowchat, and the stretching/capitals filters... before that, I made the first The Studio plugin, as well as the first version of The Happy Place's plugin and a ton of other random bug fixes and enhancements.
#Reverb: That's pretty cool.
#Reverb: So in terms of the game of Pokemon:
#Reverb: Do you have any battling skills? And what tiers do you like to play?
%panpawn: I actually don't consider myself much of a "Pokemon player", more so of a "Pokemon fan"... I usually get the new games when they come out and whatnot, but I just never was able to get into competitive.
%panpawn: However, a long time ago there was actually a ladder for Hackmons, and as a programmer who loves creativity, how could I resist? I was actually on the top 10 at a time when PS had a ladder for hackmons, and I feel pretty satisfied by that fact.
#Reverb: Pretty solid.

#Reverb: With your battling and programming credentials, you're clearly a very eligible bachelor.
#Reverb: What dating advice would you give to another PS user?
%panpawn: Well, I like to think of Tinder like the Pokemon Go of dating... gotta catch em all. Nah, but in all seriousness, I'm not really one to give dating advice, but if you have some, feel free to pass me some tips :]
#Reverb: two words:
#Reverb: blue username.
#Reverb: Anyway...

#Reverb: Back to PS. who are your best friends on here? And feel free to give them a shoutout.
#Reverb: They won't be able to respond if you use this as an opportunity to make fun of them...
%panpawn: I like talking to Orda-Y a lot, he's also a programmer and he's really cool. I also think that jd isn't a total nerd. Oh, and I met Zarel this one time which was pretty lit. We had a fancy lunch and talked all about programming and the history of PS...
%panpawn: Yeah... the only person I've ever actually met from PS was Zarel. Not sure how many other people can say that :p
#Reverb: That's impressive!
#Reverb: Eevee General actually met Zarel as well, which I'm sure was very exciting for EG.

#Reverb: Zarel's an interesting guy, but he always struck me as somewhat introverted. I don't think a lot of users outside PS staff know him too well, let alone have met him irl.
#Reverb: What was that like?
%panpawn: I didn't really know what to expect, but he turned out to be really cool. He always lit up whenever I asked him the history of PS and current top-secret features, whether he could or could not comment.
%panpawn: But yeah, in all seriousness he's really a nice guy whose really down to earth. I definitely can attribute him and PS to my career direction of programming, so for that I am forever in gratitude.

#Reverb: So moving on from there, outside of programming, what are some of your other non-PS interests?
#Reverb: And do you have any weird talents?
%panpawn: I guess "weird" is subjective, but I like playing CS:GO, although I'm not very good at it. Oh, and I'm pretty talented at getting banned from GTA, those damn mods!!
#Reverb: kek

#Reverb: I think that covers most of the bases, but wrapping this up, what are your summer plans?
%panpawn: Programming for PS of course, and maybe a family vacation. Speaking of, I'm always looking for new ideas for things to add to PS; if anyone has any, feel free to PM me and we can talk about them.
%panpawn: Worth noting here is that I typically don't do things that involve the Pokemon side of PS (battles/tiers), but anything else is fair game!
#Reverb: For sure. Well I think we're done, thanks for taking the time!
%panpawn: No problem.
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Great interviews! It's really cool to get some in-depth info about the people you work with or that you see often on the sim.
Enjoyed it a lot and I am looking forward to more of these with different people in the spotlight!


Drat, it's Dratias!
So happy to see these back again :) I loved reading these back when they were always done.
Great interviews. Getting to see and know about the people that make up PS is always an enjoyable experience.


Don't you dare say you'd rather lose!
is a Top Social Media Contributor Alumnus
Wait, so the staff on PS aren't faceless names without lives outside of PS?! Everything I believe in is a lie!

In all seriousness, I love these. It's good to get insight on the staff members, so they're less than just a name.


is a Battle Simulator Staff Alumnus
It's nice to see staff interviews are back! I've always enjoyed reading through the interviews to potentially know more about that person.
Oh wow! Never thought of that, I have also seen zarel interview on Google, that amazing got to know so much about that,continue to take interview s and thrilling us even more...:v4::heart:
A great new addition to the interview database! An interview including Brandon, just not the way I desperately wanted to see. Still a fantastic interview. I've done a few interviews before and I can tell it was super awkward for me to do. I think you guys did a great job in keeping it entertaining and I can always appreciate someone that can laugh about the trolls on PS!. Aside from that, I wish you the best of luck at med school, Para!

Looking forward to more of these. I always enjoyed getting an in-tell about people their personal lives, not trying to sound creepy or anything. I think it's great how you can have a general feeling about someone and then these interviews prove you wrong entirely.

As for questions, I'd be very interested in the following:

- Most embarrassing moment you had yourself on PS!?
- What annoys you the most that users do on PS!?
- What would you change about Showdown! if you could change anything at all, and assuming anything was possible to do for you?
- What is the origin of the username you have chosen on Pokemon Showdown!?
- Ignoring limitations of physical health, finances and family; what would you desire to do the most in your life?


is a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Top Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
Ah I should have found this before. It really helps to know the background of people a lot better. Very nice stories here too. I hope to see more people getting interviewed to know them a lot more.

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