Setting out on this adventure I almost felt like Homer
(not Simpson) starting out on his Odyssey! Equipped with only my sword and
my laptop, I with reckless abandon began my journey in quest of the Ogre.
There is nowhere better to go to find an Ogre then to go to his…. Lair!
Ogre has agreed to this E-View but I travel a little nervously as I approach
the Lair because Ogre doesn't give out very many interviews and I'm not sure
what to expect! The dark hole of the Lair's entrance beckoned me in
mysteriously…. Ominously! With one last longing look back at my beautiful
world behind me, with a heavy sigh, I stepped anxiously into the waiting
Lair! What fate awaits this nervous knight, I darkly wondered as I plunged
through the darkness?
From out of the darkness and into the light I entered this Ogres den, this
lair of repute. Much to my surprise and delight my sword was hardly needed.
But my laptop sure was and soon I had it ready. As I looked around this
Lair of delight, I realized this wasn't really a lair at all, just a cool
place where an Ogre who wasn't really an Ogre, hung out at. Instead of cold
wet stone THIS Ogres lair was lined with CD's, game CD's of many varieties
and colors. As we started the interview I soon began to realize that this
was one of the nicest Ogres I had ever met, well actually he was the only
Ogre I had ever met. Deep in the Lair it was cozy and warm and soon our
conversation started warming up too.
Join us as we chat with Eric Lizotte, the Webmaster of the popular and
well-known PC game site and head of the Ogre network. This in-depth
interview with him is rare and I am honored to be able to share it with the
So nuff said, we're all harnessed up, the blood is pumping, let's jump off
this E-View bungee tower and sail off into this interview with an
||I want to thank you for taking time from a busy schedule
to chat with us and give us a perspective, a small window if you will, into
the life of a Game site Webmaster. Your name is well known throughout the
gaming community and it is a real honor to get to meet you! That being
said, I would like to start out with asking you this, how old are you and
how long has it been since you first started out as a Webmaster on the
||"I am old, twenty-three. I have been on the
Internet since the good ole days of 1995. I have seen things change a lot.
I can remember when IE and Netscape didn't even exist.".
||(Laughing) I can remember when computers didn't exist
and that's the truth, but enough about my old age. For those who don't
know, what country and area do you live in?
||"I live in the United States in the upstate of
||Oh man does that bring back memory's, I took my Army
basic training at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina! Are you married or have any
family that lives with you there in South Carolina?
||"I am single and yes I live at home. It is cheaper
that way ;)".
||Well my 21-year-old daughter would agree with you on
that! Besides running a successful website and writing (excellent)
reviews, what do you do for a living?
||"I am a PC technician. I work on computers all
day. Though it is not really what I want to do, it isn't too bad to start
||Right, and saves you all the time and hassle of tech.
Support for computer related problems, knowledge I wish I had…. Invaluable!
I know that the RCT site RCT Station is housed at your network. I also know
that a lot of people would like to know when you first met Red Phoenix, the
Webmaster at the Station and started working together. Would you mind
telling us how that came about?
||"Well I actually met Red Phoenix back in either
late 1999 or early 2000 I believe. I was thinking about closing the site
due to lack of time and he contacted me asking if he could take it over. I
went ahead and said yes and have never looked back. Red is one of the
coolest guys I know on the web!".
||Agreed! Red has been doing his Webmaster magic act for
a long time now. Your own site deals with many different games, in many
different categories and I'm sure you have seen many swim by your eyes in
your time. You have played many and reviewed many and somewhere along the
line RCT had to come across your desk. Did you play it, did you like it and
did you or your staff review it when it first came out in 1999?
||"Yes, it is true that I have seen many good and bad
titles come across my desk. When RCT first came out I was actually unaware
of it. However, I have always been an avid rider of roller coasters. One
of my friends showed me the demo and I was immediately hooked. At this time
I was with a gaming network known as Game Glow. And needless to say I
reviewed it and yes indeed loved it.".
||As we all did! Then in October of this year (2002) RCT2
came rolling out! Some think Chris Sawyer dropped the ball with this one,
others think It's the Holy Grail of the RCT universe, have you played it and
what do YOU think about it?
||"Yes I have played RCT2 and I as many others have
mixed emotions about it. I think it is great to have more of the same, but
I think there good be even more personally. I also believe that this is
just a stepping-stone. Chris was probably forced into creating RCT2 by the
new owners of Hasbro Interactive, Infogrames. I simply have no doubt about
that! But I do think he is working on a much-improved title as well and
this in between title was released to help fund it.".
||I like the sound of stepping-stones, it gives promise to
the future of RCT. I know you have had interviews before on your site, with
various well known people throughout the gamming community, have you ever
had the chance to talk to or communicate with Chris Sawyer the creator of
||"Actually I have never met Chris online. That
would be cool, but it hasn't happened yet.".
||Everywhere I travel throughout this vast Internet, when
your name comes up there always seems to be a lot of respect and admiration
for you Eric. The name Ogre is almost synonymous with the word respect in
the gaming community! I'm sure you have earned that and I would not want to
be one to treat you any different. But I am a little curious about the way
you always seem to talk about yourself as if in the 3rd person. That has
almost become a trademark of yours, how did that come about?
||"Well the Ogre can't take credit for being the
first to speak in third person. He actually saw an episode of Seinfeld
where one of the characters was talking in third person all the time. It
annoyed Jerry to death. But it probably wasn't until The Rock started doing
it that the Ogre thought he would do it. After all he use to watch
wrestling all the time.".
||(Laughing) Now ya know I HAVE to ask you this next
question! My site members over where I hang out at RCT2.com would never let
me come home if I didn't ask you this one. You are a game reviewer, which
is your business; so your answer to this question might have more merit then
others. What are your all time favorite 3 games to play?
||"Oh this is a toughy. On the list I would probably
have to boil it down to Prince of Persia, Age of Empires, and of course
Roller Coaster Tycoon. I think these titles just have something
||Any good 3-D games out there that you would
||"If you like to have a little bit of action
sometimes, then I recommend No One Lives Forever 2. This title not only has
a boatload of action, but also some good comedy.".
||Comedy is good in this day of gloom and doom games. Do
you see anything new, technology wise, on the PC game horizon that we should
be watching for?
||"At the moment I think the biggest changes we are
going to see are going to deal with displays. CRT technology is rapidly
fading away and LCD technology rapidly improving. However, with the
invention of Plasma screens, I think we are going to see some truly
revolutionary advances in displays, which will improve the gaming
||What about shared online gaming where opponents play
each other over the Internet? Is that going to become even more popular or
fade away into the either regions of the vast Internet cyberspace?
||"Online gaming is only going to increase. There is
no reason for it to die. I really do think that in the future the lines
between multi-player and single-player will be hard to identify. Also,
network technology will advance and hopefully eliminate network faults we
know of today such as lag.".
||Out of all the game sites on the Internet, which major
game site, besides your own, do you think is the best one right now?
||"Well I really wouldn't call Ogre's Network a major
game site. Out of the big ones right now I think the good ones are Game Spy
and Adrenaline Vault.".
||Glad to hear that, I have Game-spy on my favorites list.
Do you get games for free from the big distributors to review that you
get to keep for your own collection?
||"The answer is yes, but not always.".
||Lucky Ogre! How many games do you own anyway?
||"Too many to count!?".
||You write a column called “from the Lair”, and you have
written many other articles as well. Your style of writing is very good and
read by a lot of people. But what is the pay-off? What inspires you to
keep on writing and putting your stuff out there, month after month?
||"Well I just like to write. The pay off is that it
helps me keep up my writing skills. It was what I am actually striving to
be, a writer. I am trying to write my own novel at the moment.".
||I hope you will remember me and send me a copy of that
novel when it's finished. Is burn out or lack of feedback a problem for
you? Sometimes I get so tired of putting in so much work on writing
articles and never hearing back as to whether anyone even read or enjoyed
them, sometimes I'm tempted to just quit and walk away from RCT and the
whole RCT community. Do YOU ever feel like just giving up and walking away
from the whole game review scene and the whole gaming community?
||"Honestly, yes I have. But I have received good
comments on my work and that is always inspiring. Also, it gives me an
outlet to be creative. Therefore I don't think I'll ever leave.".
||The Electronic gaming world is fed games and support by
many various large game makers and corporations. One of those large game
giants is Infogrames (who distribute RCT2). Infogrames has received a lot
of criticism lately for the sloppy way RCT2 was shoved out the door and for
announcing RCT2sday (a supposed bonus for RCT players) on their website and
then not following through with anything. Also many bugs have been reported
rising from the CD copy protection system they used and have never offered
to fix. What is your opinion of Infogrames as a whole? How would you rate
them for support and just plain availability to those that buy their games
and have questions or comments?
||"I have never fully dealt with Infogrames until
now. As for support I believe all these companies are about the same, there
really isn't any. I think it is because there are so many people out there
buying their games that they really can't help with general questions. This
is why there are fan sites.".
||In your experienced eyes what is the very BEST game
company, big or small, that you have dealt with?
||"Oh this one is going to be surprising to some, but
I say Microsoft. Microsoft is awesome to deal with. I don't care what
others say about them, they are all right in my book!".
||And the worst?
||"Argh, definitely Electronic Arts. I do not care
for this company at all. They are very hard to deal with and are not very
friendly. I believe all they are here for is profit. May be not in the
beginning, but they are now.".
||Once you take friendliness and respect out of anything
people related, the profit will usually, eventually, crumble as well. It
has been very interesting having this interview with you; Eric I knew it
would be. BUT before I leave the lair and head back to my world I have to
ask you one more question. Would you do my RCT2.com family a favor and take
a journey over to our forums and say hi to all your fans over there? I
speak for all the forum members there when I say your visit would be
considered an honor, we welcome everybody there but Ogres are especially
||"The Ogre would be happy too!".
||My time in the lair has come to an end; I must let the
Ogre get back to what he was doing before I came along pushing, prodding and
poking (not good to rile up an Ogre!) Again I must say thank you for giving
me this interview, I know you don't do many of them. It has been an extreme
honor to talk to you and from the entire RCT community and myself, thank you
for your time and for tackling some hard questions from the rather twisted
mind of Boomer.
Boomer has left the Lair. Climbing through the darkness
and heading for the light, Boomer didn't have time to stop and think about
the bones and piles of old rusty armor from those fallen comrades who had
gone before him, (never to return) that caused him to stumble and grope his
way out of the Ogres lair.
Breaking through to the sky, to the light, to the world so lovingly familiar
left behind, so many seemingly ages of Empires ago, Boomer stood and took
pause. The sword was not the weapon of choice thought Boomer to himself,
for an Ogre a laptop is best and maybe a game to put on his shelf.
Sheathing his laptop and mounting his steed Boomer took one look behind him
and said, “ha, mean Ogre…. Indeed”! Turning towards the sun and a far away
place called home, A tired Boomer and his tired steed disappeared into the
horizon, tired but unharmed. Left behind a distant thunder foretold of
storm clouds brooding in the near distance. And as the dark storm ushered
in the edge of darkness between day and night, for a moment the black
opening to the Ogre's lair could be seen, but then it too dissolved into the
inky black night.