Pulse #4, Mar 2 2944 - Page 15

CITIZEN SPOTLIGHT: SHIPSPECS by Feylan and MasonGrimm This week we interviewed Mason Grimm from ShipSpecs to talk about a new website he, Phil (Smurfy) and Bolththrower have recently unveiled. Pulse would like to thank Grimm for taking the time to answer our questions! You may know of Grimm’s work from the website MechSpecs, a website designed to help players of the online BattleMech (‘Mech) simulator MechWarrior Online design their own BattleMechs, or giant war machines. PULSE: For those who ha ven’t used them before, could you tell us a little about MechSpecs and Smurfy’s Mechlab? What are they, and how did they come about? GRIMM: First, allow me to be clear, I founded, and maintain, MechSpecs. Smurfy’s [Mechlab] was founded by Phil, AKA Smurfy. We are two separate entities that teamed up to deliver a really neat symbiotic community resource. As for what MechSpecs is? I would say a central resource for mech-heads, people that want to tune and min/max their rides to make them the most powerful, and effective, that they can. A lot of people come to MechSpecs to learn what the current “meta” is in terms of chassis and/or mech build and they rely on the rating system to help guide them around what works and what doesn’t. Some come to post their builds and get bragging rights and some come to watch video breakdowns of specific mechs/chassis to help them decide whether they want to purchase them (for real money or for cbills). PULSE: Why did you decide to make ShipSpecs for Star Citizen? Were there any other games you considered before deciding on SC? GRIMM: *laughs* Peer pressure? MechSpecs grew to be pretty successful, with over 150,000 unique visits per month, and with Star Citizen being the massively open and complex universe [that it is], a few of my friends decided that Star Citizen needed a place like ShipSpecs; not just a forum, not just a min/max site, but also an integrated ShipLab. After speaking with Smurfy and my other partner Bolt, we all agreed that this was a project we could really sink our teeth in to. This time we would do it together and deliver an integrated community resource that would be scalable as well as fun. PULSE: Will you continue to maintain MechSpecs and Smurfy’s Mechlab, or are you planning on shifting your focus to ShipSpecs? GRIMM: I will continue to maintain MechSpecs. I’ve always been a fan of Battletech since I was a kid and having played every iteration of MechWarrior out there I can say that I will remain with MechSpecs for as long as MWO keeps the doors open. PULSE: What features are planned for ShipSpecs? Why should Star Citizen fans be excited about it? GRIMM: We have the basics in place: forums, news feeds to Twitter etc. Soon we will set up the Facebook page and get that running as well. We have the rating system in place for when we are actually able to modify/ build our ships. This is the same ratings system used on MechSpecs in the builds area. In the future we plan on delivering some content via YouTube (we have the YouTube channel, just haven’t activated it yet) as well as [offering] a fully comprehensive and intuitive Shiplab which will allow complete customization, much like Smurfy does today for MWO. PULSE: Is there a planned launch date? GRIMM: Technically we’ve already launched although it has been pretty low key. We’ve just had some friends over sort of stress testing things here and there. The site is open for anyone who wishes to head over and participate in discussion or grab official news there etc. I’m sure once EVERYTHING is in place, stress tested, and cleared for “go time,” we will make an announcement. (EDIT: Too late, we launched. You missed it!) PULSE: With Star Citizen still in a pre-alpha phase, and the Dog Fighting Module (DFM) still to come out, are you worried that ShipSpecs might be superseded by the in-game holotable once it’s more fully developed? GRIMM: Nope, not at all. There may be times where people are at work, not that I condone this mind you, and they want to work on their newest starship build for 13