1996 Interview with Morgoth by Prather
In the Beginning as told by Morgoth (later Melkor) to Prather the Minstrel [August 1996]
FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY --WINTER 1994 Wintertime in Florida is usually so pleasant that the rest of the world packs up and comes down here just to enjoy the sun, but that Friday in January as I walked up the steps in front of Evan's hall, it was cold and rainy. There were four of us co- conspirators, Todd (Orome), David (Aule), Rob (Manwe) and me, I'm Morgoth, aka Steve.
I was pretty much coasting, doing my second year for a Master's in Environmental Resource Management and it left me quite with quite a bit of time to devote to what was then my "real" course of study which was mudding.
Rob, Todd and I were all admins on a MUD called Silicon Realms which we agreed was becoming a hassle for us. It was full of starwars stuff and top heavy with what seemed to us, lazy admins who gave us nothing but grief. There was no theme at all. David was a coder on a MUD called KOBRA.
There's a lot of philosophy that goes into designing a mud. We wanted something where new players could get started without being driven off but would still challenge higher levels. That's a lot harder than it sounds. At Silicon Realms, I was actually told by one of the admins that my job was to put a lot of really nice stuff on monsters that were easy to kill because it would make the players happy.
Incidentally, next time somebody gives you a hard time about all the hours you spend on T2T, tell them that there are actually a few of us who consider ourselves success stories. I now run tech-support and the WEB development group for an net provider here in New York. I kind of stumbled into it (went in to pay my bill and got hired). They were looking for someone with WEB experience who could also code Unix, all of which I owe to time I "wasted" while working on Silicon Realms and T2T. Fun stuff!
In direct contrast to my ethereal, artsy style, David is an organizer --concise, sharp and efficient. We use to kid him about being "The Killer Coder from KoBra." When I first met him, I thought he was a little overbearing. He was immediately ready to jump into the leadership role, almost like, "I am the ruler." We had very different approaches to the project, different styles, which, at times, conflicted. Rob often found himself playing the middle-man in the discussions between us in those early days, but as David and I both warmed to the project, we began to recognize each other's strengths and we got by all that. David and I work really well as a team. In May, this year, he graduates as a lieutenant in the Army and like Todd, who is now in the Navy, he will loose the web for a while. T2T will miss him.
As I came up the walk, shielding myself from the cold drizzle, I noticed Rob's black Firebird in the parking lot and since David has never been late to anything, I figured that everyone was already upstairs. Even before Rob called the four of us together, I was really excited about the project. We all had a lot enthusiasm and some great ideas. Though there was never any intention of allowing the theme to stray from the books, as kind of an inspiration, Todd had a copy of the cartoon version of the "Lord of the Rings" that he was going to show and I was even looking forward to that. So when I got upstairs to the room, I guess I was primed for a formal meeting on the MUD, but when I opened the door, everybody was huddled around a pizza, watching Beavis and Butthead. Such are the great moments. Anyway, that afternoon, when the pizza was gone, we officially agreed to start "The Two Towers" based on the Master, J.R.R. Tolkien.