Hello, and welcome to another edition of Player Interview! Today's interview is with RiceKirby (@IceKirby), who was nominated to be interviewed. RiceKirby is the leader and creator of Safari, one of PO's official Server Games. Let's get to the interview! 1. How did you get introduced to Pokémon? RiceKirby: My very first contact was with 2 pieces of merchandise that my father brought from Japan (a Pikachu plushie for my sister and an illustrated clipboard). I didn't even know what Pokémon was at that time; I only learned a few years ago when I watched the anime (started watching from episode 3). Like 90% of the kids at the time, I instantly liked it and kept watching and buying some stuff (like magazines and CDs). Some time later I got my first (and actually only) Pokémon game: Pokémon Silver, which I mostly played using Super Gameboy. 2. How did you get introduced to PO? RiceKirby: Fast forward a few years. I still loosely followed the news about Pokémon, although I had stopped watching the anime around late Johto due to a lack of availability. One day I learned about NetBattle (can't remember how) and hopped in to play, mostly with a few high school friends. I eventually stopped playing and then again went into a cycle of only checking the news from time to time. At some point, nostalgia hit and I googled "play Pokémon online". Guess what was the first result I got? 3. Before Safari, how did you spend most of your time on PO? RiceKirby: 99% at Mafia. On my first weeks at PO, the "A mafia game is starting" messages at Tohjo Falls got me curious, so I joined to see how it was. I researched a lot about it to know how to play to avoid messing up hard, yet on my first day I protected the Werewolf through a whole game. I've never been too dedicated to teambuilding (mostly played Challenge Cup or Metronome or tried to make some gimmicky teams). I also spent some time at Hangman. 4. Where did you get the inspiration to make Safari? RiceKirby: It started when I learned that PO's chat could show a Pokémon's sprite simply by sending an HTML code like <img src='pokemon:num=25'>. I started thinking I wanted to use that for something, then I later thought it would be interesting to have something with a collectible aspect. Add both together and BANG, we have Pokémon Go's father Safari. 5. How does Safari's success on PO compare to your original expectations before it was released? RiceKirby: It's very different. I originally made Safari expecting it be a short distraction between battles. The original script didn't even have baits, it was only contest-based, so players would come only every 30 minutes for a short 4~5 minutes game. 6. What is your most memorable Safari moment (or moments)? RiceKirby: Probably the end of the beta phase (AKA official release). It was cool to see everyone struggling to get things up instead of relying on free Rayquaza spawns. 7. What is your favorite /rock throwable in Safari? RiceKirby: I like to rename rocks as Love Letter. Makes the messages a lot funnier and I can even change its sprite in /bag. 8. Has scripting for Safari (i.e. upgrades, bug fixes, integration with other Server Games, etc) been more challenging, less challenging, or about the same as you expected it to be initially? RiceKirby: Since I created Safari thinking of it as a very simple game, I'd say it's been more challenging, although not by much. The code itself didn't demand much more than what I was already used to when coding for Mafia. What usually holds me back more is designing the new features. 9. Are there any new Safari features or events that should be coming soon? RiceKirby: I usually don't reveal new features beforehand (often because I code them on a whim), but yes, I have stuff planned (both updates and events), although it's taking some time a bit busy recently. 10. What is your favorite and least favorite part about Safari? RiceKirby: Least favorite is definitely the people that are unable to read (AKA keep asking stuff that can be easily found on commands/topic/information threads). RiceKirby: Kind of hard to pick something as a favorite, but maybe it would be watching people rage over hax or how Safari allows lots of ways to play compared to its simple core. 11. What are your opinions on other Server Games? RiceKirby: I never got too much into Trivia since I'm totally bad at that. RiceKirby: Hangman is cool for some quick distraction. RiceKirby: I always liked Mafia, but it needs to review rules to not punish people for trying different strategies when they fail. RiceKirby: And all of them need to be more active. 12. What is your favorite and least favorite Pokémon? RiceKirby: Despite what most people think, Kakuna is not my favorite Pokémon, but my third. I tend to talk more about it because it's funnier to see people reacting like "why the hell would someone like Kakuna?". My favorite one is a secret, but my second would be Ivysaur. RiceKirby: I don't think I have a least favorite Pokémon. If I really had to name one, then maybe Mewtwo or Charizard because they often overshadow Mew and the Bulbasaur line. 13. Which is better: Rice or Ice? RiceKirby: Rice with ice, obviously. RiceKirby: Serious answer: Well, I don't really like iced drinks, so I'd go with Rice. 14. Do you have anything else to say to our readers? RiceKirby: Don't forget to brush your teeth. RiceKirby: Also, Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start. Thanks, RiceKirby, for taking the time to tell us a bit about yourself, Safari, and dental hygiene! This edition of Player Interview is coming to an end, but there will be more to come. To nominate players to be interviewed, post here or contact @E.T. on the PO forums. 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