The Man, The Myth: Tapper
Ash: As Director of Operations for QuakeCon 2001, you are in charge of a ton of different facets of this awesome gaming event. Just what all are you directing to make help ensure this event is another huge success?
Tapper: Well, my job revolves around the show floor, from the pre-event setup and design, to the actual operation of the event itself. I design the floor layouts, help the staff and vendors get their areas set up, make arrangements for power, tables, hotel stuff, etc. Since I also live in the Dallas area, I often work directly with Marty and id to assist them and communicate things back to the volunteer staff. I also assist EvilJohn in the various issues heís dealing with, and help him implement the things he wants to do. Marty has been an enormous asset to the event, and really has made a lot of the pre-event stuff happen very smoothly, which has greatly simplified my job the past 2 years.
Ash: What do you think is the most challenging aspect of your duties during the planning and building stages of QuakeCon?
Tapper: Honestly, the biggest challenge is waiting on the event to get here! With the outstanding staff we have, things move pretty smoothly, so the real challenge, is to make sure we get the Directors the resources that they need to get what they do done.
Ash: What big challenges are ahead of you as August 9th gets closer and closer?
Tapper: I think weíre over the hump on the really big stuff, so itís primarily assisting players, staff, and vendors in getting what they need to accomplish done. Of course, judging from my email, itís choosing the tourney maps. :)
Ash: What do you think makes QuakeCon so damn phat that players travel from all over the country, and all over the world, to attend?
Tapper: Well, itís two things. The first, is the people. Quakecon still feels like a family reunion, and I think that element makes the event something really special for the people that attend. People meet so many friends from IRC, their clans, website forums, that the event just has that reunion feel to it. The second thing, is id. idís sponsorship, and no holds barred participation in the event really makes it special for folks that play Quake as a passion. Quakecon is the only place I know of, that a player can meet the guys that made the whole thing possible, shake their hands, and talk to them about whatever. In fact, I think you could accurately describe Quakecon as a huge party that id throws for its fans every year. I think the combination of all these things, just makes Quakecon the "Mecca" experience that it is for so many gamers.
Ash: This year will mark the largest tournament purse in QuakeCon history. What does it take to pull off a tournament like this yearís planned tourney?
Tapper: A lot of planning, people, and a tight schedule. Server configurations, brackets, timing, maps Ė all have to be worked out in detail, in advance. There are rules, and millions of questions to answer. And then thereís the physical process of moving people through the machines. Itís busy work. And of course, youíve got to have a sponsor like nVidia, to make the whole thing exciting.