CM Craban, a Cipsoft member, was interviewed by our ex-staff member Zanko.
TibiaNews: Hello Craban, and thankyou for taking this interview with TibiaNews.
Craban: It is a pleasure.
TibiaNews: To get things off to a rolling start, would you mind giving us a little bit of information about yourself?
Craban: hehe, ok, I'll try to not mix the information about my different selves.
TibiaNews: Different selves?
Craban: Hehe, well, I plan to change my signature to: "I'm not a man of too many faces, the mask I wear is one".
Craban: Which should illustrate that of course, I chose the face I show as Craban, which is a different one to my private Tibia life and my private life as a whole. But hey, you want to know more about another face, so I'll try to sort correctly.
TibiaNews: Sounds good.
Craban: I studied music and politics, so it is kind of strange that I am working for CipSoft now. I try to explain this to myself by saying that I am someone who knows how words sound. So basically: I like talking, negotiating, discussing and if I am capable convincing people too. I am also always happy if someone is able to convince me. That is the way you learn after all.
TibiaNews: Well, err... If I convinced you to give me god-like powers, that would make you learn...right?
Craban: Hehe, well, if you actually manage to really convince me with good arguments to do that, then you have most certainly earned it too xD.
TibiaNews: Eep! Well I might have to get back to you on that...a few people to vanquish on another server...
Craban: Oh, but I forgot the basic information: So, my real name is Florian, I am 32 years old and hope to only grow older physically. I have worked in all sorts of surroundings for all sorts of different companies and products, but CipSoft is my first "real job".
TibiaNews: Why do you say "real job?"
Craban: Hehe, well, "real job" in this case means full time. All jobs before that were basically to finance my studies, so only part time.
TibiaNews: Oh OK. Now be honest, how much does this picture look like you? (Shows a rather embarrassing picture of Cipsoft member Mercutio)
Craban: Hmm, well, I think it does indeed fit quite nicely. Gosh, am I happy that Mercutio is not here to comment on that.
TibiaNews: Spoke too soon...
You see CM Mercutio Mercado Vinera (Level 2). He has no vocation.
Mercutio: Greetings, what are you talking about?
Craban: Ahm ... nothing ....
Player CM Mercutio Mercado Vinera has been moved to the temple.
Craban: No, he is not here.
TibiaNews: He’s back.
You see CM Mercutio Mercado Vinera (Level 2). He has no vocation.
Mercutio: Yes I am.
Craban: Player CM Mercutio Mercado Vinera kicked out of the game.
MERCUTIO: NO HE’S NOT!
TibiaNews: He’s back again!
You see CM Mercutio Mercado Vinera (Level 2). He has no vocation.
Mercutio: Do that again and I will poison your coffee
TibiaNews: The death threats!
Craban: GRRRR! Impossible to control Mercs!!!
Mercutio: you need any internal information about Craban?
TibiaNews: Well, now that you mention it...
...just in case...
Mercutio: He has no bad habits at all, he is just lovely all the time.
TibiaNews: Aww, Something, in my eye, sorry.
Craban: Hmmm ... the oldest ways still work best...
TibiaNews: Back to Craban. What about long ago before becoming a member of the CipSoft team. Had you ever heard or even played Tibia?
Craban: Ahm, yes, actually ... that guy there told me that a friend of us had told him about this game
Craban: We still have strange discussion about when that really was, but we seem to concur that it must have been around 1999.
Mercutio: 1998, I told you that a million times.
Craban: Well, I started to argue for 1997, but then, well...anyways, a looooong time ago, there were three friends.
Mercutio: you were still young at that time.
TibiaNews: So, what did you guys think about Tibia then?
Craban: Hmmm, I first thought, well, since some friends say it is good, I'll try it, even if it looks kind of silly. That lasted about 10 minutes, then I already started taking names down of nice people and bad people. I remember that Merc and I took shifts through the night because I was staying at his place and there was only one computer. So my most intense memory of the first days in Tibia are Merc snoring in the background! That means, I had Tibia with sound!!!!
Mercutio: I don’t snore! I was...just...hungry!
Craban: Ah yes, sorry, you gurgle, BIIIG DIFFERENCE!
Mercutio: Yes! BIG difference!
TibiaNews: Haha, so how did you end up joining CipSoft?
Mercutio: He was running around the office like a dog until they finally asked him in
Craban: And I can still bark much worse than bite!!! Ah...no!!! The other way around! GRRRRRRRRRRR!
Craban: Hehe well, I was looking for a job at the end of my studies. And well, I actually wanted to go to Colgone and into the music business.
TibiaNews: Banana phone, doo dee, doo dee dee, banana phone, doo dee dee...woops, sorry continue.
Craban: But it was generally very hard in 2005 to find a job, and even more in music production because lots of studios closed down or reduced on employees. And then I saw Cip looking for people in Regensburg where I lived, so I thought, well, I might as well take a look at that, since I know the game. It was the only application I sent on an actual job offer.
TibiaNews: Ooh OK, were you nervous?
Craban: Actually, not really. After I had applied but before I had the interview, I met an old friend on the street that I had not seen in a long time, just to find out that he had started to work for Cip 2 months earlier. That was Judigator. And he gave me some inside info on what I should expect
TibiaNews: Eek! That must have been a surprise.
Craban: Oh yes, it was indeed!
TibiaNews: Oh good, so you were prepared.
Craban: HAR, yes.
TibiaNews: Well what about when you’re not at work, any things you particularly like to do in your free time?
Craban: Oh yes, lots more then I have time for actually. Of course, music in all forms, listening, writing, and playing. Tibia is also one of my regular hobbies, I also go horse riding. And yes, I play poker against crazy people like Merc.
TibiaNews: What was your first day at work like? Exciting, hectic, exhilarating?
Craban: It was extremely relaxing!
Craban: The first mission people got 2 years ago was to play a Tibian Char to level 20.
TibiaNews: Would you mind telling us what exactly your job is at work, and what a typical day has in hold for you?
Craban: Of course. Well, generally speaking, Guido and I work on basically everything that concerns Tibia. What we do is that we split projects between us, so for example. Guido was in charge of the website changes we did while I worked on the recent update. What we mainly do for each project is do the planning, the coordination, and give the people a hand with more detailed things if needed. We also collect feedback both from within the company and from our customers and consider all this when planning the future in Tibia. And finally, Guido and I are of course always the contacts if someone needs information or if for example Customer Support has an issue. We support them with their wishes and plans. It really is difficult to say exactly what we do. We really are there for everything that happens with Tibia.
TibiaNews: Ooh OK, well what part of your job would you say you love the most?
Craban: I love the creative work together with our Content Team and the Programmers. It is very challenging, exciting and always new. But I also quite like the times when doing server maintenance. In short: I like every new challenge, and this job brings new ones with every project.
TibiaNews: Is it part of your job to read the proposals board, if so how often?
Craban: Well, actually collecting the feedback should generally be done by Customer Support, but I read it every day. Because I think direct contact with the players is very healthy for me in my job. And of course because I simply like discussing good ideas.
TibiaNews: Well this leads me onto my next questions. Before the recent updates, you have been creating discussion threads on the proposals board where people can ask questions about the update. Was that your idea?
Craban: Actually, it was Guido who asked for the first thread explicitly, but generally many people had often said that more of that is necessary, Mercutio is the strongest active promoter of that.
TibiaNews: Does it ever get boring to read through every post in that thread?
Craban: Hehe, well, the boring ones are the ones that repeat what has already been said, but generally no, there is always some entertaining post there, somechallenging reactions and some very good points raised. So overall, it really is not boring at all.
TibiaNews: Oh good. Since you began working on Tibia, are there any memorable or funny moments which you would like to share with us?
Craban: Oh!!! Yes. Tons of those.
TibiaNews: I’m all ears.
Craban: I mean, already sitting in one room now together with Guido and Merc is sooooo distracting! Especially when Merc wears his pink shirt again!
Mercutio: Watch your tongue!
Craban: Did I say pink? I mean, ahm ... light brown with some red, some yellow, some strange colour. All that mixed, you know.
Mercutio: It’s salmon coloured! Not pink.
Craban: Salmon is an animal, just like peach is a fruit!!!
Mercutio: You are just ignorant. Both of you.
TibiaNews: He’s gone again.
Craban: So, well, the three of us in one room provides funny moments several times each day.
TibiaNews: What about within Tibia? Anyone ever had a report which made you laugh your head off? (Not literally, unless there is a case like that.)
Craban: Oh yes, again, tons of those. I have trouble remembering the details, but there was one once that I caught for multi-clienting with two accounts. Then I banned them and get a PM by a third account saying how sorry he is and that I should not ban him
Craban: So I banned the third one too, thinking that now, he should have learnt it. But no, he really came with yet another account still doing the same.
TibiaNews: Haha, well what about the other members of CipSoft, what are they like?
Craban: Difficult...ahm, I mean, it is difficult to explain, not that they are difficult!!!!!
Mercutio: IT'S JUST CRABAN WHO IS DIFFICULT!
Craban: GRRRR, IT IS JUST DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO FOLLOW MY THOUGHTS!!! Well back to the question, it is like in Tibia, we have lots of different vocations (programmers, creators, supporters etc) and many of those do surprising things with their vocation! Really, most people here are truly amazing characters. I mean, to see a knight like Merc with a pink shirt dancing around the sorceresses in a bar...
TibiaNews: Must be terrifying! Well, what about the office before an update...hectic, bustling and last minute changes?
Craban: Well, of course it was challenging to get everything done in time. But it is actually not that stressful, mainly because we put deadlines a lot earlier than the update itself. So the stressful parts are actually more before the test servers. That is when I am running around from Content to Programming, to Support and back to Content just to find out who has finished what so that who else can continue with the next feature. And who has finished testing and what needs to be done after that to start testing the next features again. Very communicative during those times.
TibiaNews: Hehe, well a few, well a lot of people, have been wondering why swimming before sitting?
Craban: Ahhh, hehe, mean, well, let me put it this way: We want people to keep moving so that there is some development. Sitting is keeping still!!! Nah, just kidding. Actually it was something that the Content team experimented with more for fun and then sometime during the preparations, we noticed that this could actually work.
TibiaNews: Now that we have football and water-polo, are there any plans for introducing other sort of sports in Tibia?
Craban: Hehe, well, I'll just say: There are no plans to not introduce more of that, so ... who knows.
TibiaNews: Hehe. Have you ever had to scrap an idea just before an update or a test server?
Craban: Ahm, yes, I remember that we had worked on an additional prevention against teleporting (I think that was last year) which then during the test server proved to cause unwanted scenarios, so we took that out again. More recently, it only happened that we postponed some little features, but we will bring these in with the next update. Basically we wanted more new items than we were able to make in time.
TibiaNews: Hehe. As of just a couple of updates ago, the test servers have only been for Gamemasters, Community managers and tutors. Are public test servers a thing of the past?
Craban: No, public test servers will still be needed and done in the future, but a public test server has a different purpose for us. The private ones are for testing the content of the update and the features. For that, we need people who let others test in peace and who can give well structured feedback. A public test server usually is a big mass of running around, everyone killing everyone. This is something we need when we test for performance, for example a new operating system or a new hardware or things like these. So every time when something like that is introduced, we will do public tests again.
TibiaNews: When you are not busy fixing the problems in a test server, or collecting and analyzing data, do you ever have a little bit of fun and do stuff that you wouldn't normally be allowed to do?
Craban: Hmmmm, well, I sometimes eat peanuts from Mercs supplies which he certainly would not allow me to ...
TibiaNews: What do you think about Tibian cheaters? (The botters, macroers, etc.)
Craban: Hate 'em! But I love the sound of them .... You know, you never hear anything from then until .... Cra BAN!!!!!!
Craban: No, but seriously, we are currently working on ideas on how to handle cheaters effectively. We will do this with very careful planning, so we will take all the time we need to come to a good solution.
TibiaNews: What is your opinion on roleplaying?
Craban: Roleplaying. In my eyes the most important part about roleplaying is that you need to be able to enjoy everything about a role that you take and really play withevery characteristic of that role. As soon as someone does not like the role he plays, he has to either change it so that he likes it again or start playing another role in the play.
TibiaNews: Uhm, I'm a pirate...roleplaying right, you can't ban me for that, right?
Craban: Hehe, but I am a professional pirate hunter, so I can sure kill you as a pirate deserves!!! HARHARHAR
TibiaNews: Wait, err, I have...cookies!
Craban: ... Cra--- ... wait ... cookies? crunch .... Alright. I'll let you live this time – crunch.
TibiaNews: Back to the interview. Do you ever read Tibianews? If so how often and what do you think of it?
Craban: Well, there was a time when it was really important to read TN every day since the news there were faster than our own . Today, I still look at it everyday and since there is not so many news to read, I start looking through the Forum regularly too. I love the concept and I sure hope that TN will stay there as the "newspaper" of Tibia.
TibiaNews: Now for the stupid question in this interview, why don't they have giant man eating bugs with forty legs in cities!?
Craban: Hehe, imagine a guy with 40 legs looking for bugs in front of thais depot! How would you get to the boat then?
TibiaNews: Oh yeah, good point. OK, ready for some quick-paced questions? I'm warning you, it could be dangerous.
Craban: Ah, no fun without danger! Shoot.
TibiaNews: Oh wait, you mean with the questions. Sorry! Favourite client?
Craban: The Testclient. It's most fun to screw up with that one!
TibiaNews: Favourite Tibian city/island?
Craban: Treasure Island! Nothing much there but sounds awesome!
TibiaNews: Favourite monster?
Craban: Guido, I am still trying to loot the porsche keys.
TibiaNews: Favourite server type?
Craban: I'd like a PwM server. Player with Monster, you know, not fight against them but talk with them, sit around the fire and have a feast or a party ... XD
TibiaNews: Wow! That was tiring......if this kills me my ghost is prepared to sue!
Craban: Oh, damn, that is a real threat!!!! I'll send Mercs cat then to court against you, she isn't afraid of ghosts!
TibiaNews: Forgive me! It was...a twitch, thats right, I really meant to say: Thankyou for this interview Craban, any last words before we finish.
Craban: Oh sure: Hugs to all ladies and warm handshakes to all gents out there! I hope at least most players enjoy this game as much as we do. Thank you toeveryone for playing this game, loving it, staying with it, complaining about it. Without all of you ... Tibia would not be what it is now.
TibiaNews: Thankyou for your time, Cra BAN!!!