Constellation: Lets start with, Can you tell me a little about yourself for anyone who might not know you?(gaming and dota History)
Kanzakill: I started playing DotA in 2008. Participated a bit in the old forum. But my interest was at its peak during the first year of the new forum.
Constellation: What peaked your interest during this time? (By the way, this interview takes about 3 hours is that ok? I planned it out before hand)
Kanzakill: I have plenty of time. Maybe I’ll have to take some breaks though.
Constellation: thats fine
Constellation: just tell me when
Kanzakill: Well, naturally, DotA simply dominated the War3 lobby. It was a new map, with more interesting and original heroes than others. But what mattered the most is that DotA was a struggle. It had less stomps and auto-win heroes and strategies than other maps. So I didn’t feel hopeless and frustrated playing it. The community was fresh and promising. I had the most fun with the mess that was the suggestion forum.
Constellation: I feel the same way actually, the game brings an aspect of gaming that no other game does, does any other game come close to dota for you as an interest?
Kanzakill: No, DotA is unique in my experience. Never played LoL and HoN.
Constellation: What are your opinions on those games based on what you’ve heard /seen? video wise
Kanzakill: HoN doesn’t seem too bad. LoL seems too formulaic, like those arena maps back in War3. I don’t like those maps at all.
Constellation: can you tell me about the history behind your name?
Kanzakill: Well, there was this manga called Eatman. For some reason, the name of the protagonist (Bolt Crank) was translated to Kanzaki here. My memory isn’t too good, so I liked it because it was easy to remember. But that name was often taken in most games I played. So I decided to add “ll”, which gives the name four meanings. kanza kills. kanzaki’ll. kan za kill (can you kill). kanz a kill (can a kill). People only get the first one.
Constellation: yea thats how i see it the first one didn’t realize it had so many meanings
Kanzakill: For some reason, some guy is also taking my Kanzakill name in a few games.
Constellation: Suggesting is fun and all but have you ever considered any other parts of the dota scene such as the proscene, lore making, shoutcasting or video making? In other words, Dota has many other areas in its world a player could be a part of, what brought you to the suggestions forum? by the way thats messed up or a coincidence. you must be really good at dota
Kanzakill: No idea how that guy decided to take my name. I’m moody at DotA. Sometimes I solo the whole enemy team, sometimes I feed to no end. I’m moody at most games actually, once I killed the whole enemy team with a shotgun in CS. Well, back to the main matter … I did consider them. I have some silly artworks for example. I also have an idea for Songify DotA.
Constellation: songify dota?
Kanzakill: There’s the story “A Bug’s Life” I wrote in the literary section. I cancelled from lack of interest. There was such a series back then.
Constellation: I know its a movie but you did a tie on it by adding it to weaver or na. which one by the way?
Kanzakill: Let me check a bit. Wait, its name was actually Dotafied Music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyGpDiQg_Qs Oh, the name was just for fun. It was about NA.
Constellation: Lets get down to business, What heroes do you consider to be needing of a serious change?
Kanzakill: Well, I’m not really keen on full remakes. I care mostly about each skill. But if I need to choose, I’d say the wyvern.
Constellation: winter wyvern?
Kanzakill: Yep. Gimmicky skills and a braindead ultimate.
Constellation: i see what would you change about him/her? it
Kanzakill: Frankly, a different theme. Ice is a bit overused. The ultimate skill must go.
Constellation: yea I agree Ice is overused and so are dragons but what else can be used? Flight attendant?
Kanzakill: Bones. Make it about bones and just bones. More bony and the Skeleton King.
Constellation: yea that would be cool didnt think about that
Kanzakill: Yup. No hero in DotA uses a lot of bones to attack. Brisleback uses spikes.
Constellation: where do you get your inspiration from?
Kanzakill: Everywhere. Almost everything can give me an inspriration.
Kanzakill: That’s Hemmingway.
Kanzakill: That’s the four horsemen.
Kanzakill: And that’s a game called Dawn of the Dragons.
Kanzakill: I get too many inspirations from too many things to list here.
Constellation: what is your creation process?
Kanzakill: There isn’t really a process. Ideas come spontaneously as I make the suggestion.
Constellation: I mean like while your creating your idea?
Kanzakill: Yup. I often only have the very base concept of a hero/skill/item. As I fill the information into the forms, find the icons for them, read about them, ideas just come to me.
Constellation: Do consider Strategy Guides and Commentaries by players like Tobiwon and Luminous a good source for conceptualizing ideas?
Kanzakill: No, I don’t think so. These things exist because of the heroes/skills/items, not the other way around.
Kanzakill: If you keep thinking about strategy, you can’t think outside the box.
Constellation: I want to trace back for a second how was dota-allstars different from playdota?
Kanzakill: Well, first thing first, there were no avatars, so the old forum gave off a sense of anonymity. The processes that went in the Suggestions section were too inflexible. However, the community felt like a whole, not the us vs them mentality going on in PD. The loss of DA was surely a grave hit to the community.
Constellation: what do you mean us vs them?
Kanzakill: No one really cares about another’s opinion. Say one thing that they disagree with and it’s all flaming and trolling from that point. Really disappointing. Of course, the same thing happened in DA. But because there weren’t so many new members, it wasn’t as serious.
Constellation: If you gave a new member to suggestion forums any advice regarding suggetioning and reviewing what would it be?
Kanzakill: Don’t have high expectations. Just enjoy the ride and try your best.
Kanzakill: Funny, I suggested mostly heroes, items and skills. And yet it was the cosmetic and mechanics suggestions that got implemented.
Constellation: really interesting, Let’s take a break from dota suggestions. What are you interested in besides Dota and its world?
Kanzakill: What do you mean by “besides Dota and its world”? Things unrelated to Dota?
Kanzakill: Well, I’m thinking about joining a game making competition. But that’s just a start. My dream is to make an action game that gives the player more freedom.
Constellation: like an action rpg? zelda?
Kanzakill: You see, in most action games nowadays, the actions are mostly completely pre-scripted. They look perfect, but perfectly clumsy.
Constellation: like dota
Kanzakill: Since I want to make a game about fighting tigers and crocodiles, more freedom in movement is a must. I want to let the player try stabbing the eyes if they want. Gutting the tigers if they want. And it must be done by standard, natural imputs, not through quick-time events.
Constellation: what are you interested in besides games?
Kanzakill: A lot of things. I often get lost in my walks on Wiki.
Kanzakill: History, technology, myths and legends, etc. Yeah, wikipedia.
Constellation: what are some of your philosophies?
Kanzakill: I don’t really have any. I’ve always been a bystander looking at life.
Kanzakill: The closest thing is existentialism.
Constellation: whats existentialism?
Constellation: (when I get back to the dota questions which is soon the interview is almost over
Kanzakill: That life is the meaning of itself.
Kanzakill: Oh, that was fast.
Constellation: I try to keep around 6 pages and its already at 5
Kanzakill: Well, you can compress the links.
Constellation: What other type of media are you interested in (Movies, books, tv shows, or animes, or comics)?
Kanzakill: I don’t really choose things by types. If it’s good, I will be interested.
Kanzakill: There are no comics here though.
Constellation: o really =( no superman or spiderman?
Kanzakill: Well, there used to be Lucky Luke, Asterix and Tintin, but that’s about it.
Constellation: can you explain what their about for anyone not familiar with them?
Kanzakill: Well, Lucky Luke is about a hotshot cowboy who shoots faster than his shadow. Asterix is about a Gaul village on steroids against the Romans. Tintin is just a advanturous guy with his trusty canine companion wandering in the 20th century.
Kanzakill: Wait, there is a movie about Tintin, so it must be pretty widely known.
Constellation: Alot of non american media doesn’t make it to our houses which sounds very nationalist when you think about it…. any way next question. Taking breaks are good but getting back on track is a good thing, In your dota suggestions and reviews what do you do to stay on track?
Kanzakill: Well, I don’t know. I just try to make suggestions whenever the idea comes to me because if I don’t, I will soon forget it.
Kanzakill: Right now, even though I still have many ideas, I’m not interested in suggesting anymore.
Constellation: How come?
Kanzakill: The new heroes are boring to me.
Kanzakill: Dota is going towards a direction that I can’t bring myself to like.
Kanzakill: And most of all, Nerif’s ultimate skill is just like my first item suggestion without the mindgame aspect.
Kanzakill: Here: http://www.playdota.com/forums/showthread.php?t=114616#post545359
Kanzakill: It’s just general disappointment.
Constellation: Who are your babies? What do you consider the ones that need to be implemented the most?
Kanzakill: They’re here: http://www.playdota.com/forums/showthread.php?t=193780#post890090
Constellation: you have a comprehensive list any that you consider the best?
Kanzakill: Overall, I like this one the most: http://www.playdota.com/forums/showthread.php?t=466274
Kanzakill: The ultimate skill needs tweakings though.
Constellation: where did you get the idea for this hero?
Kanzakill: I don’t really remember. Maybe I was reading about the four horsemen on TVTropes.
Constellation: What are some general parts of a concept or idea you consider no no’s or redflags?
Kanzakill: I really dislike abilities that do too many unrelated things, like the ones in LoL. Other than that, rules are made to be broken.
Constellation: not familiar with lol can you give me an example?
Kanzakill: Steroids, steroid everywhere. Many passive skills fall under that category. But Volibear takes the cup for the biggest fuckload of effects. And that’s only amongst the champions I know. Compare it with Ursa’s Overpower, which simply increases attack speed.
Constellation: what are some limitations in the process of how suggestions are suggested you wish you would change if you could?
Kanzakill: I think a suggestion should only requires the ideas. Numbers are too distracting, almost useless and yet they take quite a lot of time to be corrected. Having to plan a skill for 4 levels is annoying.
Constellation: Talking about changes, what hero model would you change in dota 2?
Kanzakill: I actually like them all. However, I believe there should be more variation in color schemes. PA could have a brownish color scheme, like a character in Conan.
Constellation: Have you ever picked up warcraft 3 programming?
Kanzakill: Yes, I have made a few test maps. Nothing to tell home about though.
Constellation: last question, Other game companies take ideas from other games and apply it to their own do you think thats a good idea for dota developers?
Kanzakill: Taking ideas is fine, but not losing oneself in the process is more important. I think they should take the best and leave the rest.
Constellation: Well its been alot of questions, lets end with a thank you for letting me interview you
Kanzakill: Least I could do.