Xbox One moderator Rhys Constance stops by to tell us all about his life as a moderator on the XBox One Subreddit, and why he loves Elite Dangerous so much.
– What is your involvement in the Xbox One Reddit?
I am a moderator there. I help moderate the forums, organize game nights, giveaways, AMAs and events as well as manage the wiki pages, which include a list of all current and upcoming games for the subreddit and several other topics. Oh, and the twitter account too!
– You’ve showcased Elite Dangerous a few times on the front page, can you give us an example of a few things you’ve done to help us out? Why do you get involved?
We have held 2 separate AMA’s (One with David Braben and one with the rest of the Xbox One team), done 2 different skins for the subreddit and we have ran 3 really awesome contests. My favorite was the “take a selfie while playing Elite: Dangerous” contest. The entrants were hilarious!
We do these things because our community wants them. We are on a mission to be the best Subreddit on the internet, and we go out of our way to obtain and curate the best content for our subscribers wherever we can. There was loads of positive buzz and curiosity on the subreddit surrounding Elite: Dangerous in its early stages (It was the first game in the Game Preview Program) – So I reached out to Frontier to see if we could work out something awesome! Luckily for us and our community, you thought this was a fantastic idea.
- Tell us about the Master Chefs and how that came to be?
This is my favorite thing ever.
Zac from Frontier approached me, saying that he wanted to do something REALLY special for our subredditors to celebrate launch day. After a little back and forth, we decided it would be amazing to have our very own rare trade good inserted into the game! I made a contest thread and stated that the most highly voted suggestion would win.
A subscriber by the name of dmorg18 wrote up a hilarious parody of the Halo series main character, The Master Chief, altering the games story were toward culinary warfare. The Master Chefs were born.
It won by a considerable margin, and Zac and I both thought that there was NO WAY that this was going to get the green light, but it turns out the guys in the lore team absolutely loved the idea, and went all out, writing their own epic galnet political intrigue subplot for them!
- How much work goes in to making the amazing designs you do on the Xbox One SubReddit?
In a word – Lots.
Reddit is designed in such a way that we need to hard code the CSS, and manually make all the graphics and animations frame by frame. Its very difficult, which is the reason its not so common on Reddit. There are 3 members of the team who share the CSS coding, graphics work, animations, concept and well…. Everything. Myself, MikeyJayRaymond and ClassyTurley (Hi guys!). Each theme takes us a few weeks, and well over 100 man hours. It is a labor of love!
The Elite themes were both something special, we introduced many elements never before seen on Reddit such as “holographic” animations that mirrored the games GUI (which unfortunately caused some performance issues to begin with). The second theme was actually 4 themes in one, and you could switch between each of the game’s factions with their own unique theme.
- Working with developers must be fun, how does it feel to get so much support from the devs behind the titles you enjoy?
It’s fantastic! When you are a regular gamer, its really easy to see developers as a bit of an evil, faceless entity – but once you get to know the people behind the games, you garner a whole new perspective. They are just regular old people like you and me! Some of them are really fun too. Brian Fargo from InXile and the developers of Octodad are particularly hilarious.
- You came all the way (from Finland is it?) to the Gamescom Elite Meet – what made you decide to do that!?
Yes, I came from Helsinki, Finland for the meet up! I came because Zac invited me! Elite is one of my favorite games, and the opportunity to meet you guys and maybe schmooze an AmA out of David for the subreddit was too good to miss! I couldn’t say “hell yes” fast enough!
– How long have you been playing Elite for?
Actually I’ve been playing Elite ever since I was about 8 years old, so 22 years. Elite has a really special place in my heart. My parents divorced around the time I was 8, and it was a bit rough on me (it always is when you are so young), but no matter what was going on around 8 year old me, I could always escape to Elite on my NES and be a space fighter pilot. Any time I hear the cheesy and upbeat NES theme for Elite, I cant help but smile!
I also played all the other versions of elite on PC, and was super excited when you guys brought it back to the current generation.
- What sort of stuff do you enjoy doing in the game? Do you get involved in any community activities?
I am a huge astrology nerd, so of course I’m huge into exploration. I’m one of those weirdos who actually reads the detailed scan results for planets and stars. I also enjoy quite a bit of space combat and smuggling on the side if I’m forced to hang around in civilized space.
I take lots of screenshots, and have made a few popular chronicles of my travels. Here is 2 examples;
I also fly for the eliteone subreddit faction, E.X.O and wing up with them whenever im not 6000LY from home.
– What’s next for the Xbox One SubReddit?
Well, we are never without something on the horizon! You don’t get to be the best subreddit on the internet by sitting idle!