|About myself:||Last Update: 30.12.2010|
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Let me introduce myself: My real name is Christoph Hofmann but everyone just calls me Sicarius (latin for "bandit") and I'm what media, developers and publisher classify as a hardcore gamer. I also write a whole lot if I don't have a specified word-count - so consider yourself warned before you try to swim through this ocean of text.
My first touch with the digital world was back in 1990 with the 486 of my brother. Although I still was a very young lad, I learned quickly and took the machine over at some point by secretly playing DOOM. And even though I began my career very late, I also know much about what gaming was like in the early days (80s) when I still pooped in my pants. I've played, loved and still love many games from that era and after. I'm even proud to own one or two of the original boxes from back then.
But of course I certainly do play many current games across all genre (except for some types of tycoon-, manager- and sport-games) as well - as I said I'm a hardcore gamer. I pre-order all of my games very early. Sometimes as early as the first announcement because in most cases I know from the start if a game will be worth buying (from my point of view of course) or not. I'm also someone who often tries out, what I call, off stream games and tries to convince other people to try them. I don't know if I'm good at it but at least I enjoy the process of playing games like Psychonauts or titles like Chaos League which usually don't have a big audience (although they would certainly deserve it). I'm also a sucker for good stories. As long as a game has an interesting story with interesting characters, I'll be all over it even if it's just a text adventure or full of bugs.
At the moment I own circa 1300 original games (not counting the ones that came with magazines) across several platforms (mostly PC, iPod and Xbox 360) and I normally have around 20 more pre-ordered (some will be in development for another year or two). I've every game at least played a few hours and although I haven't finished all of them yet, my credo is: Someday I'll have played through every game I own. I'm counting on a long life in retirement for that... :)
The Other Side
I'm currently working at the big magenta T (also know as Deutsche Telekom) here in Germany but I try to get into journalism as a career changer soon. To prepare for that I write pre- and reviews, articles, short stories and more for everyone that wants some. If you can read German (articles in English are existent but very limited at the moment) you can find almost all of my work on my own page called Bagdadsoftware or at least a link to where I published it. 2009 I had a big breakthrough in that area: After I finished a distant learning course for journalism I was approached in January 2009 by Jörg Langer (Creator of the famous German games magazine GameStar) to help with his newest project called GamersGlobal which went into open-beta on May, 15th 2009 and fully live on September, 15th 2009. I had worked with him before in two projects during the German Games Convention 2007 and 2008 (that entry is in English) and interviewed him for episode 6 of my own, German podcast called Bagdadsoftware Podcast so he already knew me a bit. But the final push to give me a call was because he was impressed with my consistently high quality work here at MobyGames. He wanted to build a games database to connect all the elements of the site and who would be better suited for such a job than a dedicated MobyGames-Contributor? :) But besides being one of the co-founders of the site and maintaining the database, I'm also part of the main editorial staff which of course includes testing games, interviewing people, writing articles and news and so on. Let's hope the final step (getting paid for all that) isn't too far away now.
The Works (Past)
I've known MobyGames for a few years as my main source for information (like imdb.com). But the more I used MobyGames, the more I noticed that many things were missing and on 04/22/06 I decided to change that by submitting the game entry for Mad Tracks (one of those off-stream games). Not only my 2nd place on the 2006 Top New Contributors-list showed my ambition but also my 1st place in the 2006 and 2007 top 50 Game Cover Art Contributors-category and all the other top scores I got with the total of 10.266 contribution points in 2007 (2006: 4.531). Since I'd already accomplished both my initial goals for 2008 (reaching the 20.000 points barrier [accomplished on 07/25/08] and making the 1st place in the 2008 top 50 Game Credits Contributors-category [accomplished on 07/19/08]), my new goal was to get the 25.000 topping my 10.266 points of 2007 by doing so. Both secondary goals were already accomplished on 11/05/08 so for the rest of the year I aimlessly contributed to prepare for reaching the 30.000 in the first half of 2009 – with unforeseen consequences.
In an unexpected turn of events in form of the GTAIV (882 points, 3.540 names) and World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich-King (728 points) windows credits listing, I already hit the 30.000 points mark on 12/29/08 and also set new records for credits submissions. Besides the obvious one with the biggest submission ever both in length and granted points, Sciere also set a mark in 2005 at 7.225 points with only credits submissions in one year. I've topped that record now by 2.247 points. At the same time that feat immediately moved me up the ranks to the 3rd place on the 2008 top 50 Contributors list behind the unreachable Sciere and mass-contributor joyvalley. All that combined was also enough to get a lengthy mention in the years-end report in the forums.
In addition 2008 marked the year where I, after years and years of participating in closed beta tests, finally fulfilled the dream of every MobyGames-User and got a permanent entry in the developer database. Thanks to my work during the Multiwinia: Survival of the Flattest-beta test I'm as of 10/11/2008 forever eternalized as a developer . A feat, only a few selected other contributors and approvers managed to accomplish.
My main resolution for 2009 was to overcome the 40.000 points mark which I successfully accomplished on 07/14/09 - only a few hours after that Brazilian guy Macs Black. I also got to be the Nr. 1 credits contributor of the year again and did finally managed to get the third place in the "All time Top 50 Contributors for Game Credits"-category on 09/07/09.
On 02/02/2010 I accomplished my next overall goal: reaching 50.000 contribution points.
The Works (Present & Future)
Main goal for 2010: Nr. 1 Credits Contributor of the Year (currently held by Evil Ryu)
Secondary goal for 2010: 9th place in the All time top 50 Contributors list (currently fighting with Kabushi for it)
Although many people think I'm crazy working for MobyGames for free, I don't care what they say and instead concentrate on providing very high quality and approval-friendly submissions for MobyGames to the best of my abilities. My main turf still is Cover Arts and I mean real 300dpi high quality scans - not that cheap kind of points collecting some people do by submitting a banner from a digital download website. But my archive is as good as completely scanned in by now and again joyvalley manages to always be faster than me so my focus shifted somewhat to credits listings and new game entries (mostly for very fresh games) and what comes with that (in order of preference: Ratings, Tech-Specs, Descriptions, Release Information and Screenshots). Although it takes a little longer (meaning I'm blocking that entry for everyone else), my credo here is to submit as much information as possible with the initial submission. I really hate it when a game, no one seems to care about, is in the database with nothing more than the most essential information. Of course this approach takes a little longer, especially considering I don't have that much time anymore due to GamersGlobal, but I hope my contributions are qualitatively high enough to justify blocking the submission of a highly visible blockbuster that everyone else desperately wants to contribute for a few days/weeks/months.
My platform of choice is a Windows PC. But while I didn't even think of getting any kind of console, I was presented with an Xbox 360 in order to test games on it. I also got an iPod Touch as a gift and I add everything else if I've enough information for the description (manual is usually enough) and I don't really need to have played it to get a description together.
So if you have any questions, feel free to leave me a message and I'll see if I can help. If you are a company and wonder how you can support the database, just contact me and I will do everything in my power to satisfy your and our needs. I already helped Eidos Inc., Toro-Publishing and Anvil-Soft/Wendtware amongst others to get their games with a complete list of credits in - so you can rest assured that I know what needs to be done!
Sicarius (61056) is also listed as a game developer.