Interviews! - Jolt
Interview - Spooky
|Well, with the increasing
amount of Free UK Gaming ISP's poping up around, we thought
it's about time we take a moment out with one of the Staff
from one of the ISP's available. One of these Gaming ISP's
(and probably one of the best) is Nildram Ltd's, Jolt.
Jolt offer's FREE 0845 Internet connection, which gives a
direct connection to their FREE gaming servers, FREE POP3
e-mail, FREE unique webspace which can be configured under
different Sub-Domains (i.e. http://www.spooky.fragme.co.uk
- and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
We interviewed Kelvin Phillips, WebMaster for Nildram Ltd and
Jolt, asking him about Jolt, the web design and where he
thinks Gaming ISP's like Jolt are going.
[Spooky] Who are you and what do you do at Jolt?
[Kelvin] My name is Kelvin. I work as the
webmaster/developer for Nildram Ltd. While gaming online I go
by the name [ard]screamager.
[Spooky] How did you get involved with Jolt?
[Kelvin] I'm a Quake2head, and spend many hours engaged
in mindless gibbage. As there aren't many other online gamers
at Nildram (my boss likes the occasional bit of Unreal/Unreal
tournament but he's about the only other) I got the job of
setting up and maintaining the web and games servers Jolt.
[Spooky] When and why did Nildram start Jolt?
[Kelvin] Over the years Nildram became known to the
gaming community for providingconnections with a great ping
and practically no packetloss in game. Our games servers were
popular, but there weren't very many of them (4 in all).
There's a big and ever increasing demand for a good online
both for the snappy connection, decent open/clan servers, and
more. We hoped with Jolt
we could cater for it all, improve on the Nilly ping magic and
create something special.
[Spooky] And how long are you hoping to keep the
service going for?
long as people want it and we can offer it! :)
[Spooky] Where do you get inspiration for your
webpage designs from?
the design was actually quite rushed (like 2 days!) due to a
few unforseen problems. I'm fairly happy with the existing
one, though it could do with more work. The main thought was
for something bright and colourful, to depart from the usual
'black background, gothic, dark' look. That could potentially
shy away new gamers who aren't used to the FPS scene. I have
plenty more ideas and there are other goodies inline for the
site, to give it a bit more of a community feel but you'll
just have to watch and wait :)
[Spooky] How long would you say it took to design
the Jolt website? And do you spend much time on it updating
programming the database backend, and the web frontend I'd say
the initial site was done in a couple of days. However, as
work in progress, there have been various other things added
since which would have added to this. Maintaining it could be
a full time thing if I was able to let it be.
There are just so many neat things that could be added. For
now, I just try and keep the forums in order, the downloads up
to date, and announce any new games servers/changes to games
[Spooky] Jolt does seem to be going well at the
moment, what are Jolts plans for the future (i.e. services
such as personal game server hosting for clans, more game
are currently hosting a few private clan servers, and as we
get more machines in, we dish out servers to clans. They get
snapped up quite fast!
I hope to add a bookable clanserver system to the Jolt site,
however it's a big job and for now alas it's on hold.
As for new games, it's a case of watching the scene and seeing
what people are shouting about. The addition of a HalfLife TFC
server was a good move.. it's packed full a lot of the time,
and I'm going to try to add a second one with a few map
changes. Unreal Tournament isn't getting the serverspace it
deserves at the moment as the machine its on needs some
changes doing but I definitely want to improve that. The
Kingpin server gets a small number of visitors, but to be
honest Tetrinet was more popular!
I recently added a Quake 3 Arena server to Jolt, but haven't
really had time to get into it since the full release version
came out. Q3A is a very significant move up (thanks ID!) and
it'd be nice to get the best server up there. Some decent
server docs would help if anyone has any! :)
[Spooky] What would you say makes Jolt a better
choice than the other free Gaming ISP's around Britain (like
WirePlay, BarrysWorld, Games Inferno etc.)?
the end of the day, whoever provides the best connection is
going to winthe gamers. The Jolt dialup equipment seems to be
handling the load very easily, and I've had reports of some
very impressive modem and ISDN ping times. As an extra, Jolt
gives out as much free webspace as you like for your gaming
related / clan site, free email, and a choice of fun domain
names to which you can add your own subdomain. Quite a few
clans have already taken advantage of the web/email extras and
are fairly happy withit all :)
[Spooky] With alot of talk about Toll-Free Internet
access coming around for the UK, do you think that Gaming
ISP's will ever offer such a service for free? With no signup
or dialin access fee?
[Kelvin] Indeed, this will kinda leave the free gaming ISPs with a
predicament. As you probably know, with 0845 numbers, the ISP
get a small percentage of the call revenue when BT connects to
Energis, or Worldcom or whoever provides phonelines into the
ISP. Oftel warned this revenue scheme wouldn't be around
forever, around 18 months ago, and so I hear, it's not going
to be around much longer. What is left to fund things? Either
advertising revenues, subsidy from a parent company, and/or
If it came to it, rather than placing advertising in your face
at every turn, I'd personally prefer that if/when BT make the
change, that Jolt becomes subscription based. At least then
you know the money is going to be there to improve the
service, buy more servers, get more bandwidth, and build
everything right up. I think it's a fair swap for a couple of
pints less down the pub each month, and it can only serve to
improve the UK gaming scene. This is only my personal take on
it.. I don't know what will happen :)
I think a lot of gamers are looking forward to what BT
surftime has to offer. Even if it's more expensive per month
than initially thought, compared to most gamers phonebills it
will be insignificant! :) I'm sure there will be a catch with
it all, and as we all know BT are mean and evil and all that
so I guess we have to wait and see!
Big Shout & Thanks out to Kelv
for the Interview ! ;)
2 cows in a field, one says moo - the other says 'Not again!'