What's Smokin?! interview: "Know the Member" with Pan!
By Mauritsio

The Interviewer: Hello hello, welcome to another issue of KNOW THE MEMBER! We continue the trend of interviewing some of our older members as 7Smoke turn 7 years old this month. Here with us is the YouTube Assassin, Pan! Hello Penh, how you feeling?

Pan: Feeling good man, how are you?

The Interviewer: Oh... FINALLY someone cares to ask The Interviewer how he feels! It's always me asking those questions, but finally, after tons of interviews - someone cares enough for me to ask!
Well I don't feel too good being locked here in this damned cave doing interviews for a living. THANKS FOR ASKING.
Now question number one: how did you join 7Smoke, and what are your earliest memories?

Pan: I remember joining 7Smoke like 5 or so years ago after the great Roy Shitposting offensive on Seriously! It was a dark time... a dark time indeed. I joined 7Smoke after seeing how they were more organised and had events at a time where I could join and there was all new people there I'd never met before. I was welcomed with open arms despite our disagreements on S! the days before so that was nice. My earliest memories... Man. I can barely remember what I did last week. I do remember playing Call of Sam with 7Smoke and everyone experiencing that horror together. That ones stuck with me for a while. I also remember the fun of making S! Kart and talking about it in the old steam chat. RIP Steam Chat.

The Interviewer: Ah yes, the good old days. Speaking of S! Kart, it is a well known fact that you made the two best mods for Serious Sam ever: Seriously! Kart for HD and of course the infamous Serious Box Solid for BFE - unbeaten kings of the workshop! Please, share the story behind those mods and how they rose to the status of being the best in the business.

Pan: Well I was infamous among people like Noam for finding a game I loved and bringing it to Sam. Ape Escape, Mario Kart or Metal Gear Solid. I just enjoyed bringing those things to Sam. The party racing genre is one of my all time favourites and since SS2 had vehicles I honestly thought we could bring it to HD. Whilst I did accomplish this... it was less than ideal. But I was glad to find out that everyone had a higher tolerance for the shitty physics in Serious Sam HD than I thought and the mod got some love. I enjoy making it as the karts are just dumb fun and the maps are colourful.
Serious Box Solid is a labour of love. At the time I made it they closed down the Metal Gear Solid Online servers for all the remaining games so there was no way to play it anymore. (At the time, fan games and Metal Gear Solid 5 fixed this) So I took it upon my own shoulders to bring back some kind of Metal Gear Online experience back and Finzy was more than willing to hop on board. So we made a small alpha and 7Smoke was a humongous help on getting it tested and working well. We also had some help from a few people from S! at the time. I'm glad to see that the names S! Kart and SBS have stuck with people over time and I hope that SBS2, which is coming out in a month or two, will be as welcomed as SBS1 was.

The Interviewer: What is the project you are most proud of? It can be non Sam-related or not even mod-related at all.

Pan: It's a hard choice. I always liked S! Kart a bit more since that was a project I worked on alone, despite the lower quality it had. But I think it's no question that Serious Box Solid is what I'm most proud of. It's a very thorough total conversion and offers something truly unique. I don't think I've seen anything mod wise that offers something that SBS does. While Finzy shares a fair amount of the credit for the success of SBS - I am proud of my own effort on it. I'm very much looking forward to progressing on the sequel with the skills I now have so I can release a more polished product.

The Interviewer: What do you think about 7Smoke being so close to its seventh birthday? Is the group better than before, or worse? And how do you see it evolving in the years moving forward?

Pan: I like it. I think it's improved over years as we've sorted out what we want to focus on with events and as a group. I see it evolving more as Sam 4 comes out and I hope we can bring many new members into the modding community via our workshop channels when that game releases. 7Smoke will be the one stop shop for all things S! Kart 2 baby, look forward to it!

The Interviewer: Will those new members have their chance to enter the Royal Rumble and challenge Mauritsio for the 7Smoke World Championship?

Pan: Any active member who has the guts to enter that ring is welcome in future Royal Rumbles. Just gotta make sure you have something we can identify you as easily. It's so much more fun to have a unique identity when it comes to bringing someone into the 7Smoke WWE. Like Global being Phoenix Wright, Roy being a Judge Dredd knock-off or that big muscle man Bench.

The Interviewer: Global should have been represented as poo poo - but that's a different topic. Now back to the serious stuff - is it true that you have assassinated a YouTuber? Or is that just fake news? We've all heard the rumors, but what's the truth!?

Pan: Fake news! ...For now.

The Interviewer: Okay, you heard it people, here on the 7Smoke website - it's just fake news! Don't trust those fake news sources like... well, you know 'em.
What are your expectations for Serious Sam 4? Some people are still very hyped for it and some are losing hope: meanwhile, what are your 2 cents on the topic?

Pan: I don't have much hope for the game but that's what years of waiting will do to you, I suppose. Becoming disillusioned's just part of being a fan. I do, however, look forward to the modding prospects that it will bring to the community. It may not be the best Sam game or maybe it WILL be the best one. I don't know yet. But as I said I have the modding tools to look forward to and from what we've been hearing, it'll be very exciting. And hey who doesn't love motorcycles?

The Interviewer: Now what are some of your favorite 7Smoke events?

Pan: Apart from my own wrestling events, I have always loved our art events. Seeing the innate artistic ability of my fellow members has always been... enlightening. Who would have known that Csaba and Bench contained such artistic inspirations? I also have a soft spot for mini-game events be it in GMod or Sam. I love minigame gamemodes so the unpredictability of those is also great fun.

The Interviewer: Let's say you migrate, and become a great Bulgarian citizen, what are the perks you would enjoy the most?

Pan: Low ping. Low Ping. Low Ping. An actual gaming community from all around Europe. Low Ping. It's so god damn hard to find players for old classic games in Australia due to our limited population and even more limited gaming population. If I wanted to play an old game like Red Alert 2 I would never find anyone to play with. I imagine Europe doesn't have this problem. And I'd be able to easily use Parsec with people too! Oh what a dream. Shame it'll never happen.

the Interviewer: Keep believing Pan. pssst just pay Roy to find you a Bulgarian woman for some 4.99$
Okay - and so we wrap up this great interview with Penh! If we missed asking you something and you wish to share that with the community, do it now - and send 7Smoke a wish for its Seventh Birthday.

Pan: Nah, I'm good. Happy 7th birthday 7smoke! Thanks for the interview!