Dubs: So, let's start this off simple, what is your real name?
My name is Daniel Chang. I have debated whether I should reveal my last
name or not. After all, this is the internet! Other interviewees'
openness has encouraged me to do so. :)
Dubs: Rather than the
typical what is your age question, I will go with the more esoteric, if
you got a baby galapagos turtle at age 10, how old would that turtle be
DKC: LOL, considering who is interviewing me, I didn't
expect a mundane interview...my precious Gally would be a relatively
young 26 year old.
Dubs: If you took your pet rock to work on take your inanimate, lame pseudopet to work day, where would you take him?
I would take it to a guarded commercial building of a fortune 50
company, into a small crowded office/lab where lies a bunch of sick
computers waiting to be treated. I'd put my little Ed next to a scale
model of a fighter plane and a bomber that our company produces.
Dubs: When did you first realize that you were likely to become a computer guy?
I got into the IT business by accident. A long time ago, I used to be
an avid computer gamer. Back in mid 90's, in order to make a game run
better on your computer, you had to learn to tweak different settings
on the computer. By my love of gaming, I ended up learning these things.
I graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor's in Psychology, I worked at a
social research firm as a research assistant. Before I knew it, I
became the in-house computer technician. By default I knew the most
about computers, although my knowledge was limited.
year, I ended going to USC (I know, I know, how could a Bruin go to
USC?) on a full scholarship (that's how) at one of its Phd program in
Psychology. Once again, due to the fact that I knew more about
computers than the average person, I ended up taking care of my
professor's computer lab. Although I appreciated my experience there, I
was absolutely miserable during that time due to a difference in
interest between my professor and I. I ended up dropping out of
the program. Since I needed a real job, and the IT industry was
exploding in the late 90's, I found one as a computer technician and
Dubs: You mentioned USC. What are your favorite sports teams?
DKC: I follow both USC and UCLA football. Yes, it's true because I went to both schools. :)
a long-suffering LA Dodgers fan. It seems like we are the best at
making bad free agent decisions. Does it take a rocket scientist to
know not to give Andruw Jones that much money? Juan Pierre for $45 mil?
Jason Schmidt, JD Drew, etc. I also root for the Angels. I wish the Dodgers were run that way.
used to be a Raiders' fan but now I just laugh at their misery. If you
can run real fast in a straight line, you can be a Raider. Go VERTICAL!!
Lastly, I'm of course a Lakers' fan. How did we manage to trade Kwame for Gasol again?
Dubs: So you are saying that if UCLA gets better than USC in football, you will switch primary teams?
UCLA will never be better than USC at football, at least not in
long run. I went to both schools. I love them both. I root for both
teams until they play each other. Then I will root for the team that
has more at stake THAT particular season. If USC is 11-0 with a
championship game at stake and UCLA is 7-4, then I'll root for USC in
that game, and vice versa. This system is best for me because I love
both schools. I'm usually happy with at least one team during football
and basketball season. :)
Dubs: Since you brought up computer games, which ones are your favorites both growing up and now?
I started to play games when I saw the original Wing Commander series.
That was just awesome! I also liked Civilization, Privateer (a spinoff
of Wing Commander), Need for Speed. I also played one of the original
Madden Football. Bo Jackson was incredible but fumble proned in that
game. LOL Later on I got into Age of Empire.
all good things come to an end. I stopped playing computer games all
together after I got married. My wife didn't like that I spent so much
time on it and I didn't have the discipline to cut down. So I quit cold
turkey. Some would say I was a wuss for giving in to her. :) I
still kind of follow the gaming industry at a distance but am no longer
Dubs: If you were designing the perfect computer game, what all would it have in it?
that's hard for me to say, since I'm not into gaming anymore. A game is
usually a simulation of something in real life. I like a game that
strikes a delicate balance between realism and playability.
GD as an example, yes I would like it to become a better (closer to
real football) game that include more controls and configuration
settings. However, as you increase the realism, it becomes more and
more time consuming to play. With the assumption of many of us have a
limited amount of time for GD (right?), more complexity becomes a
liability at some point.
Dubs: I am not sure I understand this
limited time concept. Is it not the goal of every GD player to dedicate
10 hours a day to it?
DKC: LOL, 10 hrs a day? That's nothing! I
used to mindlessly scan the forum throughout the day, answering
questions, debating issues, etc. I had to catch myself doing so because
it is such a time-waster.
Dubs: Other than GD what are your hobbies?
I get into things for a period of time, and then I move on to another
interest. Then at some point, I come back to that particular hobby.
It's almost like a rotation.
My hobbies include plastic scale
models, fantasy sports, collecting Marvel/DC superhero movie DVDs and
statues. I used to collect baseball cards but not so much anymore. For
a time being, I got into RC helicopters, but didn't stick with it. I
also recently got into Goal Line Blitz, another online football
simulation with a different flavor from GD.
Dubs: Since we all seem to be getting into Goal Blitz. Who do you coach with on there? How many players do you have?
I have a level 18 QB and a level 18 HB. I'm not involved with coaching.
I just don't have the time because of GD. Having just players allows me
to enjoy the game in a more passive, less-involved manner.
Before we get on to most Gridiron Dynasty stuff, let's hit the more
People Magazine stuff. How did your feud with typing_guy start to the
best of your recollection?
DKC: when I initially started to
browse the GD general forum, I noticed that typing_guy would always be
in an argument with somebody. I shrugged it off and went about my
business. As time went on, I noticed that his main pattern of
interacting with people involves making fun of them, looking down on
them, or saying something nasty. One day, he came knocking at my door
and off we went.
However, I was hopeful (perhaps wishful
thinking on my part) that I could somehow talk this guy into being a
better citizen. I sitemailed him privately and opened up the "it's
never too late to reform" kind of talk. I'll give you one guess how
that went. : ) After that experience, I decided that typing_guy
deserves the same kind of treatment he is so well known for, that if he
wants to throw with me, I'll oblige. It's like refusing to back down
from a bully.
Unfortunately, I came to realize, after a time,
that if you wrestle with someone in the mud, you get mud all over
yourself as well. I can't imagine how miserable a man typing_guy is,
because I became miserable having to get down to his level. I became
the other guy who always derailed people's threads when I got into it
with typing_guy. Although typing_guy brings the worst out of me,
I'm ultimately responsible for what I do and what I say. If I say
something nasty to him, that's on me. Nowadays, if I can manage, I will
try not to get entangled with him. I know he does what he does on
purpose. It's like my little toddler doing something he knows is bad
just to get a reaction from daddy. I will still take him on if the
situation calls for it, but I'm more selective in deciding whether to
engage or not.
Reading this, he's going to come calling soon. : )
In all fairness, you have to realize by now that Gibson is much funnier
than you anyway when it comes to people arguing on the forums with
DKC: absolutely! Will runs his mouth like few others! LOL Hey Will, the check is in the mail for our bet!
Well, since I generally don't have a problem with typing_guy, let's
switch subjects. What friends of yours from the real world play this
game? Who are some of the best friends you have met in this game?
I only have one real life friend who is playing GD. His ID is
rossmckenna, one of my co-worker whom I introduced GD to. Many of my
friends are not into sports. Those who are sports fans are not
interested in GD. : (
As for GD friends, I was operating more or
less as a loner up until recently. I was busy learning as a rookie in
Stagg. I hooked up with showrunner, who really helped my coaching when
I was in Warner. Along the way, I crossed path semi-frequently
with a few people that I respect as competitors, coaches such as
scoobybud and cardfankane. It was not until Dobie that my GD
social circle expanded. I don't know what it is about Dobie, but I've
gotten to know some nice people there: gt_deuce, bullfrog333, jmason,
you, and a few others. I do appreciate having a small circle of coaches
whom I'm friendly with and whom I can trust to lend me a hand if
Dubs: Who do you feel the best coaches in the game are currently? Which coaches do you find the hardest time playing against?
DKC: The way I judge a coach is not by his record. All records are patted with victories against the sims. I
try to evaluate how he does going up against another coach with equal
or better talent, in a neutral field. If you have better talent than I,
you should win. If we have equal talent but you have home field
advantage, you should win...and vice versa. A truly great coach will
consistently exceed this expectation. As far as those that I
have crossed path with, jeffkahleb is second to none in my mind. That
guy has my utmost respect as far as GD coaching ability is concerned.
must say that I have also noticed, from a distance, treyomo's game. I
don't believe we've faced off yet, but at least in dobie and hayes, he
seems to fit my aforementioned criteria. I look forward to playing him
and hopefully grow my coaching from that experience.
From what I
said above, I've factored out recruiting skills when judging a coach.
Eventhough I admire those who can consistently overachieve with their
talent, I must also say that a coach's abilities include his recruiting
skills. From that perspective, GT_deuce and showrunner are the best
that have crossed my path. I'm sure they are also excellent
gameplanners, but their recruiting skills jump out at me. Please
keep in mind that I can only speak from what I have seen in my limited
exposure within GD. I apologize that I have left out many other great
gameplanners and recruiters.
As for who I hate facing the most,
I'm usually confident going up against anybody in which our talent is
fairly even. Having said that, I have to give cardfankane some props.
Eventhough we haven't played in a while, he owned me in warner. There
was a time where we'd routinely meet in the DIAA playoffs in the later
rounds. I think I'm either 1-3 or even 0-4 against him. Then we both
moved up to DIA and I'm something like 1-3 against him. This happened
with our talent being fairly even. So if there was a coach I have a
hard time going up against, it'd be him.
Dubs: When Dobie
started, you seemed legitimately surprised that you were doing so well.
Was that a bit of false humility, or are you still a bit surprised at
your success in this world?
DKC: I was honestly surprised. I feel people are giving me more credit than I deserve. I
admit that I did upset GT_deuce for the DIII NC. It was a great win
indeed. However, I feel that I'd have lost that game 7 out of 10 times.
I was fortunate to have been victorious and that football playoff is
not a series like in basketball or baseball.
still can't explain how I won my next few NCs. I caught lightning in a
bottle! Do you see me do anything special in Hayes? No. Have I
distinguished myself in other worlds? No.
I'm 0-3 against you, dubs...LOL BTW, congrats on being the front runner in Hayes. It's a great accomplishment.
case you think I'm shortchanging myself, I do feel I'm a tier 2 coach
(tier 1 being the best). I know what type of coach I am. Consistent
with that view, I was truly surprised to have pulled off 3 consecutive
Dubs: You did beat mason and myself for that third title. What are the biggest differences between Dobie and Hayes in your mind?
DKC: you mean bama12? jmason is pulling you down, man! Look at what happens when he is out of town. LOL (J/K Jeff!).
has a warm, friendly environment. It's like being in college. Hayes is
a lot more business-like and dry, a little like being in the corporate
world. There is nothing wrong with either setting. I enjoy Dobie more,
but some people may prefer Hayes.
Dubs: Do you have any mentors in this game? Who are some of the players you have helped to get started?
I have to give the most credit to showrunner, who played the biggest
part in helping me become the coach that I'm. I was just an average
coach when he trained me up on recruiting and roster management. It
opened up my eyes and enabled me to further refine my coaching skills. Michaeldartt,
one of the best GD coach before he retired, was nice enough to provide
detailed answers to my numerous questions. As always, I occasionally
sitemailed other coaches to ask their opinion on things.
for helping other coaches, I have not had the best of luck as a mentor.
The first serious student I took on, eyeofstorm, I totally poured into
it and spend a lot of time training him up. Soon after that, he had to
quit GD for personal life reasons. While I don't blame him, it was
discouraging because I invested so much time for naught. I also helped
rossmckenna, but it's more from a consultant role than that of a mentor. I
also spent some time with mjdato, who went on to win an NC...however, I
don't think I can take the credit for that because he probably got over
the hump due to his membership in akua's circle of coaches.
I have answered questions for many coaches throughout, but have not taken on a serious student for a while.
Dubs: What is your favorite thing about Gridiron Dynasty?
DKC: getting to coach "real life" schools. How cool is it to be coaching USC (or insert your dream school)? That's
what kept me motivated when I started out in DIII coaching the Catholic
Sister Ministry for the Blind. LOL It's like the carrot in front of the
Dubs: What are your basic strategies in this game? What do you think the most basic key to winning is?
DKC: The basic strategy is to score at least one more point than the opponent. LOL
I'm not funny. Seriously, it's probably clock and stamina management.
Protect your time of possession and you're in good shape. The
most basic key to winning is knowing how to manage the stamina of your
players. This is done not only through effectiveness %, but through the
advance depth chart. On that front, you've got to know the strength and
limitation of your team as well as your opponent's roster.
of your talent as the type of weapons you have and your stamina as how
many rounds of each type of weapons. For example, if you have a great
QB (ie powerful weapon) but a low stamina (not a lot of rounds), you've
got to pick your spot in throwing your passes with him. All
successful GD coaches know this principal well. I encourage every new
coach to seek to understand it.
Dubs: Which of your accomplishments in GD are you the most proud of?
DKC: It would have to be the 3 consecutive NCs in Dobie. That's quite something...like a sweet dream...that ended in DIAA. LOL
also still remember my first NC in Warner DIAA with Sam Houston State.
I coached my butt off towards the later rounds of the playoffs. That
one was the sweetest!
other one was during my 3rd season in
GD (ever), I beat jeffkahleb's DIII Colorado team in Stagg during the
regular season. How about that? Of course, he went on to win the NC
that season. LOL At the time, I didn't even know who he was!
Lastly, I'm real proud to be able to coach USC in Dobie. I hope
to be worthy of its lofty history.
Dubs: Do you set goals for yourself in GD or is it more come as come may?
DKC: I do have goals. For example, one of the goal I recently met was to coach USC in a world.
unmet goal is to win a DIA NC, which will enable me to claim that I've
won a title at every division level. Yet
another goal, a strange one, is to accumulate a million dollars in
recruiting money. This is not a concrete goal. I will not hesitate to
battle when necessary. I just want to see if at some point, I can hit
the million dollar mark in recruiting money. Though it would be neat, I
will not save money at the cost of winning. Lastly, I want to
take a lifetime sim school and build it into a contender. If I'm
fortunate enough to achieve these goals, I hope GD 3.0 will be out by
Dubs: On this last one, which level do you think it would be the hardest to build at?
I will most likely try it at DIII, although I think the most
challenging attempt will be at the DIA level in a mature world. This is
because DIA coaches are the most accomplished recruiters and
gameplanners, not to mention the acculumated money by the powerhouses.
Dubs: What would qualify as a success on these rebuilds?
DKC: I will be satisfied if I can win the CC with it.
Dubs: What positions do you consider to be the most key to winning at GD?
The most important position is RB, followed by DL and OL. I'm not
saying you can't win with the passing game, but it's much harder to do
so. You've got to be able to run the ball and stop the run.
Dubs: How important do you think the OL is in running the ball?
DKC: It's important but not everything. You get better results with great
RBs and a mediocre OL versus mediocre RBs and a great OL. The biggest
key is the caliber of your RBs. This is especially evident at the DIA
level. It's too easy to run the ball.
Dubs: Is there anything you want to add about yourself before I close with my traditional Trios?
DKC: I don't really have anything to add. I'm willing to answer any questions. It's up to you to ask them. : )
Dubs: (Pick your preference among the three)
TRIO #1: DIII, DII or DIAA
DKC: DII - best balance between offense and defense.
TRIO #2: Iron Man, Spiderman or Batman
DKC: it's real close between Iron Man and Spiderman...Iron Man - I just love that suit!
TRIO #3: Pool, cards or golf
DKC: I don't play much of those 3. If I have to choose, I guess it'd be cards.
TRIO #4: Sit Coms, Dramas or Reality Television
DKC: probably dramas.
TRIO #5: Huntingdon, Miles #1 or Miles #2
DKC: absolutely Huntingdon. I was the big underdog!
TRIO #6: Moe, Larry or Curly
DKC: Eeny, meeny, miny, moe!
TRIO #7: The Price Is Right, Millionaire or Jeopardy
DKC: Millionaire...with Jeopardy coming in 2nd. : )