Meet the new NISEI Web Devs

We’re back with more updates from our latest round of recruitment, this time to introduce three members of the Web Development team! Between the new website, our absorption of NetrunnerDB, and, more recently, of Cobra, this team was in need of reinforcements, so we’re glad to have them aboard!

First off we have Simon Ho, aka Haway, who has been in NISEI since the beginning, but is now taking over as team lead of the Web Dev team. Next, we have two new members, Ams, who may be familiar to some of you as the creator of Sahasrara, the new card lookup bot for Green Level Clearance, and Paulllama! We’ve sat down for a chat with each of them, so I’ll let them introduce themselves in their own words.


Simon “Haway” Ho, Web Dev Team Lead (he/him)

What is the history of your involvement with Netrunner and its community?

I started playing Netrunner in 2017. I had found a board game group in Liverpool, which had a Netrunner group as one of the possible meets. I enjoyed the game a lot, but this was also at a time when most of the regular group was moving away from the game. I took over the running of the group and have been organizing events and meetups in Liverpool ever since.

When NISEI took over from FFG, I took up a post on the web development team, hoping to learn some new skills and put some of my own programming experience to better use. I took over as Web Development lead temporarily after the previous one left, and have been in that position ever since!

What are your goals for the role you’ll be undertaking in NISEI?

My main goal is to make sure that the team are able to maintain or improve the various sites like NetrunnerDB, Cobra, and nisei.net, while ensuring that no-one is over-burdened with responsibilities. I also want to make sure that if anyone in the team needs to have a break, we have backup resources to continue working smoothly. I admittedly lack a lot of the web development experience that the rest of the team has, so I also handle some of the admin tasks that may be needed.

What was the moment you knew you loved Netrunner?

I know that if I really enjoy something, I’ll just repeatedly watch or do the same thing for a while. So, I knew Netrunner was great for me when I watched the FFG tutorial video so many times when I first started out! I’m also always keen to travel outside of Liverpool to meet other players and participate in events. Something that I never did before I started as I always preferred to stay indoors and play video games all the time. I still do play video games but my taste in games has expanded greatly thanks to the Netrunner community!

FFG’s original Netrunner tutorial video

Ams, Web Dev Team (she/her)

What is the history of your involvement with Netrunner and its community?

I think my first ever game of Netrunner was with a Nationals-winner-to-be who lent me their Apocalypse Val deck so I could play against their Controlling the Message. Six months later, I decided to give the game another chance.

Since then, I’ve been a big part of my local meta. We’ve run a number of in-house events, including tournaments, drafts, and designing unsets. I spent most of last Christmas making a Netrunner bot for our server. A few weeks later NISEI advertised spaces on their Web Dev team, which seemed to be quite possibly the most convenient timing imaginable.

What brought me back to the game, and kept me playing, was the deckbuilding. Even before I’d really started playing the game or understanding it, I was mashing cards together on NetrunnerDB. My first deck was a Haas-Bioroid deck with something like every bioroid ice in the game and a single copy of Hedge Fund. The ability to switch between building for Runner and Corp when things got stale really helped keep me invested in coming up with new ideas. The part of me that enjoys making decks is very much the same part of me that enjoys making software and games, and that makes me really excited to be working on both at once.

What are your goals for the role you’ll be undertaking in NISEI?

I intend to keep adding things to NetrunnerDB until someone tells me to stop.

More specifically I’d quite like to improve the quality of life of the site. I’ve already added a few things to make the site easier to search, and as we move into developing the new version of the site I’d like to use the opportunity to improve the overall accessibility from the ground up.

My broader goals are to work on the transparency of what we do. Before I joined the team I didn’t really know what they did, and I’m hoping to be clearer with our future work. I find making things exciting, and I want to share the things I make with others.

What is your peak memory of playing Netrunner? Where? What deck did you play?

I have loads of specific memories from the game. I remember when a close friend of mine played Skorpios against my Core Set deck and methodically proceeded to “shadow-realm” every program in it. I remember feeling extremely smug when someone chose an unrezzed Guard with a newly-installed Femme Fatale and was unable to bypass it, until a spectator reminded us both that Femme can actually just break it normally. I remember when some friends and I only had regular playing cards on us, so we designed a rudimentary version of the game using those. I also remember feeling really smart when I came up with a sick combo involving Val and Blackmail, and the toppled hubris of getting hit with Ark Lockdowned.

The memory that stuck with me the most though was from several years ago, when I was still new to the game. I had tried putting together a Corp deck built around the pun “Ice to Meat You”, specifically by including both Checkpoint and Flare. I played a few public games on Jinteki.net with it before a friendly stranger stuck around after our game and talked me through some basics of deckbuilding and suggested some improvements (namely changing the ID to Builder of Nations and replacing the ice with good ice). I ended up playing the result for a long time as my main Corp deck, and I still remember that conversation as a pivotal moment in both my deckbuilding and general Netrunner history.

Also I once Deep Data Mined an unprotected Jinteki R&D on turn 1 to access a Bacterial Programming as my first card, letting the Corp to reorder R&D so my next 3 accesses were Snares!

Hilarious.

System Update 2021 Snare! art
It’s Snares all the way down!

Paulllama, Web Dev Team (he/they)

What is the history of your involvement with Netrunner and its community?

Being a queer guy, I had avoided tournament-adjacent card game scenes. However, after moving to San Francisco right after Data and Destiny came out, I decided my new love for this cyberpunk game called Netrunner outweighed that fear. So I showed up at my Friendly Local Game Store with my decks… and an exit strategy. I was warmly greeted and offered a game against none other than June Cuervo (NISEI’s lead game designer -ed.). Through sheer beginner’s Timmy luck, my Sunny deck won – I don’t think I’ve won against her ever since! I gladly became a frequent face there, got introduced to the tournament scene, and became forever addicted to this game with its amazing and accepting community. 

What are your goals for the role you’ll be undertaking in NISEI?

Goals is a big word for what I’m doing. I want to help make NISEI successful, and the best way I can is through web development. That said, after joining NISEI and learning about how much they support outside of NetrunnerDB and Jinteki.net, I’m starting off by helping some of the less loved projects. It’s a great group of folks here in Web Dev, and I’m excited for what we’re working on. I really am not the person to promise anything, so just keep an eye out for cool upgrades this team is working on. 

What is your favorite jank Netrunner deck to play?

I have a weird specific love for milling decks, so I played a lot of Fisk back when he was around. Turns out it’s fun watching Corps get wide-eyed as they panic about what to do with all those cards they were drawing!

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