On December 1, 1995, I uploaded a few files as a test. This test has now become the BAK HELP WEB, composed of approximately 2400 files (1100 html files and 1300 gifs), taking 22 Megabytes of disk space, and used by at least 300 visitors every day. Below I will attempt to set out the History and Credits.
In May 1996 the Web finally had a definite shape. In the meantime many users had offered invaluable help by pointing out errors, and suggesting changes and additions. I can't possibly name them all, but the following were extremely helpful:
My friend Gunnar Th. Eggertsson, who was responsible for my interest in the game (after I bought it in Copenhagen as a present to him), and then helped me get through it alive.
Kirk Woll, who was the first person to link to my page from his REF page.
And a lot of others, far too many to mention, who shared their knowledge, in the early days.
I would especially like to thank:
Jay Lou, Jeff Chuan, James Allan, Alex R. Moffatt, Daniel Gudlat, Gary Wilcox, Caleb Lee,
Bill (Prince of Chaos), Matt Jepsen, Glen Emo, Rory Kostman, Paun Bogdan Cristian,
Matthew Ross, Daria Thomas, Henrik Salomonsson, and Svapan Makadia.
In June 1996 I received my first letter from Jay Sevara, "BAK savant extraordinaire". His first letter was almost 100 pages long, and totally changed my mind about what I had been doing for the last few months. Ultimately, our correspondence amounted to approximately 2000 printed pages. Jay introduced me to to HEX EDITORS, and taught me how to use them. I was fascinated, and spent the next 8 months delving into and analyzing BAK saved-game-files, until I basically knew how the game worked, and how these files could be edited in order to change any aspect of the game.
In the Spring of 1997, at the end of this period, I had collected a huge mountain of data. But I basically had no idea what to do with it - it was just TOO MUCH. I created a huge database of enemy information (stats, inventories, etc.), and another database of Cache Contents, but my mind boggled at the idea of presenting this monster. I had also compiled a huge and unwieldy file of Shop info, which would have taken me ages to present. I was basically at a loss.
Miracles happen. Believe me. During this period I was contacted by three different persons, who later became instrumental in making the BAK Web what it is today:
Jeremy Martz (Volante) patiently created the basic templates for the individual Shop Pages from my data. His efforts gave me the impetus to create the Shop Web. Still later, Jeremy's work saved me a lot of time in re-designing the individual Moredhel Chest pages.
During this time I also started my correspondence with Bob Freimuth. There is no way for me to express my thanks to Bob in a few words. He is basically a co-author of this Web by now. First, his knowledge of maths and scientific testing has been invaluable to me. Together we have set up thousands of BAK tests, and Bob has helped me to compute the results. Second, he is a very good critic. Whenever I have a problem with presentation and lay-out, he is always there to comment on and criticize my methods. Third, Bob spent countless hours screen-capturing hundreds of overhead maps from the game, and joining them seamlessly together. I must admit that I had no idea what to do with these images, at first. But in the end, they became the MAP WEB, when combined with my Enemy and Cache databases.
During this period, I also received my first letter from Fredrik Eriksson. He simply asked if I had any info on hex-editing Saved Games. You bet! It then turned out that Fredrik was a programmer. The result: BAKHACKER - probably the greatest game-editor ever written. Ever since, Fredrik has been tirelessly improving BH. The current version (8.2) is surely a state-of-the-art game editor, at least I haven't seen anything like it, ever. It must be mentioned that the MAP WEB wouldn't exist without Fredrik. While I was creating it, Fredrik patiently listened to my frequent cries for help, and added many new features to BaKHacker, as soon as I needed them in order to make the job possible. Thanks to Fredrik you can be sure that the MAB WEB shows every single Bush in the game (and then some)!
August, 1999: The BAK Help Web has gained a new benefactor and friend, Paul Combetta. Not only has he offered to host the ZIPPED BAK WEB, but also enabled me to add SOUNDS to the TEXT WEB. Thanks to Paul, you can now hear all the NPCS' introductions! I suspect Paul is keeping some more surprises up his sleeve, but I won't make any guesses. We'll see...
I have also received letters from John Cutter, Neal Hallford and Timothy Strelchun. John designed and produced the game, Neal wrote it, and Timothy did a lot of the programming. These letters are private, so I won't publish them here. You'll just have to take my word for it: they are extremely positive, even flattering. Am I proud? Of course I am!
Finally, I would like to thank the countless people who have visited the BAK Web, and sent me letters. I have received approximately 10.000 letters since the opening of the Web in December, 1995. I have always tried to reply, if a reply was called for, and will continue doing so. I have received hundreds of suggestions, which have been added to the Web, but it would be quite impossible to give credit to every single person who has helped making the BAK Web what it is today. I send my heartfelt thanks to all of you.
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