I go by the name Tonic, TAW Tonic or even Tonnilson. I am a website, software & mod developer that has been active online since 2007. Over the years I have worked on some of the largest websites, mods and other various things in their category. I originally started off as a young kid trying to make cheat codes for the game SOCOM: 3 on the Playstation 2 (PS2), reverse engineering the game and working with the MIPS ASM language the system utilized. Gradually over time I have stepped my game up and have worked on or created some of the biggest things. I’ve spent the last 3 years playing the game Blade & Soul, a Korean fighting MMO on the PC and have became a poor excuse of a content creator uploading videos & guides on the class Soul Fighter whilst also streaming high level battlegrounds game play on Twitch.
If you’re that curious, I am currently (as of 2019) 28 years of age, middle-school dropout and self taught in everything I do. I’m not a very functional human being but I do try my best. I have had a lot of ups and downs throughout my life, mostly looking at a lot of downs the past four years. I have struggled with A.D.H.D, Bipolar disorder, severe depression & anxiety for most of my life. People that know me describe me as loyal so I guess I have that but to be completely honest, I think very little of my self worth. Because I am self taught and have worked on a lot of things throughout the years I am very vocal on my displeasure with a company that does a poor job with their product/game. I end up saying some really stupid things that I shouldn’t so a lot view me as immature. But no matter what, I am a straight shooter and honesty is one of my good traits, sometimes not. Mostly because I can be very blunt but I will always listen to both sides and give my honest opinion.
Virtual Ammobox System (VAS) was created during the ALPHA stages of ARMA 3 to address an engine issue with weapon containers causing performance issues when filled up. Since then it has just became apart of missions in general as a fast, simple and user friendly system to quickly gear up and save loadout presets. It was later made obsolete by Bohemia Interactive’s own virtual gear system known as Arsenal.
TAW View Distance Script (later renamed to View Distance Setting) was also created during the ALPHA stages of ARMA 3 to allow users to adjust their view & object rendering distance in Multiplayer as native support for this is not currently in the game. It allows users to lower the vegetation rendering distance to improve performance while also adjusting rendering range for various scenarios of whether on foot, in a ground or air vehicle.
Altis Life or Altis Life RPG is a role-play game mode, originally Stratis Life. It has seen a ton of development revisions in short periods of time. Role-playing game modes have been around in various games over the years and as a personal fan of Takistan Life on ARMA 2, I decided to recreate the “Life” mission from scratch, despite some people claiming that I simply ported the old code and then redone it. It was built off my Wasteland framework that I developed for ARMA 2 and has since seen constant revisions to make it more of a framework. A lot of other developers have negative things to say about my work, saying the that code was bad, it wasn’t really a framework and just a total mess but truth is I had no intentions of ever releasing it publicly and it was designed specifically for me to work on and me alone. Due to a change of heart I released it to the public and started the process of converting it to a fully configurable framework. Sure a lot of the code was outdated or not ideal for performance but truth is, a lot of what I did was to work around current-time limitations. Since then things have changed a lot and my crude methods are no longer required but no one ever bothered to change it so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The code behind the framework has also been butchered by other people and yet I still to this day get blamed for bad coding design, funny how people are quick to blame me for problems when I haven’t been active for years but won’t acknowledge me when something is done right and just take credit for them selves.
Ahh Wasteland.. one of my most favorite creations of all time in the ARMAverse. Originally came from Dynamic Zombies Sandbox (A game mode created before DayZ), as time went on I noticed what people were really into and that was simply teaming up, building a base and killing other players in a post-apocalyptic survival scenario. Now I know what you’re thinking, that I copied it from the actual game from a way back called Wasteland but truth is I never played that game nor knew it even existed. I only as of recent played Wasteland 2. I just thought the name sounded cool and was fitting so I rolled with it. Unfortunately I was contacted by Dean “Rocket” Hall on the Bohemia Interactive forums a month or two into my development asking me to come and try out his mod that he was creating and to give feedback. Naturally I seen “BI Developer” and went sure, sign me up. Ever since then I stopped work on Wasteland, I left my server up but I was more focused on DayZ. During the rise in popularity of DayZ some people took notice in my work and liked it but I had it set up so that they couldn’t simply upload the mission and host their own server, I kept the server-side part of it locked out through an addon on the server. This person is known as Sa-Matra, he really enjoyed the concept of it but thought he could do some things better and wanted it to be on a server more closer to him since my Server was in Dallas Texas and he lived in Russia, He has done some tremendous work with his and even though no one really knows me for Wasteland, I have the upmost respect for what he has done with it.
By the time I left the DayZ Mod team I started work on Wasteland again but quickly lost my passion for it as someone else already took my idea and developed it more. So yeah… that led me to not ever continuing development of Wasteland into ARMA 3.
DayZ… where to start.. I was contacted on the Bohemia Interactive forums by the man himself, Dean “Rocket” Hall. I assume he seen that I was very interested in a zombie survival mod from working with Craig (Dynamic Zombie Sandbox Creator). At first I was a bit like “OMG” because at that time Dean was currently with Bohemia and I was like.. a zombie mod.. made by a BI employee? Sign me up, lets go! I went and tested it out and was simply blown away, I fell in love and offered to be the first two US servers available when the mod went public. At that time they didn’t really have a server guy so I offered my help in setting up and deploying more DayZ servers and ended up deploying over 100 DayZ servers, maybe more.. Can’t remember. I was one of the main resources for the CDN (Content-Delivery-Network).
I later forced the role of maintaining the webserver for the website, development of the website, integration of the website & forums, leaderboards etc etc etc. While doing all of that I also managed the main database server (HIVE Server) which at the time was generously donated to us by a nice gentlemen in Norway. I also ended up doing some QOL changes to the server-side code while Dean was away doing interviews and all that mostly because I was the only one familiar with the code and I controlled the CDN.
I kind of burnt myself out with DayZ mostly because I over estimated what I could do and I was juggling around 6 different responsibilities, they started to take their toll on me and around that time a series of hacks happened. Not to be too much in detail, but a person on our staff team had their gmail compromised and during that time our organizational stuff was all held in a series of Google Docs which contained login information for over 150 servers, our CDN servers and a few other things. That led to the great “Botnet” threat where I had to admit the wrong doing, acknowledge the breach and notify everyone that needed to be notified of the breach and have them change their login credentials. There was a malicious file uploaded to the CDN which contained “zombie” like properties (botnet). Not knowing how many people downloaded that file before we noticed the breach I made a public statement warning users. Later on to cover our asses I was thrown under the bus.. stating that I was misinformed on the severity of the situation even though I had a full view of the situation.. I can’t really blame Dean for doing that to me, it was to calm people and save the mods future but on a personal level it hurt.
Shortly after that situation Dean finalized the deal with Bohemia Interactive to publish DayZ as a standalone game, I was offered a job but ended up refusing as I did not want to move to Prague and I was completely stressed out over the situation. I had a good friendship with Dean when it all started and by the end of it.. it was just us arguing back and fourth so I decided to leave that chapter behind and move on. No, I hold no animosity towards him and I still keep in touch every now and again. I have nothing but the upmost respect for him.
I went in with my knowledge of running a website getting hundreds of thousands of hits per second into learning so much. I am so extremely grateful for Dean letting me into the team, sharing my knowledge and experience with him and the rest of the team while also taking in his experience.
One of my biggest regrets was letting go of this gem.. Originally made together with a friend that went by the name DoSe, it started off as the name incites.. A site where you can have a “Gamer Card” to display your stats for whatever game you choose and show it off on forums in a small image signature. Eventually we managed to get into Sony’s Playstation Network (not in a malicious way) and were able to fetch directly from their database just like you would if you were on your PS3. At that time it was a big deal and a huge achievement for us, we were finally able to compete with MMOS which at the time was the only other site able to track user trophies to such an extent without trying to scrape data off the US version of the website. After some time the MMOS website shut down for no reason and we were the only ones left, we quickly grew.. more then we were ready for. We grew at such a pace that it was just problem after problem with our server, both of us didn’t have a job and I put everything I had in starting the venture and ran dry from the growth. It became so stressful of trying to keep the website up and running that we fractured, that’s when DoSe called it quits and left. At that time I couldn’t handle it all myself and so with that I was forced to sell the website and all that we achieved to someone else.
It’s one of the moments in my life that I regret the most, I was a young kid not really thinking about the long-term. If I was able to keep it running and growing at the pace it was by 2015 the website would of been generating after taxes, service cost and all that, around $1.8 million annually, just in ad-revenue alone. Didn’t even calculate the premium subscriptions into it. It sucks because I’ve done this a lot in my life, something has the potential to make a large amount of money and I just walk away, from some stupid pride that I had. Nothing I have ever done I did with the intention of making money and always walked away when money became a factor, and it all started here.