desk: Interview with an Execution God



Anyone who is a fan of the Street Fighter IV series, Marvel vs Capcom 3 series, game breaking glitches, or just a lover of high execution combo videos has more than likely heard the name "desk".  

Springing from seemingly nowhere with technical ability that was completely unheard of, performing combos consistently that others relied on programmable controllers to achieve and all the while recording his hands as proof.  Even more so than this, he is a talented musician who has a band, "Project Dolphin".

In this interview I ask him a few questions to better discover what drives him and exactly who he is.  
Hit the jump for the full article!


-[ WHO IS THIS GUY?! ]-

The very first video I saw from desk was his masterful Chun-Li infinite done without Tool-Assist and was inspired by "Sakonoko" (My favorite Cammy White player, so this resonated with me) and I was amazed, thus leading me to begin checking out his other videos because of this. 

His videos began popping up on EventHubs, I saw more and more of desk as he began to get more widely known.  Discovering glitches and showing off more of his phenomenal technical ability.  Hearing the music in the background of those videos made me wonder if he had anything on Over Clocked Remix.. (Sadly, I did not find anything).

Well, getting this site underway, I wanted to do a gaming interview and who better to start off than desk?  I got a plethora of other people I also want to interview, but desk is someone I felt helped people break the barrier and show some people are good enough to do what was thought only possible by a machine.


-[ THE INTERVIEW ]-

Accepting my interview, I find from his responses that desk is a very sociable person who keeps his word and actually responded back to my questions! (I am looking at you Kayane).  

I wanted to keep this interview as condensed as possible while also covering some things I want to know, as well as what I think the community are more anxious in hearing.  Talking about the origin of his name, why some wonder about why he does not have many tournament showings, why he finds glitches so much better than others, and talking about how we can achieve his level of technical execution.


  1. First and foremost, why do you happen to go by the name "desk"?  I have always been curious.

    A really long time ago, I had to come up with a pseudonym for myself really quickly. It was the first thing I looked at in the room I was in and the name stuck.
     
  2. That is interesting, I would not have been able to guess that.  What was the situation that you needed to come up with the name for?  And are you happy with the decision to call yourself desk?

    It was to play some random fps[First Person Shooter] online I think (the first and only time that happened), maybe Quake or Doom? I like the name though, it's awesome because it's really, really lame.
     
  3. What lead you to lean towards exploiting glitches and doing combos that are particularly hard to believe can be done by a human-being?

    It hasn't been a conscious decision at all. I think the main reason it keeps going is that I rarely get to play against people. This means all the time I play, I'm just messing about or trying to do combos. So I can play for the same amount of time as anyone else but chances are, my execution will improve slightly more or I'll stumble across some weird stuff. Simply because I'm playing the game differently.
     
  4. Ah! I get what you are saying.  Rather than playing player against player, you are often using training mode.  Do you think that if others did the same thing they would be able to come across the same things (Glitches, infinites, etc?)  Or is it the way you play that makes finding all these glitches possible?

    Well, people already do. The community is awesome at figuring all of this stuff out. I think the only reason anyone has heard of me is because I make so many videos.
     
  5. What is your training regimen when it comes to your technical ability?  Is it something you have to work hard at repetitively in order to achieve?  Or does it simply come natural to you?

    I don't have any kind of training regime. I found that when I first started playing seriously, I was already a little more consistent with complicated stuff than other players I knew because I'd been playing and practicing Bass for many years at that point. This seemed to give me a head start with execution heavy techniques (specifically roll cancelling at that time). Also, like said earlier, because I don't spend my time concentrating on 1 character or repeatedly doing BnBs [Bread-n-Butter Combos] in real matches, I find my execution is constantly improving, without having to worry about it.

    A really big step was spending time trying to learn Chun-Li's infinites in SSFIV. I was motivated simply because no one else was doing it (except the gdlk[God-Like] Sakonoko). So, I kept trying and trying until I had it down (this took many weeks). Then, when I went back to other characters, I found that I was much more consistent with everything. So yeah, in answer to the question, there's never a regime and I'm never forcing myself to only do x amount of hours a week. It just goes back to how I approach and play the game.
     
  6. For those who wish to increase their technical ability, what is your advice for those that struggle?

    Just be a musician first :)
     
  7. Out of all the combo videos and glitch videos you have done, what is your favorite and why is it your favorite?

    Ah, that's difficult. Mainly because talking positively about any of the stuff I've done makes me feel like a goon, lol. Even though I think everyone was sick of it by that point, the 191-hit Chun-Li combo was awesome for me because I can remember how long it took me to get the very first 114-hit variation. Even though I've since beaten it in match, just having the record of both things makes me feel less like all that practice was a waste of my time being alive. I'm completely aware that it definitely was a waste of time but it's nice to pretend.
     
  8. During Evolution and other tournaments such as Devastation, we have seen people pull off impressive things in tournaments but your ability and your combos are often on a whole other level in comparison.  I've seen a few of your combo videos and glitch videos performed in-game, but what do you think is the practicability of them in actual matches?  Such as the Chun-Li infinite in MvC 3 and SSFIV?

    Well, since I haven't entered a tournament for over 2 years, I can't speak with any kind of authority on that. There's also many more things to consider that make it different from doing stuff on your home TV.monitor. In particular, the amount of lag on the set-up you happen to be playing on. There's also a massive difference between 'actual matches' and the final of a top level tournament begin streamed to 20'000+ people.
     
  9. I really enjoy the music that you have in your videos, especially the one you did for the intro to Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Finals for Evolution 2011.  Tell us a little bit more about the style of music you are into and what future projects you plan for it.

    That particular piece was written/arranged by my band Project Dolphin (Myself and guitarist, Athol Cassidy). It's really cool that people have picked up on that style of music because it's not considered very 'hip' anymore, lol. It's hugely influenced by Japanese Jazz fusion and pretty much all SNES[Super Nintendo] through to Saturn era video game soundtracks, specifically the earlier Street Fighter games. I'm really excited about continuing to explore that type of music and in particular, taking on more projects with that band. Unfortunately, it's a constant struggle getting anything together and releasing more stuff because my bandmate is not quite as obsessed, hyped and geeky about it as I am. If I had my way, we'd be gigging every single night and releasing 4/5 albums a year. As it stands though, I guess we'll continue on at a standard band work rate.
     
  10. Ever considered trying to supply music for a game?  I know the HD Remix for Super Street Fighter II featured music from outside of CAPCOM by way of Over Clocked Remix.  How interested would you be to undertake a project like this?

    Yeah, this is a dream of mine actually. I wish we (project dolphin) had known about the HD Remix OCR thing sooner. We would definitely have tried to submit some stuff. Obviously it may not have been accepted or even considered but I think we both just love the SF2 ost[Original Soundtrack] so much that we could have come up with something cool.
     
  11. Something I am most curious about is that I personally have not seen you at any tournaments.  Your technical ability alone would make me scared enough to believe that a single touch means an instant K.O.  Do you compete?

    Well, I was competing a lot between 2006-2009 (I traveled a lot and attended everything I could). Then some real life stuff happened, my stick broke and I ended up selling all my SF games and quitting. This ended up only lasting a year but I was completely done at the time, I didn't play a single game, watch match vids or keep up with anything that was happening in the scene. It was only the popularity of SFIV that brought me back. A friend loaned me a stick and I spent a weekend putting together a Combo video. It suddenly became the most popular thing I'd ever done, so I got back into it but ended up not returning to the competitive side of things.
  12. I personally would love to see you at Evolution 2012.  What is the possibility that you will make an appearance to that or any other major tournament happening next year?

    I'm already planning to attend Evo but I don't think my budget can stretch to go anywhere else next year.
     
  13. With your ability to exploit the engines within games and seemingly quick mastery of how a game is played, ever considered starting your own tester company or maybe applying for a job with CAPCOM to prevent this stuff from happening in new game releases?

    I'd really love to maybe have access to games early and figure stuff out but I'm not sure how much I'd enjoy being on the payroll and having to test stuff and fill out reports for 8 hours a day as a job (I'm guessing that's what you'd have to do, lol). Apart from the fact that I suck (and they definitely wouldn't hire me), It's unfortunate that I live where I do. Far, far away from anything resembling a capcom office. 
     
  14. Far away from anything resembling a CAPCOM office?  Mind elaborating on that a little further?

    I sometimes hear that community members get sneak peeks or do pre-release testing but, in the UK it's invariably people who live in London. I do not.
     
  15. A lot of people are waiting for your next projects; some people particularly looking forward to what you may do with the power ups in "Heroes & Heralds" mode for Marvel vs Capcom 3.  Plans to do anything with that?  Any games coming up in the future that you are highly interested in?

    Yeah, I'm already quite into ultimate at the moment. I'm sure I'll be making a ton of videos on that. There might be a few cool things to do in SSFIV:AE 2012 too but the next big thing will probably be SFxT next year.

-[ THOUGHTS ON THE INTERVIEW ]-

Giving this interview helped me understand (Hopefully the fighting game community as well) a deeper look into desk and his origins.  He is actually quite humble and takes thing one day at a time; he is also a phenomenal musician.

Something I was very surprised about was that he did not have a regular training regimen and that the only advice he gave about his technical execution was be a musician first (I played Baritone, Trumpet, Trombone, and Euphonium, no string instruments or piano sadly.), just means I am going to have to take some lessons (Read on one of his videos that Piano and Classic Guitar helps); learning may help me "piano" on my arcade stick better; but it also means that desk's love for music spills well over gaming and even though he may not say it, it is something of a "gift" to be able to perform things even the top players may sweat at.

With this, it also seems as though desk is confirmed for Evolution 2012 (You heard it here first!) which means I know who to try and avoid in the bracket if I can make it to Evo next year.

I want to thank everyone for viewing this interview, I hope that you learned a bit more about desk and answered some of the questions that remained unanswered about him.

OTHER
In order to keep up with myself and with desk, you can use any of the following mediums below to keep track of our activities.  Thanks!

desk's Blog Site
desk's YouTube
RoK the Reaper's FaceBook Page
RoK the Reaper's YouTube

Comments

  1. Cool interview. I had been wondering about this enigma we all know as 'desk' heh. Well done sir!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That was good. Nice to hear he can finally come to EVO. I should name myself like "pencil" or something, maybe that'll help my execution.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Should have asked him what stick & buttons he uses.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, the picture you see at top is him. So, I am guessing a custom Madkatz SE stick with probably Sanwa buttons.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Excellent article, way to get the exclusive with this guy. At the part where he confirmed EVO2012, all I heard was Dormammu's "run...RUN".

    ReplyDelete
  6. At the moment if you watch his videos, he's using a madcatz te stick with the normal sanwa buttons. on older videos, he was using a hori real arcade pro 2 with seimetsu buttons and a converter to play on xbox 360. the picture above i remember he said his friend was letting him borrow that stick, which had a sanwa joystick and seimetsu buttons

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment