Zsolt Tóth

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Zsolt Tóth (pronounced [toːt ʒolt] in his native Hungarian) - also known as Metalhead33 - is one of the two fouding creators of the Ways of Darkness franchise - the other one being .

This article is about the history of the person, not about the means of contacting him or messaging him. For that, see User:Metalhead33.

Semi-relevant autobiography - before Ways of Darkness

Before the FRPG-era: First Inspirations

Even before discovering message-board roleplaying, Zsolt has had a keen interest in fantasy - medieval and science fantasy alike. Even as a child, he was an adamant fan of movies such as Lord of the Rings, Dragonheart and Star Wars, and a several cartoons with similar settings. Later, he became a fan of video games such as Stronghold, Stronghold Crusaders, Dungeon Siege, the Heroes of Might and Magic series, Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, Wolfenstein 3D and Heretic - although all of these, it was probably the HoMM series that had the largest amount of influence on him.

Around 2004-2005 - when his family received internet connection and he began playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - his interest in fantasy sparked up even more.

Before the FRPG-era: Online pet-simulators

It was also around that time that he encountered glorified "pet-simulators" on G-Portal: these sites would allow players to take control over individual characters - superheroes, ordinary men and women, dragons, camels, all depending on the characteristics of the website - but at the end of the day, they were little more than text-based interactive pet-simulators with different cosmetics. At the time, Zsolt became very interested in this genre of easy-to-make online "gaming", and he launched several unsuccessful websites that failed to attract any players to begin with: most of them were medieval fantasy "gladiator-simulators" (read: pet-simulators where you can pit pets against each other - except that the pets are human beings with swords) with minor role-playing elements, although a few stood up - one was a musician-"simulator", and another was a feudal lord-"simulator" that also had armies.

At a certain point of his life - presumably around early 2006 - Zsolt encountered forum-based roleplaying games for the first time, and after learning about the genre, he decided to create his own forum-based roleplaying game, although this still had tapping of the earlier "glorified pet-simulation with different name" template. It was set in a highly unrealistic and ridiculous science fantasy world, populated by a race of human-eating but otherwise civilized, magic-using, technologically-advanced aliens who resemble demons from movies. After the short-lived "success" (3-5 players) of the website that lasted for little more than one or two, maybe three months, Zsolt reverted to the earlier pet-simulating genre for himself, abandoning all tappings of sci-fi and going completely over to medieval fantasy. Even then, "pet-simulators" that came after that one were no longer pure pet-simulators, but in fact hybrids between pet-simulators and role-playing games, trying to emulate the rigid statistics of computer roleplaying games.

It was also around that time when he discovered Might and Magic proper, and began to be heavily influenced by it. It wasn't until 2008 that he abandoned the online pet-simulators, completely going over to pure role-playing games. He also discovered RPG Maker at the same time.

FRPGs

Between 2007 and 2008, Zsolt may or may not have joined several forum-based roleplaying games - he cannot remember - but he can remember joining Alternate World in early 2008, which would eventually inspire him to create the Alternate World RPG Maker game. Before the October of 2008, Zsolt got banned from Alternate World, due to his unacceptable behavior that he heavily regrets even to this day. His experiences at Alternate World however would end up shaping the rest of his "career" and influence even the today: Gnarog Dougfral was created at Alternate World, Nemezish, Dermaglen and Morthen Orden'Ath Ildor were all created by his fellow roleplayers at the Alternate World. In fact, it is not at all unfair to say that Ways of Darkness is heavily influenced by Alternate World - it was during those times that be befriended both László Dornfeld and Péter Pataki / Majestic (although there has been a personal fallout between him and Dornfeld ever since the October of 2015, ending their friendship, while only a limited amount of contact is kept with Majestic).

After being banned from the Alternate World, Zsolt went into two directions at the same time: with the help of Dornfeld he created the Doom FRPG - a science-fiction FRPG based off the Doom games - and also registered at the Hungarian forum-based role-playing game called "Age of Boulderons", where he would gain further experience and befriend and Yasami (third founder of Ways of Darkness, eventually left after losing interest). Eventually, due to conflict with the administration, Zsolt would end up getting banned from the Age of Boulderons, and the Doom FRPG would wither away in oblivion.

Ways of Darkness

The Forum

Eventually, in late 2009 - to be specific, on the 19th of December, 2009, a decision was made to create a fantasy role-playing forum. The Zsolt--Yasami trio created Ways of Darkness, effectively starting the franchise. The forum would see much more success than its predecessors, having up to six active players at its height (the forum currently has 41 registered characters, but none of their owners are active - meaning zero active roleplayers). The forum would also see the initial evolution of the Ways of Darkness franchise, having a map made for itself, having its own countries, date system, and so on.

Unfortunately, the forum's activity would constantly change between living and abandoned. The forum's "Golden Age", was arguaby between the Spring of 2010 and the Winter of 2010, when the number of active players was it its highest: up to six. Afterwards, the forum would be largely abandoned with sporadic periods of revival. Between the April of 2012 and the May of 2012, there was once again an influx of new players - 6 to be specific - although out of them, only one would remain as an active member. At that point, the forum unofficially became the private roleplaying playground of Zsolt, and the creator of Gzaxia Nolano, much to their dismay, as all three of them wanted to have more players. As of the 15th of September, 2016, the very last post on the forum was written on the 21th of November, 2015 on the Hungarian version.

Despite the fact that all hope seems to be lost, Zsolt does intend to either revive the forum at one point, or to possibly recreate it in a form where it has much larger interoperability with this Wiki.

Ambitions to expand

Zsolt was not blind to the fact that forum-based roleplaying games never truly had the appeal of the masses. He also knew that his poor communication skills and lack of connections have resulted in his inability to convince people to join his FRPGs. However, at the time, he also lacked any programming knowledge to create an MMORPG, a genre of games he admired at the time (despite having almost zero actual experience with them), but abhors now (as of 2016). (even as he began gaining programming knowledge starting from 2014, he still doesn't have what it takes to make a game from scratch).

In 2011, the Alternate World RPG Maker game was finished, which featured the world of Ways of Darkness, although not in a serious light, not depicting it very seriously, meaning that it was not a Ways of Darkness adaptation. Nevertheless, ever since that, Zsolt has had an ambition of making a video game based off the Ways of Darkness franchise: he tried in 2012 and in 2013, cancelling both. After Zsolt started learning C++, he also started having ambitions to develop a 3D Ways of Darkness game whose gameplay would be reminiscent of the Elder Scrolls games - nothing came out of that so far, except a C++ 3D-engine in progress, a hunger-thirst-sleep mechanism written in C++ and a game filesystem in progress.

Even then, Zsolt still has not given up on the idea of a Ways of Darkness game. He has also considered making a Ways of Darkness mod for Crusader Kings II or Europa Universalis IV.

The Ways of Darkness Wiki

It could be argued that Ways of Darkness and the world of Artograch started being about more than just the forum as soon as Zsolt started having genuine ambition to create a Ways of Darkness video game. Before 2011, any ambition to create a video game was not only fruitless, but also little more than a whiny lament at being stuck in the FRPG-ghetto.

If the Ways of Darkness setting didn't already exit the FRPG-ghetto by 2015 (although Zsolt argues that it did, as many of his friends who did not play at his forum knew about it), then it certainly broke out of the aforementioned ghetto on the 20th of July, 2015‎, when the Ways of Darkness Wiki got founded, first on Wikia, then relocating to a server owned by Daniël Sonck on the 27th of January, 2016. At first, the advice of creating a Ways of Darkness Wiki was given to Zsolt by other roleplayers, after he talked about how he wants to have a place where he can store his characters and write about their settings.

Initially, founding of the Wiki led to a revival in the interest in Ways of Darkness by Zsolt's circle of friends, namely by and László Dornfeld, who both became contributors of the Wiki - later, Dornfeld left the team on the October of 2015 after the personal fallout between him and Zsolt started, and 影 became less active. Some time around 2016, Zsolt Tóth has acquired an adviser in the person of Vindeskærer / Zsolt Ábrahám / User:Exellen, who might not write any actual articles, but still contributes by giving Zsolt Tóth advices on what is realistic and what kind of swords are aesthetically pleasing.

Personal life

The man himself. Can you recognize King Cairbré I of Etrand there?

Zsolt Tóth was born on the 26th of June, 1992, in Budapest, Hungary, where he still lives. His parents divorced in 2010, and his father died in 2011. As of 2018, he is a college student, studying Business Information Technology. Zsolt is also a staunch supported of the Mi Hazánk party of Hungary, and staunchly opposes "social justice".

His hobbies include listening to music, playing video games, programming, linguistics, history, writing articles for this wiki, and last but not least, writing about himself in third person (such as this article).