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    PlanetQuake | Articles | Interviews | Big Fuzzy Focus: ThreeWave CTF
   

Big Fuzzy Focus: ThreeWave CTF
Frags and flags from a name you can trust
— by Pappy-R


 - click for full size image
Gate or Gallery...you decide!

Pappy: What have been the hardest goals to achieve to date, and do you have them licked or still on the drawing board?

Sludge: The harshest part of developing a mod is the lack of source for the executable. I cannot fully or properly profile the code to find pockets of inefficient code, so I have to rely on programmer's intuition in order to optimize, and in a complex system, that's sub-par. The same goes for debugging, when crashes occur only in the virtual machines or interpreter. A stack trace is impossible to get.

I am certain this is the last project of this extent that I will undertake without full access to source.

Dekard: Getting it out the door! I'm not sure about anyone else on the team but with the whole "Threewave" name there comes the stigma of Threewave actually inventing the Quake CTF genre, and that's a pretty big thing to live up to. You want to keep it all to yourself because you don't want to disappoint the community (nor Zoid), but you also need to get it out to the community because you don't want them to think you've been just giving them empty promises. For myself, the hardest part to date on the project is keeping the public informed on the status of the mod, where we are, where we are going and how far off the releases are without giving out false information or giving out more information then the team is willing to give out just yet (as dates change and issues arise) as well as doing any last minute graphical needs!

Pappy: Was it difficult getting a team together, and are you still looking for help?

Sludge: ThreeWave has the fortunate position of having a good name for itself. Since the opening of the site, the odd person has volunteered without us asking them to do anything. The amalgamation of the CCTF team into the fold was a huge step towards the final project's outcome.

Dekard: The biggest problem I think with the team is everyone's schedule, (we work it out of course) but it's been rough with people scattered all throughout the world, most of the main team is in North America so it's scattered across 3 or 4 time zones which in itself be quite time consuming, and we also have testers in Europe so their testing takes place earlier in the day we have to make sure our testing files are updated early enough so they can test so it can take a day or so to get some information that would take 2 minutes to ask someone across the room, so patience is a good thing for anyone wanting to put together a mod.

Pappy: What do you think are the strongest points or features about your project that will attract players?

Sludge: There is enough variance in intensity and certainly enough variety in maps to counter the sort of monotony that makes people take their headphones off and go for food at LANs after a couple of rounds of play.

More specifically, the portal helps tie everything together, and is our way of asking permission from the players for more variety.

Dekard: Well since I was part of the CCTF team when I was brought on board, I think the portal idea will give the gamers the opportunity to play CTF with grapple and runes (CCTF) or standard CTF(Threewave CTF) or even CaptureStrike(CtfS), where prior to this you had to choose this mod or that mod. Now it's all in the same mod, and I think that will give us the edge the CTF community. The CTF community has been divided by for some time. Grapple or no? Now it's your choice!

Pappy: How open do you think you are to community suggestions, and have there been many?

Sludge: I'm interested in logical and strong arguments as to why the project should do something or head in a certain direction. A hundred people who petition a feature but give no good reason aren't really means to affect a technical decision. I am fairly certain that people don't entirely know what they want to play until they've played it for a few months. This means that their suggestions to do new things will uncannily resemble something that has already been done. No new ground is covered.

On the other hand, we have a bug/ticket tracker set up for the internal testers. Without their bug fix requests, we would be two weeks to a month behind where we are now. I have a lot of gratitude to our testers.

Dekard: I think in the earlier stages we were a little more open to community suggestions, now that we are in the final stages and in our code freezes they would have to be pretty good suggestions to get past Sludge and the gang. (Is that a music group?) Although, they can still make the suggestions and we just would have to put them on the 'possible' todo list for future releases.

Pappy: Why did you choose the Quake 3 engine for your work?

Sludge: It can all be traced back to Casey and his almost palpable love ( eww :) ) for the Radiant interface.

As a programmer, I have no reason to argue with that choice. I develop in GNU/Linux. Quake 3 is the best choice for that.

Dekard: It's Threewave. You gotta have Q3 Threewave.. It's a given isn't it?? That's why Classic CTF was invented to fill the void the grapple/rune monkeys had until this project came along!

Pappy: If you could have anything you want happen with the project, what would that be?

Sludge: This project would benefit vastly in speed of development and debugging if id opened the executable source to us and had an in-house maintainer who would review and accept bug fixes.

Dekard: My hope is that people will enjoy it as much as we have putting it together, not being cheesy but seriously if people can play and enjoy this that would my greatest hope. My whole attitude from day 1 of this has been fairly selfish as I am doing this because I am part of something I enjoy, and if others can say that they enjoy it after playing our creations, is there anything else we can really hope for?


Related Links:
  ThreeWave CTF
  Classic CTF
  Capture Strike
  ThreeWave CTF Preview Pics


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