Need we introduce the cast of characters?
A few years ago I took a look at the Generations Arena mod for Quake III in an early Big Fuzzy Focus, so let's see what the boys of Wirehead Studios have been up to, especially concerning the recent new release of the mod. Today we get the real deal from mod brothers ConfusedUs (News/Web Maintenance), Phoenix (Head Coder/Head Modeler/Generations Project Lead) and Tabun (Head Skinner/Assistant Modeler/2d Artist) so let's get right to the goodies.
Pappy: Tell us a bit about the project.
Tabun: -Copy paste from our manual-
ConfusedUs: Recipe for GenArena:
Take all the old id games, complete with weapons, phsyics, and characters.
Mix together both new locales and old stomping grounds.
Add a pinch of original content and a healthy dose of nonstalgia.
Bake for several years.
Phoenix: Generations Arena pits five "generations" of warriors from Id
Software's best known titles against each other in the Quake III universe.
You have the Earth Soldiers, which hail from Wolfenstein 3D, the Doom
Warriors which are drawn from Doom of course, Slipgaters which mirror Quake,
and the Strogg Troopers who have their roots in Quake 2. Players have to
choose which generation they wish to play as, and inherit all the weapons,
physics, strengths and weaknesses of that particular generation, and then go
head to head against players of other generations. In order to do this we've
basically had to quadruple the amount of code present in Quake 3 to
accommodate the new player classes, weapons, physics, and graphics that
we've added. We've had to introduce 36 new weapons, and balance out the game
play between five completely different playing styles all while keeping each
generation feeling as close to the original game it reflects as we can.
fdf Pappy: Have you been encouraged by the Betas you've released or Alphas
you've tested under a closed atmosphere?
Tabun: Both, of course. If we hadn't released betas, nobody would've known
about the mod, at all, for years :]
ConfusedUs: Yes. The mod has come a long way from the original beta version
99a. Our community has grown, and the game itself is so much better than
Phoenix: Quite. With each new beta we're learning more about how to code
things not only to work, but also to work well. The game is moving closer to
the "old-school" feel each time, and is looking less beta-ish and closer to
what we want. Each version has been much better than the one before it. When
I think back to how we looked with our .99a release I'd say a great deal has
Pappy: How long has the project been in development, and using this as a guide, how long do you expect it to take before it's a completed work you can sit back from and smile?
Tabun: Ehr, ask one of the oldies, but well over 2.5 years, that's all I
know for sure.
It'll be done in 2006, I expect ;]
ConfusedUs: The project has been in development for years. We have a very
small team, and real life issues prevent us from making frequent updates.
However, when we do release a new version, it's a whopper. Version 0.99e is
going to be excellent. Absolutely excellent. I can't wait to play it with
Phoenix: The project, best as I can recall, has been in development since
2000. It's been a long road, and we're still a bit away from the much
anticipated "1.0" that we all want to see. We still have a lot of work to
do. As far as when we think we'll be finished... I've found putting
estimates on something like this tends to be difficult. I'd love to say
"We'll be done with it by this time next year", but it's tough when you have
real life factors that take up time and divert you from working on the
project. We're also committed to quality. If given the choice between
"getting it out fast" and "getting it done RIGHT" I've opted for the latter
of the two every time. Good things are worth waiting for. Rushed things are
buggy and annoy the players.
Next: More Generations!