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Interview with daemon, the author of Feral mod

Interview with daemon, the author of Feral mod

Conducted by motorsep

motorsep: Could you briefly tell us about yourself (age, location) and how did you get in modding for Quake ?
daemon: I'm 28 years old, and I've lived in Washington State all my life. Since Wolfenstein came out I've been messing around with mapping, though I wouldn't say I'm much of a mapper. When Doom came out there were some utilities which made the game logic very easy to tweak, which was sort of my first attempt at modding. Then Quake came out, and I couldn't put it down. I had always attempted to make Doom levels where you could walk over and under architecture like bridges for example. But that just wasn't possible in Doom. Then at 25 years old, one day when I was still making Quake maps, I decided I wanted to make maps for some kind of Quake Role Playing Game modification. So I searched for one to no avail. I decided I had to learn how to mod. So I started visiting Quake forums, and reading tutorials, and I've been modding ever since.

motorsep: Have you been interested more in coding than in other aspects of modding?
daemon: I think coding is definitely my biggest interest. I love to map, and model simple stuff, but those take a back seat to coding.

motorsep: What was you motivation to start modding for Quake and when approximately you got into it?
daemon: Well, it was kind of odd. I just got motivation out of nowhere. The idea popped into my head to learn how to mod, and it took over. Somewhere in 2005 is when I started modding Quake. I guess a lot of the motivation could be attributed to playing a lot of MMORPGs, and wanting a non turn-based style of game play.

motorsep: Do you still play Quake?
daemon: Sadly no. I don't play much of anything. I spend all my time coding nowadays.

motorsep: What is your best mod so far?
daemon: Definitely Feral. It's not complete at all, but it's the best one.

motorsep: What is it about? What is it's essence?
daemon: I guess the game play is similar to Blade of Darkness or Rune. It's in a Quake style world, with medieval weapons and equipment. None of the Quake monsters with guns will be hanging around. No Soldiers or Enforcers.

motorsep: Would you classify it as RPG, action or action-RPG mod?
daemon: I would have to say RPG. There aren't a lot of RPG aspects implemented yet in terms of building skills and advancing your character, but there will be.

motorsep: Where there any particular games that influenced Feral?
daemon: The Elder Scrolls series was a big influence, and a major driving factor. I loved playing those games, but I wanted it to be a multiplayer experience where I could duel other players or play cooperatively with them.

motorsep: Did you have a solid vision of Feral when you started working on it?
daemon: For the most part, yes. It's basically going to be the same thing as it's predecessor, Feral Flesh, which is why the names are similar. But the GUI is greatly improved, and some things game play wise are different here and there. For example Feral has nearly unlimited inventory space, as opposed to Feral Flesh's 5 inventory slots. I don't have a solid storyline in that aspect though, but the admin tools allow for anyone to create or modify their own story. I don't consider myself a good story writer, so as a default storyline, I've decided to use an old favorite as the base.

motorsep: Sounds intriguing. Did implementation of CSQC (client-side QuakeC) in DP help to improve GUI and inventory?
daemon: Very much so. It is possible in SSQC, but it's not very practical. When you try to use a server side mouse cursor, lag can really break functionality. CSQC also allowed for a lot of cool stuff like movable snapping 2D windows. Most of this stuff could be attempted in SSQC, but with CSQC it's much much cleaner and easier.

motorsep: What kind of difficulties have you experienced while working on your mod?
daemon: I think AI has to be one of the most challenging things for me. While not using the traditional methods of MOVETYPE_STEP and walkmove(), little things like getting AI to not walk straight off a cliff, while still maneuvering close to the edge, can be difficult.

motorsep: Do you have a team or is it a one-man-army project?
daemon: one-man-army ;)

motorsep: Is there any particular reason for using third person view as opposite to first person view?
daemon: Not really. I just started off with it because I like to see the option in games, and it sort of stuck with me. I think it works really well with the combat style of the game since you do damage when your weapon model hits an enemy rather than having to aim your crosshairs at your target. You can still play in first person by tweaking some console commands though.

motorsep: I am aware of a note at your booth in Download section "... by the end of Qexpo." Is there any way we can get our hands on Feral a bit earlier :) ?
daemon: Well, that means sometime before the end, not necessarily right at the end. So technically yes. ;)
motorsep: I am glad to hear that, can't wait to get my hands on it :D

motorsep: Any particular advice for rookie modders out there?
daemon: Start small. I started off with a huge project, and I look back on the code and compare it to my current abilities and see it as trash. Do small projects until you feel confident that you can do almost anything. And be willing to start over, and over.
motorsep: That's a very good one. It can be also applied to indie game development ;)

motorsep: Do you play any games nowadays?
daemon: Like I said before. Coding takes up all my time, so I don't play much of anything anymore. Except maybe the old console ROM here and there.

motorsep: How do you see Quake modding scene in 2-3 years? Do you think we will see commercial projects using modified GPLed Quake engines?
daemon: I think that's a good possibility considering what you can do with some of the new Quake engines. Especially with the use of CSQC. These engines are also an attractive option because they are free. Some things just get better with age.