Jehar interviews Motorsep
[BTF]Jehar: So, first things first - how the hell
did this project start? Did you begin with a gameplay concept, or did
it evolve from playing around with the technology, or some mixture of
motorsep: The project
itself started probably in
2005 - I was working in the sign industry and I got bored of it. Games
have been my passion since high school, so I figured out that if I want
to start I need to start now. That is how the kot-in-action.com project
was born. I didn't have definite plans for our current project (Prophecy) by that time and I was working on a small game aimed at
kids. Eventually I got to the point when I began to think away from
that game. It was not something I really
enjoyed doing, since I am more
into FPS / TPS / action RPG games.
There is a notebook (paper one :) ) in my cabinet where I write down
some thoughts and ideas about
"upcoming" projects. There was an outline
about the world of Prophecy and it's characters. By that time I have
established relationship with LH...
Speaking of LordHavoc - tell us a little about
the team that you've formed; did you find them all in the community, or
are there any real-life connections?
The Team is me, LordHavoc and daemon currently.
Very small team :) For me, there was no way to find real-life
like-minded folks. As far as I can remember I joined the IRC channel #darkplaces in
mid-2004. There I met LH and tried the DarkPlaces engine. I got in
with daemon by the end of June this year. There is one other person I
would like to mention - his nick is VorteX and I believe he will have
something sweet to show for this QExpo. I met him in #dp couple of
years ago, but due to his involvement with his own project he has not
been able to contribute to Prophecy much.
Actually, VorteX has re-designed rt lights
editor (new GUI done via CSQC) that he will contribute for the project.
decide to go with Darkplaces as an engine?
Well, since we are not backed up by any kind of
monetary resources, I had to choose from what was available for free
and what I would be able to deal with without spending too much
time. Since I already fiddled with Quake modding in my college days, I
decided I would go with iD Software's engine. Quake was released under
GPL and it was the best gift indie developer could get. Engine mods
would pop up one after another and all I had to do was choose between
them. As I
mentioned earlier, I met LH and found out about DP engine. The set of
features was impressive, the person behind it was a good guy and I
decided that that's what I am going to stick with :)
[BTF]Jehar: Yeah, I think we could speak for many
in saying how thankful we are for LordHavoc's work.
So how did you decide on making it a
third person game?
motorsep: I didn't :D The game is an overhead
[BTF]Jehar: Well, as opposed to a first-person
tilted camera a bit so audience could see main
character's model better. But it was never intended to be a TPS game.
I was thinking of FPS at first, but when I came up with the list of art
when I thought about competing titles out there, I figured out to start
off small :)
The other thing is that there are a bunch of FPS and
TPS games out there from big teams backed up by publishers and big
I wanted to bring some nostalgia back - an Old School game.
you get away with lower-resolution
textures because of the distance of the camera?
The current demo uses low-res
textures for the world, no bigger than 256x256.
How has working with a small team been going?
It's been pretty good. Sometimes I wish we could
have better communication and concentration on the goal, but due to
nature of the indie business and differences in sleeping habits (and
difference in time zones), it's not a big deal. It pretty much comes
down to good design document and precise assignments. Also, I must
very good ability to listen to each other's advice. It's very
I totally agree - that fluidity of
communication is one of the true advantages of being on a smaller team.
In what areas have you wished for more manpower most?
I would love to have another artist on my team
that would be able to make levels along the way too :) On the other
hand, being the only artist on the team allows me to learn a lot more
and improve my skills.
And it allows the end product to be really
visually distinct, besides.
true. On the other end, when you have few artist
on the team, one of them should take a role of Art Director also, to
ensure consistency in style.
You've mentioned kids games - what audience is
Prophecy aimed at primarily?
hope that Prophecy will appeal to a wide
range of gamers, from hardcore to casual gamers. By casual gamers I
don't mean people who play card or puzzle games here and there. To me,
casual gamers are gamers who play games when they have time and they
will play a game if it's not over complicated or a game where you can
manage to pass at least one level without dying and starting all over
:) Following the ESRB rating system, I would say it
will be T+.
So no gibs? :P
Well, if we end up putting range/projectile
weapon in the game (fireballs or something like that), then I would
certainly like to see gibs :D I believe that teenagers can play games
where you gib monsters and such. I have no problem with that.
From the gameplay video, it looks to be pretty
well suited to the casual type of player you just mentioned. Will
able to ramp up the amount of carnage they encounter from
Meaning that the
game will get more brutal as you make progress through it?
coupled with difficulty settings, yes.
don't think we will have level of brutality as
seen in God of War series :P (though GoW is very inspirational game for
me). As far as difficulty goes, I am not sure. Currently we have three
levels of difficulty that you can choose from. The farther you get in
the game, the more monsters and challenges you will encounter. I would
love to see AI advancing towards the end of the game. So in short, yes,
it will get harder.
What gameplay aspects do you expect to bring
some unique "wow" to the experience?
Let's see.. Easy-to-play melee combat coupled
with spell system, hordes of bad@$$ monsters (unfortunatelly can not be
seen in the demo video), huge world to explore alone or cooperatively,
no save / load game system (can enter most areas right off the bat),
secret areas (for some reason are gone from many modern games), quests
and final score (oh, and plenty of easter eggs!).
So are you going to be pusing the exploration
aspect of the game, giving it an almost metroid-ish or
Shame on me, I have never played Metroid :( I
played the Diablo series and Warcraft series. A variety of the places
is important in my opinion. It is one of the main reasons we going
episodic with the game. Combat aspect is very important too. It's not
much fun to have only one attack move and have to watch it along until
is over. So I would say combat + exploration. In the Tomb
Raider series you explore for the most
of the game. In Prophecy you would have to fight first and then explore
you encountered any real difficulties in
Sure thing. The most difficult thing is being able to dedicate
enough time for development and stay focused. I think it is the biggest
challenge of all for an indie game developer. Another difficulty is
the absence of artist-friendly, properly working tools that would speed
production. It took a while to develop a pipeline for art assets to be
incorporated into the game. Yet, it is a time consuming process.
With those considerations, how solid are your
plans for finishing the title?
have very solid plans for delivering the game.
I have been working on it for a while and I have a vision of the
finished product. It will take time, but I am going to finish it :)
How has the art production process been going
It's been a challenge. Making low-poly 3D models
is not new to me. However creating hi-poly models, and basic meshes for
models that has to be sculpted was new thing to me. Rigging characters
was absolute challenge. Blender (software I use for modeling, sculpting
and animation) has no pre-designed rigs, unlike 3DS MAX with it's
Character Studio or Character Animation Toolkit. So I had to learn the
of rigging first, and that took a while. Along
the way I discovered that I can create decent concept art and
character skins. That helped a lot.
And again, getting animated models out of Blender
and bringing them into the game was a pain. I gotta mention Riot, Black
whiskas who helped us with certain tools that made our job easier - big
thanks to them!
Lastly - Is there anything particular you'd
like to say to the Quake Expo crowd?
of all, thank you for participation.
Without that crowd we wouldn't have Quake Expo. For modders I wish
happy modding. Keep it creative, don't give up, evolve from mods to
games using Quake engines. For visitors - please, play our mods and
games, you support us by doing that. Keep Quake alive!