UTXMP-Interview mit Alex Dobie - Teil 1
21 von 53 Fragen aus zwei Themenbereichen werden im ersten von insgesamt drei Teilen des Interviews beantwortet. Viel Spaß beim Lesen und anschließendem Diskutieren!
FMI-related / Team / Organisation
Q1: To warm up with our interview please tell us a little bit about you and FMI that you can't read about on your homepage. Where are all team members located and how long do you know all of them?
We have a team of nine talented developers from around Europe and the US. We're all from the Unreal community, however most of us know each other from the U2XMP beta test and Community Bonus Pack.
Q2: The name “Free Monkey” comes from the unused XMP key binding “Free Monkey. Quit complaining!” What's its meaning and why did you chose it as your name?
It was a bizarre Legend in-joke that I think was inspired by this:
Q3: Is FMI just a foundation for the development of UT:XMP or can we expect more to come in the future?
Oh, there'll be more. Mark my words there'll be more ;) We have something pretty big planned for after UTXMP. I can't say more than that at the moment though.
Q4: Please give us some details about your daily work. What do you have to do at FMI aside from answering annoying questions of importunate fans like me? ;-)
Well, the last thing I worked on was the new extra-chunky gutblow particle effect. I'm also in the process of implementing our new HUD, amongst other general programming tasks (and of course finishing off XMP-Fox).
Q5: How time consuming is UT:XMP for you and the other developers?
Any project of this size is bound to be time-consuming, but that's where having a dev team of nine people helps. If one of us is stuck on a particular feature then others will come in and help.
Q6: The project was announced in April 2004. Why didn't we hear anything about UT:XMP for months?
Because we're evil.
Q7: Any problems appearing in the meantime that endangered the project seriously?
Not really. Our greatest problem is probably the one below...
Q8: Which hurdles did you have to take before actually start the development?
Our greatest problem prior to April 2004 was the legal question over use of U2XMP assets in UT2004. Thankfully however Epic gave us permission to use any public U2 assets shortly after we went public with UTXMP.
Q9: What about Atari and the use of original XMP content?
We have permission from Epic to use original XMP assets in UTXMP.
Q10: But does Atari like the things you're doing with UT:XMP or do they care about it at all?
We haven't received any feedback from Atari on UTXMP.
Q11: Relating to that: What kind of support does FMI get from Ex-Legend? Are they actively taking part in the project or just sitting in the background anwering your questions?
The Ex-Legend people have been great. Off the top of my we've had direct support from at least two or three former Legend people, and words of encouragement from almost everyone else.
Development / Porting
Q12: It seems that FMI aims for making UT:XMP as true to the original as possible...That's one of the points most fans are very glad about. There are tons of suggestions and ideas floating around the community boards to “improve“ gameplay and balance. Did FMI actually retreat in some points?
Our aim with UTXMP has been to make it as close to U2XMP as possible, and then work out any outstanding gameplay issues.
Q13: Some ideas you've played with or maybe you're going to implement into the game?
We're still considering teleportation between deploy points, however that's something we're not going to even look at until UTXMP is more or less done.
Q14: That means there probably WILL BE something like the Onslaught energy node teleporting?
See above ;)
Q15: Please tell us a little bit about the biggest problems FMI fought with during development.
In terms of actual development, the biggest problem has been getting all the XMP content where we want it and building on that. Most mods don't start off with a library of 200MB worth of extra StaticMeshes and textures.
Q16: What part was the most fun during the development?
The "seeing it all come together" bit, which is really where we're at right now. After almost five months in development it's really great to have a fun mod that builds on the gameplay and success of U2XMP.
Q17: Is there anything you vainly tried to implement? Maybe something a lot of XMP veterans will miss?
I can't think of a major feature of XMP that's been left out. Everything you love about XMP will be in there, in some shape or form.
Q18: What's the current work for the team? Porting maps or developing core game elements? Minor tweaking or major coding? Some dramatic things affecting the release date significantly?
The coding is just being finished off at the moment. Work has begun on bots (yes, bots ;)), and they're coming along really nicely. We have lots of maps in development including ports of some U2XMP classics. Hopefully they'll all be ready in time for the first public release!
Q19: What is the estimated timeframe for beta testing?
Unknown at the moment.
Q20: “Open beta“ – yes or no, and why?
I think it would be good to have some sort of public beta release before launching our first “full” UTXMP build. That should give the community a chance to give us some feedback and flush out any remaining bugs.
Q21: Most fans presumably would like to know whether they can apply for the beta test.
As I said, we haven't decided how the closed beta is going to work at the moment.
Soweit der erste Teil. Es stehen uns also noch einige Dinge bevor. Eine Public Beta, vielleicht sogar schon mit Bot-Support, scheint sehr wahrscheinlich zu sein und die Einbeziehung der Community verspricht, dass UTXMP das wird, was sich die Fans davon versprechen. Was an Innovationen den Weg ins Spiel finden wird, ist noch offen, doch wie Alex verspricht: Es geht darum, UTXMP an das Original anzulehnen. Im zweiten Teil des Interviews, der am Montag folgt, geht es dann um grundsätzliche Fragen zu UTXMP, Vehikel, Maps und Mapping/Editing. Freut euch schonmal. Und nun ist eure Meinung gefragt!