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volume 1, issue 5

Today in loonygames:

New!! The Archives have been cleaned up, fead links fixed, and printable versions restored! Also, don't miss the new comments on the front page!

Livin' With The Sims: theAntiELVIS explores the wild and wacky world that is Will Wright's The Sims, asking the inevitable quesiton, "is The Sims the first step toward a virtual life where everyone is Swedish?"

Pixel Obscura: Josh Vasquez on Omikron: The Nomad Soul.

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Taking Aim at Paul Steed!


You were talking about doing the cinematic for Quake 3: Arena. Is that endorsed by id, or are you doing this on your own?

John and I have discussed an intro idea that he's really into. Kevin and Adrian have faith in me to come up with something cool. I'll art direct an outside team ala Blur Studios this time, though. But you'll still have a very minimalistic approach in an id game. You won't be seeing another CD worth of cinematics in the game box any time soon.

Your .plan has disappeared.

Yep. Now I do Thinking Outside The Box for loonygames. Check it out.

Whyíd you do the Crackwhore?

I donít know...I like voluptuous women, and I think guys (and some women) like and appreciate the 'cheesecake' aspect of it. It was just for fun. Technically it was in response to the Crackwhore skin contest the girls had at crackwhore.com. I said "why do a skin, Iíll just do a model." Originally, I was just going to do it and give it to them, and then it just got bigger than what I intended it to be. It wasn't going to be the Quake 2 female player model. It was really going to be nothing. It irks me how people responded to it as far as the sexist and misongynistic overtones were attached. I'm not a sexist and I'm not a misogynist. Funny thing about it is that more guys than women really voiced their offense to me. How can you be offended by it? Itís just a computer image. Thereís nothing lewd about it. Well...borderline lewd, but nothing pornographic unless you slap some naked skin on it.

Well, when she dies, she wiggles her butt in the air...thatís borderline to some people.

Well yeah, that was intentional. She was 'in character'. I'll make the 'wholsome girl' model next month and make her fit somehow in a world of death and gibs.

Quake 2 has gotten a lot of positive reaction for being the first game of its type with a female model. Some people have been saying that the Crackwhore undid any good the existence of a female model had in the game. How do you answer that?

I think thatís crap. If you look at it, the Crackwhore wasnít part of any Quake 2 release. Itís a standalone model, and has nothing to do with Quake 2. It never did. It was built during the development of Quake 2, but only as a break from building bad guys. The female player character in Quake 2 is tough and attractive. The design of the model and skin is attractive, but sheís not eye candy. And if people feel like the Crackwhore negated the good things about the design of the Quake 2 female marine just because Iím the same person that did both models then, their opinionís unbalanced. One had nothing to do with the other. Some guy made the Crackwhore for others to enjoy. Paul Steed, artist at id Software made the Quake 2 chick with Adrian Carmack's various skins on it. I mean, I campaigned hard to get people, to get womenís input on her design, on her animations. Everything. Because I wanted to build a character that was strictly for women, for yíall to play. Everything I do is going to be put under scrutiny. If anybody else had done the Crackwhore, people would have made comments about it, but because I did it, all this other stuff had to be attached to it, which doesnít make sense.

What did id think about the Crackwhore?

They thought it was funny. It was meant to be humorous. But they didnít feel it was appropriate including it in a release that was official from id. I never even campaigned for it. This is something I just did. It was never meant to be associated with any product. The fact itís associated with an id employee, by inference, people say that idís endorsing it. That's not true at all. Like I said, itís just something I did. And Iíd love to say I regret doing it, but I donít. And Iíve thought about it, do I regret doing that? I donít. It was done for fun, and if people take it the wrong way it's more their problem than my problem. I mean, 90% of the women who have written me about it take it for what itís meant to be. Nothing. Even if they donít like it, they say, "so what. I donít like it, but Iím not going to take it seriously." Itís not like it sets womenís rights back by decades. I donít think it denigrates women, do you?


Ok. I think itís a sexy female. Sheís overtly sexy. And if you like it, you like it, and if you donít, then donít use it as a character model, and donít participate if it offends you that much. Ms. Donna, our office manager, she loved it. She told me to make her breasts bigger. Make her butt bigger. She said make her sexy. I thought that was cool. And sheís a born and raised Mesquite woman who's pure Texan woman.

So I guess there wonít be a Crackwhore in Quake Arena?

No I think I'll make a 'Prostitute Nun' model this time.

You were talking about the Messiah engine. It seems what youíre doing in some ways is similar to what theyíre doing.

What weíre doing is nothing like Messiah. From what I know about it, Messiah is basically creating a world that you can navigate through...I mean, I have yet to hear anything about the multiplayer aspect of Messiah. It seems like a very controlled environment that theyíre doing. Weíre going free-for-all, to make it very easy for you to run around a virtual world. I wish Dave Perry and company lots of luck. I really do. It's just that id and Shiny are very different companies making very different games. Both will be successful hopefully. Iíll probably end up playing the game.

You sounded very impressed by Trespasser.

Hell yeah.

What in Trespasser had you so amazed?

Just the texture resolution, the shadows, the feeling that youíre in a place. The environment is cool, the outdoor areas, so, yeah, I was impressed by it visually. I wish itíd come out tomorrow.

Back to Quake Arena. You were talking about animating everything in there. Are you going to animate a rocket jump?

Yeah, I mean, if it's necessary. I hadnít really thought about it.

Thatís one thing that always seemed to be by accident. What would a rocket jump be animated like?

I have no clue. Iíll give it some thought. All it would be is more of a jump, or something. Jumps in general look way better due to directional cues we have in. They react to landing more and give a sense of weight better.

You were talking about all the faces thatíll go in Quake Arena. Is it going to fit on a CD-ROM, or is it going to have to be on DVD?

Itíll fit on one just fine.

I hope.

The editorial staff of loonygames would like to thank Paul Steed for taking the time to conduct this interview. Thanks Paul! Be sure to check out his column "Thinking Outside the Box" that runs in every issue of loonygames.

Credits: Illustration © 1998 Dan Zalkus. This interview is © 1998 Stephanie Bergman & Paul Steed. All other content is © 1998 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited and totally not cool.