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To the Extreme

Vol. 2, Issue 14
February 28, 2000

 

Must have made it really difficult from a project management point of view.

Ewing: Well management in game development is much different than management in regular everyday business.† There is a hierarchy, so you know who the main guys who are in charge, like Tim from Epic and James from DE, but almost everybody has a choice and is free to go their own way within reason.† You have to answer to the whole group.† Thereís not one person you have to answer to.† Thereís not like a complex chain of command or anything.† So in that way that whole mishmash sort of thing works well.†

Eekels: And thatís the same thing that weíre doing right now too.† Everybody here has a voice.† Because itís been proven to be successful for Unreal and Unreal Tournament, so weíre going to keep that same philosophy.†

So while youíre designing Dark Sector, you bring everybody together and say, ďWhat do you like?† What do you dislike?Ē

Eekels: Yep.

Ewing: Totally.

Hereís a question that Iíve always wondered.† You guys are level designers and youíre working on a game that is a lot different than what youíre used to, but youíre still in the design phase.† What are you working on right now?†

click to enlarge!

More new Dark Sector concept art. (109k).

Eekels: Well we look at the whole overall picture of Dark Sector and designing the world.† And we broke it down and said okay, we have the disc, now slowly move out.† So the level designers have to be organized in that respect.

I guess what I mean was, you donít have any tools to work with, right, so you canít actually sit there and start building levels.

Eekels: Oh no, we do!† Weíre using the Unreal Tools.

Ewing: We have the Unreal engine too.

How do you compare Dark Sector to other Massively Multiplayer Online games, would you compare it to something like Ė

Ewing: Asheronís Call or something like that?

Yeah.

Eekels: I think it will be very close but science fiction of course.

Letís go back and talk a little bit more about Unreal Tournament.† UT won a number of awards such as Best Action Game, Best Shooter, etc from a number of publications.† How do you feel about those awards?† Was it a big a surprise to win all these awards?

Eekels: It is kind of a surprise because you donít expect it.† Youíve been working on the game for so long and itís getting old in your mind and all of a sudden Ė

Ewing: Itís not like all of us were watching the awards and thinking, ďOh please, oh please.Ē† And then all of a sudden, oh we won.† Cool.

Eekels: And thatís kind of cool to hear that.† That means that people actually love your game and that year that we spent in our hot room was not all wasted.

Thatís very good.† Iíve done a lot of writing and the books Iíve read on the subject, and I think this goes for pretty much anything where youíre in some type of artistic role, is that first thing you should do is put your acceptance speech on a sticky and place it over your monitor.† And every time you sit down youíre looking at your acceptance speech and youíre thinking, ďOk I gotta make something so good that one day theyíre going to give me an award and Iím going to get to give this speech.Ē† I think itís the ultimate Ė

Ewing: Motivation.

Eekels: Thatís not what we did though <laughs>.† Actually what it says on top of our monitors is, ďSave your work often!Ē†

Ewing: Oh god.

Eekels: That was the biggest sign on our monitors.

Ewing: Yeah.


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Credits: Illustration © 2000 Allan "Machette" McKay. This interview is © 2000 Russell "RadPipe" Lauzon, Dave Ewing and Pancho Eekels. All other content is © 2000 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited. So don't do it, or we'll deport you.