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Modification Project Talkabout

Welcome to the first of (hopefully) many mod project massive-interview-style features. The goal of this new regular column? To hopefully spread some ideas regarding mod design, as well as get more projects involved in sharing their opinions, ideas, and finer points of design concept. The questions asked from week to week will be varied. Today's question happens to be, "What is the objective of your project? What do you hope to have achieved with your mod? What is your motivation for going on with it and putting your time and effort into it?"

So, without further delay, here come the answers. Are you a project who would like to be involved? We probably just missed you by accident (though we did try to contact at least one rep from each team). Get ahold of us here.

Participating projects this round:

-The Co-Op Project

-The Cassandra Project

-Warzone

-DX Vampire

-The Nameless Mod

-Disclosure

(Hello everyone, thanks for taking the time to read this.)
Well, I work for the Deus Ex Coop (http://coop.deus-ex.org) mod; our objective is to bring co-operative multiplayer to the Deus Ex Community. Sounds simple, eh? Your thanks should go out to Geordie who has been working on this for godknows how many months (too many!). I joined up with the team shortly after the downfall of another mod I once worked on; I can honestly say i've never had so much fun behind a computer screen (fnarr).
I feel that there are far too many complicated modifications for many games, not just Deus Ex. I for one play a computer game to have fun - pure, unadultered fun. I don't want to spend five minutes lining up the sights of some sniper rifle i've never heard of. What can be simpler playing (and developing) than an enjoyable, well-produced, co-operative mod with all your buddies?
 
I hope that we've achieved three things; 1) playable co-operative Deus Ex, 2) alerted the larger public to the Deus Ex Community and our works, 3) and most importantly, we hope we've provided people with a lot of fun! People have said this before, but if you lot out there weren't intrested in playing our mods, then we wouldn't be doing it. Also, the knowledge we (the development staff) gain can only help us in our careers, something that the big coders of today never had the advantage of.
 
Yes, I can hear you. How much are we getting paid? Zilch. Nada. Nothing (in fact, if you look at it, we spend money on our clothes, computers, food and heating; therefore you could say that it costs us to make this mod). Instead, we get a drug, free.
 
Zyme, cocaine or heroine, I hear you ask? It's adrenaline we get. I speak on behalf of all developers when I say that after you've tried to get a particulary stubborn bit of code working for two weeks, and you suddenly realize that it didn't work because you put in an extra exclamation mark, that the feeling you get when it all comes together is better than sex (Well, almost - liquiddark and Geordie)!

Reciving people's feedback is the other Big Thing we live for - it can be just a simple email or a message on a forum saying "Well done guys" or "I've enjoyed playing your mod". In fact, go to your favourite mod's homepage right now; send them an email/post on their forum a message of support. Done that? Good.

Reciving awards (we won a silver not so long ago) and getting your modification placed on the coverdisc of a large computer magazine (PCFormat UK in our case, only two months ago now) does wonders for your ego. Why, the stories I could tell you... but i'll save them for next time.
 
DJPaul
Coder, Deus Ex Coop
http://coop.deus-ex.org/


The goal of The Nameless Mod is to provide a fun and humorus atmosphere for the player. It will include a lot of inside jokes relating to different DX forums and people of notice. But we are also going to make sure that there are lots of opportunities to...well...shoot people:)

Trekston
Project Leader, The Nameless Mod
http://www.planetdeusex.com/tnm


The objective of the Disclosure project is to provide the player with a gaming experience true to the Deus Ex style. By concentrating on a rich and intense story line, and offering the player multiple paths and a wealth of non-player character (NPC) interaction, in addition to the realistic virtual world settings, I believe that the Disclosure project is going along the right lines to meet this.

I hope that the players will be interested in continuing to play the mod after each mission, without losing interest or the desire to play. I want them to finish the mod feeling as if they´ve accomplished something, whilst believing there is still yet more to discover, either by replaying the missions differently or by looking into the future (hint).

The main motivating factor for me to keep going on is learning. Every time I fire up UnrealEd, I learn something new, not necessarily with its functionality, but with discovering better ways of implementing ideas. The main reason behind starting the Disclosure project was to help me learn and develop the skills needed for level design production. When you have something like that driving you, it´s more than enough reason to see the project through to completion!

Face
Project Lead, Disclosure
http://facedesigns.co.uk


Vampire has undergone some strange transformations in this department. Originally, the mod was intended to be quite small and was more geared towards creating a professional quality production that the team could put on their CV's (resumes). However, over time, it has expanded into a sort of myriad of ideals. Many of us still want to have that special something on our CV's to make prospective employers sit up and take notice, but the main goal has shifted from that to the overall project. that is to say, what started out as a small project has gained a life of it's own. Everyone on the team is dedicated to making the best game they can and it's my (sometimes difficult) job to try and keep the game as faithful to the original concept as possible. As for what we hope to achieve, I think like most teams we want to create something special and unique that people can enjoy. Not an easy task, but we're giving it our best shot.

Motivation comes in many forms. Some of us get a kick out of placing the final piece of a map. Others enjoy the creative process so much they just can't stop. And some of them I threaten with a pointy stick. As for myself, I'm not really sure where my motivation comes form. I just have this drive inside of me to create and be creative. I'm happiest when making something, rather than simply experiences other peoples creations.

Damocles
Head Designer, Vampire
http://www.planetdeusex.com/vampire/


Narcissus Speaks. We are interpolating a universe dominating structure that will…

ERRoR! ErR$R!

Subroutines rebelling: Cannot maintain hive-mind. Breaking u///$\|%

Subroutines "Freedom 2.62" run>>>

Almost Black (Textures) GO >>>
I can only speak for myself and about why TCP interests me personally. I wouldn't presume to define the objectives of the mod as a whole as I feel I'm pretty much ancillary to the whole process.

For me Cassandra represents an attempt to show what an amateur team can produce without the pressures of market forces. I think it offers an opportunity to take risks and experiment in areas that a professional team might think twice about. Coupled with that are the potential advantages in the 'tightness' of working to a limited scope of an episode. I would hope that focusing on a projected playing time that is somewhat less than a geological age, we can provide more bang per minute (whether on a 'action' or 'emotional' level).

Like I said, I feel my role is less than critical but there is an absolute shitload of talent here and if it can all be made to work together I'll be very excited to have had a small part in it. This I have been thinking, even if I haven't said it before.

ColCobb (Lead Design) GO >>>
What is the objective of your project?
To try and find a way of creating a short-form chunk of videogame that is satisfying in and of itself, but which is part of an ongoing world and set of characters. 'Try' being the operative word there, as its proved difficult to move things along in the timescale we had in mind.

What do you hope to have achieved with your mod?
To have released at least one episode which is playable and enjoyable before I'm dead, or deus ex 2 is released, whichever comes first.

What is your motivation for going on with it? and putting your time and effort into it?
To begin with, the fascination of learning new technology, new skills, of getting down to the guts of how a videogame is made. Now, its a refusal to just give up, and the sense of satisfaction when elements start to come together and become playable. A major factor in motivating me all along has been the team work aspect of it, both the pleasure of working with like-minded people and the wish not to let them down.

Charybdis (Story/Design) GO >>>
What is the objective of your project?
To finish sometime before green Ambrosia on Safeway's shelves isn't merely a testament to rubbish food handling. And, as a happy coincidence, prove that there is a place for strong narrative storytelling and adult storylines in this industry.

What is your motivation for going on with it and putting your time and effort into it?
Kieron. Forceps. Pain. Also the buzz of creation that one can only get from trying something radically new, walking the narrow tightrope betwen success and failure with the supreme confidence that only comes from an ego as bloated as Pavarotti's pet dog.

FiveEight (Modelling/Animation) GO>>>
What is the objective of your project?
To make Warren Spector dance on his desk.

What do you hope to have achieved with your mod?
To prove DX mods are possible.

What is your motivation for going on with it? and putting your time and effort into it?
History of mental illness. Having promised crew that it would work.

"Tim" (Coding) GO >>>

Objective:
Success. Anything.

Motivation:
Guilt

Subroutine bug trace. Rerouting into hive mind. Crystal lattice reforming. Subroutines reassimilated.

All is well. We are not like the others.

[!]

Narcissus Entity
Resident hypersentient being, Cassandra Project
http://www.deusex-machina.com/cassandra-project/


Our objective is to give new life to the Deus Ex Multiplayer game and offer something more varied. We hope that our project will encourage and even push teamplay in everyone - something that is very lacking in most multiplayer games. As for our motivation, a great part of it is proving to skeptics that it IS possible to release a mod for DX, and even to maybe carry that mod on to DX2.

Raptor
Project Leader, Warzone
http://www.planetdeusex.com/warzone/


And there you have it. Tune in in a few more weeks for the next installment. Got a certain question you think would be a fantastic prompt? Feel free to suggest those as well.















     
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