And now, for the much delayed June project highlight, it is my pleasure to display...
(1) This Wreckage
This single player RPG carries on the story of Henrik and his comrades in the Empire's Expedition Force from When the Freedom Slips Away, bringing in new features and a more RPG-oriented gameplay. So, who is the rather odd character behind all this?
Rao Dao Zao - the almost single handed creator of maps such as the Islands in the Sky series, RDZArena, and, of course, the RPG When the Freedom Slips Away (WtFSA). He's also the creator of a large number of low-poly models, most notably his collection of high-tech RDZ Industries models, which have, for the most part, ceased being publicly released.
Oh, and he's Scottish. Still, can't hold that against a man too much.
Originally Posted by Rao Dao Zao
The RDZArena was a tech demo for this project (though it didn't know it at the time).
I once assured fans that there would never be a sequel to When the Freedom Slips Away.
However, due to the astounding shortage of singleplayer maps of even reasonable quality, I took it upon myself to create another RPG in the same style as WtFSA -- carrying on and expanding on its systems. Upon finally stripping down the RDZArena and assembling the new map's most basic features, I found my love for Henrik and his friends too great; and so His Majesty the Emperor's Expedition Force sets forth once again to battle evil in tropical lands thousands of miles from home.
Half comic, half serious, just the way we like it.
And here is the epic interview with this high-profile and distinctly British modder:
How did you come up with the idea for the project?
I was working in my lab late last night,
When my eyes beheld an evil sight,
For my monster from its slab began to rise,
Suddenly, to my surprise.
No, really, how did you get the idea?
Well, I had decided to strip down the RDZArena to its basic systems and the like, in order to produce a singleplayer RPG of some kind.
But when I got there, I decided that I'd like to continue following the Empire's Expedition Force across the ocean -- and introduce further lands that they might stumble across.
I also wanted to recycle a lot of old kit that was either never finished or was a bit rubbish, and turn it into something good; it all went into the boiling pot, and out came This Wreckage.
Didn't you say you'd never make a sequel to WtFSA?
I did indeed, but I'm a contrary soul.
And since half the characters were just me in very thin disguise anyway, I thought I'd rather keep on with these and build on them, rather than creating 'new' characters who would be the same anyway.
Besides, I left the door open well enough.
Will any new characters be joined the Empire's Expedition Force on their journey this time?
They will indeed -- but (so far) only one. Though the Commander does more than a few lines this time, so you could class him as a 'new' character to boot.
In any RPG, the dialogue is vitally important; can you shed any light on what the style of it will be in This Wreckage?
More of the same -- plot-advancing ramblings, lore-enhancing meandering, all of which will be, of course, peppered with song, film and game references.
Your previous maps had fairly basic though very functional abilities with WC3 style combat, though WtFSA had a variety of sections (such as a short TD and an AoS-esque segment); will This Wreckage be more of the same?
This Wreckage is going for a more solidly RPG-ish approach; the initial... requirement, I suppose... for WtFSA was to create as much banter as possible in as small a space as possible, since I had a computer nigh-on minimum system back then.
I had limited internet access too, so I wanted to explore some common battle.net 'genres' in a singleplayer environment.
Nowadays, there's no limit; and This Wreckage has a little more freedom in that sense. Its style of RPGing is a little different; there are more frequent 'boss' fights, against super-creep units, and will be absolutely nothing in the way of base building.
Will the powerful but random HAI! be carrying on?
You know it will.
Considering the use of Ultravox for sound in WtFSA, you could be forgiven for thinking that Henrik is, in fact, Midge Ure.
When really Henrik's just a version of yourself?
The main character in every author's first book is always himself.
A more... stylised version thereof, to be sure.
Speaking of yourself, how did you get into modding?
It just... happened.
Back in the darkest days of Age of Empires II, when our old family computer was a young thing.
Trundled around with various games including Unreal Tournament and Deus Ex along the way, but Warcraft is the only one I've ever managed to finish anything serious for.
What inspired you to get into modding, and what drives you to keep on doing it?
Love and passion.
There's just too many ideas in my head that want out, and once a good one finally makes it... I get awfully worked up about my projects.
I do it for the rep too.
Have you got any tips or messages for any budding modding and mapping souls out there (at least, those who are still reading this far down)?
Stick at it.
I've been doing this jig for a good three or four years now, and it's only been in the last while that I've managed to produce anything really worthwhile.
Oh, and don't delete old unfinished maps when you're cleaning out your computer.
You never know when you might want to come back to them.
Moving away from This Wreckage for a moment, what's going on with RDZ Industries currently?
It's been side-lined for future non-Warcraft projects. I realise how foolish it is to fight the engine; total conversions are a hell of a lot of work, and that work is hardly worth it with a rather rigid game like Warcraft.
But you can check out http://rdznet.com and see all the lovely pictures; it's still alive, just biding its time.
With the arrival of Supreme Commander, which looks set to be far less rigid than WC3, and other newer games, do you see yourself moving away from WC3 (especially given your mass of high-tech models)?
Until an editor as easy to use arrives, perhaps not. Another factor is, of course, a decent Milkshape exporter; though I haven't animated any of the new models yet, just in case.
No, I'll be sticking around for a little while longer.
You seem to prefer working solo, but is there anyone in particular you'd like to give thanks to?
I'd like to give my undying love to Guesst for his Milkshape exporter; flawless geometry and animations and a few other features have made my clunky and indescribably unwieldy manner of model editing a positively enjoyable experience.
Any estimated release date on This Wreckage?
I'm afraid not. But all my summer is free until mid-September, and I won't rest until it's done.
Any final parting words for your audience?
Be true. Don't go rushing off to tweak every little thing because other people disagree with you. By all means, consider their advice, but it's your map -- not theirs.
Thank you, and the best of luck.
Originally Posted by Earth-Fury
Griffen is correct, you are not.
[13:32] <Akolyt0r> hmm.. stil i want to have some unused women
Heh, I actually read the whole interview. I played WtFSA about year ago maybe. The map was too small, I didn't like the respawning creeps, neither the tower defence part. Also there could have been more items. And dialogue was way too fast. That's all I remember, but it kept me entertained for awhile and I finished it. May this next one be better as I believe it will.
I have no beacon in these waters of solitude, shored by cliffs of despair, plains of emptiness and continents of defiance.
Should I sink?... perhaps it could put an end to my torment... perhaps it would not...