the Junkyard: Please tell us a little about yourself and your position at Keen Dreams.
Jasio: Hi, I'm Jasio. My current position at Keen Dreams is Web Management, as well as Head of Public Relations, which means that I deal with all the information that will be released to the public, in this position I am also a spokes-person for the team.
tJY: How many people are working on this project?
Jasio: There are currently 10 members on our design and development team.
tJY: Can you tell us who is working on this project and what their positions are?
Jasio: The current members working on our project are as follows:
- MrKeen - Also known as DynaBlade, MrKeen is the project head as well as the 'driving force' behind the world of Meltdown. He was the one who first created Meltdown for Tribes 1, and then continued on to make Meltdown 2 for Tribes 2. He also took part in the creation of MechinaMOD for Tribes 2. He's a real great guy, and brings a ton of ideas to the table. MrKeen is also our head coder.
- Deathbot - Deathbot is our resident 'everything' guy. He is our head mapper, but he is also very proficent in coding and scripting.
- StormMage - Our dear old friend StormMage is one of our talented 3D modellers. His skills are very fine tuned and his great imagination allows him to bring forth some very nice concepts for MD3.
- -Nite- - -Nite- is our secondary coder, second only to MrKeen. He is the guru behind our weapons code, as well as many other areas of the mod. His current role is implementing new weaponary, and importing original Tribes weaponary into Ut2k3 for testing and bug squashing.
- Stickman9000 - Stickman9000, also referred to as 'Sticky' is our primary 3D modeler. He has pumped out more ideas, and more models in such a short amount of time that it really caught us off guard. He's a detail-master always making sure every little bit of a model is just right. We're very glad to have him on board.
- Traxxas - Traxxas is another one of our modellers. She specializes in vehicle modelling and has been putting forth some great effort into modelling both ground and air vehilces for MD3. She's the secondary-3D modellers after Sticky.
tJY: On average, how many hours a week does the dev team spend working on the game?
Jasio: An accurate number is rather hard to say. The number can jump from 10 hours per week to 70 hours per week depending on our schedule.
tJY: Publicly released pictures of the game depict exoskeletons serving as vehicles. Do you plan making these vehicles an integral part of the gameplay, which are necessary for winning a match? Or do you see them as the T:V dev team does and see the vehicles as being "fun and useful, but not primary"?
Jasio: The 'exo-skeleton' like vehicles which you have seen are, like all other vehicles an important part in the battle. They serve their own special roles just like the regular powered armours do. I guess you can say that, YES they are going to be an integral part of gameplay. We have a slightly different outlook on vehicles than the T:V team has. We believe that vehicles should be fun, and useful, but we also believe that in all possible maps they should be just as primary as the regular power-armours. This opens new areas of expertise to players, and also tries to appease a broader audience by opening up more primary roles.
tJY: In previous Meltdown MODs, objects from the game were used to create the weapons, packs, and vehicles. Will you be doing the same with Meltdown 3 or will most of the objects be original?
Jasio: Most of the objects in Meltdown 3 will be custom. Although we havent seen many T:V objects, we cant rule out the fact that we might borrow from some of them in order to complete some of our objects. The reason behind this is that it saves development time also allows us to save space when distributing the mod.
tJY: Are the objects the only part of the game you plan on modifying or will you add new admin and client features or gameplay types?
Jasio: Our primary goal is to produce a total conversion, but that doesnt mean that we are just trying to appease the players. We would also like to make it easier for the server administrators to keep track of their server(s). Right now we are planning on implementing a similar system that we had in T2 which utilizes a 'call to home' feature where the server can connect via http to a webserver and search through a 'global ban list'. We are not sure if we will create a full server admin system, similar to what you would see in Tricon2, or Total Control.
tJY: Is there going to be a single-player mode?
Jasio: YES, there will be a single-player mode for Meltdown 3. The single-player component will be released seperatley in order to keep the size of the mod file down, but it will also be released later, after the multi-player component has been released to the public.
tJY: In previous Meltdown MODs, to a lot of people the abundance of armors, weapons, packs, etc. hindered the "instant action" fun of the game. Will the single player be used to teach people how to use the equipment or primarily for telling a story of how the Tribes Universe evolves?
Jasio: The single player component can be used to as a teaching component for new players, but as we stated in our initial annoncement of the mod, we are going to make it even easier than MD2 to get a grip on what's going on. There will also be extensive documentation included with the multiplayer component as to how to make use of all the weapons/vehicles/packs/objects. I cannot release any information about the story-line at this time, but it is 85% complete, and will feature dialogues. Our voice-acting team is currently partially assembled, but we are not working on sound yet, so recording the dialogue is a low priority.
tJY: About how much of this MOD is continued from the past two Meltdown MODs and how much is new to the series?
Jasio: You will notice a lot of similar weapons, and key features in MD3 that were in MD2. This means that Tribes 2 players who were aquainted with MD2 will know almost right away what buttons to push, and how everything works. But we will also be bringing in some new features, namely a large expansion of the vehicle based fleet, along side new technologies, some that will boogle the mind.
tJY: On a scale from 1 to 10, how much input, would you say, will you take into consideration and implement into the game from the community?
Jasio: On a scale of 1 - 10 we would say we consider about an '8' as to what we listen to from the community. Although itís hard to dictate such a question through a scale. Some ideas may be very good, some might not be as good, itís a rather hit-and-miss tactic but sufficient to say, we have our eyes and ears open to the entire Tribes community.
tJY: How much will be designed and created away from the community eye and how much will you publicize before the release?
Jasio: This is a rather interesting question. We will release screenshots, and maybe videos of in-game action and such to the community, but we will not release too much. We still want to keep a level of secrecy around the project rather than expose everything before release. We want to make the experience enjoyable, yet surprising to the player. We will have community based updates on our progress but they will be release at eradicate times without any pattern.
tJY: Are you planning on doing a closed beta prior to public release, or will the beta be open to anybody who wants to try it?
Jasio: We are planning on doing a closed beta prior to a public release. There might be an open-beta later on, but a closed beta is guaranteed. We might even invite outstanding members of the Tribes community, as well as members representing the various Tribes sites to this closed beta so they get an 'inside scoop' on what's going to appear in the public release of MD3. But we are far away from a beta and therefore we cannot dictate any solid terms for them.
tJY: Do you believe it will be tough to transfer this mod from the UT2k3 engine to the modified engine used for Tribes: Vengeance?
Jasio: Nothing is easy. But we believe that the use of the UT2003 engine for T:V, and us using Ut2k3 as a base of development will surely lighten the load of porting the game over to T:V. There will of course be differences, some major, some small but we are confident in our skills and just like with T2 and Ut2k3, we will learn how the T:V engine operates and adapt to these changes.
tJY: Do you plan on transferring the game to the modified UT2k3 engine when the Vengeance beta comes out, or when the full version is in stored?
Jasio: We are unsure if we will try to port the game over during the T:V beta period. This is still a debated issue and I cannot answer this question firmly. My guess would be that there is a 50/50 chance of this happening.
tJY: Will you be ready to release this mod when the beta comes out, when game hits the shelves... or sometime later?
Jasio: We hope to have this mod ready by the time T:V hits the shelves, but if we decided to wait for the full T:V release before porting the game, then we will require some time to port it over before any release can be made. This can delay the release of the mod probably a month or maybe two after the release of T:V itself.