Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wolfer Q&A: RonWolf1705

Name: Ron
Location: The Netherlands
Wolf 3d Nickname: RonWolf1705

Q. Where did your nickname come from and why did you choose it?

A. It was one of those names that I settled upon because it sounded like a user name for a forum. I didn’t think particularly long about it – and it shows.

Q. When did you first play Wolfenstein 3d?

A. I was very young, I think 4 or 5 or so. First we only had the shareware episode, which I played a lot. Later came the full version, and my mind was blown. Even though more advanced games like Doom were already around, I just naturally gravitated towards the more old-school game.

Q. How did you come to be a part of the Wolfenstein 3d Community?

A. I was interested in creating my own maps – I had discovered the Wolf3d Dome a long while ago and had downloaded mods from there. But I always wanted to create something myself. The first editor that I used was Floedit, and when I got a grip on that I wanted to move on to coding. First I tried the coding tutorials over at the Dome, but when I did those I was wondering if there were any more out there. So I googled it and that’s when I found the DieHard Wolfers Forum. This was in 2006.

Q. What is the best part about being involved in the Wolf 3d Community?


A. The people. Not only people who are still interested in this game, but people who have similar interests – be it music, movies, etc. And I also enjoy the creativity they display, which in turn can inspire me as well. The diversity in a forum also allows a user to see people who take a different approach, and this is something you can learn from as well.

Q. What made you go from playing mods to wanting to make your own?
 
A. Ever since I played Wolf3d I had wanted to map; just to create, not with any intention to release anything but I think it was playing the mods that led to me wanting to create mods myself. Some of the first mods I played were by WSJ, BJ Rowan and AReyeP & MCS, and these mods were so inspiring – I wanted to create something like that myself.

Q. You are arguably one of the best mappers in the Community, how did you develop your mapping skills?

A. Practice, that is really the key. Looking at the work of other mappers, see what tricks they use, how they decorate a room, how they use the space in a map. Trying to find out what makes their maps work so well. AReyeP’s hint section on his website was of great use to me when I first started mapping, as it also gave me an insight in his creative process. And another thing is to keep on trying new things. I started out mapping for vanilla Wolf3d, and from there you make steps – incorporating coding features, using floor & ceiling textures, etc. That’s how you evolve as a mapper, but this also leads to a new way of mapping once you go back to vanilla Wolf3d again. And finally, if you notice you are starting to repeat yourself (always using 3-space hallways, guards hiding in the corner and such), try to keep those tricks out and do something completely different. This is something I originally learnt for my guitar playing, as I noticed that when I was improvising a solo during rehearsals I went back to the same movements. That’s when you have to decide to do something radically different – playing classical music and incorporate those movements into your songs, or play like you’re a sample machine. And this I brought into my mapping as well – to keep on changing in order to not become stale.

Q. How did you feel about winning some of the 'Map of the Month' contests?
 
A. Naturally I’m flattered that the users of the DHW forum regard my map(s) as the best of a round. It’s fun to do those contests, and that’s why I’m participating, but it’s nice that your own creations are appreciated.

Q. You have released several smaller themed mods like stealth etc., how did you come up with the unique ideas for those mods?

A. I had always wanted to do a stealth mod, but I was always thinking big – and with my limited coding skills this meant that I most likely would have to rely on someone else to do the coding. But suddenly I just decided: I’m going to do this myself, and I’ll try to use my limitations to my advantage. And I found out that limitations can actually inspire creativity, as you have to work your way around your non-knowledge of coding. And that’s how Stealth got made. And this is the same approach I took to Bound and Sight – I just had a sudden idea gameplay-wise, which I know I could do even though my coding skills were limited. It was a way of using my limitations to my advantage. You don’t have to abide to the coding tutorials, you can use them in other ways than intended in order to create something different out of it.

Q. You were a part of Team Raycast when the controversy over SonderKommando: Revolt came out, what’s your view on the situation and how did you feel about the mod being cancelled?

A. At the time I was very disappointed that the mod got cancelled – I had worked very hard on those maps and at the time I considered them to be the best maps I had done. As for my views on the situation, I think censorship in any case is wrong, especially since you’re a prisoner leading a revolt. I mean, we’re in an age where the biggest game in the world puts the player in the shoes of a criminal – you can shoot and torture innocents, rob people, etc. surely that is much worse than a fictionalised tale of a revolt. Plus, with the resurgence of the far-right in Europe I feel it is becoming more and more important to show the atrocities of WWII – and not only the atrocities, but the mindset that led to them. The WWII generation is dying, and if we forget the lessons learnt I fear we are going down the same rabbit hole all over again.
However, I would like to state that the game was at times very gruesome and gory, and I can see why this might disgust people. On the other hand, given the setting this could be expected. But I’m not much of a gore-hound myself, so I naturally prefer to tone it down in my own mods.

Q. What has been the most rewarding thing that’s come from Wolf 3d and your mods?

A. It enables me to create worlds, and to be active in a creative way. Naturally I appreciate it when someone likes the work I did, but I’m in it for the creative process.

Q. What are some of your favourite Wolf 3d mods that you’ve played other than your own?


Q. Are you working on anything new at the moment, and if so, what can you tell us about it?
 
A. I have started mapping for the sequel to Batman vs. Bane. There are also a couple of other projects in the pipeline, but I cannot tell when they will come out. And maybe I will do another smaller mod ala Stealth, but this I can’t say for sure; I might have the ideas, but not the time to work on them.

Q. Do you have a 'dream' mod you'd like to make one day?

A. A long time ago, me and Megabyte had been talking about an Inception mod and how we envisioned this; I think that one would be cool to make. Other than that, I have a zombie mod in my mind that, when I have thoroughly thought it true, I might propose to the other members of Team RayCast.
 
Q. Why do you feel that Wolf 3d has such a long lasting legacy being it was released so long ago?

A. It’s a fun game. But also, it is easy to edit and that might draw people to it. People who are interested in creating their own worlds – but aren’t interested in investing hours and hours just to get a basic hold of the mapping tools for a game. So it is very easy to jump in and create something.

Q. Any words of wisdom you would like to leave us on?

A. Always be prepared, assumption is the mother of all fuckups, and when you want to appear as a wise person – quote others.

Wolfenstein Mods and Contributions
Released
Stealth
Sight
Bound
16x16
Operation Eisenfaust: Origins (With Team Raycast)
Operation Eisenfaust: Origins - Christmas Pack (With Team Raycast)
Batman V Bane (With Team Raycast)
SoD Extreme (With Team Raycast)

Cancelled
SonderKommando: Revolt (Moddb site)

Other Contributions

Map of the Month - June 2007
Map of the Month - July 2007
Map of the Month - August 2007
Map of the Month - September 2007
Map of the Month - October 2007 (Winning Entry)
Map of the Month - November 2007 - February 2008 (Winning entry)
Map of the Month - November 2013 (Winning entry)
Wolf 3d Community Mapset
DHW SDL Mapset
DHW SoD SDL Mapset
DHW TC
TAMapset Final Version
Operation Mutant Strike 3

Unreleased
Batman: No Man's Land (With Team Racast) (Moddb site)

Coding
Endlosung SDL 

* From today RonWolf will be offically joining the team, look for a post from him coming soon *

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