Monday, December 18, 2017

Wolfer Q&A: Atina

Location: Europe
Wolf3D Nickname: Atina

Where did your nickname come from and why did you choose it?
It’s still my old nickname which I was using when playing Quake 3 Arena online.

When did you first play Wolfenstein 3d?
It hasn’t been too many years ago. I don’t think I have played it as kid since I rather played Amiga, NES/SNES games or Tomb Raider, Quake and other fps then. I have known and seen it since I was a kid but only played it around 2009 when Nexion showed me the game again.

Why did you decide to do modding and why was the choice Wolf 3d?
Always wanted to do a game myself. Nexion had some unfinished mod (Deathtrigger) around and asked me if I wanted to give it a try since he saw some potential. The game mechanics/tools seemed simple enough to understand and N has been teaching me ever since.

What are your goals regarding modding?
Taking the old game and shaping it to something new. Usually I come up with a concept and try to make a full thing out of it so it stands on its own feet where all the parts like graphics, sounds, levels blend together as one thing. Often there are ideas which I would like to see myself or things I like.

What is modding for you?
For the biggest part it’s a hobby and fun thing for me. Also a way to realize my own game ideas. I like to create things and draw. At the same time it’s a way to express creativity and improving myself in different sections.

What is the best part about being involved in the Wolf 3d Community?
Meeting new people who share similar hobbies and having all kind of good or bad discussions.

Who is your favourite modder?
Haha, that would be obviously Nexion. There is also Mr. Wolf, a close friend to us, but he can be so damn lazy as a modder. Jayngo was quite fun with all the insanity of the Haven chats but has been inactive been for so long now. Everyone has different ideas or styles but I like what Poet did for his Doll’s House sets. MadWolf has nice fantasy TC ideas. ThunderEnema/Gerolf are similar but Beyond the Grave is still too recent.

What are your favourite Wolf3D mods?
Some of the more exotic ones. A Doll’s House, Mutant Blobs From Outer Space, Planet N, some of the unfinished mods by Mr. Wolf/Nex. “The Best Mod In The World” is quite interesting but I can’t tell where it really belongs.

Why do you feel that Wolf 3d has such a long lasting legacy being it was released so long ago?
It’s the mother of all fps and has spawned several big sequels over the years till now. It has the basics and the core gameplay of all the shooters so it’s easily accessible for anyone who wants to see the beginnings or can be bothered with such old graphics. A smaller reason is possibly the bloody and controversial theme that is being brought up every now and then. One of the biggest reasons is for sure the modding tools and the release of the source code which spawned many mods. John Carmack had the right feeling regarding this. Tools and source don’t guarantee it as you can see with some other games. I think it’s so long lasting cause of a combination of all those reasons and some smaller details.

Where would you like to see Wolf 3d go from here?
One of the big things that is still missing would be online multiplayer. It can keep a game with its community floating for quite some time. Scripting instead of source code editing and having packs of assets which you can just add instead of replacing the whole wl6 files is something that came quite late in shape of ECWolf. While it’s limited in usage for bigger mods it’s an attractive start for new people. Doom community got it for ages. Some more varied or interesting community projects would be also nice to see. And I hope to see more mods that aren’t set in WW2.

Everyone has an ultimate mod that they'd love to make if coding and graphics weren't limited, what would yours be?
I don’t see the limitations as a problem but rather as a challenge. It’s way more fun to try to come up with a way around some limitation than having all solutions solved. If there were no limitations games would be sort of without any idea behind them. I could quote here a 12 year old kid who once said “If I could make a game it would be part Minecraft, part GTA, part pokemon, part …”. Too much freedom is sometimes not a good thing.

But for an ultimate mod I actually have an idea for many years. It’s rather something massive and gonna take me long time to finish. The graphics, sounds and all don’t need to be any less limited than they are now. It’s a personal concept with focus on gameplay and plenty of characters. For now I’m getting experience with smaller mods so i can make the ultimate mod one day in a way that i’m happy with it. Even if it’s just a handful of people that would play it =p

What was the inspiration behind Witching Hour?
Was one week before Halloween and I was wondering if I can make a mod in one week ><’
Besides that I generally like horror and wanted to try something new for a mod. Something outside of the usual run and shoot mods. I was wondering what would be scary in real life and one of the things is being chased in a forest by a mad hog. So from there went on by replacing the hog with something more scary and so on =p

On your Youtube channel, you’ve played through a couple of unreleased mods that looked very interesting, is there a chance some of them will still be released at some point?
Not all of those mods were mine so doesn’t only depend on me. A lot of those on Youtube were made by Mr.Wolf. There are some that were made by Nexion or by both of them. A few are still on the “to do list”. Some others are gone for good and some might be remade in a new way. But at moment none of us is working on any of those.

One of the unreleased mods you made a video of is ‘Assault on Precinct 13’. Are you a big John Carpenter fan? Are his movies an influence?
Mr. Wolf, Nexion and me are all fans of Carpenter. The 2 of them probably the bigger ones. I like his calm and brooding style without those modern epileptic camera changes. He seems to be a kind guy and tends to creates a great atmosphere in his movies. His movies are certainly one of the influences. “The Thing” is one of the best horror movies having incredible effects and atmosphere. Especially the music which Carpenter is making himself is a charm for the ears and a big influence.

Your mods often feature horror elements. What is it about horror that draws you to this genre?
I enjoy fantastical ideas, strange creatures and the mysteries around it. I have grown up with horror movies so entertainment based on reality is often boring to me. Lot of this is based on things you see each day or have common things which are already explained to death. Horror and supernatural things are far from the mainstream and often don’t have any scientific answer which makes me wonder and think for myself. There is also creativity involved even if it’s just some super boring horror film with a lame killer mask design. What’s the meaning of life? Would you want to know the answer and keep living till you die or prefer to keep it fresh as a mystery and riddle?

Are you working on a new mod?
Yes. I always have new concepts and ideas but not enough time for all of them. I never rest and never sleep but the mods still don’t want to get done =p So it comes when it’s done. Besides that I’m also working on some small mod for Hovertank 3D which should be done in near future.

You seem to have a penchant for old-school gaming. What makes these older games more appealing to you (compared to modern games)?
The argument of new vs. old graphics and all doesn’t matter so much if it all blends together and creates a coherent design. Except the sentiment to them, old games were more focused on gameplay I think. Modern games tend to focus on the storytelling and become more and more like movies. Of course I don’t say all modern games are so but it’s hard to deny that old games were way more challenging, non-linear and mainly about game. You didn’t need the storytelling to have fun, just being thrown into game “Look, see those guys? They are moving, they look evil. Now go and kill em all”. You could make up your own story as kid or imagine how those pixels were supposed to look like in realistic design. In many modern games before you can do something you need to go through loading times, intro, tutorial, cutscene, then you can walk for 2 minutes till next cutscene…. The worst part is that most of the cutscenes are terribly boring or you've seen them already. Even John Carmack said in a video that he hated to wait through the logos of publishers at beginning of a game and just wanted to skip to the game as fast as possible. Therefore the fast skip for Wolf3D. Don’t get me wrong, I play new and old games. Zelda: Breath of the Wild was one of the best games for me. But around 2005 games started to become more and more interactive movies. Most things are now described, defined and thrown at the players like they have no clue. Sort of like TV generally dumbing down more and more. I’m also a big fan of Tomb Raider and the difference in difficulty of the riddles between part 1 and the reboot is one hell of an insult.

Any words of wisdom you would like to leave us on?
Never drink rum on empty stomach.

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