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LTKTBM Interview with Gun Radio - Transcript - Part 2
Evil santa: Q from madman: Erm hes one one of the managers here. But er but if you two were also big into the communities a few years ago, or actually from six months ago he used to run the sub _____ or the first to strike clans. Erm, he wanted to know, what has erm, old action quake 2 players – can they do to help you rebuild the action quake 2 community.

He himself wont play because of the cheaters.

mSparks: Basically try and build the community, try and encourage people to get involved and back on.

E.S. definitely, always been a legit player myself. What servers do you play on mSparks? – laughs – gimps accusing me of hacking.

mSparks: not really been on too many servers myself. Most of my time is spent just getting things working. Most of the time, I’ll just use the server minibrowser, fire that up and use that to connect to a server to play on.

E.S. OK lets figure out your style of play. I know I’ll personally run around with the hand cannon, jump into the action right away, or sneak up behind people, erm jumping person. Are you more of a sniper person, or do you like to hide behind corners with an M4.

mSparks: Been more of an M4 – laser sight personally, I tend to generally change my style depending on if I’m losing. If I’m starting to get beaten I’ll swap to something else, I quite like playing with the sword now, we had some good games with friends setting up servers….

E.S: woo woo woo, a sword? Tell me about this.

mSparks: erm… it’s a sword. Theres two modes. Slashing, which is like the knife only longer range. And defending which can be used to block incoming assaults to you.

E.S.: Really? So guys actually built and integrated a sword. Sorry I’m quite curious about this. I might get an LTKTBM server going right now, because I want to play with the sword. That’s awesome dude.

mSparks: Well that’s one of the things we’ve tried to do with it. Action quake to me has always been – it movie themed – it’s taking action scenes from movies and playing them out, and the sword is always something I thought was missing. Its generally seamed to go down quite well, but because of the lack of actual servers at the moment its something that probably a lot of people don’t know about.

E.S. Yeah definitely, I had no idea, I see lots of people going over there like “a sword, wholey c##p. like erm MadMan yeah, interesting. 10 bucks says he’s going to download the client in the next hour or two and like, we’re going to figure out a way to get a server up and running over in America and like me and him are going to go at it one and one after we pop off air. OK just given me I’ve done martial arts, I’ve done dungeons and dragons, I’ve got friends who are in the SCA society for creative acronism, what kind of sword is it, I’ve gotta ask.

mSparks: Erm, long, [laughs]

E.S. just a regular long sword, like medieval style, or kantanga style, just a regular long sword?

mSparks: Err, more like a samurai, A guy know as BirdMan, who does some models and work for the ReactionQuake3 stuff did the model for it. I took the skin from a samurai sword to map onto it, single handed sword.

E.S. Damn, that sword just like sparked my interest in every way shape or form, and I think I’m getting a hard-on right now just because of it. What other new stuff, like I know that LTKTBM has the blood splatter trails, by the end of a match on a server playing [on the map] action city 2, earlier today, and by the end of it, the middle of the map was just like complete redness. Is that something that you guys came up with, or something that you guys integrated; how does that work?

mSparks: Its come from several sources, it’s a mix between Q2ICE, which is a (discontinued) Quake 2 client which did a lot of work on the program code to stain game maps, another project made ‘decal’ code which is used for more detailed effects such as bullet holes and small splatters, and the other one is my own work on client side debris, its bits of the map like wood and grass and rocks which are disturbed as bullets impact on various different surfaces. Which I think just add that little bit extra to the visual effects as you play.

E.S. Yeah, I definitely noticed the new visual effects, and I’m loving them to death. The only gripe that I have is it’s a little bit too dark for me, but that’s just because I like to brighten everything up. Using the gl_modulate command in the original release of the Quake 2 engine. The one thing I’d like to expand on for the AQ2 players out there, if you were to go ahead, and get the LTKTBM stand alone client, the blood splatters that I’ve been using – You’ll get shot by someone using the sniper rifle, in the legs, or in the chest and you’ll actually see the spray, and you’ll see it on the ground, so you know - its almost as if it’s a clue into where the person is shooting you from. Do you think that might actually hamper the game play, or is that a benefit. I think it’s a benefit to the players that know how to use it, but what’s your opinion on it?

mSparks: Its something that was talked about a lot as we put it together, and tweeked the various settings, one of the other benefits that I personally find very useful is – I’ve done a lot of work with the sound engine – using the creative openA(udio)L(ayer) library, which allows me to pull on the work that they’ve done, the EAX technology, acoustics in different environments such as caves, and one of the things that this does, is with a surround sound audio system hooked into your machine, the sounds are placed all around the room that your playing in, so if sound originates from behind you, it comes from behind you, rather than just left and right. And even on stereo speakers, it uses the ‘Aureal’ – I think – which simulates that effect on stereo speakers.

E.S. yeah, I did notice that with my speakers. How its actually more ‘surround sound’ than the original Q2 client. Wow, you guys are just doing so much here that its just amazing, even as I find myself now, I go over to ‘All Seeing Eye’, I copy the IP address, load up LTKTBM client, and just play with that just because it rocks so much. The only major gripes I have are the frames per second can drop and figuring out how to expand on that, and mess around with the gl_modulate settings.

mSparks: This is probably related to the ‘pure client’ setting, which can be disabled under one of the menus.

E.S. OK. Definitely going to have to deal with that now. Is there anything else that you think that we’ve missed, any new development, maps, anything like that? Actually, quick question for you, have you been involved at all with the CGF mod for Action Quake 2?

mSparks: Its true, there’s a lot of game mods like that around, TNG for example which I think might be related to that. One of the things that I’ve been looking towards, Is there’s an engine mod called Qfusion, with [map] graphics far superiour to anything that can be done using Quake 2 based maps, this actually lets you use Quake 3 based maps, so I’m hoping to get some time to use a mod like TNG, with Qfusion, so you can use the reaction quake 3 content, which have better lighting than the maps that Quake 2 uses. One of the gripes that I here about reaction quake, is to do with the greatly changed physics used in Quake 3, but Qfusion uses Quake 2 physics on Quake 3 maps.

E.S. Definitely, I bought Quake 3 arena, just for the reaction quake mod, and I played it like 5 times and then uninstalled everything and was like I’m going back to my AQ2. Another thing, the competition between Action Quake 2 and Counter Strike Source, I haven’t played CS:Source myself, but I’ve heard that its very similar, do you have any experience with this at all?

mSparks: Personally, I’m not overly keen on ‘valve’, I’ve purposefully steered clear of Half Life 2 simply because of the way that they treated the release, and the way that they’ve dealt with the issues they’ve faced, and use things such as the source leak as a marketing ploy.

E.S. Yeah, I completely understand, there’s a lot of drama, and conspiracy and everything else around the release of it. Speaking of Half-Life two. A new engine has come out, Quake 4, I’ve seen some screenshots, it looks awesome, what are your plans with that, are you going to integrate the action quake 2 community into that:- Are you going to help with the action team on Quake 4, do you have any plans along these lines?

mSparks: I think that’s a matter of time, I know that akimbo productions are generally quite active in scenes like these, for the moment at least I’ve got a lot on my plate to be getting on with, It’ll definitely something I’ll be evaluating. But something like that is not an easy job, and takes a considerable amount of time. I’m also sold on the idea of keeping what we have as a stand-alone package. I like the control it gives over the look and feel that you just don’t get doing otherwise. From that side, the most likely candidate is actually Quake 3, since the source is going GPL it means we get this control in a more up to date engine.

E.S. Definitely, definitely, There’s a group putting together something quake [3?] generations [arena?], what they’ve done is integrate doom, quake 1/2/3 and return to castle wolfenstein, all the characters in it, you can choose between which character you want, each character has its own individual set of weapons, and they run off the original physics for that game. I’m really curious as to what your thoughts are on this.

mSparks: [confused] its not something I’ve actually seen, definitely sounds like quite a handful.

E.S. Its actually, from what I’ve read from it, - we’re actually reviewing this next week - looking like its about 100% complete, and I’ve heard lots of good things about it..

mSparks: It definitely sounds like a good idea, there’s a lot of this sort of thing going on, which can only be good for everyone involved. I think this is where communication plays such an important role, one of the problems I’ve run across has been people putting work in, but not liking to share, which is the sort of thing which does more harm than good. One of the things I tend to do as a programmer, is keep things back and out of sight, but a key goal of the work that I do is to try and make it useable by other areas of the community.

E.S. Awesome about the AI. I want to go ahead and completely agree with you on the whole sharing thing. That’s pretty much what gun radio is all about: Stronger communities, stronger games, stronger everything. Every person has their own unique talents, and individuality. If you combine all those talents you end up with a better product.

mSparks: One of the reasons I’ve stuck with AQ2, is its what started me off really being interested in the gaming scene, I was there when it originally came out, watched it explode and sink back to where it is today. A lot of the work that I do, I try to keep as modular as possible, the audio engine is something that is actually out, and other people can use, there’s actually another game out – paintball 2 – made by a guy called jitspoe. By breaking the work that I do up, pieces that work out well can easily be used by others.

E.S. Any thoughts on actually upgrading the sound in LTKTBM, I know you guys are using a lot of the original AQ2 sounds, radio commands and everything else, are you guys thinking about getting some people together and adding new ones, or bringing the current ones more up to date.

mSparks: ogg vorbis support is already integrated into the sound engine, although this hasn’t been fully utilised in game as of yet. Anyone who fancies the task, please feel free to put together something we can use.

E.S. One other thing with the new sound, Counter-strike, Unreal Tournament 2004. Voice to Voice communications. If action quake 2 had that, that would rock, is there any possible way that this can be integrated?
mSparks: Yes! Its one of the things on the to do list [currently planned for early 2006]. Some work has already gone into the network tools for this, VoIP is one such route I’ve been investigating recently, someone else said they would do it for us, but this unfortunately hasn’t happened, which is a common problem, people come in, say they’re going to do something, hang around for a few weeks and then disappear never to be seen again.

E.S. Wow, dude, that is just amazing, as soon as you guys can get that in, AQ2 is just going to be revamped. One and a half times over. Im mean the game itself is already just amazing, Ive been playing for six years now, and I play all the new games that come out and its just there’s nothing like it out there. Its all about the gameplay, the communities, the people involved, the ladders, everything, its just Action Quake 2, if you haven’t got out there and played it yet, I highly recommend you get the LTKTBM client, to test it out and play it. Its got a lot of the basic maps involved to play it, a lot of the servers you can download the maps on, which is definitely helpful. Other than that, I would like to go ahead and thank mSparks for his time with this interview. Is there anything else you’d like to add mSparks?

mSparks: Yeah, one of the things you just brought up there, the thing that’s been taking up the most time, is the artwork for the maps. A lot of the maps utilise the original Quake 2 artwork. Since we cant redistribute this we’ve had to redo all the data that was originally in Quake 2, So if there’s anybody there who is any good at artwork, we could really do with your help to get these finished.

E.S. That brings me onto another point, is there any plans to integrate some of the other sites, such as the actors guild, and map depot with LTKTBM.

mSparks: I think we’re managing quite well at the moment as individual entities, we communicate at several different levels to get things done, I currently spend some time providing AI files for each of the maps. I’m personally not a mapper, and the map depot works very well in co-ordinating and expanding the already vast array of maps. Its not as active as it has been, but its still going strong.

E.S. Definitely, I know that DWL has a couple of mappers that are working really hard on getting CTF maps together for their server ladder. So what I’m trying to say, is maybe get them involved.

mSparks: Definitely.

E.S. anything else to add?

mSparks: I think that’s about me done.

E.S. thanks.

 

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