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EAWFiles Exclusive Interview: z3r0x (Republic at War) - Interviews
Posted by: Enceladus1 on 05-12-2011 @ 18:11 - Source: EAWFiles
This News Item has been viewed 9,738 times
First I’d (Enceladus) like to welcome z3r0x as a guest for this EAWFiles Interview. For the few of you that do not know who z3r0x is; he is the leader and primary developer of the upcoming mod Republic at War. This total conversion mod brings the Clone Wars era to life in the Forces of Corruption game. Featuring a vast multitude of new ships, units and environments it is definitely one of the largest mods that FOC will ever see. Republic at War does not have an official release date but it is presumed that it will be released in the near future. If you want more information on the mod you can check out its ModDB page (http://www.moddb.com/mods/republic-at-war ) or head on over to EverythingEAW (http://www.everythingeaw.com/ )
Enceladus: Thank-you for taking the time to do this interview z3r0x. First off I’m curious what first got you to start modding Empire at War and its expansion Forces of Corruption. Did you have any previous experience modding other games?
z3r0x: No not really. Nothing anything major. Certainly not anything released to the public. I had modded a few games for my own amusement such as Empire Earth and Rise of Nations. When I saw EAW being previewed on IGN years ago even before the beta was released I was captivated. I am a huge Star Wars fan, I mean Star Wars practically defined my childhood. So I downloaded the demo and pre-ordered my copy of EAW. When it was released I think I started modding it within days of it coming out. I found that there was a pretty big community on the PFF forums of people getting into modding the game so I found a new home. Some of the first mods I put out for EAW were basic skin changes, and other basic XML mods. At that same time, I met FoshJedi and got asked to join Legacy of War. They were a great bunch of guys with a very ambitious project to complete. Sadly the mod was closed before all the plans could be realised.
Enceladus: What motivated you to start working on a Clone Wars mod after the success of your initial addon mods? Why not just continue with the additions to the Galactic Civil War era? I personally would have absolutely loved to see more of the Vong after the small debut they made in your mod.
z3r0x: Well there were some technical limitations that prohibited me from doing a proper vong mod. Sadly I didn’t want some half-baked kiddie mod. I wanted to do it right and I wanted to it my way. As a example of some of the limitations are the use of credits. The Vong would have no need for credits and since EAW has no resource gathering feature like AOK, or C&C it would seem silly to pay for ships if you play as the Vong. As for the Clone Wars it’s a kick butt era. I have been friends with the IA2 guys for ages and I guess I just got impatient waiting for their mod and decided to see if I could do my own version of it.
Enceladus: What has it been like working on Republic at War? While I do realize that there have been several people and groups that have contributed to this endeavour it appears that a large portion of the mod work was completed by you individually. Has this been helpful in achieving your goals for the mod or do sometimes you wish you had a larger team?
z3r0x: I have had some great people join with me and I want to thank each of them. Some of the most talented people in this community have left their mark on this mod. Warb Null, Sidious Invader, EvilleJedi, Bryant, Tijil, just to name a few have done a ton of work on this mod. Yes, I guess you could say the bulk of it was done by me. Most of the tedious tasks were done by myself, although Warb Null has really picked up the slack as of late doing a lot of work I really was putting off. I am very happy with the team I have now. I know I look forward to working with them in the future and I know that we all have plans to continue on after RaW working on the expansions and a new mod that I will be unveiling after the expansions for RaW are released.
Enceladus: It has taken years for Republic at War to come to the stage of completion it is in now. At times it seemed like it was the “Duke Nukem Forever” of EAW mods. How has it been difficult or possibly beneficial working on one project for such a long time?
z3r0x: Well it was never my intention to drag it out this long but to be honest I think it’s been a good strategy. Not that it’s been done on purpose. Sadly as we all know real life always trumps gaming and modding, and I have had my share of real life things that have required me to put RaW on hold on more than one occasion. Some items in the mod took a very long time to complete correctly and some things required outside assistance. This has been a long process and I have learned a ton. When I started this mod I could barely model, I did not know how to rig, and my skinning skills were rudimentary at best. Now, I would have to say I can model just as well as any of the other modelers in the community. I had to learn to be a jack of all trades so to speak. So that was one major thing that was a plus about the time it’s taken this mod to come to completion.
Enceladus: Now we have all seen the Clone Wars aspect of your mod but I’m curious to what other changes you to the game. Have you been working on changing any graphical or fundamental gameplay aspects?
z3r0x: That’s a good one! I guess it depends on the player. Add a new ship and someone will call that a gameplay change. We have done a few things that I think people will really enjoy what I think enhances the basic game and these are items most people wanted all along. As you know we re-did the GUI. Made it sleeker and easier to use. It also looks a ton better in my opinion. We have really overdone it for skirmish mode. Our new “Battlepad” feature I think will really make skirmish mode more enjoyable. We have also added in some new economic options, and we have added in Civilians into the mod. Pedestrians, vehicles, and ships. You can kill them if they get in the way but doing so will force the player to pay a penalty. So bombarding a town has consequences now. We have completely redone the old Raid ability. Now both factions can do it but only Commandos, or Jedi can Raid. We have also added in a neat air transport function. We have weapon specific deathclones now including dismemberment. We have completely revamped the AI and not just increasing a credit multiplier but a ton of LUA to go with it. Our AI is a beast to compete against. If you mass a fleet for a future invasion the AI will attack your staging area. If you build the Malevolence the AI will direct all efforts at killing it. We call it the “Sink the Bismark”. It will hit your production planets and any planet you have Jedi hiding out on. We have a ton and I mean a ton of high quality SFX. That is one area our mod really shines is the audio. We have re-done all the projectiles and explosions and other particles; taking a cue from the FX mod. I could go on and on this but the manual will be uploaded in a day or two and people will be able to see in detail all the new features.
Enceladus: In mods one of the key aspects of a mod that is sometimes overlooked is balance. In Republic at War you have had to contend with implementing two very different factions. What steps did you take to maintain the gameplay balance between the CIS and Galactic Republic?
z3r0x: Well the the ships are comparable in stats but they do function the same as vanilla EAW. Meaning some ships work well against others and so on. Each faction definitely has its own advantages. The Republic is hero heavy but build things slower. Its infantry is more powerful and stronger but more expensive. The CIS can build a lot of cheap units fast. But its units are not as powerful on land. The balance is that they can build more faster so it becomes a numbers game. Which I think balances nicely with what we know about the CIS and the Rpeublic.
Enceladus: Republic at War has spurred quite a bit of buzz within the community since it was first announced. It seems like there is almost a continuous conversation going on in the comments section of the Republic at War ModDB page. How has the support for your mod contributed to its development (ie. Motivation)?
z3r0x: At one point I actually considered shelving the mod. However, letting all of our fans down was something I did not want to do. So I soldiered on. I would have to say despite a few hiccups here and there fan wise we have an incredible community of fans.
Enceladus: One interesting part of your mod was the fact that you decided to create a manual for a mod. What prompted this decision? It seems that most not if all mods seem to just stick with a basic read-me.
z3r0x: Yes, I know and that irks me. We wanted to give the impression that RaW is a new game. Not just a basic unit mod. A big component of any game is the games full color manual/book that comes with it. We wanted something equally nice to cap off the mod.
Enceladus: Do you have any other plans for modding after this release of Republic at War? Could we possibly see expansions to RAW or something else entirely; maybe not even for EAW/FOC?
z3r0x: Well, RaW is basically the core mod. It’s a bare base. I mean it has a ton of content but it’s still just the base. Our plan is to do several expansions. We are actually working on content for the expansions now. Units that were cut due to time constraints or new unit concepts from the TV series will all have a chance to see the light of day in one of the expansions.
Enceladus: Are there any mods you particularly want to see be released for your own personal enjoyment or interest?
z3r0x: I was looking forward to the massive TR release that was planned ages ago but I will settle for whats coming next. ORAW looks good and I may download it. I love what the Clone Wars Mod team is doing and they are a great bunch of guys to boot. I may check out Farseers Halo mod when it comes out. Not a fan of Halo but I am fan of quality work!
Enceladus: What are your personal opinions about the current EAW modding community? Is it beginning to decay or can you see it continuing on for quite a while?
z3r0x: I think the community waxes and wanes. It will never be what it was in 2006. We had a massive influx of fair-weather modders. Who jump on the next best thing. The next best thing was SOASE. I do think the TV show has really brought a new crop of people into the community. Ours is a smaller community compared to other games out there but I think we have pretty decent and diverse group of people here.
Enceladus: Thank-you for all this insight into your mod and opinions in general. Do you have any advice for new modders just starting out creating their own mods?
z3r0x: Don’t get in over your head. Never bite off more than you can chew. These massive “All-Era” mods have been too many to be named and all have died. Plans that were too ambitious for some people with 0 talent. Also, listen to the old timers here. They can offer some great advice, and last but not least. Focus on the small details. Small details can really set a mod apart from others out there.
Enceladus: On behalf of the whole EAWFiles team I would like to thank you for this exclusive insight on your opinions and work on Republic at War. I hope the release of Republic at War goes well.
05-13-2011 @ 18:07 - GameFront Product Update
05-12-2011 @ 18:07 - FOC Enhancements May Update
The following comments are owned by the user that posted them. Empire at War Files is not responsible for their content.
Total comments: 6 | Last comment: 05-16-2011 at 14:48
Joined: January 13th, 2010
|It is nice to hear a little more details about the way this game is balanced. I was wondering how it would be done. I originally thought that Republic would field the larger army, but it makes more sense for CIS to. |
Nice interview, and i hope to see the end result soon.
Oh, and Z, have a
From: (British Columbia)
Joined: June 22nd, 2006
|Rock on z3r0x! |
Joined: January 1st, 2010
|When this comes out, I'm reinstalling FoC |
Joined: August 2nd, 2006
|I'm hoping this means we're close to release time... |
Joined: October 18th, 2008
|Same here! |
Joined: April 12th, 2007
|Where is the manual??! |
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