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  Halo: Campaign Commander - An Interview with The_Farseer - Mods
  Posted by: codeuser on 12-11-2010 @ 11:42 - Source: The_Farseer
This News Item has been viewed 14,081 times
As those of us who visit ModDB may have seen, there's a new Halo mod kicking around; Halo: Campaign Commander, a mod being worked on by The_Farseer, the same man who created Rise of the Mandalorians. Today, we get a look at what Farseer plans to do with the mod as we asked him some questions in this interview.

1. The majority of EaW mods are based off of one part of Star Wars or another. What drove you to make a Halo mod, knowing that a large portion of the community has its roots in Star Wars mods?

I love Halo, first of all. I might even like it more than Star Wars. The main reason, however, was stated in the question; everyone makes Star Wars "era" mods...or the ever popular "clone wars" mod. I wanted to break away from that and create something that few others have attempted.

2. You’ve released a very successful mod, Rise of the Mandalorians, which I would recommend to any EaW player interested in a high quality mod. How has working on that mod shaped the way you approached working on Halo: Campaign Commander?

I learned a lot from Rise of the Mandalorians. Fans enjoyed it and it received more praise than I thought it would, in honesty. I'm using many of the same techniques to mod for HALO: Campaign Commander but there are things I've picked up post-release of RotM that will also be included. I've also learned though, by just observing the community, that most players get tired of a mod that only adds a few units and retains all the gameplay aspects of the vanilla engine. This has prompted me to look into adding some very unique and perhaps new gameplay mechanics. I won't disclose what they are yet and there are even a few that I don't know if they are possible with the ALO engine. I do know that the EaW community wants and needs something new. HALO: Campaign Commander will hopefully deliver on that with some new and possibly strategy-changing gameplay devices.

3. As I’m sure you’re aware, there have been other Halo mods in the works for EaW/FoC. Why have you chosen to work on your own project instead of joining an existing one?

I've decided to work mostly solo because that's what I did for RotM and it worked out well. It makes progress a bit slower but you avoid the "well so-and-so thinks this aspect needs to be changed" or "fearless leader has decided to cut X content that you just spent a week creating". Working on my own, I can request help when needed but I also have the freedom to make the mod exactly how I want it, only cutting or changing content that I feel needs it. Most importantly though, 3D modeling and texture art are two of my passions! I love doing it so I don't mind doing it all on my own because its fun! I'll also use this opprotunity to give a shout out to the Thrawn's Revenge team for all of their help so far!

4. What sort of gameplay do you intend for your mod to have? What other RTS games have you drawn inspiration from as you crafted this vision of the mod’s gameplay?

I touched on this earlier, hinting at new gameplay mechanics. As I also said before, I don't want to totally delve into every change just yet as I don't even know if some of them are possible but lets just say this: EaW gameplay, originally, was extremely restricted. 'You may only land reinforcements at this spot'...'you may only build turrets here', etc... I would like to achieve gameplay similar to Dawn of War or Company of Heroes. Each of those games pioneer some very incredible RTS features that would be great to imitate in Campaign Commander.

5. Personally speaking, I’d say your mod is shaping up to be one of the most graphically appealing mods for EaW right now. What are some of the ways that you’ve changed the look of EaW and how much do you think this will impact your mod’s overall quality and framerate?

Well thanks for the praise. It's always appreciated! The first thing I have to say is that EaW, despite common cynicism, is actually a very versatile engine that can do some pretty powerful things. The problem is that over HALF of these things were never utilized by the game's creators. Why, I cannot say, except perhaps to preserve framerate on older machines. My changes will probably create a bit of lag on an older comp because I'm striving to make something that surpasses the quality of the original game. That said, here are some graphic features:

-Reflective shaders on units. Codeuser tipped me off to this nice little feature. Not only can you set a unit to have specular hits (shiny) but you can also apply a shader to it that allows it to reflect the texture of the skybox. It's normally used for the water on maps but it looks very nice on those Covenant units that would otherwise be matte and rustic, like the UNSC units.

-This one sounds silly but...bloom. It's one of the most basic features of this game and something that is standard in every RTS game since but it just isn't used! It's just like the mappers for FoC decided not to mess with lighting at all...ever. It's most likely because the expansion pack was rushed but still... Those program engineers didn't create that shader to use filespace god dammit! lol.

- Particle systems!! The Particle systems of EaW have so much potential that was never utilized. Not only do they make amazing muzzle-flashes but they also allow for some great environmental effects like comets that zip by occasionally in space battles or even little lightning streaks during a rain storm on land.

- Persistent corpses (like in RotM) as well as persistent terrain decals or "bullet holes". The later is somewhat limited just due to the game's inability to track more than a set amount but it's still a nice effect to scroll over a battlefield and see bodies and craters all over. }smile There is much more too but you'll just have to wait and see!

6. With Rise of the Mandalorians, you’ve pretty much worked on the project by yourself, though you’ve used assets from other mods and resources. Are you working alone on this project as well? How do you think this will affect the production of the mod?

This is really the same answer as question 3. The main difference between RotM and Campaign Commander though is that there are no Halo assets to borrow, so everything must be made from scratch...though I planned to make everything on my own to begin with. It makes creating a "credits" section much easier.

7. How would you describe community feedback to your mod at this time? Have you expected this reaction to the project?

Feedback has been more than great. I'm amazed at how many people are psyched about the mod just based on their experiences with RotM...I'd have guessed that most people would have forgotten about my other mod by now since it's been untouched for a while. I'm also amazed at how many people are already watching the mod on Moddb...people that I've never heard of that had nothing to do with RotM but just found something with "Halo" and were intrigued. All I can say is that I'm flattered and thank you!

8. Do you have any closing comments about your mod?

Closing comments are simply this: The mod will not be released soon...and no you cannot beta test it! lol. Just a preemptive strike because I get asked that a lot on Moddb. I will take as much time as needed to perfect every aspect of the mod before release. I don't set release dates for myself or deadlines but I do expect a level of quality from my own work that must be reached before I feel comfortable exhibiting it. So be patient and keep supporting! Thanks.

A huge thank you to The_Farseer for talking to us about the mod. We can all eagerly await the next updates on ModDB ( http://www.moddb.com/mods/halo-campaign-commander2 )

          Next News Post 12-12-2010 @ 13:58 - Gamefront: Weekly Network Update 06 (week 50, 2010) - News
          Previous News Post 12-07-2010 @ 11:34 - Gamefront: Weekly Network Update 05 (week 49, 2010) - Files

Average User Rating: 8.9
Number of Votes: 8
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User Comments  
The following comments are owned by the user that posted them. Empire at War Files is not responsible for their content.

Total comments: 7 | Last comment: 01-04-2011 at 09:53

 #1 - thanks for your work farseer - 12-11-2010 at 12:31
From: (Billings)
Joined: October 24th, 2008
Posts: 26
i was truly impressed with RoTM, its in my top 3 mods of all time, i can honestly say that i am in great anticipation of this mod and can hardly wait for it, whether it be a year down the line or 5 i can wait if its as good as RoTM

thanks for the mods and your hard work put into them

 #2 - woo hoo - 12-24-2010 at 21:47
Joined: August 8th, 2007
Posts: 50
i have been tracking all of the other halo mods on modDB and this mod is the only one with ground and all of the little things. but i do have a fiew questions are you going to be making a flood faction? and are you doing any space ships and stations? are there going to be any orbital bombings (like glassing beam or MAC blast)? and finally controllable fighters/ smaller space ships on the ground?

 #3 - sorry - 12-24-2010 at 21:50
Joined: August 8th, 2007
Posts: 50
sorry for the double post but i do not want to sound too inquisitive and no i am not working on another Halo mod. just dreaming about one. (I do not have any modding programs or modding expieiance)

 #4 - Sorry for late replies - 12-31-2010 at 01:00
From: (Kent WA)
Joined: August 28th, 2007
Posts: 1258
#1: Thank you so much for your support! I doubt this mod will take 5 years but 1 doesn't sound out of the question.

#2: Thank you! Yes, there will be a Flood faction but it will not be playable. The Flood will simply be an indiginous faction that attacks any and all other players when playing on a Forerunner map (Halo ring, Ark, etc). Sentinels will act similarly and will also attack Flood. There will be space combat but it's a ways down the road yet. Orbital Glassing will take the place of bombardment for the Covenant and a MAC blast for the UNSC.

 #5 - 12-31-2010 at 22:51
Joined: July 16th, 2010
Posts: 112
RotM is one of the very few mods that I have kept (I have about four). When I was searching for Halo mods and came across Campaign Commander, I looked at the author and instantly knew it was going to be great. Good luck, Farseer!

 #6 - 01-01-2011 at 01:39
From: (Kent WA)
Joined: August 28th, 2007
Posts: 1258
#5: Much appreciated. Thanks! smile

 #7 - can't wait man - 01-04-2011 at 09:53
Joined: April 16th, 2008
Posts: 10
can't wait to see your great work dude

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