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Interviews  Troopers: Dawn of Destiny Interview (eng.)   JeDiDrAko 06.08.2003 

1.) First, what is Troopers about?

Troopers: Dawn of Destiny is a total conversion of Unreal Tournament 2003, designed to draw its players into the universe that is Star Wars. With player models and skins of Stormtroopers and Rebel soldiers; maps depicting such locales as Dagobah, Endor, and Yavin IV; brand-new weapons like the A280 Blaster Rifle and the DLT-19 Heavy Blaster; an all-new gametype designed around teamplay; and completely new music and sound effects, not to mention brand-new voicepacks; Troopers is truly a total conversion to top them all. So far, only the Demo of the game has been released, but with a slew of maps, models, weapons, and more to still go in, fans can look forward to a huge about of content and gameplay fun as the game progresses in the future.

2.) So, are you a big Star Wars Fan?

I like to think of myself as one! The whole team is, of course, absolutely in love with Star Wars; we have to be, or we wouldn't be here. As the author of the group, I have to know the Star Wars universe inside-out so that I can write to it. Kahlzarg, our lead modeler, is a whiz with Star Wars weaponry, and we all turn to him for information on the workings of different weapons. Other than that, we're all just very much in love with the universe, and our working on a project that is looking to bloom into one heck of an extraordinary flower is nothing short of amazing to us.

3.) What was LucasArts' reaction to Troopers?

Considering the fact that we're running with the Star Wars intellectual property, something that is very much theirs, and we're doing it completely outside their company, they've been fantastic. Very encouraging and undeniably supportive of our progress. Of course, we recently learned that we will not be allowed to be judged in Epic's Make Something Unreal contest, but to be perfectly honest, the Troopers team was expecting as much. While LucasArts freely lets us develop and distribute the mod, getting money for their intellectual property IS a little dodgy, wouldn't you think? Of course, that assumes we were placed high enough to win money, but it's always good to keep a fresh and upbeat outlook on things! We're still having a great time making the modification, we're still loving every moment of its production, and we're still getting great support from our fanbase. What more could we ask for?

4.) Are you happy about the released Demo? Is there anything that could be better?

Tons of things. TONS. Almost everything in the Demo could be better, but we would never have gotten the concepts and ideas and feedback that we've gotten if we hadn't released it. We're always getting suggestions, comments, and criticism from the fanbase, and a good deal of the suggestions are making their ways into the mod itself. Maps are being rethought and code rewritten, but at the same time, we love the Demo. Three classy maps, eight different skins to wear, four blasters to play with, and all-new gameplay elements; it's a fantastic push-off point for the future of the mod. In short, the Demo is good, but things can ONLY get better.

5.) How is the feedback from all the Star Wars fans who've played your mod?

Very supportive. We've gotten virtually countless e-mails and forum posts and comments in IRC about how our mod is the single most realistic Star Wars FPS ever created. Fans seem to be enthralled with the atmosphere of the Demo, and how it really draws gamers into the spirit of Star Wars. It's always good to hear such comments, because every single Team member has put forth effort into adding atmosphere. The texture artists spend time perfecting the tiniest details in their textures, while the mappers create authentic scenes and shots that folks will be able to recognize from the original trilogy. The modelers have created some positively astounding player models and static meshes that are virtually unmatched in visual supremacy, while those working on sound and music have both created a specific feel for the game while retaining the strongest audio points from the movies (all produced in-house, of course). eXoR has spent hours perfecting weapon code, while I devote much of my time to writing backstories and biographies to help pull folks in. All in all, we are very devoted to universe immersion, and the public response has been overwhelmingly positive in that respect.

6.) What can we expect in future releases of Troopers?

Put simply: more of everything, and new stuff as well. Expect to see the three Demo maps polished up to spec and a slew of new ones come off the production line. Expect to see more player models and skins, like the Rebel snow soldier and imperial Snowtrooper, the Endor Rebel and the Imperial Scouttrooper, and more. Expect to see new weapons, including explosive thermal detonators and mano-a-mano vibroblades and melee weapons. Expect to see updated versions of CleanSweep and brand-new gametypes that will give objective-lovers something to talk about. Expect to see vehicular action springing up on the surface of planets. Expect to see revamped in-game menus and all-new and improved music and sound effects. Expect to see it all, and we WILL provide.

7.) What do you think of the Unreal Engine? Is it as easy to modify as everyone says?

While it does have its snags like every other engine out there, UT2K3 is amazingly versatile, nevertheless. I have many memories of different team members speaking of how much they love the tools provided. One such memory springs to mind right now; ShroomDuck, a mapper and texture artist on the Team, incorporated fractal animation into the water volumes on the Dagobah and Endor maps. The animations, which are done on-the-fly and are light on computer taxation, give the Dagobah swamps the look of being splashed on by the falling rain, and give the Endor river a dynamic otherwise lacking from its movements. We're using projectors in our maps, too, and they're looking fantastic. All-in-all, the engine is beautiful, and we are very, very glad we used it to create Troopers.

8.) Is there anything you want to say to all the UT2003: Troopers fans out there?

Yes: thanks for having us. Thanks for sitting by through thick and thin, for giving your thoughts when it mattered and for leaving us to our own devices when we needed our own time. Thanks for always being there to put a smile on our faces, and thanks for lifting up our hearts with your words of encouragement. We do it all for you, you guys. All for you.

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