Battle of Toprawa
With interviewer Emambu asking some questions about the planning and design of Battle of Toprawa, Antilles fills us in on his editing methods and plans for the series. He also mentions some of what the newest level will offer in terms of enhancements.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What got you into editing?
I'm a huge Star Wars fan, and currently I review levels for the Admiral's Command Chamber. I thought it would be fun and interesting to make my own level, so I decided to start editing. Ryan also recommended editing experience so that I could do better reviews. I've seen some of the slag levels that are out these days, and I wanted to make a fun level for Star Wars fans to play.
Is this your first entry into the wonders of editing or do you have previous experience?
This is my first level that I'm actually going to release, but I tinkered with two other small levels before this. During those, I learned a lot about making architecture and using COGs. I also made a DF level, but I never released it.
What are your methods behind creating this level? What do you hope to accomplish with it?
Patience is definitely a virtue. Sometimes I get an idea from something I see, and I put it in my level. I make the architecture and texture it, and then I add the power ups and enemies. Sometimes however, things did not go right, so I had to scrap certain areas and do them over again. That's not always bad because it gives you a chance to do it more efficiently, but it's aggravating if you screw up something you really like or that is hard to make. I hope that my level is fun to play, and that people will remember it, and perhaps even play it twice. (Other than reviewers who always forget to take the screen shots the first time, like me.)
Tell us a little bit about the plot to your level. Do you plan to have any twists or turns in store?
The plot is pretty straightforward. The level involves searching the city for a stolen explosive device. During the course of the level, there are many places to explore, and a few things that will make you laugh and keep you interested. I may develop the plot more, but I think I'll just leave it for now. My next level will be a bit more involved and interesting, but I don't want to give away any specifics.
Any comments towards the architecture and design of your level? How did you plan it? Did you design it as you went along, or did you sketch it out before making it?
I think that the beginning of my level resembled a DF level at first, because all the walls were vertical and straight. When I began, I still did not have a great amount of experience, so the architecture improves as you move through as I learned more. I recently went back and touched up the beginning areas, and they look a heck of a lot better now. One screen shot in my feature is really boring, but when you play the real level, you'll see a big difference. Basically, I just made the level as I went, incorporating any ideas as they came. I made a couple of sketches, but I usually organized my level in my head.
Any new features in your level that you would like to comment on: New AI's, PUP's, COG's, MAT's, BM's, 3DO's, etc?
I don't have any new AIs or PUPs because my skill is not yet that advanced. I did however, create some of my own 3dos, and I have a few new COGs. Ryan helped me create these, and I can tell you they are excellent. If you find the sliding rug secret, I commend you. (You'll also get a big bonus.)
Since this is MOTS, are we going to see any colored lighting?
Yes. I have colored lighting in my level, and Ryan liked it, so I'm going to keep it. I didn't put in a whole lot for fear of overusing it, and I didn't want it to become common place. (I also had no idea what it would look like before I got my new 3d accelerator, so I just added it recently.)
Any comments towards the setup of the level? How much of a realistic effect are you going for?
I didn't have any specific layout in mind; I just made a town. I wanted it to be fun, so I made lots of cool places to explore, and used interesting COGs. I'm not going crazy with realism like the guy who is taking real measurements and exacting a Star Destroyer (no offense, I just couldn't go through all that), I just made houses and cantinas, marketplaces etc. I didn't violate my number one rule of mixing smugglers and Imperials, and everything is pretty realistic.
What kind of mood are you going to try to put the player in?
I definitely want the player to have fun, but to have a challenge as well. I hope they find it to be a classic level in the Star Wars universe, and that they really get into it.
Any final comments towards the level, your editing or yourself in general?
I feel that the editors these days should really put some time into one level, and make it really good instead of pumping out mediocre ones. I worked on this one for a few months, so I hope everyone enjoys it. That's my real purpose, for people to have fun.
Thanks a lot for your time. I can't wait until it's released.