The Dorminco Project
Interviewer CookedHaggis learns some of the details about Burrie's upcoming adventure level, "The Dorminco Project". In addition, there is also some discussion about the project in light of the announcement of Jedi Knight 2 by LucasArts.
Could you just tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you got into Star Wars and Jedi Knight editing?
Well, my name is Ruben van der Leun, 18 years old, and studying at the Da Vinci College in Dordrecht. I've always wanted to get into some way of editing. My first attempts were at Wolfenstein and Dark Forces. Unfortunately, both never worked out. It wasn't until I visited the Massassi site and the tutorials that I found out that Jedi Knight is quite easy to work with. My first months of editing were with COGging, and it has only been about half a year that I started to practice on architecture.
So is this project your first attempt at a full-blown level?
You might say that. I had been working on a small prison level, but it never worked out. Besides, when I found out how to do the cogging which I would need for an adventure project, I immediately cancelled it, and practiced some more on doing architecture before I started to work on the project.
If you could just tell us a little bit about this "adventure project"...
It's something that I had wanted to do ever since I found out about JED. What I'm trying to do is to use the Jedi Knight engine to turn my episode into an adventure. If you have played Grim Fandango, you can basically see what I'm trying to achieve - it will be a 100% adventure, no shooting at all. The player will have to do the usual things he has to do in an adventure, like having conversations with NPCs, trading items, using items with each other etc. With the conversations, the player will be able to choose what he wants to do, as seen in regular LucasArts adventures and a camera system will be used, meaning that the action will only be seen from the POV from a camera. There will be no option to switch to first-person or third-person view.
Ah, Grim Fandango LEC at their finest - which brings me nicely to my next question: What kind of mood are you going for: a comic one, similar to LEC's adventures, or a more serious tone?
Well, since comedy is not my forte, I'm personally setting this in a more serious tone.
Have you worked out the plot, and if so, is it very complicated (lots of twists and turns), or is it more linear?
It's a story that has been in my mind from the first days that I realised that I could edit Jedi Knight. I can promise that it will have many twists into it, and that the story might be a whole lot different than it looks from the start.
Are we allowed details of the plot itself, or is it under wraps until the project is released?
Well, I might as well tell you something about it: The level itself will start as a normal day for the character, Gise Dorminco. However, things turn out to pretty bad as the Imperials land on his planet, and for unknown reasons, start abducting people without giving a reason. Amongst these people is the player's brother. Soon after the Empire has left, Gise decides to prepare his ship to go after the Imperials. The first level will be basically about the player preparing his ship... but he still misses several parts... Oh yeah, there will also be several subplots worked into the storyline... including a rebel commando who seems to follow the player, but always turns away if the player heads towards him. I'm not going to give away any more details though.
Earlier you mentioned some of the new features that we can expect in it (such as interactive conversation), specifically though, what kind of new Cogs, MATs, 3DOs, PUPs, AIs, etc. can we look forward to?
Well, I'm not master of art, so most of the MATs and 3DOs you'll see are just some of the regular 3DOs, but then swapped together. I'm already working on some new PUPs for the characters; in fact, I'm trying to create as many as I can to create a more believable experience. As for cogs, well, this is where the game will shine. I'm also specifically targeting to make it look as if the player is walking through a city. For example, if the player enters a screen, there might be no civilians at all, yet when he returns later; the screen might be filled with more characters. And later, they might be gone. Since most of the architecture is not good at all (In my own humble opinion), I hope that the dynamics will more than make up for it.
Is the project for Jedi Knight or Mysteries of the Sith?
Mysteries of the Sith. I initially tried to do it for JK, but when I found out how to work with the glorious command called playeraction, I immediately switched over to MotS. Playeraction gives me much more freedom, and makes my editing a tiny bit easier.
So how far would you estimate you are through the level's production, and do you have a rough release date for us?
Tough questions... the architecture is almost complete, and I'm currently implementing the camera system... I'd say I'm currently finished for about 65%. As for a release date, I'll be clich´┐Ż: When it's done.
What are your opinions on the newly announced Jedi Knight 2 and your plans (if any) for editing it?
To be honest, when I first read about Jedi Knight 2, the first thought that crossed my mind was "Drat, there goes my adventure." But after seeing that it'll be released in Spring 2002, I knew that there is still enough time... I'm personally hoping that Jedi Knight 2 will be another good episode in the story of Kyle Katarn. The story itself shows much promise, and I just can't wait to get back to the field and hack some more troopers. As for editing it, I personally am waiting for any confirmation that we CAN edit it. (Seeing as how LucasArts tends not to support it). However, if we can edit it, and creating an adventure episode is possible, I just might.
Is there anything else you'd like to add (a shameless plug for example)?
Read the Massassi Wars saga!
Thanks a lot for giving up your time to do this interview. I personally can't wait for The Dorminco Project to be released.
Thank you very much. Can't wait to release it m'self.