Holocron Editing
The Holocron team takes some time with Ryan's questions and gives you an inside look at Mara Jade: Identity Crisis, their upcoming multi-level project for MotS. The interview covers areas such as the creation of the team, current level work, and future plans.
For anyone who is not familiar with Holocron Editing, could you give a general description of the formation your editing group and your current plans? (How did you all get together to form Holocron, and what are you doing now?)
I personally joined Holocron in the middle of the Summer, I'm not sure about the rest of the history. From what I undertand the group was formed by Megamonkey and another person, but I'm not sure when. This group is somewhat different from other editing "gangs" because we did not all get together at once, we joined the group one at a time. Most of our members have joined since we moved in at Jedinights.com.
I really can't remember exactly. I know I was very interested in becoming part of an editing group, but as I can't edit I knew that would be problematic. I did have a very keen interest in SW stories and such and wanted to be involved on that level. Megamonkey was the original head honcho behind Holocron and he had put up a classified ad of sorts just looking for anyone and everyone. I applied and since that time Justin0 and I have assumed leaderhip.
I can't remember the exact date or even the month when Holocron formed, but it was headed by MegaMonkey. I joined not long after the group was started. We didn't do very much to begin with until we got together in a chat one day. We discussed what we wanted to do and came up with two major ideas. One of these was a little game called team hand ball or something like that. I can't remember what that was. The other idea was a TC on a pre-industrial planet in the Star Wars universe long before the movies take place. The Sith were going to come out of nowhere and take over and you were supposed liberate the planet. We worked on that TC for a while, but we didn't get very much done. A while ago MegaMonkey stepped down as our leader and Justin0 took his place. We decided to adopt Yuri's "Mara Jade: Identity Crisis" story as our new TC, the project we are currently working on. Finally after the group started to gain members, we got hosted by Jedinights.
It was about two years ago that I decided I was tired of surfing around looking for groups to help. I took the weekend off to make a simple webpage, and sent in a letter to JK.net. My first members were Yuri and Semi I think, but we had nothing to work on. It wasn't long until we had 10 or 12 members and sometime last summer I came up with a proposal for Justin0. He could run Holocron with Yuri and I would just help in the background. We then under took Mara Jade, and now we're here. A long way from the underdog we started as.
Yuri came up to me with the Idea of the Mara Jade Identity Crisis TC. I helped, got very hyped about it, and then wondered if I could join.. it all happened from there :)
What really interested me was long ago before MJ:IC when we were gonna do Lando Stories. It just seemed cool. After we dumped Lando Stories to someone else, I lost a bit of faith. I decided I'd just get the weapons done and that'd be that, since I didn't really think another mod with an already used character was appealing.
In particular, how is work on the current single player project, "Mara Jade: Identity Crisis" coming along?
To be honest work, lately, has been rather slow. I've been working on my level every few days, instead of everyday like I'd love to. But I've just received word that Ewok, our skinner/graphics dude, has finished our new mara jade skin. I'm not sure about the other editors, They'll answer for themselves.
Slow, I gather. That's to be expected though what with school and work and what not. I really contribute very little now as I still don't edit and am unlikely to learn anytime soon. I do tweak the story now and again to make some jobs easier for editors and to clarify certain story points.
As the other members have already said, work has been slow lately. School and other activities that come with this time of the year leave me with little time to work on the project.
Dido... and seeing I want to get into Carleton I need to study alot this year, but I do get the odd day of work in.
I mess up with making it all 3D Accelerated and then I remember "Oh yeah, people don't have 3dfx cards always...", and then I haveta re-do it.. all level base is done, tho.. but I urge everyone that runs this to have a 3D Accelerator Card!!
What are the new features (weapons, skins, force powers, 3DOs, etc.) that are under development?
As stated above there is a new Mara Jade skin, and at least one other skin, plus an enemy or two, and lots of new 3dos. Oh, and the weapons; they are almost done.
Well we had a really cool weapons guy, Quib Mask, who has seemingly fallen off the face of the earth. We are going to be borrowing some of the weapons from Tazz's Rogue Squadron project. The weapons ideas, on our page, are largely my creation. Whether all of them will appear in the project is undetermined at this point. I'd love them to be, but they might not all be terribly applicable. They will fall under a future project heading, but anyone who wants to take a stab at them can go ahead.
Will we see the appearance of any new major characters? If so, what role will they play in the episode?
For the third time there IS a new Mara skin, so she will be the only playable character in MJ:IC... I was thinking on creating a new character for later MODS.
There will be a new enemies, but having had discussions with other group members they won't necessarily be new jedi personalities. We are going to have a new assassin droid that you face off against in one level. We also want to introduce either a new or old bounty hunter character for an end of level showdown. I personally like Dengar, but we'll see.
I would say something here, but I fear for my life if I give any story related information out.
When it comes to this stuff I'm at a loss. Sure I was there when the idea spawned, but I was also born yesterday.
Well, I uh... (target sniper cross appears on forehead) ...I can't say anything about other levels, but I have been working on a modified AI for a few (gulp) statues so that they have some Sith mind... (gulps even harder) ..I needta shuttup now.
All I know is that the characters will have new weapons, and will attack differently. w/adavanced AI.
Could you give us a description of the plot of "Mara Jade: Identity Crisis"?
he plot in MJ:IC is VERY well thought out and VERY complex. It will involve some rather ingenious disputes brought up in one of the later levels of MotS. I'm afraid if I give away anymore Yuri will yell at me, so I'll leave him to answer this question.
Giving out details without giving away the story would be difficult. I will say that the reason I got involved in the first place was because of how pathetic some of the stories were. Even as far back as Dark Forces there were some great levels and missions with some truly ridiculous stories. I got sick of seeing Kyle going after the death star planns for the umpteenth time. MJ:IC is, humbly, probably one of the best stories out there for JK. I borrowed heavily from SW: Dark Empire comics as a source of inspiration. The story is also painfully written so as to fit into continuity which I'm very big on. The big thing that will hopefully interest players is that they still won't really have any idea what's going on even half way through the missions. There is a real mystery element to the game. The story is also a very logical one and I hope die hard SW fans appreciate the complexity and secrecy.
How will the levels be released? Do you have any estimates on release dates, or is that still in the distant future?
Our latest poll is/was How do you want MJ:IC to be released.? If the votes go as they are going then we will be releasing one at a time. Which means we could be releasing one level before Christmas *gasp* There are some problems I've found with releasing one at a time, I'm going to dedicate an update at our page to this question.
Why did you opt to create "Mara Jade: Identity Crisis" as a MotS episode instead of using Jedi Knight? Do you see any specific benefits of one over the other?
For me the best thing is coloured lighting. I belive in mood and coloured lighting allows for LOTS of mood... Also, for weapons: MotS allows for two or more weapons on every key, so we can add a whole lot, and we ARE going to. I think 4 new weapons.
The story takes place directly after the events after MOTS so it just seemed logical to me. Editing wise I couldn't say anything about advantages or disadvantages.
First there are legal issues. We would have to use elements from MotS in JK and as we all know that is a big no no. MotS also has a few improvements that are nice to use.
As far as I remeber: I had simply said when asked which one to use, "lets use MotS I guess". At least thats the way I remember it, I just liked MotS better. Although the above could also be true.
MotS has many of the creatures we needed for the TC, and coloured lighting helps. Also, SAN cutscenes... I hated making SMKs, but SANs are a PITA too...
After "Mara Jade: Identity Crisis" is completed, what are your future editing plans? Will you continue to work together as Holocron Editing and begin another SP project?
I am helping with numerous other projects, so after MJ:IC is done I'll probobly finish those, then come back and work with Yuri to design a new plot/storyline. I hope to include completely new characters, weapons and stories, in the next mod.
Prototech editing has expressed interest in a Lando Calrissian Story I've written. That story isn't so secret so for anyone who's interested I can forward that to them. I had been asked ages ago to write an origin story for a clan, but I could never seem to find the time or inspiration. I do have a story idea tentatively titled: Mystery of the Mandalorians. The story concerns one Barney who is a character from an old Marvel comics SW annual. He is a jedi archaeologist doing research into the history of the Mandalorian warriors and what happened to them. Barney's research is under fire as the Empire wants to steal it and Boba Fett wants to destroy it. I have a lot of cool ideas planned for this one. Think Raiders of the Lost Ark meets SW. I'd love to continue working with Justin0, but whether it will be on JK remains to be seen. I'm sure the new batch of SW games will provide some inspiration for both of us and new territory.
As great a game as Jedi Knight is it isn't brand new anymore and it has started to lose some of its momentum. Once the current TC is finished, I don't think I will do any more JK editing, but I may keep editing if I'm inspired enough.
I want to be a pirate, not a sissy lily livered pirate, but a real pirate. Anyway, I think I'm going solo, possibly vanishing completely, all I wanted when I started editing was recognition (I know thats selfish). I left a mark, although small, and this will probably be the end. (sob, boo hoo)
I was writing a sequel to MJ:IC, but, that's gunna be released later.. the story, at least.
Then umm, I dunno. Ask Justin.
Thanks for taking the time for this interview. If you have any other comments, be sure to put them below. As for myself, I can't wait to see the levels.
It had been a pleasure answering them. I'll try to update Holocron more often, but a LARGE update is coming. We may post a demo, or something like that, in the next month.
Happy to.
No worries.
Live long and... I mean, may the force be with you.
I just want to say, (excuse cheesyness) I'm proud of how far we've gotten, oh and for those that play Civ2 I got a city to hit pop 30! Thanks for the interview.
No problem. Cya