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Harjassk Diplomacy

Interviewer: Emambu
Subject: Matthew Pate

[Emambu] For starters, tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, what got you into Star Wars and editing MOTS levels?

[Matt] Well, my name's Matthew Pate, I work at a great site called the Admiral's Command Chamber, and I'm 15 years old, since last week. Strangely enough, I 'liked' Star Wars for a pretty long time. I had TIE fighter, which I really enjoyed, and then a friend bought me 'Heir to the Empire' for Christmas a couple of years ago, and it basically spiraled from there.

[Emambu] Have you any past editing experience with SW or other games?

[Matt] Yeah, I edited Descent 2 for a couple years, but I found it pretty limiting. The cube system it uses is pretty annoying, and it's nearly impossible to make outdoor areas. I liked the idea of customizing games, Quake in particular, and once I started getting interested in Star Wars, I saw Jedi Knight, and a good review in a magazine I read, and I thought I'd check it out. I actually found Massassi and before I bought the game, though.

[Emambu] Tell us a little bit about the levels. Out of countless possibilities, why something along the lines of Harjassk? Also, why a series of multiple levels? Why not one or two like many other authors?

[Matt] I felt that Imperial bases had been done to death, and I really like making outdoor areas, and I didn't really have a plot until I'd already built the pirate base, and then I just thought up something a little different. Well, I already had 1 level done, another nearly done by the time I actually released the first one, and with a dueling level and an interactive intro level, I only had to make about 1 1/2 more levels. It didn't seem like much to do...

[Emambu] Can you tell us about the plot to Harjassk Diplomacy? Will there be any twists or will it follow the same plot that we were treated to back in late September of '98?

[Matt] It'll have plots. It explains the reason the Imperials were using the Asteroids to blockade the base in MotS, as well as other goodies. Lamnin (the main character) also discovers a plot that could mean destruction of the galaxy (sort of). It will have some plot twisty bits, especially in the third and beginning of the fourth level.

[Emambu] Can you tell us a little bit about architecture and overall design of your levels? Will it be different then a bunch of boxes slapped together?

[Matt] I sure hope so! Well, A lot of it is outdoors, as I find it easier and much more appealing. You can cleave anywhere and have a nice excuse. It's as easy to make it non-boxy, as it is simple to add extra detail like trees, rocks, canyons etc.

[Emambu] Will we be treated to new characters other then the ones that appeared in the first release of Harjassk Diplomacy?

[Matt] Yep. A new Dark Jedi turned Warlord, and some other minor ones. Drassk and Lamnin have also gotten a facelift.

[Emambu] Will there be any new enhancements: COG's, MAT's, 3DO's, AI's, PUP's, cut-scenes?

[Matt] Currently 65 custom COGs, 147 mats, 37 3dos, 5 ais, and 2 pups at last count. I hope it grows. A lot of the things I wanted weren't possible so I had to learn COG pretty quickly, meaning it's a little less efficient than you could hope.

[Emambu] Since this is MOTS, will we see any colored lighting?

[Matt] Not overly, I use MotS mainly for the extra weapons and 3dos, but I have colored lighting around consoles, skies and engines etc.

[Emambu] What type of mood are you looking to establish in Harjassk?

[Matt] I'm trying to have a 'small-town' feel about the level. Lamnin is trying to get resources at one point, but it all goes to help wimpy Kyle and Mara on Altyr 5. I haven't given too many force powers, only the simple ones, as Lamnin isn't an 'Uber-Jedi'. I want the player to feel they have to work around problems, instead of destroying everything, and so there are quite a few puzzles, but not really hard ones like in Warzone II.

[Emambu] On your webpage it seems that the level we played back in late September '98 is now level 2 of the series. Any comments as to why you bumped it back?

[Matt] Well, it's still really level 1. The 'new' level 1 is basically an interactive intro. There are about 3 enemies total, and the aim of the level is only to receive your mission and get to your customized A-Wing.

[Emambu] Will there be another revised version of the original Harjassk when your done with your series?

[Matt] I hope there won't be any need, but I don't think I'll be that lucky. If there is an overwhelming problem, I might fix it.

[Emambu] Do you plan to release the levels separately or as a pack?

[Matt] A pack. Otherwise most of it could be released now. I want to do it as a pack, because if I want to change something about the series, I can quickly change it. If half the levels were already released, I couldn't do that.

[Emambu] How many levels will Harjassk be divided into?

[Matt] Err, 5. I've already spoken about the first level, you've played the second, the third is escaping the prison Lamnin inevitably found herself in at the end of the 'first' level. The fourth is a secret, and the fifth is currently going to be a Jedi duel. You never know though...

[Emambu] Do you have an estimated time as to when this series will be released?

[Matt] Well after my Christmas break, I've found it hard to get back in the mood. I'm doing little things that needed doing currently. For example, I used print(""); everywhere instead of Cog Strings, and it took the better part of a day to correct that. I also made a new enemy, so I didn't have to use someone else's.

[Emambu] Any final thoughts, comments, criticisms, or reflections towards your series?

[Matt] Not really, who should I criticize? I just hope that the JK community can live long and prosper... Oops.

[Emambu] Thank you for your time. I can't wait until the final release.

[Matt] Neither can I. Pleasure's all mine.

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