Sine Nomen & Nar Shaddaa
Subject: Sine Nomen
[CookedHaggis] If you could just start off telling us a wee bit about yourself, and how you got into Star Wars and level editing.
[Sine] I'm a 17 year old high school student, and I live in Charlotte, North Carolina (US). I'm enamored with the original trilogy because of the story, but the universe itself has drawn me in simply because it's so vast. On one hand, I think giving each of the cantina characters a backstory kinda robs that scene of its magic, but at the same time it provides a wealth of material that allows level editors a lot of breathing room. I think that's why editing SW games has so much of an appeal.
[CookedHaggis] So why JO? And why not JK? You've been kicking around the community for ages...
[Sine] I'm not entirely sure why I never edited JK. I started to get into it when I first joined the community, and just never really followed through. *shrug* When I heard JO was coming out, I planned ahead and started messing around in Radiant, and I really got into it.
[CookedHaggis] So I hear you're working on some kind of Nar Shaddaa level; why go there yet again?
[Sine] I chose Nar Shaddaa for a number of reasons. I have a thing for gritty urban environments, and Nar is the pinnacle of urban decay, seediness and grime. It lends itself well to a story. It also has a distinctly Star Wars feel to it - it has everything I love about the Star Wars universe; it's vast, convoluted, and very easy to get lost in.
[CookedHaggis] Excellent; very film noirish...which leads me onto the next question; is there any specific influence in mind (films, games, artwork) for the style of the level, or is it just all really your own imagination?
[Sine] I really liked the look of the original Nar Shaddaa - the one depicted in Dark Empire. Unfortunately, it didn't really show enough to base a level on, so I combined elements of traditional arab marketplaces, factories and a section of Hong Kong called Kowloon. As far as the Dark Forces series goes, the original version (in Dark Forces) was my favorite. I got a lot of ideas from there.
[CookedHaggis] Ah, interesting; very different to what I presumed - something along the lines of Blade Runner and things of that ilk. So is this going to be a series, or just a one off?
[Sine] I'm really not sure at this point. To be honest, the JO community isn't very lively, and making SP levels for JO without an SDK can be ...frustrating, so I have difficulty seeing myself doing anything after this.
[CookedHaggis] First and last level then? It'd better be a cracker...
[Sine] I hope so ...gonna leave it at that.
[CookedHaggis] 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?
[Sine] When I first started making it, I really didn't know what I was doing. It looked alright, but it was horribly built, and the FPS was about 20 lower than it could've been. So I salvaged what I could, and built onto it with a loose plan in mind.
[CookedHaggis] I notice you've not posted any shots on the Showcase forum for a while (almost 3 months in fact), any particular reason, or just slow progress?
[Sine] Someone pointed out to me that was giving away the whole level. I post regularly on the Editor's Corner though, and in #massassi and #tacc. Although that's not to say progress isn't slow. I'm happy with the way everything's turning out, but I worry about spending too much time on small areas.
[CookedHaggis] So I take it that means you're a bit of a perfectionist then; always tweaking things?
[Sine] Absolutely. It'll be my undoing.
[CookedHaggis] Is there going to be any new scripting or cutscenes in the level at all?
[Sine] There almost certainly will be, but I haven't learned how yet. Right now I'm just building the level - I'll go back and add NPCs and whatnot.
[CookedHaggis] So is it designed with any "one thing" in mind (the aforementioned urban decay, or to be "realistic" for example), or is it more of a "see how it turns out" thing?
[Sine] Definitely realism. As much as a miles-high decaying city populated by thousands of humanoid aliens can be realistic, at least.
[CookedHaggis] So is this going to be a Jedi level, or a "guns only" affair? And is Kyle going to the the protangist?
[Sine] The protagonist will probably be Kyle's former apprentice - this takes place about 60 years after ROTJ. I would like to find a way to include guns, though.
[CookedHaggis] So the details of the plot aren't set in stone at the moment?
[Sine] They are. That's all I'm saying.
[CookedHaggis] Release date? Is there one?
[Sine] Summer '03, maybe? By necessity...I start college in the fall.
[CookedHaggis] Complete change of topic here, but I'm interested; how's it been being in the JK community (and a Massassi admin person) for so long? Did you ever think of yourself as a "message board type person"?
[Sine] It's been fun, at times, and I've made friends - as much as two people can be friends over the internet. There have been some ...ok, many bad times, but I guess that's to be expected in any community. As the older visitors get older, and the newer ones get younger, things really start to change.
[CookedHaggis] All that's left is for me to thank you very profusely for putting up with this, and to ask you if there's any parting shot you'd like to leave us with?
[Sine] Thank you ...and no, not that wouldn't somehow incriminate me.