Galactic Warfare Mod Developer Interview
The Galactic Warfare mod for Call of Duty 4 made a splash on the internet when it released earlier this month with a degree of polish and professionalism that makes it look like an actual Star Wars title.
Galactic Warfare hurls CoD4 into the long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. It’s a total conversion that combines many of the known battlegrounds, characters and weapons of Star Wars with the gameplay of the CoD4-Multiplayer, allowing players to fight either as a trooper of the Imperial Forces or as a soldier from the Rebel Alliance.
Two weeks ago, we had the opportunity to chat with the main developer, Chris “Xiao” Presslauer, about this mod. Read the full interview, below.
When did you start development on Galactic Warfare?
We started around 2.5 years ago. Black monkeys is an FPS community focused mainly on modders, admins, and ambitious gamers. We did some “beta tests” to find modders and mappers for our project.
The first idea was not to do a mod, but to create an E11 Blaster — the well-known Stormtrooper blaster. When we saw how nice it looked, we figured… We’re all Star Wars fans, we’re all Call of Duty fans, so let’s bring our two biggest loves together and make a mod of it.
We first thought, “Do we have the right people to do it?” You need mappers, modders, 3D artists, texture artists, sound, and so on. Because we’d already been looking and knew the community, it only took a week to assemble the team.
What did you work on first?
With the team established, we got started. We first decided on the locations to concentrate on. Each location has its own flavor, and in the beginning, we were very focused on details. Quality was our highest goal. We didn’t want to make 10 maps at one time — that would have been unrealistic. We first decided to concentrate on Endor and Tatooine, a forest map and a desert map.
Xfckup started on Tatooine, building all the props. At the same time, Mapicted started with player models, so he created the troops for the Rebel Alliance and the Empire. This first step took approximately one year.
Xfckup basically did the concept and the first map, and we took this first map — which consistent of completely new content made from scratch — and we gave it and its assets to other mappers and asked them to do CoD2 maps based on, for example, Tatooine. We made one concept and transferred it to other classic maps, which was quite efficient.
How much content was in the first release?
The first release of Galactic Warfare contained Tatooine and that was basically it. We wanted to release everything as soon as possible, because there’s one CoD release every year. When we started with CoD4, it was already on the market for almost a year — we had to decide if we should wait for World at War. In the end, we decided to make the mod for CoD4.
From there, it started growing and growing, and from release to release we got more members in the team so that they could do more maps and new player models.
How much time did you devote to this project?
When such a project starts, everyone is very enthusiastic in the beginning. Sometimes, we would spend 4-7 hours after work in the evening to work on this. But after 2.5 years, things slow down a bit, personal circumstances change — people get married, or change job, or just lose interest in modding — so within this time we had to stop working on two scenarios at the same time. We went on with Tatooine and had to stop with the Endor scenario. But that was fine — there were other maps, like Bespin. T.R. Graves, who is quite known in the CoD mapping community, created this map. It took around one year to realize that one map. They’re all very detailed — or we hope they are; that’s ultimately for the gamers to decide. The guys who created the map put a lot of effort into it.
When did you decide this would be the final release?
We said, “We definitely have to release a final version.” All the other releases were just betas, and interest in the mod was slowing down a bit. There were many sequels in the CoD series — Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops… People who started gaming with those games don’t even know what mods are anymore.
The interest for the last beta was quite low, but we thought, “Lets’ do a final release anyway.” We did, and we were quite shocked about the feedback. In total, we have 1.5 million views on YouTube if you take all our separate videos together. It’s hilarious. For the first beta, we had 65,000 downloads, and for this one, within 2 weeks, we’ve had more than 50,000 downloads. It’s crazy. The servers are quite crowded — and that’s what makes us most happy. It’s great to hear people say the mod is awesome, but the best compliment we can get is that the mod is played.
How many servers do you have?
We have three servers. One standard server in the U.S., one standard server in Germany, and one Hardcore server in Germany.
How many players per server?
24 max. Of course, we could open more slots on the server, but… to be honest, even 24 is too many. For me, the optimum for, say, Search and Destroy, is 6 on 6.