Captain_Hastings: Where did you get the name Dune?
- Unicron: Dune may be the biggest sci-fi epic ever, with 11 books, 40 years, and 35 printings. There have been at least 7 major Dune games, none taking the route of first person battle. I saw the announcement for a Dune mod for BF1942 from founder Necron, and I jumped right in. Captain_Hastings: Why did you choose Dune instead of any other topic?
- Unicron: Everyone on the team is a real fan. Personally, Iâ€™ve played all the games back to the Atari 2600, and have read all the books. It's depth and scope intrigues me, and lends itself well to massive battles. Captain_Hastings: When did you start the mod?
- Unicron: We have been working on Dune since around October 2003. It was originally Dune2k, but it would be a sin not to include elements from the entire Dune universe. When I took over as project manager in February, we switched to Dune: Desert Power. To quote Duke Leto Atreides, â€œOn Caladan we ruled by air and sea, here we need desert power.â€ Captain_Hastings: What kind of problems did you face when you first started the mod?
- Unicron: For starters, it was a skeleton crew. Also, the mod tools had just been released and it was still a learning process. Some effects were overdone, and we tended to crash the game a lot. We also had some team members that were against each others ideas. Captain_Hastings: What kind of weapons do you have in the mod?
- Sasmon: Every weapon in the game is related to the Dune universe. Some, like the crysknife and Maula pistol are easily recognizable to fans. Others, like the explosive wafer and shigawire mine only appear in 1 novel or 2. Weâ€™ve also got the personal shield, which protects the soldiers from most projectiles, but causes a catastrophic explosion if hit by the lasgun or lasrifle. Captain_Hastings: What makes each of these weapons interesting?
- Unicron: Dune is refreshing as it doesn't rely simply on bullets and explosions. There's more interaction between cause and effect. The sandworm is specifically for destroying structures, the lasrifle hitting a personal shield causes massive explosions, and the flamethrower can keep multiple soldiers at bay. Those are just a few examples. Captain_Hastings: Do you use bullets or lasers more?
- Sasmon: Well we have 2 lasers and 2 bullet guns so far
- Unicron: Yes, the use of laser weapons in Dune is somewhat taboo, and the Great Houses frown upon its use due to the dangerous repercussions Captain_Hastings: In the Dune series there is a creature called a Sandworm, do you have it in your mod?
- Unicron: Yes, the best weapon is the thumper, carried by Fedaykin class Fremen. For those of you who donâ€™t know, the thumper is a handheld staff like object that is planted in the ground. It emits a constant pulse, which always drives the Sandworms mad. Shortly after being activated, the worm comes. Damage to the surrounding area is severe... The Harkonnen team is balanced by having the Deathâ€™s Hand missile Captain_Hastings: What are some of the vehicles and what makes each one unique?
- Sasmon: The famous Ornithopter and Carryall act as the main air units for both Houses. Being limited by the BF1942 engine, the Carryall currently canâ€™t pick up vehicles. I am strongly opposed to jumping ship to BF: Vietnam for this feature. For now it is a powerful gunship. We have the Sonic tank and Flame tank for heavy armor. Recon units include the Quad and Sandbike. Those 4 units appear in previous Dune games. Praying we can get them to cooperate, the artillery roles are played by the Atreides Minotaurus and Harkonnen Devastator. Both of these units are fire support mechs which appear in Dune: Emperor.
- Unicron: The fire support mechs are our walkers, very slow and powerful, rear line defense. Captain_Hastings: Do you have new player skins?
- Unicron: Yes, we are reworking both team skins. Iâ€™ve been an avid Photoshop user for years, and love painting with it. Iâ€™ve worked on every skin thatâ€™s been conceived so far. Iâ€™ve also incorporated Deep Paint 3D whenever I get a chance to use it. I also recommend a good digital tablet to any graphic artist. The result is a skin with great depth and detail. Iâ€™m also using creative transparency and environmental lighting to add to the feel. Itâ€™s been awhile since BF1942 was released, so weâ€™ve increased the size of many of the textures to coincide with advancing PC specs. Captain_Hastings: What kind of terrain do you have in the mod?
- Unicron: Well our first maps will consist mostly of desert, so fans can freely call the mighty Shai-Hulud (sandworm). Of course, it wouldnâ€™t be Dune without desert. Another favorite is Giedi Prime, the Harkonnen team home world. It is a dark industrial world with a dark red sky. We have some great lighting in store for it. Future maps will feature the Atreides home world, the center of the empire Kaitain, and others. Captain_Hastings: What is the most common terrain?
- Unicron: Open desert with rock formations and custom buildings. We decided that naval warfare fans might find themselves "beached" due to a lack of water. Captain_Hastings: What is the usual size of your maps?
- Sasmon: Well, due to the make up of the mod, we plan team oriented single assaults instead of a constant fragfest. This leaves the option to have large maps, allowing time to prepare the armies for assault. Captain_Hastings: How long does it usually take to build each map?
- Unicron: We plan to allow for our beta testers to submit maps. Since I began mapping with my studio RefractorDesign.com, my maps have taken about 100-150 hours. This is obviously a bit much but quality is a real issue with me. Captain_Hastings: Do you follow the books storyline or do you use your own?
- Sasmon: we have incorporated the entire dune universe, novels and Dune games together. Each map will have its own plot in the briefing. Captain_Hastings: Can you build/destroy stuff?
- Unicron: Weâ€™re working on the build/destroy vehicle production facilities, walls, and defensive turrets. Sasmon is in charge of the destruction department. Vehicle production will be affected by whether or not a factory was just blown to smithereens. Captain_Hastings: Who is on your mod team?
- Unicron: As of last week, founder and modeler Necron left modding for personal reasons. I, Unicron, work on every aspect of the mod, but skins are my specialty. Sasmon is our effects master and coder. Luna of NexusDataNetworks.com is our web host and server provider. Fusion of MudgeTechnologies.com and Nemesis of NZDC.com are New Zealand partners and also hosting servers. Aotek is orchestrating music and part of the sound effects layout. We are working hard, but our current roster needs to be expanded to get our beta out in a timely manner. Captain_Hastings: Will single play be supported?
- Unicron: If we can make friends with the masters of the Single Player community, perhaps. As of now our main focus is on team oriented play. I doubt bots would be able to form any sort of strategy besides human shields. Captain_Hastings: Will co-op be supported?
- Unicron: We haven't yet developed a plan for that game mode. We will however, feature some objective mode, conquest of course, and perhaps a capture the flag. Captain_Hastings: When is your mod due to be released?
- Unicron: There will definitely be a limited beta period before a public release. That release is really dependent on gaining some more development talent. The public can be a harsh mistress, so weâ€™d like to make it as entertaining as possible before everyone gets their hands on it and judges it (even though its free!)
- Sasmon: People interested in beta testing can sign up to our forums on DesertPower.Net. With a little more help a good beta could be ready in about 60 days. Captain_Hastings: Unicron; is there anything else you want people to know about your mod?
- Unicron: Yes. We are working to make Desert Power as innovative and diverse as possible. You can only go so far with guns and vehicles with guns on them. To accomplish this, the focus is on a few important points: 1. Weâ€™re working on the build/destroyable vehicle production facilities, walls, and defensive turrets. 2. Weâ€™re designing the vehicles each with their own supporting role. The Ornithopter are primarily bombers that lead an assault. The carryall follows with its guns and Ixian. Rocket pods to deploy soldiers behind enemy lines. Ground units tail the air assault with light units providing recon and fast response, tanks for the brunt of the attack, and the long range fire support mechs for critical targets. 3. Weâ€™re working out the soldier classes to make each vital to the success of the team. During the battle, infantry class soldiers lead with their rifles, or can engage in shield battles with crysknife vs. dagger. Heavy Weapons class soldiers back them up with flamethrower units and Holtzman suspensor rocket units. Engineer class soldiers defend the troops with shigawire mines. Scout units provide lasrifle support and recon with their oil-lens binoculars. Finally, the House Special units are built for major destruction. The Fedaykin Fremen can infiltrate and plant a thumper to call a Sandworm, or the Emperorâ€™s Sardaukar can plant a targeting device for the Harkonnen Deathâ€™s Hand missile. Captain_Hastings: Sasmon; is there anything else you want people to know about your work?
- Sasmon: Well this mod is gonna have some real cool effects for your guns and other things that will just be never seen on the battlefield game. Like we are gonna make a sandworm come out of the ground and blow everything up so if your a fan of all that than watch for this mod when it comes out. We also have a sandstorm. Well thanks guys for the interview and I canâ€™t wait to see the mod out. Thanks to Captain Hastings for doing the interview for us, and thanks for anwsering all those questions Dune Team! This interview will surely go in the records! Keep up the great work with the mod, and see ya on the battlefield!
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Published by AndrewD 15 years ago , last updated 1 year ago
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