Earlier this week I spoke to Fuzzdad about Day of Defeat source and mapping with the source engine,but before the interview, here's some info about him.
Fuzzdad is the creator of some of Day of Defeat's official maps, namely glider and falaise.
The Last three Generations of His Family, have had Members serving in the US Armed Forces. His GrandFather served During WWI and WWII, His father Served during the Korean and Vietnam wars, Fuzzdad and his brother served in the army during Desert Storm.
During his time in the Army his many responsibilitys included Stinger Missile Platoon Leader and Attack Helicopter Company Commander.
He has been married for 24 years, has three children and currently live's outside Washington DC near Dulles International Airport.
Outside of the Army he has worked as a McDonalds Fry Guy, Janitor, Bowling Hall Attendent, Pin machine maintainer, short-order cook, Corporate Quality Assurance Manager, and Director of a Nation-wide set of help desks.
Fuzzdad and his son Sam
Now to the interview
At what point did you decide to start Mapping and why?
"Back in the Quake/Doom days I taught myself how to map. I followed a small tutorial that showed you how to make a room, then two rooms with a door and a hallway between them. The first time I actually started up the Quake engine and ran my own map was a thrill."
How did you get involved in dod, dod:s?
"My son was part of the original DoD team. He and I had seen SPR and he was working on a WW2 Omaha Beach Diorama for high school and was playing CounterStrike. We both thought a WW2 mod based on the Half-Life engine would be cool. He found a few people working on several mod's and joined them together. He was the first team leader of the mod. After a while he got tired of it and I started mapping in the engine. My first DoD map was really a brush-based WACO glider to be used as a pre-fab. I then built s small enclosure for the glider, which turned into a farmyard, which eventually turned into my first map, dod_Glider."
dod_glider, formerly known as para_gilder
What would you like to see in DoD:S?
"My face on the Axis MG-42 player. Seriously, I'd like to see the same great gameplay and a bunch of new maps. I love most of the old DoD 1.3 maps but I think it's time to stir things up and put out some new content, not just remakes of old maps. The one thing that has been constant with DoD over the years has been the dev teams willingness to embrace change. It's the gameplay and the changes year-to-year that have kept players coming back time and time again after each major release. How many other games do you know of that have been around, in one form or another, for the last four years? Only a few...and those are the massively advertised games (Doom, Quake, SIMS, etc) where DoD has hardly ever been advertised."
What would you say is the most exciting aspect of DoD on the source engine?
"The ability to make more realistic and authentic locations to play in and bringing DoD into the future in terms of maps and game engine."
Which of your maps will be making the transition to the source engine?
"I'm not sure what the dev team has in mind. I've personally remade dod_falaise in the Source engine but I'm not sure what will happen to the map. Since I'm not on the dev team it's not my call. It's up to them."
The 1.3 version of Falaise
How does the new engine enhance or detract from the game play of the original?
"100% improvement in sound, physics, maps, etc. The engine is obviously harder on systems than the current HL1-based game but in this day-and-age you just can't release product that looks like the old DoD and get away with it. I don't see any detractions other than it's harder on your PC than DoD 1.3."
What does the Source engine allow for that you couldn't do on HL1?
"You name it...better maps, better sound, addition of physics, the scripting language in the entities allows for a far better way to work sequenced events in (like a exploding wall). I also see that the dev team has started to push standardization to the custom mappers like standard wall thickness, brush size, model usage, etc. HL1-based maps and games are really what I call "four walls and a door" games/maps. Very simple stuff. Source allows for a far more complex and authentic world in terms of graphics, sounds, scripts, textures, etc. It's a whole new world."
how does current graphic technology effect the job of mapping?
"It's harder to map now. With advanced engine capabilities the mappers job get's harder. It's taking me almost five months of part-time work to get dod_falaise ported over to Source. In DoD 1.3 it would have taken me only two months. Part of this is the direct result of having to learn a new mapping tool and trying to decipher the complex file structure necessary to make all this "happy stuff" work. In the old days a model-maker made a model and you placed it in your map. Now that model maker has to create five or six files per model plus texture files. The good news is although maps are harder to make they look amazing."
do you use any skills and tactics you learned during your time in the armed forces while you play games?
"Skills: Heavens no...games are games...real shooting is not a game. All games can do is prepare you for possibilities. I can see a real-life application of gaming in that if you already have in the computer 3d maps of the place you are going to attack then you can use the PC the rehearse the mission. The USAF uses computer simulations to do the same thing"
"I hope everyone enjoys DoD Source when it comes out but also take time out to read a good book now-and-again and let your mind learn."
If You want to know more about Fuzzdad you can view his blog here http://mysite.verizon.net/warewind/blogger.html
I must give Fuzzdad a big warm *Huggles* for letting me conduct this interview
Interview conducted and article written by Malcolm "Blitz-Those" Grant for cpcff.co.uk 31/05/05