2. Your age?
30 (31 this month and born in 1979: the year of the first ALIEN movie)
3. What kind of games do you normally play?
FPS (70%), racing (20%), adventure (10%)
4. What’s your favourite game?
AVP2, Half Life 2 + episodes and wondering trough the endlessness of Oblivion the elder scrolls IV s fun to.
5. When did you start mapping / modding?
I picked up mapping in general again in the winter of 2009, for Half Life 2 Death match
6. Have you created any other maps for other games?
I already mapped a bit for Aliens versus Predator 2 back in 1999.
I worked on a underground base level as well as a detailed version of The Tache Rock Club in Blackpool.
Because of the mapping tool was buggy and the game outdated I quit in 2000, no maps ware ever released.
7. What is your relationship with Aliens versus Predator 2?
I bought AVP2 as soon as it came out after the original AVP (gold), followed by the Primal Hunt expansion pack.
As a fan of both ALIEN and Predator movies I couldn’t not get these games of course.
AVP2 Death match in my opinion is still the best and most intensive online multiplay ive done in a game so far.
8. Why did you decide to rework Leadworks for Half Life 2 Death match?
The main reason I decided to do this was to see if I could do it, just as a test.
Leadworks was my favourite map in AVP2 as well and it was the most simple map since its mirrored half way across.
This test got a bit out of hand tho as you can imagine when looking at the approx 400 hours total.
Right now I even like making my own maps better than actually playing them online, so I guess I will be doing this a lot more in the future..
9. How did you go to work?
I was lucky enough the mapping tool for AVP2 included the original Leadworks map in their sample map directory.
I used this as a reference for size and scale, but blindly copying the layout wasn't possible tho.
This because the original map had to be scaled down 2/3rd to meet realistic dimensions in the hammer tool for HL2: DM.
If I didn’t do this, the corridors and rooms would be WAY to big compared to the original map.
I didn’t want the other half of my map to be a exact copy of the first half as in the AVP2 version.
At some point I came with the idea to create a "power out" with emergency spotlights version of the second half to make the map more exciting.
Also the original AVP2 map had only textures with pipes in the corridors, I dressed mine up with some pipes and vents a bit here and there.
These days you can't get away with a constantly repeating texture on a entire wall in my opinion, you need to add some detail.
After the rough building was done it was time to add lights at logical places, and power boxes behind fences to power the big rooms.
These power boxes ware needed to create a link between the "power down" room and the main lights not working in that area.
Basically one thing comes from another while thinking logical and realistic.
10. Are you planning any other AVP / Aliens maps for Half Life 2 Death match?
Right now I am working on my second HL2: DM map called "Desolated".
its a old house in as small forest with a secret teleporting experimenting base underneath.
When that’s done I might redo a old AVP2 map my buddy Shockwolf made called "Mikeys Hope": http://www.planetavp.com/mods/motw/mikeyshope/
I have his old AVP2 map file I can use the same way I did for Leadworks.
It's a older version tho since the final file got lost due to a pc crash.
I already did a test version of the corridors you can see in the 3rd pic on the site above.
One of you has been so lucky to see a screenshot of that already I think.
I changed some detailed stuff to my own vision already with movie screenshots next to hammer as reference.
All you can do is look at what you have as reference, but in the end you have to do it all different to make it look right.
So yes there is hope for you WPC guys indeed... I might even change the order of the Desolated and Mikeys Hope map rebuild as well
11. Can we expect updates for Leadworks?
At this point there's no intention really, unless people who play it online come with good ideas that would make the map better or more fun.
12. WPC likes to throw shit, could you create a Gravity Gun version? (hehe)
Well the thing is the "stuff" would have to be in the big rooms, since its not logical to putt stuff where you walk in small corridors is there?
I could make a special WPC edition with some more barrels, crates and industrial tools of course, as long as it looks genuine to me :P
In the AVP2 version there was nothing but weapons and ammo crates in the map anyways, not a single crate now I think of it :D
13. What games are you looking forward to?
ALIENS: colonial marines and crysis 2 for now I think.
14. Do you have any tips/tricks for the people who might want to start modding/mapping?
In fact I do have some helpful ones I think.
The first thing you need to do is know what your map will be about, a theme.
Don't just start with a box you toss some props and weapons in that will have to form your kickass map.
If a take Desolated as a example, the idea was "secret base underneath old house in the woods"
Kind of a rip-off from the resident evil movies you could say ( mansion / the hive underneath) but i'm sure its not out there yet in the way I’m doing it now.
So step one was: build the house, step 2 was: build the base.
Google for floor plans and pictures of the subject you work on, use that as reference for your map.
Don't add any extra unneeded rooms that are just empty to make your map look bigger and more impressive.
With every room you make, ask yourself: "why is this room here?, what would be its purpose if this was a real place?".
This is also what they did in HL2 if you look carefully :)
I also make rough drawings myself with pen and paper, as well as quick ones when a cool idea pops in my head about how certain things should look.
It doesn’t have to look drawn nice, as long as it reminds you of your idea you had days before, and forgot all about already.
Use online help and tips!
Go to the "LINKS" page on my site: http://www.xs-chaos.co.uk/
or press F1 while being in hammer editor.
Good luck and don't give up!
If you started it, you wanted to do it right?
Thats it folks! Thank you Xenomorph for taking the time to do this interview! And you are always welcome on our servers!