Report article RSS Feed Weekly Interview: "Raindrop"

Every week, Gamer's Guide To Life will be hunting down and interviewing modders on their works - mainstream, unknown, up-and-coming and interesting mods are put on display as the author(s) answer questions regarding the mod, their line or work and providing deep philosophical insights into the universe, life, metaphysics... In the end, you get to discover or play an awesome mod, every week. Plus, you learn something. And learning is fun.

Posted by GGTL on Mar 10th, 2010
Interview

Every week, Gamer's Guide To Life will be hunting down and interviewing modders on their works - mainstream, unknown, up-and-coming and interesting mods are put on display as the author(s) answer questions regarding the mod, their line or work and providing deep philosophical insights into the universe, life, metaphysics... In the end, you get to discover or play an awesome mod, every week. Plus, you learn something. And learning is fun.

While Raindrop might sound like a sweet and innocent experience, it looks to be utterly terrifying. All that is know is that it's the 8th September 1997, somewhere in Russia. 58 years have passed since 'the complex' has been cut off from the outside world. You wake up in an abandoned tunnel, without even a name. We spoke to Nihad (aka Master Donut) and Ansgar (Beserkr) of Raindrop-Team.

Gamer's Guide to Life: What was the hardest thing to mod?
Berserkr: Learning the workflow concerning animations in the Source engine. It took a good while to eventually figure out the last details - most of it was accomplished by trial and error.
Master Donut: In my opinion, the hardest thing was, and still is, to design the game in a way that it looks different than other source games. As well as keeping the levels detailed and moody, and make each level have its own characteristic look and atmosphere.

GGTL: Are you pleased with the community that have generated around the mod so far?
MD & B: All in all we’re delighted with the community; we appreciate constructive criticism from our fans. Nevertheless some people tend to forget that we’re not getting paid for working on Raindrop and most of us dedicate our whole spare time to the project. The way Raindrop is judged by some people is similar to some AAA-titles.

GGTL: What other mods have you played/do you like?
MD: I've played some mods, and I have to say that one of my favourites still is the Minerva series for Half-Life 2.
B: From all mods I’ve played so far, my favourite one is the Katana mod for the first Max Payne. It combines great gameplay with an interesting story and I recommend everyone who owns Max Payne to try it.

GGTL: Where'd you get the idea for the mod?
MD: That's a long story. I've always been exploring abandoned buildings and stuff like that. I got inspired by one trip to Berlin, in a huge housing complex which was totally abandoned. It was at that time when I started recreating the complex and building a story around it. More and more people joined me, including Berserkr. That's where it started getting serious and taking shape.

GGTL: What's the plan for the future, both at release and after the project is out there?
MD & B: The only thing we know for sure is that Raindrop won’t be either of our last projects - we want to develop a new one, but right now - until the release - we’re focusing solely on Raindrop.

GGTL: What do you most love/hate about Half Life?
MD: At the time when it came out, I was totally in awe of Half-Life 2. It was a completely new shooter experience. The graphics and the atmosphere of the game were astonishing. As the time passed, and after replaying it many times, I realized that some of the maps could use more detail. I took Half-Life 2 as my inspiration but my goal was always to make it look a little better than Half-Life 2. My inspiration soon changed to something more dirty and somewhat to a more unique style.

GGTL: While it's a Half Life mod, comparisons with S.T.A.L.K.E.R are unavoidable. Did you look in to that/any other games when making the mod?
MD: I love the S.T.A.L.K.E.R games and I have to say that the game has inspired me at some point. Raindrop though has nothing to do with S.T.A.L.K.E.R at all. It isn't set in Ukraine and tells a completely different story in a different way.

GGTL: Little information has been released about the mod - can you provide an insight into the story/setting/characters/background etc?
MD & B: To cut a long story short - no, not yet. There will be more information after our website has been released, and that’ll happen in the near future.

GGTL: How did you get into modding?
MD: After buying Half-Life 2, after waiting for a long time and days counting, I got into modding; into level-design actually. I learned how to use Hammer more and more, learned to script, make basic models for it and so on. It was about time to start a mod.
B: Before I arrived at ModDB I got into 3D modelling. After joining Raindrop, I soon realized that I could use my talents in a more productive way; we have now far more capable people in our team who take care of the 3D work.

GGTL: What advice would you give to other modders wanting to start up?
B: Think twice before you start to mod - it doesn’t matter that much if there’s already a similar project or if the concept is not very original, the most important aspect one has to consider is whether he really wants to stay focused on the project; most of the time it's for several years. Also, the utility of a game design document (which should be created before you start modding) is not to be underestimated.

GGTL: How do you go about modding? Do you have team meetings or just do things separately?
MD & B: Our team members are online every day in MSN, so there’s no need for any team meetings. It’s also MSN we use to distribute screenshots or concept art between the team members, to give everyone a good impression of how the project progresses.

If you'd like to follow all the news on the mod, click here. Stay tuned to Gamer's Guide To Life for another interview next week!

Post comment Comments
Armageddon104
Armageddon104 Mar 10 2010, 2:40pm says:

Great interview!

+26 votes     reply to comment
Nawwx
Nawwx Mar 10 2010, 2:53pm buried:

(buried)

omg nub did you mean "FIRST!" ??

-96 votes     reply to comment
Armageddon104
Armageddon104 Mar 10 2010, 3:23pm replied:

What? No. Just because I posted the first comment doesn't mean I say "FIRST LOLOL!". I just though it was a good interview. And what's wrong with posting on all the media that I like?

+25 votes     reply to comment
Nawwx
Nawwx Mar 11 2010, 11:43am buried:

(buried)

because you just see there is new update you say yay and then you comment without reading and while thinking "**** i shud be first hell yeah..."

-26 votes     reply to comment
KILLER89(FIN)
KILLER89(FIN) Mar 10 2010, 3:27pm replied:

Kinu, hate to break it for you, but ***-language is not allowed in here.

+8 votes     reply to comment
March_In_August
March_In_August Mar 10 2010, 6:40pm replied:

you really do no service to your cause by using derogatory comments yourself... i.e. '***'

+10 votes     reply to comment
Nawwx
Nawwx Mar 11 2010, 11:44am buried:

(buried)

fffffffuuuuuuuu i didnt see about that in rulez list pls show it to me

-15 votes     reply to comment
TK:0N€
TK:0N€ Mar 10 2010, 8:06pm buried:

(buried)

Kinu: first, learn Englisch, then, get a Life, then come again, ok?

-8 votes     reply to comment
Centaur1um
Centaur1um Mar 10 2010, 8:31pm replied:

Kinu, shut up.

-4 votes     reply to comment
Nawwx
Nawwx Mar 11 2010, 11:45am buried:

(buried)

no u

-15 votes     reply to comment
karstin
karstin Mar 11 2010, 6:12pm replied:

this is not /b/ idiot, take your cancer else where

0 votes     reply to comment
JLea
JLea Mar 11 2010, 7:56pm replied:

can a mod ban Kinuhudai, thanks

+5 votes     reply to comment
Underet
Underet Mar 12 2010, 5:19pm replied:

-78 votes
Record!!!!

-2 votes     reply to comment
Awesome_ninja
Awesome_ninja Mar 15 2010, 2:18pm replied:

nah, I ve seen -129 xD

-1 votes     reply to comment
claytonian
claytonian Mar 30 2010, 9:50am replied:

-93 and counting. :D

0 votes     reply to comment
rocketdock
rocketdock Mar 10 2010, 2:59pm says:

lol why do i see you armageddon everywhere

+7 votes     reply to comment
Nawwx
Nawwx Mar 10 2010, 3:00pm buried:

(buried)

agree'd

-9 votes     reply to comment
Aaagreen
Aaagreen Mar 10 2010, 3:01pm replied:

Because he posts everywhere, duh hur hur hur

-1 votes     reply to comment
koburamoe
koburamoe Mar 10 2010, 3:37pm replied:

So , he likes reading everything then ! That's not bad .

+11 votes     reply to comment
medve
medve Mar 11 2010, 11:14am replied:

he is lvl36 moddb addict

+1 vote     reply to comment
Armageddon104
Armageddon104 Mar 11 2010, 7:43pm replied:

What's wrong with that?

+7 votes     reply to comment
nubblecakes
nubblecakes Mar 12 2010, 3:04am replied:

Yeah Armageddon, why are you such a great and involved ModDB community memeber? JEEEEEZE!

+1 vote     reply to comment
0rpheus
0rpheus Mar 10 2010, 3:38pm says:

I love exploring old abandoned structures too. There are quite a lot abandoned Soviet-era railway-associated buildings and service depots and stuff like that near my town, it's just a hell of a thrill for me to walk into a place where you know that at some point there were people hard at work there and all sorts of machinery was used and stuff like that, and looking through old paper-weights and stuff, it's just too amazingly cool. And exploring more regular-type of abandoned buildings is fun too.

It's really nice to know that a person which that kind interests is working on a mod like this, he'll be that much more better at capturing the old abandoned feeling of those buildings, which I can't get enough of in games (like STALKER)

Awesome review, and mad props to the Raindrop team, this mod is going to be a real treat to play!

+6 votes     reply to comment
GGTL
GGTL Mar 10 2010, 3:40pm says:

If you like this, check out Gamersguidetolife.com who done done that there interview. We should be having a nice chat with Obsidian about Alpha Protocol next week, or Crytek with Crysis 2, but what mods/modders would you wanna see us interview in the future?

+2 votes     reply to comment
0rpheus
0rpheus Mar 10 2010, 3:51pm replied:

Maybe the Nightmare House 2 mod guys- Moddb.com

+2 votes     reply to comment
Angerfist219
Angerfist219 Mar 10 2010, 6:59pm replied:

cry of fear for hl1?

+3 votes     reply to comment
FAtalonModdb
FAtalonModdb Mar 15 2010, 4:45pm replied:

Yah, Cryy of Fear sounds like a good choice.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Amez
Amez Mar 10 2010, 6:01pm says:

Interesting, good read :).

+1 vote     reply to comment
Nebcake
Nebcake Mar 10 2010, 6:43pm says:

You gave some good hints and answers to some of those questions.

+1 vote     reply to comment
jjawinte
jjawinte Mar 10 2010, 8:49pm says:

Decent interview. Looks intriguing, but I wish to hell they'd give us a little something of the story to go on.

+2 votes     reply to comment
FuzzyMcDoodle
FuzzyMcDoodle Mar 10 2010, 11:04pm says:

Cool interview...

+1 vote     reply to comment
Jesternz08
Jesternz08 Mar 10 2010, 11:35pm says:

Love the screenshots, incredibly mapping there. Looks like your really pushing the source engine to its limits.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Otreum
Otreum Mar 11 2010, 12:25am says:

B-E-A-UUUTIFUL...in a post apocalyptic run down rotting environment sortof way.

Very well done, I love how you've got the source engine and made it look as awesome as ever with the attention to detail that has been put into the texture work and environment.
There are now 2 mods out there that are showing that an old engine can still look superb with the right artwork.

Looking forward to whats next :)
Keep it up.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Nilghai
Nilghai Mar 11 2010, 3:49am says:

nice

+1 vote     reply to comment
DuckSauce
DuckSauce Mar 11 2010, 9:27am says:

"You guys r 2 pro"

Speaking in a more normal manner, interesting interview, but you sound like the hardcore wanna be in the industry type. I've never used a design document and still could get to a release, it keeps things flexible. Just need to have the mentality as a leader of a project to guide things the right way and be able to decide what should stay and what should go in order to make something good.

I suppose for something singleplayer, flexibility isn't that important, but for multiplayer, balance is something easily tipped and being able to introduce new idea's during the testing phase will be alot more usefull for multiplayer than it is to stare at a game design document that you have to stick to.

I also disagree about the advice, concerning that it doesn't matter whether the idea isn't original or isn't being done already.

If it's not original, then the only reason to commit yourself to something like this, is because you want to do it better than what's there already and as a modder it would require the type of dedication and skill required of a professional game developer, I don't see the fun of a hobby in going the way of doing that.

If it's already being done, join the other team, unless they won't let you, then think of something new. If modding is your hobby, why let it be a competetion? Unless you have a reason to compete, show that your good enough for the industry, but then you're not doing it as a hobby.

Anyway I respect your views, I just don't agree with them.
Otherwise great interview.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Berserkr
Berserkr Mar 11 2010, 11:08am replied:

It's nice that it works for you not to use a design doc, but this document has its advantages, especially when you're developing something more complex like - call me arrogant - Raindrop. The game design document not just helps to coordinate the team but discuss features with team members. Believe it or not, but in our team it's usual that everyone can contribute his own ideas, since the document is not set in concrete. But we have to plan in the long run how the game basically looks like, which essential features we include, who has to work on it etc. Of course, if a "feature" as you call it means just that "something [is] easily tipped" - heck, then it doesn't appear in the game design document. This piece of written text is to plan before you start how long it will take to develop this or that feature, which people you need to realize it and so on. And concerning this point it doesn't only help to have "the mentality as a leader", except you can realize everything on your own. So I hope you don't call us "hardcore wanna be in the industry type" because we have a design doc ...

Concerning your second point, you say that it's pointless doing something that has been done, so do something else, that it's only fun when you don't have the "type of dedication and skill required of a professional game developer", so don't make an effort to work hard; and in case you have the skill etc., go work in the industry. Some people just like it to put a lot of effort in their mod, although that’s according to you unusual.
I think - and that's the essence of the answer - that someone shouldn't care what another person is thinking or saying, if you want to do a mod, then go do it, but do it dedicatedly and wholeheartedly. There are enough abandoned profiles on moddb.

Mhm, all in all that sounds kinda harsh, but I'm sure you can take it.
+1 Karma for you, it was "fun" to write the response. And since it was just one answer you disagree with, I think we can all live with that.

+7 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce
DuckSauce Mar 11 2010, 12:09pm replied:

If your design document is flexible, that sounds good, but sometimes there are core things needing changing with original idea's, maybe not for you since you have quite a gathering of fans already, it's clear that you're heading the right direction.

For my mod however I had to change something that would have been of the core "do not touch" sections of a design doc, that I changed anyway and the mod got better as a result.

And no, I don't just call you hardcore because of the design doc, I call you hardcore because you seem to be creating quite an ambitious project succesfully, that in my eyes(mind you I'm not following the much of Raindrop) seems to be trying to do things better than what has been done in other games. Like said, that seems to be going quite well for you, therefore you appear a bit more hardcore as I'm sure it's no small task... and for me it's not something I'd enjoy as much.

I also don't think it's unusual to put alot of effort in mods, totally not, I've done it too and so have many others. However in my opinion, there's 2 types of modders, those that do it for fun(and some learning maybe) while others are trying to prove something(and they probably get their share of fun and satisfaction when they reach that goal).

For me modding is something I do for fun, I choose how much time I want to spend and if I wanna lazy about for hours, then that's my free choice, however, nothing gets done when lazying about, nor do you get satisfaction from that!

I totally agree with you on the last part, if you want to do a mod, you have to be willing to put in effort or else it'll get nowhere. Sure you can lazy about, but without hard work and dedication, you're not going to get very far very quickly.

Good reply overall, wasn't harsh at all, you misunderstood me on some points, but that could have been my fault, not to mention misunderstandings happen alot over the internet hehe.

Good luck with your mod!

+5 votes     reply to comment
Berserkr
Berserkr Mar 11 2010, 12:25pm replied:

That was indeed a nice and useful addition to your statement above - well, I wanted to write a little more anyway in my response, but the character limit didn't agree.

The theory of the two modder types is interesting, like for some the journey is its own reward and vice versa ... or something. Good discussion anyway, and good luck with your projects, too.

+5 votes     reply to comment
scubahunter
scubahunter Mar 11 2010, 11:51am says:

Nice to see the Developer perspective instead of angry fan boys!!!

+2 votes     reply to comment
DazJW
DazJW Mar 11 2010, 4:40pm says:

If you're going to use 1440px × 900px images in a post at least link to the fullsize ;)

+1 vote     reply to comment
LORDDEREX
LORDDEREX Mar 12 2010, 8:41am says:

lol... very nice, but so many comment just for that user...

It will allways someone that put the first comment to something, but just add a comment "comment noX yay" that is just waste of comment space.

I hope those players stop writing comment that are just not related to the article.

Awesome info, and the images; perfect!

Source have never looked so great, keep it up.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Activator
Activator Mar 30 2010, 7:57am says:

so if someone hacks MSN, there wouldn´t be Raindrop ... oh noez

+1 vote     reply to comment
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