Vampires have always been a great fear to many. Seemingly normal people sprout out big fangs and claws, jumping at anyone, sucking blood from the necks of innocent lives. The fear is lived in Nosferatu, a stand-alone vampire-themed game with two teams, the slayers and the vampires. While breaking from the underworld, I managed to sit down and chat with Ghostface and azelito.
ModDB: Hello Ghostface, azelito, thanks for letting me interview you. Can you explain your roles on the Nosferatu team?
Ghostface: I am primary leader, founder, coder, and part time mapper.
azelito: And I am lead-modeler and a bit of everything
ModDB: Aha, I see. What inspired you to do this game? It's a rather big project, launching into creating a stand-alone game?
Ghostface: Well my addiction with everything related to vampires highly influenced me. I also got around to play the pretty popular Vampire Slayer Mod for Half-Life, however I felt that you could do so much more with the whole vampire theme. While the game had some good ideas, it wasn't what I pictured Nosferatu should be. Vampire Slayer's staking idea was pretty cool though, so you will find that in Nosferatu as well. Nosferatu is not supposed to be a VS clone though, so don't be surprised to find out that they are quite different from each other.
azelito: It was, from the beginning, decided that the game would be made as a stand-alone instead of a modification add-on for any other game. Mainly because this is a lot more flexible and lets us change the engine to our own needs. A big benefit is also, that people wont need anything else to play - you will just need to download and play. Our own engine is now based on the QFusion edit of the Quake 2 engine. A big benefit is also, that people wont need anything else to play - you download and play similiar to Enemy Territory
ModDB: Why did you choose the name "Nosferatu" for the game, and how?
Ghostface: Well our often quoted reply is "The term, Nosferatu, is of modern origin and derives from the Slavic "nosufur-atu" which is a derivation of the Greek "nosophoros" or "plague carrier." It’s used as an alternative word for vampire.". Apart from that, Nosferatu was also the name of the first Dracula adaptation (a silent movie from 1922 with the awesome Max Schreck), and I though it’s a cool and fitting name. However after they announced the limited release of Nosferatu - The Wrath of Malachi, (a low budget singleplayer game) we somehow had to think of some kind of subtitle. The game had already been promoted as "Nosferatu" so a name change would have been a bad idea. The "other" Nosferatu wasn’t very well known either, and since the name isn’t trademarked we decided to keep it. However we just recently settled on a fitting subtitle, after much discussion on the boards and with the fans. "Nosferatu - Carpe Noctem" which means "Seize the Night" (for those who don’t speak latin ;)).
ModDB: Nice. Why did you use the Quake II engine for the base? It's a rather old engine.
Ghostface: The Quake2 Engine has been released under the GPL which means that we can do whatever we want with it, as long as we release the sourcecode. This is quite a good deal and I would like to thank idSoftware at this point for it. Also by using the GPLed Quake2 Engine, future players aren't required to own any other game (not even quake2) in order to play our game. It basicly the same deal as with Halflife, which used the Quake1 Engine. Some people might think, "OMG ? Quake2 ? Thats oooold dudes", well yes it is old. However the sourcecode is very stable and has been tested out in dozens of games which licensed the Q2 Engine back then. Its well known and you can find lots of help if you run into any problems. We didn't choose to start from vanilla quake2 though, but instead used the awesome Qfusion Engine by Vic (special thanks to him at this point). The Qfusion Engine basicly upgraded the map, model and shader formats to Quake3 level and partly even beyond it, thus giving us an excellent base to start our game on.
ModDB: Wow, that's one hell of a long reply. Next question: What was the biggest challenge developing Nosferatu?
Ghostface: Prolly getting the handmodel and rig done, that took us quite some time. Overall rigging has been a pain in the a** for everyone :)
azelito: For me, it has been the rigging of the player models. I'm still in the learning process of that part.
ModDB: Good contrast to the last answer ;). How long have the development of Nosferatu been going on?
Ghostface: I loosely started the development around November 2003, with me as the only member, and still using vanilla Quake2. Later on, our sound-guy, Parapraxis, joined the team, and after switching over to Qfusion, I started to assemble the rest of the team. Indeed it took quite some time to get our team assembled and the project rolling.
ModDB: Is there any part of Nosferatu you are particularly proud of?
azelito: I think I would have to say my player-models, that have yet not been released to the public.
Ghostface: GO bela lu**** ! Probably the high customizability for the player. Players are able to assemble their Playermodels out of lower/upper skin, different heads, as well as addons like hats, cigarettes, glasses and similiar nifty stuff. There are colorable areas on each skin which can be tinted to any color you want (red/green/blue values can be set stepless). This all contributes to a more varied selection of ingame player appearances. Aside from that there is build in support for ingame selection of custom replacement skins and models for the weapons (so you don't have to rename/replace other files anymore). And alot of the weapons already come with alternate skins. Theres alot more but I am not allowed to post that much anymore...
ModDB: Which weapons are included in Nosferatu for your disposal?
azelito: Well, basicly we have tried to include a bit of everything. We have everything from the LeMat revolver, used in the U.S. civil war, to the weapons of today like the USP Match or The P22. What we have decided not to include is basicly sniper-rifles as they encourage a camping gameplay, which we do not want. Sniper-rifles would also be pretty useless since the vampires are very fast.
Ghostface: We mostly decided to go with non military weapons (a few still made it into the game). There are also alot of pistols and we are currently discussing the possibility of allowing any akimbo pistol combination possible. Almost all weapons have a selection of addons available (flashlight/laserpointer/surpressor/etc.). There are also some unusual weapons. For example, the stakejacker and holywater-condoms (a homage to the movie From Dusk Till Dawn) as well as the Lemat Revolver (az mentioned it), which shots 9x roundballs and 1x 12gauge shotgun shell. However there wont be a best weapon, each weapon got advantages and disadvantages. In terms of gameplay; Before the round starts, players may select one Primary and one Secondary Weapon in order to ensure that players don't run around with an arsenal they couldn't possibly carry (yes I am looking at you Ms. Tiny Backpack Lara Cr*ft). We tried to offer alot of different weapon so that every player finds something that suits him.
ModDB: How big is the Nosferatu team? How many members do you have, currently?
Ghostface: 21 at the moment, not counting freelancers and inactive members
ModDB: Are you in need of more staff?
Ghostface: We could use some support in the player skinning department as well as with player animation. Interested people should contact me via icq/msn/irc or via the board (http://board.nosferatuthegame.com)
ModDB: Will Nosferatu be moddable?
Ghostface: Since the game is opensource, it is moddable as well. However the media is not opensource or GPL. Thus if you want to create a mod using the Nosferatu media (like the weaponmodels), you are not allowed to rip out our media and include it with your mod (just like with any other game). However you can either pack the full Nosferatu install together with your mod, or distribute the new files seperate with a note that Nosferatu is required. There is already a yet unannounced mod in the works not developed by Dead Rabbit Software (yeah DRS is actually us :P).
ModDB: Some people seem to be mad at you, saying you've ripped off Vampire Slayer. Can you explain to us why it isn't, that is, if it isn't?
Ghostface: Well Curm.. eh Mr.Gue... eh... some people indeed seem to be too lazy to actually research the game concept correctly. We even got blamed for making a Halflife2 Sequel Mod of Vampire Slayers :rolleyes:. Actually at first it might look like a ripoff, since the basic premise seems to be the same. 2 Teams Slayers vs. Vampires, only one life and the staking thingy. Yeah we took the staking idea from VS, it was a good idea, its not like we are trying to hide that. However Nosferatu is way different from VS. Its hard to list all the differences without actually writing half and a page again and we already discussed this topic alot, (read the design doc if you want to know more) however some short notes: No classes, free Weapon selection (primary/secondary), free vampire skill selections, weapon addons, unusual anti-vampire weapons, different movement (dodging/walljumping), different engine, different gameplay (less rushing), different weapons and vampire skills, as well as a different atmosphere (we are trying to build up some kind of suspense). The most important difference however would be the persistant player accounts. In Nosferatu each player got a persistant player account which is saved on our master server. He earns experience points with every game and kill he does. After reaching a new level, he unlocks new weapon/skill/outfit/etc. options. So to sum it up: The longer/more often you play, the more you get. Its basicly the same princip as with unlocking cars in racing games. We are trying to keep the player motivated by constantly rewarding him with new stuff, so that he can look forward to his next reward. Its important to note that the later weapons are not necessary better - they are different. A bad player will still be a bad player eventhough he might be on a high level with lots of weapons available. People did other realism games/mods after actionquake2, and other worldwar2 game/mods after dday, and almost every mod/game contain elements which have been done before (even VS had some). Why shouldn't there be other vampire game/mods after VS ? Finally I would like to tell Cur.. damn I mean all those Nosferatu haters that they should simply not play our game when its out and avoid it during its development. Boycott it if you want but stop annoying those who look forward to it.
ModDB: Any goodies exclusively for ModDB perhaps ;)?
Ghostface: Sure (view at bottom of feature).
ModDB: Before we wrap up, anything else you want to tell us?
Ghostface: We would like to thank those who supported us so far, and curse those who annoyed us. We would like to especially thank those who donated money via paypal (buttons on the frontpage), and helped us to fund stuff like reference material - Which was infact nobody :D. Except for MenZa who donated google adsense for about 90$ - Thanks dude. And if we are actually at it, thanks to jalisko, LordHavoc and of course Echon from the quake developer scene. I already thanked Vic for Qfusion but lets play save and thank him again. Also thanks to everyone else I forgot and deserves it. Lets not forget Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee for their awesome Dracula performances as well as Max Schreck who played the infamous Count Orlock in Nosferatu.
azelito: And encourage people to not give up against the vampires, keep fighting.
ModDB: Great. Thanks for the interview, it was awesome talking to you. Stay tuned for more of Nosferatu people!