modDB.com: For those who have no clue what RTCW is please tell us why you chose this game?
Name: Paul "Tunnleram" Ille
Job: Technology Consultant
Location: New Jersey, USA
RTCW is a game created by Gray Matter, Nerve Software and ID Software using the Quake 3 Team Arena engine and distributed by Activision. It's based around World War 2, but holds a bit of a supernatural twist to the storyline of the single player. The multiplayer is strictly Axis vs. Allies so doesn't involve that supernatural side. The out-of-box multiplayer is class based and objective based generally using the Assault game style where one team attacks and another defends.
We chose the game, as any other mod artist would do, because we liked it. Secondly it gave us a robust existing platform to build what we wanted. They did a nice job taking the engine and expanding on it, including a scripting language, new player model formats and a whole bunch of new entities to open the doors to new possibilities. It was a huge leap forward IMO.
modDB.com: DeGeneration was thought up when? What war era did you choose? Is the mod like another game or mod in your opinion?
Paul "Tunnleram" Ille: The era is the same as RTCW. It takes place during World War 2 soon after Nikola Tesla's death and is based around his plans for what he called the Death Ray. In real life Tesla's Death Ray plans were missing at his death and our story picks up there.
Whether DG bears likenesses to other games or mods is hard to say. I'm sure that you might pull one or two smaller aspects from DeGeneration and say oh this is like this or this is like that, but the truth is you can do that with any game or mod out there if you look hard enough. Sadly you can do it more often than not, but so far the feedback we've gotten is the idea behind DeGeneration is very original overall.
My personal opinion, trying to be objective, is that the game play is very original and the whole team is proud of what we've done. If there's another idea out there like DeGeneration I haven't seen it.
modDB.com: How long have you been working on DeGeneration?
Paul "Tunnleram" Ille: The idea came up about 2 years ago, a team started forming and working on it about 6 months after that and then about 6 -8 months after that the moons aligned and our core team was found, clicked and we started making great progress. I would say in the last 6 months we've gotten more done than over the entire project. Having a team firing on all cylinders plus a great team of testers is essential to progress.
modDB.com: Describe the best feature in the mod in your opinion? What should the person look for that they might miss?
Paul "Tunnleram" Ille: The game play hands down. It's extremely dynamic and team oriented. I find that the idea behind it forces teams to communicate better, work more as a team and change strategies on the fly often. On top of that the game play offers variations on itself by allowing alternate possibilities that server admins will be able to control based on the time limit.
I think if players download it, run through it locally and explore the levels they'll have fun exploring, but getting onto a server and playing it is where the pudding is. I hope players don't underestimate the power of the struggle built into DeGeneration and experience the mod on a server playing it with others. It's the teamwork that is what fuels the foundation behind DG.
modDB.com: Describe the weapons, what weapon you will use the most and why?
Paul "Tunnleram" Ille: You've got your trusty knife, pistols Colt Model 1911 and Luger 9mm Parabellum, you've got your pineapple and potato masher grenades, the Mp40, Thompson and Sten as your machine guns, the mauser sniper rifle, Panzerfaust, the Venom gun which is a mobile high powered gattling gun and then what would a game be without the flamethrower. There are also special item weapons such as air strikes and dynamite.
The MG42 underwent some changes so that it now has more functionality and strength, but I'll save those details for an upcoming question in this interview.
For myself I tend to go with an MP40. It's not quite as powerful as the Thompson, but it has a slightly higher rate of fire and it just feels right to me. Lately though I have to admit I'm taking a liking to the Venom. It's great for mowing down the enemy and it really scares the crap out of people when they hear it spinning up.
modDB.com: How is the damage system in DeGeneration?
Paul "Tunnleram" Ille: DeGeneration's damage system is somewhere between Counter-Strike and Quake 3. Two headshots will kill you, but someone will need to get a couple body shots on you to take you down. It wasn't changed from the original RTCW damage system since we all liked it and leaving it in was part of one of our main goals of leaving the main core of Wolf intact. It fits DG perfectly IMO.
modDB.com: Explain the game play more in detail so everyone gets the feel!
Paul "Tunnleram" Ille: Let's set the stage first since most people might not know anything about DG.
There are several main points of interest in DeGeneration. There's the drop zone, each team's generator and each team's checkpoint. Envision a level with bases at either side, a drop zone area in the center and checkpoint flags in between the bases and drop zone.
The drop zone is located at the center of the level; at the heart of the action. Over that area, a B25, escorted by two P51s, flies overhead dropping a box on a parachute that crashes into the ground, breaking and scattering mechanical parts needed to build the generator.
The checkpoints are flags that teams capture to enable multiple spawn areas. Holding your checkpoint can be the difference between being able to spawn only at your base and having your choice of spawning in three different areas.
The generator is the main goal of the game play. Throughout the game your team will attempt to build it and your enemies will attempt to destroy it. Its status is directly related to your team's success and will inevitably determine the outcome of whether you win or lose.
I'll try to describe what I think would be an ideal game from your team's perspective.
You spawn in your base as the match starts, gain your bearings; take notice of where your teammates are and realize that your generator starts at a humble 25% of its total construction. You might consider leaving behind a defensive squad since the other team might surprise you with a rush attack. A quick unanswered strike on your generator is a sure way to put your team away early.
Right off the start, an Engineer on your team runs up to the MG42 and gets to work disassembling it while a teammate stands by eagerly awaiting to pick it up and move it to its forward position. Once the disassembled MG42 hits the ground the player picks it up and with it strapped to his back he runs towards the drop zone.
The rest of your team has already secured the checkpoint to enable the forward spawns. Then they're off controlling the drop zone and securing it so your team can make sure they're in position when the B25 drops its payload. Some die trying, but it doesn't take long for them to spawn back into the action. Reinforcements glide in using a parachute courtesy of the captured checkpoint.
Once those players get parts back to the base the engineer can take them and begin using them to build the generator. The team heads out while one stays behind to protect the engineer as he builds.
The player carrying the MG42 drops it into a spot with some cover and it's assembled by an engineer. The gun will provide covering fire for teammates attempting to gather parts in the drop zone. Now that your team has settled in and taken up positions, the game truly begins.
Picture your team clashing with the enemy for control over the parts, massive gun fights and overhead planes flying by as the paratroopers dropping into place refueling your attack. As time goes by one team might pull ahead of the other, the enemy might capture your checkpoint, but it doesn't count your team out of the picture. At any time a carefully planned attack can take a generator down a notch and if you can get a tight grip on the drop zone it can cut off the enemy's ability to further their cause.
As your generator nears 100% your enemy is bound to attack and you'll have to shift your strategy more towards defense while still attempting to gather parts from the drop zone. And when your generator reaches 100% your team will have to hold it at that level for 30 seconds swatting at massive attacks by the other team who have no other choice but to attack over and over in hopes to knock your generator offline. When the generator reaches full capacity it will fire the Death Ray which will give your enemies an unpleasant experience.
That's a simple overview, but dynamics run wild and very few games if any come to the same conclusion the same way.
modDB.com: I see on the site "Disassemble, relocate and reassemble MG42 machine guns to provide backup to your team" please explain what this is all about?
Paul "Tunnleram" Ille: If a team works together they can really use the MG42 as a powerful strategic weapon. We've altered the MG42s so that they could be mobile, but in keeping with our theme of teamwork it takes at least two players to take advantage of the ability.
While the Engineer has the ability to disassemble the MG42 he is unable to pick up the disassembled MG42 to move it. However, any other class can come by, pick up the disassembled MG42 and bring it to where it needs to be positioned so that the engineer can then come along and assemble it for use in its new location.
You will generally see a group of players providing covering fire for each other as they advance their MG42 towards more strategic positions. When setup the MG42 can also be damaged so that it's made unusable until an Engineer comes along to repair it.
modDB.com: Explain how the player classes will work and why I should be one over the other in your opinion.
Paul "Tunnleram" Ille: The classes are Medic, Lieutenant, Engineer and Soldier and each one is very powerful in the right hands.
The Medic can distribute health packs as well as revive other players when they are in an injured state. When players run out of health they are listed as injured until they "punch out" or are finished off by an enemy player. A good medic is essential to winning, healing and reviving your team as you push into battle. Your healing abilities are offset by having ammo counts at the lower end of the spectrum.
The Lieutenant is in charge of ammunition and artillery fire. He can distribute ammo to his team and also call for air strikes one of two ways. You can throw a smoking canister billowing red smoke into the air to signal the planes which leave a carpet bomb type effect or you can specify a location using your binoculars which causes a repeated bombing in that area. Both air strike methods are equally damaging.
The Engineer is in charge of tearing it down and building it up. As Engineer you can plant explosives to blow up predetermined objectives such as blowing a door or your enemy's generator. You can also build your generator and dis/assemble and repair MG42s. This class has more grenades than the others and has an ammo count towards the lower end of the spectrum.
The Solider class is the most powerful in terms of firepower. Using this class you have access to the most powerful weapons in the game such as the Mauser (sniper rifle), Panzerfaust (bazooka), Venom (gattling gun) and Flamethrower.
What class do I play? I generally play Lieutenant. The reason is because my aim is bad and I go through a lot of bullets! Hehe This way I can drop myself a couple ammo packs.
modDB.com: What mods do you like?
Paul "Tunnleram" Ille: I probably fall into the majority when I say that some of the Half-life mods I see out there are just incredible. What people have done with a game 5 times as old as the game we used as our base is astonishing. I wish I had more time to play them all!
Counter-Strike and Day of Defeat don't even need mention here since it's obviously how well done they are. Aside from them I'm most impressed with mods like Action Half Life, Natural Selection and Science & Industry. They took an original angle and made it work. That's not common nowadays and it should be applauded.
modDB.com Final thoughts:
Paul "Tunnleram" Ille: I'd like to thank Buzzard, CWH_CWz, Codey, Demonspawn, Grayman & Rummie and all the DG testers! You're all a bunch of Degenerates and great work!
Thanks for the opportunity to give your readers some of the details about DeGeneration. I hope everyone has as much fun playing DG as we've had making it!