heXen:Edge of Chaos will be a new and free game, based on the original Hexen game which was developed by id Software and Raven Software. Edge of Chaos is being developed by a team of fans who have always loved the original Hexen since it came out. In fact, most of us spent countless hours with the entire series. When id Software released Doom3, we immediately saw immense potential in the engine itself; the 'Hell' maps gave us the inspiration to make a hack-and-slash game based, primarily, on the original Hexen.
A new interview (long delayed heh) with Brandon Captain - aka Zeroth our Coder!
Posted by HexenEdgeOfChaos on Jul 29th, 2009
We sat down with Brandon Captain - aka Zeroth, Caibbor for in interview about the mod and his role in our team. We hope you enjoy it!
- Where are you from and what do you do for a living, can you tell us something about yourself?
I'm a systems administrator from Michigan. Sometimes I get payed for working on the mod when work gets slow
- Have you worked on other mods or TC's before Hexen:Edge of Chaos?
EoC is my first real work on a mod. I've done some things back in the day with Doom and Quake, but nothing serious until this project.
- What is your role in the team?
I'm the lone programmer. BloodRayne does a lot of the scripting stuff, but when it comes to the SDK it's all on my shoulders. When people need a feature, I'm the one to implement it. I also host the subversion server that has all the game content.
- When did you join the team?
I believe it was October 2006. Autumn always sets the mood for me to play Hexen, and thats when I discovered there was a programmer position available after sending an encouragement email to the team.
- When did you hear first of the TC, and how?
I don't quite remember, but if I had to guess I'd say it was PlanetDoom.com. I remember watching a video and thinking it was one of the better looking mods and kept my eye on it for a while.
- What style of developer are you? Do you rush into things, or do you plan a lot in advance?
I like to have a plan of a attack for every obstacle. Code needs to be easy to understand and easy to figure out, and the only way to do that is to throughly plan it out. But to the contrary, when you're working with someone else's source with little documentation (ala Doom 3), you've just got to hack at things to figure them out.
- What was your first experience with the Hexen/Heretic series, and how did it impact your view on computer games?
I first played heretic in about '95 or '96. I hadn't played Hexen until way later. When I first played Hexen it amazed me to see how much the Doom engine had changed and grown. I've always liked and respected the Heretic and Hexen games, but the game that really geared my interests toward gaming and game development was the original Doom shortly after it's release. I was only 8 when I first played doom, but I knew that making games was what I wanted to do.
- What things besides gaming do you currently feel strongly about?
I play guitar, for one. I've always been in love with programming, but gaming is truly where my heart is. it is an art to be respected - it is visual, audible, and engrossing.
- Which game are you currently playing?
The Orange Box is an all around good product. I loved Portal, and Team Fortress 2 is a daily affair. I also like Fortress Forever, but TFC is still my favorite. I'm waiting in agony to get my hands on the next Fear game. All of these games have completely overshadowed the QuakeWars box on my shelf.
- Some modders play the games they mod for on a regular basis. Other modders actually just primarily enjoy modding. Which would you say you are?
I've thought about that quite a bit. I've wondered if I spoiled the game for myself by joining it's development. I don't play single player games on a regular basis in general, but when we release the multiplayer part of the game I'm sure I will. I'll play the single player episodes through at least once each after completion, of course. There are few SP games that I play twice, no matter how excellent they are. A lot of the reason I want to make games is because I'm very picky and don't there there are very many really great ones.
- Are you working on any other mods or TC's right now?
No. however, I do have a couple mostly matured ideas of my own for games. I haven't shared them with anyone, and I may try to assemble a team after development with EoC is complete.
- What others mods do you like or are you waiting for?
Theres a butt-ton of mods I'm looking forward to. First of all, all of the original Half-Life remakes: Black Mesa: Source, Operation: Black Mesa and Uplink: Source. Others include The Dark Mod, Recall to Hell, Battle for Na Pali, The list goes on and on.
- What do you like best about the Doom3 engine? What would you improve?
It's quite easy to understand and change for most things using the SDK, however some lower-level stuff would have been nice to be include. we could avoid hacks and implement things more efficiently.
- If you could have any new feature added to the Doom 3 tools, what would it be?
I would love to have all the built-in editors work under Linux.
- How has this TC influenced your life (either on a personal or professional level) so far?
Being on this project has taught me a lot about modding, game development, working on a team, and programming. I had no previous experience with modding on a team before this, so it's certainly been a learning experience in many different ways.
- What's been your worst experience so far with making the TC?
I haven't had any bad experiences on the team, though being a complete newb with the SDK when I first joined the team was pretty humbling. I've learned a lot about the engine since then, and have come to really like working with it. When I joined, I had to start from scratch because the previous programmers left the team and didn't leave any source behind. However, I think that's worked out in our favor.
- What part of (working on) the TC do like best so far?
It's very rewarding to get things done and see the artists make use of the features I implement.
- Which part of the TC are you currently working on?
I'm pretty much working on whatever whoever needs at any given time. Today I might be working on a new artifact ability, tomorrow I might be tweaking AI.
- Which is your favorite character in the game?
I don't really have a preference. I'll just say the Cleric
- Which aspects do you consider to be crucial in keeping the original Hexen feeling going in this TC?
The mood of the game must be the same. The mood is set through the colors, architecture, ambiance, music, etc. It's a combination of a lot of things and is really hard to give a specific definition for. I just kind of eyeball things and voice an opinion.
- Describe the best feature in the TC in your opinion? What should the person look for that they might miss?
The monsters all look superb, models, skins, animations, and all. Players might miss some of their interesting idle animations we've given them.
- Describe the weapons, what weapon you will use the most and why?
Without giving away too many details, the weapons will be faithful to the original. I'm most interested in the crossbow if that makes the cut. I've always had a thing for Heretic's ethereal crossbow.
- What is the hardest part about working on Hexen:Edge of Chaos?
Finding ways to work around the limitations brought on through not having the full source code. It results in a lot of interesting hacks. That can't really be a bad thing though, because we really don't have any other choice.
- Any final thoughts?
Nah, just play the mod when its released