We're going to get into the brain matter of Spookt (Luke Maulding) about his role as our Writer. Words, words, words... but can he get through the interview without making obscure and esoteric quotes? Oh, I doubt it.
But before the questions, we want to let you know that The Journals of Roden are now online! Click here to read them and familiarize yourself with our backstory and the given circumstances you'll be entering the game with. Please enjoy!
Q: Where are you from and what do you do for a living, can you tell us something about yourself?
From California. You know, that state that's always on fire for some reason. I write (shock!) I watch too many movies in my free time. I am also an asylum escapee.
Q: What is your role in the team?
I’m the writer. I develop the overall arc of the story, the narrative in each episode, as well as the characters, dialogue, objectives, puzzles, and journals. Basically, if more than two words are strung together, that’s me somewhere behind the scenes.
Q: When did you join the team?
August 2007. Ahh, I remember it like it was two years ago...
Q: When did you hear first of the TC, and how?
Many years ago I stumbled upon it and kept checking in every few months or so. I can’t exactly recall, but I was probably searching for what Hexen websites existed and if there was anything cool out there.
Q: What style of developer are you? Do you rush into things, or do you plan a lot in advance?
Both, really. I think an artist’s best work comes when you dive into the trenches and let the winds (bullets?) take you where they will. But raw inspiration is ultimately reckless and never enough, so you do have to stand back and piece together an aesthetic unity. Too much of either isn’t good!
Q: What was your first experience with the Hexen/Heretic series, and how did it impact your view on computer games?
Shareware Heretic running on a demo computer. I was hooked immediately. I only discovered Hexen by accident when one BBS I frequented had the demo. Holy crap! There were leaves falling from the trees. Leaves! Doors opened inward. You could destroy stained-glass! What insanity is this!? To what wondrous realm have I been brought? Both games have always been a shining example to me of the power of atmosphere.
Q: What things besides gaming do you currently feel strongly about?
Any really great story, whether it’s written in a book, a film or a show. I’m particularly interested in the question of technology -– to what extent it shapes us as a race and in what ways it acts as our savior or executioner. Other than that, anything done artistically makes me happy.
Q: Which game are you currently playing?
Tlon - A Misty Story, Fate/stay night, The Last Express, and The Longest Journey (for the billionth time, yes, I said 'billionth'!).
Q: 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?
Thus far, I’ve been working mostly outside of the game. For this project to be great, the story has got to be tighter than a mummy wrapped in duct tape (an ancient, albeit rare, burial rite turns out). All the pieces fitting, I dive into the game to ensure the pacing is right and the narrative engaging.
Q: Are you working on any other mods or TC's right now?
Nope, just the one in my brain I keep telling myself I want to do, but know I will inevitably have no time for. (Fun Fact! It would be developed for Myth 2's engine!)
Q: What others mods do you like or are you waiting for?
I love Thievery (dead). I had my eyes lovingly on Nightblade (dead). I was excited for Beyond the Red Line... but I think that's dead... boy I sure know how to pick 'em. Nightblade, why hast thou forsaken me! *Sob*
Q: What do you like best about the Doom3 engine? What would you improve?
Will you get mad at me if I... say I haven’t even played Doom 3? Uhhh, you will? Oh okay, then let me distract you with this strategically placed shadow bunny and tell you 'I think its lighting looks pretty!'
Q: If you could have any new feature added to the Doom 3 tools, what would it be?
What’s a Doom 3 Tool? Is it edible?
Q: How has this TC influenced your life (either on a personal or professional level) so far?
Outside the theatre, it's the first collaborative project I've worked on -- and easily the coolest. It's given me more insight into what it's like developing a game collaboratively and a greater appreciation for the work involved.
Q: What's been your worst experience so far with making the TC?
If you didn't already know, there are two demons that besiege any work of fantasy (yea, even dark fantasy). I am proud to announce that I have deftly conquered the first: Stupid Name Syndrome. His brother, Excessive Exposition Disorder, has harried me. But I've been careful with pacing, so I'm confident the narrative is sound. Back, you fiends!
Q: What part of (working on) the TC do like best so far?
Watching what I write get turned into map design. It's not egocentric! For some reason, I have an obsession with maps and cartography... so I love when the blueprints are posted. Overall, I really enjoy seeing what everyone creates.
Q: Which part of the TC are you currently working on?
Writing. I’m wr- didn’t we already go over this? I smash all the words together and make a pretty story. What more do you want from me!? Actually I've finished the script for Episode One. Presently, I'm fleshing out the puzzles and the use of puzzle items, so I'm working more directly with map design and going inside the game.
Q: Which is your favorite character in the game?
If he makes the cut: the Mad Artist. He’s going to be so freaking weird. A very disturbing part of the game if I have any say! But for Episode One characters, it's the Astronomer. She's cool.
Q: Which aspects do you consider to be crucial in keeping the original Hexen feeling going in this TC?
Atmosphere without question. Hexen has this great feeling, sometimes of spookiness, sometimes of desolation. You could just sit in some places and absorb the ambience.
Q: Describe the best feature in the TC in your opinion? What should the person look for that they might miss?
All the small details and how they fit into the larger whole. Metaphorically like seeing pock-marked stone that makes up a massive pillar.
Q: Describe the weapons, what weapon you will use the most and why?
Whatever item turns an enemy into whatever type of animal. Then I will kill it, spit it, and place it over a fire until its delicious blood-candies cook the meats.
Q: What is the hardest part about working on Hexen: Edge of Chaos?
Keeping track of all the puzzles and the order of objectives, while visualizing all the maps - including the parts of the maps that only exist in my head. Since I'm a little scatterbrained, it gets crazy. But so far so good!
Q: Any final thoughts?
Hexapodia as the key insight.