modDB.com: State your real name, job, place where you are from and age!
TorQue[MoD]: My name is Peter Ryan, I'm 23, living with my new wife in Vancouver BC (Canada) and am currently out of work.
modDB.com: Morbid Inclination was thought up when? Why the different classes? Is the mod like another game or mod in your opinion?
TorQue[MoD]: Wow. I originally thought of the idea for Morbid Inclination waaay back in April of 1999 when I had virtually no understanding of game editing, MODs or anything else other than the fact that I loved games and the thought of making my own would be really cool.
The original Morbid Inclination was going to have 30 characters, 30 weapons, 30 levels and 30 Bots and the entire team consisted of 20 mappers, including Apocalypso who I believe joined the team as a programmer, a skinner and one weapon modeler, Coconutmonkey from ColdIce and The Opera though he was just learning to model at the time :P
After Morbid flopped along with several other MOD projects, including one that we put on hold for TF2, I changed my name and decided to actually learn a bit about MODs and game design so I took up mapping full time and have since learned about every aspect of game design except programming.
modDB.com: How long have you been working on Morbid Inclination?
TorQue[MoD]: Too long! If you include the initial incarnation, the revival 3 months later, and the DM map and model pack that was released sometime around 2000, (you can find it on Geocities) then I'd say I've been working on Morbid for about 4 years!
This version of the MOD however has been in development since January of 2002. We actually cut a lot of the original features such as having 4 weapons per team in the first release along with 16 characters because I can only do so much at once :)
modDB.com: Describe the best feature in the mod in your opinion? What should the person look for that they might miss?
TorQue[MoD]: I'd have to say that although Morbid's main game mode Scavenger is essentially a tweaked version of Capture The Flag, it is really a fun an interesting game mode. I am also quite happy with how the 4 teams work and how well balanced they actually are.
I think a lot of people will overlook/under estimate the Special Abilities. The biggest complaint I get is that you are unable to turn off your SA once it has been activated. The purpose of the Special Abilities was not simply to be used as a portable powerup, but as another more interesting way to help balance the gameplay. Each team's SA while giving them a distinct advantage is also counter-acted by another team's SA. For example, the Robots have the ability to enable an invincibility shield, which combined with their really powerful Shock rifle makes them a deadly force to be reckoned with. What people fail to notice (I mentioned it in the Manual) is that the Humans can break through the Robot's shield by activating their Special Ability. The reason the SAs can not be turned off is also a balancing issue. Turn on the SA which gives you a good advantage, but it also puts you at a bit of a disadvantage because your view is limited. I mean, imagine the Aliens with a Laser Rifle with 3 level zoom, the ability to cloak themselves to almost unseen invisibility, the ability to see everything on the screen at once, and the ability to turn this cloak on and off as you see fit. Good luck trying to get rid of those buggers!
In some ways the system is a little complicated, but I really think its a much better way of balancing things out.
modDB.com: Describe the weapons and what the weapon you will use the most and why?
TorQue[MoD]: Originally I had really wanted to have 4 weapons per team in the first release, but we didn't have anyone who could animate the weapons so I had to teach my self to animate which meant that we had to drop the weapon selection down to 1 per team due to time restraints (I was also working on sounds and maps at the time). This is actually when I came up with the idea to give each team a Special Ability so it worked out for the better anyway. But back to the question asked, there are 4 weapons in this version of the MOD, the Alien Laser Rifle with pin point accuracy (I still can't snipe worth a damn) 3 level zoom and normally a 1-2 shot kill. The Humans have a fully automatic Assault Rifle with Burst fire mode, Robots have a Shock Rifle as I call it.... More of a Lightning gun with spread shot for the primary fire and split shot for secondary fire. Kindof like the Egon, but it has a "jump to" ability which causes the beam to jump to the closest player, and it also divides itself between several players on the screen damaging everyone at once. Then the Monsters have their hand to hand, or should I say claw to tail, attacks. Double claw swipe for primary fire and a Tail Whip secondary fire.
If it weren't for the fact that I am officially the world's worst virtual sniper, I'd say my weapon of choice would be the Alien Laser Rifle, but as it stands, I tend to lean towards the HWG tactic and am in love with the Robot Shock Rifle :) It's by far the coolest weapon so far.
modDB.com: How is the class system in Morbid Inclination?
TorQue[MoD]: Interesting to say the least :) When creating the classes for Morbid, I really wanted to do something different. I didn't want to clone the typical TFC class system where each team can have multiple Snipers or HWGs, so I decided to make each team their own class. You'll notice that every team has different health and armour load outs, different running speeds and to further enhance things, their own Special Ability. Amazing as it may seem, balancing the different teams was a piece of cake. Maybe I'm just good at making random guesses :)
modDB.com: Gameplay what's your favorite and explain one?
TorQue[MoD]: Gameplay to me is definitely the most important aspect of any game. As for my favorite, I'm not really sure. Assault for Unreal Tournament was totally awesome and I actually originally wanted to make an enhanced version of that as the next game mode for Morbid Release 2 though I doubt that will happen now.
BattleField 1942's flag control is quite fun, though hardly innovative... I have honestly yet to see a First Person shooter to present anything incredibly innovative in terms of gameplay since Assault in UT.... I have ideas, but not the programming knowledge or time to execute them. Maybe in the future...
modDB.com: Explain what the upcoming patch will have?
TorQue[MoD]: What I would like to include in the upcoming patch and what will actually BE in the upcoming patch are two completely different things.
Idealy I would like to include 4 new weapons, one more per team, 4 new character models or skins to differentiate between team mates, and a few new levels from mappers in the community but that would depend on finding another weapon modeler, a character animator and Morbid fans making some good maps. Realistically I'd say the next patch will include at least one new map, 4 new weapons and some tweaked code/bug fixes.
modDB.com: What mods do you like in Half Life? What is your feeling on Half Life2?
TorQue[MoD]: I bet you're expecting me to say Counter-Strike? Though CS is virtually the only MOD I've mapped for other than Morbid, its actually no longer in my list of top MODs to play. Natural Selection rocks though I don't have enough time to play, DOD was great for a while until I realized the WW 2 is over. To be completely honest, I have downloaded more than a half dozen MODs that have never been installed and I own more than 60 games that I've never played for more than an hour. Being a game designer is a time consuming hobby/job :) Though I really wish the HL Raly team would quit holdong off a release to add another 20 cars and I'd really like to play The Specialists, Vampire Hunters and HL Bumpercars. Oh, and Project Timeless will blow you away if I ever find the time to finish animating their character models :P
modDB.com: Final thoughts:
TorQue[MoD]: Thank you kindly for asking me to partake in this interview. It was quite enjoyable and I could talk (or type) about games for hours! (oh wait, I have)
Oh, and if you happen to be a kick Arse character animator who's looking to work on a MOD and possibly a retail project with at least a year's experience with Max and a big green umbrella, e-mail me :)