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Dienstbier, from hlportal.de, interviewed recently MasterDonut and UnkSoldieR about Raindrop. Here's the English translation of the interview.

Posted by Berserkr on May 31st, 2009

Raindrop

Interview and atmosphere video



Dienstbier, from hlportal.de, interviewed recently MasterDonut and UnkSoldieR about Raindrop. Here's the English translation of the interview:

HLPortal: Who develops Raindrop?

UnkSoldieR: Our team consists of about 15 people at the moment, a more precise list will be released on our website when it's finished.

HLPortal: The stuff you released so far seems very professional, could you gather experience earlier?
MasterDonut: I started in 2004 to work with Valve's Hammer editor. At first just for fun, then I've created some Half-Life2:Deathmatch and CS:S maps. I didn't work on bigger projects like Raindrop so far. Raindrop originally was merely intended to be an exercise, but the whole project became something bigger than I could imagine.
Unk: Generally we can say that our team consists of talented people, who have partly already worked in the industry.

HLPortal: The setting of Raindrop reminds at first sight of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., is it a tribute to it?
MD: The setting may remind of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., but it's completely independent from it. I was merely inspired by that game, among other things. It may also be the setting "Russia", which in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is "Ukraine".

HLPortal: The back story is very detailed, is it fictitious or based on real facts?
Unk: Concerning the run of events of the II. WW, it all happened; but if there were ever such secret plans of the soviets – we don't know; we fabricated it ourselves. Nevertheless it's not revisionist, since we don't question proved facts.

HLPortal: The screenshots promises a lot. Does Raindrop look in-game that good?
MD: The screenshots, which we released, show exactly how the game looks like. There have been rumors that some of our screenshots are edited with Photoshop, but that's not true.

HLPortal: Do you plan voice acting, for every character?
Unk: Yes we do, we initially wanted to let everyone speak Russian, but now we can say that the final voice acting will be in English.

HLPortal: Will the player be playing in the first person, like in a classic fps game?
Unk: Yes, we use classic first person gameplay and add here and there some new features.

HLPortal: Will you borrow content like textures and models from the Valve games?
Unk: The hands of the protagonist are from DoD:Source (re-textured) and we probably will use some NPC models of Half-Life 2 (also modified).

HLPortal: May the player expect game elements similar to the Half-Life 2 series, like physics riddles?
MD: Definitely. The player will be confronted from time to time with various obstacles and puzzles in the levels.

HLPortal: On your modDB profile you're mentioning "a bunch of new code features". What can we exactly expect?
Unk: Head bobbing (the view moves dynamically with every step), of course in an appropriate way; lens flare; iron sights; a new stamina system and the ability to shoot through walls.

HLPortal: That sounds like more realistic gameplay. Does that influence the level of difficulty?
MD: The mod will be more difficult, how exactly we can't tell right now.

HLPortal: 2010 is the official release date, will you really release Raindrop then? Is there already a more precise date?
Unk: Yes, we will release Raindrop then, more precisely it's the first or second quarter.


We also released an atmosphere video which shows some rainy scenes.



And - as always - here are the latest screenshots:

Bumpercars Bumpercars
Post comment Comments
Ryswick17
Ryswick17 May 31 2009, 5:28pm says:

The lightning flash effect seems like somebody is flicking the lights on and off, it doesn't look too good.

+3 votes     reply to comment
nubblecakes
nubblecakes May 31 2009, 10:16pm replied:

That's about the best you can do with Source.

Amazing atmosphere, but I agree with 5omeone on certain aspects.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kasplatt
Kasplatt May 31 2009, 10:28pm replied:

Yeah, I'd say this looks rather good actually.

+2 votes     reply to comment
xscottx019
xscottx019 May 31 2009, 5:43pm says:

Iron sights YES!

+5 votes     reply to comment
sauerfreak
sauerfreak May 31 2009, 5:43pm says:

Excellent work! Although you may want to record more than one rainfall loop, as the sound of raindrops hitting concrete doesn't quite work when there are open grasslands involved. :D Still, very STALKERish; very impressive. Keep it up!

+4 votes     reply to comment
Danboe
Danboe May 31 2009, 5:43pm says:

Amazing visuals, just blows me away!
The shooting through walls part sounds really interesting.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Metalspy
Metalspy May 31 2009, 6:01pm says:

Great.. but like some other guys already said: the lightning flash could use some work.. because it doesn't look realistic

+1 vote     reply to comment
Cnaff
Cnaff May 31 2009, 6:07pm says:

Mods looking great... It seems like this is from Fallout 3....(8. September 1997, somewhere in Russia. 58 years have passed since the complex has been cut off from the outside world. You wake up in an abandoned tunnel, without even a name ...)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Sebbeman
Sebbeman May 31 2009, 7:46pm replied:

wat

+1 vote     reply to comment
FJS
FJS May 31 2009, 6:16pm says:

Looking awsome =)

+2 votes     reply to comment
SinKing
SinKing May 31 2009, 6:32pm says:

Great spots on the map - very believable and interesting. Another Half-Life 2 mod to watch! Best of luck!

+3 votes     reply to comment
bakentake
bakentake May 31 2009, 7:27pm says:

Can't wait for it to come. I can't suggest anything that hasn't alredy been suggested.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Wills
Wills May 31 2009, 7:45pm says:

Absolutely beautiful guys! Love that you guys are pushing the Source engine so hard with this, it shows how versatile it is.

+2 votes     reply to comment
doublethink
doublethink May 31 2009, 8:24pm says:

I actually think it would be a lot cooler and more authentic if you used Russian with English subtitles, to be honest.

I wish more developers did this, as an American I hate hearing English in places I know it wouldn't be spoken in Movies and other media. It detracts from the art work and immersion quite a bit.

As a mod, I think you should reconsider English voice acting, and use subtitles instead. Or give the player the option, like Crysis did with the Korean speaking AI Soldiers.

+2 votes     reply to comment
LongBottom
LongBottom May 31 2009, 8:34pm replied:

But nobody wants to read text! They wanna just listen.

I think you should use Russian voices speaking English. So it still sounds Russian, but in English.

+2 votes     reply to comment
xscottx019
xscottx019 May 31 2009, 8:43pm replied:

Good idea.

+2 votes     reply to comment
ausbushman
ausbushman May 31 2009, 8:51pm replied:

I've gotta agree with doublethink. I'm sick of this Hollywood approach to acting other nationalities and languages (Valkyrie).

People can read and I think you'll find that they'll understand what's being said better by reading than listening, as they won't be so distracted by the visuals as they try to listen.

What is most absurd is when non-European actors voice European accents. I know most people wouldn't pick it, but for us who don't live in Hollywood la la land you can pick it from a mile off and it's about as effective as a bad joke without the punch line.

Also, the Russian-speaking-English accent has been so overdone (Stalker and Call of Duty) already, I'm sure a change would be welcome.

In the end though it depends on who you're targeting with your game.

+1 vote     reply to comment
LongBottom
LongBottom May 31 2009, 9:35pm replied:

It's a good point, I hate when English fake European accents. It's only right if it's a genuine European speaking English. But reading text can get draining if there's too much to read. Maybe the team should add both voice and text, and give an option to subtitle / mute voices.

0 votes     reply to comment
dethtoll
dethtoll Jun 1 2009, 12:33am replied:

Ultimately I think there should be a compromise. English VA for the scrubs, Russian VA with English subtitles for those of us who don't mind reading.

I think the HL1 mod Paranoia had the same option.

0 votes     reply to comment
NNihad
NNihad Jun 1 2009, 2:33am replied:

We aren't Hollywood, neither are we creating an AAA-Title. We considered making the voices in russian with several subtitles. But he time and the fact that we aren't working in a studio is what doesn't allow us to do it.
I'm sure you will still enjoy Raindrop.

+4 votes     reply to comment
ausbushman
ausbushman Jun 1 2009, 7:19am replied:

Too true, and in the end that's what it all comes down to.

However, the advantage of being "indi" developers or modders and not a AAA studio, is that you've got the freedom to experiment with things like this. You don't have a publisher looming over you, threatening to cancel your game if you spend too much time or money. You also don't have to worry as much about what your users think of the game, as it's not like they're wasting any money either.

It's good to know that you considered it properly though.

By the way may I ask what your plans are regarding the voice over/subtitle narration?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Berserkr Author
Berserkr Jun 1 2009, 2:39pm replied:

Of course Russian is a plus to the atmosphere, a damn huge plus I might say, but we can't include every little nice-to-have-thing. Again, to remind everyone, we're a mod team. We don't get paid, and we want to finish Raindrop - in time.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Jesternz08
Jesternz08 May 31 2009, 8:25pm says:

The lighting and thunder looks and sounds amazing, very atmospheric!

+3 votes     reply to comment
ausbushman
ausbushman May 31 2009, 8:38pm says:

Not bad! The screenies look really good, you've got the lighting nailed.

The video very cool too. The lightning ain't too bad. It does look a tad odd. Maybe it's just the direction of the light, or the syncing with the thunder. Or maybe it's too white - might it need a blue tinge in there somewhere?

Also, could the lightning effect be done with colour correction instead? Might this help?

+2 votes     reply to comment
5omeone
5omeone May 31 2009, 9:16pm says:

The atmosphere and general pallette is top-knotch, except the idea of using that theme in particular is really stupid, in terms of a shooter. You make it sound like you'll be fighting solely hostile enemies with rifles and whatnot, which would really distract the game's true artistic qualities (for what they're worth)

now, unless the game is truly terrifying (terrifying doesn't mean necessarily that you have to have mutated experiments running around trying to maul you) by having the player an incredibly easy target for death, but by having him fight incredible odds alone.

Think being holed up in a house firing down from the second when all of a sudden a heavy tank rolls down some trees and pops an HE round in to the wall of the next room beside you - it'd definitely add to the scare value of the player, especially when they know how easy it is to die in the game

all-in-all, the artistic style just doesn't sound like it'll compliment the gameplay style you SEEM to be looking for. obviously, there's going to be mixed opinions on what you've said, and speculation of what is to be expected, but seriously - don't turn the gameplay to ****

-1 votes     reply to comment
NNihad
NNihad Jun 1 2009, 2:38am replied:

...did you read between the lines? I just can't understand how you come up with that...

+3 votes     reply to comment
Berserkr Author
Berserkr Jun 1 2009, 2:43pm replied:

"a heavy tank rolls down some trees and pops an HE round in to the wall" ... darn it, Raindrop should be exactly like this. Seems like we lost one fan now.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Minuit
Minuit Jun 1 2009, 3:10am says:

Excellent video and screenshots, guys. I really enjoyed watching that video, as gloomy, rainy landscapes are particularly appealing to me due to their oppressive/depressive atmosphere. Works really nice.

+1 vote     reply to comment
snblinder
snblinder Jun 1 2009, 11:26am says:

Well...the atmosphere is great. But the first thing i thought when i saw this was: Stalker

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dnst
Dnst Jun 1 2009, 12:51pm replied:

That's not bad, is it?

+1 vote     reply to comment
belzaran
belzaran Jun 1 2009, 12:13pm says:

It really seems like STALKER ! Nice job !

+1 vote     reply to comment
D3ads
D3ads Jun 1 2009, 3:48pm says:

Nice work guys, can't wait to see some characters/enemies at some point.

Put me down for russian language with English subtitles btw, Paranoia did it perfectly!

+2 votes     reply to comment
dafatcat
dafatcat Jun 1 2009, 7:44pm says:

Looks great. I'm in love with your sounds <3

+3 votes     reply to comment
LPFreak
LPFreak Jun 19 2009, 7:35am says:

It's cool ;)

+2 votes     reply to comment
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