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HomeLan - Public Enemy Interview. Date : 23 August 2003 - With a small but loyal following, the multiplayer Half-Life mod Public Enemy recently released a new and improved version of their mod. HomeLAN got a chance to chat with team member Manuel Schupbach to find out more about their current and future plans for the mod.

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HomeLAN - Prior to Public Enemy, what previous mod experience have you had?

Manuel Schupbach
- Most uf us hadn't any previous mod experience and had to learn modelling, coding and mapping during the development progress of Public Enemy, but we had some help from outside the core team. I think that we've learned much from Public Enemy and also from the community and the teammembers… Public Enemy was only the beginning.

HomeLAN - How did the idea for Public Enemy come about?

Manuel Schupbach - This was someday in the winter 2000 where a couple of friends (one of them Lord Scottish, Leader 3D/2D-Art) watched the movie "Enemy of the State". They found the scenario of the movie very interesting and wanted to create a game about it. The idea was born - but each baby has to make big steps until it's grown - and so the Public Enemy that we have today has nothing to do with the first idea of Public Enemy.

HomeLAN - Why did you decide to use Half-Life as the basis for the mod?

Manuel Schupbach - That's a question which a lot of people asked us. It's simple to answer. When we decided to develop a mod we had the choice between the Unreal- and the HL-Engine. We decided to take the HL-Engine because the code is more flexible as with the Unreal-Engine.

HomeLAN - For people who are unfamiliar with the mod, what can you tell us about the basic gameplay for Public Enemy?

Manuel Schupbach - The coolest thing about Public Enemy is the character development if we omit the maps and the graphics now. You can play Public Enemy in dozens of different ways as hacker, as "rambo", as sniper or even as suicide assassin. In addition there's a lot of action but you must also have a good tactic if you want to win. Life is much easier when you work in the team.

HomeLAN - How hard was it to get the type of gameplay you wanted for the mod using the Half-Life engine?

Manuel Schupbach - We didnt really get the type of gameplay we wanted. There are lots of ideas we couldn't integrate in the game there would be more weapons and cyberstuff… and also some very cool features. But nevertheless we are very content with the result.

HomeLAN - What has the response been like from people who have played the mod so far?

Manuel Schupbach - Nearly everyone was surprised of the optical aspect. They found the maps and the weapon models great and they also liked the gameplay. Unfortunately many people weren’t pleased about the neo realistic scenario we used for our game. But those who do like it, love the game.

Manuel Schupbach - OK… we heard also negative critics, amusing-proves nearly only of the german CS-Community ;)

HomeLAN - What improvements and additions are you planning for the Public Enemy mod in the future?

Manuel Schupbach - I can answer this question only with some difficulty. We are planning to reduce the development of the mod and only release bugfixes and a few additions because only few persons play Public Enemy. We have also plans for our lives besides the gaming industry. Some of us will start a study or something and because of this we have to set priorities.

When more players would play Public Enemy, we would surely work hard on Public Enemy… but to work for so few players isn't very motivating - although our small community is very cool.

HomeLAN - Are there any plans to move Public Enemy to the Half-Life 2 engine at some point?

Manuel Schupbach - At the moment we're working hard on an own engine and with this engine we'd like to develop one of many game ideas we had since release of the Public Enemy Beta 1.0. But it's also possible that we convert Public Enemy to the HL2-Engine - Unfortunately there are many things which speak against this plan. One important thing is that if you use the HL2-Engine, you have not a big chance that you can sell your product.

HomeLAN - Would you like to break into the pro gaming development industry at some point?

Manuel Schupbach - Sure. As already mentioned we are working on our own engine which hasn't to hide itself before the top engines. Also, our brains burst nearly from our game ideas and we think that we're good enough to break into the pro gaming development.

HomeLAN - Finally is there anything else you wish to say about Public Enemy?

Manuel Schupbach - No, actually not. But I want to say something to those who critzize all which isn't Counter-Strike; Comments like "This mod is s***!, lead only to the fact that ever fewer people sit in front of their computer and develop a mod in their freetime. Those people have fun to do that –but such comments, comments which contain no constructional and only negative criticism, are really discouraging. If you really don't like the game, then don't post such sentences, separate say what they should improve or just be quiet.

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