off, I'd like to thank you for taking the time for doing this
interview. Starting with the formalities, could you please tell me who
you are and what your position is within the team?
is Nick, and I am the Public Relations person for the FUN Source
mod. I interact and deal with the public about the mod.
mod team needs certain positions filled in order to successfully
realize the designers idea. How many (active) members does your team
consist of and what are their fields of expertise?
current moment, we have about 7 active team members, but now that the
view of the public is on us, we are an ever-growing team. In the past
two days we have had two applicants, so the team number is rising and
will be in the teens before you know it. We have two audio specialists,
one on sound effects, and another on music. Both are professionals in
their work. We have 3 mappers, all with at least a year of experience
and some with a few years of experience and a background of working on
modifications. We also have modelers and programmers that all have at
least a year of experience. All of the members on the team are also
very familiar with the SOURCE engine.
3. How old are the
members. Do you think age has an impact on a person’s ability,
experience and if they behave professional or not?
current time, we have two 14 year-old's on the team, and a 19 year old,
a 16 year old, and others ranging in those mid-to-high teens. I do not
think age has anything to do with one's ability. Our youngest members
are some of the brightest people on the team. They are hard working,
dedicated, and full of great ideas. The only matter of being
professional is determined by someones maturity. You can have 16 year
olds that are immature and an 11 year old that is mature, age doesn't
matter. Luckily for the team, all of our members are mature regardless
of their age.
4. It is very rare seeing mod development
teams comprised of members from only one region of the world. How much
diversity can be found in your team? Are you all from one region or
spread across different countries?
I would say that we
are a very diversed team, indeed. But at the current time, we are all
from North America. One member is from Canada, and the rest are from
the United States. The members in the US though are spread out greatly,
from Boston to Hawaii, with members in every geographical region. In
the future though, I can guarantee you that we will have many members
from the other side of the world.
5. What are your thoughts
about working with someone from another country compared to working
with someone in the same room. Are there any problems and do you see
any benefits with working that way.
As their is nobody on
our team currently from a different and distant country, I will base
this on other online interactions with people from other countries.
Usually, people in other countries speak english when they are working
with a group that is spread out so far, and it helps alot. Usually, you
would never know if someone lived so far away unless they told you, and
that helps make your connection feel right at home, rather than so
distant. You can interact with many people the same as you would with
your neighbor, and it provides a good piece of mind. The only problem
that we do face is that it is harder to show others what we are
thinking and what we want to do, because we are limited by a computer
and our voice, and that's it. We work out quite well though because the
FUN team has a lot of communication. Even when we are not working on
the mod, we are communicated while playing other games, etc. We find
the "Ventrilo" program to be a big help as we can all connect and talk
amongst each other.
6. Producing something on your free time
takes time. How long have you been in development and how much time do
you think is spent working on the mod everyday?
been in development since September, 2006. We have had our offs and ons
though, but lately we have been pushing the paper even harder. We are
now starting to come out fully to the public and are now trying to
really seperate the mod from things like Half-Life 2: Deathmatch. In
general, I would say that team members spend anywhere from 30 minutes
to 4 hours a day on the mod, and everyday a member is doing someting
that has to do with FUN, wheather it be small or not.
7. Tell me about your team structure. What are your thoughts on roles and responsibilities?
Do you have leads in certain areas (design artist, code) or do you
encompass individual workflow with more loose responsibilities? Do you
use some kind of management system, for example Overlord or Bugzilla,
to keep you and your development team on track and on time?
Yes we have leads in seperate areas. We have the General Mod Leader,
InvertedShadow. He is the the man we all talk to if we need something
approved and whatnot. He resides over everyone else. Then we have
people like Lead Modeler, Lead Graphics Artist, Lead Sound Technician,
etc. All of these leaders will reside over the others. These are the
most trained and experienced members. We do not use a management system
like Bugzilla or Overlord, because the size of the team does not
require it. We communicate so much that we know whats going on inside
8. Tell me about your internal communication channels
and file sharing. How important is having means to communicate when you
develop a modification?
E.g.: How do you deliver files to each
other? Do you use some kind of file transfer tool like an FTP or MSN or
do you use a more sophisticated method like SVN.
has to be played, and everybody on the team needs to see what others
are doing and how the mod is progressing so that they can implement
other peoples things into their works (e.g. Modnot. And as I said
beforeels into Maps, etc.) As soon as something is started, finished,
changed, whatever..it is committed to our SVN Repository. This allows
everyone to have everything, wheather it be finished or , the
communication of our ideas is always flowing.
9. What programs
and tools do you use to develop the mod itself? And do you place any
importance in keeping the file format uniform?
E.g.: If you don’t, have you experienced any problems with having to export/import different format in different programs.
I, myself, do very little in the actual game it self (unfortunalty)
but I do map small things for videos and whatnot using the Source SDK
Hammer program. The other members in our team use Hammer to map, 3ds
Max to model, and various audio development applications to design our
music and sfx. We don't really have problems with import/export formats
because we develop our "stuff" on the spot for one purpose-being in FUN
Source, so the file formats we use are always compatible.