Post news RSS A Potted History of Y4

Project Y4, in its current form, has been in development roughly since August 2010. However, it can trace its lineage much further back...

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I started RDZ Industries in about 2004. It was a series of custom models for Warcraft III, terrifyingly bad sci-fi constructions that (due to a general lack of sci-fi models around the community) gained some level of notoriety. I called that first run of models "Series X".

My first attempt to make a real project of them was Operation: Twilight, a short-lived campaign detailing the life of an experimental AI-controlled unit not unlike Project Y4's AP-AM (at least in terms of functionality). This lived and died in a very short space of time; I was only fifteen or sixteen, I didn't know my arse from my elbow when it came to modding.

The second attempt was Research Facility, something that can only be described as "sim space-colony". It didn't last long either. You could collect Lego Rock Raiders energy crystals, build things like oil pumps (only on certain terrain tiles) that produced barrels until they ran dry... Basic stuff, nothing exciting.

After that came the dramatic ribbon-abusing Asteroid Wars, a Battleships-style Aeon of Strife. Yes, it didn't last long either, but it was fun to experiment with space skyboxes and ribbon emitters. Gotta love ribbon emitters.

A total conversion is a lot of work, and as a younger man I lacked the staying power to pull it off. All three of the above had at least two re-attempts in the intervening six years, but the first project that even got close to something resembling completion was RDZ Arena Y2. I called it Y2 because I had now refined a lot of the RDZ Industries model designs -- after the jump from Series X to Series Y, the rest of the advances were more incremental, minor changes in style and modelling technique.

Arena Y2 was based on an arena fantasy map (called Arena, funnily enough) based on another of my projects, and it managed to get a full suite of props and even new units and buildings. It was also Battleships-styled, with firing-while-moving Phoenix Fire weaponry, though in a hero arena setting and with weather and random events and all that goodness. Alas, it bit the bullet after a while too. I got side-tracked by This Wreckage, a large single-player RPG that, due to its fantasy setting, meant that producing custom content was a lot smoother (though looking back on it, a lot of edits were equally difficult, tiresome and time-consuming). There wasn't such a requirement for it, at any rate.

Last Christmas (I gave you my heart) (2009), I started work on Arena Y4. It was supposed to be a re-build of Arena and Arena Y2, although with the AP-AM as the star character bringing my generic hero archetype to the sci-fi genre. Blades and shields formed the basis of customisation. The EMP cannon provided single-unit damage and stun, the artillery cannons provided area damage... I didn't have the other two abilities at this point, but the project felt right.

Arena Y4 was sadly the same old story. It dropped off the radar... but not before becoming a single-player RPG. After going back to fix This Wreckage to work with patch 1.24 (which comprehensively destroyed a few minor sub-systems), I was supposed to move on to modding Starcraft II. Unfortunately, SC2 wasn't very good -- and my mind kept creeping back to that total conversion...

I wanted to give Warcraft III a good send-off. A powerful swansong, straight from the heart, to say "thanks" for more than seven years of modding good times.

Project Y4 will be that swansong. And armed with determination and dogged persistence, I will see it done.

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