This week we're going to bring back an old First Strike tradition to keep you entertained while you await the forthcoming release of First Strike 1.5. That old classic the Developer Diary. Now it has been a good year and a half since we've released one of these, RedMonkey was #19 way back in November '08.
With a lot of fresh blood on the team we thought it was high time we brought these back, and we start this revival this week with two of the current rising stars on the Dev Team, both have taken on the role of Lead Developers on the two new maps you'll be recieving with the release of 1.5. So with no further ado, lets introduce you to the first...
Hello there troopers.
Let me introduce myself. I am Krenyo the creator of many different assets for First Strike, and perhaps the lead contributor to version 1.5.
Let me start by giving you a little history lesson. I started my FS experience as a humble player who waited eagerly for a long time reading the news posts and watching the forums before version 1 was released. Having always been a huge star wars fan and having spent many, many hours playing the old Galactic Conquest mod, First strike was a dream mod come true.
I played First Strike very regular right through version 1.2 and 1.3. After exhausting all the available maps (I really did play a lot), I decided to have a go at making my own map. This started with me learning the BF2 editor and spending many hours experimenting and getting used to how the BF2 engine works and how the maps are made up. Eventually I settled on a solid idea for a map and produced the initial version of “Strike at Bimmiel”, a map that’s main objective was for the rebels to fight their way up a large mountain and attack an imperial communication installation. This map of course became the popular “Null Sensor Station”.
To further develop my skills and the then called “Strike at Bimmiel” map, I needed the assistance of the official dev and testing team, so I got in contact with one of the testers who I always got on well with in game (he knows who he is) and he got me (and my map) into the testing team eventually with full tester status and access. Once I had this access to advice, experience and dev/tester resources I was able to completely overhaul the map into something much more professional looking. Even with all this help there was still something missing...custom statics.
To really be creative and unlimited in map making, you really need to be able to model your own assets that are custom tailored for the requirements of the map. This is where I really got into modding. I started off with something basic, a tall, tall tower to get from the bottom of the mountain to the very top via a network of ramps. The first designs were very basic as to be expected, but as my experience in using 3D software rapidly grew, the tower was eventually finished as you see it today.
With my new found tools and skills I then took on the ambitious project of modelling the base itself. Again this started out fairly basic but quickly progressed into the finished piece.
Shortly before the release of version 1.4 I was made a full Dev team member. Imperial nominated me for membership based on the work I had put in on Null and I was voted in unanimously. After the release I spent some time experimenting with new map ideas and further developing my skills. Eventually this led to me building the ATPT walker which has to be my proudest moment of all. I actually managed to model, texture, animate and code the whole thing by myself and as I was new to all of this I was very proud of my achievements. Eventually Neko redid the animation as mine were a little wooden but they were fine for initial testing and development.
After a few trials with various map scenarios I eventually settled on an open desert map. This initial idea was to become “Jundland Wastes”. I wanted this map to incorporate a little of everything I had learnt so far and I wanted it to be as unique and as packed full of fresh new content as possible. There are too many new assets to list here but it includes new statics, new vehicles, new terrain painting and sculpting techniques, new play scenarios, new effects, etc. This map has literally hundreds of hours of work put into it, the majority by me, but with contributions from pretty much every other member of the team somewhere along the line. Not to mention the many hours put in by the testing team to iron out any bugs and check for bad play etc.
So after all the hard work from everyone and myself, I hope you all enjoy playing it as much as we enjoyed creating it! See you in the desert!