We bring you the much awaited Fusion media release... at last you get to see what Laky has been working on for such a long time. I was dubious at first and though he has spent months slacking, but having seen these pictures and having had a run around in the map I can tell you that it's quite the opposite.
I hope you are all as excited as we are getting about Tactical Assault now! Can you believe we now have a forum community of over 750 people? I think that's pretty awesome for an unreleased mod. To reward you all for being so faithful we are going to keep the media rolling out and hopefully keep it getting more impressive as we progress.
Also I just want to take a minute to say thanks to the whole TA team. Making a mod like this is really demanding, it takes a lot of time and commitment to come and put time into TA after a day at work and the progress we have made after only a year could almost rival that of some professional development companies. So a big thank you to the team for all you have done so far and what is yet to come.
OK onto the good stuff. We were really pleased at the great feedback we got from the Fusion media release so we thought we would do the same sort of thing again. Some preview pictures to show you what it's about and an interview with Laky to give you some behind the scenes info.
AP: Hi Laky, time to introduce yourself I think
L: Hello, I'm Laky, and I'm currently studying games design at college in the UK. TA is probably the biggest project I have worked on yet but I was a mapper and beta tester for TO:C which is what really got me into TA. I applied for the team at the end of 2007 and have been mapping ever since.
AP: So did you find that mapping with Unreal Editor 4 any different from previous versions?
L: Well in some respects it's easier but in others it's harder. It is much more stable than previous versions which used to crash a lot and also some of the tools like the terrain editor are now easier to use. But also it's harder because you have got to make your levels much more detailed these days.
L: Yeah, making maps is the same idea as before but you have also got to make it much better looking. This is why the level has taken so long, the detailing of all of the textures and models takes longer than before. It's no longer enough just to have box rooms and brown textures and no detail.
AP: So you have carried your level design skills forward then?
L: Level design is mostly about what feels good and I think that it's something that you develop over time from both playing and designing games. My previous experience has all gone into this map and I think that it's the best one yet in terms of layout and playability.
L: You can only do so much with graphics so I think that what makes it stand out will have to be the layout. It is something that I have focused on and what TA is about really but I guess that the proof is in the playing.
AP: Where did you get your inspiration for the design from?
L: The map design is an old one that I was working on for TO:C with PerfectStorm. In the end it never saw the light of day so I thought that I would try and bring it to TA as it's a design that I really love. Also I am inspired by the thought of people playing the map and enjoying it. It is easy to get down about it sometimes, especially since it's a long project and you are working on the same thing day after day. Thinking about people enjoying it really helps to motivate you.
AP: So are you aiming to create the most popular TA map then? You could have some stiff competition from Jungle and the other maps we have got lined up.
L: Yeah, obviously I want mine to be the most popular but that is one of the nice things about working in a skilled team like we have got, seeing what other people are doing really spurs you on to work that bit harder. You don't want to feel like you are letting the rest of the team down.
AP: Well I think that you have done enough there to keep people happy
L: I hope so, like I said before, the proof is in the playing. I would like to thank the modellers and texture artists too, although they have loads to do they have produced quality work and you can see the results now.
AP: So has the layout of Fusion changed much from the original inspiration then?
L: There isn't really much in there that hasn't been changed in some way. I have reworked most of it from the original to improve the gameplay and the flow of the level. I have learnt quite a lot since I worked on it before.
AP: OK, so aside from the design what was the hardest bit of creating the map?
L: Probably just making it look natural, to make a realistic map you have to avoid just having box rooms and completely flat areas because the real world just isn't like that. I did some research and got some reference pictures which really helped. Also the modellers were great too; it helps to have proper environmental objects around the map, that's what brings it to life.
AP: What sort of stage is the map at now? Is it, dare I ask, complete?
L: Well the entire map is complete now, it just needs some proper team testing now to find the little bugs and smooth out some bits. It's quite an exciting time really with the map and the whole of TA to see it all coming together.
AP: Have you got a favourite part of the map?
L: If I had to choose it would have to be the alleyway in the third picture, I really like how the look of that bit turned out in the end. Like most areas in the map it took quite a while and a few modifications before I was really happy with it.
AP: So what are your plans now? Sticking with mapping after Fusion?
L: Of course! I am working on a couple of things in the background at the moment but nothing that I can tell you about yet. I am also working on improving my modelling too, it really speeds things up if you can make up a basic model like some railings, it saves being completely dependant on the modellers all the time.
AP: I am definitely looking forward to getting in there and playing it now. It must be a pretty good feeling now its nearly done.
L: I can't wait to see it on the servers, I'm hoping I will have the tactical advantage over everyone else since I know the layout so well now.
AP: You will certainly have the upper hand on me, well for the first few weeks at least..... Thanks for taking some time out to give us some more info on Fusion Laky.
Well there you go, don't say that we don't keep you updated often ;). As usual if you want to support TA then have a quick look at our news on Tactical-Assault.com and also spread the word around... let your clans know and let your friends know, the more people that we have playing TA the more fun it will be
See you on the servers,
Your TA Team.