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An Interview with the_s-man of Citizen-132
hl2c_articles - I caught up with the_s-man for a lengthy and insightfull look into the world of C132 | Posted by Psycho_byte on Oct 25th 03 02:52 PM
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to chat with Citizen-132's Leader the_s-man on the current status of his mod. This interview follows a week long concept week with which the leader and coleader met to discuss the future of the mod and ended up producing a 40+ page design document, unfortunatlly this will not be made public due to trade secrets.


Psycho_byte:
Could you start out by summarising some of the latest updates within your mod for those whom have not been keeping up with modding-news (their latest post can be found here)


the_s-man:
Citizen-132 has really been speeding up the development lately, especially in our concept and modelling departments. We released over a half a dozen new drawings of various characters this month, and a new vehicle model. We will be following that up with two or three new weapon models sometime this week. Notably check out the shot of the soldiers having a smoke.


Psycho_byte:
Your team is clearly very talented, but are they capable of successfully pulling together and making a kick ass mod out of this?


the_s-man:
In my opinion, we have an extremely talented team as you stated. I think that if we keep the same level of enthusiasm as we've had the last few months for a long period of time, we will make a kick-ass mod for sure. Our team is still looking for a 4th and 5th coder since we have a very intense MP section.


Psycho_byte:
How would someone go about applying for such a position, and what levels of experience are necessary to fulfil it?


the_s-man:
For coders, it is quite hard to tell what they know and don't know, it isn't like a mapper who can submit maps from previous experience. To become a coder on our team, it would be nice to have previous finished projects (other mods, programs you've made), and you will have to get interviewed by our Head of Programming, and he will make a final judgement on your abilities.


Psycho_byte:
I notice the "ingame shot" released in your previous media update features a solider lighting a cigarette. How close to reality is this? In most halflife1 mods idle time was usually spent swaying or remaining still, are you hoping to push these boundaries in your mod?


the_s-man:
I think that we will have a lot of various idling positions to characters and NPC's, since it is rather boring to see them standing in one spot swaying like they are on a sailboat. Animations like that don't take long to do, and it would add a lot to the atmosphere we are trying to create. Actions such as shivering, crying or other emotional stunts will strengthen the atmosphere of Citizen-132.


Psycho_byte:
One of your most recently released renders was that of a Lada, what purpose will it play in the mod, and how do vehicles it fit into an atmosphere of suspense?


the_s-man:
All of our fans by now must have read the beginning storyline, with Jack driving through the night arguing with his wife. This will take place in the Lada. In my opinion, vehicles take away from suspense, ESPECIALLY in MP, for those of you who play BF1942, you will know how funny it is to drive around running over helpless soldiers with your jeep. This is fun, but we are trying to create a different kind of fun with Citizen-132. The vehicles in MP will be very limited, one of them of course being the Snowboard, which is class specific. Vehicles will mostly help you cover distances in the SP portion of Citizen-132, so you can look forward to mostly civilian type vehicles, some driven by townspeople, or guards.


Psycho_byte:
You mention a snowboard being used as a vehicle, due to the light weight and manoeuvrability would it also be possible to use this in someway as a melee weapon?


the_s-man:
I was thinking more in terms of a melee weapon shield (would shatter from bullets if you held it up), but with your other weapon, a submachine gun, and also a pocket knife, using the snowboard (which is quite big), wouldn't be such a great idea against other people.


Psycho_byte:
In halflife1 such a vehicle as a snowboard would require you to not only stand on it, but use a command to activate it as a vehicle. To a certain extent the task of initiating the vehicle is unrealistic. How do you invision the control system to be?


the_s-man:
The physics engine should allow us to make the board apply to the world as a real snowboard would. So, when you step on, and you are facing downhill, you will start going down automatically, like-wise, if you got to a flat part, you would stand still. The controls will be the way you shift your weight (most likely with the strafe keys, default on most computers is A and D).


Psycho_byte:
You've already mentioned a snowboard being used as a shield, can you elaborate on some of the types of weapon available to you in both multiplayer and singleplayer. Will citizen-132 be using the overplayed weapons like ak47 or can we expect something a little more unique?


the_s-man:
AK47 was the first weapon I swiped off the list of proposed weapons. Every game has one...and it is annoying. We want to use more unique type weapons, such as bear traps and old style Rifled Muskets. The bear trap will be set by the hunter class in MP and when you step on it, you lose 30 HP initially, wit h a constant health drain until you remove it (takes about 10 seconds to get the thing off). Most things in Citizen-132 will be able to be picked up and thrown at your enemies..run out of ammo? Pick up a can use it as a distraction, then silently slip away unnoticed.


Psycho_byte:
You mention the bear trap weaponry could be removed over a period of time, will this be a similar method to CS bomb defusal where after a certain period of time holding a button, the bomb will disappear? or, will animations be played as the bear/player is removing the contraption


the_s-man:
We will have animations to show it being removed, maybe if you carry a certain tool, you can remove it faster, will be interesting to see the player's hands getting bloody from the sharp, rusty bear trap.


Psycho_byte:
The source engine should allow for some amazing blood trails in snowy landscapes, do you plan to use such a feature to make tracking down wounded players faster?


the_s-man:
Yeah, I was discussing that with Evert (formerly known as Snorkie) the other day (one of our MP Mappers), and we were thinking how cool it would be to use that for tracking, as well as if someone got shot in a vent, their blood would drip out of it. We want to make the gore as realistic as possible, so we won't over-do it, but it should prove to be quite interesting.


Psycho_byte:
With pickup/armoury and purchasing methods being tried and tested methods of weapon obtaining, how will a player come about the weapons necessary for combat?


the_s-man:
For the MP: We will use a class based system. Each class has advantages and disadvantages, and will be armed with something that would fit their character. For SP: You will get your weapons in realistic settings. If you take the FAMAS for example, you won't find that in a farm house, but rather, in a military establishment.


Psycho_byte:
In terms of class-based systems will this be present in all multiplayer game modes?


the_s-man:
Last man Standing will implement the class system I stated earlier, but our "training mode" the wolf mode, will spawn the player with a random weapon every round. It is a good opportunity to make friends, learn all of the weapons for our other mode, and learn to work together.


Psycho_byte:
I was reading your “wolve mode” design document earlier (for those that haven’t read it, hl2central have mirrored a copy: here) and must say I commend your use of a more user-friendly game mode for those who are less confident when it comes to combat aspects. In so many current games it is often the case that players new to the gaming community are thrown in the deep end and often are flamed/ridiculed by their team-mates for failure to win the round.


the_s-man:
Yeah, our last man standing mode will be a little bit difficult, and we would never get many experienced players if we didn't offer them the chance to better themselves by working together against a computer bot.


Psycho_byte:
What inspired the no-respawn policy in place within this coop mode? It has been the case in previous coop mods that team-members would respawn until a common goal was achieved.

the_s-man:
If you can respawn, you don't value your life as much. If you will die and be dead until the end of a round, you may think twice about running out of the hotel into a swarm of 40 wolves and trying to frag as many as possible. We want people to work together, save their strength a bit, take cover, give covering fire. All of that will better them as players for our Last Man Standing Mode,


Psycho_byte:
One of the biggest struggles in creating a teamplay multiplayer game is getting people to do just that, help each other to work as a team. In your design document you have specifically catered the score system to performance within team, do you feel this will bring an end to the people out just to get frags?


the_s-man:
Yeah, We are going to eliminate the Kill portion of the score bar, and just have points (like natural-selection). This will make you want to do more for your team, and you won't get as many points for getting a frag as you will for helping your team.


Psycho_byte:
Again, on the topic of your wolve design document, you mention the element of surprise as a key feature to the game mode. In one of your scenarios, the players remain within a building, in such an occurrence will there be more entry methods than the standard door and window (e.g. sewage/ventilation systems)


the_s-man:
There is always more than one entrance to the building. While writing the design document, we had a section about anti-camping, and that will be one of the main things to fight campers. If you sit in one spot, and the wolves decide to enter from another way, you will be stuck camping in a place with no people. This will hopefully deter people from sitting in one place.


Psycho_byte:
Earlier you mentioned that gore was a direction you were definitely taking with this mod, If you were mauled by wolves and escape with a bite wound: a) will this wound be visible to team mates b) is it healable to some extent c) will health steadily decrease if wound goes untreated?


the_s-man:
This all depends on how the source engine allows us to deal with gore. From what I’ve seen and heard, it will be pretty possible to have chunks taken out of you. If it's possible - we'll have it as realistic as possible. To answer your questions: a) Yes. b) A big bandage may be able to stop the bleeding, but you cant be healed with a med-pack or something similar. c) Yes, you need to try to stop the bleeding


Psycho_byte:
Has your mod put any more consideration into how it will effectively stimulate community growth? For example will you encourage the setting up of ladders etc, by providing materials to fan sites and the like. I understand if such information must remain confidential


the_s-man:
As soon as our MP is up and running, I will personally set up a clan league, and we will have a development team clan (for the Wolf Mode). For last man standing, people playing on official servers and in competitions will be on a statistic page, and may even win prizes from us (t-shirts, mouse pads). We want to have a great community, and I will always be around to talk to anyone who wants to say hi or give a suggestion to our team. I love talking to fans, and I make it a top priority to make you enjoy our game to its fullest potential.


Psycho_byte:
You mentioned earlier that steps have been taken to discourage campers, such things include increasing the ease at which an ambush can be performed. It doesn’t need to be stated that a vast percentage of the hl2community frown upon snipers due to the ease with which they pick off, effectively sitting ducks. Have their been any steps to weaken the sniper in battle and pull focus away from such a class.


the_s-man:
Snipers were one of the first things we addressed when writing the Design Document. We have taken numerous steps to prevent snipers from owning up the entire server. The guns are loud, you will lose accuracy by sitting with the scope for too long, your gun automatically unzooms, and you cant sit out in the cold too long without moving...or you'll begin to lose health.


Psycho_byte:
How will health-decreasing be governed? Will there be a gauge showing body warmth on the hud for example?


the_s-man:
Yes, think of it as a stamina bar, only better. It will work great for campers as I stated earlier, cause if you think about real life, sitting outside in the cold will freeze you up. This bar will help us to regulate campers and such, as well as those who move too quickly, running and jumping around will tire you as well.


Psycho_byte:
Realism, is evidently a key idea behind this mod. Will it affect means of communication at all? For example, it is unrealistic to speak to a team member half-way across the map if they aren’t' equipped with a radio, similarly an enemy within close quarters could eaves drop on conversations.


the_s-man:
Funny you should ask about that, we are still tweaking our communication systems, hacking into radios, phone lines and other types of things will be mainly class-specific. We want to include player-player messaging, so you can try to form small alliances to keep alive.


Psycho_byte:
Whilst I would love to chat all night about this spectacular mod, i'm afraid we'll have to wrap the interview up. The_s-man you were a delight to interview and I would love to thank you on behalf of hl2central for participating in this interview. We hope to hear more from you soon


the_s-man:
Yes, it's definitely been a pleasure on my part. Our team would like to thank you guys a lot, you were the first news site to really notice us (gave us an interview in our early days), and you have remained faithful to us since. I hope you enjoy this exclusive render of the Springfield Model 1873 Breech-Loading Rifle, modelled by MajorSharp.

 
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