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JA:DG
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WEBCounter by GOWEB


Interview mit dem Daidranna Lives Team

(22.06.2001)

JAG: What's the background story on how the Deidranna Lives project came to life?

[Rude Dog] Batman had the original idea. I originally was just asking to playtest. After some discussion The Dark Knight thought I might be of some use in some other areas. Mainly, I seemed twisted enough to help with the story line and some maps.
[Batman] I started the project back in October of 2000, but the rest of the group brought it well beyond it's original scope.
[Zephalo] I found the project's website after Batman introduced his project to the Bear's Pit at the end of March. I sent him an email asking for the opportunity to playtest JA2DL and offering my help for a German version. Batman answered he would love to see a German version, but he saw a lot of work to be done. After a lot of this work is done now I can say: he was absolutely right!

JAG: Can you give a ball park estimate of the man-hours required to make DL?

[Rude Dog] YES, FOREVER!

JAG: Has the project evolved as you created it or was there a basic vision that you adhered to from the beginning?

[Rude Dog] We are constantly changing something for the better and tweaking everything else. By WE, I do mean Batman and Ramfall. I want to give credit where credit is due. Batman, Ramfall, MacGyver, and Zephalo are the real brainy guys in the project. I'm just a Rude Dog that got in with a great pack!
[Batman] There has been a definite evolution of the game. Primarily because there have been so many new developments found over the last 6 months.

JAG: Are there many weapon modifications & accessories surprises in store?

[Rude Dog] Many and numerous surprises, both good and bad, await the player right from the beginning of the game up to and including a very climactic end.

JAG: Any hints on the story line or possible sequels?

[Rude Dog] The biggest hint I will give is that Deidranna Lives!
[Batman] Yes, Deidranna Lives!
[Ramfall] Yes, Deidranna Lives!
[MacGyver] Yes, Deidranna Lives!
[Zephalo] Ditto

JAG: What's the backroom story on interstaff relations within the project? Who does what?

[Rude Dog] It seems as though we all have roles and fill them pretty well. Batman and Ramfall do editing, programming and stuff like that. MacGyver and Zephalo, do the translation of everything into German. I basically put together some maps for Batman to touch up and I was behind a lot of the story and linear direction of the game. I had a fantastic origin to create from. The original idea was Batman's and I just expounded on the theme with my own twists and turns.

JAG: How close are we to release? Is there a beta version being tested now?

[Rude Dog] There is a Beta being tested now. The bugs are being fixed and we are hoping for a late June release.

JAG: Have you found a horrendous number of problems after playtesting?

[Rude Dog] Oddly enough the fixes have been relatively minor so far. It has mainly needed some tweaking here and there.

JAG: Is it a reasonably straightforward & manageable process to sort out the inevitable bugs or are your programmers tearing their hair out?

[Rude Dog] I am definitely NOT tearing my hair out; but then again I'm not one of the ones with the heavy workload either.
[Batman] I'm bald now.

JAG: Are you guys pushing the technical envelope as far as modifications? NPCs, technical wizardry & innovations go?

[Rude Dog] Let's just say that what is being pushed is the player. I don't think there will be anyone that doesn't start cursing out loud at some point in the game. I don't think I've made a fan club out of the testers so far.
[Batman] Actually, "Rude" and "Dog" have become dirty words in the Play Tester's Forum.

JAG: What's the final download size expected to weigh in at?

[Rude Dog] We hope to be well under 100 MB. Probably around 20 to be in the ballpark
[Zephalo] The German version will be a little bigger, because we have to include the files that the German patches added to the game.
[Bearpit] Now if I may throw in a few questions to the team in general which everyone is welcome to answer. Let's have some input from the projects originator Batman please. No need for modesty.

JAG: What made you join the DL team?

[Rude Dog] I liked the way the dialog went with Batman right from the start. I felt that after playing the game two million times a NEW version would be really cool to be a part of.
[Zephalo] The great idea of having another sequel to JA2.

JAG: Have you considered the possibility that Sirtech will take notice of your modifications & innovations using them in JA3? Would you be flattered if they did?

[Batman] Nothing would please me more than seeing "Jubilee" in JA3.
[Rude Dog] I think that this MOD will turn some heads in the industry. Yes, I would be flattered.

JAG: Are you guys proud of the innovations & modifications created for DL? Is DL the Jagged Alliance that you wish had come with the box?. Don't be shy.

[Batman] I think JA2 is a work of art. It is by far my favorite game so I would say "no", DL is not what I would have wanted JA2 to originally be. I think we have fit DL into Sir-Tech's original story concept quite well, that is, we have taken the player from where they left off in Tracona and brought them back to Arulco for yet another battle. If JA2 is version 2.0 and UB is version 2.5, I like to think that DL is version 2.75. Certainly we are proud of some of the things that we have done with DL, but we would have liked to do so much more.
[Rude Dog] I think that Batman hit it right on the head. If this was what came out of the box, we would have been modifying a much different game.

JAG: I know you guys are relying on people in the team who are computer programmers to implement much of the code modification, hexediting & artwork so how much easier would your task be if Sirtech had provided a fully featured editor or is the challenge part of what drives you forward?

[Batman] Of course life would be much easier if the Editor had many more features. The warm fuzzy feeling of accomplishment that comes from hexing your very first character soon fades after the next 10 or 20. However, I read Ian Currie's original post on the Pit regarding the Editor where he made comment that the editor was an after thought and it was never originally planned to be there. So with this in mind I say "Thank you Ian for including it".

JAG: A technical question. How many external programs are you using to accomplish your wizardry? Can you name them?

[Batman] Well, some of the standards are the UB Map Editor, Gold's Map Converter, PROEDIT25, W4st's Editor, All of the STI and SLF viewers, converters and extractors. I wrote a "primitive" utility to allow us to edit emails and text speech files. Plus about 5 or 6 different graphics programs.
[Zephalo] I used Batman's "primitive utility" for editing the emails and text speech files, and I had to use a program to rearrange and create the spoken words in the speech files to create the German Jubilee.

JAG: Are you considering a sequel? Any concrete plans yet? If so JA2 or UB. What are the relative pros & cons of both games in your opinion?

[Batman] We have been talking about doing another project but whether it would be a sequel is yet to be seen. With all of the new discoveries in hexing maps, I tend to sway toward our next project being UB based since characters would no longer be an issue, however, UB has two primary draw backs, no vehicles and no Bobby Ray's.
[Rude Dog] It is a definite yes that there will be more from this group. The logistics of which game it be based on are of no real consequence to me. I am only the sick one that puts the spin on the stuff. I do like the UB editor but I am no longer bound to that realm because of my esteemed colleagues.
[Zephalo] And no quests!

JAG: Are you hoping for official recognition from Sirtech?. By that I mean perhaps kind words at their site plus a link to the download?

[Batman] Absolutely, I would love for them to post a link to us on their site. Our primary objective when creating this project was simply to keep the JA Community alive and have some fun doing it.
[Rude Dog] ANY words would be a welcome sight.

JAG: Has the project evoked a spirit of camaraderie & friendship within the team? Is Deidranna Lives a labor of love for you? What's the end game reward that drives you forward?

[Batman] We have had "tons of fun" doing this project and I've personally met a great group of people throughout the passed few months. Deidranna Lives will always be special to all of us on the team, it is that feeling of accomplishment that drives us on.
[Rude Dog] Dude, I couldn't ask for more fun and friendship than what has come from this project so far. It has given me the opportunity to get together with an awesome set of guys to work on this and future collaborations.

JAG: Finally. Any comments. I must have missed asking something you are dying to discuss so here's your chance. Say whatever you wish on any aspect concerning the project.

[Rude Dog] I will respectfully abstain from any comments because politics are my only other concern for this whole venture.
[Bearpit] Thank you for participating & offering that wealth of information.

 

 

 

 

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[ Druckerfreundliche Version ] Letze Änderung: 24.02.2002