Rocket Arena 3: Meet the Mappers — Mike G1zm0 Burb Interview, by Decayed


Please tell us a few bits about yourself.
I’m divorced, have been for over 10 years, I have 2 great kids, mikey (15), megan (12) they spend a ton of time with me, and both like to play games. oh, and i’m 45 years young. =)

What do you do for a living?
I’m a designer, cad/solid modeling non game related self taught. =) I have a contract, and work at home.

What are the five words you’d use to describe yourself?
Outgoing, young at heart, creative, patient, humorous. =)

Which games that you played are your favourite?
Quake 1, Quake 2, Quake 3: Arena, and I loved the single play in Half-Life.

What is your favourite Quake1/2 mod?
Quake 1, I think it was Painkeep, helped work on it,and had a lot of fun playing it too. =) For Quake 2 I’d have to say ra2, I was very addicted to that mod.

What do you think about the Q3A VS UT thingy?
Heh, well i’m a q3a fan, I played a bit of ut, it wasnt for me, but I think there is plenty of room for both, some like ut, and visa versa, its all a matter of opinion, the main thing is that there is probably more people playing online fps games now because of both, thats a good thing.

Could you tell us any spooky details about yourself? (Bad habits, etc. Smiley)
Besides liking women, and spending too much time mapping, no. Tongue

Now that Q3A is out, do you still play the previous two games? If so, what do you play (DM, CTF, a mod?)
Actually i’ve gone from doom / doom 2 / q1 / q2 / q3 all when they were released or in beta i usually don’t go back, right now my favorites are (in order) q3actf and ffa.


Where do you get ideas for your maps?
Anywhere and everywhere, places  I see, buildings, movies, magazines, doesn’t matter.

What are the things all mappers should focus on most when creating levels?
Well personally I like to make maps that look like a cool place to be. Speed, the map should be fast as possible, meaning not so much stuff that it bogs down lower end systems, r_speeds a a good thing to watch. last but not least its gotta be tested and tested and end up being fun. If its fun, and others enjoy it, thats the  main thing to accomplish

Do you follow any patterns when creating maps? (e.g.: First do this, then that, etc..)
Sometimes, usually I try to find something or an idea of a place I want to make a map of, then i might start a room, and go from there, I sometimes draw a few things down, but usually not the whole layout, my maps can also be a surprise to even me in the end. =) I will also  pretty much finish rooms as I go, that way I know what the speed is in a given area, and know when its time to stop and still have room for opening into other rooms.

What are by your oppinion the Do’s and Dont’s at mapping?
Do make them fun, don’t put in dead ends if you can possibly help it. Do be patient, don’t give up. =)

Since you are an employed modeler, how come you chose creating maps over creating models for games like Quake III Arena?
Heh, I love making maps since the first time I loaded up q3test1 on my computer way back then, I was amazed, I said to myself wow this is real 3d stuff in here, I can do this. as far as the modeling, most the stuff I do is more consumer product oriented, I could prolly make models for the maps, I still might do something, but imo the maps are much funner and more challenging for me to make.

Could you tell us what hardware/software you use for mapping, modeling, etc?
I map in the same os I work in, winnt4, or win2k, i run a dual p3-450 sys with 256 megs. My video is a geforce drr, and a 21″ monitor. =) All these things are totally needed for my work too Tongue

Have you ever made your own custom textures for your maps? If so, what tools did you use?
Yes, kinda, I use paint shop pro to do that stuff, im no texture artist by a long shot. That takes more of a different kind of talent than I have, the id texture artists are by far the best I’ve ever seen.

Have you ever been offered a job as a level designer?

We’ve heard that your son also makes maps. Could you tell us more about it? Wink
Heh, he made his first map for wolf3d, he used some ascii thing, I forgot, but that was before I even had made a map for anything, so he actually started making maps before me. =) His maps have become nicer since then, I even put one of his arenas in my ra2 map (ra2map9). The arena is madlands, a 2 vs 2. he’s already made a map for q3a, he’s in the final stages now, it should be out soon (hillkeep).

Did you ever make any single player levels?
I think my actual first map for q1 I had a few monsters in it,  but not really I enjoy playing multi player so much more, I really didnt see the point for me, I go to lan parties at least 2 times a month, and play online. btw no one will prolly ever see my very first map for q1. Tongue

Can you tell us any more details about Rocket Arena 3?
There’s gonna be lots of maps, and a lot of new features and great gameplay, new stuff you won’t even believe! That’s about all I can say right now.

Do you have any future projects on your mind yet?
After I get done with my ra3 maps, I plan on making another CTF map. CTF is a blast.

Are there any more comments you would like to share with the gaming community?
Yes, I enjoy all the people i’ve met through the quake games, online as well at lan’s everyone seems to get along great, and they love to have fun oh one last thing, Hi to everyone I know Tongue Thank you much for the interview Decayed, –mike (g1zm0)

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