The day is almost upon us. After more than 8 months, news over at the Official Rocket Arena Site tells us RA3 will be released this Sunday!
We here at Kablooie! would like to thank crt and the rest of the RA3 Team for letting us be part of the beta test. It has been a real honor and tons of fun! I have to say that everyone involved is very impressed with RA3 and the maps that have been made for it.
The main thing I can say about the maps is there is a tremendous variety; wide ranges of visual styles, sizes, and gameplay. I have never been a big fan of 1 on 1 maps, but there are some real gems in RA3. All of the pick-up maps are outstanding and each offers a different kind of gameplay.
Rather than post screenshots and talk about each individual map, I’ve decided to focus on one set of maps and that mapper in this review… Senn.
Kablooie: Interview with Senn
All of the mappers on the RA3 team have done outstanding work. Almost all of them have inspired an audible “Wow!” from me. But Senn’s maps, especially the pickup map, really struck me. Like all the mappers on the team, Senn let’s his own visual style shine through and not only creates a well playing map, but creates something that has a unique mood.
Senn’s map pak, Liquid Blue, will be ra3map2. It contains 3 1v1 arenas and a pickup arena. Clicking the next button below will bring you to Kablooie.com’s interview with Senn and some screenshots of his outstanding RA3 maps…
Senn recently did an interview with Essobie over at the official RA3 site. Head on over and check that one out. Senn was also kind enough to answer a few questions for us here at Kablooie.com. Along with the interview are some screenshots of his maps, just click on them to view the larger versions. Enjoy…
K!: First off, anything you’d like to say to the Rocket Arena community?
K!: How much does mood play a part in the way a map flows?
Senn: Well, mood is more of a visual style thing. It’s what makes a level look real instead of like a box with textures on it. It has a lot to do with texturing, geometry and lighting. It doesn’t really affect flow unless your lighting is very low and people have a hard time seeing… that could slow down a map. Or if you had a ton of detail that people could get snagged on, that could also slow down flow. I would say, if done correctly, it really doesn’t affect flow at all.
Electric Head — 1v1 Arena
K!: Many creative people find inspiration and ideas from sources completely unrelated to the medium they work in. What kinds of things (books, movies, music, people, etc.) inspire you?
Senn: Mostly music. I listen to a LOT of different types of music to gain inspiration for my maps. My RA3 map was inspired mostly by a surrealistic band called Delerium and The Insider movie soundtrack… and of course the blend of European metal I usually listen to. Lately I have been listening to a German band called Nightwish. They are a blend of metal and keyboards with an incredible opera style singer who just blows me away. Its amazing, you will hear nothing else like it and it is inspiring my “next map”. Anyone who is into European metal (most new American metal is a joke), I strongly urge you to pick up Wishmaster by Nightwish. Damn good disc
As far as books, movies, people, etc… I get a lot of ideas from movies and I recently bought a huge one thousand page full color book on architecture for reference. I don’t do a lot of reading unless its on the net. I have a whole stack of books I have been meaning to read but I can never find time.
Window Pain — 1v1 Arena
K!: If you had to personify each Quake mod (dm, ctf, tf, and ra) who would each of them be?
- DM: The Predator
- CTF: Rambo
- TF: G.I. Joe (I wish TF had Cobra Commander and the big battleship, maybe I would play it more often)
- RA: The Terminator
Somewhat Damaged — 1v1 Arena
K!: Your RA3 maps have very unique styles. How’d you come up with those styles?
Senn: I ate paint chips when I was a kid. My house contains large amounts of asbestos. I own a medieval broad sword. Lets see… No but really, if you combine years of artistic dabbling, more caffeine than you can imagine and a good mix of German power metal for good measure, you get SENN style. That’s all there.
K!: Favorite games of all times?
1) Atari – Pitfall!
2) Intellivision – Never had one
3) Commodore 64 – Choplifter
4) Arcade – Mortal Kombat (the original)
5) PC – Tough one… I am going to have to say Doom II. Even though it does not compare to some of the games of today, back then it oWn3d me and inspired me to create levels =)
K!: What, in your opinion, is the key feature of a map that causes longevity?
Senn: A good mix of flow and weapon placement. It could be butt ugly but if its fun, people are going to play the hell out of it. I try to make my maps fun, but also look better than everyone else’s =P
K!: Who would win a fight between the Fantastic Four and the X-men?
Senn: X-men… I don’t like the Fantastic Four.
K!: Is Elvis still alive, and if he were, would he play DM or Rocket Arena?
Senn: The King would certainly have played RA but sadly, he’s dead (get over it).
K!: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen?
Senn: I saw a guy get hit by a bus once… or maybe it was a MPEG of a fat woman on a motorcycle going over a dirt bump and flying over the handle bars. Hmm… its a toss-up.
Shaken, Not Stirred — Clan Arena
K!: Next project?
Senn: If I told you, I would have to slay you. Still wanna know?
Thanks alot to Senn for taking the time for this interview! And thanks again to crt and the rest of the Rocket Arena team for including Kablooie! in the testing of the mod. I hope all of you love it as much as we do!
Kablooie! Interview with G1zm0
With the next release of Rocket Arena III just around the corner (this coming Sunday), we here at Kablooie! thought it would be fun to interview one of the best mappers in the community, g1zm0. With classics like Gizbang for ra2, Japanese Castles for q3, and more, many people have been looking forward to his ra3 multi-arena. Rest assured, you will not be disappointed! Without further delay, here’s our interview with g1zm0 and some screenshots from his new multi-arena…
K!: What first inspired you to start mapping?
g1zm0: We used to play multiplayer doom2 between 2 computers at my house back when I didn’t have internet access. A friend turned me on to a doom2 editor, and I made a few maps for us all to play in. Of course, I had to make the the area I lived in =) (no I never released them, dunno if they still exist)
K!: Many creative people draw inspiration from things completely unrelated to the medium they work in (books, movies, music, etc.). Where do you draw inspiration from?
g1zm0: Anywhere and everywhere, I get a lot from books, and online. If I’m going to make a map, especially a map with a theme I will research that theme as much as I can from online, magazines, books, wherever I can find something on it.
K!: Coke, Pepsi, or Canfields Chocolate Soda?
g1zm0: Usually Pepsi, but an occasional Coke, chocolate soda ? yuk
Megans Place — 1v1 Arena
K!: Over the last 5 years, who do you think has been the most influential person in the gaming community? Most influential company?
g1zm0: Without a doubt I’d have to say John Carmack, I don’t even have to say why =)
id software (see above)
K!: Whose maps make you go, “Wow! That’s kick ass!”
g1zm0: heh, I’m not one to say much online about anyone’s maps, there is more and more talent popping up every new version of quake. I definately like the stuff that id turns out. If I was to think about having that first time loading “Wow” factor, I’d have to say Lloyd Morris’s stuff does a good job. They are big, and a bit laggy, but what he does with the looks impresses me.
K!: We’ve seen a Japanese theme be very successful in some of your maps over the years. What is it you like about that kind of architecture?
g1zm0: Oh, I’ve always loved Japanese architecture, not sure exactly why, It’s unique, and stands out I guess, same goes with most Asian architecture.
3 Story — 1v1 Arena
K!: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen?
g1zm0: A skit on SNL by Jon Lovitz, he was learning to become a sidewalk character artist. I wish I could find that clip somewhere. =)
K!: I know your kids have been involved with gaming as well as mapping; What do you think they get out of it?
g1zm0: hehe, well my daughter made a map once, we played it, of course it was only a box :p, But we told her what a good job she had done for a first map, She is more into teenage girl things now, and only plays worms or solitaire on the computer. She plays a mean game of worms btw =)
My son has enjoyed gaming since he was old enough to play a Sesame Street match game. He’s definately recieved a lot from the computer. He actually made a map before I ever did (wolf3d) and still makes maps now and then, and plays a lot too. He just needs to finish them up and release them =)
K!: As a second part to that question, with all the recent happenings (school shootings, etc.), what kind of affect do you think this type of gaming really has on kids today?
g1zm0: Personally, I don’t think games have the negative effect on kids that the media would have us believe. As a parent who has often brought my kids to lan parties where we play quake games, I have only see good things happen; we meet new friends, socialize, ect. its all good. I think if you wanted to tie the school violence to something, you could, no matter what it was, sugar, toothpaste, etc. Games are really only a scapegoat for the media, and the politicians, I’m sure the root of it is much deeper than video games.
K!: What’s fun about your favorite mods?
g1zm0: I like CTF, the team thing is great, and it has a definate goal. I also like Ra3, not having to worry about weapons, ammo, I want to point and shoot, not think too much =)
K!: Favorite all time gaming platform (PC, Atari, Intellivision, etc.)?
g1zm0: PC, although my first was an Atari 2600, the pixels were too big.
K!: If someone taped a sign to your back without you knowing it, what would it say?
g1zm0: heh, its’s not original but: “I am a bomb technician, if you see me running try to keep up!”
K!: Peanut butter, chunky or creamy?
g1zm0: I like em both.
Q3 Terrain — 1v1 Arena
K!: Why do you think people cheat at online games?
g1zm0: Because they don’t have any respect for other people. Probably holds true in their offline lives as well. They would be better off trying to do something constructive, or creative to make a name for themselves. besides, they just cheat themselves of actually becoming any good at a game, how fun can that be ?
K!: What would you like to say to not only the Rocket Arena community, but also the Quake community?
g1zm0: Since I’ve played fps from wolf3d to quake3 I’ve met a lot of people, online, at lans etc. It seems that most everyone gets along pretty well and has a fun time, I’d like to see it stay that way, no one is “L337er” than the next person, its all in your brain if you think so. We are all playing these games to have fun, thats how it should be, it’s a game, remember that.
Thanks to g1zm0 for taking the time to answer these questions (especially the stupid ones)! If you would like to comment on or discuss this interview, feel free to stop by our new messageboard and tell g1zm0 and us what you think..and don’t forget to download the newest version of Rocket Arena III tomorrow, Sunday, which will include g1zm0’s multi-arena along with a bunch of other kick ass maps! -K!