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GibWorld Interviews!
Ian 'Falcon' Winter - Gunner
After an ORGY at the IRC release party, Q3Fortress, a Quake III Arena Total Conversion,  was released unto the world.  Aiming to bring classic Team Fortress style gameplay to id Software's latest action game, the Q3F TC team have been praised  by some, cursed by others.  Earlier this week our roving reporter, Gunner, caught up to the project founder, Ian 'Falcon' Winter, and gave him a thorough IRC interrogation...

Gunner Firstly, who are you, and what role are you playing in the development of Q3F?
Falcon I am the project founder and a coder for the team. I originally pulled the team together in the beginning and got a basic site setup to attract an interest. At the moment, I am currently working on bot code for Q3F.
Gunner Will our readers know you from any where else?
Falcon TFBots, QuakeLives, AirQuake II, USCM: Infestation, Assault Troopers - All projects I've worked on though not necessarily managed or founded.
Gunner So you are an experienced coder then?
Falcon Well, it depends how you define experienced - I've been coding since the age of 13 in C, and I'm 17 now.
Gunner So, how did you learn to program?
Falcon I'm self taught from reading books on the subject. The books I used originally are "C for dummies" volumes 1 and 2.
Gunner What do you say to people who say the models in Q3F are poor, and feel 'amateurish'
Falcon I understand that not everyone will enjoy the mod as much as others, however this is a beta, models, sounds, 2d art and code are still in progress, nothing is finalized yet.
Gunner How did you first get into Quake and online gaming?
Falcon Well, I'd always played offline games since I was young. Magazines always said how much better multiplayer gaming was, so I gave it a try. Quake seemed like the best thing around at the time, so I played it.
Gunner Funny you should say that, because I got into online gaming after reading PC Format and reading how good Quake was multiplayer. This was before QWCL, however.
Falcon Same here! It was PC Format that got me into it.
Gunner What types of game did you like before you concentrated on playing quake online?
Falcon Mainly Strategy, Command & Conquer, Warcraft, Warcraft 2. Before that, I played a lot of flight sims. Going even further back, I played games such as, Dizzy, Ikari Warriors, SuperSprint.
Gunner How did you first hear about Team Fortress?
Falcon The Gamespy mods page. I remember visiting there, reading through a list of mods, and seeing Team Fortress, a game that involved different class such as snipers, it seemed to be too good to be true!
Gunner What time was this?
Falcon About 3 years back, before that, I played DM.
Gunner What were your first impressions of Team Fortress?
Falcon I was very impressed by it, I couldn't let go, kept creeping back online to play it.
Gunner Do you remember your first game?
Falcon Heheh, kinda. I don't think I'd discovered +mlook at that point ;)
Gunner What was your first TF clan?
Falcon SW!
Gunner Heheh, so how did SW start?
Falcon Well, when I first came online with my 10 hour CompuServe trial, I limited myself to an hour a night. After about the third night, I decided to try out chat on a website, and I met up with a guy in the US called Phoenix. I arranged to meet him to chat to him the same time the next day. Anyway, we got talking, and he gave me his e-mail address. He taught me how to connect to servers, and that was it, my first game of DM. He then told me he was going to start a clan. It took a couple of weeks to think up a name.
Gunner Was this before your first game of TF?
Falcon Yep, so we decided on the name Shadow Warriors, and that was when SW was born. We got some members - Jackal, Noodles, Meir-X - all still around today. After about a month, I was finding it hard to attend the US matches 
because they were too late at night for me. So, I decided to start up a UK branch of SW. That is when SWUK was born. For the first few months of SWUK's life, there were other divisions. SWNO - Norway, SWAU - Australia, SWCA - Canada and of course SWUS - The newly renamed United States divisions. It was a big clan at one point. But the only branch that made it through was SWUK. And here we are today, back under the original name of SW.
Gunner Is it hard living in the shadow of the original TF?
Falcon Well, my reason for starting this mod was to produce a platform for the old TF community to move to because of the QW source release and other factors. We are not trying to compete with QWTF, we are trying to produce something for the TF community to move onto.
Gunner Still, do you think you can live up to the high expectations that people have of it?
Falcon I hope so, yes. I'm sure there will be people that wont like it, but that happens with everything. The feedback from the community so far has been excellent and we'll try our best to adapt it to suit as many people as we can.
Gunner What made you create Q3F, when such games as CS are out, and of course, TF2 is soon to be released.
Falcon Well, from what I have seen so far, TF2 wont be anything like QWTF, also the QWTF community in general was disappointed with TFC. We wanted something that'd fit the QWTF community more than anything, but it seems people from all sorts of previous gaming areas are enjoying Q3F.
Gunner Yes, I have been playing Q3F a lot, before and after the release of the beta last Sunday. Why do you think Q3F is so popular universally among the quake scene, when TF comparatively small in the Quake scene.
Falcon Well, I think partly because of the excellent job that has been done by Locki in getting clans and lone players addicted to it ;), getting people to know the mod and also the fact we've asked the community what they don't like about it, what needs changing and what should stay the same.
Gunner What do you think about 'real action' games such as Counterstrike?
Falcon Well, you either like them or you don't really. It depends what your tastes are. Personally, I really like them. I wrote a small Marines mod to play with my mates for Quake 2 once, with one shot kills. It was great fun. As for Counterstrike in particular, no. I played counterstrike at a LAN a few times, played it online, the game play seemed too slow for my liking, not enough action and not enough happening but this doesn't mean I don't class it as a good mod of course.
Gunner Earlier, you said how you worked with the community to produce a mod we all would like. Do you think you've done us justice?
Falcon I think the question is more a matter of does the community think we've done them justice ?
Gunner What has been the general reaction to Q3F?
Falcon Brilliant! I've only had 4 rude e-mails since January. Others have told me in more well written e-mails that they don't like it and we've tried to see what their problem is with it and attempt to put it right without frustrating others, but in general, the ratio of people who have told us they like it to those that don't like it seems to be about 50:1.
Gunner Have you had any comments from the makers of Team Fortress, or Valve?
Falcon No, not yet.
Gunner Has fame really hit you yet? Do you get girls running up to you in the street? Has your social life improved?
Falcon Not because of Q3F no :)
Gunner In the TF community, when everyone in the community was just playing TF, everyone knew each other, and everyone knew where they stood. How do you feel that all these people from other scenes are joining the fortress community? Do you think its a god or bad thing? Because the TF community is VERY unique.
Falcon Give it time, and I hope for pretty much the same thing. It seems large groups are moving together, groups of TFC players, groups of QWTF players, groups of Q3 CTF players etc. This helps as it means for each different community, there should be plenty of friendly faces. It's just a matter of giving them time to merge into each other, hopefully the upcoming leagues will help speed this up.
Gunner Do you think that the people playing Q3F at the moment, who aren't regular TF players, are only playing it because of Q3F's hype, and that after a while, they will have forgotten all about Q3F?
Falcon Hype should play no role in getting people to stick to a game, if they don't like it they'll stop playing it almost immediately it's as simple as that.
Gunner I know you cant have COMPLETE control over all the team members, however, you do 'control' certain aspects of the mod. It seems to me, that the map makers have kept the same map names for some of the maps, but changed the way the map operates completely.
Falcon Well, they've tried to change them for the better.
Gunner Hmm, isn't that contradictory? Considering you've tried to keep the feel of Q3F the same as TF?
Falcon Wils made the original 2night2, and he made our 2night3. He's an experienced mapper and he knows what he's doing. We let the mapping team get on with it and so far their results have been brilliant in our eyes. If people want more accurate ports, they can e-mail the authors and get permission to try to port it themselves. We've put up entity documents and tutorials at www.q3f.com. Our community is more than welcome to produce their own maps
Gunner Which part of Q3F do you like the most?
Falcon Well, the spy invisibility effect is nice. Oh and of course, conc. jumping. I just love flying through the air at such speeds.
Gunner What is your favourite flavour ice cream?
Falcon Mint chocolate chip.
Gunner Mmmmmm, lovely.  Do you prefer roundabouts or traffic lights?
Falcon  Since yesterday, I've changed my mind on that one. Roundabouts definitely, you can pretty much keep going. I hate getting clutch control sorted on my driving lessons ;)
Gunner How do you see Unreal Fortress coming along? Can you see it being as popular as Q3F?
Falcon Well, from what I've seen so far it looks very good, the only thing I will say is it seems quite a lot different from past fortress mods. Weapons, physics, Maps, all appear to be different from what I've seen and heard of so far. Otherwise, it looks like a brilliant job is being done and I hope the team pull it off.
Gunner Do you think the 'market' for classed based CTF mods is over saturated? When UT Fortress and TF2 comes out, there will be 5 TF mods out. (TF, TFC, TF2, Q3F, UTF)
Falcon I think class based mods are their own genre alongside DM and CTF. There are many different DM and CTF variants for example, personally I think class based mods work in the same way as that.
Gunner But surely 5 TF mods is over saturated?
Falcon UT DM, Q3 DM, HL DM, QW DM, Q2 DM etc. All variants of the same idea yet DM is not over saturated, as I say, I believe class based mods work just like this.
Gunner Well, that just about wraps up the interview. Lastly, what can we expect in the next beta?
Falcon New maps, such as Rock3, Canalzone, and Well. We will also include bots, new skins, new models and new sounds hopefully.
Gunner Its been a pleasure interviewing you, and I wish you every lucky with Q3F!
Falcon Thanks!

 

Time is the best teacher; Unfortunately it kills all its students.

So you've opted to be a beta tester and get games ahead of all your friends, but is it all that is cracked up to be? In this article we discuss the job itself, and the work it entails.

So you've opted to be a beta tester and get games ahead of all your friends, but is it all that is cracked up to be? In this article we discuss the job itself, and the work it entails.

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