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Sand Arena w/ Jetpack Mod

November 3, TFN Games Staffer Tom got the opportunity to chat with RenegadeOfPhunk, co-creator of the Jetpack mod, and Jens Ljungblad, creator of the Sand Arena map. The interview follows, edited for clarity.

TFNGames-Tom The Force.net Games is happy to introduce Jens Ljungblad, the creator of the Sand Arena map, and RenegadeOfPhunk, co-creator of the JetPack Demo.
TFNG Why don't you tell us a little about yourselves.
Jens Ljungblad Well, I live in Sweden. I'm 16 years on thursday..
RenegadeOfPhunk OK :) I'm a limey - 28 years old - Software Engineer...

TFNG How did you get into Mapping and Modding, and how long have you been doing it?
Jens I first started mapping for a game called thief - anyone played it? - I still play around with it, as I think it's probably the best game ever made. I started editing for Q3 engine games this year.
Renegade I only got into it relatively recently. When I first heard JKII was coming out, almost straight away I thought of some ideas for a mod. And then I thought - hey - why not get into modding and try and make it myself!

TFNG Do you find it difficult?
Jens Not really, no.. :)
Renegade Well - I'm a professional C++ programmer, so I'm fine with C++ itself. But finding your way round the QIII engine still takes a bit of effort for me... But I'm getting better at it :)

TFNG Do you feel it's something anyone can get into, or is more for the computer-savvy?
Renegade Well - simple mods can be done by anybody. It depends how advanced you want to get
Jens i don't know, you've got to be kinda creative to make good maps, but i think that anyone with a basic knowledge of a computer could edit in Radiant.
Renegade By The Way - I should point out that most of the Jetpack mod was done by the co-creator 'The Eternal'

TFNG How advanced would you consider the JetPack mod?
Renegade I added the sound implementation and a few tweaks, but The Eternal did the bulk of the work. Well - I think it's relatively advanced compared to other mods, but it wasn't much of a problem for Eternal to handle. He's pretty darn good..! He's been working with the QIII engine for a good 3 years now though - so...

TFNG How long did it take to complete your respective products?
Renegade Most of the jetpack was done in - ermm - I think a few days or so. But we spent another week or so tweaking stuff etc.
TFNG That quickly? Wow.
Renegade Yeah - I was surprised how fast it came together too!! :)
Jens The first sand arena level was made in 2 days I think, and the second in a few weeks. Two weeks I think.

TFNG Jens, what other maps have you created?
Jens None for JK2..
TFNG Sand Arena V1 was your first?
Jens Yep. If you don't consider my first room ever a map.. :)

TFNG Did you do a lot of maps for Thief?
Jens For Thief? Well, I don't think I have released a single map yet, but I've been working with it a lot :)

TFNG Have you ever played the MultiPlayer Mod for Thief?
Jens Thievery UT? It's great!
TFNG Do you consider a mod that so radically alters a game's core concept, a mod, or a separate game in itself?
Jens I don't know. I mean, it is a mod. They didn't change the basic engine, but the gameplay is more like a new game.

TFNG Renegade, what changes are going to be made when you release the final jetpack mod?
Renegade Well - the Jetpack Mod was only going to be one small part of our TC 'Team Assault'. Unfortunately, at this time, the future of the mod is uncertain...
TFNG Can you elaborate, or are you held to a non-disclosure agreement with your team-mates?
Renegade No - it's fine :) I've had to step down as leader because of I'm swamped under with other work that unfortunately has to take priority.
TFNG I'm sorry to hear that.
Renegade Tercero has now taken over as leader, but we're now trying to get our site back up and running. (Unfortunately, JKII.net seem to have lost our site somewhere!!)

TFNG Can you tell us a bit about Star Wars Team Assault?
Renegade The basic idea of Team Assault to start with was basically to mix JKII gameplay and CS-type gameplay. But the idea has developed much more since then. Class systems, attributes (strength, speed etc.), varied objectives... One of our planned classes is the Mandalorian class - which would use the jetpack :) as well as grappling hook and other gadgets...
TFNG Awesome! It sounds cool, if also ambitious. Do you ever feel that the it may never be completed?
Renegade Well - I'm still hopeful, but to be honest there are a few obstacles in our way. Well see how it goes. But I'd REALLY like to get it done...
TFNG I think I speak for everyone when I say we'd like to see you get it done!
Renegade Maybe if my work-related stuff eases up at some point I can put back some serious time into it..!

TFNG Jens and Renegade, have you found any other maps or mods that you enjoy or recommend for Jedi Outcast, or other games?
Jens The Episode One level, don't know the name.. and jabbas palace. That's two great maps.
Renegade Well - I know a lot of people won't agree, probably because their totally sick of it, but I still haven't seen anything to beat CS (for me anyway). As far as JKII mods, I think ProMod is probably the best - at least for making the MP game more balanced and competitive. But all the 'combo' mods as I like to call them. (JediPlus, JediMod etc. are pretty good fun.) But don't actually have much time to play games anymore.
Jens Yea, and ProMod.
Renegade One of the things were hoping to look at in Team Assault is a big-old rehaul on the saber combat system, to get it looking more like the movie action. (In fact, that's our aim for the whole mod - so that each game could have come straight out a scene from the movies!)
Jens But how would you do that?! That seems to be every mod makers dream, but I don't see how it should be done.
Renegade Well - firstly it has to be LMS. (At least to make each 'round' realistic.) Second, no rocket launchers or other non-SW weapons. Keep it to just blasters. Also only have force powers that are seen in the movies...
TFNG Such as?
Jens Drain?
Renegade Well - no force powers like rage or drain etc. Yeah...
Jens Good.. :)
Renegade If it's not seen in a movie, then it's not in basically...

TFNG Jens, does Sand Arena have any secrets we don't know about?
Jens Secrets? nah, I don't think so :) Like what?
TFNG Oh, Secret Rooms or trap doors no one happened to find. Perhaps hidden in the shadows or something.
Jens Not really, the only things hidden in shadows are the mines I think.

TFNG If you played the Sand Arena with the Jetpack mod, did you feel they worked well together?
Jens I still haven't played it. But I downloaded the mod earlier today.
Renegade Got to admit, I haven't actually played the Sand Arena map!! Sorry Jens! :) Like I said, I don't get much time to play these days. But I have seen screenshots - looks impressive! It's good work...
Jens :D okay, Tom, what's it like? Tell us!
TFNG Well map man, mod man, you're going to have to wait for the review on TFN =)
Renegade lol :)

TFNG At that I'm going to open it to the floor.
Pat-Fett Yeah wanted to ask if you plan on any more SW maps?
Jens Hm, not for the moment, I'm kinda busy with school and stuff. But maybe later on.

Lord_Homer I'd just like to say thanks for releasing these JO "add-ons" they're lots of fun.
Pat-Fett Got to say that it's a great map. We've had a few AOTC reenactments that are pretty fun.

TFNG Jens, Renegade, Thank You both for participating.
Renegade K - no probs man :) Thanks for having me :)
Jens Thanks!

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