An Interview with JPL


Could you briefly introduce yourself (age, location…) and tell us since when you are active in the Q1 community?

I'm 38, I'm married, and I have 2 daughters (4 and 8 years old). I'm french, and I live on the French Riviera, close to Cannes. I play Quake since 1996, time when I discovered the game during University time. I started to map lately in 2004, just after I decided to test mapping tool (i.e BSP editor was the first one…). Actually I had it in mind since I saw the first custom maps in 1997/98, but the real trigger was my lucky discovery of QuArK level editor due to its easyness use…

How did you get involved in the community?

Like for QuArK, I discovered func_ with luck: I was looking for advices for my first map. Then I never quit func_, hence my involvement, while I'm aware I'm not the most active people on the place :P

What Q1 contributions are you best-known for? Which of your works is your personal favorite?

I'm involved in the community with my "map deliveries" since 2004: I released actually 7 SP and 2 DM maps, plus some textures sets on my "portfolio". I also try to help as soon as I can all the people that required my help: as example, I beta tested Travail Mission Pack and AoP, and some others maps delivered by other mappers. I made some few texture customization for Travail mission pack. I converted Doom3 textures downto Quake wad format, etc.. etc… I also try to push the limit of engines each time I can, and also to make different things regarding the original brown Quake stuff… as example, Doom3 texture convertion and use, Cyberdemon use, etc… I know it is too much Doom-ish for the purists ;) Concerning my favourite personnal work: I think Castle of the Dark Ages was the best visually speaking, and also the worst for vis runtime (50 days and 18 hours), but the final result deserved it.. I'm also proud of 5 Rivers Land map series and its freaky Doom3"-ish ambience.

What was your initial motivation to work for Quake?

Self satisfaction essentially: I just mean I'm mapping for fun, and my main idea there is to give fun to other people: it is enough for me. I'm not waiting nor for any congratulation, neither for any price, just some respect if possible.

Do you have a website/links where we could check out your stuff?

Sure !!

What are your best memories about this community?

The endless discussion about Fiend's eyes.. or no eyes.. ;) and also the regular #tf drama :P

Are you regularly playing Quake? Are you trying out mods, maps and engines?

Of course I'm regularly playing Quake: I try to play as far as possible all the mod/pack/maps that are released… but I'm late by 3 weeks, so I will have to skip some of them at the moment unfortunately.. I'll try to recover the "gap" later on… Concerning engines, I'm very conservative: metlslime's FitzQuake, and aguirRe's GLQuake, nothing else !

Have there been other games you have been playing a lot?

Call of duty 2 / Half Life 3 / Doom 3 / Doom 2 and Cerebral Academy on my oldest daughter's Nintendo-DS ;) for an old man like me, it is mandatory now :)

How would you describe the Q1 community right now? Is there any contribution that really impressed you in the last couple of years?

Well, there are a lot of nice people there, particularly on func_ like Trinca, negke, distrans, JohnXmas, Scragbait, aguirRe, Bal, etc… etc… oh and you for sure.. I'm sorry BTW for the people I didn't mention there… There are also "nasty" people… This is the internet, but this is also reflecting what is real life. And as our community is sinking slowly, I really think people should change their attittude a little bit, and try to be less "aggressive", sarcastic, etc… it would help to the general ambience overall… A nice wish isn't it ? Old stuff like Sadlark series, or Beyond Belief were very impressive at their time, but the community really crossed a threshold with "Nehahra" and "Travail Mission" packs, also with "Marcher Fortress", and latest distrans "Ruined Nation" map…

How do you picture the future of the community? Do you (objectively) think that people will still be modding/mapping for it in, say, 10 years from now?

I don't think so, but let's be positive: why not? Mapping for Quake is so easy compared to other "complex game" QuArK level editor allowed me to test other games (i.e Doom3 and HL2) and when I saw the list of entities, light styles, etc.. I was completely lost ! Too much stuff kills the stuff ! Let's use simple materials, and let's do miracles !

Your #1 secret special ingredient to a good map (imagine a newbie asking for your advice)?

I would say the method, like this:
* A plan on the paper before starting anything, just to fix the idea, and the rough map layout
* Clean brushwork, and clean texture alignement
* Lightning effects
* monsters placement and gameplay
* Beta test before release
Loop on each item if the result is not statisfaying !

What is the question you would have like to be asked (but weren't), how would you have answered it and how pissed are you for me not thinking about it?

Well, I have no clue what I could write there… maybe just saying that we all have to work to keep this community alive, with respect to each others, etc…. utopia ….. ;) Thanks a lot to provide me the opportunity to express myself there…