An Interview with Lunaran


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

I am Matt Breit, 24, currently in Madison, Wisconsin, US. My silly childish Quake handle is "Lunaran," and it's been stuck that way since before I started publically releasing Q2 maps ten years ago.

How did you get involved in the community?

Back then I regularly hit sites of guys like ztn (especially him - the architecture in his q2 maps made me realize that the bar could be as high as I could push it) and one day curiously followed the wierd "QBoard" link they all had on their sidebars, and discovered that all these designers I thought were so awesome all hung out in one place. I managed to not seem like a laughable noob in front of them long enough to be accepted (or to release a good map, whichever came first).

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

My only two Q1 contributions are LunSP1, "Concentric Devastation", and as of only a few weeks ago LunDM1, "Orange Whip". People seemed to like both, but LunSP1 is no zerstorer and LunDM1 is no aerowalk. LunDM1 is only my favorite in that the Q3 map it derives from is my favorite, which only leaves me with one map, which isn't much of a contest I suppose.

What was your very own motivation to work for Quake?

It came after mapping for Doom, which came after Legos. I've never not built stuff.

Do you have a website/links where we could check out your stuff? has it all in amazing Technicolor.

What are your best memories about this community?

The salmon text and cyan links of the QBoard. Jeff Yost calling nailguns "Chicago Typewriters." Planetquake when it was turquoise and purple and had a starry background and content worth reading. Playing czg07 with the eleventh track of Rebellion's Aliens vs Predator soundtrack looping and never being so immersed and thrilled by an age-old forgotten game in my life. ELEK spamming about chives in every thread of QMap to try and "lighten the mood." Daily #terrafusion shenanigans and discussions, before bal <strikeout>sold out</strikeout> gave up ownership and all the cool people left.

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

I don't really follow any multiplayer, but I sample nearly all the Q1SPs that come out. However, my heart belongs to Fitzquake. I even play it with filtering set to NEAREST so it even looks texellated like software. (albeit at 1920x1200 … )

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

Team Fortress 2 qualifies as 'a lot' (now IS, in fact, coward killing time). Recent faves include the rest of the Orange Box, Indigo Prophecy, Trackmania Nations, and Company of Heroes.

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

I'd describe it as dedicated but fragmented. I don't see a lot of overlap between the QWers and single player fans, and everyone's got their engine of choice, and there isn't really any kind of central gathering place where everyone interacts. We're in pods. I've been impressed recently with the amount of experimentation in Q1SP. The releases are fewer, but each one sets itself apart from the rest in a way that's both surprising, but still feels like Quake. We've built ourself quite an interesting little expanded shubby universe over the years. Capturing both that sense of surprise and experimentation, and the atmosphere and feeling of the Quake universe, is one of my top goals for LunSP2.

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'm sure there will be. I hope more people realize that making stuff for an "old ugly game" can be ten times more fun than grinding on a map for a dull, next-gen title. The 8-bit indie-fun game design crowd is growing quite a lot, and seeing a lot of neat creations - maybe before not too long, 8-bit 3D shooters will be cool again too. And then we can say we liked Quake when it was underground.

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

Don't forget to study successful maps, and derive high concepts and good habits from them, but don't forget to just improvise and feel stuff out. Make sure you have a good handle on the quality "right" ways to do things, because a lot of mappers have iterated for years to figure them out, and don't decide you know which rules to break until you've followed them all for a while. It's the difference between wise-assery and genius.

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?

Your last question should be "Complete the sentence: I like my women like I like my quake engine source ports … "

( … "modern but faithful." :) )