An Interview with necros


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

My real name is Corey, and I'm 23 and living in Canada. As for when I got involved with the community, from what I can recall, I released my first map in 2000. I had been mapping for quake before that, but hadn't been able to make anything that would be worth releasing to the public. I used to make a lot of 'true' void maps back in those days… and very strange and surreal stuff. (not far from some of those effed up speedmaps I did a few times.) My first real map was sent to shambler for reviewing and was summarily rejected (and thank god!– that map was awful) so my true 'debut' map would be n3sp02.

How did you get involved in the community?

I've always loved to create 3d worlds. I used to play around a lot with first doom2 and then duke3d mapping, but was always frustrated by the inability to have rooms above rooms and other limitations of the sector based engine. When quake came out, it was like a godsend but as I mentioned above, I only discovered quake mapping until later. It's funny, actually, because when I first started mapping for quake, I had also started looking at unrealED, but unrealED was so unstable that it turned me away from that engine even though unreal was visually superior and capable of larger, wide open worlds. I wonder, if unrealED had crashed less…

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

I guess most people know me from from quoth now, although I think a lot of it is infamy for being the cause of delays for both quoth and quoth2 (and chapters too, come to think of it…). My personal favourite isn't quoth though. I most liked the map I made for this one coagula map contest, The Emptiness Without. I felt it had the coolest ideas (although weak visuals in some places) and most interesting gameplay although I like ne_marb a lot because I love the doom2 green marble texture set and I love cool scripted moving machinery.

What was your initial motivation to work for Quake?

Definately the full 3d environment. I had mapped for descent before too, but flying a ship just isn't as cool to me as actually running down a corridor on your own two feet. That's over-simplifying of course. The themes covered in quake called to me a lot and played a heavy part it the draw for this game, but back in those days I wasn't consciously aware of that pull.

Do you have a website/links where we could check out your stuff? but I don't update it anymore. It's also ugly and was called, charitably, by someone 'just some white lines attacked by the photoshop smudge tool'.

What are your best memories about this community?

Speedmapping sessions specifically and the first qexpo in general, I think. I tried it the first time during the first qexpo and it was a lot of fun. Totally different from mapping on your lonesome and plus playing the maps together (in the case of dm maps) was a cool and unique experience. The first qexpo was awesome. I'll never forget the first time seeing all this great quake stuff being released *every day*. I'm glad the idea caught on and that it's still going on today.

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

Unfortunately not at this time. There've been a lot of things happening and I sometimes don't even play any games at all for almost a week. It's a shame really, since there've been a lot of map releases this year (comparatively).

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

I just stopped playing WoW again for the 3rd time a couple of months ago… (yeah I know.) But seriously, I think Stalker is really cool, despite it's many flaws. I've always been partial to post-ap stories, games and movies. I'm seriously looking forward to Fallout3. I played mass effect fairly recently too. It's a pretty good game and I actually liked the shift to shooting in this game than I did when they pulled it in bioshock. And of course, I still fire up doom3 from time to time. usually I'll just type "map game/" and then choose a random one from the list. Course, my version of doom3 is so heavily modded (and I do all my modding right out of the base directory too, lol) that a real doom3 player probably wouldn't like it. :P

How would you describe the Q1 community right now?

The q1 community to me is, of course, func_. I like to drop in semi-regularily and keep up with what's happening there even though I don't post much. The thing I like the most about func_ is that you'll get some honest opinions there without sugar coating. It's surprising the amount of coddling that happens on other mapping boards sometimes. It's like everyone is afraid of offending someone else. It helped me a lot both when I released my first map and when I released my last one. It's hard to find good, honest and sometimes brutal-but-necessary opinions.

Is there any contribution that really impressed you in the last couple of years?

Hard for me to answer that, since I haven't been playing any releases lately… but there is one map that I remember playing recently… rj's e2m5rmx. I've been a sucker for q3gothic ever since czg's insomnia, although it is a difficult set to use right (as I learnt when I tried to use it only semi-successfully in n3sp06). e2m5rmx manages to use most of the gameplay that made the original map cool but combine it with a completely different style. There's also some good examples of technical skill in the brushwork to create that little extra oomph that pushes areas over that imaginary edge between good and great.

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?

You know, the quake community is actually doing more now these past couple of years than before. I remember there was one year where there was maybe 1 or 2 releases for the whole year. If I'm going to be honest, I have to admit I doubt it will last. the game *is* old, after all but I think there are still a few years left, at the very least. I think though, that if someone managed to implement a proper scripting engine like id did for id tech 4, that would open up some pretty bad ass possibilities while still allowing for the simpler and easier content creation of the quake engine vs id tech 4. Actually, I'd probably start mapping for quake again if we had id tech 4 scripting. I think that's the real problem with mapping for quake at this point in time (at least for me). there's only so much you can do in your map before you have to break open a text editor and start your own progs.dat.

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

Hehe, this is a pretty hard question to answer. And it's impossible to focus on any one thing and, as cheesy as this sounds, A map is more than just a sum of it's parts. When you're building an area, you need to look at the whole. It's not just about 'is my lighting good; does it have good contrast and am I highlighting important (visual/gameplay) areas' or 'do I have good texture variety and consistency; am I communicating the brushwork well with these textures'. These are good questions, of course, but what matters in the end is how everything works together. Spend a lot of time just looking at what you built and thinking all the time 'how could I possibly make this cooler or play better?' You might not be able to pinpoint exactly what that something is, but the more you think about it, the more you learn and eventually this kind of 'critical eye' will come naturally.

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?

"Are there any things you wish you could have done, but didn't?"

I wish I could have finished my work I started for quoth 2 for bindable buttons. Ideally, I would have absolutely loved to unify the binding/hiearchy system so that it could work with any number and combination of entities. This would have opened up a lot more complex moving entity systems and might have made possible the ability to make different types of maps and gameplay.