An Interview with SleepwalkR


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

My name is Kristian Duske, I'm 30 years old and live in Berlin, Germany. I was most active in the community between the years of 1998 and 2000 when I released my latest map, Return to Zero. However in the recent months I have been working on the SDL port of the Fitzquake engine and I have even installed a map editor ;-).

How did you get involved in the community?

I did some mapping for Doom way back in '94 or so and discovered Quake 2 online play in 1998 when I finally got internet access. I downloaded a lot of maps and sort of fell in love with the designs, so naturally I wanted to make some myself. I discovered Worldcraft and later on, QERadiant. During those days I also followed all the mapper websites (today they would be called blogs I guess), and finally in 98 or 99 headshot opened the QBoard, which I have been following in all it's various incarnations since day one.

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

I have only made one map for Quake 1, Return to Zero, which is also my favorite work of mine. I also think some people appreciate the ability to use Fitzquake on platforms other than Windows.

What was your initial motivation to work for Quake?

I loved the look and feel of Quake and I wanted to see if I can make some interesting designs myself. I have to admit that I was always more interested in visuals and atmosphere than in gameplay, which shows in my Quake 2 maps. When I made Return to Zero, I had a great deal of help from headshot in designing the gameplay, which is why that map is so much more interesting to play.

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

No, unfortunately I don't. But all my maps float around the net somewhere. You can however check out Fitzquake SDL here:

What are your best memories about this community?

Interesting discussions on IRC/QBoard and meeting some of the people in real life, which has lead to great friendships.

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

Yes, I try to play all the SP releases but frankly I sometimes forget about them or can't run them on my Mac because they require some more advanced engine.

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

I only play Quake, Quake 2 (online DM with friends), HL2 and Portal. I'm not that interested in gaming anymore.

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

Two words: Marcher Fortress. This is by far the most impressing release to me because it pushed all boundaries, while still running pretty smoothly. I thought that was a terrific effort on Kinn's part, and I still have trouble believing it when I see it. I used that map as a benchmark when I ported Fitzquake to SDL. I thought that if it runs Marcher, it will run anything :-).

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 honestly can't tell. There seems to be a constant influx of new talent, and people keep making terrific releases by pushing the technical limits. Personally, I would rather like to see new gameplay twists. I think there's still much more that you can do with Quake 1 SP gameplay-wise (esp. with mods like Quoth), and I'd be interested in seeing what can be done in that department rather than in the technical department. For example, I have yet to see a real coop map that can only be finished with several players cooperating.

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

Think about the gameplay first, then about looks and atmosphere and lighting. This is what I always did wrong, and wished I had understood earlier. Gameplay is what will bring people back to your map. If it looks great but plays badly, they will not play again.

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?

This sucks. I can't think of anything funny. My wit is depleted :-).