An Interview with Zwiffle


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

Shane Newton aka Zwiffle, 23 years young, Madison, WI, Human Head Studios

How did you get involved in the community?

I really wanted to get into Quake mapping since it's my favorite game of all time. Doing a simple yahoo search (back in the day yahoo reigned supreme over all other search engines) for "quake mapping community" yielded qmap and eventually func. I never really got into qmap, but I followed it around a bit, and ended up joining func.

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

I don't think I'm known for any works tbh. :( I did a lot of speedmaps and ran it for a while, so maybe I'm best known for running speedmaps after Scampie? I also participated in a bunch of community map projects, turtle maps, chain maps, etc etc. I was also successful in nagging Kell enough to convince him to coordinate the Lost Chapters project, which turned out awesome. Next is to nag biff to finish Myrmidon! I don't think I have a favorite map, just because I don't remember a lot of my own work.

What was your initial motivation to work for Quake?

It was awesome. That was it. A lot of maps that were like "FUCK THIS IS AWESOME" include The Crawling Chaos, Shut up RPG!, and Penile Devastation, Contract Revoked, among a ton of others, but those are the ones that made lasting impressions. I just liked how loose the level styles were. You could make almost anything you wanted and it would still be Quake, unlike in Half Life which had specific locales that were distinctly 'Half-Lifey' and everything else wasn't.

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

I have a really bad portfolio which was good enough to land me a job at Human Head Studios. I think all the maps I've ever released or participated in for Quake can be found on Quaddicted somewhere.

What are your best memories about this community?

Hmmm. "Best" as in "least worse" ? I think the best memory I have was early in … 2005 or 2006 I think. Nonstop map release after map release, including Kinn's Marcher Fortress. It was fucking insane. They were all good too. I couldn't believe the activity going on during that time, it was unprecedented. It'd be really tough to have that kind of activity in the community again unless there's a renaissance in Quake mapping.

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

I recently upgraded my computer to a pretty beefy hog, and TF2 dictates what I do and when I do it. I still play a lot of the maps that come out, but I also miss a lot of them (which is good cuz I can go back and play them if I run out of stuff to do.)

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

Yes. TF2 mostly right now, but generally all around a lot of different games. Too many games to play, and none of them are a true Quake sequel. :(

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

"Oddly strong." There've been a flurry of strong releases lately, including Spd's "last map" before he "quit" Quake. He'll be back. The best release I can think of off the top of my head is probably czg's Terra pack. Quoth 2 is also really good. Myrmidon is also really good (or it will be when biff releases it.) Man I'd really have to go back and play through all the maps again, I'm sure there's like a shitload more I can't think of for some reason or another. I bet you I'll read someone else's interview and be like "ASDF CAN'T BELIEVE I FORGOT THAT 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 know about another 10 years from now. That's really hard to predict. Trinca's sure to have upgraded to a better computer by then I would think. It really depends on a lot of things to be honest. I think I'll still be tinkering around with Quake in the future in some form or another, mainly because it's so simple to map for it. You don't have to be so involved in Quake to make a kickass map like you do for Doom3 or HalfLife2 for example. Raw creativity and gameplay with a minimum of tech requirement.

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

"Skill. Good maps come from skilled mappers. The best way to get skill? Map! Duh, you fucking newbie. =/" I really would say that to a noob too. I think Scampie said it to me once.

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?

Q: "Why doesn't RPG map for Quake anymore?" (Replace 'RPG' with Kell, Vondur, Kinn, czg, metlslime, Lunaran, etc)
A: Beats me, he fuckin rocked at it. I enjoyed his map(s) most of all.

Can't say I'm pissed you didn't ask that question, because it could turn out one of them released something at qexpo. Which would make me look foolish. Which I'm not. Viva la Quake!