News Staffer Chris (Demolisher)
Anastasia set his phasers on
Project Administrator Kenn Hoekstra
and persuaded him to answer some questions about Star
Trek Voyager: Elite Force, which is by all indications very
near to going gold!
Demolisher: What extras can we look forward to after the full version goes
on sale? I.e., will there be a multiplayer specific Elite Force Gold like SOF
Gold and the Heretic II Enhancement Pack? Or will there be a whole single player
mission pack like in Hexen2? Or a combination of both?
Kenn: Vacation is as far as we can see right now. Activision's
policy on add-ons is to wait to see how the launch goes and track the sales numbers
for a few weeks before making such decisions. We'd like to add Assimilation and/or
Tour Mode to the game if we can, but that depends on the time and resources we
have available to us after the game ships and before our next project gets into
full swing. The amount and type of expansions to the game is directly proportional
to the game's initial success.
Demolisher: Is Mike 'Cosmos' Gummelt still going to do a Siege for Elite Force,
as he mentioned earlier? If so, are there any details you can give us?
Kenn: That's up to Mike. The original Siege was completed
by Mike for Hexen II as an "after hours" project. Siege for Elite Force will most
likely depend on Mike's schedule and the wishes of his lovely wife. =)
Demolisher: Will there be any setup utilities on the full version, like GLsetup
and other driver programs?
Kenn: The latest version of GL Setup will appear on the
Elite Force and Elite Force Collector's Edition CDs, yes. We'd be lost without
Demolisher: Is there going to be a BFG-like super weapon in the full version?
Kenn: The weapon balance in Elite Force is something
we're really proud of. The Arc Welder weapon is something Rob Gee likes calling
"the finger of God." That's a testament to the weapon's power... But all of the
weapons in the game feel powerful and are useful to you. Even the Phaser, the
game's initial weapon, is super cool in Deathmatch. You won't find yourself saying
"Crap...I'm stuck with THIS weapon again?" Won't happen...
Demolisher: I think this may have been asked on the forums, but will there
be any big, beefy heavy-class character models?
Kenn: Have you ever noticed that most people in the Trek
universe are roughly the same size? That's pretty much how it goes in Elite Force.
There are several male and female models and body types in the game, but I think
the beefiest one is Biessman...and he's not as big as some of the Soldier of Fortune
models were. The model variety really comes into play when you see the 14 alien
races in the game.
Demolisher: Will there be character damage skins, like in Heretic II and Soldier
Of Fortune? Or is multiplayer purely set on the holodeck, which makes blood impossible
to appear? Or will single player have damage skins since the missions can be real.
Many people want to see some gore in both single and multiplayer games.
Kenn: The game carried a Teen rating in all countries, so
you won't see much (if any) blood or gore. Disintegrating your enemies is a pretty
nasty fate, though. I think DM'ers will be happy to see that particular effect.
Demolisher: How soon after the release of the game will people be able to start
making modifications? I guess people will be able to use Quake 3 editing programs,
correct? Or are there some differences?
Kenn: There are differences, yes. Our editor has a lot
more features than the one that shipped with Quake III and our tools are different
as well. James Monroe, the lead programmer, is planning on making the SDK available
as soon as possible after the game ships. There is a possibility that it will
ship with the game on the CD, but that's not very likely. Toolkits have to pass
through QA and we don't have the time for that right now.
Demolisher: What are Paramount's feelings about people modifying the game;
are there any extra copyright issues?
Kenn: People need to use common sense. As long as modders
abide by the "not for profit" and "release the mods as freeware" rules, I don't
see Paramount getting too upset. Things like nude skins, large projects that mimic
a project that is currently in development and any gratuitous things that scream
"I shouldn't be doing this" will probably be met with some opposition. But for
the most part, any game modes and mods created for Quake III and/or UT should
be fair game for Elite Force. As far as tools go, Elite Force will be the most
modifiable Raven game since the original Heretic and Hexen games.
Demolisher: Will there be any projectile weapons, as everything seems to be
Kenn: There are projectile weapons, yes. There are some
beam weapons that fire continuous streams (the Phaser), some that fire energy
bolts (Compression rifle), some that fire intermittent streams of projectile energy
(Scavenger weapon) and others that function like a rail gun and other familiar
weaponry. The weapons are all energy based, but none of them are instant hit weapons.
Demolisher: Heretic II players, like myself, are dying to know about the 3rd
person mode. The Heretic II community would like to port some of their mods over
to Elite Force, but they don't want to lose the 3rd person control features. Also,
will third person Heretic II features be added? For example, will there be commands
to be able to look around with the movement of the mouse, instead of changing
the cg_thirdpersonangle value? Will 3rd person have the same realistic abilities
that Heretic II had, like climbing ropes and onto ledges and some of the acrobatic
movements of Heretic II?
Kenn: Third-person camera support in Elite Force is identical
to the original third-person support in Quake III: Arena...no more, no less. As
such, there will be no climbing or acrobatic moves as in Heretic II. It's all
pretty basic stuff. The camera code does exist, however, so I'm sure mod makers
can have a field day.