Thanks to Kenneth “Shrimp” Watson for giving his time to set down and do this interview. Also thanks for answering my questions in full and giving almost every little detail I wanted to know. Here is the interview…
r3v: First of all, can you tell me a little about yourself, such as name, age, where you are from, job, how long you have been modding, and other mods you have worked on in the past?
Shrimp – My name is Kenneth Watson, I’m 19 and from South Africa where I’m a software developer for a small development firm. I’ve been making maps for Unreal Tournament since it came out a few years ago, and that gradually turned into creating mods as well. I’ve done serveral mutators for UT, as well as the Monster Hunt mod.
r3v: When did you/yall start this mod?
Shrimp – UnWheel’s initial development started at around mid-January 2003
r3v: Is progress on the mod going faster or slower than you expected?
Shrimp – I think things are going at a reasonable pace at the moment, at the end of every weekend there’s at least one thing you will notice updated or new.
r3v: How many different car/trucks are you going to be able to choose from?
Shrimp – There are currently 5 trucks and 5 cars. Also, the plan is to have each player maintain their own ‘garage’, their own version of each vehicle. Players will be able to create custom vehicle setups and alter things like the vehicle skin, suspension stiffness, ride height, etc., to suit specific maps or surface types.
r3v: Are you planning on making any game modes/gametypes? If so, what type?
Shrimp – UnWheel won’t work with UT2003’s standard gametypes, so a completely new collection is going to be created. To start with, we have one where players must rush around the map toward checkpoints, once a checkpoint is scored, another random one is chosen somewhere else in the map. This creates a really frantic game as everyone is constanly trying to keep up with the changing checkpoint locations. There’ll also be a race mode, where checkpoints must simply be completed in order, rabbit, where players try to keep posession of a flag for as long as possible to earn points and “Dummy Run” where players try to drag/transport as many rag-doll dummies (rather than human courpses) across the map as fast possible. There is also huge scope for many more in the future.
r3v: Are yall gonna be makin maps strictly for UnWheel like Freestyle?
Shrimp – Yes, all the maps are going to be totally new, and due to the scale and style of the maps you won’t be able to play standard UT2003 gametypes on them.
r3v: Will this be a totally diffrent download or will it be added to UT2K3?
Shrimp – No, UnWheel’s gametypes will be selectable like any other standard UT2003 gametype.
r3v: What are some of the main programs you are using for modeling?
Shrimp – SupermotoXL has used ZModeler ,www.zmodeler.com, a low-poly modeling application which seems very good for vehicle work, for his designs. FuSiON is using Maya to touch up the models and make them available in ASE format for importing into UT2003.
r3v: Will you have a beta of UnWheel?
Shrimp – Yes. At the moment we’re working on creating a ‘demo’ version, so mappers can have a nice vehicle to play with until the real thing comes along a bit later.
r3v: How many hours a week do you spend on the mod?
Shrimp – I’m not sure of exact hourly figures ;-), but I try to get in at least an hour or more after work each day, and as much time as possible on the weekends. I probably spend more time driving around that I should though 🙂
r3v: Are you looking for more help?
Shrimp – At the moment a skinner would be really nice, and after we have released the demo, we’ll be looking for some mappers.
r3v: Any final comments you would like to add?
Shrimp – I’d just like to thank SupermotoXL for the rights to use his excellent vehicles, and FuSiON for the great work he’s done in converting and tweaking them so they look great in UT2003.
Thanks a million for the oppertunity to chat about UnWheel with you, I really hope everyone enjoys the final product as much as we are enjoying creating it.
Once again thanks Shrimp for letting me perform this interview. Also thanks to the UnWheel team for making such a great mod.