Interview with Anable from Source Racer
My interview with Nils "Anable" Dougan from Source Racer.

[18 February 2005 - 15:10 PST GMT-8]
Source Racer

The following images are from "sr_moonbase" available soon in beta version 3.

Half-Life Gaming: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Anable: My name is Nils "Anable" Dougan and I am a tester as well as a mapper for the Source Racer modification.

Half-Life Gaming: How long has this mod been under development?

Anable: Stefan, the team leader/founder, has been dabbling with the SDK since it was release but a concrete set of goals were established in the middle of December 2004.

Half-Life Gaming: What has been the most challenging obstacle for development of this mod?

Anable: Unfortunately it has been finding people dedicated enough to take the task seriously and still understand that the development process is not perfect or completely linear. Everything works great when everyone is focused and working as a team but as soon as one person becomes frustrated or simply doesn't care any more, problems begin.

Half-Life Gaming: What has been the easiest part of development for this mod?

Anable: Play testing! It's always a great feeling to finally be able to see your hard work come into fruition.

Half-Life Gaming: What is your favorite Half-Life/Half-Life 2 mod and explain why it is?

Anable: As unoriginal as it might be, my personal favorite has always been Counter-Strike and now CS:S. It's just too addictive.

Half-Life Gaming: Where did you come up with the idea for this mod?

Anable: Stefan was the one that came up with the majority of the ideas and implementations for the mod. It's heavily inspired by the Mario Kart series from Nintendo.

Half-Life Gaming: When did you decide to create a mod?

Anable: When Valve made it clear that one of its primary goals was to make Half-Life 2 as mod friendly as possible.

Half-Life Gaming: When you started, how did you get a team together and how hard was it to do so? And why?

Anable: Many of the members of the team all visit the same message boards frequently and so initially it was easy to gather support. Keeping the team together and focused though, is a challenge in itself.

Half-Life Gaming: How far along are you to releasing your next Version?

Anable: Since Beta3 will include quite a few new features and maps it will still be several weeks before we are ready to release it.

Half-Life Gaming: How far along are you in the development process?

Anable: There's always new bugs that come up with each new feature that's implemented but we've made great strides in getting the fundamental game play mechanics down. Now all we have to do is add features that make the game fun like more power ups, more maps, and so on.

Half-Life Gaming: Why did you choose the Air boat and not something else like the Buggy?

Anable: We get this question a lot. Basically Stefan decided that the buggy just didn't have interesting enough physics. When you turn the buggy it turns. No big deal. When you turn the air boat it slides and adds a new element to playing.

Half-Life Gaming: Are there any position open and can you give use a description of what those entitle, if any?

Anable: Currently our main opening is a sound developer. They will mainly be responsible for creating the sound effects for the various power ups and lap changes and so on. We could also always use more Mappers. If anyone is interested, simply email me at with some sample work.

Half-Life Gaming: How would you describe the community following that you have created?

Anable: We have the pleasure of being the only mod in our genre so there isn't exactly much competition. Basically our community is just eager to see the new releases and have fun playing. We even has some people already creating fan made maps.

Half-Life Gaming: What kind of music do you plan of having?

Anable: Each map will have its own soundtrack that we plan on making in house so you won't be hearing any Linkin Park or Chemical Brothers tracks.

Half-Life Gaming: Where do you get most of your inspiration from?

Anable: In many ways Source Racer is a tribute to the classic Mario Kart games. You have a looping track with obstacles and power ups that are along the way and can easily determine the winner of the race. Other than that, many of the map designs are inspired from Half-Life 2 itself which you can see in maps like sr_spillway and sr_waste.

Half-Life Gaming: Who has been the most supportive of this project? Family, Friends, the Community?

Anable: We have had a tremendous amount of support from the community which again I think stems from the fact that no other mod like this exists, and while I can't speak for other members of the team directly, this is what keeps me personally going.

Half-Life Gaming: What is your favorite thing about modding?

Anable: The ability to create what ever you can imagine gives you so much freedom that it's impossible to resist. It's like Lego blocks for big kids.

Half-Life Gaming: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your popularity in the Half-Life community? And explain why.

Anable: 10 of course! =) Seriously though, I think we sit at about 7 or 8 right now. While we love the support from the community, we want to focus on getting the work done before we worry about promoting it too much.

Half-Life Gaming: What do you do when you start to run out of ideas?

Anable: Go play more games! If you are ever unsure of why you started your mod or where it's going, go back and play the games that inspired it. If it's something worth doing, you'll soon remember why.

Half-Life Gaming: Why did you decide to use the Half-Life 2 engine and not Doom 3's engine or others?

Anable: To begin with, Half-Life 2 already had much of the code that we needed to get the mod started. Had we chosen Doom 3 we would have had to create our own vehicle physics and so on. Half-Life 2 is gorgeous, easy to mod, and was begging for a way to race against other people.

Half-Life Gaming: What kind of other Multiplayer modes do you have planned?

Anable: Right now the plan is to simply have the standard racing mode. When get that working perfectly and exactly the way we want, then we'll begin thinking about other options to add.