My interview with Nils "Anable" Dougan from Source Racer.
[18 February 2005 - 15:10 PST GMT-8]
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
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
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
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 email@example.com with some sample work.
Half-Life Gaming: How would you describe the community following that you
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
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
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.