Interview with Gustavo

I decided to look at the archives of the site from when it was stiff being developed and I found this interview...i dont know who on the staff did it but here it is

[13 July 2003 - 09:15 PDT GMT-8] us a bit about yourself

Gustavo: I guess gamers much prefer playing custom maps than reading up on the people that created them, so I'll keep this part short. I'm 24 yrs old (25 in a few days), English, have a degree in Illustration, and work for a firm of Architects where I do all the CAD draughting work. With my knowledge of CAD programs, interest in being creative, and lifelong experience of using one computer or another, it's probably not surprising that I started to create FPS maps. Oh, and I have the obligatory mappers collection of NiN records. :) long have you been mapping for Half-Life?

Gustavo: For just over a year now - my first map was released in March '99. Originally each map took me 2 or 3 months to complete, though after a years worth of map editing and 21 maps, my output recently has increased a fair bit with becoming more familiar with map editing (14 of those 21 maps have been released in the last 4 months.) editor do you use?

Gustavo: For all its bugs which are loved oh so much, I still use Worldcraft v2.1. I've tried most of the other editors such as Radiant & Quark, and although Worldcraft doesn't have as many advanced features, I just find the interface to be far more fluid and I'm very used to using it. you do work on mods aswell?

Gustavo: More than half of my maps have been for one mod or another, so I guess you could say that. :) I've already released maps for the likes of Action Half-Life (4 maps) and Team Fortress Classic (also 4), and am currently working on specific maps for both Russian Front and a Star Wars mod. If I had the time I would work on a few more too - I've got a dozen other long-standing offers from various mods I could accept.

HLGaming.comFor those who've played your maps extensively, there's one big question: How do you keep your maps so huge but fairly low-ping at the same time?

Gustavo: Everyone should know that the quality of our internet connections are not the only deciding factor in our latency, but, along with a particular game's netcode, the map currently being played is important too. I have previously played on online servers where the latency of all players was fine - yet by simply changing the map, everyone's latency was as much as doubled. What's going on there? Quite simply, the fault on those occasions lies at the door of the map maker.

Map makers who pay no attention to keeping each of the three r_speeds constituents (wpoly, epoly, *and* ms) as low as possible are shooting themselves in the foot, big time. A poor framerate ensures the CPU has to struggle unduely to cope with the visuals, with the sending & receiving of modem/network data similarly being hit hard (particularly in PC's with a Winmodem). Problems with entities can account for a map causing massive lag too (most commonly the complex entities needed in TFC maps). It's not good enough for a map maker to say "PC spec are getting higher all the time, so I can stuff in more polys". The majority of gamers I know still have sub-300mhz PC's, so clearly any map authors expecting PC's to cope with continual 1000+ wpoly, half a dozen players on-screen simultaneously, and still cope with the effects of lag, well they're just kidding themselves. Who wants to play a map that may add as much as an extra 100 to everyone's latency? That's the difference between Cable & a 56k modem! It is still very much true that framerate is God, and I know this is something at the top of my priority list when making a map. is your favorite HL mod?

Gustavo: I'll go with the safe choice here and say Team Fortress Classic. It's not perfect; Scouts & Medics are too powerful, solo play still saves the day, and it's often easier to rack up points by spamming grenades everywhere than using weaponry skill, but it's great fun nonetheless and provides plenty of scope for mappers. I still prefer deathmatch though, often using the likes of Oz DM to customise things a bit, but I like the look of a few upcoming wartime teamplay mods - the likes of The Sherman Project & Russian Front. Counter-Strike is a mod that would appeal to me but my ping simply isn't good enough to give it a proper go. Hopefully a future Valve patch will cure that for all of us suffering with modems by providing better netcode a scale of 1-10, how well do you play deathmatch?

Gustavo: That would have to be a 10, coincidentally the same number next to my name in Kate Moss's little black book, and then I wake up. Seriously though, there will always be a "next guy" who slays all the competition, but I can hold my own against most despite having the particular joys of a 56k modem. I haven't played online for 6 months for this very reason: terrible latency, but previously I won around 8 out of 10 HL DM games I played. So, I guess I'll answer with an 8. long did it take for you to buy Half-life when it was released?

Gustavo: Just a few days in fact. I had read into Half-Life quite a bit and so had it on back-order for some months prior to its eventual release. Turned out to live up to the hype, and then some, so I've been playing Half-Life in one guise or another since late '98. Opposing Force? If you bought it at all... 8)

Gustavo: Yeah, I've bought & completed Opposing Force (and have released a few OP4 deathmatch maps too). It's great entertainment for a while, although a little short. Aside from any commercial success, Gearbox were never going to create a similar level of interest as Valve did with Half-Life, as it's just more of the same. All the barriers in the FPS genre had already been smashed down by Valve. For me, though, some of the new features of OP4 were disappointing. The weapons are a prime example, falling into the 'Unreal syndrome', being just that, too unreal. Too many mutant death rays, apple chuckers, and Gene Simmons wannabes. Talking about Soldier of Fortune too, after all sorts of brutal machine guns and shotguns along came the daft Microwave gun spoiling the realism. Look at the success of the likes of Counter-Strike and it's clear that most Half-Life gamers prefer their weapons of destruction to come in Earth-bound flavours, which is after all one of the elements that Half-Life brought to the FPS genre; a more realistic game than the Quake or Unreal series'.

HLGaming: What's inside your head?

Gustavo: I'd like to give the same answer as Gooseman did here; "a brain", but *sob* I haven't got one *sob*. So, aside from fresh air, I've just finished reading "Hannibal" by Thomas Harris, the sequel to "Silence of the Lambs", so I guess I should steer clear of my local LAN deathmatch haunts for a week or two.