I got to interview Kami from www.banzaimaps.co.uk. This is the first interview that
he has done
[13 July 2003 - 16:05 PDT GMT-8]
HLGaming.com: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Kami: I'm Ed, I'm 20 and I live between Cowfold and Horsham. Very rural -
56k only, no hope of adsl till 2120. Did my alevels about 2 years back, failed miserably
at computing because i made a map for my coursework. Since then I’ve been non-stop
HLGaming.com: How long have you been mapping for Half-Life?
Kami: since it came out and then i moved onto TFC a released some hideous
CTF maps. After that i did some equally bad CS maps and finally found my place within
the skills community
HLGaming.com: Which editor(s) do you use?
Kami: WC/Hammer, HLCC1.4, Wally, Goldwave, Photoshop 5.5, and sometimes Milkshape.
HLGaming.com: Do you do work on mods as well?
Kami: I've had offers, but never really taken them up. I would love to be
part of a mod, but I’d have to dictate the storyline that would probably be too
crazy for most people. I basically see hl2 as my "savior" in that I’m going to get
into serious modding when it comes out and hopefully create my own modding team.
That is if they'll put up with my strange ideas...
HLGaming.com: What is your favorite HL mod and why?
Kami: TFC by far because it is quite tongue-in-cheek and has a great atmosphere.
TFC was the initial mod that hooked me to online game play and I’ll never forget
that. I suppose i also like the cartoon aspect of it in that the characters don't
have to look realistic or have realistic attributes, everyone's just there to have
fun. i also love the team-based game play of TFC... i haven't found anything quite
like it in any other mod I’ve come across
HLGaming.com: How do you come up with these ideas for such great maps?
Kami: Films, books, other games, TV, dreams... absolutely anything. For example,
aliens (one of the best trilogies ever) were a big influence for colonyx and planet3c
and tomb raider was an influence for artifact. Obviously as a mapper I like to add
my own twists to the theme and surprise people. I get inspiration from absolutely
anything and try to incorporate real-world structures/ideas and my own imagination
into the maps I make.
HLGaming.com: Can you give us more on your upcoming map?
Kami: well, unfortunately I’m experiencing a little "mapper's block" at the
moment ( it seems to come in 6 month cycles ) so the screenshots of my latest map
on my website are screenshots of a dead map. I am sort of working on a new civilian
map at the moment, which will probably encompass several maps giving me the freedom
to create a hugely interactive environment and plenty of innovative team-based obstacles/puzzles/etc.
If the map actually gets anywhere i can tell you that it is based around your average
business man being thrown into a hostile situation and having to contact someone
for help/rescue. The map will use a lot of "cinematic" footage (like planet3c only
more extensive) to enhance the storyline but the main focus, as always, will be
on game play. This is, of course, if the map actually gets completed before hl2.
As I said earlier, I’m experiencing a severe lack of inspiration at the moment,
but I’m expecting it to pass soon
HLGaming.com: What was your first map?
Kami: my first ever map was for the shareware version of gold digger for
the Mac ( when i was about 8-9 ). Unfortunately you couldn't save them because it
was shareware. The 1st ever released map was kamikaze_an - kamikaze Arabian nights.
It was a simple and awful CTF map that had a terrible layout but a pretty environment.
HLGaming.com: What is the hardest thing about mapping?
Kami: The hardest thing about mapping is getting through the "mapper's block"
( mentioned earlier ). When you have an idea, you can make huge amounts in a single
day, but when you have a block you have to put up with weeks or months of trying
to come up with ideas. Getting entity setups to work is nothing compared to "mapper's
HLGaming.com: How do you keep your maps so huge but fairly low-ping at the
Kami: Well, my maps often exceed r_speeds of 1000 in large areas, but most
people are on an ADSL connection these days so i can get away with it. However,
I’ve found that with the style of maps i create, large r_speeds don't seem to slow
down game play too much (probably due to lack of grenades). Anyway, I normally try
to keep r_speeds below 1500 and to do that you need to use several mapping methods,
which i won't bore you with here. Basically, so long as my 56k can handle it online,
I’ll release it.
HLGaming.com: What is your favorite thing about mapping?
Kami: The pure satisfaction of seeing people playing one of my maps and having
fun. That’s really what got me hooked on mapping for TFC... the feeling of appreciation
is hard to beat.