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Interview - (2005-03-18) Hades
Title Interview - (2005-03-18) Hades
Description Phrozen Heart interviews Hades for the Phrozen Keep on the Hades Underworld and Boss Mod projects.
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For those who don't already know, could tell everyone a little about the man behind the mods?


Hmmm the man behind the mods, well I'm a 230 pound exercise freak who likes to change Diablo to suit his playing needs heh heh. I also have four kids aged 13, 12, 11, 10...three girls and one boy and a great loving wife who keeps me going.

I'm a 33 year old Computer game freak...


So how did such an enthusiast manage to find his way to the corner of the internet known as the Phrozen Keep?


Actually I visited Planet Diablo once awhile back and noticed the mod side section and clicked...then I was hooked. All the great mods to choose from, all the great modders out there, there could be no other site which offered so much.

The Phrozen keep was awesome and offered a hell of a lot of mods to have fun with, from Sanctuary Corrupted, Cubaholics and a few other notables. I enjoyed them immensely but with some of them I found there were so many things which could have been done to add to the whole mod experience. I always wanted to play a mod with fun additions, a challenge to do, graphic overload... heh heh, new stuff to look for... etc. But found some just tried to focus on one thing or just a few aspects of the gaming. So I found myself wondering about contributing... thus I found myself being drawn into the fold and Hades was unleashed...


Looking back through your history at the Keep, the popular "Hades Boss mod" appears to have been your first real creation back in March of last year but was their something else going on behind the scenes?


Actually good pickup there Phrozen heh heh. That mod was my first one but was more a mod for my friends to play and have fun as there was no Boss mod for 1.10 at the time. Never occurred to me it would be so popular in the long run as this was more or less a "try out stuff" thing lol.

The behind the scenes stuff happening, was getting ready for another mod which was Underworld but again this was meant to be a "try out" full mod idea. Good Idea from the Boss at that time. There was a lot of testing stuff in this mod to get the feel for modding and prepare for a fuller stuffed mod. My idea all along was to bring a full graphically changed and pleasing mod into the spotlight, have areas with boss monsters to bring another harder element in the game. Still elements from the original mod which I want in Underworld heh heh. But that's all coming in time as I piece Underworld together from my original idea about the massive mod coming into reality.

Skills, sounds, graphic changes from skills to monsters etc are all from the rough idea's I had from the beginning. It's just taken me awhile to put everything together and learn from everyone...but mostly from my modding approach...push buttons till stuff happens...lol. Hey works for me but I wouldn't recommend it lol.

Do you have an ultimate aim for the Underworld mod or is it likely that it may evolve into a totally new project altogether?


Actually I'm working on a few side projects which may or may not evolve into something else. Cube which is a side project for the die hard fans of Phrozen's mod is coming along quite well with more morphing and cube stuff coming. But that is not what people want to hear heh heh. The other one is a prologue more or less to Underworld. Or it could be worked out as a sequel lol. Different things are going on all the time with my modding heh heh, I sometimes lose track of which one I'm working on lol.

Underworld was meant as the "full mod" learning tool but it took off most unexpectedly. I was not expecting the following it gathered so I ran with it. My idea for a "Full" mod is slowly being realized with this mod. It's growing immense as I add in all the changes I want, it stands at 797 MB's in size now. Which is pretty big from what I hear, but still not even close to what I want for this mod.

My idea's from the beginning was to bring a total new feel to playing Diablo, not just skills, graphics, coding, or one theme but many all at once and never just minor changes. I wanted a change to mean something and not just a new name and Diablo had to be harder to play once more, so I keep trying to up the bar every chance I get.

I'm hoping to bring this mod to the level I have set for it when I started and also to bring the "secret" mod which goes with it to life at the same time. Trick with the sequel or prequel is to release it at the right time heh heh. Some big undecided issues go with that mod still but one thing I will let loose is that each act will be as different from the next as it can be and hopefully a new "game" each act. It's coming along almost as good as I want it but I'm holding back on the more specific issues regarding this mod. Even my best buds don’t know yet heh heh...


It definitely seems like you've still got the modding "bug" then. What would you consider your favorite part of modding and do you have a favorite feature of your mod(s)?


Well my favorite feature about modding has been changing the outlook to mods. New skill graphics, giving them a more exciting look and feel. Eye candy has it all heh heh. Sounds, giving new sound effects to certain skills, objects, etc basically giving the game something new to hear. Adding in new speech to diff monsters as they attack or their neutral sound is just a big added bonus I think. Adding new skills has been a two way street for myself, I like the skills the way the are but I like to add more choices to make as well. So with that in mind I've been toying around with adding in more skills with the help of my co-modder but again I'm a machine when it comes to modding and I like to drive full tilt at it heh heh. I'm not one for just one thing in a mod, I like to see a whole bunch of new stuff.

Back to skills for a sec, I think if there are too many new skill's it becomes almost useless to have em all. Just makes for more "builds" but that's just me. Besides I will be adding a few new skills per class just to add a few new choices for the masses lol. I'm more or less going a diff route by adding skills on item's or uniques to give other options. So if people want diff skills with my mod they will have to look for stuff heh heh.

But on the other question, I'm more interested in sounds and mapping right now. Lots of fun there with Paul's editor lol. That guy is a god. Love the tool, and been making so many changes lately, heck with my new version I added in about hmmm I think about ten new map changes so far. That isn't all the new maps which I have ready but I'm not going to give all of them away so soon heh heh. Gives people more to look forward to later.

The sounds I'm totally loving changing the sound to my mod lately as well. New character creation sounds from...well what else...Infinitum heh heh. Monster sounds, in game speech for characters, NPCs speech, etc all are getting an overhaul to add that extra bit of spice to it. This Underworld mod of mine is going to have as much new stuff added to it as I can. Don't know what the limit is but as far as my vision of it was, I'm not even close yet lol.

I'm also enjoying adding new graphic's for the runes, potions, gems, etc...but those are coming later heh heh. Whenever I decide to add em in.

All said and done, I'm a modding freak with a big vision of a mod which is coming along not too bad. Heck even been trying to add in a first person point of view when using certain skills. I'm certainly no pioneer at modding but I'm one who doesn't read tuts too often so I just chug along at my own pace and push more buttons till something happens lol..


Sounds like you've got your work cut out for you. You mentioned a co-modder, could you tell us a little about how that came about and how you feel about "designating responsibility"?


Hmmm about my co-modder, marhawkman, well he's an alright kind of guy and good at what he does. By no means do I have anything bad to say about him. Probably the bad thing is I'm a steamroller and tend to mod all at once. I like to do things a certain way heh heh, such as his skill's which I took out for this latest version as there were no real bow or jav skill's. I wanted perhaps one page of bows or javs and the rest of the pages feel free to change to his hearts content. Tried it out and I personally didn't like it after and hopefully I didn't insult him or anything heh heh. He's a great guy and I think he took it good. Besides he's a great skiller and I'm glad to have him aboard.

I suppose I could do the skill work with him but I have no real patience for skilling and I find it boring lol.
I pretty well do most of the stuff but that's the way I work. I want to have my hands in everything and change everything I can heh heh. But having a co-modder helps out in certain area's lol.


Well with you taking the brunt of the work and marhawkman covering skills, do have any plans to take on more people to the HU team for such an ambitious project?


Would be nice to add a few more people or one really good one. But then they would have to be driven as much as I am to this project heh heh. I don’t want someone who wants to mod one day then maybe the next week lol. Probably look for a modder to work on some other aspects of the mod. More specifically probably some item work and new items. New item's which use specific powers, new graphics, use the existing jaw, torch, etc for some other bases for use in recipes. Maybe some new items such as new shields, swords, etc but someone who can put these things into the underworld MPQ themselves. I don’t want to be bothered to do it all myself heh heh.

So hopefully a veteran modder who wishes a diff project to work on for awhile..


It's starting to sound like the only thing that could limit the mod's growth is how far your enthusiasm will take you What would you consider to be your mod's "running theme" if any?


Running theme...Hmmm I'd have to say the Apocalypse of this world. I'm trying to get sufficient animations for the four horsemen but really haven't decided on ones I think really suit them. Only prob with them is I want to make new tokens for them and haven't really tried that yet so they're kind of on the shelf for now. Until I try to include new tokens...when I make the time lol.

The theme is basically that but the prob is I have a few running themes to have fun with in my mod lol. Defeat the hordes of denizens from the Underworld, follow the god's, or avatars, advice, Great battles from certain mythology or going to take place, Ragnorak for example. And then we come to the four horsemen , who will be the main driving force behind all this chaos.

So I have a lot to work in and make them all gel together lol


Is there a particular mod has inspired you along the way or do you just get your inspirations from all over? Do you even have the time to play other mods very much with your own self-imposed workload?


For the first question, I have a few mods which inspired the whole mod making idea's. First and foremost was J.Bouley's Sanctuary mod, loved it and had a ball playing it. The new graphics were what caught my eye right away and the new monster look. Had my interest in playing mods right from this one. The second was Cubaholics...which wasn't necessarily a "full" mod but the whole cube stuff was too kool to not play heh heh. Not to mention the boss morph stuff which instantly caught my attention along with my son's lol. So I enjoyed playing it for fun, which I think is the basis for any mod, fun!

There were a few other's but some of them merely offered a few new items and a couple of new skills which were not enough to keep my interest. And some had some great mapping and new item's but little else. Those mods mentioned above inspired me more than any other particular mod. More for the certain aspects which I saw in them and knew it must have taken a good deal of work to bring forth such an enjoyable mod.

So basically I wanted to make a mod which was along those lines but bring forth a mod on a massive level to bring as much as I can to life. The beginning idea I had from there on was slowly being thought of and how to implement it in an interesting way. Seeing such great mods from playing em and now to modding my own mod s, well was a rush heh heh.

About the second part of the first question, well I try to make as much time as I can to play some of the mods when I can. Hell it would be a waste not to try out a good new mod when it comes around. Tried Phrozen's and well was quite happy I did. Turned out to be a good fun mod. Tried some other's lately as well, BTH was a nice change, HOC some nice stuff there as well. But both onyx and Darque I respect their work from what I've seen so far. Especially the evil one heh heh.

Seen a few mods which were disappointing as well but no need to name any names or anything. Just some mods which needed that extra oomph in my opinion. But I try to give everything a once over and see how the mod vision for that particular one is going. Most people say they never play it anymore but I find they are all full of it lol. Besides it's a fun game lol.


Is there any aspect of Diablo 2 that (no matter how far Hades Underworld goes) you'd never want to change?


God knows I'll hear boo's from the peanut gallery but I'm not one who would change the stash to such unreal amounts as something like PlugY from Yohann. Though I admit I like the idea for some projects, and it's a hell of a contribution, I would never think of using it personally. Tried once and well found it was just too much for one player also multi...I think you should have to make the decision about what to keep in your stash and make decisions about what to get rid of. Otherwise you would never run out of anything lol. Takes away from a big part of Diablo which I liked. True some of the parts of it are kool, but if I want the Diablo clone, well as I already did in my mod is make him spawn. Otherwise pretty kool stuff but just not my idea for something I'd want in my mod but for other people might just be the ticket...


Each modder has there own style of course And finally in the tradition of Keep interviews, is there any advise you'd give to new mod makers starting or thinking of starting out?


About advice hmmm....Well the Phrozen keep is definitely the place to be if you are interested in learning how to mod. Hell I joined last year in, hmmm April I think it was...almost been one year since I've been at the keep and had some mods going. So if you post intelligent questions (although I've posted a few idiotic ones too lol),
And well here's a big one lol...LISTEN to the answer's, read a few of the tuts in the knowledge base, (I hardly ever do but I'm kind of a loose cannon lol, probably would have learned some stuff faster if I had read em lol), check out the newbie modmaker guide...from what I hear it covers a lot of the stuff needed to start modding, read a bunch of the posts in the forums BEFORE making posts, usually the info gathered there is what most of us use. Besides if you run through and read all the posts in all the forums, you could have gathered a lot of modding information all by yourself, pay attention to the TOS...and lastly...don’t get discouraged lol...even after some crashes lol. Had a few of them so far lol. We all have had problems in some shape or form. All the mods out there no matter what people say, have had their problems. So you are not alone....keep trying and ask questions...that's what this modding community is here for...

Then you're well on your way to making some fine mods, if you follow these few simple rules.

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