Interview - (2001-05-27) Phrozen Heart & Iowan

Interview - (2001-05-27) Phrozen Heart & Iowan

Description: Joe the Acolyte from Planetdiablo interviews Phrozen Heart and Iowan of the Phrozen Keep on their site and mod making in general.

Categories: Interviews






















































































































































































ACOLYTE
Tell us about yourselves. What's your daily life like, and what are some of your interests outside of the Diablo series and The Phrozen Keep? Does natural sunlight ever reach your skin?
PHROZEN
Well I'm 21, currently living in Illinois with my wife and dog, and working for a well-known insurance company. I've only been in the U.S. on a permanent basis since November, when I emigrated here to get married. As for natural sunlight, not if I can help it :-)
IOWAN
I'm 36, living in the Netherlands, or Holland, where we speak Dutch; figures, huh? I work for a company that sells stuff :) I have a wife and kids. I try to avoid direct sunlight too. I enjoy music a lot, and like to listen to Aerosmith, and my wife and I love going to rock concerts.
ACOLYTE
Prior to The Phrozen Keep, did you have any experience in mod making for games besides Diablo II? What projects were you involved with?
PHROZEN
Prior to the keep, I hadn't really done any sort of mod making for a few years, not since the days of id Software's Doom 1 and 2. Remember the old PWAD files, anyone? I created quite an impressive looking mod for Doom by the name of Fallen Angel, which essentially redesigned the appearance of the entire first episode of the game. From a game player's point of view and in my opinion, though, the Quake 1 mods were some of the best, Malice and Minion being my two personal favorites.
IOWAN
I haven't done any modding at all; to be honest I'm not much of a gamer, and I just don't have the patience for it :)
ACOLYTE
The staff of The Phrozen Keep is full of creative individuals. How did you get together? Do some, or all of you live near each other, for instance?
PHROZEN
To begin with, I was the lone webmaster of the Keep, which was receiving moderate success and seemed to be getting gradually more well-known. Due to emigrating to a different country being a somewhat daunting task, Iowan (who I'd met through another site's mods forum) agreed to care take the site for me in my absence. Once everything was settled at my end, we decided to stay on as partners making the job somewhat easier on both of us. Last of all came Fusman, who was one of the numerous victims of the demise of Diabloii.net's mod site. He first joined up as a hosted site but it became apparent that with him making up our webmaster trio, things were about to get very interesting.
IOWAN
That's all there is to it. I have never met or seen Phrozen or Fusman [in person]; we met on other forums and shared the same ideas. When Phrozen asked me to take care of the PhrozenKeep, I immediately said yes. Then, we sorted out the Meta tags and added the Keep to many search-engines and tried hard to get more visitors. I guess it all worked out, and we now are, without a doubt, the #1 mod making site [for the Diablo series]. :) And, that was and is our goal.
ACOLYTE
How did you learn to make mods for Diablo II? Was it difficult?
PHROZEN
Ironically, the site I first learned to make mods from was The Forge, which is now one of the sites hosted at the Keep, after the owner left his previous host somewhat dissatisfied. With just a few basic tutorials, I'd made my first very basic mod within a day or so, but with all the tutorials, resources and support at the Keep, mod making has become much simpler.
IOWAN
I started because I heard about the Llama Shroud, which was [just] a rumor :) And, I wanted to know if it really could be done. Looking back at that, it was pretty easy to do it. Now, when I see mods, I think to myself, 'How the heck did they figure that out?' and since work is keeping me busy, I don't really have to time to find out about new things. But, on the other hand, I really enjoy keeping our forums going, so I guess I'll have to do with that.
ACOLYTE
From what we've heard, the Werzion X mod, one that is an internal part of The Phrozen Keep, is quite popular. Are there certain features about this particular modification that make it better than others?
PHROZEN
The X mod is Fusman's project, and he has made some interesting changes to the maps in Acts 1 and 3. For example, in Act 3 there is a tunnel that goes all the way from the Spider Forest to [Lower] Kurast, so there is no need to travel through the forests unless you want to; the tunnel is not a shortcut, though, just a different route if you don't like those forests. You don't have to collect Khalim's relics to open the doorway to [the Durance of Hate], the entrance to [Mephisto's lair] can be found in the Kurast sewers. Plus, with loads of other stuff, the mod is well worth anyone's time to check it out.
IOWAN
Werzion is very good; why do you ask? 'Cause Fusman made it, and he doesn't like a job half done! :)
ACOLYTE
In your opinion, which three Diablo II mods are the best (for whatever reason), and which three are most popular among fans, out of all of those available?
PHROZEN
My choice of three at present would probably be Fusman's Werzion X, Cold Fusion by Fireheart and Wesson and from the alpha version I tested, Goldark and Selenaia's Hell on Earth. All three add completely new dimensions to the game on numerous levels.
IOWAN
I have to agree with that, but I liked Evilenglishman's BossMadness [mod] very much, too. Evil and I have had some great times playing that one together :)
ACOLYTE
For someone who's completely new to programming, how hard would it be to learn to make a mod for Diablo II? Is programming experience absolutely necessary?
PHROZEN
No programming knowledge needed whatsoever, unless you want to start making very complicated projects. With the available tutorials and all of the helpful forum members and moderators [at The Phozen Keep], mod making is relatively simple once you put your mind to it.
IOWAN
That's right. I don't think a question stays unanswered at the Phrozen Forums; we have really good Moderators and many helpful members there.
ACOLYTE
Everyone was disappointed to find out that Arenas and Guild Halls would not make it in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. Is there enough flexibility in Diablo II to allow different modes of game play to be added with mods?
PHROZEN
I'm not entirely sure about Guild Halls, but creating a fighting arena in place of the cow level, for instance, isn't that hard, as long as you can visualize the project each step of the way. If there's enough interest in combat arena mods, then I'm sure they'll start to appear.
IOWAN
I'm pretty sure almost anything can be done. :)
ACOLYTE
Similarly, and from an action gamer's perspective, is a Capture the Flag modification for Diablo II feasible, while it would be a large project?
PHROZEN
Once again, that is perfectly feasible right now, depending on how co-operative all of the players are willing to be in setting up each game. A mod maker could quite easily create a new unique item, be it a flag, chalice of whatever to act as the target.
IOWAN
This might be bringing an idea to some mod makers out there!
ACOLYTE
What do you think of the current Diablo II modification community, where do you think it's going, and what are your hopes for it's future?
PHROZEN
With the continuing success of Diablo I, I think Diablo II mod making will carry on for a good while yet, and the [Expansion Set] has given it just the boost that it needs to do so.
IOWAN
I think Blizzard secretly likes what mod makers do; let's face it: what is more interesting in a game than make your own stuff and then share it with other players, and meanwhile talk about it, learn about it, and maybe get a tad bit of fame when you've made a really good mod?
ACOLYTE
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is right around the corner. What do you think about this official add-on to the game we all love?
PHROZEN
We all can't wait to sink our mod making teeth into it. :-) In my opinion, I think there will be a new wave of not only [Expansion Set] mods, but also regular Diablo II mods using monsters and items from [Diablo II: Lord of Destruction].
IOWAN
I definitely want to see the Assassin in action! :) When it hits the shelves, it's gonna be mine, mine, mine! Hopefully, I'll have the time to get back into real modding then.
ACOLYTE
After the Expansion Set, where do you see the Diablo series going? Do you think there will be a Diablo III (3)? If so, how do you think this would be designed?
PHROZEN
If Blizzard managed to get this much success out of the first Diablo games, I think a completion to the trilogy is a definite possibility. The only thing they have to do is make the game different enough, but without losing that Diablo atmosphere.
IOWAN
I bet Blizzard already has idea's what [Diablo] III is going to look like. :)
ACOLYTE
If you could change one part of Diablo II itself, not using a mod, what would it be?
PHROZEN
Pretty much, everything I'd add is already going to be in the [Expansion Set] so I'm content. :-)
IOWAN
The resolution of the game; I mean, the [Expansion Set features the 800x600 resolution], but with the computers available these days, it could be much better. Other then that, it's a cool game, no doubt about it. :)

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[url=https://d2mods.info/forum/kb/viewarticle?a=74&sid=6f85529f3eb7f28fadcb67ddcb3cda97]Knowledge Base - Interview - (2001-05-27) Phrozen Heart & Iowan[/url]