Interview - (2002-05-18) RicFaith & SubSanity

Interview - (2002-05-18) RicFaith & SubSanity

Description: Deathscythe of the Phrozen Keep interviews RicFaith and SubSanity on their Baldur's Gate mod and mod making in general.

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DEATHSCYTHE
First of all please tell us something about yourselves...
RIC
I'm Ric Faith, 20 at this point in time and I'm about ready to leave my compulsory service to the Nation's Armed Forces behind me. I start University in less than 2 months, presently enrolled in Engineering.
SUBBY
Joseph Tan, 18, studying my last year of Junior College. After which, I'll be conscripted into the army for compulsory National Service. Heh..
DEATHSCYTHE
When did you two first start modding?
RIC
I enjoyed Fusman's Werzion X for Diablo II and decided to try it out for myself. In August 2001, I stumbled across the Phrozen Keep while surfing through PlanetDiablo. In no time I was quite hooked!
SUBBY
After I got bored of TeknoKyo's 10'x mod, I started playing with plug-ins. Building upon what TeknoKyo put into that enhanced-drops mod. I soon out-played that as well and started lurking in the Phorozen Forums and there it begun.. ;)
DEATHSCYTHE
Did you modify any other games before Diablo 2?
RIC
I have never tried modifying games before Diablo II, so this is my first attempt. I was always under the impression that modifying games was a hard if not impossible process so I didn't think it was within my grasp until last year (2001).
SUBBY
I tried my hands on D1 modding long time ago but it was nothing major, playing around with the interfaced modding program. Other than that, I'd say D2 modding is my 'virgin' experience.
DEATHSCYTHE
Where did you both come up with your names?
RIC
My nick is basically my name :) Cheers for simplicity!
SUBBY
I float at the fragile border of sanity and insanity..
DEATHSCYTHE
I know I a lot of mod teams live in different parts of the world so how did you two both meet and begin modding together?
RIC
Both SubSanity and I live in sunny Singapore and barely 15 minutes apart. Even though we're located so close to each other, we've not met in Real Life yet. We met in the Phrozen Forums in Sept 2001 and realised we shared common interests in Diablo II, Baldur's Gate and other stuff. When he asked if I'd like to create a mod with him, I was a little reluctant at first because I was working on my own mod at the time. However as we went along, I incorporated all my changes into the mod and we focused our energies into making the BGmod what it is now.
SUBBY
Ric basically said it all.. I think we should meet up someday when both of us are free.. Maybe while I wait for enlistment.. hehe..
DEATHSCYTHE
Do you think there are any real disadvantages in modding where you find yourselves in different locations?
RIC
We basically work at different times because I'm a late-nighter (it's just before 5am now and I've been up since around 2am) so we keep in touch through the mail or when via MSN Messenger. We have divided up our jobscopes so we can easily compliment each other without any conflict. It helps that we're both diverse individuals good at our own specific areas.
SUBBY
Yup, I still remember the times when we first begun and had to lay down a firm foundation. Both of us were on MSN Messager almost 18 hrs per day for at least 5 days. Having meals in front of the computer, bouncing ideas back and forth, sending files to each other for testing. I wouldn't say there is any problem working with Ric, since we're always on at the same time (until recently when we both got busy, hehe)
DEATHSCYTHE
How long did it take you to make your first mod?
RIC
I started modding in Aug 2001. This mod never got anywhere because it was fully incorporated into the BGmod by Oct 2001. The BGmod is the second mod I've worked on and it began in Sept 2001. That makes it around 8 months old at this point in time.
SUBBY
What Ric said. :)
DEATHSCYTHE
When releasing a mod there's always going to be post-release bugs, how do you handle those situations?
RIC
When we are alerted to bugs, I log them into my To-Do list. If the bug is critical and would prevent the game from continuing no matter what, we would release a Fixed MPQ version with all the fixes that had been done til that time. Should the bug be a graphical or text-based error which is mostly cosmetic, I would reply that the bug has been noted and will be squished at a later date or when the next Beta is released.
SUBBY
We usually release a beta for a selected few players to test before releasing it to the public. Even with pre-release testing, there could still be bugs. When that is the case, we'll have to go back to work on it. If it's a major bug, beta fixes will be created ASAP. Comestic bugs are usually left til later such as the next beta.
DEATHSCYTHE
You're one of the most successful mod teams for diablo 2, what do you think you have that the others don't?
RIC
I don't think there is anything special about us/myself. I had the advantage of having great tutors and mentors when I first entered into D2 modding, such as Foxbat and Jbouley. Even now I'm still learning stuff from fellow modders such as Sir_General, Jarulf, Myhrginoc, Brother Laz, Apocalypse_Demon and many others! I think what is important is the willingness to learn and a heart to teach others what you have garnered from those who taught you.
SUBBY
But I believe no matter what you do, you have to remember why you started out on this project and doing what you're doing now. On top of that, always stick to your core moral values.
DEATHSCYTHE
Besides your own, what mods would you recommend to others?
RIC
I am eagerly awaiting the release of Demon Trip Mod by Brother Laz and the Apocalypse mod by Apocalypse_Demon. Both promise extensive dll-changes for which I am really looking forward to playing.
SUBBY
New mods are coming up with a lot of potential for mega dosage of fun. I haven't found enough time to try out other mods but I'm sure anything which messes with the dll's will result in a fun, unique mod which guarantees an enjoyable experience. :)
DEATHSCYTHE
Do you have any plans in making another mods or betas in the future?
RIC
At the moment I've got no plans for other mods, tho I'm keeping my eye open for nice games, such as NWN (Never Winter Nights) which ought to be rather moddable!
SUBBY
We'll be working on BGmod for as long as we can. But I guess we're keeping our eyes open for other platforms to jump onto in the event the community dies out (which I don't hope for in the near future) So yeah, it'd basically be BGmod beta after beta for a very long time...
DEATHSCYTHE
What new features of the BGMod should your fans be watching out for?
RIC
On my side, there are rather big skill revamps and new summons. Look out for the Spectral Blades for the Necro, Earth Elemental for the ShapeShifter, and others! Also in the next release will be the option to customise your character before heading out of the Rogue Encampment. Each character will be given 40 stat points and 1 skill point to distribute and use as they wish.
SUBBY
They'll be at least be 2 unique charms, 2 upgrade-able unique weapons that will be in BGmod beta 1.06 (ETA end of June(?)) Well, there will be comestic fixes, etc, as well as some goodies if I can squeeze in some more time.
DEATHSCYTHE
Do you have plans modifying the next blizzard patch?
RIC
Personally I'm looking forward to the new patch, even though it means agressive changes will be required to keep the mod up with the new dlls and possibly new txt files.
SUBBY
Nothing's going to stop us unless Bliz decides to change how the files work and remove the txt files (no.. please don't..). Even if it means starting from scratch, I doubt Ric and I will give up after we've come so far. All our ideas have already proved to be feasible to implement, it'd be just re-doing them all (practice makes perfect huh?)
DEATHSCYTHE
Finally, is there any advice you'd give to anyone who's just starting out making mods or considering making a mod for D2?
RIC
Take your time to make something that you can be proud of. Some things may seem very difficult to grasp the concept of right at the beginning but with sufficient practice and perseverance you can easily get it. I recommend choosing an aspect of gameplay to start with and work from there. I started with skills because there is just so many things you can change through skills.txt and the related files. Good luck modding!
SUBBY
Hmm.. don't make what you perceive the public wants, because trends die out with time. Instead, create something unique, different and fresh which places you apart from the other mods. Every mod should be a different playing experience and if you keep that in mind and not steer off course you should do fine. :)





Anyone wishing to check out the Baldur's Gate mod can do so by visiting the official website at http://bg.d2mods.com.

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[url=https://d2mods.info/forum/kb/viewarticle?a=79&sid=618117f56db89e4fcf97f489d87267ca]Knowledge Base - Interview - (2002-05-18) RicFaith & SubSanity[/url]