★ Black Lounger ★
✔️ HL Verified
- Jul 14, 2002
- Best answers
The long awaited conclusion of Forum Competition X is here! Grab a seat and relax while you read Chakra X's interview with Mastasurf!
Chakra-X: Hello Mastasurf! May I brown nose and say it is an honor to interview you!
Mastasurf: Haha. The honor is mine. Congratulations on winning the force-pit competition.
Mastasurf: Go ahead and start us off.
Chakra-X: 1) So, Earths Special Forces Double you tee eff. What made you want to even start such an arduous task? Gathering the team up, making ideas, executing, etc. etc. etc.
Mastasurf:Ah yes, the origins of ESF. The short version of the story is that I had joined up with an old DBZ mod called Power-Up. Originally I just wanted to create a flash based site for the project, but then fell into texturing and other areas of modding. A small group of us including harSens, SS Vegeta, and Stryker decided to splinter off and create our own project. That's when ESF was born.
Chakra-X: Ah, yes, ESF's flight through the placenta was before my time.
Mastasurf: hah. It was definitely a long time ago.
Mastasurf: To elaborate a little bit more on my answer. Modding is addicting. It's very exciting to be able to learn new things and have a place to practice them. I think that is what has kept a lot of us old timers around so long. There is always something new to learn. Not to mention others enjoy our work, so that is a definite plus.
Chakra-X:2) Now look at ya. The Boss. Can I call you Big Boss, like in Metal Gear Solid? Thanks. Anyway, you of all people know how long this mod has been in production. Why continue? I know you must have other projects you want to pursue, but why continue after 1.2? What drives you Big Boss?
Mastasurf: The first thing that keeps me around is the people. A lot of us have been friends for a very long time. Occasionally we'll meet up in real life and hang out. I used to live with one of the other devs for a while. A few of us have traveled around the US and the EU together. We're kind of like a small family.
Mastasurf: Most recently ESF has been making insane progress and it has been a fun environment to be around. Since Raven, LoD, and Green Beret (ze germans) have joined ESF has been making incredible advancements to the engine.
Mastasurf: ESF is kind of like a kid. I'm not ready for it to leave the nest just yet
Chakra-X: How appropriate!
Chakra-X: My next question has to deal with a new "stranger" that is either giving the child candy or molesting it
Mastasurf: We haven't hired pedobear.... sorry.
Mastasurf: He would make a cute mascot.
Chakra-X: You heard it hear first folks, secret 1.3 player? Pedo bear
Mastasurf: Both him and Phil.
Chakra-X: We would have it no other way
Chakra-X: but regarding my metaphor, this stranger is "the pro scene"Both the honey and downfall of all potentially competitive video games. When you made this game, did you expect to see people viciously pursue to be the best, practice the must efficient moves for victory, host tournaments, and form an actually rivalry between European players and American players?
Mastasurf: At first it took us by surprise. Originally we were thrilled that anyone was playing the mod. Once the Beta 1.2 era hit the team had a pretty good handle on how the community was forming around the mod. We're very fortunate for the dedication the fans have shown towards ESF. Going back to question #1, I think that you guys (the fans) are another thing that fuels the continual development of the mod.
Chakra-X: So even after the bickering and varying forms for criticism and praise, at the end of the day, it just makes you want to try harder?
Mastasurf: Of course. We hear what people say in the forums and try to distil all of the comments into something that helps push the mod further.
Mastasurf: For example, most people prefer to use simple melee during combat. The team took that feedback and has tried to design the new system around simple melee mechanics.
Chakra-X: 4) Now I know this is still heavy WIP but I am gonna ask anyway because Im badass like that. What is your vision for 1.3s melee? I personally prefer 1.2s system than 1.1s, but there have been complaints on both sides. What will make 1.3s melee the definitive form of melee?...in a nutshell.
Mastasurf: Designing melee has actually been the most difficult and time consuming task. I can't tell you how many different design documents the team has gone through. It was a brutal process, but in the end what was left was a three prong approach; Simple melee, combo melee, and the bonus system.
Chakra-X: oooh, combo melee?
Mastasurf: We took into consideration that ESF is more about the players movement than sitting there clunking away at keys. Melee can all be performed through the two mouse buttons and the bonus system through an additional button.
Chakra-X: what adjective would you use to compare this to 1.2's melee? Faster? Sexier?
Chakra-X: 5) Who is your most favorite character and why? Just so you know, Nude #18 model is an acceptable answer. Id dismantle her bomb anyday If you know what I mean Sexually.
Mastasurf: One of our hidden characters is my favorite. Since I'm not really at liberty to talk about that I'll go with Piccolo. Special Beam Canon + Eye Lasers!
Chakra-X:let me guess
Mastasurf:How'd you know? He's showing his little sproutling... j/k
Mastasurf:You know those stripes? They go all the way down..
Chakra-X: 6) What is your personal opinion on the ESF add-ons? EVM and what not. Even AMXX (did I say that right?) mods.
Mastasurf: I think they're great. It's flattering that other developers are willing to take time to create add-ons for ESF. Not to mention they feed players new content that helps keep them busy while we work on the next version of ESF. No complaints here :0).
Chakra-X: I believe EVM even provided you a new teammate? Green Berret right?
Mastasurf: Raven, LoD, and Green came from ECX.
Chakra-X: It's nice to see how flexible ESF is with it's talent
Chakra-X: 7) What is the biggest decision or process you would have changed in regards to the mods production? *
Mastasurf:I think I would like to have changed the approach taken towards 1.2 advanced melee.
Mastasurf: I think that there are a lot of great tools out there for project and file management. If I could change one thing it would have been to adopt those technologies much earlier on. Subversion is a godsend.
Chakra-X: Oh a technical change? Very nice answer. Better than the "I would have tried harder" type of answer
Mastasurf: It's true though. Those tools really help boost productivity.
Chakra-X: yeah that's actually very crucial. It's shame people rarely ever talk about the tools they use
Chakra-X: it's usually a generic description
Mastasurf: Just in case you're curious. We use SVN (inteam build management), Mantis (bug tracking), a combination of Steam/AIM/MSN/ICQ/IRC/Forum (team communication), and most recently both Dotproject (task management) and Wiki (documentation).
Chakra-X: awesome, I personally like to know technical aspects of how something like this works, but I am sure others could benefit knowing 'how' things are done
Chakra-X: 8) Whats your next step after ESF? The Avengers disband and go their separate ways? Another mod to be made? On to professional work? OR ESF: IN 3D?
Mastasurf: Lately the talk has been about going the route of Indie game development. We'll see what happens though.
Chakra-X: oh, so you'd rather stay more independent than going after a company like microsoft
Mastasurf: I think so. A lot of us are at different places in our lives and it would be easiest to do a smaller indie project than trying to take out Half-Life 3.
Chakra-X: 9) What is your opinion on the relationship between the staff and the community? How do you feel the relationship has changed, if at all, as the Mod grew? Demographics, dispositions between staff members and regular users, etc.
Mastasurf: When you say staff do you mean the entire ESF team (forum, beta testers, devs) or just the developers?
Mastasurf: In that case I would say that the ESF staff is pretty active in the community. Despite an occasional quarrel here and there everyone seems to get along fine.
Mastasurf: I think what is interesting about the ESF community is that there are a lot of old-timers out there. Back when ESF started the community was very young and that everyone has grown along with the mod. We were all kids back then and now everyone is starting to grow up.
Mastasurf: I hope that you share the same point of view :0).
Chakra-X: haha I can not tell you how much I cringe when I look at my 2004 posts
Chakra-X: I would say that ESF has impacted the lives of many of the long time users, even if they pass it off as simply a "DBZ forum"
Mastasurf: I'd have to agree.
Chakra-X: What does the scouter say about his power level?*And if you say its over 9000, I swear to god, I will commit suicide on your doorstep. What I mean is...What are your feelings toward ESF now? Do you think they will change in the coming years? This is obviously no simple feat and you probably learned a plethora amount from this project. Now as you tilt your head to the horizon, and you look back on the setting sun . What do you think about your baby D:
Chakra-X: and by "they" I mean your outlook on the mod
Mastasurf: I feel a lot of pride for what we have created here. I must be getting old because everything that comes to mind goes back to that kid analogy.
Mastasurf: Working on ESF has definitely been a life changing experience. I have met many people and made a great deal of close friends. That alone makes ESF worth all of the time and dedication that has gone into it.
Chakra-X: Do you see ESF being a grand foundation for your future career or just a side project you did for fun?
Mastasurf: That's a really good question. I already have a career so at this point ESF is a just a side project for fun. However, if some funding magically appears then I wouldn't be opposed to switching careers.
Chakra-X: oh, may I ask what your current career is?
Mastasurf: Without going into too much detail let's just say I work with computers for one of the large TV/film studios.