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The Loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong Awaited Interview of the BP Crew!

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Interview Part 1

 Stormkeeper: Tonight we have Darius and Battuta of BP fame and they have recently released the highly anticipated sequel to Age of Aquarius, War in Heaven.
 Stormkeeper: Part 1.
 Stormkeeper: So guys, how was it like finally releasing WiH?
  Battuta:  Well, Mr. Darius, who wants to take this one?
 Darius:  I'll take this one
 Stormkeeper: Dr. Darius, you mean.
 Darius:  Well I can probably say the final product exceeded whatever expectations I had for the campaign when I first started putting it all together. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.
 Battuta:  (poke me when you're done)
 Darius:  The creative process is always an enjoyable one, but the feedback so far has just made it even more worthwhile.
 * Darius pokes Battuta!
 Stormkeeper: So Darius, when you first planned BP.  Did you plan on doing a sequel?
 Darius:  Back in 2007?
 Stormkeeper: When you were doing the original Blue Planet, Age of Aquarius. Did you already have plans for a sequel?
 Battuta:  Let me just say with respect to the above question that I'm hugely relieved that it turned out to be better than Age of Aquarius.
 Darius:  It was a pretty disorganised storytelling process, so I just had a concept and ran with it. By the time I got to the end, I had done about 22 missions and still hadn't addressed the concept in my head, so I thought, "Bugger, this is going to need a sequel isn't it?"
 Stormkeeper: And how.
 Darius:  Battuta: The sequel is a league above Age of Aquarius :P
 Stormkeeper: So basically, a sequel wasn't part of the original plan. It just ... became necessary?
 Battuta:  It was an extremely fast and smooth development cycle, but we were so close to it - and we were doing so much new stuff, a lot of it really ambitious - that we really had no idea how people would feel about it until it went out the door. And it's been really rewarding to see that people by and large think it's one of the better campaigns that's been done.
 Darius:  Consider War in Heaven where the BP story should have started.
 Stormkeeper: And AoA a prequel?
 Darius:  More a prologue :) Should we talk about the development process for the "true" BP story Battuta?
 Stormkeeper: Mmhmm. Yes, please.
 Battuta:  Well as a raving fan of AoA I can't see how War in Heaven could possibly exist without it. AoA is a brilliant piece of storytelling, and I'm particularly fond of the way the twist at the end is foreshadowed in the characters: Bei is all about the values and meaning of the GTVA and when he feels that those values have been betrayed he swaps sides.
 Battuta:  And something I think we can touch on later is the relationship between AoA and War in Heaven, where the latter is really sort of a dark mirror of the former, which if I recall right was something Darius and I talked about really early.
 Darius:  Yep, that's true.
 Stormkeeper: So Darius, why do you say that WiH is where the story really starts? Because for me, and I think for most of us, the story starts in AoA.
 Darius:  Heh, I was just being facetious. The story does start in AoA and it makes for a good introduction to the shape of the GTVA in that particular setting. It also does a good job of establishing the mythos and tone of the universe. However, from the start I wanted to tell a story about this particular direction which Sol society had gone during the isolation.
 Darius:  It wasn't until now that the story has begun to be told. So during development of the campaign, it was important that the story be told properly, which accounted for the many delays and restarts.
 Stormkeeper: Hence the reason WiH took quite a while to release?
 Battuta:  I wouldn't say that, actually. War in Heaven had one of the fastest development cycles since Derelict.
 Battuta:  We began work on the current version of the campaign in about...May 2009 and released in August 2010. So a bit over a year, but not much over.
 Battuta:  We only had (to my knowledge) one ground-up rebuild, which was about where Darius expanded from a one-man operation to a team.
 Stormkeeper: So who's part of the team now?
 Battuta:  Darius, Fury, The_E, Axem, and I; Esarai, Nighteyes, and Dragon; DaddyWarhol and Belisarius (our latest addition)... Rian, Zacam and Steve-O. And am I forgetting anyone else active? HerraTohtori!
 Darius:  Well we also keep Dilmah around as our military jargon consultant.
 Battuta:  More than that, he's had a lot of great ideas and he's a good tester.
 Stormkeeper: Military Jargon Consultant?
 Battuta:  There's a full list in the War in Heaven credits, we've all got wacky titles and such.
 Battuta:  Dilmah has an Air Force background so he's very good at adding some verisimilitude to the setting.
 Stormkeeper: Whadd'ya mean by Military Jargon Consultant?
 Battuta:  If we want to know how a combat pilot would actually talk about a given situation, we ask him.
 Darius:  He's also got a good idea of military culture, what would be appropriate, what wouldn't.
 Stormkeeper: I see you didn't skimp on the little things.
 Battuta:  Nope. Have you had a chance to play the campaign, or has military life been keeping you busy?
 Stormkeeper: Quite busy. Clerk I may be, but I'm pretty damn busy. Only reason I have time for this interview is because I'm on off today.
 Battuta:  Perfectly fair.
 Stormkeeper: I haven't had a chance to play the campaign yet, so I am totally ignorant on what happens in WiH.  Therefore, I can't spoil it for anyone!
 Battuta:  Well then we can't in good conscience talk about what happens!   We'll try to keep things general for now I guess.
 Stormkeeper:  Spoilers don't ... spoil ... things for me at all.
 Battuta:  Well, unless Darius disagrees, I think we'd rather not. The story is worth going through fresh.
 Darius:  I agree.
 Stormkeeper: Fair enough. I must listen to the creator of BP!
 Darius:  You'll thank us for it later.
 Stormkeeper: I guess I will. So, let me ask you, Darius. For someone who's played AoA, but not WiH, what can I expect to see that's different, and what's the same?
  Fury:  so I hear we have interview, like now?
 Stormkeeper: Yeap.
 Battuta:  Indeed we do. You can ask Fury` about how his mighty historic role!
 Stormkeeper: So Fury. How was your mighty historic role?
 Fury:  Uh, I dunno. Battuta being a writer likes to exaggerate things like usual.
 Battuta:  And Fury` being a curmudgeon likes to downplay his heroism.
 Fury:  So umm, I don't know. Sure there's been a lot of management work I took over from Darius so he could spend more time on his medschool and fredding. I did the AI for BP2 in mind. And uh, random tasks. Mostly headdesking.
 Battuta:  Fury` was the one who kicked the mod away from being a one-man project and towards a full team, and he also did most of the gameplay design that made War in Heaven so much faster and more intelligent than retail FreeSpace. He also set us up with SVN, I believe, which was absolutely indispensable for us.
 Fury:  Hrm, right. I guess you can say that.
 Stormkeeper: What other random tasks, other then headdesking, did you do?
 Battuta:  What didn't Fury do? Totally redesigned and rebalanced the UEF weapon set, requested a bunch of new features from SCP, put together the first real AI improvements the community's seen in a while...there's all kinds of stuff in War in Heaven that we would never have had without him. Bomb fuses, burst weapons...I dunno, what else, Fury`?
 Fury:  I dunno, haven't really kept count. But eh, did you talk about your own contribution at all yet?
 Stormkeeper: I don't think he's talked about his own. Though he did help you answer your question.  BATTUTA! Wut did you do?
 Fury:  If not, there's very little to say about it, but those few words carries immeasurable weight. Battuta's fredding is ingenious and imaginative.
 Darius:  Battuta was the one responsible for the execution of the story and really brought the characters to life.
 Battuta:  Oh, I mostly just took whatever new toys Fury` came up with and just kind of threw them into missions!
 Darius:  If you liked the characters, and set piece battles and the dialogue chances are it was Battuta's work.
 Battuta:  And Darius was the one responsible for the story and the characters. You'll never get any of us to admit that it wasn't everybody else who did it.
 Fury:  It never ceased to amaze me that Battuta fredded his first missions for BP2, meaning he picked up fredding when he started on BP2. And that was less than two years ago.
 Battuta:  That's true. Delenda Est was actually my first mission. Though it got redrafted near the end of the development cycle. Darius and I FREDded War in Heaven, but there was a lot of input from Fury in terms of giving us new tools to work with. The set-armor-type SEXP is ridiculously powerful because it lets you adjust the toughness of ships on the fly without having to resort to clumsy table edits, so you can simulate changing ECM environments and stuff like that.
 Fury:  Oh yes, armor types. I think that was one of the most useful additions ever
 Battuta:  Definitely.  And the Fury AI is also very useful because it gives you wingmen who can get the job done and enemies who can actually challenge the player - so we didn't have to use large numbers of Tev fighters to put up a challenge .
 Fury:  I wish people wouldn't call it Fury AI, it sounds silly
 Battuta:  Too late!
 Darius:  I think it was My Brother, My Enemy that inspired the creation of the new AI.
 Stormkeeper: Fury AI is a good name.
 Battuta:  Darius might be right at thaht
 Darius:  Fury AI is rather descriptive, isn't it?
 Stormkeeper: Why did that mission require a new AI.
 Battuta:  Well we can't tell you! Except that in terms of general design, we wanted the mission to be a very small, very focused dogfight, using as few ships as possible.
 Fury:  Anyhoo. Darius is awesome person as leader, he's got clear vision what he wants to do with BP and where to go with the story. It was more of a challenge to get that vision and goal into a form a team could use. But Darius adapted very well and steers fredding, storyline, concepts to right direction even if a lot of people contribute to them
 Fury:  Battuta and The E as well as Dilmah have been very influential how the story, characters and missions themselves turned up. It's been team effort at its best with Darius calling the shots.
 Battuta:  Agreed. We have a very decentralized, freewheeling team, and we all just sort of work to our best without any real rules or positions except that Darius is in charge.
 Stormkeeper: So the only rule is that Darius is the boss?
 Battuta:  And the other remarkable thing has been that we've never really recruited talent.
 Fury:  But I think the best thing about BP is that the team doesn't really need a leader per-se. We have a lot of initiative and nobody needs to act like sergeant shouting for orders.
 Battuta:  People make things for us and approach us and say 'do you want this?' and we accept, but we've never really had to go out and ask someone to do something except for model-related fixes.
 Darius:  Every team has its own dynamics, but we've found that having this sort of semi-structured style allows us to be at our most productive.
 Fury:  What I mean to say, our team organization doesn't have such a thing as Darius, me or someone else telling other people what they should do
 Stormkeeper: It's spontaneous?
 Fury:  Instead we discuss about priorities on what needs to be done ASAP, what soon and what can be done whenever, then someone gets on to do it
 Battuta:  Yeah, what Fury said. It's very spontaneous. Mostly we just hang around on IRC and post notes on the forum when we have to sleep. And of course the SVN commit log is very useful in keeping track of who's done what.  And we test everything to death. Constant iterative testing, both inside the team and later with our beta testers - who really helped refine some of the gameplay. I think we knew we'd succeeded at really changing the gameplay when QuantumDelta said that our single player felt like a good multi match.
 Stormkeeper: How much time on average did you spend testing?
 Fury:  I don't think it's a separate category at all. Development process in itself is testing.
 Battuta:  Yeah. As soon as anyone does anything we test it. Missions probably get played hundreds of times throughout development.
 Fury:  Most of the stuff that is developed, was done for next or current mission in mind. So in that way new or modified stuff gets naturally tested
 Battuta:  This is why SVN is great; everyone just updates their SVN, grabs the latest changes and has instant access
 Fury:  Yeah. Project development without versioning system feels like driving a car on rims. SVN, Git, Mercurial, whatever works as long as a project has some sort of version control for team members to use. It's too invaluable to ignore and I'm glad I've seen a lot of project adopt those
 Stormkeeper: Fury's Words of Wisdome: SVN For The Win!
 Fury:  Even Machina Terra, Blackwater Operations, Diaspora, etc have all gotten themselves SVN or alternative
 Stormkeeper: Anyplace in particular where you had major problems during development
 Battuta:  The models. Bloody things aren't optimized or really even ready for in-game use
 Fury:  Stopping Battuta doing last-minute mission edits in his nervousness. :P
 Battuta:  There was that, yes. I rewrote an entire mission's core mechanic from the ground up just weeks before release.
 Darius:  Keeping my download bandwidth within limits.
 Battuta:  Rian actually designed the dialogue tree in m08 on paper with me, so it was very robust, which is why that mission worked so well despite being tested so little. Oh right, Darius and Dilmah have to deal with Australian internet. That was godawful.
 Fury:  But yes, like Battuta said. Ship models in particular have been pain in the ass because there's lack of available talent in the FS community to do uv-mapping, conversions, textures, debris, lods and whatever else is needed to get ships into top shape.
 Battuta:  Esarai was really a saint about helping us out with models
 Fury:  In a way SVN has helped our resident aussies too. As it allows you to download only what has been changed since last update. Unfortunately compression is not quite up to bar of zip, not to mention 7z. But it does help.
 Battuta:  He really pushed himself to get his magnum opus finished so we could release. And it's ironic that that was what held up release, as our philosophy in general is to use absolutely no new models, only already finished community stuff.
 Fury:  Well, finishing Solaris just hours before release was required. I don't think nobody would have liked to see Solaris with temporary textures and some bugs. :)
 Stormkeeper: Solaris being a ship?
 Fury:  Yes. UEF destroyer, their only one.
 Battuta:  Which reminds me that The_E was also a critical, absolutely indispensable player in the later stages of our development
 Stormkeeper: Why?
 Battuta:  He's our go-to code guy and he was able to ferret out a ton of bugs
 Fury:  Yes, The E is like mini-me. Equally grumpy and squashes bugs really well.
 Battuta:  As well as add a few new features to the engine, like the no-primary-linking flag. Fury and The_E make a formidable team. The_E solved this massive rendering engine bug that caused the game to turn into an inky black void. That fix presumably will help every mod everywhere, which is something we're quite proud of.
 Battuta:  Fury and Sushi (I believe?) also figured out a bug going back to retail in which AI classes set in FRED were randomly ignored by the game, so fixing that will hopefully help everybody too
 Fury:  Though we're quite different in other areas. He's well versed in FSO code which has helped a lot in resolving many FSO bugs, adding some new features we're using in BP2. Then he's been a lot of help in lending a hand in story and mission concepts. And voice-acting process for AoA DC.
 Stormkeeper: So I this means in the process of making WiH, you pratically fixed several universal bugs and made improvements to FRED and other minors?
 Battuta:  We did solve a number of bugs, and we did add quite a few features that will help everybody out
 Fury:  Pretty much yes. It helps to have a few coders on the team, particularly The E and Wanderer.
 Battuta:  And one of our goals is to release every cool thing we do as soon as possible so other projects can use it; for example a lot of the stuff in the 3.6.12 MediaVPs is straight from Blue Planet. Wanderer's awesome too. But I think it's worth pointing out that other projects like Diaspora also get a huge amount done
 Fury:  Wanderer was great help in making new version of flashy deaths scrips and brand-new flaming debris script. And squashing few bugs and getting a new features done too.   Long story short, each and every current BP staffer have made terrific contributions to the project in a way or another.
  Stormkeeper:   Certainly does sound that way, does it? It sounds totally different from other projects.
 Fury:  We haven't even mentioned half of the people on the staff so far, so it feels a bit unfair.
 Battuta:  Yeah. So many amazing people we should be thanking
 Stormkeeper: Well, why not you take your time now, and mention them all.
 Battuta:  Gimme a sec to open up credits.tbl
 Battuta:  Nighteyes did an amazing job on the effects work
 Battuta:  All the new explosions in the 3.6.12 MVPs, those are his (so far as I know)
 Fury:  Yeah, all effects work that was done for BP2 were moved to the new mediavps
 Fury:  Except shockwaves which didn't make the cut due to quality concerns
 Battuta:  HerraTohtori is responsible for all the amazing skyboxes. He's ridiculously detail-oriented and insisted on having stuff like star positions correct
 Battuta:  It was sometimes frustrating because we'd ask for Jupiter to be bigger in the Europa skybox, or something like that, and he'd calmly explain that no, this was how big Jupiter would appear to be from Europa orbit
 Fury:  Yeah, he went as far as calculated amount of lighting suns should be casting in each mission
 Stormkeeper: Wow, hardcore.
 Battuta:  What we really need to do is put together a list of all the stuff we've learned during BP development so everyone in the community can read it
 Fury:  not to mention he also added lighting from planets themselves, which means in missions you see planets, they have their own "suns" to simulate reflected sunlight
 Darius:  We'd give him a timeframe that the campaign would be taking place in, and he'd work out where the sun would be in relation to the planets and constellations for that particular month and year.
 Fury:  All in all, while the campaign takes place in Sol and you'd imagine it'd be boring without nebulae and so on, but the lighting differences in different distances from suns and planets make a hell of a difference. Though experience may vary depending on your own lighting settings. But the difference is there.
 Stormkeeper: Certainly sounds good. So what plans do you have for the sequel?
 Fury:  Second part of WiH is already being FREDed.
 Battuta:  Well at the moment we're hard at work on War in Heaven R2
 Fury:  Thankfully we got Axem on board, so FREDing should be speedy.
 Battuta:  We'll be spotlighting ships that didn't get gameplay time in R1, like the Izra'il, Vajradhra, Durga and Ainsarii. And expanding the player's arsenal a bit with additional weapons and possibly some...unique new tricks.
 Fury:  with Darius, Battuta and Axem working on Part 2 missions, it should be even better than Part 1.
 Battuta:  Spoon, of Wings of Dawn, and I have been working together to pull off some pretty unique weapon concepts. Our goal for R2 is to really up the feeling of player agency; we've done our 'cog in the brutal machine' story and now we want to center the player in the gameplay space again. So we'll be introducing some interesting new mechanics on both the UEF and GTVA side.
 Fury:  Yeah, the so called introduction phase is over, it's time to get on to the second half of the movie. So to speak.
 Battuta:  Quite so. Story-wise we already have everything outlined.
 Fury:  Speaking of movies. It was really a gamble in itself to make BP2 more of a cinematic experience than you'd expect. But from the feedback I've seen, it has been a huge success
 Battuta:  I agree. We were very worried about it but we felt the risk was worth it, and we're really glad it paid off for so many players
 Fury:  Armor tables, better AI and lots of fredding tricks made some missions to play almost like movies
 Stormkeeper: Why did you all decide to split WiH into two halves?
 Fury:  Two reasons: First half of the campaign was scheduled to be done as our assets were finalized, so no need to delay release just because of second half. Secondly, we really need help in getting those ships optimized for performance.
 Battuta:  Aye.
 Fury:  We can't do that internally in any reasonable timeframe.
 Battuta:  We wanted to get everything out to the community and collaborate on patching up Steve-O's ships.
 Fury:  So we're asking help from the community. Even few contributions make hell of a difference.
 Battuta:  Not to mention that the R1 story ends at a perfect place. We couldn't resist that. Also, as a FREDder, it turned out to be a REALLY good thing that we terminated the campaign at that point.
 Fury:  It's kind of funny how well it all clicked together in the end.
 Battuta:  A single campaign can only use up to 100 player persistent variables, and our checkpoint system had used up every single one of them by the end of R1. Our second half would have had to have no checkpoints. But now as a second release it can!
 Fury:  All that and collaboration with the FSU team to get new mediavps done was executed quite well in the end
 Stormkeeper: So, I know you have no plans for now for VA.
 Fury:  Actually, I'll let Battuta correct you on that
 Stormkeeper: Correct?
 Battuta:  Well, in fact, IssMneur has stepped up as voice acting coordinator and we're generating a script for him now. Halfway through the campaign it's already about 200 pages.
 Fury:  Last I heard it was half-way done and already over 200 pages
 Stormkeeper: Oh? So there will be VA?
 Fury:  Eventually I suppose, it will take very long time though
 Stormkeeper: Will the R 1 of part 2 be voice acted?
 Battuta:  If all goes well, there will, and it won't slow down R2. R2 will not be voice acted on release.  We adjust our dialogue and writing up to the last minute, which is why R1 got so much praise for its characterization and plotting. Doing that and then getting lines voice acted would probably add years to the development cycle
 Fury:  Our policy on releases has been that we're not delaying our releases to make superawesomeperfect releases. That way we'd never get anything out.
 Battuta:  Though that said R1 did turn out extraordinarily polished except for the lack of VA.
 Stormkeeper: I think you misunderstood the question, but somehow answered it anyway. I meant if the initial release of Part 2 of WiH will be voice acted..
 Battuta:  R2 will not be voice acted on release. War in Heaven is divided into Release 1 and Release 2; Part 1 and 2 if you prefer.
 Fury:  Release early, release often is more like it. As long as our releases have no bugs, are stable, we don't really mind if they have other issues like imperfect assets or missing voice-acting.
 Battuta:  Aye.
 Stormkeeper: Neither do I. VA is more like the cherry on the cream. Will you re-release WiH as one set after BP is finished?
 Battuta:  We may do a director's cut at some point, but our agenda at the moment is to finish R2, then BP3.
 Battuta:  which will probably be a single unified release, if all goes well
 Fury:  Stormkeeper: WiH aka BP2 will always be one mod. BP1, BP2 and BP3 are separate mods. Everything that falls under the name of BP1, BP2 or BP3 is released in one mod meaning WiH Parts 1 and Part 2 is same mod. We'll simply update the vp-files and re-upload
 Battuta:  I'd love it if we could have a single unified release in the future; one remarkable thing about BP is that nothing breaks backwards compatibility. You could play FS2 retail, AoA, and WiH with WiH selected as the mod with no problems
 Fury:  Battuta: We'll see about unified release after BP3 is done. That's so much into the future that it makes no sense to do plans about it now
 Battuta:  Concur'd.
 Stormkeeper: Well. I'm outta questions for now. The floor is open to questions.
 Snail: How did you think up of the characters?
 Battuta:  Snail: well, I can't speak for Darius, who created almost every existing character in the story. I believe the only major characters I wrote in were Karen and Olefumi
 Battuta:  But when we were writing the characters, we always tried to give them a sense of history, so the player felt like they were bumping into people with formative pasts that had shaped who they were today. I know I was very much influenced by modern war journalism, and classic works on the psychology of soldiers like Dave Grossman and S. L. A. Marshall's work.
 Redsniper:Oooh ooh. I hear that WiH basically got redone from scratch. What was the first incarnation like?
 Darius:  I can answer that one. First iteration was much like the first release (and what the second part will be), except stripped to its bare bones.
 Darius:  Characters and back story wasn't fleshed out, missions weren't as advanced/cinematic and the story still had a few holes in it.
 Redsniper: so like... all the key ships and events were there, just without all this glorious fluff your team added in? Oh I see...
 Darius:  The characters were there but they weren't people.
 Battuta:  Laporte was a man!
 Fury:  I'd go as far as to say that WiH alpha was worse than AoA. Darius had much difficulties in coping with the story, characters and FREDing because scale of WiH is significantly larger than that of AoA.
 Stormkeeper: Battuta: I will, don't worry about it. It kinda irritates me that I don't have much to ask either.
 Darius:  And of course there weren't any of the glorious additions by Fury, HerraTohtori and co.
 Darius:  Indeed. War in Heaven turned out to be an entirely different kettle of fish.
 Darius:  From AoA, that is.
 Redsniper: How does one pronounce 'Noemi'?
 Battuta:  Nobody knows!
 Snail: Lol
 Redsniper: D:
 Fury:  When I reviewed WiH alpha, it eventually prompted me to suggest significant changes to how the mod was being developed. That led to scrapping the alpha and starting over with team-oriented development model.
 Battuta:  The_E pronounces it like his sister's name.
 Darius:  We need someone French to tell us.
 Battuta:  Ah yes, this is what I wanted to get Fury` to talk about.  His heroic PM that started this whole crazy business rolling.
 Fury:  I don't know if contents of that PM are proper for public consumption.
 Redsniper: Whoa...
 Darius:  Fury`: probably not.
 Darius:  But that was the turning point in the mod development.
 Battuta:  No, no, I agree, it shouldn't go public, but it was a critical moment, and it reflects something about our dynamic, which is that we tend to be our own worst critics.
 Battuta:  We've said much nastier things about War in Heaven between ourselves than we've heard from any of our players, and that's what helps us identify weaknesses and try to improve them
 Battuta:  Also, Rian says it's 'naymee'
 Darius:  I always read it as Noah-mee :P
 Redsniper: Same here...
 Darius:  Noah-mee La-por-tay.
 Battuta:  I think that's how The_E pronounces it too.
 Stormkeeper: I've gotta prepare for my driving class, but I'll leave the channel on, so feel free to talk till the cows come home!
 Snail: Mmm... Noodles.
 Battuta:  Thanks for your time, Stormkeeper
 Stormkeeper: I'll be seeing you all again, soon though, BP gais.
 Battuta:  Good luck out there!
 Redsniper: I actually had some decent questions this time, yay!
 Battuta:  Man, that takes me back.
 Battuta:  Back when Noemi was Pieter and Simms was a well-adjusted commander and there were no Wargods.
 Redsniper: O_o
 Snail: Hmm, random question that probably won't go into the interview, is that "Darkness" mission still bp-canon.
 Darius:  And the first half involved kicking the Tevs back to Delta Serpentis :P
 Battuta:  Snail: I'm sorry but you're going to be redacted now
 Snail: Gah. :<
 Redsniper: Whoa whoa. No spoils pl0x.
 Battuta:  redsniper: no spoilers have been uttered, relax
 Battuta:  Did you know that in early drafts of Star Wars the main character was named Anakin Starkiller? And I think Naboo was in them too.
 Snail: Yeah and 3-PO was a used car salesman.
 Redsniper: About the whole "Tev" thing...
 Battuta:  Wait are you serious?
 Darius:  Luke Skywalker had a robot head.
 Redsniper: When I first heard it, it made sense, but upon thinking about it, it seems like a bit of a stretch.
 Snail: What seems like a bit of a stretch?
 Snail: How much did NGTM1R pay you?
 Redsniper: Going from the TV in GTVA to Tev.
 Battuta:  We definitely talked about that as nobody really likes made-up words in science fiction stories. Neologisms are an unhappy tradition, however, ultimately we felt it passed the naturalism test and blended in, and given how rapidly it's been adopted by our players it seems to have worked.
 Snail: :) Yarp. Some people even use it in a non-BP context.
 Darius:  It got adopted before release
 Snail: xD
 Darius:  It's just so easy to say.
 Battuta:  It's a corruption of Galactic Terran-Vasudan
 Redsniper: Right, like I said, it made sense before I thought too hard about it.
 Battuta:  Which became GalTev.
 Redsniper: And it rolls of the tongue nicely
 Battuta:  There were so many worse options, too
 Battuta:  The Teevees.
 Redsniper: Lololol.
 Battuta:  The Gee-Tees.
RK|Work Mike Teevee.
 Snail: Oh shaddap
 RK|Work: Sounds like the seed of a comedy branch campaign there.
 Battuta:  We scrapped a few prospective epithets along the way.
 Snail: Fedhead
 Battuta:  How did you know about fedhead.
 Darius:  Fedhead was in the alpha
 Snail: You told me :P
 Battuta:  Oh.
 Redsniper: I like 'Buntus'
 Battuta:  Yeah, it just made them sound like an awesome band.
 Battuta:  The Grateful Fed
 Darius:  Buntus was great
 Battuta:  And of course the Gefs.
 Darius:  Very inspired.
 Battuta:  Who have been Gefs since forever
 RK|Work: Gelfs.
 Darius:  Did you know, back before BP was BP I was making a campaign for Inferno.
 Battuta:  Yes!
 Snail: And there was that Icanus fiction piece
 RK|Work:Wasn't that history of sol? Or was that someone else.
 Darius:  The Gefs were a terrorist group who protested against the strip-mining of Mars to build the Icanus.
 RK|Work: Ah no.
 Battuta:  No, Sol A History is different. Someone else.
 RK|Work: That was...that other dude.
 Battuta:  BP is just a giant piece of extraordinarily elaborate Inferno fanfiction
 Battuta:  You heard it here first!
 RK|Work: *Mobius barges in
 Redsniper: :o
 Snail: BP has like totally eclips0r'd Inferno though I mean SRSLY
 Snail: <_<
 RK|Work: Darius unmasks himself as Mobius
 Battuta:  They do share half their letters...
 Snail: If life were a sitcom that would be like the most awesome plot twist ever.
 Battuta:  Snail, our philosophy in general is that there's plenty of room for lots of good mods. We're not in the business of eclipsing anybody.
 Redsniper: Maybe not on purpose...
 Darius:  I even made a disclaimer in AoA that all universes were possible :P
 Snail: Yeah that's precisely why.
 Battuta:  And we would love it if every single mod hosted on HLP turned out to be amazing.
 Snail: Every campaign ever is a part of BP you see
 Redsniper: o:
 Darius:  Without Inferno there wouldn't be BP
 Snail: just within a different universe
 RK|Work: BP == Super Freespace Wars
 Snail: Yeah, I know right?
 Redsniper: So.. what is the BP team's plan to fix the oil spill in the Gulf?
 Snail: Not funny man.
 Battuta:  Redsniper: well at the moment we're meditating and trying to reach the Vishnans.
 RK|Work: They're going to shoot at the hole with archers.
 Battuta:  We really built a great working relationship during the voice acting of AoA.
 Redsniper: Heh.
 Redsniper: Vishnans as Themselves.
 Battuta:  Darius really had to do some smooth talking to get access to that radio telescope, but once we were set up it was pretty easygoing.
 Snail: They used a radio telescope for the Vishnans you know.
 Redsniper: I heard. I still don't fully understand how...
 Battuta:  Well once we'd traded prime numbers and Darius started doing his levitation-in-full-lotus thing, we encoded their lines and sent them out and they got back to us in a couple days with some .oggs.
 Redsniper: o i c
 RK|Work: Super space aliens can't afford .mp3 licensing?
 Darius:  Yeah it took remarkably little time to get their lines together. Wish they sounded more like Celareons though.
 * redsniper feels dumb
 Battuta:  Well folks, I better hit the hay... Good news, ngtm1r actually likes War in Heaven and even Mobius thinks it's good.
 Snail: Mobius?
 Redsniper: I thought maybe you knew a guy that knew a guy that worked with a radio telescope.
 Redsniper: And somehow got a sample of some space noise for the Vishan sound effects o_O
 Battuta:  Nah Darius pretty much just talked his way into the scope then we just had to train it towards N362 ...
 Fury:  Battuta: haha, I wonder how long it takes for shiv to like it. If that ever happens.
Battuta:  Fury`: Well he liked AoA enough to do a campaign riffing off it...
 Darius:  Battuta: Wonders never cease...
 Redsniper: wait, we have BP parodies now?
 Battuta:  And then I guess he hated it after that for some reason? And then he liked the director's cut a lot ... so whoooo knows ...
 Stormkeeper: Hai gais.
 Battuta:  Politics!
 Stormkeeper: About to head out, but had some time, so popped a look at WiH.
 Darius:  I think ngtm1r is a pretty cool guy
 Stormkeeper: Only got past the first cinematic, but I needed a handkie, cause there was drool over my shirt.
 Darius:  he secretes a lot of acid and doesn't afraid of anything
 Battuta:  Yeah if you want to interview us again when you're done just let us know :P
 Stormkeeper: Then it crashed on me, but I think I've figured out the problem. So, off for my driving~
 Battuta:  Stormkeeper: well let us know if you need any troubleshooting. Good luck out there!

Interview Part 2

 The E: Stormkeeper?
 Axem: zoemgead
Stormkeeper: Yep yep.
Stormkeeper: Doing a bit of work hang on
 Battuta:  there we are
 Axem: interview's over
 Battuta:  we want to do this now or do it later? holy crap it's late for The_E
 The E: Yes, it is
 The E: Which is why I vote for now
 The E: Assuming Stormkeeper can do it
 Battuta:  all right, let's do it if he's up for it
Stormkeeper: Somewhat difficult for me now. But yeah, let's do it.
 Battuta:  you sure?
 Battuta:  we can shoot for another time
 Axem: its not like any of us are dying of cancer
 Battuta:  do you have questions lined up? if you need time to prep
 Axem: :o
 Battuta:  indeed, axem, it's true
 Axem: are there snakes on your plane?
 The E: Snakes are mandatory equipment on planes
 Stormkeeper: I don't have anything atm, tbh.
 Battuta:  well
 Stormkeeper: But I'll manage.
 Battuta:  it might be easiest for you if you had a chance to think through the campaign and missions and stuff
 Battuta:  but okay, yeah
 Stormkeeper: My motto: Just Wing It.
 The E: Let's wing it to hell
 Stormkeeper: Alrighty then.
 Battuta:  go go go
 Stormkeeper: Alright.
 Stormkeeper: Tonight, we have the BP crew.
 Stormkeeper: Again.
 Stormkeeper: Say hi, guys.
 The E: 'Ello
 * Axem o/
 The E: Excuse Battuta. He's shy.
 Battuta:  Hi!
 Stormkeeper: Have a biscuit, Battuta.
 * @Stormkeeper gives Battuta a biscuit.
 Stormkeeper: So the last time we left off, I hadn't played the campaign.
 Stormkeeper: I have now.
 Battuta:  Yes. I understand you were pleased?
 Stormkeeper: Therefore I would like to congratulate you all on a job damn bloody well done.
 Stormkeeper: Anymore awesome would have cause the world to explode.
 The E: Damn. There go our plans for part 2. Guys, we need to rethink this. :P
 Stormkeeper: Indeed.
 Battuta:  Indeed.
 Stormkeeper: Wouldn't want the world to end before 2012.
 The E: Seriously though, thanks for the compliment
 Battuta:  We are unfortunately still relying on the world to keep ourselves oxygenated and our fans busy, at least until our orbital comes online.
 Axem: is that the comet?
 The E: Shhhh
 Stormkeeper: Comet? What comet? The Red Comet?
 The E: The Comet Axem wasn't supposed to tell people about
 Axem: yeah that one
 Stormkeeper: Oh? Do tell, Axem?
 The E: Now THAT plan has to be abandoned as well
 Stormkeeper: I'll mute the rest of them, so do tell. :p
 Axem: i have said too much...
 Battuta:  Speaking of enhancing awesomeness in part 2, we'd be happy to talk about our plans for that later in the interview. But Part 1 was pretty meaty as well, I think, even if it had us terribly nervous right up until release.
 The E: Yes
 Stormkeeper: WiH was a very nice blend of twists, surprises, awesome music, good mission design, awesome music, OMFG moments and awesome music.
 Stormkeeper: So, let's start with the plot.
 Battuta:  well, did you like the music?
 Battuta:  oh okay, plot's good too!
 Stormkeeper: Of course I liked the music. 5 minutes after I finished the campaign I tore open the vps and started hunting for all the music.
 Stormkeeper: But more on that later.
 The E: So, Plot.
 Stormkeeper: So we knew that we'd be playing as the UEF.
 Stormkeeper: And that they'd have no beams.
 Stormkeeper: Why didn't you want to give them beams?
 Stormkeeper: Would've been easy to say the captured a vessel and reverse engineered it.
 The E: Well, we wanted to build a different dynamic between UEF fighters and UEF capships
 Battuta:  Indeed. We've had a lot of beams.
 Stormkeeper: And you had enough of beams?
 Battuta:  Well, we thought that we could provide a different model of player agency by changing the fighter/capship role.
 Battuta:  In FreeSpace 2 your warships are very powerful against other warships, but pretty limited (comparatively) against fighters.
 The E: When you're flying for the GTVA, your best tactic is to keep a healthy distance between you and any caps
  The E: Because there might be instant beams of doomy death at any second
 Battuta:  Yeah, the player generally needs to stand clear of friendly beam fire and run a pretty loose screen against hostile bomber attack. With the UEF, we wanted to make their ships sort of these mobile 'safe spots' against our newly en-ruthlessed GTVA pilots.
  Stormkeeper: Just for the record, I got slapped around more than once by the shotgun flak.
 The E: So we gave UEF ships uber-awesome flak and AAA capabilities
 Stormkeeper: Yeah you did.
 Battuta:  Yeah, it can a bit rough. You also have to watch out for the Karuna's brutal melee attacks.
 Stormkeeper: More dakka is what you gave them.
 Stormkeeper: The Orks would love the Karuna.
 The E: Karuna PUNCH!
 Stormkeeper: ... lulz.
 Battuta:  Since Fury isn't here this time around I want to make it clear that the UEF ship loadouts are his work. As is the AI and really just so much of what BP2 great.
 The E: Yes. This mod couldn't work as well as it does without Fury's balancing efforts.
 Stormkeeper: Oh that was made pretty apparent during the first interview. Indeed it couldn't. All hail Fury!
 Axem: God rest his soul... Wait.
 Battuta:  All in all we felt that the UEF didn't need beams. That was Darius' call first and it was one all of us maintained.
 Stormkeeper: Well, it was certainly justified.
 Battuta:  An asymmetric balance model was something that hadn't been really explored in FreeSpace 2 modding to a great extent in the past, and it ultimately made for some fairly rewarding gameplay.
 The E: Besides, all the good beam colours are taken already
 Stormkeeper: There's always purple.
 Axem: or pink
 Stormkeeper: I think purple beams would be good, really.
 Stormkeeper: Anyway, moving along ... I'm sure I wasn't alone in feeling a certain amount of apprehension facing the GTVA. I mean we were fighting fighters and caps we knew well ... We knew their capabilites, and just how deadly or potato-like they were.
 Battuta:  That's good. We tried to defamiliarize the familiar in a sense by giving them new capabilities. You've killed a lot of Myrmidons but you haven't killed them when they were running with human-like AI and fire rates. And you've maybe fought Ares but not fought waves of them launching Trebuchets.
 Stormkeeper: Yeah.
 Axem: Or Myrs with balors
 Stormkeeper: The Treb waves were a nice touch.
 Battuta:  There's a medieval tradition called 'showing the instruments' where a torturer would display his various knives and awful gizmos to the victim before beginning the actual nastiness.  That was what we tried to do in mission 2, the loss of the Akula and Ranvir. Which if you've watched the directory's commentary actually came in pretty late in development, comparatively. It wasn't on the original 30-mission outline.
 Stormkeeper: Oh?
 The E: Yeah, it's basically there to underline several important points and establish a few capabilities on both sides
 Stormkeeper: Like Treb strikes, AWACS calling in SSM runs?
 The E: Yeah
 Battuta:  Yes. And it does something else important, which is put a finger on the scales to counteract gameplay selectivity bias. Whenever you're playing a game you need to give the player the ability to act to win, and if you're winning in FreeSpace that usually means you're going to be blowing up hostile warships, and saving friendly ones.
 Stormkeeper: Usually.
 Battuta:  Which in turn leads to this phenomenon where every single enemy ship that jumps in gets blown up and most of the friendly ships that show up don't. We really wanted to steer away from that, because it poisons the storytelling and undermines our drive to make the war feel like a losing fight.
 Battuta:  We had this big OrBat, a list of every friendly and enemy ship that was important to our campaign, and at some point we just felt there were too many GTVA ships blowing up and not enough UEF ones. Thus, m02.
 The E: On the other hand, we wanted to show that the UEF ships, despite their lack of beams, were no pushovers
 Stormkeeper: I think you did spectacularly well on that account.
 Battuta:  Well thank you, good sir.
 Stormkeeper: You really gave the GTVA a lot more organization that in FS 2.
 The E: And here comes our glorious leader
 Stormkeeper: Zomg, the Maker comes!
 Darius:  Sup dawg.
 Battuta:  THERE we are. Hallo bossman, haven't missed much.
 Darius:  "Bless the Maker and his coming."
 Axem: So i guess i can put away this darius costume?
 Stormkeeper: The Maker breads those who come into his presence!
 Darius:  Anyway, as you all were. I'll pick up the thread of it as we go along :)
 Stormkeeper: You really gave the GTVA a lot more organization that in FS 2.
 The E: Anyway, regarding your last statement, we wanted to make the GTVA feel like a force to be reckoned with, like a real, actual military
 Stormkeeper: Not like a black man tossing fighter wings at destroyers?
 The E: Yes
 Battuta:  That wasn't totally new, either. The AoA GTVA really seemed to have its stuff together, though it was an elite unit.
 The E: The new AI helped immensely, by giving the fighters an edge they would have lacked otherwise
 Stormkeeper: Yes, it did. I don't believe I've seen Myrms stick in close formation and sweeping around a cap like that before.
 The E: And by letting the GTVA pull out damaged ships, we got the sense that there's a military with limited ressources on the other end of the conflict
 Stormkeeper: Made me Dive, Dive, Dive!
 Battuta:  Yeah, the limited resources thing was important. We spent a while making sure that the GTVA couldn't just throw all its ships into Sol and storm the place.
 Stormkeeper: Just out of curiosity, did you all actually keep a written records of what ships you allocated to the GTVA?
 Battuta:  Yes, in the Sol theater.
 The E: We did. Then Battuta lost them.
 Stormkeeper: ... Lol.
 Battuta:  I accidentally overwrote them with an update The_E did. We should've stored them in SVN. Though the resolution was fairly low for ships not directly present in missions, we knew the structure of the various battle groups and so on.
 The E: Yeah
 Battuta:  We also struggled a lot with how much Hecates suck and how little fun it is to FRED with them.
 The E: It's part of Steele's unofficial backstory
 Stormkeeper: That he hates Hecates?
 The E: Yup
 Axem: Poor hecate :(
 Stormkeeper: Steele being the competent admiral.
 Battuta:  Yes. Though we like to think all the admirals are competent.
 The E: Except Severanti
 Stormkeeper: Command makes me wonder sometimes... So, you have an Orion, a Raynor and ... the Imperieuse.
  Battuta:  I think Severanti's perfectly competent.  He just had a very different agenda,.
 The E: Don't forget the Hood and the Meridian
 Stormkeeper: Oh right, I almost did.
 Stormkeeper: By the way, why a lesbian? It's not hot if you don't get to see it. =P
 Battuta:  Well, funny story there.
 The E: Well, we didn't have the budget for live action video....
 Battuta:  First and foremost, because we are by and large of the opinion that - in the world of War in Heaven - it doesn't matter. It's not a big deal. There was no agenda behind the decision. Laporte was actually originally a man named PIeter, back in the alpha, and ultimately we decided the story worked far better with a female lead for very important metatextual reasons.
 Stormkeeper: ... Metatextual? Is that even a word?
 Battuta:  Yes, absolutely.
 The E: Yep
 Stormkeeper: Hmm, it is.
 Battuta:  If you want specifics, there were a couple primary reasons.
 Stormkeeper: Quick intercession, gotta wash my parts, brb.
 Axem: :|
 Redsniper: ...
 Battuta:  :/ I hope he meant pants. Though I guess that's no better
 Axem: Still that’s not any better. Well ill entertain you in the meantime
 * Axem juggles
 Stormkeeper: ... No I actually meant parts. Model kit parts. I was removing their seamlines when I read your PM, and I can't just leave it half done so I'm still doing that. And thinking of how to start a fan-fiction. Plus managing the stove to cook lunch. And deciding if I should go for my lessons today.
 Stormkeeper: Anyway. Specifics?
 Battuta:  Well, first off, War in Heaven is a formal inverse of AoA. I think we talked about that to a degree in the first interview? It's hard to remember what we covered. There's a second reason we can't discuss, and the third is, I think, that our society - today, not necessarily in the 24th century - views women as the gentle, kind gender.
 Battuta:  Which makes a female character a better pick for a story that explores the psychology of violence and empathy and themes like that. I know my work on the story was very influenced by Dave Grossman and S. L. A. Marshall.
 Stormkeeper: It sounds like you spent a lot of time on the plot.
 Stormkeeper: Fine tuning it and all that. Was the decision to turn Pieter into Laporte done before FREDing or after FREDing started?
 Battuta:  It was done when design work on the final campaign began. Which was after the aborted Alpha we discussed back in the first interview, I believe. And yes, we spent a lot of time on the plot. And the dialogue. The_E, Darius and I all had our own dialogue strengths.
 Stormkeeper: Hahah, you made this scincilllating statement last interview:  Battuta:  Laporte was a man!
 Battuta:  Indeed.
 Stormkeeper: But you were in charge of the plot overall, Battuta?
 Battuta:  No.
 The E: That's Darius' child
 Battuta:  Darius wrote a thirty-mission outline for R1 and R2 right at the start of post-alpha work.
 The E: We're just sort of riffing on his concepts, fleshing them out, that sort of thing
 Battuta:  We all contributed in our own ways to it.
 Stormkeeper: Then we have him to thank for the glorious bait-and-switch the GTVA pulled on the Wargods in the last mission.
 Battuta:  Nobody's in charge of anything on BP; we're very freeform. Everybody can pitch in to just about anything else.
 Battuta:  And no, that was a team effort. I don't think you'll be able to get any of us to accept credit for any given plot event.
 Stormkeeper: =( Okay.
 Battuta:  We're just too cooperative about it.
 Stormkeeper: So we have the whole crew to thank for the glorious bait-and-switch the GTVA pulled on the Wargods in the last mission.
 Battuta:  Indeed.
 The E: Reason being that in most cases, we can't remember who came up with what
 Stormkeeper: I think that was my favorite part, to be honest.
  Battuta:  I do recall that being in the first draft of Delenda Est, which was my first mission, but like everything else it changed a great deal.
 Stormkeeper: Because, to be honest, I found myself cheering for the GTVA in that mission.  I rather liked that Admiral.
 Axem: you traitor
 Battuta:  Steele's really gone over well.
 The E: Yes. Steele. We love him as well.
 Battuta:  Calder doesn't get enough love, though, and Byrne's playing an interesting game.
  The E: Yes, but that's our fault for not really letting Calder do something very awesome. I mean, Steele only has one in-mission appearance, but he's mentioned in almost every mission
 Stormkeeper: Calder is the Imperius' admiral?
 Battuta:  No, Calder is the commander of the UEF Third Fleet. The Jovians. He's the one who brings the Toutatis in to break the Hood's blockade in mission 10.
 Stormkeeper: Oh right... I don't like him. He seems driven by vengeance a  bit too much.
 Battuta:  He may have a bit of an Ahab complex there. I'm glad that came through.
 Stormkeeper: By the way, you all know TVTropes has awarded Steele the 'Magnificent Bastard' label?
 The E: Yes, we are. hey're not wrong.
 Battuta:  Yeah, we've seen the TVTropes page. That was awesome, and it made us really happy. In general we've just been totally blown away by how well received War in Heaven has been. Both the download numbers and the praise are blowing even Age of Aquarius out of the water. If it were to magically continue to be downloaded at its current rate for the next nine months (it won't), it would do as well as FreeSpace 2 did in its first nine months.
 Stormkeeper: Seems quite an accolade that they even dug up his full name to put there.
 Battuta:  Well bear in mind that I'm pretty sure a number of HLP members contributed to that page.
 Stormkeeper: That's quite true.
 Battuta:  So do we want to talk about any specific features? We were pretty proud of a number of them. The checkpoints, the dialogue mission. We were also very nervous.
 Stormkeeper: No need to be anymore.
 The E: No, you were nervous,
 Battuta:  All right, yes, I was nervous.
 Axem: We needed to drag Battuta away from it
 The E: The rest of us were mildly apprehensive
 Battuta:  A lot of our missions felt like gambles, and I'm not sure we'd do some of them again. Yet stuff we - not just me - thought was weak, like mission 5 with the Gef hostage, turned out to be favorites.
  The E: Yeah, all things considered, we pretty much feel that the beginning of the campaign is waaaay too talky in places
 Stormkeeper: Really? I liked the Vasudan peace mission. The one you rescue the Fish logistics ship. And then the tentative peace.
 Battuta:  That's fairly late, though. And we still felt that one was too talky, though it turned out people loved it.
 Battuta:  Just goes to show how much these things can surprise you.
 The E: I mean, it's still solid work, and there's nothing truly wrong about it, but up until mission 6, where you switch fleets, the whole plot moves rather slowly
 Battuta:  Act 1 is not our favorite act. I never felt like Kassim and Brie really gelled as characters. Simms and the Wargods work a lot better. And it's going to be interesting to see how that pans out as we move forward into Act 3 and beyond.
 The E: Yep. Good thing we dropped them from the plot. Brie and Kassim, I mean.
 Battuta:  Well, 'we' didn't do that so much as 'it happened'. That was always in there, even from the Alpha;  Kassim's breakdown, Laporte's transfer.
 The E: Yes.
 Battuta:  By the way, The_E, I think we might be able to tease R2 a little by sharing the Act 3, 4, and 5 names at some point.
 The E: True.
 Stormkeeper: Oooo. Do share, do share.
 Battuta:  We've also been pleased by all the fan speculation. We know exactly what's going on through the end of the story so we were able to drop some pretty specific hints. Though there's an enormous one, present in ever mission of the game, that's staring people in the face and yet I suspect won't be noticed for some time.
 Stormkeeper: o_O I believe this interview will cause a flurry of BP replaying. You devious bastards.
 Battuta:  Oh! That reminds me, there are also hints in the AoA Director's Cut that have yet to pay off. People might find some interesting material there if they were canny.
 Stormkeeper: ... Yep, many people will be replaying BP these few days.
 Stormkeeper: OKAY, on to the MUSIC. It. Blew. Me. Away.
 Battuta:  I'm glad. But bear in mind we only mastered the tracks! Relatively few of the R1 pieces are original compositions. They're drawn from a great many places.
 Stormkeeper: You have a complete source list?
 Battuta:  Of course, it's in credits.tbl.
 The E: It's all mentioned in our credits
 Battuta:  We do have two musicians on staff now, but since Blue Planet started out as such a small project they didn't come in until fairly late, which is another thing I think's worth mentioning, how organically and rapidly BP grew. We never recruited, people just made cool stuff for us and offered it and we took them on.
 Battuta:  It still boggles my mind how fast we got R1 done.
 The E: Yeah, that's how it works
 Stormkeeper: So if I made a flying popcorn box now and offered it to you, I'd get on?
 The E: If it was a truly epic flying popcorn box, yes.
 Stormkeeper: Awesome!
 Stormkeeper: Did you take long to match the tracks to the mission? I can tell you know that the ominous latin chanting in Delenda Est sent shivers down my back.
 The E: Most times, the way it works is that Battuta or Darius come in with a mission, and then ask whoever is present in the dev channel, "What music might fit here?"
 Battuta:  Yes. And then we all throw links at each other.
 The E: Darius not so often, of course
 Battuta:  We're pretty careful about matching the tone.
 Stormkeeper: Well, you did very well there.
 Battuta:  Thanks.
 Stormkeeper: Now, the ships. Specifically the fighters. I noticed the UEF had only a few strike craft. While the GTVA had a veritable horde of choices to use to inflict pain, misery and suffering on you. Was this also meant to highlight the differnces in the factions or did it just happen?
 Battuta:  Really?
 The E: Compared to what? They do have at least one craft for every role, which is enough
 Battuta:  Their roster is smaller than the Terran half of the GTVA overall, but the do all right, and we barely had enough missions as it was to spotlight the ships we had.
The E: Hmm , we did limit the GTVA's choices very much
 Battuta:  We didn't generate any new models for the UEF fighters. Those are Steve-O's work.   And we didn't use the Ainsarii, Izrai'il, or Vajradhra in R1.
 Stormkeeper: True, but there's still a lot less UEF models then GTVA ones.
 The E: The differences are more in terms of capabilities
 Battuta:  Yeah, I'd concur with that.
 The E: UEF ships are, in general, way more powerful than GTVA fighters, but on the other hand, there aren't that many of them
 Stormkeeper: To me, at least, it seemed to highlight the differences in how the two factions came around. The UEF had relative peace, only dealing with pirates and terrorists. Whilst the GTVA dealt with that AND Shivans, so had a far more versatile arsenal as a result of that. That's what it was telling me; the difference in ship choices. Was it intentional?
The E: I wouldn't call the GTVA arsenal more versatile
 Battuta:  It was half intentional and half a happy accident. We had the ships we had.
 The E: Most of the GTVA ship roster is made up of obsolete ships
 Battuta:  The UEF had all the ships it needed for the story we were telling - a bit more, actually - and we even passed up one Steve-O ship as unnecesary.
 The E: Like, for example, all Bombers that aren't Artemis
 Battuta:  And yeah, the GTVA bomber force could really use an overhaul. It is terribly late for many of us. We should try to wrap up.
 The E: It's late for me
 Stormkeeper: Yes, I'm about to actually. I need to go out soon.
 The E: And I shall head out at this time, for I am really, really tired
 Stormkeeper: Alrighty. Thanks for joining us to night, gents.
 The E: Have a good night, folks
  Battuta:  Good night, Mr. The_E   He has a cameo in the campaign, along with at least one other HLPer who might be surprised to find himself in there.
 Stormkeeper: I ... don't seem to recall. He wasn't a GTVA pilot was he?
 Battuta:  It's fairly subtle.
 Stormkeeper: Because I was kinda massacring them wholesale with infinite glee and joy. The tight formations were impressive, but not if you were behind them unloading your dumbfires and primaries into them.
 Battuta:  Anyway, I'm happy to discuss mission design choices or any of our new features, but we should close up with those promised act names pretty soon and call it a wrap.
 Stormkeeper: Yes, yes. Act names.
 Battuta:  We haven't really touched on plans for R2, but I think that can wait until we're further along in development.
 Stormkeeper: Do tell.
 Battuta:  Well could I just get your reaction to the ending first? I think we were all pretty proud of Sunglare.
 Stormkeeper: Oh, Sunglare?
 Stormkeeper: My reaction?
 Stormkeeper: I went, out loud...
 Stormkeeper: What.
 Stormkeeper: The.
 Stormkeeper: ****?!
 Darius:  :)
 Darius:  Sunglare was a great combined effort I think
 Battuta:  It really was. And it came after so much frustration.
 Stormkeeper: Yeah it was awesome.
 Stormkeeper: And after it ended I screamed in rage and fustration because now I would have to wait for part 2.
 Battuta:  We tossed out three attempts at that mission, and then Darius and I both stumbled on great ideas simultaneously and pulled them off. I was pretty staggered at the time by Darius warping in the entire moon.
 Darius:  it was one of those FRED ideas that come to you when you're just about to fall asleep. I think the design process for that mission speaks for the entirety of part 1 :P
 Stormkeeper: Well, it might've cause a lot of problems, but I think in the end it was very worth it.
 Battuta:  It was. It wasn't until we nailed that mission that we really started to feel we had a winner on our hands. I will hand things off to Darius now if he wants to add any more.  At the moment War in Heaven R2 will have three acts, titled Penumbra, War in Heaven and Revenant. Axem is loping forward on mission design and I am bumbling about ctrl-clicking as usual. Progress is good.
 Darius:  I think I've said everything previously
 Stormkeeper: Revenant?
 Stormkeeper: Penumbra, WiH and Revenant, eh?
 Stormkeeper: Very intersting titles.
 Stormkeeper: So gentlemen. Thanks for dropping by.
 Stormkeeper: Staying up late and sacrificing you sleep and such.
 Stormkeeper: Have a cookie.
 * @Stormkeeper hands out cookies.
 Caiaphas:If I may ask, will the acts be of similar length to the ones in R1?
 Darius:  Thanks for having us Stormkeeper
 Battuta:  Orite! Q&A! Let's do some Q&A
 Stormkeeper: Now is time for Q&A. Carry on.
 Battuta:  Caiaphas: looking at the outline, they will be...roughly comparable
 Battuta:  The missions themselves are going to be a bit meatier. Even the biggest R1 mission, Delenda Est, was fairly on-rails compared to some of the R2 stuff.
 Redsniper: Yeah, I get that you're trying to eliminate Alpha 1 syndrome and all but... the player feels downright ineffectual in a lot of missions.
  Battuta:  That's an interesting remark, because while it may feel that way, we tested all our combat missions for self-playingness. Relatively few of them are. We have some interesting tools to allow the player to have a significant impact on large battles, including the RTS pointbuy system and a few other tricks.
 Redsniper: Will we be doing cool crazy stuff with the Fedayeen in R2, or would that be telling?
 Battuta:  That would be telling, however you will be flying the Ainsarii!
 Redsniper: What about the Lao?
 Battuta: You'll get a chance to meaningfully fly all the ships that didn't get spotlighted in R1, yes.
 Redsniper: :3
  Battuta:  And I'm out, if there are no questions from droid803 or anybody else
 Battuta:  Night night
 Battuta:  yes?
 Caiaphas:Will we be surprised at how things turn out?
 Battuta:  Well that depends on how you expect things to turn out! But yes, R1 was very much setting the stage. there's a lot yet to come, and we are not interested in simple or predictable things.
 Caiaphas:Saying 'yes' would have been a perfectly excusable non-answer, Battuta.  Why make things harder for yourself?
 Battuta:  Sith lords are my speciality. G'day, chaps!

The interview was carried out in two different times, so hence the split. They are in chronological order though. So Part 1 was before I played WiH, and Part 2 was after.

Damn, this one took long. The first interview was like what, four months ago?

--- Quote from: Stormkeeper on November 24, 2010, 08:14:40 am --- Stormkeeper: Quick intercession, gotta wash my parts, brb.
 Axem: :|
 Redsniper: ...
 Battuta:  :/ I hope he meant pants. Though I guess that's no better

--- End quote ---

--- Quote from: Stormkeeper on November 24, 2010, 08:14:40 am --- Battuta:  We never recruited, people just made cool stuff for us and offered it and we took them on.

--- End quote ---
Not entirely true. We did try to recruit modelers/texturers several times.

Hot damn, even the interview contains twice as much text as the other mods' :D

--- Quote ---At the moment War in Heaven R2 will have three acts, titled Penumbra, War in Heaven and Revenant.
--- End quote ---
Revenant?  If the secret project turns out to be a pimped-out Lucifer head with working superlasers and ****, we will all have to bow down before the awesomeness.


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