We got hold of BrainFreeze, currently working on the Unreal Fortress mod, and asked him a few questions.
FragZone: Hi there, could you please start by telling us who you are and what project you are currently working on?
BrainFreeze: I'm BrainFreeze, and I work on the Unreal Fortress total conversion mod for UT.
FragZone: How far into development would you say you are?
UnF Team: We're about 70% done.
FragZone: Have you got a set release-date for the first beta, or do you prefer the quite common phrase "when it's done"?
UnF Team: "When it's done" is my mantra When you set a specific release date, you run the risk of either rushing something out before it's complete and wasting everyone's time and creating a backlash, or you miss the deadline and create a lot of hostility. We obviously want to avoid both those scenarios. Nevertheless, beta testing should begin in a few weeks, with the first general public release coming sometime this summer, and later releases with added features to follow that.
FragZone: Will any of the UT or TFC-weapons make a comeback in UnF, and if so, how equal will they be?
UnF Team: Some of our weapons will bear similarities to certain UT or TFC weapons-you can't avoid that without inventing utterly bizarre and unfamiliar technologies - but in all the details they're different, and we're of course including many new weapons and items, too.
FragZone: Can the concussion-grenades seen on your homepage be used for long jumping, to encourage the use of light classes? If so, will you be able to concussion-jump without first dropping the grenade, i.e. handheld concs?
UnF Team: We honestly haven't decided that yet-it's such a thorny issue. If we do include concing (and other grenade and rocket jumps), we won't allow them to be abused. That could mean a number of things: requiring the grenade to be dropped instead of held, only allowing a moderate jump with them, and/or causing a fair amount of damage to the player using them as a trade-off.
FragZone: Are you worried about the competition from other fortress-mods, such as Q3F and TFC?
UnF Team: Not at all. We don't see ourselves as being in competition, actually. Our mod is quite different in many ways from the other fortress mods, both in terms of certain gameplay aspects and most of the details. At the same time, it will be familiar to former TF/C/Q3F players, so they'll get the best of both worlds.
FragZone: Ever since QuakeTF, all the fortress mods have been based on the same classes, even though they have different names. The TFC sniper has the same abilities as the Q3F marksman and so on. Do you plan changing this by creating a whole new class?
UnF Team: Our classes are certainly similar to those in QWTF, but there are numerous differences, both in some of the basic roles and in all the new weapons and equipment they get. Even so, we have been kicking around the idea of adding in a new class or two at a later date, and there are certainly a lot of fans who have been asking for that. The main thing will have to be balance: all classes have to perfectly complement and counterbalance each other for the fortress concept to work, so we'll have to consider new classes very carefully.
FragZone: So far, neither TFC nor Q3F has any built-in features to re-skin the characters. Will you include any possibility for the common player to do that?
UnF Team: Probably, although to prevent the skin cheats you see in other mods--or skins you don't see, as the case may be ;)-- the server will have to have the particular custom skins so everyone can view them. We want to arrive at a compromise that would allow custom clan skins, for instance.
FragZone: Finally, last question. What coloured underwear do you prefer seeing Bill Gates in, pink or purple?
UnF Team: Ask me that question again, but change "Bill Gates" to "Carmen Elektra" - no wait, don't do that - I'd be distracted all day