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Interview with: Ajay Homer
Wraggster: Where were you born, live and family details etc?
Ajay_Homer: I was born in London, England in *gulp* 1965. I currently live in Swindon, Wiltshire. Not the most happening place, but a fairly nice one in which to 'raise the kids'. I'm married, have 2 kids, with one due anytime now; ('can't be soon enough' - my wife)
Wraggster What qualifications do you have?
Ajay_Homer: Very few; I dropped out of my a levels, did a years' computer course (in 1982), then did very little until I trained to be a Nurse for people with learning disabilities from 1988-1991.
Wraggster What made you get into computers?
Ajay_Homer: Initially it was playing the original Space Invaders arcade machine, and Defender on BBC micros they prompted me to do the computer course, which in retrspect wasn't the right one; it was more about (what was then called) "Operating" rather than programming, and although there was money in it, it really bored me senseless, and I left it behind. I didn't really get back into computer related stuff until getting SMS, then a Mega Drive, Saturn, PS and finally a Dreamcast. Meanwhile I got my first pc, a p133 "for work and the kids, kind wife" the first game for which was QUAKE.....
Wraggster What projects/coding have you done previous to any Dreamcast programming?
Ajay_Homer: Well the only previous thing I've done relating to my DCQuake stuff was other Quake mods; firstly a pretty sad one, involving ppl I work with and our place of work. I also wrote small, crappy qbasic programms, the most successful of which (by which you can judge how bad the others were) was a Lottery Simulator ..... oh dear.
Wraggster What was your inspiration to start modding for Quake on the Dreamcast?
Ajay_Homer: As i've said I'd played with Quake modding for pc, but failed to really stick with it, develop the skills, to ever finish anything worthwhile. Then I was reading a Dreamcast Magazine which mentioned DcQuake and a site where you could get it - DCEmulation.
Wraggster How did you start and what programs did you use to start coding?
Ajay_Homer: The software I use for Quake modding are:
Model work: QuakeMe
General gfx stuff: Paint Shop Pro
.Pak editing: PakExplorer
QuakeC editing/coding: EditPad
Progs.dat compiling: Proqcc
Level editing: Wordlcraft
For the more dc/burning relevant stuff:
Wraggster Do you see any updates to your Mods DcRaptors and Raptors Return?
Ajay_Homer: Ermm, maybe. I'm (slowly; life's hetic at the moment) testing, experimenting with and learning about QuakeC ideas and functions e.g. triggerable version of Akuma's SlowMo. If any of these endeavours appear to build on either raptor mod, then I'll release a patch. Otherwise they're done; unless anyone wants to send in their own Raptors levels, in which cas I'll put them out.
Wraggster Would you consider doing mods for DoomDc and also what is your opinion of DoomDc and QuakeDc?
Ajay_Homer: I'll probably not be doing any DoomDc stuff, I've played Doom a lot, but not done any mods or levels for it, so there would be skills to learn, and I don't have the time. DoomDc is really a different thing to DcQuake; it's a home/hobbyist port which gives it a lot more credibility. I was very impressed when I first played it - a hell of a job was done. In many respects DcQuake is a mixed bag, there's much to be impressed about; the colours are strong and vibrant (well the browns are :-) ) and it's amazing that it was done so quick. However animations are crap, and there are some strange and not (well by me anyway) completely understood limitations to it, that hold back modding. I think that's where the quickness of the port lets it down; compare it with dc Quake3arena, and it's failings are apparent.
Wraggster If it were allowed ,would modding for Quake 3 be a possibility?
Ajay_Homer: I've done a couple of awful levels for PC q3a, the whole process is a lot more complicated, especially if you're trying to turn out a single-player mod for what is basically a multi-player game. I'd like to be able to add different models to it (I currently play it as Homer, natch) but I'm not too interested in modding it otherwise. I think the process that would be neccessary to mod it (rip it, mod it, burn it) would probably never be allowed anyway.
Wraggster Do you have any new projects in the pipeline ?
Ajay_Homer: Yep, but it's a long and slow pipeline!
My long-term project is "Devil May Care" a quake tc (details can be found at my site). A lot of what I want to happen with it, in terms of level design and QuakeC is quite complicated (the SlowMo bit is part of it) and I'm on a steep learning curve to achieve it. It also requires a long pre-game and in-game storyline to be written, which is what I'm currently doing. A lot of what might actually appear this year in terms of output, are smaller projects I'm doing to either improve my skills, test out ideas or just to serve as an entertaining deiversion. The first of those have been 2 deathmatch levels. I'm also working on some QuakeC code and sp level. In the back of my mind is a Star Wars mini-mod (about the size of Raptors!) which I'd aim mostly at DcQuake, as it would be a food test of custom textures. I'm waiting for permission to use some very cool S.W. textures, then models, before beginning.