Behind-the-scenes interview with Michael Raymond-Judy
Heretic might be an old game, but some of
us still love it. For this reason, RambOrc
made a behind-the-scenes interview with level designer Michael
Raymond-Judy of Raven Software. Note that before the interview
it wasn't known that the maps for Heretic have been made by several
people (Mike is listed as the only level designer in the credits
of Heretic), thus some of the questions seem to be contradictory.
In case you haven't yet read it, this interview is a sequel
to the one about the original Heretic. See it here.
Hi Michael. You were Level Designer on
Shadow of the Serpent Riders. Were your tasks any different from
those on Heretic?
Not really. Although there were more people
helping (good thing) which meant sharing the map load eased things
a bit, it also meant more watching what everyone was doing and
making sure it was up to standard and worked together well.
What was the decision behind creating
2 new episodes for Heretic and releasing them? I see a strong
similarity to the re-release of DOOM together with a new episode
as Ultimate DOOM. Was it a conscious decision to follow id Games'
Actually it was more that we needed to fill
a "project gap" until we got Hexen contracts worked out, and we
had a good demand from the public for more material. I also felt
personally that SotSR was what Heretic originally SHOULD have
been- more episodes, more content, and a wider variety of areas.
In some ways it would have been nice to re-order the maps and
move items so you could play the episodes with D'Sparil at the
end, but that's not how it worked out.
How did you work together with Eric,
the other level designer? Did you create maps together or did
you make your maps separately and then put it together to form
the 2 episodes?
We did some of both. We also traded maps
back and forth to get a more "balanced" feel, so I would work
on areas he had problems with and vice versa. It's a way of making
maps that seems to have gone by the wayside (too little time now
I think) but personally I felt it made all the maps feel more
polished. Having more than one perspective is always good, and
when you built something yourself it's hard to step back and say
"it doesn't work". Letting someone else rip it apart and rebuild
it may hurt your pride, but it makes better gameplay.
Shadow of the Serpent Riders has 2 secret
maps at E6M1 and E6M2. Who did create these maps? What was the
inspiration for them? What name would you give these maps if you'd
E6m1 was a map based (very loosely) on the
old Raven office. So maybe "Raven's Lair" would work for that
one :) The other one was built by Brian Raffel, it's kind of a
mix of ruined temple and mine, so I have no idea...
Thank you for your time.
Just send more scotch ;)
the preceding interview with more insider info about the original