Heretic
Shadow of the Serpent Riders

Insider info

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' example?

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 have to?

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 ;)

 

Visit the preceding interview with more insider info about the original Heretic

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