Interview: Jerk, Illusions Software - hosted by Reactor

In this interview, I'm talking with Jerk (that's his nick, not his first name :) the lead guy of Illusions Software, makers of the freeware Blood 2 add-on, named 'Maim'.

Q1) Ok, let's get right to the tough issues to kick off this interview. Reading this interview right now are 50,000 rabid Blood fans hoping desperately for a Blood 3. With GT interactive owning the rights to Blood, and Monolith busy with other projects set in stone, there's pretty much no chance of it ever coming around. Knowing how many Blood fans must feel about this, what do you want to do about it; what has driven you and your team onwards to work on Maim?

A) As weird as this may sound, I'm actually happy with what Blood2 came out to be. I'm not saying it's the best game, but rather a perfect chance for the team to make it be the best. There's so much we can expand on. As for the small size of our team, I'm really happy with their dedication. Keeping in mind that it's near impossible to find anyone who wants to do such a daunting task. All I know is that the team, as well as myself, wants Blood2 to be the best it can be, and that makes this project work.


Q2) Let's be honest here. Maim, to most people, looks like your average add-on, one in a sea of a thousand add-ons now available over the net. With so much competition, why do you think people *shouldn't* just uninstall Blood 2 and forget all about Blood 2's 'one in a thousand' add-on?

A) I try not to release much info on the project at all. I know this isn't good for advertising, and such, but I don't want to spoil the fun. I will tell you this much, though: There are so many neat things being put into Maim that makes it stand out from ALL addons, and even some commercial games! If people decide to uninstall Blood2, so be it. If they don't bother reinstalling it, they'll be the ones missing out.


Q3) OK, so now we understand that, what's the add-on actually about?

A) I'll tell you this much: Maim takes place after the fall of the Cabal (which happened at the end of Blood2). At this point in time, everyone is seeking power, even former Cabal members...The story for Maim is one of it's strong points, and I don't want to ruin anything. There are a lot of twists involved, even things you would never expect. This is a treat :).


Q4) Everyone likes new features. Can you give us a small hint what kinds of new features Maim will contain? You know, all those secret things you've been keeping quiet about... or anything else you'd like to get off your chest... ;)

Secret things will stay secret, until the game is released, sorry :). However, I will inform you that there are quite a few new weapons (some AWESOME ideas never seen before), as well as the chance for all new weapon models. Maim will also sport new enemies, and some modified ones. For the existing enemies, their AI will be improved, and will be much more fun to play against. Only the cool enemies will make it into Maim. I also stated some of the features on the site (Illusions.bloodshack.com). (Note: the site has not been updated for a LOOOONG time because of our webguy who is MIA, and the FTP now be non-accessible)


Q5) There have been some rumors about a new version of Lithtech being used for Maim. Let's just pretend for now that this rumor is true... so, why bother? Aren't Blood 2's code and tools good enough for you?

A) Heh, I was expecting this question :). That rumor is actually somewhat true. We are currently looking into the possible use of LithTech1.5. The current tools are almost unacceptable! I don't even want to get into the problems we face with Dedit (LithTech's level editor). So far, we have been working around them, however, wasting time in the process. Put it this way; newer version, better tools. While most people who are reading this may not care, I believe they should. Newer versions of the LithTech engine have new features as well. The biggest improvement I can see is performance on people's computers. Blood2 will run much faster on their machine, while giving them more eye-candy (People like that).


Q6) What's more important to you- getting Maim finished before Lithtech 1.0 is completely outdated, or getting it to a stage where you're 100% happy with it?

A) Easy answer: when we're 100% happy with it. Hopefully, we will port the game over to a newer version of LithTech, thus, we get the best of both worlds, and so do you.


Q7) For fans interested in Maim, and your team's vision as a whole, what could they do to help?

A) I believe fans could show interest in the project. Let us know what they want, and show us people are actually anticipating it. I believe this will make us work harder to strive for our goals.


Q8) Will character choice work the same as in Blood 2 (Caleb being the only one with a story), or another way?

A) We've actually redone the character selection system in Blood2, to fit our needs. In Maim, depending on your point in the game, you can choose your character (Caleb, Gabby, and Ophelia). In most parts, each character will have their own levels to play on, and different missions. Depending on which character you are, it will affect the outcome in the story. I think people will really like this.


Q9) Will Maim affect Blood 2's multiplayer?

A) No. Maim will not have any new MP (multi player) features. This is strictly single player, which I believe is the most fun. From what I noticed, just about every single user-made add-on out their focuses on MP. This is something we wanted to change, and go back to the roots where first person shooters all began.However, to all those MP fans out their, our programmer continuously releases Blood2 mod patches, which adds many new features in MP, and other things. You can go here: www.planetblood.com/darkact


Q10) Give us a brief idea of one level for Maim you have envisioned. Maybe the one you're most excited about seeing done...

A) Creepy, gothic scenery. Think along the lines of Blood1. Pure evil :).


Q11) Will the rest of your team back you up on the the things you've just said? ;)

A) I suppose if I pay them.... J/K :) I hope so, or else I've got some serious problems.


Thanks to Jerk for taking the time out to answer all of the wacky questions put to him :) For more information on Maim, their website can be found here, along with a forum.

- Reactor

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