Independent Game Festival Winner - Challseus
Profile by Jay Watamaniuk
Since the release of Neverwinter Nights, a stampede of fans have bent, twisted, broke, and flat-out reshaped the basic game into countless worlds, stories, and settings for players to explore. This year was the first time the Independent Games Festival (IGF) awarded recognition to the top talent within the rich Neverwinter Nights modding community and across several types of game genres. The IGF was established to encourage creativity and to support innovation and talent outside of the mainstream world of game development, and the awards were part of the Games Developer Conference held in San Jose. Of the five nominations, which are all exceptional examples of creativity and hard work, community modder Challseus was chosen to represent his community for his work on Rose of Eternity - Chapter 1.
The first ever Modding Competition and you walk away with the big prize. Surprised?
Challseus: Of course! You can't go into these things knowing what the outcome will be. That said, I am very happy with the results. It was the perfect way to cap off 2 years of hard work!
When did you hear you had won?
Challseus: I was lucky enough to attend the Game Developers Choice Awards in San Jose, so I was able to accept the award in person when they announced it. Let me tell you, these awards are like the Academy Awards for video games, so I was just honored to be there. Being surrounded by so many famous developers, such as the makers of the PS2's God Of War and Shadows of the Colossus made the entire experience very surreal. After I came back to reality, I realized I was sitting near Richard "Lord British" Garriott. How cool is that?!
I expect longtime RPG fans would know Richard "Lord British" Garriott is the insidious gent responsible for the Ultima series that robbed much of our collective youth. Did he glow with the power cosmic?
Oh, he did indeed.... It was quite scary and awe inspiring at the same time. Makes me wonder how that player from the Ultima Online BETA could actually attempt to kill him in game. Attempt to kill *the* Lord British.... Blasphemy, I tell you!
What do you think of your competition?
Challseus: I have nothing but the utmost respect for them. It's just a shame that not all of them could make it to the Independent Games Festival. I did get to meet the maker of Runes of Blood, Brian "Mad Wombat" Watson, however, which was pretty cool. Shout out to him for being such a cool guy, and easing my nerves before the award show. Nothing better in the world than to speak face to face with a fellow modder from the community. Also, big up to Craig Bernardo, who was the Executive Producer for another one of the nominated modules, The Hunt. He was gracious enough to introduce me to some people at BioWare during the Game Developers Conference, and during the BioWare after party (man, they really know how to throw a party!) he pointed me in the direction of a few more. His enthusiasm and support was unparalleled. Finally, props to Tricia Serju, who is the Director of Game Industry Relations over at The Guildhall at SMU (where The Hunt was made). She was nice enough to give me the quick run down on what to expect at the conference. I was a bit nervous when I began to set up my game at the booth we were going to use to demo our game, and she made me feel right at home. Just another example of the kindness you encounter in this wonderful community of ours.
Has this inspired you to create more Mods? Another chapter perhaps?
Challseus: Whether I won or not, I already planned on releasing the sequel to Rose of Eternity - Chapter 1 - The Coming, which is called, Rose Of Eternity - Chapter 2 - Cry The Beloved. As crazy as it sounds, I began hard core development barely one week after releasing my first module, which was back in July of 2005. Once I complete my next module, the plan is to take some much needed rest from game development. Although, if Neverwinter Nights 2 comes out earlier than expected, well....
Now that you're a superstar, does J-lo call?
Challseus: Oh yeah! Wait, you didn't hear about her break-up with ex-husband, Marc Anthony? That was all because of me. She couldn't resist the temptations of Challseus, great proprietor of Stramadon, founder of the Last Petal! You can read all about it in the latest issues of People magazine and US Weekly. I believe there is talk of a feature film as well....
Interviews with all the nominated:
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