BeyondUnreal Interview - Scott Dalton, Senior Level Designer, Legend Entertainment
World Press Preview Event: November 7, 2002
Chantilly, Virginia, USAI had the opportunity to speak with Scott Dalton, Senior Level Designer at Legend Entertainment about Unreal II: The Awakening in general and, specifically, some of the new technical goodies. This is in addition to our public Q&A session, which you can read in our Unreal II: The Awakening PreviewQAPete: Let me get my head together a little bit after playing. That's pretty intense stuff.Scott Dalton: It's pretty crazy for us too, because we had a few people in, like friends of various developers who played through the game so we could get that first-time impression, but this is the first time we made it on a big scale, where people really sat down and seen it and played it. I mean, we've been kinda secluded from the outside world, so it's been pretty exciting to have everyone playing it and checking it out.QAPete: The scuttlebutt outside of the room is that the game is great. The weapons demonstration was a good thing to go through, because people really have to see them to believe them.Scott Dalton: Yeah, there's some good stuff in there.QAPete: What do you want to get out to the world. This is your big press event, your first one for Unreal II. What do you want them to know about the game?Scott Dalton: There are all sorts of great things to love in this game. I think it would be important for the community to know the moddability with the game. It's pretty amazingly open, with the tools from UT 2003 in Unreal II, so that's all open to you, but then one thing that I end up talking about a lot are weapons, just because one of my other jobs besides being a level designer is that I do all the weapons special effects. It's really cool, because a lot of the weapons are totally particle-based. So, for example, the Flamethrower is totally particle-based, including the damage it does, deflecting off things, laying down the goo and light that on fire - that's all totally through particles. Basically, when you fire that weapon, your turning on the particle system, and when you stop, you're turning it off.QAPete: Who's responsible for writing your particle system?Scott Dalton: Aaron Leiby. He's one of our Senior Programmers. He has stuff all throughout the game. He has a wide variety of duties. Actually, early on in the development of the game, Epic was saying 'we're not sure we need a particle system. We're doing well without one.' We told them, 'when we came out with Wheel of Time, we just loved the particle system we put in there, so we're definitely writing one if you guys aren't.' So, they're like 'ok, then', so we went and wrote this particle system, and DE (ed: Digital Extremes) did the same thing. So after they saw the stuff we were doing with it, they were like 'ok, you guys are great. We need to have a particle system.'