nitrous and GriMM share with us what is on the horizon for their mod: Operation: Zero Horizon

First off, can you tell us a little about yourself and the mod?
Sure thing. I (nitrous) am from California, my real name is Rahul (not raul), and GriMM's (being from California as well) real name is Matt. The Mod is based on the current events taking place in Iraq (Also known as "Gulf War II").

Why another realism mod? What makes your mod stand out?
There are plenty of realism modifications in development for UT2003 (as well as other games), and most of the public already knows that. However, I have noticed that a plethora of the online gaming community wants to experience the action that they can only view on CNN today. The single-player plot, as well as the general topic of the whole game, reflects how different the mod is from other mods. Also, most of the features we are including in-game have never been in a multi-player game before. I know I've always wanted to cling to a wall and peak out with a pistol and pop a few shots.

You say on your site something about qualifications for players - is this like what the Army game did?
Not entirely. We do however, require players to finish Basic Training (simple procedures, such as firing weapons, opening doors, crawling etc.) in order to access a multi-player game. This is what many players call a "n00b lock". Everyone who plays, will know how to play.

What is the best feature about your mod?
I think that we have many great features, but two features (I had to pick two sorry :P) stand out the most. One feature is the "cling-to-walls" ability (no not like spider-man). This allows a player to stealthily move while leaning on a wall, to avoid detection by other players. You may also peak out and fire your weapon in this position. Another feature that i find differs us from other games is the ability to change position in the way you move. For example, the three main positions are offensive, defensive, and stealth. In an offensive mode, your player moves faster, and basically plays more aggressively. This is useful for clearing out rooms, or rushing a base. In a defensive mode, your player is a bit slower, but is more accurate and can take cover easily. Snipers can use this as a tactical advatange. In a stealth form, your player moves more swiftly, covertly and is easier to manuveur. However, in a stealth position, you can only use a one-handed weapon. Not bad ay?

How will vehicles be implemented in the game?
Vehicles in multi-player games have become quite the trend since the Tribes and Battlefield 1942 release. However, we are not adding vehicles into the game for trend purposes, but because vehicles are being used in Iraq at the moment. Vehicles are meant for tactical purposes, and not just for running over every human-being you see. To promote teamwork with vehicles we have chosen to add this feature. Let's say you're driving a humvee, and your best-friend is manning the .50 Calibur Machine Gun on top. If you're friend gets a kill with that machine gun, then he is awarded 2 points. The driver, is awarded 1 point for assisting him. Sometimes, vehicles are the objective of your multiplayer game as well. For example, an objective might be "Destroy the light-house with an M1A1 Tank".

Will the single player missions ship with version 1?
Version 1.0 will include 2 full campaigns and a training mission for all of you single-player junkies out there. One campaign will put you in place of a soldier fighting against Iraq. Another will put you in place of a covert operative, on a few assassination missions.

How is devolpment coming?
At this time, we are focusing mainly on getting our models finished and textured. Our coders have worked hard on getting most of the in-game features to work (by the way, cling to walls works ;) ), while our modelers and skinners have been hard at work, doing their job. We expect our first public release to be sometime in late june/early july. This will include 75% of the weapons, 75% of the vehicles, 6 multiplayer maps and 90% of our features (including cling-to-walls and player positions). However, no single-player campaigns will be available (not even training, sorry).

What are the differences between the terrorists and the marines?
First off, Wed like to make a slight correction. Our teams are generally The Iraqi Forces, and the Coalition Forces. Even though they end in forces, they are quiet different. The Coalition Forces have a technological advantage, and that is their advanced weapons and vehicles. The Iraqi Forces will have a more impactful advantage. Iraqi Forces are specialized in explosive equipment. Each team will have its ups and downs, but we will definitely keep balance.

Do you feel it's approriate to make a mod on such a current event? Do you think people will be upset about the production of this mod?
We feel that the public would really like to see a mod like this come out. Many gamers are anxiously waiting to fight the battle they hear about everyday themselves. At the same time, We do know that many people feel sensitive about this. For this reason we are dedicating this modification to all of the soldiers fighting out there today, and the families who await their arrival.

Will you be entering the rumored Epic Mod Contest? what do you feel about this contest?
Hmmm.... The Epic Mod Contest ay? We sure could use that license :). I guess theres no harm in entering it. I think it was clever of the Unreal folk to promote modification creation (hey i made a rhyme) by awarding prizes to the best of the best.

What are your goals for the mod?
Our number one goal is to have a final release to come out before next year. If we can make this happen, without having to change our plans on the way, we should be proud of ourselves.

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