What types of weapons are you planning to include in the mod?
     For the initial release we're not aiming for too many surprises in terms of weapon loadouts. We already have the assault rifle, sniper rifle, and anti vehicle rocket launcher coded up and in game. There are a few tweaks (multiple grenade types for the assault rifle, mouse wheel zoom levels for the sniper rifle) but it should be pretty familiar to most fps players.
     We have plenty of ideas for some new weapon types but we are waiting to see how the play balance works out before putting too much into production. Players will also have a number of inventory items depending on the player class and role - things like medipaks (to heal other players), binoculars (that can be used to call in airstrikes), and ejector packs. Gameplay is the key element for us so we won't be adding things into the mix unless we think there is a strong gameplay driven reason for doing so.

What gametypes will the mod have in the first release? in future releases?
     We're keen to make sure that we get something released as soon as possible so in practice that will mean that for the first release we only expect to have one game type. At the moment that is pencilled in as CTF - it's popular and the rules are fairly well defined. More Gametypes in future though is a certainty - Assault will probably appear second, but we also have a few new ideas ready in the wings.

How far along in the mod? when do you expect to have a copy released for public consumption?
     Well, Conquest Marines has been going since the start of the year. For the first couple of months the team consisted of Vanilla and myself. During that time we put together most of the background and design. Over the last month or so recruitment has picked up and team numbers have started to increase. Considering where we are now, things have gone really well and as a team we've achieved a huge amount. We've started making regular internal releases of the game code (pretty much every week) and we're constantly getting feedback on how each build plays.
     Our main challenges now are getting the graphics side of things complete and focussing on 'testing to destruction'. We've got some really nice graphics stuff in game already but there is a great deal of work left to do. We're hoping to be able to recruit some more people to help us get those assets completed and hence get the release out sooner.
     On the code side we're really starting to enter into the 'tweak n test' phase - scaling up the number of players and making sure that everything holds together in the heat of a real battle. You can already play with most of the weapons and vehicles on a network game - it's now a question of hunting down all the bugs and getting things ready for the stresses and strains of real life gaming.
     Hehe - I've managed to totally avoid the 'when' question ! If I'm going to have to step up to the plate then I'll say that our goal is to get something out by the middle of the year - June, July time. That would mean about six months from initial concept to a production release, which would be a really impressive achievement.

How do you feel about the upcoming UT2k3 mod competition? will Conquest Marines be entered?
     From what I've read the competition sounds like a great idea. Building a mod is a huge undertaking so it's great to have something like a competition to help spur people on and give them an extra incentive to complete their vision. Details are a little scarce at the moment but from what I can gather it seems like it's a great opportunity to get your work recognised by an even wider audience. As soon as we get some definitive information from Mark and the rest of the guys at Epic we'll be working hard to make sure that Conquest Marines is in a position to enter.

Any other comments?
     If after reading this anyone out there wants to become part of the Conquest Marines team then please get in touch. We are always looking for new people - drop us an e-mail or use the forum at www.ConquestMarines.com to let us know what you can do.
     Also, thanks to BeyondUnreal for giving us the chance to reach a wider audience - it's a great site and I'm constantly impressed with the quality of the articles you guys feature. It's really cool to see Conquest Marines up there on the same page.

No problem on the news posting, after all, it is my job as a pimp here at BU to make sure stuff like that gets done. It looks like a really promising mod. The screenshots below are from "devolper builds", so anything that looks ugly will look ten times better in the final release!

Image Gallery: