We chat about the high-tech UT2003 mod Hackerz with MasterFusion

First of all, can you introduce yourself and the mod?
I’m Deniz Akcakoyunlu aka MasterFusion, project leader of the Hackerz mod. We are developing a team-based multiplayer mod set in year 2040, a time in which the world’s largest conglomerate Averon syndicated with Zentax to overthrow the government and take control over politics, world economic relations and war. The hackers are a group of freedom fighters who are trying to sabotage various projects of those conglomerates to weaken their power. Therefore they need to match themselves with the E.L.I.T.E.s, the special agents protecting Averon’s and Zentax’ facilities.

How will the actual "hacking" be done in the game?
During our brainstorm sessions we had a number of different hacking systems in mind, from very simple, non-interactive solutions to highly complex ones, but we noticed that none of both extremes would have been a good choice, so we decided to have something between a simple and a complex system. It works in the following way:

When a hacker stands in front of the computer, he hits a key and a screen appears, asking to type in a username and the password. Therefore the hacker runs his password cracker, a software which needs 20 seconds to get a valid password. During that process, the hacker can leave the computer and defend his position, making sure he is not becoming a weak victim, and thus we can achieve to get the excitement of a Domination Match, seamlessly integrated into our Assault mode. If no E.L.I.T.E. is able to defeat the hacker in this time, he can type in the username and password and copy the files that are essential to complete the mission objective successfully.**

Will the map styles be mostly urban, or will there be some desert settings?
For Hackerz we are using a broad variety of different map styles. Nearly each map has a different setting. We have a large urban map, a warehouse in an industrial area, a laboratory in the Antarctic, a bunker on a tropical island, and more. We are not focusing on one particular theme, but are trying to design our maps as diversified as possible. However, a desert is one of the settings that we will probably never use in our mod, simply because it is important for us to create visually impressive maps, and that is difficult to achieve with this kind of setting.

This sounds like a very creative game, where did the idea come from?
Well, there is no particular source that we are using as a pattern, nor was there any game or movie that drived us to create this mod. Instead we developed all ideas step by step: I liked that “cool hackers versus heavy-armed soldiers”-concept, which was the theme for the story that a friend of mine had written down. That gave me the basis to compile a list of maps that would fit to the story, and then all maps got their own short story scripts, which are extending the main story to provide the player with more background information. Finally these scripts leaded to various gamemode definitions, making sure that the gamemode of a map is logically linked with its story. That is the framework we are working with, and which we are still editing and extending.

What kind've audience do you think this game will find its home?
This mod will especially address people who like to play in large maps with vehicles and cope with complex mission objectives, but we will also offer Team DeathMatch for gamers who prefer this classic gamemode. However, fun and style is more important to us than realism, so Hackerz is actually not a mod for fans of pure realism. I personally think that most gamers still like a good mix of arcade action and realism, and that’s the way we go.

How is this mod different from every other mod out there?
As regards the first beta of Hackerz, it will only contain the basic features, but I think it will still be very different from other projects. Some of the gamemodes we have thought up are really intensive and innovative I’d say, and our hacking system is more complex than the ones used in other mods. But in order to realize what we are really aiming for, we first need a framework to work with, and that will be the upcoming beta version. When we have finished that, we can go ahead and add stuff like our special move system and more features, making style more important and giving our mod a unique atmosphere that we are trying to convey in this game.

How is development going on?
We are a large team now with talented guys for every type of work, and working with this team is real fun. We are progressing pretty fast, and with each day we are making one further step towards the first beta release. We are making all efforts to release it ASAP, but there is still a lot of work for us to accomplish before we can do this.

Will Hackerz be entered in the rumored Epic Mod Contest?
There have not been revealed a lot of details about this contest yet, but it sounds very interesting to me. The question whether we are going to enter it or not depends on the date when the mods will have to be presented, and if we can show a complete version until then. If we can do so, we will definitely enter the contest, that would be really exciting.

Any other thoughts/comments?
Thx for the interview, I enjoyed answering your questions J.

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