And for the last part of today’s edition of A Week in Our Worlds we have an interview with ION Storm’s James Bond look’a’like, Luke Whiteside. Luke dishes the dirt and tells us just what turns him on (you naaassty boyyy!).
1)How did you get the nickname weasl? Are you a sneaky little guy or what?
Ha! Yeah, I was a weasel when I was a child. I was good at setting up situations to get myself out of trouble, or to keep from doing my chores. Things like dumping out all the gas for the lawn mower so I didn’t have to mow our giant rock filled lawn was pretty normal for me.
2)What did you do before ION Storm?
Not much really, playing Quake, drinking to much caffeine, and doing food service jobs like pizza delivery and taco bell. Professional bum I guess.
3)Do you use the same hair-dresser as John?
My hair dresser is my comb at home 🙂
4)We’ve been hearing rumors that you moonlight as a secret agent and frequently go undercover as a Pimp, is there any truth to this?
Shhh you’re going to blow my cover!
5)So tell us a little bit about yourself, besides being a Pimp, what other things are you into?
Actually I’m pretty damn boring outside of being a map pimp. My favorite past time is playing console and computer games. I usually play rpgs, and fighting games, though I of course have a special place in my heart for a good fps games. Right now I’m hooked on Diablo 2, and waiting for Chrono Cross and Valkyrie Profile for the Playstation. I also enjoy watching and collecting anime, and things related to anime. Art books, cels and such. Oh and of course sleeping is great to.
6)What kind of process do you go through while designing a level, and what do you use as Brain Food when you get in a rut?
I usually start with a main theme and a really good idea for a first room. After that I usually just expand from the first room. I also like to sketch out the layout before hand, though this doesn’t always happen. Most of the time I get my inspiration from movies and games, usually a theme or piece of architecture that I really like and incorporate it into a design. The brain food is caffeine 🙂
7)How long have you been designing levels, and for what all games (professional work and hobby)?
Four years I think. I started editing with Duke 3d. I ended up doing levels for Quake, Quake 2, and Half-life. I got my first professional job a year ago, working on Daikatana.
8)In your humble opinion, what is the best level you’ve ever played?
Hmm. Really hard to pick, though in design I loved the Gibbet in Hexen for DM, and also HipDM1 blew me away when I first played it.
9)What level are you most proud of designing?
Probably the one I just finished up. The Forsaken Outpost which is in the upcoming netpak for Daikatana. It was the first map that I got to do profesionally in which I got the time to sit down and do it exactly the way I wanted. I came up with a theme, and Chris Perna got me some great textures to work with. I really liked the way it looks like no other level in Daikatana. Having it stand out from the other levels was really important to me.
10)Do you still see yourself designing levels in 5 years or are there other things you want to pursue in life?
Nope game design is what I want to pursue 🙂
11)What’s the most embarrassing thing anyone at ION Storm has done in your presence?
Nothing that I can think of off the top of my head.
12)Any tips or tricks you want to give would-be designers?
Never give up. I was sending out resumes for almost 8 months before I was hired. Also do your best to make your levels polished and stand out from the crowd. Experiment with new ideas. Learn the limitations of the engines, and learn to exploit the engine in new ways.