Little About Davros
Davros is the mastermind behind the awesome GRAW 2 Modding wiki. His tutorials on the wiki have helped other modders produce custom GRAW 2 missions with relative ease. In subsequent interviews we'll be talking to some of these other modders, but for now on with the Davros interview!
On with the interview!
What age are you?
That's a rude question Rocky! Let's just say I am over 40, but according to my wife, I believe I'm still 20.
What part of the world are you in?
Australia - which does make for some late nights when trying to collaborate with others in the UK and US.
When did you start playing GRAW 2?
The moment it was released. A close group of friends and I have been meeting on a weekly basis to play Ghost Recon lan coop for as long as I can remember. We only ever play cooperative as we really enjoy the team play and interactivity necessary for a successful co-op game. Being what you might call mature gamers, we enjoy the consistency and pace of playing as a team against AI - as opposed to the run and gun approach seems to frequent online play.
For those readers who have never played on a LAN before, can you explain the mechanics of how you all get together to play regularly?
Two of my friends live at the same unit in a central part of the city. Every Thursday night a bunch of us catch up after work and drink beers and eat takeway - oh, and play GRAW2. The guys, being avid gamers have 4 PC's between them at the unit and I also bring over my PC as does another mate and we all play on the LAN. It's a regular thing and it's always on.
It's childsplay to set up a lan game in GRAW2, from the multiplayer menu, just select create server, LAN Server and select the maps you want in the session (and options) and click create server. It'll appear in the list of servers on the other guys PC's just as web based server would. The good part about a lan game is the speed...and the yelling that takes place as we all try and avoid the grenade that someone just dropped! Priceless.
When did you start modding GRAW 2?
About 12 months ago. I started with simple tweaks like changing some of the weapons to be, in my mind, more in line with those provided to a future fighting team. For example 6 shot GL, six grenades in all kits and changing the M99 into an M107. I had been grumbling about the lack of co-op missions for GRAW2 for some time, and so like any good manager I delegated. I asked my friend Mark to make one. He stuffed around for so long that a few months ago I decided to do it myself (and no, he still hasn't made one).
What attracted you to making GRAW 2 mods?
Necessity. I did not mod for Ghost Recon series before because there were always plenty of new missions to play, but when GRAW2 missions started to fade around the middle of this year, I decided to step up and have a go.
Once you get your head around the basic structures its actually quite easy, logical and very powerful. Now that I have created a mission though, it's like a new world of possabilities has opened up. There are few things like the thrill of playing god and creating your own mission - and then seeing others enjoy it too. You know how in other peoples missions there is always that bit where you say...why didn't they <insert clever thing here that would just make the mission for you>? Well, with your own mission, you can make it happen!
How easy do you find it to produce a custom GRAW 2 mission?
Easy - without a word of a lie I can crank one out in a day or two - and so can others - as evidenced by Bogie creating his first ever mission in just 21 hours! For many though, it will take a bit longer, but if you follow the wiki (graw2.pbwiki.com) and use the community support at ghostrecon.net, you will have a mission up in no time.
The community of mission makers we now have is just fantastic and growing by the week. There really has never been a better time to jump in and learn the art of GRAW2 mission making. While I will definitely make a few more missions, my main goal now is to continue to support the newly thriving GRAW2 modding community and make it easier for others to create missions.
I created the wiki so that the community had a place to share and build upon our collective knowledge and that's exactly what it has now become. It steps you through the process of creating a mission using words, diagrams, templates and videos to show just how easy it can be to take create that mission you've always wanted.
Making the wiki has been a fantastic journey. As well as providing guidelines and help for many others (it's had 2600+ visitors in 2 months from as far away as Kazakstan and Peru), it also forced me to more deeply understand the mechanics of GRAW and the art of mission (and video) making.
Tell us a little about the mission(s) you have created for GRAW 2 so far.
While my data folder is full of half completed missions - mostly used as learning exercises, Coop-Compound is my only published mission. It was a very steep learning curve for me as I wanted the mission to allow player choice and encouage the players to act like a Recon team. The mission required the characters to take out 2 ADATS to allow air support. If however the players are discovered, the mexicans send in wave after wave of troop choppers until the ADATS are destroyed. I was hoping this would encourage the players to be stealthy and take out the ADATS early.
Interestingly, people seem to ignore the stealth option as they enjoy the thrill of picking off the mexicans as the repell from the choppers. The moral of the story here is that there is just no telling what players will do with your map when you release it! For me the highlight of this mission was working through a number of complex (reusable) scripts for calling helicopters and my personal favorite, player selectable spawn points.
Have you ever modded any other games?
No. While I am a programmer by trade (a long time ago) and so love the challenge of modding, I do not really have time to play or mod any other games....although I might be tempted by Left 4 Dead...
What are you working on now?
Anti-personnel mines for GRAW2. I have been on this one for about 4 months now and refuse to give up on it! I am very close now too. So watch out where you step!
I'm also in the final stages of my "sin-Bin" mod. You can read about it on the forums and see a demo video. The concept here is that time is valuable to the players and if they lose time every time they die they will be more likely to pay attention in the game and not treat it as a run and gun. The player can be released early by one of his team activating a trigger on the map. I am very keen to get some feedback from the community on this idea.
Thanks Davros, for all your hard work on the superb GRAW 2 Modding wiki!