Tell us a little about yourself, Mike, for those
of our readers unfamiliar with you from the RS community.
How old are you? What do you do for a living?
I'm 23, I am a programmer with a
life insurance company (developing front-end systems
and automation apps for the companies various departments/employees).
I've been married for 5 years to Kelly. I spent 4
years in the US Air Force as a Satellite and Wideband
Communications & Electronics Tech (operated, repaired,
and setup comm systems). Spent almost 2 years in the
guard afterward. I'm a civilian again now :)
How long have you been modding computer games?
Since I was 7 or 8 years old. My
father brought me home a TRS-80
from his Coast Guard station when they upgraded their
systems. I learned BASIC programming on that, and
"modded" many of the BASIC games that came
What games have you modded and/or made utilities
Mod wise, Freespace2, Quake I&II,
Total Annihilation, Doom I & II, Operation Flashpoint,
and of course the Rainbow Six series. Utilities wise,
Janes USAF, Freespace2, Quake I&II, Operation
Flashpoint, and again the Rainbow Six series.
What tools do you use to write your utilities?
Visual Basic 6, and Visual C++
What tools do you use to "take apart" things
like character and weapon models and maps?
I've created most of the utilities
I use to reverse engineer the file formats. One utility
represents binary data in colors (very helpful for
spotting patterns). Another utility I created is basically
a suped up Hex/Dec Editor. I've added and built on
it over the 5 years I've modded. It is really quite
a powerful tool, and I'm making plans to release it
in the near future.
How do you find information in a model file, as you
did when preparing your muzzle
Using my hex/dec editor utility.
The first thing I look for are strings imbedded in
the binary format. These are usually good clues to
use in identifying the data contained in a particular
section of a file (i.e. texture file names denote
From there I look for values normally
associated with a format of the given type. For example,
if I'm decoding a GR 3D model file, I'll look for
vertex arrays (usually denoted by floating point values),
surface normals (also denoted by floating point values
grouped into 4's), face indices (usually long or short
It's a long process, usually helped
along by a lot of trial and error in game testing
(i.e. changing values, then looking for the effect
of the change in-game)
Describe your work environment when coding/modding
(computer specs, work area, lighting, music).
I work on a PIII 733mhz PC, with
256mb of RAM, a 40 GB hard drive, and a GeForce2 MX400.
Nothing high end, but it meets my needs. :) My work
area is a simple computer desk in my den, lighting
is usually pretty low (I like low lighting :)). I
usually have Sister Machine Gun or KMFDM blaring in
the background. If not them various movie scores (Braveheart,
Last of the Mohicans, Star Wars, etc) or Electronica
(Juno Reactor, Propellerheads, Cirrus, etc).
What games do you have installed that you actually
Total Annihilation, Earth 2150,
Viper Racing, FreeSpace2, Operation Flashpoint, Tony
Hawk's Pro Skater 2, StarCraft (my disk is currently
busted though :( ), Rogue Spear/Urban Ops, Ghost Recon,
HL Counter Strike, SimCity 3000, and various emulators
(SNES, Genesis, NES).
Are you still making mods and utilities for Rogue
Spear, or have you dropped RS for GR entirely?
I'm still active in the Rogue
Spear community. I'd like to eventually finish my
character modeling utility for RS.
What GR mods/utilities are you working on that you're
willing to tell us about?
At the moment,
nothing. With the announcement by RSE that modding
tools would be released soon, I stopped work on my
own projects. I will be updating my CHR
character utility in the future, likewise I'm
taking a little time of to work on some mods of my
11) What's up with you and Chuck
Due to pending
legal action, my lawyers have informed me not to speak
of any matters concerning Chuck Barris and I.