Little About Fishmonger
Fishmonger has been producing unique and innovative Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter mods for some time now. His creations are downloaded hundreds of times each, with a running total in downloads approaching the 10,000 mark.
On with the interview!
Q: Which part of the world are
I'm from Germany, but have lived in the US for 21 years now
Q: How old are you?
Q: What made you first think about starting to mod for GRAW?
Well, one day when I was bored at work, I did a little research into what it takes to do it, mostly because some of the maps that appeared at that time were completely unplayable in single death, which is the way we play GRAW at the Gamerplanet. Basically, maps were created for a type of gameplay that we consider completely unrealistic, non-challenging (die run die run yawn), and predictable. Essentially, we were running out of maps that were fun to play, and I was still too much addicted to the game to let this thing die. All it needed were maps made for realistic gameplay.
Q: You are known for creating innovative co-op missions where the difficulty level is automatically adjusted to suit how many players are attempting the mission. did you find it difficult to mod for GRAW at first, and is it easier now?
It was hard at first because you have so many undocumented "gotchas" in the editor. Clearly, the editor was created for in-house development and the error messages you get are targeted at the developers knowledge level. A modder learns by trial and error, and I have seen my share of errors. The more maps I make, the less often the game crashes on initial loads, though.
There've been maps I spent a week or more of work on and had to completely abandon, because I simply could not find the cause of the problem. Those days are the ones when you wonder why you're even doing this mod thing... But then you have a new idea and a few days later you walk around in a world you created. It's like a lego world you can make come to live and walk around in. I often compare it to model railroading.
Q : Which is your favourite mission that you are most pleased with, and why?
That is hard to say, mostly because I see flaws in just about any mission I have created. There are some favorites that come to mind, though:
The most fun for the least time I spent on creating a map has to be Quick_Decision.
That map was created to debug a problem with second round crashes on maps using the Industrial texture set only (and yes, on LAN server, all maps using Industrial objects will crash on second round load, no matter what size they are). The map was so small that on one afternoon I decided to put a few bad guys on it to have something new to play that evening. Well, it turned out to be a very explosive and action packed mission.
For the most complex world and mission overall I like Kiss the Ground, as it is an evolution of Tango dont Surf, the first map that uses some scripting tricks to force non-linear gameplay in OGR.
KISS THE GROUND
Kiss the Ground just works a lot better being slightly smaller and keeping the number of compositions at a minimum (another sloppy dedicated server code problem - compositions only work in round 1 of a multiround game).
Q: Which other GRAW mods made by other modders have impressed you?
There's only one we use and I am impressed with it because I have no idea how to do any of this weapons modding - Brettzies v 4.0 mod is what we use once a week on "mod monday" - too bad the mod forces us to play with password because anticheat and weapons mods don't mesh well in GRAW, so we turn off the anticheat that day to be able to use some fun weapons.
Q : Some fans ask why you have never created mods for GRAW2, considering that some look at GRAW2 as the game GRAW should have been. Why have you stayed clear of GRAW2?
Well, that's because the game does not allow us to play decent OGR missions. I spent about 1 hour in GRAW2 online and after being consistently killed by AI shooting me from beyond my draw distance, plus through solid objects, I packed the game away and cleared some hard drive space, hoping GRIN would fix the game. Well, they never fixed those major problems, they actually created more problems with some of their patches.
When I can play with 12 or 16 players in OGR and AI won't shoot me anymore before I can actually see them and return fire, I may look into GRAW2, however, it's clear that the game was just a quick hack to make more money off a successful game. GRIN never fixed major issues that affect OGR game play, probably because they think most people play silly ping-time-wins death match, and, more likely, because it costs money and they already sold the darn game. Too bad, because after this dud, they'll have a very hard time selling a GRAW3 to any of us who still enjoy GRAW1.
Q : Can you tell us a little about the gaming community at TheGamerPlanet, your home on their forums.
It's a tight group of folks who play almost every night, single death only, and with communications to make this work. Without teamspeak, single death can be rather daunting, but in a group of experienced players you can finish maps that appear impossible at first on single death. Adapt your game play to the fact that you have only one life - once you get the taste of that and finish your first mission without being shot you probably get hooked too.
If there's one quality you need to enjoy this type of game play, I'd say it is patience. That's maybe why most of us on the Gamerplanet server are "older" and get our kicks out of more extended missions, rather than a short brutal firefight that's going to leave half the team in deathcam for the next 10 minutes.
Those who don't leave the server once they are dead can learn a lot in deathcam, though. I must say that it took me a few weeks to adjust my own game play to the reality of having just one life, mostly by watching those who had already adapted to that game mode. After you get into it, playing things in respawn mode is just "map testing" in my book.
Q : For all the fans finding your maps for the first time, where can they go to join others playing them co-op?
We play on TheGamerPlanet OGR servers. Usually at least one of them is running, and to see what we have in the map cycle on a given day, this is the post to check on the TGP forum:
also a good place to see the list of maps we work with (below the map cycle), as well as the starting spot to find out more about our Mod Monday games with the password we use, etc.
General server and Teamspeak info is here:
Get teamspeak, join the server, get to know the guys - it will pay off. Some of our regulars at first didn't want to use teamspeak, being afraid that there would be constant chatter while playing, but that's really not how it works. On the TGP sever "dead people don't speak" so you got only the live team on coms. And if there's just one guy left standing and 11 watching, they still keep quiet.
We have seen GRAW 1 servers slowly disappear from the gamespy list, but our server has remained popular with many nights seeing more than 10 players connected for hours. We now regularly have more people playing single death OGR than the most popular TDM server . I assume as long as I can come up with new and interesting maps, that won't be changing anytime soon.
If you're playing GRAW2 because it's "new" and haven't given the original game much thought lately, I suggest you give it another look. Enjoyable game play doesn't need the latest graphics. Even GRAW 1 has it's issues, but as long as it's just the occasional "instakill" AI moment and buggy compositions on dedicated server, I can live with that. Somebody give me a holler when GRAW2 catches up.
Thanks Fishmonger, for all your hard work and GRAW modifications!
You can find all Fishmongers GRAW mods by searching our Ghost Recon downloads section for "Fishmonger".