Legendary modder interview: MIB88

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Dude101, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. Dude101

    Dude101 Vault Fossil
    Modder

    Aug 3, 2005
    This is the final interview in this series. I hope you enjoyed them.

    <blockquote>Who are you?
    My name is Mark and I am 36 years old. Originally, I'm from the Midwest United States. I say 'originally' because my job has taken me all over this country and the world (eastern US, Japan, Greece, S. Korea, Australia, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Ireland, Hong Kong and others). Like another 'legendary modder' (a title I am not entirely comfortable with :P), I too have a super power: I can steal ideas and mods, take them apart, reverse-engineer them, tweak them, and incorporate them into
    my own! :P

    What do you do outside of modding?
    I'm still affiliated with the Navy. They keep me kinda busy. But in my off time I like to travel, read, watch sci-fi, and, my favorite thing - spend time with my family. I'm not married, so if there are any Fallout groupies out there - female ones - hit me up! I promise to make time for them, too! :D

    The Megamod is a personal mod you share with everyone else because you are nice :wink:. Have you ever considered hoarding it for yourself to taunt those that demand things from you?

    Ha! I see you have maintained your sense of humor! :P I can be pretty bad, but I'm not THAT bad! Quite the opposite: I toyed with the idea of making custom mods for a while for those people with special requests. The only time (since it was originally released) that I've considered keeping it for myself was if I'd seen a new mod that someone had made and they didn't want it included in the Megamod. Then I would have added the mod to the Megamod, and just kept that version for myself.

    Do you plan on merging the final version of the RP with the mod?
    Definitely. It's a big mod, of course, so it's gonna take some time. Some elements have already been added, though.

    The MM has gobbled up most other mods already. Do you have any new features planned?
    There are still other mods in progress that I would like to include. I also have bits and pieces of mods made by others that I may go back and complete for inclusion in the Megamod. Two of these that readily come to mind are the New Arroyo mod and the Toxic Caves mod. I keep a file with a bunch of ideas that I consider including. Sometimes they are story/mod ideas (like one I have involving Zax, the Glow, and some "friends"; and others involving party NPCs when you have left them somewhere). Sometimes it is for some cool little item that could aid in quests (like one I have about a kit that can be assembled with the proper skills and training to temporarily change a male character into a female one). Sometimes they are for new perks, skills, or quests. I've got ideas for party NPC enhancements. I also have a number of maps that I have collected over the years that I want to incorporate in some way. No, I'm not done with the Megamod just yet. ;)

    How did you get into Fallout modding?
    I started in December 2004. I was home from the Navy and had a lot of free time. I was online, looking at the NMA website and came across a few mods. I installed one new location, and I thought: Hmm... that's interesting. So I installed another location mod, and thought: Hmm... that's interesting. Then I thought that it would make for a bigger, better game if I could add these mods together to play at the same time. Of course, when I tried it, my game was broken. Not badly broken, but a few things were off. So, I grabbed a few tools, read a few tutorials, and fixed the minor glitches. Once I saw that I was able to fix those small glitches, I was hooked on modding. I searched for a few more mods, waited patiently for a few others to be completed, and started the work of combining them together, keeping an (overly) detailed log of everything I had changed. I started the mod in December 2004 and worked on it til November 2005. I didn't announce it before it was completed because, the project was originally just for me. I hadn't even considered giving it to the community at first. I wasn't trying to be selfish, I just didn't look at it as a project for the masses. It was just a giant puzzle I was working on the whole time, seeing if I could get all the pieces to fit together: Can I figure this out? But, as it got closer to being done, and I had gotten some help from a couple of people, I thought I'd go ahead and release it. Plus, I thought that by releasing it that I'd have a lot more people playtesting it for me, identifying bugs. Hmmm... maybe I am just totally selfish! ;)

    Where do you find inspiration for this?
    Well, originally, I was just stealing everyone else's mods. Not much inspiration required for that! :P Again, I was originally just trying to see if I could get a whole bunch of mods to work together. But, eventually, I started to be a little more selective about mods I added and even started adding my own little elements. Sometimes it is just things I wish I could do in the game. Sometimes I'm just trying to figure out an alternate way to solve something in the game. Or, maybe I want something a little more realistic or challenging. Sometimes it is something from a movie or book. I downloaded a lot of fanmade Fallout PnP files way-back-when that I look through occasionally for ideas. I consider myself a somewhat
    creative person, though. I'll write down original ideas with any notes that come to mind and brainstorm. I might set an idea aside for a time, and come back to it later, just trying to think up ways the idea can be implemented and what the effects would be in-game. And when I get stuck, I'll bounce a few ideas off people. I know that is a real shocker to some: "MIB88 doesn't listen to anybody!" they may say. No, I do sometimes. Chris Parks, Morticia, Nirran, and Tom Dude101 have proven to be really good sounding boards.

    Who is your most influential modder?
    Other than the TeamX New Vision mod and a couple of small location mods, I haven't played any other mods. But, Killap is great because of his dedication. He wants to produce this perfect product, and that is very commendable. Timeslip has done
    some great things for the community (and helped me with a few things for my mod specifically), and it is because of her that we can implement certain things in our mods. Josan12 is to be commended for dealing with the tediousness of making so much new art. I mean, that takes real dedication to deal with that tediousness. Nirran has helped me out immensely and also created a number of his own mods. And I am really appreciative of the work TeamX has done. Really, the list could go on and on about the people who have modded, made modding tools, or helped/influenced me... just look at the Credits in the Megamod. But, I think the most influential modders for me were Lich, Skynet, and Shadowbird. Crazy, huh? I say that they are the most influential modders not because they created huge projects for Fallout... they didn't. They didn't come up with anything especially groundbreaking back then. But... their mods were the first ones that I came across: Bunker 21, the Truck location, and the Abbey. I saw those mods and installed them and saw what was possible. That is what got me started in modding.

    Any advice for newcomers to the modding scene?
    Well, there's the standard advice people always say: Start small. Don't be overly ambitious. Maybe join a small team til you get your (modding) feet wet. Don't just come to the table with a bunch of ideas, be prepared to contribute something tangible, since everyone has ideas and that is the fun and easy part. Don't get discouraged about any roadblocks you encounter, just keep working on it and asking for help if you get stuck... That sort of thing. But, staying true to my character, I think the best advice is akin to what Yoda says in The Empire Strikes Back when he says to Luke and Ben: My own counsel will I keep on who is to be trained. (I know, I'm a real Star Wars nerd!) Same sort of thing, though. Keep your own counsel. Add the things you want to see. Make the mod you want to play. If others like it, cool. If they don't, that's cool, too. But, if you make the mod you want to see, then the task will not seem like such a burden... or, will seem like less of a burden, anyway. As long as you are having fun modding, that is all that really matters, as far as I'm concerned. That's why I always say that the minute that modding is no longer fun, or feels like a job, I'll quit then and there.

    Where do Fallout 1,2,3,NV rank in your all-time favorite titles?
    Ok, I'm gonna admit some more bad stuff about myself. While I own Fallout 3 (the one that came in the fancy lunchbox) and Fallout: New Vegas (also the collector's version), I have yet to install or play either. So, really it is just a vote between Fallout 1 and Fallout 2. Both are excellent games, each with certain merits over the other. However, because of the size of the gameworld, the ability to mod it more easily, and maybe because of the fact that I played Fallout 2 first (blame it on the being overseas), I would say that Fallout 2 rates higher in my book.

    Who is your favorite Fallout character and why?
    Well, the dogs are cool because they can fight (and I just like dogs). Marcus is cool because of his backstory. Lenny has the potential for an awesome backstory. (Imagine the things he could have seen or done in 175 years or so.) I like characters who are flawed in some way. Myron is too much of a jerk. I like Cassidy, though. He might not be the smartest or toughest of the party NPCs. But he can fight. And, he seems like a rather crotchety old man that I could relate to.

    What do you think about FNV?
    I think that the box set I bought looks really cool. I like the novel and other goodies included. I know, I know: It's pathetic that I have not installed it and about 10 other games I bought.

    What's your take on modern RPGs?
    Wow. This really is kind of a tough question to answer for me. I mean, I haven't played many modern RPGs, so I don't have much of a basis with which to even form an opinion. I bought several, and fully intend to play them. The last game I fully played through was Planescape: Torment about 7 years ago (friggin' awesome, and one of my all time favorites). I even made it virtually to the end of Lionheart, Arcanum, and Baldur's Gate. I own Neverwinter Nights (and some expansions), expansions to Baldur's Gate, Assassin's Creed, The Temple of Elemental Evil, The Witcher, Shadowrun, and others, and have either never installed them yet or haven't played into them much. I really like the games, but either I lack time to play them or just get sidetracked onto other things. I am a fan of the newer titles, but, I like the older ones more. I like the games where what you do really matters to the game world, where you have a ton of choices. Wasteland was great. And, to this day, two of my favorite games are Omega and Ancient Domains of Mystery (which, for those who don't know, are totally ASCII graphics). But, from what I've read in reviews, most of the newer titles seem very watered down. And I am no fan of watered-down RPGs.

    What would you prioritise if you survived a nuclear war? (water, procreation, Saviour of knowledge or finding shelter)
    Well, I am a fan of all those things, especially the whole procreation bit (just want to do my part to ensure the continuation of the species!). I think I may even consider myself a savior of knowledge, as demonstrated by my collection of games that I
    haven't even installed yet. However, I'm gonna say shelter would be my priority. Who cares if you have supplies, knowledge, and a hot babe if you absorb enough rads to make you glow in the dark and give you a permanent orange afro?!
    </blockquote>
     
  2. Tom9k

    Tom9k Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    308
    Dec 21, 2007
    Buy a game and not to play? Wow, I never thought it's even possible. I mean sure, if it's in sale then yeah, buy it before the price gets up again but buying collector's edition seems like some sort of dedication to enjoy the game at maximum.

    ...

    Now thinking about it I bought Heroes of Might and Magic IV Collector's Edition and never played it...

    Anyway thanks for all you've done, I really had fun with MM and I'm looking forward on it's merging with RP and some final polishing.
     
  3. Richwizard

    Richwizard Waiting to die Orderite

    Jan 18, 2010
    Interesting stuff! I've always been curious about Megamod, but I've never loaded it. It's a shame this is the last of these interviews. I know MIB88 is a member of the forums and posts mainly in the general modding section. You need to at least start Fallout 3 and New Vegas. Love them or hate them, that will bring you up to date with the current state of Fallout.
     
  4. Vandal delle 3V

    Vandal delle 3V First time out of the vault

    37
    Nov 7, 2005
    kudos to roguelikes players :D :clap:
     
  5. drawnacrol

    drawnacrol It Wandered In From the Wastes

    125
    Dec 5, 2010
    Cool interview. I've yet to try the Megamod. I'm the exact same with buying games and never playing them.
     
  6. Sub-Human

    Sub-Human -

    May 31, 2011
    "Keep your own counsel. Add the things you want to see. Make the mod you want to play."

    I read this when listening to the Terminator theme. Sounded epic :)

    As for the rest of the interview, this guy seems pretty fair and nice. Similar to him, I can install a game and play it for a bit, then switch on to something else and leave it on my HDD for weeks or even months without even trying it.
     
  7. UniversalWolf

    UniversalWolf eaten by a grue.

    Aug 28, 2005
    I've never seen anyone else who liked Omega. Love Omega. Too bad it's dead.
     
  8. Master92

    Master92 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    135
    Dec 26, 2010
    Really cool :clap:
    Someone from Russia too is ill this disease. :lol: