General Discussions

Interview with Lava – CPUFreak91

CPUFreak91

Member

Posts: 2337
From:
Registered: 02-01-2005
The second interview! It's a bit late, sorry.

You go by the nickname "Lava". Was there any reason why you chose that name?

I used to go on the net by a number of names, I am a huge Sonic the Hedgehog fan, so I used to go by the name BlueBlur (a nickname of Sonic), on a gaming message board, and people called me BB for short.

Then I wanted a new internet name, I didnít want to go by someone elseís nickname, so I started going by my initials. But as I got more and more into game development and actually when I first found CCN, I wanted to go by a name that was new, that was actually a name, not just my initials so I didnít register on CCN till I found a fitting codename.

So one day when I was looking in my program files folder (I forget now why I was looking in there), I had installed the program Ad-aware and I saw the company folder ďLavasoftĒ, when I saw that I thought having the name Lava would be perfect and it stuck.


How did you find CCN?

I donít remember exactly, I think I was looking for Christian sites that were about games, so I either was on Google and stumbled upon it or I was on the Christiangaming.com and I found it in their links.

Was there any particular reason why you joined?

I donít really remember about that too much either, I had a few gaming ideas and concepts that I mightíve wanted to share, when I look at my early posts, thatís what they consisted of kinda.

You do "stuff" in Blitz languages. How did you find out about them?

For a long time I have been looking to make games, I had tried GameMaker but I didnít understand it too well (at the time, it now makes perfect sense). I had been using Adventure Game Studio, but I didnít have enough knowledge of itís scripting to make something other than an adventure game. But I wanted to break out, so I went hunting for a new engine, so for a long time I was trying out different engines and such.

Then one day, I was searching the web for various 3D\game dev tools, and I found Caligariís site for gameSpace, and it mentioned compatibility for ďBlitz3DĒ and I asked myself, whatís Blitz3D? The name sounded like some sort of engine. So I searched for it, I found the site and the screens of peopleís projects won me over. I downloaded the Blitz3D demo and I was hooked, even when I didnít know much the programming language, I could tell how easy it was.

What kind of programming do you mainly do?

Blitz3D, though if I was to work for a company I would have to go C++. I like it because I can create things more easily, I can input what I want to make more easily. If I wanted to make a game in C++, and get it out the door quickly for people to see, it wouldnít happen at this point. Blitz is like an old rusty truck, itís not the best in the world, but it gets me where I want to go.

Do you enjoy programming?

When I really get into it, itís not like art with me, I can feel like drawing over a number of things, but to me programming is a last resort, when I got everything for a game set out. But when I am set on making a game I enjoy programming, I enjoy the challenge.

CCN will be getting a facelift. Do you think/will you be working on it?
I doubt it, unless I am asked to help.


I see that you created a game for the CCN Game Programming Competition. What do you think of the competition? Was is fun? Did you like the idea of sponsors? Would you do it again?

I thought it was a great idea, I also think it helped our community. I thought it was fun for the most part, but there was also a lot of stress. I liked the idea of sponsors, it gave more to shoot for and gave the competition a more professional feel.

If you felt competent enough, would you create a 2D or a 3D game for the next (if any) competition?

I am going to 3D definitely next time. I had to learn a lot of new stuff for 2D in making a game for competition, which helped me make better 3D games. But itís in 3D that I think that I really shine, mostly graphically, more than 2D anyways.

What operating system do you use at home?

I use Windows XP Professional.


If you had the option, would you program more open source software or more proprietary software?

It depends on the software. But I think if something is open source even to a small extent, it extends the life of it. When people can at least make more content or update the mistakes of the software makers, it makes it more fun to own the software, I feel like thereís new possibilities, nothing is set in stone.

Are you good at graphics?

I would like to say so, I am definitely better than I used to be when I was like nine or ten.

Do you enjoy making graphics?

Definitely, graphics is where I really transfer my ideas, even if I have an idea to write a book, I mostly get my ideas down better when I draw them, itís a simple medium that lets me show what I am thinking.

You've got a unique graphics style. Do you know how you developed it?

When I was younger, I drew for more of a cartoonish look, as I got older I strived for more of a realistic look, and I think I am in a between state, itís more like simple realistic, itís not really one way or another, itís not extremely stylized and not extremely realistic, itís just, simple.

I would like to go more of a stylized look, I think realism is good, but everyone strives for realism. I think when you have a stylized look you put more of yourself into it. You are showing what your imaginary world looks like through your creative or slanted lens. People see a fictional world the way you see it.

Though even realism has slant, a flow. You have to integrate everything, it has to look like it belongs where it is. And most of all you have to determined on bringing it, I believe if youíre not completely sold out on what you believe in, it shows in what you produce.

If you could go pro with your graphics talents, what kind of work would you do and whom do you think you would work for?

Iím not really sure where I would go, I think I would go where I would be needed and where my work would be more recognized.

I think working for a Christian company would be a good place for that, being that a lot of Christian entertainment is still treading through new territory. But the problem with working with a Christian company (unless itís Christians making secular products), is that it should be Christ-based. I wouldnít want to go into a Christian business whoís goal is to spread the kingdom of God unless I was certain God wanted me there.

I could always work a secular company, but the problem with that is thereís always that pressure of having a project that will make me choose between my conscience and a paycheck.

I have no idea at the moment *what* I would do graphically. I think being a concept artist would be cool, because itís a fun medium and so much of what the concept artist does is behind the scenes and really effects the project more than some of the front runners. Also 2d graphics isnít a constantly updated medium. Granted there is still a standard and there will be tools to know to bring my concepts into full view more efficiently, but thereís no keeping with the Jonesí when drawing in 2D, in my opinion, once you become the best 2D artist you can possibly be, thatís all there is to it.


What are the specs of the computer you work on at home or work?

I have a 2.33 GHz Pentium 4, 512 RAM, 128 MB of VRAM. Itís actually a computer that my charter school let us buy with our school funds. In June we will have to give it back, we wanted to buy it off of them because I got it in 2004 and so a lot of the hardware is old compared to whatís out there. So we thought maybe we could buy off of them cheap, but they still want it. So I will be getting a new computer, which computer I havenít decided. Though we did get some of our own hardware for the one I am using now, like a new CD drive, mouse, video card, extra ram, ect, which we get to keep.

Do you have any opinions on net neutrality?

I think the net should be the way itís always been. And I donít think the companies will get what they want.


Do you have any thoughts on RFID chip implants?

I would like to say itís a step to the mark of the beast. But I donít want to second-guess what the Bible is really saying.

Though as we become more and more dependant on technology the more costly it will be when someone messes up or if we were have a Y2K-esque threat.


Do you prefer movies in Blue-ray or HD-DVD format?

Personally I donít really like it either way. HD in general to me is not really a necessity, and I think getting Blue-Ray and HD-DVD will be a waste of time, but we will have to go to one or the other, because the companies will stop producing the old DVD format, in the same way they made the VHS obsolete, though I thought the transition from VHS to DVD was a bigger technical jump.

I think before I get Blue-Ray or HD-DVD (and I am positive they will make people get one or the other), I will wait for one of them to be dominant, in the same way there was a battle between Betamax and VHS and VHS eventually became the dominant.

What do you think about Microsoft's Windows Vista? Would you buy it to install on your current computer(s)? Would you buy a new computer with Vista installed?

I think Vista is visually appealing. I have been following Vistaís production since Bill Gates talked about it briefly on a Charlie Rose interview when it was called Longhorn a couple of years ago.

But what I am hearing about it, I am hesitant to use it. I like XP the way it is, and I think itís a great OS compared to the disaster ME was. In June I will be getting a new computer, and it will come with Vista. I could always ask if I could have XP installed on it, but I am hoping that maybe they will give it a few updates by then.

So for now I am using XP as long as I can.

If you own a game console, what is it and what was your first?

I own a Sega Genesis and a Nintendo Gamecube, and I will probably get the Wii. My first console was a Sega Dreamcast which I sold, something I regret now.


Do you prefer playing games on a computer or a game console?

I like to play computer games more, theyíre not directed by any console company, anyone can make a computer game. You donít have to worry about if the Xbox version is better than the PS2 version for example. And thereís more variety.

What do you do for entertainment on the computer?

I work with graphics and I play computer games, I play Medal of Honor Allied Assault Demo, also I like to play Age of Empires and Call of Duty 2. Though I mostly play Medal of Honor demo online because I know the community, in most full games everything is more anonymous, so choosing between the full version and the demo is like going to super-rich restaurant by yourself or going to the local diner with your friends.

Do you have any non-computer hobbies?.

Thinking up new ideas, drawing, hanging out with friends and making people laugh.

I was making clay movies for a while, but I donít really see at the moment where I could with that and really stand out from the rest. I was also working with 2d animation and live action movies, when I get a really gold idea for a live action movie Iíll make one.

Also when I am prepared for the difficulty at hand when making a 2d animation movie and I have a good idea, Iíll make a short 2d animated movie.

This interview is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License

Previous Interviews:

------------------
All Your Base Are Belong To Us!!! chown -r us ./base
"After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless.'' -- Tao of Programming Book 2

My Programming and Hacker/Geek related Blog

[This message has been edited by CPUFreak91 (edited May 31, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by CPUFreak91 (edited September 25, 2007).]

Lazarus

Member

Posts: 1668
From: USA
Registered: 06-06-2006
Another great interview!
crazyishone

Member

Posts: 1685
From:
Registered: 08-25-2004
Interesting read. These interviews are great.

------------------

"The CIA must operate within the law.." - Former President Jimmy Carter, trying to solve an old problem. ;)

Mack

Administrator

Posts: 2779
From:
Registered: 01-20-2001
Very cool
bwoogie

Member

Posts: 380
From: kansas usa
Registered: 03-12-2005
i read the whole thing and forgot to reply! great interview!

------------------
~~~boogie woogie woogie~~~

Lava
Member

Posts: 1905
From:
Registered: 01-26-2005
Yeah, it was actually my fault it took so long, haha. Sorry I took so long lol.
Lazarus

Member

Posts: 1668
From: USA
Registered: 06-06-2006
So who's next? *cough* Arch *cough* *cough*
CPUFreak91

Member

Posts: 2337
From:
Registered: 02-01-2005
quote:
Originally answered by Lava:
I am a huge Sonic the Hedgehog fan, so I used to go by the name BlueBlur (a nickname of Sonic),

Aaah. So that's where the name comes from.

------------------
All Your Base Are Belong To Us!!! chown -r us ./base
"After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless.'' -- Tao of Programming Book 2

My Programming and Hacker/Geek related Blog

CPUFreak91

Member

Posts: 2337
From:
Registered: 02-01-2005
quote:
Originally posted by Lazarus:
So who's next? *cough* Arch *cough* *cough*

That, my dear Laz is censored. Only the next person I will interview knows that . I'll make it a surprise for a while and then announce who will be the next "interviewee".

------------------
All Your Base Are Belong To Us!!! chown -r us ./base
"After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless.'' -- Tao of Programming Book 2

My Programming and Hacker/Geek related Blog

jestermax

Member

Posts: 1064
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: 06-21-2006
it's kind of like a game of tag where the person who is "it" doesn't tell anyone he/she's "it"... wait... its nothing like that ... ok... its more like this: spin the bottle of interviews...only the bottle takes a long time to spin

Edit: i just wanted to point out that laz and i joined at the some time (pretty much) and he has more than twice the posts i do lol.

[This message has been edited by jestermax (edited March 09, 2007).]

Mene-Mene

Member

Posts: 1398
From: Fort Wayne, IN, USA
Registered: 10-23-2006
Great read! How do you do it? over PM, or what?

------------------
MM out-
Thought travels much faster than sound, it is better to think something twice, and say it once, than to think something once, and have to say it twice.
"Frogs and Fauns! The tournament!" - Professor Winneynoodle/HanClinto
"Of course, prayer requires that you actually take the time to listen for His answer..." - I'msold4Christ
"I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before." -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I reserve the full right to change my views/theories at any time.

Lava
Member

Posts: 1905
From:
Registered: 01-26-2005
CPU emailed me the questions. Then I went into Word, answered them and sent it back as a .doc file. You don't have to use Word, but it and similar programs made the process simpler.
Lazarus

Member

Posts: 1668
From: USA
Registered: 06-06-2006
quote:
Originally posted by jestermax:

Edit: i just wanted to point out that laz and i joined at the some time (pretty much) and he has more than twice the posts i do lol.

So WHAT?!

Mene-Mene

Member

Posts: 1398
From: Fort Wayne, IN, USA
Registered: 10-23-2006
Thank You.

------------------
MM out-
Thought travels much faster than sound, it is better to think something twice, and say it once, than to think something once, and have to say it twice.
"Frogs and Fauns! The tournament!" - Professor Winneynoodle/HanClinto
"Of course, prayer requires that you actually take the time to listen for His answer..." - I'msold4Christ
"I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before." -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I reserve the full right to change my views/theories at any time.

ArchAngel

Member

Posts: 3450
From: SV, CA, USA
Registered: 01-29-2002
enjoyable read, as always, CPU.

well, I better come out with a game if I will be worthy of CPU's interviewiness.

------------------
"The generation of random numbers is too important to leave to chance."
Soterion Studios

David Lancaster

Member

Posts: 276
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 05-22-2006
Lava = cool
Lazarus

Member

Posts: 1668
From: USA
Registered: 06-06-2006
Lava = hot.

Get your facts straight, Dave. (You could take a vacation to a volcano...)

steveth45

Member

Posts: 536
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
Great questions, well articulated answers.

------------------
+---------+
|steveth45|
+---------+

Lava
Member

Posts: 1905
From:
Registered: 01-26-2005
quote:
Originally posted by jestermax]
it's kind of like a game of tag where the person who is "it" doesn't tell anyone he/she's "it"... wait... its nothing like that ... ok... its more like this: spin the bottle of interviews...only the bottle takes a long time to spin

Haha, or maybe a game of Russian Roulette? haha

quote:
Originally posted by David Lancaster:
Lava = cool

haha thanks

quote:
Originally posted by lazarus:
Lava = hot.

Get your facts straight, Dave. (You could take a vacation to a volcano...)


Hey at least Dave's post didn't make me uncomfortable, haha jk

quote:
Originally posted by steveth45:
well articulated answers.


well thank you!

[This message has been edited by LAVA (edited March 09, 2007).]

SSquared

Member

Posts: 654
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 03-22-2005
Great job! I liked how some questions were different from the first and kinda tailored for LAVA.
Lava
Member

Posts: 1905
From:
Registered: 01-26-2005
quote:
Originally posted by ssquared:
Great job! I liked how some questions were different from the first and kinda tailored for LAVA.

Indeed, many thanks to CPU.

David Lancaster

Member

Posts: 276
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 05-22-2006
Call of Duty 2 rocks, do you ever get accused of hacking cause you're so 1337? I'm not the fastest player reaction wise so I rely on knowing the level and using sneaky tactics. My most fun score was 30 kills before a death. Using that PPSH gun thingo on that close combat russian level, I was doing the prone/pop up tactic on the roof of the middle building. Because so many germans we're spawning and aiming out of the windows, of the 2 or so buildings, and you start shooting as you get up, ie before you spot your enemy and before your gun goes over the wall, and aim for a window, and most times I'd get a kill or two, then you'd only be up for a split second and would go prone again. It was awesome, I loved it ^^


And snipering on the russian train yard and that other sniper level, as long as the germans we're hard at rushing (aka our team was winning), I could pick them all off with those weird sniper tactics I used, was fun, especially when I climbed up the side of that blown up buildings (the one where you walk through the middle, there's small railing all around the building, you get on that then in one of the inverted corners, then you lean out and sniper, or hide there and wait for germans to come past and shoot em, they have no idea where you're coming from most of the time it's so funny

[This message has been edited by David Lancaster (edited March 10, 2007).]