Pimpin’ my rides

posted in Projects on January 31st, 2007

After doing enough research for my movie, I had a quick look at ways to alter the content that was available to me. I made a decision that would basically nullify all the effort I put into researching various cultural and architectural aspects of Middle Eastern countries.

To save time, I wanted to utilize stock content that was readily available to everyone. Content that wouldn’t have to be altered in any way and would just be used “as-is”. The decision basically came down to me having to write a story that fit the environment (the movie sets, so to speak) rather than building an environment that would fit the story.

Back in the summer, I found this acceptable, after all, I was no “modder” (eg.: a person who is capable of modding computer games) and I didn’t think it was necessary to become one, just to create a movie.

Now, in retrospect, I think I made a very poor choice back then, I’ve been working on my own mod for the past two weeks and I must say, I find the whole process very enjoyable. I’ve “pimped” rides and repainted some stuff, I even built custom effects. I’ve analyzed and tweaked weapons, vehicles and characters.

Sure, it’s hard work, I had to learn a new scripting language (CONScript) and experienced loads of crashes whenever I wanted to test something, but in the end, I think the time I put into acquiring these skills might be very useful in the future.

The resulting mod will, however, not be used for my movie. Even though it’s highly suitable and works just fine, I decided that teaming up with the US: Intervention would enable me to utilize the game engine a lot better. Not just because they have had more time to finish their mod, but also because they are looking to promote an upcoming version of their modification with a little movie, a movie I am going to make for them.

Don’t think of the project as a sell-out though, because, if you ask me, there’s a difference between teaming up to achieve the same goal in a much more efficient way and still getting to keep your own story as opposed to teaming up with someone and rewriting everything to fit their needs.

As far as my mod is concerned, after taking some time off, I’ll release it to the world. I don’t expect it to be successful at all, but if it makes a future director’s life easier, because of the things contained within, I’m happy.

Here’s a little bit of trivia: the icon I’m using for the mod, is actually something I made back in my freshman year at college. It was one of those introductory classes, where one of my tutors told us to draw the most basic icons we could come up with that were related to a certain topic. I think we made at least 40 different icons, but the camera turned out best. It’s simple, basic, a bit childish yet clearly conveys it’s meaning. A perfect fit for the mod.

As far as the text goes, I call it a “community movie mod” because it’s not aimed at gameplay, it’s highly biased towards the US side, with only few modifications to the MEC side and no changes at all to the other armies. The mod includes stuff that wouldn’t be used in normal gameplay, but might be very handy for movie makers.

The “community” part of the mod stems from the fact that I didn’t create it on my own. Yes, I compiled the knowledge and items I found, but I’m not the author of many of the items included within. Basically, 90% of the content is available out there, for people to use, but many people, will not have the time or knowledge to integrate them into the game, so therefore, as a way to say “thank you“, I built this mod.

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