|Dave - Age: 32 Born in: Providence
FavouriteManga or Anime: None really Favourite music: Jazz
Sean - Age: 27 Born in: Boston FavouriteManga or Anime: Star Blazers Favourite music: n/a
Harry: So you're actual architects?
Dave: Yeah, we both hold architectural degrees.
Harry: So is this the first time you're using your architectural skills to design levels for a game?
Dave: For me it was my first game experience, I was working in architecture in chicago 3 years before I ended here at Bungie.
Sean: I worked at Papyrus.
Harry: While you design these buildings for Oni, which look really life-like, do you come across challenges?
Sean: The first challenge I came across was to do something that was realistic, realistic scale, realistic spaces and having that feel comfortable in the game engine. A typical corridor is 3 and a half, 4 feet wide, but in our game we have to kinda make it bigger. Actual foot scale might not be the best for the game.
Dave: Yeah, I agree with that. The idea of creating a space so that it not only appears to be real but also where you can run around in it.
Harry: And it also must be strange for you to know the buildings you designed will stay designs in the computer.
Sean: We know that this stuff won't lave the computer but you wanna still convey a look that is believable in the game.
Harry: People are discussing on the net that they want to create their own worlds for Oni, and I myself think it's quite impossible. What do you use and do?
Dave: We build in everything in AutoCAD, then we bring those files into [3D Studio] MAX where we do measuring.
Harry: And what kind of computers do you use?
Dave: A Pentium III
Sean: I have a Pentium III now
Harry: But you can't simply go into a store and ask for AutoCAD, i t must be quite an expensive program,
Dave: It wouldn't be impossible for someone to do it though. One wouldn't have to necessarily use AutoCAD.
Harry: Also ties in with the file format, huh?
Dave: Yeah, we have an actual file exporter for MAX. We export from MAX, so if somebody had MAX they would be able to do a level for Oni. But it would be a lot of work.
Harry: And when you build these levels, do you do them from a first person, what the character sees, or do you do the actual architectural stuff, making places and walls etc.?
Sean: We lay out wall thickness and stuff like that but there's nothing we wouldn't go into intricate detail to. We only really concentrate on what the player can see.
Harry: What kind of environments have you built, because i have only seen office buildings and the like in a city.
Dave: Most of the game is set in urban environments, so anything you'd find i n a city can be present in the game.
Sean: And there is a fair amount of outdoor space in the game, as you can see in some of the screenshots.
Harry: So what would one see that they've reached the limit of the level they are?
Sean: Well, any level set in a realistic world like this has to have a limit, so you have to come up with some sort of natural barrier. We use things you can think of, like locked doors, solid buildings, etc.
Dave: Levels can be several square blocks, though, so you'll be able to wander about quite a bit.
Harry: So is the game set in a linear style where you have to follow a set path or can you start off one place and choose different ways to get to the end?
Dave: We have a variety of gameplay styles, some of them appear to be more linear than others.
Harry: The buildings you created, are they original or did you have inspiration from real-life architecture?
Dave: Sure, we draw inspiration from real-world buildings, concept sketches, and elsewhere, but they're basically original.
Sean: Yeah, from past experiments I can say that when I see stuff I enjoy I try to recreate the feelings in a space, so for me I see a lot of stuff and reproduce it.
Harry: When you are designing the architecture, do you do sketches on paper then work on the computer or is everything done on the computer?
Dave: Well, our design process is where we make quick sketches together then work on the computer.
Harry: Will there be elevators?
Harry: And are you able to run around on the roof of a building sometime in the game?
Sean: Yeah, there will be accessible roofs.
Dave: When there's a reason for the player to get up to the roof, they'll be able to.