Recently I participated in an interview and I want to post one of my answers here, as it is something I've been meaning to get down on paper for quite a while now. I'll post a link to the rest of the interview questions when they are published.
Edit: Full interview: [You are not allowed to view external links.
Register or Login to see them]
Q1: What originally got you interested in custom zombies and the community and how long have you been active in the community?
Originally I had World at War on Xbox 360 and really enjoyed playing the Nacht der Untoten bonus level. I beat the whole campaign just so that I could play this level. I was fascinated by the gameplay style that had been seemingly dropped into this otherwise multiplayer FPS game. The idea of surviving with my friends was awesome, but I was disappointed that I could not beat the level. The idea of endless survival with no goal other than to see how long you could live seemed disparaging to me, so I quit playing it and moved on with life.
Later, Treyarch released DLC which, to many peoples’ surprise, contained a new zombiemode map (Verrückt). This was a massive improvement over Nacht because it had perks, easter eggs, and a power switch. This was enough to keep me entertained, but again it quickly became boring and I waited for another map pack. Shi No Numa came along and more of the same, but it did have the Wonderwaffe DG-2 and a zombie trap, so it was worth buying for some entertainment.
However, what really gave me a massive stiffy was Der Reise. I played that map for a ridiculous amount of hours… Pack a Punch, teleporters, major easter eggs, hidden story line, oh man. It was absolutely amazing. It was with that map I realized what could actually be possible for this game mode. After a couple months of playing that it became clear that Treyarch was going to dump us and we would have to wait for the next CoD installment from them to get new content.
By chance, I was looking at the PC requirements for WaW and noticed that it was listed as having Mods support. I knew the potential for mods because I was already active in the Battlefield 2 modding community, so I immediately looked up some mods. The sense of joy that I remember feeling when I found a ton of maps created by the community was one of those feelings you will never forget.
I played all of the awesome community maps for about a year, and then in June 2010 I decided I would take a crack at it myself and see what I could come up with. I remember my first map (that worked) was a three story building with a teleporter system, perks, and elevator from WoO and power lights. Even with all of the problems I ran into making this map, I really enjoyed it so I made another one. After making three or four maps, I finally decided I was going to create a WIP topic on ZombieModding.com and see if people would support a map that I could develop. My first WIP topic was for a map called Nazi Zombie Tower, and it was basically a snipers-only map. It was well-enough received to keep me motivated to make new content but I decided mid –development that it was not a worth the time it would take to complete it, so I started a different, more mainstream style map that didn’t involve sniper rifles.
Gasthof was my first major WIP topic, and to this day it is one of the highest viewed WIP topics on ZombieModding.( 111,310 views and 320+ replies). This map was the pivotal point of my modding career. It was on this map that I discovered all the major aspects of modding WaW such as scripting, texture importing, weapon modding, custom weapon importing, custom anim importing, and more. This map had all sorts of weird stuff on it, most of which you can still view on my YouTube channel. Although this map was never finished or released, it severed as my learning grounds and the foundation for my next project, UGX Cabin.
There are many major things to discuss with Cabin, the biggest of which is that it is the first UGX map ever made. During the course of developing Gasthof, I met W1NG3D, who at the time was a 13 year old kid from New Zealand. He was very mature for his age and we got along very well. He helped me out with mapping issues and I shared a lot of my current work with him. One night we were talking to each other about the success of ZCT (ZombieChickenTaco) and how fun it would be to have a team like that for our own. We thought about it for a couple days and considered about 10 different acronyms before settling on ‘UGX – The Ultimate Gaming Experience’. Yes, Experience starts with an E, but UGE doesn’t have a ring to it, now does it! From there we decided we wanted our first map to be something huge. Something the community had never seen before. We didn’t want to release more of the same generic maps that everyone already had enough of. We attempted to make the most immersive and difficult objectives-based map that the community had ever seen, and most would agree with me when I say we succeeded. Many have mentioned in their reviews of the map that it is incredibly immersive and beautiful, and now almost two years later there are still people trying to get a spot on the highscores list and still people looking for walkthroughs on YouTube. I would consider that a success, and one hell of a first map for a team of three people. I was in charge of all scripting as well as mapping 90% of the outside area of the map. W1NG3D was responsible for the entire cabin and underground area, as well as any map-related bugfixing. Cold (aka Steaddy) was responsible for the main menu music and endgame music. The launch of UGX Cabin was not overwhelming by any means, but it has made up for that in longevity.
From that point on, I decided I wanted to take things to the next level, so I developed a small website at ugx-mods.com which featured a projects page where you could view our current projects and see a percentage of completion. About a month later, I decided I wanted more than that, so I launched a forum section for UGX-Mods. Then I realized why bother maintaining a projects page when we have a whole forum, so I removed the homepage and made the forum the homepage of the website. Since then I have spent over 500 hours maintaining and managing the forum website and trying to make it the best possible place for mature discussion about modding WaW. I’ve tried my best to create a feeling in the users that they are on a website that expects more from them then a typical plain box-map with no custom features. If you will notice in the projects section, there are no maps like that currently posted. This is not because I hide them, remove them, or even discourage them, but simply because I believe I was successful in instilling the public opinion that I just described.
To answer the second half of the question succinctly, I have been active for over 3 years and active in UGX for over 2 years.