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Project Revolution (referred to as PR) is a Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne to StarCraft: Broodwar total conversion that appreciates the original work by moving it to a 3D environment. You can read about the project in our in-depth FAQ here (coming soon). Firstly, to understand the context of this interview, you need to be introduced to a few PR members:

 

Scott “Skizot” Deason – Project Lead
Martin “Cooler” Press – Lead Internal Programmer
Daniel “Naga_Warrior” Pierce – Webmaster/Programmer
Adam “Adam_Ant” Jackson – Software Quality Assurance Lead
Kenny “Jun” Zhong – Lead Artist, PR ModDB Webmaster
Justice “Soulphalanx” Hsiung – Junior Artist
Mantis – Debugger (CON)

Collectively, these people – as well as countless others – form Snowflake Entertainment. There are two general parts to the 'company' (insomuch as every Blizzard begins with a Snowflake...): Members and the Contributor team. The CON pool is often a starting base for Snowflake to interact with the community and draw future members. Admittedly,

Skizot and Cooler wrote:

'Yes, we abuse... I mean USE our cons as much as possible.'

'I used Adam so much he had to become a member.'

 

The CON's are a vital part of Project Revolution. This interview occurred in an informal chat setting. The questions have been put in a logical order, with “bonus” material interjected; the interview has become more of an article. SC:L is once again proud to present Snowflake Entertainment - the ambitious team behind the revolution.

 

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LordofAscension:
Let's start with some of the big questions that everyone is wondering about. What percent of the project is finished?

Skizot:
Does "enough for a demo" count?

LordofAscension:
No.

rise:
The last public estimates were 60% est last November.

Skizot:
Well technically those estimates were for a demo.

LordofAscension:
When I spoke with Skizot at BlizzCon - I was told that the Zerg were proving to be nearly impossible - is this still true?

Cooler:
To directly answer your question LoA, it's done. Snowflake Entertainment is officially done with Project Revolution. We will be looking for skilled individuals to help optimize the mod from its current state via Patched mpqs. Due to legal reasons they will not have access to any of the original mod files.

LordofAscension:
So the demo is all we'll ever see?

Skizot:
No. There will be patches, and should a VERY skilled group of people pop up PR will be continued.

LordofAscension:
What's the reason?

Cooler:
Also our loader is a major game hack.

 

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rise:
In prompting this decision, did Blizzard finally address PR and Snowflake directly?

Naga_Warrior:
No.

Skizot:
No. We really wish they would though... HINTHINT

Cooler:
Indirectly they have.

Skizot:
Friend of a friend of a guy of a friend of Blizzard type.

Naga_Warrior:
Which is the closest they will get to us or so it seems.

rise:
That's unfortunate, hopefully you will get some further contact in the future.

Medievaldragon:
There are two factors when we talk about Blizzard. A Blizzard Dev could say unofficially: "hey that's cool", but Blizzard Legal Department is another story.

LordofAscension:
After SCII was announced and details about the new editor were released people began to question the relevance of the PR considering all of the original units from SC will be available. How did this affect the subsequent decisions?

Cooler:
The first and foremost reason is the fact that we have reached the limit of using the Wc3 engine. Even with all the customized C++ code added (as you can see took us so long), the engine did not have the ability to recreate StarCraft down to the last detail. Just last summer it was decided that the only possible "race" that could be put in were the Terrans due to large slow downs experienced with the coding required for Zerg and Protoss.

LordofAscension:
Did you feel cheated at all by the SCII editor's features?

Skizot:
Not at all. I honestly EXPECTED Blizzard to up the ante on their new project and am glad to see they have done so.

rise:
Just to add: there has been long standing problems with features such as the Carrier's interceptors, cloaking, etc...

Cooler:
Cloaking was fine other then the shader effects needed were not in the Wc3 engine... Wc3 was created in DX7/DX8 error. It's a very simple render engine.

LordofAscension:
Do you all have plans to start on a new project (have you already)? Or do you plan to all go your separate ways?

Naga_Warrior:
While it may be true that we are currently in a state of "finished", the team has held on throughout these few years. While there might be a possibility of other projects, we are not at a public decision to say there is anything happening, if there is anything at all. The years have been hard on us and the connection that holds the team together has weakened. We still HOPE to rebuild this so that doesn't mean you shouldn't give

Enter ChoasSmurf dragging Polonius.

ChaosSmurf:
btw Naga, everything after "shouldn't give" was cut off.

Grapples with him while editing occurs.

ChaosSmurf:
Does what has been seen of the StarCraft II editor interest you at all? Does it seem like a big enough for a jump in technology for a new project?

Cooler:
Let’s just say: imagine what Snowflake could do with SCII engine.

ChaosSmurf:
So a remake of Warcraft III is in order then. Good stuff.

 

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rise:
In Project Revolution's long run, there have been many accomplishments in unit graphics. There is a valid argument to say some of the graphics (specifically units) are superior to the current builds of SCII. On that note, will Snowflake fix some of the issues in the defunct PR site features, such as the Gallery?

Cooler:
We don't have control over anything on that site anymore.

Skizot:
We are hoping to get our OWN server soon and not be hosted under any community sites that will go under...

Cooler:
The thing we are dreaming about is SVN on the same server as our website. However the cost of such a server is out of our reach.

 

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Medievaldragon:
If the demo is considered the final release, why weren't the German, Italian, and other languages considered from the start. Only English-CD versions may install. Won't those fans feel cheated? Are you planning to support those languages later so that they can natively install the demo in its own language Cd's?

Skizot:
Main reasoning for that: none of us HAVE Italian or German SC. So making those changes are something we can't do.

LordofAscension:
You mentioned patching with help from the community. Is this something you'll be looking at for the future?

Skizot:
Should a talented person with German or any other language SC want to step up we would be willing to accept the help.

Editor's note: Skizot was very quick with anticipating these types of questions. In fact, it prompted this from MD:

Medievaldragon wrote:

Are you a telepath?

LordofAscension:
In the future do you plan to stick with the Blizzard games/engines or branch out?

Skizot:
Well I'm currently helping with a few outside projects on other engines such as XNA and UT3. So I'm not opposed to working outside of Blizzard's engines, but I have no plans to take any of their IP's outside their domain.

LordofAscension:
And for that matter do you plan on modding? Or perhaps working on something more "mainstream" such as full size campaigns?

Cooler:
If we got a voice staff it is in the realm of possibilities.

Skizot:
Well, all of us have voices right? Dibs on being an Archon.

Mantis:
Lavarinth, one of the mods on the PR site, is a voice actor and knows many voice actors Cooler, so that would be something to consider.

ChaosSmurf:
Has PR warded you off larger modifications? In the future, would you prefer to stick to smaller stuff (perhaps balance mods, which have become popular recently)?

Skizot:
Nothing. NOTHING. will ever put me off [total conversions (also referred to as TC)]. I enjoy stretching the limits of an engine.

Cooler:
If anything PR has told us how to do a large TC correctly. After 5 years we know what works and what does not. It is safe to say any other projects, will be completed faster and will be much more organized.

rise:
I think PR is more then a simple modification. It's certainly been a process that is above raw gaming.

 

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rise:
I have a question for Soul, and for the rest of the team as well. What do you think of SCII's current art direction? It's the subject of hot debate...

Skizot:
I'm Iffy on it. I mean i like some of it, but some of the changes seem unwarranted.

Cooler:
Our lead artist Brenden seems to dislike some of the non grity feel the new SC2 models have.

Skizot:
It's shiny! Also... Tonka toy command centers. 'nuff said.

rise:
'Tis true... I'd like to hear every one's opinions on it. Feel free to praise it or let loose.

Jun:
I think the engine couldn't be more of what I would love but the art they put into it could use a little more "StarCraft" style to it. It feels like Warcraft in space as of now.

Soulphalanx:
I agree. From what I've seen of SCII so far, its missing the old SC feel. Every thing's too shiny

ChaosSmurf:
So am I the only one in the entire world who thinks SC originally was pretty freaking shiny?

Skizot:
Well yes, but it was also A LOT more detailed due to it being 2D.

rise:
On a sentimental note, do any of you remember when PR first got flack (four years ago?) for being 3D. Everyone wanted PR and SCII to be 2D.

Skizot:
Oh yeah.

Medievaldragon:
StarCraft units should look rusty in my opinion, rather than brand new shiny.

Cooler:
That's how most of us feel. It's war nothing should look clean.

Naga_Warrior:
I think that is the biggest problem with SCII everyone wants completely different things for it, and so it is hard to make everyone happy.

rise:
You're correct, it IS hard to please SC, Wc3, and C&C fans...

LordofAscension:
Except the Proto.

Skizot:
Well they should show some wear and tear too. I mean 90% of their civilization was destroyed... I would rather they looked more like the robots from "batteries not included."

Medievaldragon:
Lore-wise, if Blizzard could justify all this technology by saying okay, the dominion got hold of Protoss technology, and Valerian Mengsk's archaeological ventures helped get technology from Xel'Naga temples, and such. Units would look shiny, and such.

rise:
That's the issue, though, Blizzard can make up Lore on the spot to justify anything. If you're constantly correcting the course of a process, it'll never go in a natural direction. It's like driving a car around the corner. you look around/down the corner, you don't keep doing corrections. I.e. "Flow"

ChaosSmurf:
Sorry if this sounds like I'm being a douche, but did you just say SCII's models were more detailed than StarCraft's?

Skizot:
The original StarCraft had NO models. It was all 2D art, so they could put in as much detail as they wanted without worrying about it slowing gameplay.

ChaosSmurf:
OK, I'll rephrase. Did you just say that StarCraft's buildings and units were more detailed than StarCraft 2's?

Skizot:
To me it feels that way.

 

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rise:
We have known where PR has been coming from for years. I think that presence is needed in the community. It's why I'd love to see Snowflake hang around

Skizot:
Well we're not going anywhere yet. We're still here.

LordofAscension:
Ultimately where would you all like to end up? Is it possible to form your own studio eventually? Get hired individually by studios as a group? Ultimately is this anything more than a hobby?

Cooler:
We plan to. Who knows what we have planed for next.

Skizot:
Just deciding on what the future holds. I honestly would love for the entire PR team to end up at a single company. Konstantin already got a job as an artist though.

Naga_Warrior:
You do have to remember we have people from all across the nation, and across the world for that matter.

Skizot:
That being the other point.

LordofAscension:
Any posiblilty of creating your own or is that unlikely?

Skizot:
Not exactly sure on that.

rise:
Every Blizzard begins with a Snowflake...

Mantis:
Am I the only one that would love to work for Blizzard.

Skizot:
No. I'd give a certain pair of appendages for a job at Blizzard. They got awesome shirts at BlizzCon.

Mantis:
Well I'm going to be majoring in Digital Media, eventually thats where I would like to head.

Cooler:
I would like to meet some of the other staff members at BlizzCon this year if they hold one. None of us have ever met face to face.

LordofAscension:
I'll try to arrange that.

Speaking of BlizzCon,

Skizot and LordofAscension wrote:

'Nice hotel by the way. :D'

'It was wasn't it? I liked it on Blizz's Dollar. :P'

Perhaps a few of you can relate to a certain someone's informative antics:

Skizot wrote:

[LoA], at BlizzCon, had me going nuts.

Medievaldragon:
Will you get community feedback concerning bugs, since there won't be an official PR beta test.

Cooler:
Bugs in Terran race will be part of any patches we support. Zerg/Protoss are no where near balanced. And it would be a wast to add anything until Terran bugs were fixed.

LordofAscension:
Will the Zerg/Protoss even be added?

Cooler:
Zerg / Protoss are not playable to any real standards. Wc3 engine has an order limit that cripples the Zerg. So a single ZvZ battle could lag the map beyond playable.

LordofAscension:
So there are no plans to add either of the races?

Cooler:
It was planed long ago not to. At least 18 months ago. During early alpha tests in 2005/2006 we hit major engine problems. The Zerg you saw there is the exact same Zerg from that time.

Skizot:
Yeah the first race LoA picked at BlizzCon was Zerg -_-

Cooler:
Protoss worked at one time but then our loader code changed and pathing messed them up, and if we fixed it other races would have issues. Shields however work fine as you can see.

Medievaldragon:
So in short, PR will be only Terran vs Terran. Zerg is in there just as decoration/viewing pleasure.

Skizot:
People can use them in a Terran campaign.

Cooler:
I had the choice of leaving it in and I said the fans would want it.

Medievaldragon:
I see. kinda like Blizzard adding some old units in the World Editor, but not in-game

Finally – and most importantly:

LordofAscension:
How many of the friendships have survived? :P Were there any huge fights or anything along the way?

Skizot:
I'm gonna stab Berry if that's what you mean.

Cooler:
Most of us are good friends. You kinda have to be to work on something together this long.

Skizot:
There's always disagreements, but we tend to work them out.

 

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Conducted Tuesday, January 1st, 2008 by SCLegacy with special guest, Medievaldragon, from BlizzPlanet.com.

SC:L Staff present: LordofAscension, rise, ChaosSmurf, and DiscipleofAdun.

SC:L would like to extend our thanks and best wishes to Skizot, Cooler, Naga_Warrior, Jun, Soulphalanx, and Mantis. It's been an honor to know these people for the last several years. Expect big things from those who started a revolution.

 http://www.wc3campaigns.net/revolution/ text-align: center; mce_src=

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