Below is a short text interview with Mantas Sajevicius AKA MrFlanker, the maker of Overawe.
I know it’s been months since its release, but we tried to have an audio interview but our schedules never matched and then there was a delay in sending and replying to the questions.
Feel free to post your questions as comments, but I can’t guarantee that Mantas will answer them. Enjoy.
Please tell the readers a little bit about yourself.
My name is Mantas Sajevicius and I was born in Lithuania in 1991. Right now for a last year (2013) I’m studying information systems.
How long have you been playing games?
I think first normal game was “Need for speed 5” somewhere in 2000, before that, while the computer was still quite a new thing, all kinds of puzzle games were enough of an entertainment. As well during that time I played games at friend's house like heroes 3 and some sega games.
What got you into modding?
I started with hammer for Half-Life single player maybe when I was 14. After a while episode one was bought which came with Half-Life 2 deathmatch for which I made some maps. They were not tested so gameplay probably isn’t good. Now I’m trying to make a team fortress 2 playable map by putting it into gamedays.
How did you learn to map?
At first I was more interested in the looks of the maps. I remember making single player maps without first making not detailed version. That way it took long time to make them. As well you realize into what small map was added huge effort only after you make it which made me wanting to make multiplayer maps more. Later I was more interested about making a map with a good gameplay. Making good multiplayer map failed since you need an amount of people to test it unlike with single player where from at least one tester you get something. I started to make not detailed single player maps out of which the one had layout I liked and I almost detailed it. I hit t-junction limit, I knew how to fix it, but after that I was too lazy to proceed. I will probably add that map to “overawe”. Later I made “overawe” map.
Have you made and/or released any other SP maps?
Released? Nope. Made? Yes. And quite a lot.
Now let’s talk about Overawe. What made you decide to make it?
A junkyard contest in GameBanana. The overawe named map is second version. The first one was just called junkyard and released as a single map file. It flickered even more, didn’t had that last part with hunters, after killing sniper the screen just went white. I wanted to put something with hunters back then, but I didn’t have time, since map was finished one hour before deadline. I have made it in to a mod like format because I wanted to try to make custom soundscapes and I was thinking on adding more maps to it in the future.
I believe that part of its attraction is its strong theme. Was that foremost in your mind when you started making it?
I was trying to recreate atmosphere of the Buda Marly Carcoke Factory. The main theme of a contest was junkyard, but I donâ€˜t find junkyards particularly interesting, so figured to make most of the map not junkyard, but I made it to be visible everywhere. This is where I thought to put sniper harassing a player through most of the map.
Tell me about the name
I just surfed Google translator. Nobody should think too much about that name, I probably barely know what that word means.
How long did it take?
The first version took about 15 days. How long did it take for second version I don’t know, after making a not detailed version of hunter chase sequence there was a long pause and after that I was detailing map and fixing original part very slowly.
Was it your first mod?
How much planning did you do?
I went through photos of abandoned places first, came up with some general ideas for gameplay and then squiggled layout of map zones on notebook.
How much beta testing did it have?
I watched three different people play it overall.
Did it go through many iterations?
I made a not detailed version, tested myself, changed stuff, then gave it to my friends, changed stuff, made a detailed version, checked if everything was okay and released it. Second version was similar.
What have you learnt from making it?
I might started making maps faster.
If you could go back in time to when you first started, what would you do differently?
Plan out layout in a way to avoid flickering.
What are you most happy with about the mod?
Gameplay. That’s my first released map that got good reviews on gameplay.
What are you least happy with about the mod?
With soundscapes and flickering. As well there could have been better indications that you need to run from hunters. When my friend tested a map he didn’t run at first, but I thought that it happened because I gave that part of the map skipping the rest of the map. I thought maybe he didn’t want to begin running from the start fearing to ruin the test. After few his deaths I just told him to run. Therefore I just checked the chase sequence itself, but not when and why player decides to run. I couldn’t check how changes affect that part again because he already knew what to do. I made whole place with poor cover and ramps hoping that would keep pushing players forward. As well didn’t restore ammo well and I didn’t give them smg granades or plasma so at worst case scenario they would run because they are dying.
Do you play a lot of single player Source maps and mods?
I do from time to time.
What are your favourites?
Minerva, Mission Improbable, Black Mesa.
Are you going to make more single player maps?
I’ll probably add maps to Overawe.
Do you read all of the reviews and comments on various sites?
What are your ambitions or plans regarding modding for the future?
Adding maps to overawe.