Interview with "King Kong"MBA: Ok, first of all, a great thanks to you officially and in place of all the fans who will be reading this with great pleasure.
In this little interview we'd like to present the community the greatest legend TWC has seen so far
and will answer a few questions about this famous person that is behind "King Kong"
and his overly excellent contributions and beloved work he did for the all of us.
So again a great thanks in place of every fan before we start...
That said, after these words of introduction, let's start right with the first questions, questions about you;
who's the person behind King Kong ?!
KK: At least not what some people might think, the name doesn’t say much about me.
I’m just an ordinary grown guy who likes games, art, movies, politics, sports and many other things.
I’m probably not one of the younger members here at the twc and am trying to finish my biology studies in Hohenheim/Germany soon.
MBA: So how did you personally come to modding at all, how did your career start in the first place, and for fans that already lost the overview;
what did you do already so far, what team/mods/projects and stuff like that were you involved or did you lead... ?
KK: I always loved strategy games from early on and I was always a fan of history, Middle ages and the ancient world.
Until my highly anticipated Medieval 2 came out I only played games, but after playing so many strategy games,
I recognized that the games of nowadays couldn’t inspire me much more, so I began to edit some games to my liking.
My first public mod was Stainless Steel, a very general mod in the medieval setting that ‘just’ tries to improve anything that I think was missed by the original game.
MBA: So from all what you did so far, what made you especially proud,
what is your most favourite part/work you (and your team if that's the case) did so far ?
KK: Good question. Actually my interests in modding are very broad, so I don’t have any special favourites of my work.
The thing that I probably like most is that my current project, Third Age – Total War,
has in my eyes a great and coherent atmosphere which displays a very believable fantasy world for fans of the books, aswell as ‘casual’ players.
I also like that my mods are making the game relatively hard to play, because in newer games this doesn’t seem to play any role anymore,
but was always important to me to have a certain difficulty level and a high standard.
MBA: How do you imagine your future, what do you wish for regarding your modding career,
what is "the next step" the great Kong wants to climb ?
KK: Currently I don’t see modding as a career, I do this mainly for my personal fun, but of course also to express myself artistically.
Currently I have still two mods where I want to care about, but I’m quite open to what the future brings.
I just hope that even in the far future there will always be a game where I think it is worth to mod it.
Working in the games industry is a dream job for many people, maybe for myself, but it’s different from what modders do and I’m currently not seeking this.
MBA: And what inspires you, what is driving you forward ?
Do you get inspired by other games/mods and if so which ones ?
Or even by other TWC members ?
KK: I have really endless things that inspire me, be it my mind, books, pictures or videos.
Mainly it’s my own ideas that drive me forward, which sometimes never seem to stop.
But of course I also get inspiration from many members of this forum and I since I would say that I listen to everyone, I couldn’t name any special persons.
Fortunately (or unfortunately), inspiration is never something that I miss.
Stainless Steel 6.1
MBA: What is the question you get asked the most by fans;
and also what would you like to say to all of your fans, here and now and/or in generally ?
KK: The most requests are probably problem-related, may it be game errors or technical issues.
And of course the question about the release date of the next version.
So, to those who are waiting for the next version: please don’t ask this question, I can’t answer it,
except that it will be before 2012, that is my personal dead-line.
And of course, thanks for all your patience and for playing mods.
MBA: Now let's come to the Third Age mod, which obviously is one of, if not the most loved modification ever made for Total War.
The fascinating Middle-Earth conversion gathered thousands and thousands of fans around it and has been actively developed for almost 5 years now...
Can you tell us what it is like for you, what Third Age means to you.
As the "father" of it, the team leader, can you even enjoy it yourself, or playing it yourself
- or is all you can seek for more and more perfection until there is nothing more to change until you can sit down and enjoy it yourself
- or is it even that a King Kong is never satisfied and will never lean back playing "his own mod" he and his team created ?
KK: Thanks a lot for your appreciation.
And like my huge castles of LEGO meant a lot to me when I was young, Third Age means a lot to me now, maybe a bit more.
I cannot exactly say where the end of this development is, but I really hope there will be one.
Probably I seek the game that I consider myself a perfect strategy game in a great setting.
My main goal is indeed to finally play a great strategy game again, of course it will be a long campaign of Third Age.
Then I could consider my project as done.
MBA: Now with Third Age version 3.0 there is the next big version coming to us.
Would you be so kind and tell us more about the long awaited custom settlements, their development and your ups and downs with creating them ?
KK: The main credit for this breakthrough should go to wilddog and makanyane,
without their work to develop a tool over months or years, this would never have been possible.
Settlement making is just a lot of fun and so I had a great time making them.
Of course I had extremely frustrating moments in this process where I had to fix things over and over again, but that’s not different from other fields of modding.
On the other hand I had really great moments when I have managed to do really special settlements,
like for example Moria, a city within a mountain and everything works as expected.
MBA: So beside the already previewed settlements, will there be more included before the release of version 3.0 or do you think "it is enough for now" ?
Or will there be another great surprise - if you are permitted to tell, that might be coming towards us from "Devils Advocate" ?
KK: There will be a lot of new things in the next version and like I always do before a release, there will be a preview soon, that will probably reveal most surprises.
The one who knows Devils_Advocte, knows he also likes surprises.
MBA: How long do you want to continue making settlements,
which ones are still "must haves" for the mod you do want to create in each case ?
KK: I don’t know how long I want to continue with settlements, but there are surely several settlements missing that I consider as very important.
MBA: In this regard also: Once the Hobbit will be released, there certainly will be a lot of new visual inspiration materials,
like units for the Mountain Orcs, Elves and Dwarves, but also locations like Esgaroth and the lonely Mountain.
Do you, as far as one can already state, think it will cause Third Age getting "overworked" again,
basically a few elements which will be improved and added based on this new sources ?
KK: Yes and no. I don’t really like reworking things that I have considered as done, so I don’t see, for example, a rework of the Dwarves of myself.
However, as a great fan of Peter Jackson’s movies and the design of WETA, I know that I probably can’t resist some of the movies’ depictions,
so of course it will hopefully also serve me as a visual collection point for future versions.
MBA: So about the third version of this great mod again; what can you tell us about it ?
What secrets, what it will contain that no-one knows yet ?
A little bit more than is currently known - of course without telling the fans everything to keep it a pleasant surprise for the final release ?!
KK: I’m one of few who always tries to keep secrets.
MBA: Now since I do know very, very well how annoying it can be to be asked for a release date
and that it obviously depends on so many facts like real life time and unforseen happenings as well as bugs/problems and new plans that one likes to add,
interacting with team members and collecting and testing everything... I will not ask you about an estimate date of arrival.
Instead we are going to give the fans some little, little piece of extra content:
A short little video, but please note that as the custom settlements sadly seem not to work in custom battle it is only FRAPS recorded,
so bad quality and bad angels/movement and in no way comparable to the quality a CinEd video would have given.
I apologize for that, but hope you do anyways want to take a look at it, just to see a little bit more about what is coming towards you soon.
MBA: A great thanks goes to the almighty King Kong for sharing that with us.
I'd like to thank your very much again, in place of the Head-Content Team and wish you and your team much fun and good luck with all your future projects.
And of course for every fan I wish much fun with what King Kong generously gave to us, enjoy it,
appreciate it, and wait for the great release of the third version.
Thanks for your time and infos.
Do you want to add anything at the end ?!
KK: Yes, thanks MasterBigAb for your request to do this interview, your cool videos and support for Third Age,
thanks to the Content Staff for their articles and work and the whole twc administration and users for the best forum I know!
Take care and have fun!
MBA: Thanks again. Thanks for reading, this was my little precious, I am off now, enjoying the Third Age mod again.