Interview with Scott Alden

Scott Alden is one of the programmers on F.A.K.K.2, and has, among other things, been busy on weapons programming, effects programming and the in game menus. The ingame consoles provide a powerful control over the game and nifty features for mod makers.
Thanks to Scott for taking the time to answer our questions

As seen in a few screenshots, FAKK2 will offer quite a few consoles for ingame changing of game/level settings. For what parts of your level are there consoles available to change settings?

There's a ton of menus and utilities that the everyone around the office has been creating to get their job done. The first menu ever created was for creating special effects systems (Ghost). After that, a cinematic camera system interface was dropped in, then an animation tool, finally the dynamic sound placement system. Every few weeks another menu pops up that someone created that lets you tweak the game or add content in some way.

Did the consoles start out as just developer tools, or where they always planned to be left in for mods?

When we design a system in FAKK we try to make it as general as possible so it can be used by the level designers and artists without the need for extra programming. This translates into having a very modifiable game for mod makers out there.

As was recently revealed in an interview with GA-Source, Zak Belica, responsible for sound and music in FAKK2 can place the sound effects himself by just running around in the level. How does that work, do you have to target the floor where you want the sound and a sprite will show up there? Can you change the X/Y/Z settings after that?

There's a bunch of things you can tweak on a sound entity. The interface lets Zak do all of that without having to "rebuild" the level. I've attached a screenshot of the interface.

SiN 1.06 included support for placing cameras for making cinematics. Since we can safely assume that this is included in FAKK2 as well, has anything changed as for placement of nodes or anything else?

The cinematic system is completely in game now. Tom has been working on some really great looking cinematics. There's camera tracking, fading, fov changes, etc... Since he can preview what it's going to look like in the game, he can whip up a new cinematic in a matter of minutes. The old way required a complete recompile of the entire level.

If someone for some reason wanted to change the appearance of one of consoles, like if they don't like how the ingame script editors looks, is it possible to change the colors of it? Like the themes for menus in Unreal Tournament?

Yes, along with color schemes, they can actually change the placement of everything if they want to as well. We built a GUI editor so we can quickly create menus with it. All of the interface specs are described with a text file, so no extra coding is required.

Will you be providing any documentation upon release? I imagine something like the Zounds system needs some explanation.

I'm not really sure about that yet, but I imagine some form of information (i.e. examples) will go out when we release the game. We do have a ton of in game documentation now as well. All of our script commands are documented in the game and you can access it with the 'eventhelp' command.

Ritualistic would like to thank Scott Alden for taking the time to answer these questions.