Interview with Mark Dochtermann

Mark Dochtermann is programmer and one of the co-founders of Ritual Entertainment. I want to thank him for his time for the interview, as well as thank Jack Mathews for answering the question on shaders.

What are you currently working on for F.A.K.K.2?

I am the lead programmer and project manager of F.A.K.K.2. I dispatch code work to the different programmers and try to keep the project on schedule and focused. To be honest, Scott Alden and Steven Peeler are the ones doing a lot of the cool things you will see in the game. I am usually so busy with management, biz and administration that my coding contributions are smaller than some of the other programmers.

The Ritual F.A.K.K.2 page has quite an impressive feature list, are all of these features already in the game?

That entire feature list is coded and being used in the game right now. We re-used the majority of Sin's systems and were able to jump right into FAKK 2 full steam ahead. It is a real pleasure to see all that hard work pay off.

Will F.A.K.K.2 support the EAX and A3D sound API's?

We use the Miles Sound System in FAKK 2 but will be taking special care to make sure that EAX 2.0 and A3D 2.0 are properly supported. Adding support for the EAX and A3D is a little more complicated than the past since all the new API's actually take geometry into account. Our sound god Zak will be going through our levels and adding the final reverb and reflection settings.

All the music in the game is streamed MP3's and we are re-using the music system we developed for Sin where the music "mood" changes depending on what is happening in the game.

The current industry buzzwords are "enviromental bumpmapping" and "transform & lighting". Will F.A.K.K.2 support any of these new features?

Since F.A.K.K2 and Quake 3 both use Open GL, supporting T&L is a no-brainer. We are also looking at supporting the two bones per vertex mesh deformation acceleration present in the NV10 right now. Jim just finished a true skeletal system that we will be using for the player and other characters in the game. The great thing about true skeletal is that we can still do multi-part models but the mesh is continuous, in other words there are no seams between head and neck or torso and legs. Also, the skeletal system is a drop in replacement for our current system so that animations do not have to be redone, only re-exported from MAX.

As far as environmental bumpmapping is concerned, we don't have solid plans on supporting this, but that might change before shipping. As always, we constantly strive to make the gameplay experience as rich as possible and part of that is supporting the latest and greatest hardware.

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