Part 3 in our ChaosUT interview series is finally here, and this time we chat with Lead Artist Mike "thatscrawnykid" McCormick.
There is a version of Chaos available for almost every game in the UT series; ChaosUT for the original UT, ChaosUT2 for UT2003 and ChaosUT2:Evolution for UT2004. You can grab any or all of them over at the team's website, Chaotic Dreams.
The UT99 version of the mod was an awakening for me. It helped put me on the path to designing art for games. Up until discovering the GOTY edition of UT99 with that second disc full of mods, I'd always looked at game design as some fairy tale world out of reach of the mere mortals.
Stacey Conley: How is development going?
Mike McCormick: Development is going great! We recently added Metalfist and Rockdude86 to our roster which is awesome. Metal has been doing some really nice special effects and Rockdude is cranking out a map that really accentuates the unique nature of Chaos both in style and gameplay. I also have a map in the works. So yeah, lots of stuff going on. We've really ironed out a big chunk of what we need to do, now its just a matter of making it happen. That's easier said than done for sure, but I couldn't ask for a better team. In other words, we're getting things done.
SC: How far along is the mod?
MM: Chaos is a hard mod to "measure" as the scope of the mod is such that it could expand exponentially as we recruit more talent. In terms of where we are in an official sense, we just hit Internal release 17. IR17 contains most of the features we want to have for our first public alpha. That first public release will be a huge milestone so we are working hard to polish up our current feature list, which stands at eight relics and the grappling hook as well as a repulse attack for fending off close ranged attackers. There is a lot going on under the hood here and Warhead has been doing a phenomenal job coding all of our crazy ideas.
SC: What is your role on the Chaos team?
MM: I make art. The majority of our art thus far has had my stamp on it in some way. Most recently I've improved on our Relic design based on a shift in our art direction. I've begun prototyping the animations for the Chaos Bastard Sword. I've also redesigned the Proxy Mine and we've recently settled on the final design. There is a new version of the ERDW that I've started as well. The ERDW is a high energy rail-gun capable of penetrating walls. It was featured in the Unreal Tournament 2004 version of Chaos and I've been updating the design while hopefully staying true to the weapon's roots. Another cool concept Metalfist suggested, was giving our vampire power up a set of wings to glide around the map, so I built and animated those and we should be seeing them added soon.
SC: What do you do when you're not working on Chaos
MM: Work, other video games and spending time with my girlfriend.
SC: What tools do you use to create your contributions?
MM: Blender, Photoshop, Substance Designer, Substance Painter, and Agisoft Photoscan.
SC: What is your favorite Chaos memory?
MM: The UT99 version of the mod was an awakening for me. It helped put me on the path to designing art for games. Up until discovering the GOTY edition of UT99 with that second disc full of mods, I'd always looked at game design as some fairy tale world out of reach of the mere mortals. The quality of the Chaos mod even back then, was on par with much of what was in the stock UT. I thought for a while that it was made by Epic Games as bonus content! The Proxy mines are still in my opinion one of the best weapons in any game. Of course my favorite memories haven't happened yet. Every single time I boot up a new version of Chaos and see our work come to life I know the best is yet to come.
SC: What other mods have you worked on? (any engine or game)
MM: Mostly I've done personal work. I did have a short stint with a Perfect Dark mod for UT99 way back in 2000. I'm also working on the Impact Hammer concept posted by Eightball in the UT weapon forum: https://www.epicgames.com/unrealtournament/forums/showthread.php?23868-Impact-Hammer and a variation of the Shock Rifle that I'd still like to get in game: https://www.epicgames.com/unrealtournament/forums/showthread.php?8510-Shock-Rifle-Sketch
I also have some helmets in the works:
SC: What are you most looking forward to in Chaos?
MM: Getting it into the hands of players! Every week it seems someone posts about their fond memories of the mod, so I know I've got a responsibility to live up to those expectations. As far as for myself, I really can't wait to get the Proxy Mines into the game.
Mike adds, "We need help! We need help on all fronts. We need talented dedicated people who want to do something crazy. Specifically, we need maps, concept art, animation and more. If you have any skills you think would help, then you're welcome to join a team that doesn't settle for less and gets things done! Please get in touch with me or anyone else on the team if you have something to offer. You can also help by following us on our social media channels and spreading the word about the mod!
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Join us soon for more CHAOS!