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Old 12-31-2011, 04:36 AM   #1
Default PR DEV Interview: [R-DEV]VapoMan

Hello [R-DEV]VapoMan, could you describe yourself, where you come from, and what you do in real life?

Hi. My name is Vaughn, I'm from Perth Australia. I'm currently in my final year of high school and am 17 years old. In my spare time you can find me playing a variety of video games, doing some sort of art, or working on one of my PR maps.

I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to be doing next year. I'll most likely be redoing my last 2 years of school in order to get better grades so I can enter university. My school life in the past has been pretty complicated. I suffered from social anxiety and missed a lot of school, and my grades were pretty bad as a result. I try not to dwell on the shadows of the past, my present health is fine and those experiences have made me a stronger person.

[R-DEV]Vapoman in Australia

How long have you been gaming online and when did you start playing Project Reality? Also, what is your best memory playing PR?

After almost a year of playing vanilla Battlefield 2, I got into PR. This was around 0.8 or 0.85, when Project Reality was advertised on the BF2 menu. Since then PR has been my main game, sometimes I'll play other games but I always fall back onto old reliable PR. My best memories of PR would have to be the times when I've gotten into a close quarters fire fight with someone right next to me, only for us both run out of ammo and start a knife fight.

How did you discover the Realitymod forums and how did you become an [R-DEV]? What were the circumstances of this nomination?

After about a couple months of playing PR, I joined the forums. Sometime in 2009 I started mapping for PR, just as something to do as I've always had an interest in making video game levels. When I look at the maps I made back then I sometime wonder what I was doing to make such horrible creations. At the same time those maps gave me valuable skills and experience. For example, Operation Hailstorm (my jungle map that will most likely never be finished due to engine limitations) taught me a lot about making realistic looking terrain and textures, and that provided me a good foundation for my current map, Black Gold.

After a couple of years mapping, my skills had gotten quite good and I was helping people in the PR mapping community. I was about half way through making Black Gold and was playing a game of PR with AncientMan (who is also from Australia) and he asked me if I wanted to be an R-CON.

As an R-CON I got much more helpful feedback from team members. Months ago I thought my map was close to being finished, but with the help of the other mappers I was able to shape my map into something much better. To those that participated in the bug-ridden play tests in the past, I say thanks. The data and feedback I got from those tests have helped me improve the map a lot.

Then when Black Gold was released as part of the 0.973 Map Pack, the PR team promoted me to R-DEV!

It's obvious that you give a lot of your time to help PR. How does it affect your life and its obligations?

I'm in a situation where I don't have much homework, and I don't have a job (though I should be looking for one), so I have a lot of free time on my hands. Sometimes I spend a whole week mapping, using up most of my spare time. Other times I'll neglect my work for what seems like forever. I try to be laid back with whatever I do, but at the same time now that I'm on the DEV team I know there are deadlines, so stuff has to get done. It helps that I actually enjoy making maps. Sometimes I would rather work on my map than play a game as it's more relaxing, mentally stimulating and in the end I feel like I've actually accomplished something.

Before I started mapping for PR I really didn't know how video games worked, I hadn't touched Photoshop before. Now after about 3 years of mapping, which requires the use of Photoshop, I've changed my career path from wanting to fix computers for a living to graphic design or even the games industry. That's not something I probably would have realistically thought of doing years ago.

Why do you make maps while other DEVs make vehicles or weapons? In other words, why do maps appeal to you?

Well I guess the desire to make maps came to me at an early age. When I was little I would play with Lego blocks, which is basically the same concept for making maps. You build stuff and then when you're finished with your creation you play with it. Years later I started getting into video games and spent more time playing with the level editors that came with the games than playing the games themselves. On the PC I was making maps for Age of Empires, and on the Xbox I was making maps for Far Cry. Since I didn't have the internet back then there was no way for other people to play my maps and levels, but I still really enjoyed making them.

When I started playing Project Reality I found that I could make maps for other people to play. Having other people playing your map is just an awesome feeling. I guess you could compare it to an artist painting. Once the painting is finished and hanging on someone's wall to enjoy, it gives you this great feeling of satisfaction. For everything I do on my map I have to ask myself, "How is this going to effect gameplay? Is it going to effect performance?", and "Could I improve it in some way?" It's very time consuming, but it results in a better map.

Project Reality is a mod that has been highly visible for the past 5 years, with all the awards and magazine articles. Tell us what you think about the future of PR?

I find it incredible how Project Reality has evolved over the years. When you think about how it started a mini mod with just a handful of features almost eight years ago and what it is now, it's amazing that we've come this far with a team of random people from all over the world.

Some people think that one day PR will die off. It probably will eventually, but not for quite a while. Look at all the 'triple-A' game titles that have come out over the course of Project Reality's life, yet none have killed it off. In fact, the player base has only grown, and so has the mod itself. As long as there are people contributing to the mod then I think there will also be people interested in playing it.

Everyone seems very excited about Black Gold. Can you tell us how long it took to make?

I worked on Black Gold for almost a year, stating in December 2010. At the time it was a side project, intended to be just a simple training map. I couldn't help myself though and I kept adding more and more detail. I soon saw its potential as an actual PR map and it became my main project.

You must be happy about the result. Do you have any other projects planned?

Just comparing screenshots I made of the map in the earlier days and ones I've made recently, I am very happy with how the map turned out. For example, what was then a just a small village I made in about an hour evolved into the large detailed city the you see below, which took me many months to complete.

The evolution of the city, from beginning to now.

I have plans on making another Pacific-climate jungle map, as I've always liked the jungle setting. Claustrophobic overgrowth mixed with seaside urban areas, i.e. somewhere where you might go for a holiday.

Sound great. So anything else you'd like to tell us before we close this interview?

I would like to thank you, [R-CON]psychickactivity, for giving me the opportunity to let the community know more about the PR team and what we do. I would also like to thank everyone that helped me get Black Gold finished, from those on the team to the community at-large.
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:06 AM   #2

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Default re: PR DEV Interview: [R-DEV]VapoMan

Great job and a happy new year!

Some guy: "u a f** lier this guy dont use cheats i see him everyday... u draw tha lines u f*** loser"
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:05 AM   #3
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Default re: PR DEV Interview: [R-DEV]VapoMan

fantastic work Vapo
You've got a great feeling for the industry scenes

La faim justifie les moyens ......
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:34 AM   #4
Default re: PR DEV Interview: [R-DEV]VapoMan

Keep growing that 'stache and I'm sure it will turn into something wicked.

"Jafar, show me a sniper rifle." - Silly_Savage 2013
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:58 AM   #5
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Default re: PR DEV Interview: [R-DEV]VapoMan

Incredible work thanks!! And Perth is somewhere I've always wanted to go, how is it there?
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:15 AM   #6
PR:BF2 Developer

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Default re: PR DEV Interview: [R-DEV]VapoMan

PR:BF2 Mapper
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: PR DEV Interview: [R-DEV]VapoMan

Wonderful read. Keep up the splendid work.

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Old 01-01-2012, 12:08 AM   #8
Default Re: PR DEV Interview: [R-DEV]VapoMan

Great story, and splendid work. Black Gold is "new Kashan" - some call it like that. I enjoy playing it. Thanks Vapoman and keep them coming. Cheers

Happy New Year!

"People never lie so much as before an election, during a war, or after a hunt."
"God has a special providence for fools, drunks, and the United States of America."
― Otto von Bismarck
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Old 01-01-2012, 03:59 AM   #9
[R-DEV]Jafar Ironclad
PR:BF2 Developer

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Default Re: PR DEV Interview: [R-DEV]VapoMan

If Black Gold does not become the new must-play armored combined arms map in PR I will eat my hat. You've done excellent work, VapoMan.

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Old 01-02-2012, 09:40 PM   #10

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Default Re: PR DEV Interview: [R-DEV]VapoMan

17...Same age as me. You give me hope,mate.
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