An interview with Jason Black
Written by Syko
Today we noticed that quite a few people were interested in Jedi Betrayal’s HUD. Perhaps the similarity of it to Jedi Outcast’s HUD is why so many like it. I decided I would find out by interviewing it’s creator, mod director Jason Black. I asked him questions such as what influenced him in it’s creation, a bit of how he created it, if there was more work to be done on it and more. You can find my interview with him below.
- Q: What was your primary influence in the design of Jedi Betrayal’s HUD?
A: Well, the team had been throwing concepts back and forth for a few weeks and nothing seemed really appealing to everybody. I know I felt that the style we ended up going with could be greatly enhanced using some more contemporary 3D rendering techniques.
- Q: How long did it take you to finish it?
A: Darth Arth supplied the 3ds max model within the week of my asking him for it, then I spent about thirteen hours applying UV and textures to the parts of the shape, it was my first time really applying UV with a tool like roadkill.
- Q: We noticed that Jedi Betrayal’s HUD looks very similar to Jedi Outcast’s HUD. Why is this?
A: Eventually the team agreed that the JO HUD was Kyle’s HUD and that, I guess he’d still be using it himself while we played as Jaden with a different HUD in JA. It’s immediately recognizable from past games, so it’s more likely to be accepted by everyone playing, whether they were ever fans of that style or not.
- Q: Did you receive any help on the HUD or is it all your work?
A: I’d like to thank vinc3h for his early attempts, and it simply would not be today if not for Darth Arth. He has to get as much credit for it. Even untextured his model was a work of art. I should also thank the team for tolerating how long it took to get done from the time we’d agreed what would happen up to the time I released the demo version ready to use.
- Q: What tools did you use to create the HUD?
A: Darth Arth built the high poly model from scratch in 3d Studio Max and supplied me with both MAX and OBJ files which I tweaked a little in Milkshape. I used a very old UV mapper pro lite that I happened to have on my drive to apply the UV maps. I used a dozen or so stock images with steam punk materials from dA stock and resources in Photoshop, while still viewing my progress in Milkshape.
Finally, I used Poser Pro, a little known user friendly model rendering program to render it with bump and specular textures.
- Q: Does the HUD in Jedi Betrayal display any new information, or does it just show the usual health, shield, and force bars that were found in the HUDs of previous Jedi Knight games?
A: I’m sure it will once we’ve created the new information and attributes for it to display. I do plan to update the weapons icons in the same fashion used to create the HUD.
- Q: Is the HUD finished, or is there more work to be done on it?
A: I feel it’s suitable to release in our Demo. After that I’d like to fine tune the way the ammo and health meters decrease and work on the overall hues and colours of the HUD. It’s been suggested that if we could use a different HUD for each level, it could appear to be a different shade of even have slightly different functions in response to what level we’re playing.
That concluded my interview with Jason Black. Reading his thoughts in response to my questions, I learned a lot. Jedi Betrayal’s HUD is so attractive to me because, as Jason said, it’s instantly recognizable by any Jedi Knight fan or Star Wars fan in general. It also seems to have that nostalgic effect from my past adventures in Jedi Outcast.
You’ve just read the first of many articles to come on our new official website, jedibetrayal.com! Stay tuned here for more updates about the mod, as well as articles on the development of the mod. Thanks for reading!