Last Updated: 03/31/99 

VamPyro

"Around mid May of '97, I ran across an old friend of mine, Rob Dunlop. Just about to graduate school, he was anxious to work on something new, fun and creative. Together we discussed what would end up becoming our after hour obsession. So it was with our combined efforts that, for the next 2 months, we built what we felt was the definitive "custom" Descent level; breaking all boundaries of my previous designs.

I began working on preliminary level designs, as Rob began making textures. It was after a week of work that we came upon the eventual theme of our new level. We both agreed that Infograme's "Alone in the Dark" was among our all time favorite computer games, and we wanted to create an environment completely out of the futuristic realm of the now famous Descent universe... a haunted house level.

The ideas flourished with the ability to modify in-game objects using the recent addition of add-on enhancements available for Descent2. Within the second week I had the basic level design finished, and only then did the real work begin.

Each area in Vampyro underwent at least 5 major revision changes. Since our target audience was multiplayer, high framerate was extremely important. But we also had to consider single player, since it nested alot of interesting potential as well. Virtual "props" were designed within the limitations of the segment based editor. Above all, each area had to stand on it's own, while the combination had to flow intuitively, so that the single player experience was just as enjoyable.

Meanwhile, Rob piled up what became approximately 200 hand drawn textures over the next several weeks. Each week we would go over the entire layout and make notes of what needed to be improved.

I can honestly say, that after making 60+ levels on 3 commercial releases based on the Descent engine, none has been as enjoyable to make as this single level. I only hope that you, the player, will also enjoy it. " - Dan Wentz

"I'd just like to add: The internet still amazes me. Dan and I have never met or even spoken over the phone, we don't know what each other look like (except that severed head was modeled on mine so he probably thinks I'm green and bald), and there is 6 hours between our time zones. Even so, we worked well together and were totally on the same wavelength. It's been a truly remarkable summer.

I had a lot of fun working on Vampyro. Have fun with it too." - Rob Dunlop

 

Be sure to read the interview with Dan Wentz (led by Heiko Herrmann) in our Descent Network Article Archive, talking about VamPyro and other things!

 

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