Logo made by Armando 'vinkka' Carmona - http://vinkka.telefragged.com
 
Doomworld: Where did you get the balls to not put a single enemy in the first level?
 
Justin: Good question. Iím not sure. It was an idea that worked for so many reasons that it had to go in. I knew it would fail for some players, but for those for whom it worked, it would _really_ work. I tried to ensure it would not be perceived as a faulty wad, probably with reasonable success.  
There were a few things I wanted to do that I didnít have the balls for, but with 20/20 hindsight based on the reaction to the things I did do, I can see that they would have gone down well. Knowing this has given me much more confidence in my ideas.
 
What sort of things were you not man enough to include? :)
 
More deviation from the traditional kill&collect design of levels. I was really uncertain about the reception Med Labs would get - it's almost impossible to survive unless you know what you're meant to be doing, and what you're meant to be doing is different from the normal level. As it turned out, it was far and away the favourite level for a lot of players.
 
Have you ever read any of the Doom editing books in the bookstore?  How did it make you feel to see your TC mentioned and/or reviewed and/or placed on the CD included?
 
Usually quite good! :-) Most commercial CDís shied away from it for copyright reasons, so it was less affected than some by the "put a ftp-dump of wads onto CD and make a quick buck" people, and due to the scope, more likely to get discussed/reviewed and distributed with respect (ie all files present, credit given, etc.)
 
By your own count, how many times were you asked to have Aliens-TC included on commercial works like books or level compilation CDs?
 
Err, I have no idea. Iíd guess 2-8. The people most likely to ask are usually also the people most likely to avoid it for copyright reasons.
 
Were you ever asked to join any other Doom projects after Aliens-TC?
 
Yep, but there is a long list of reasons why I didnít want to take any up.
 
Strangely enough, Aliens-TC was both your first and last work for Doom, not including the unfinished WAD you later released which mainly showcased effects like your M.C. Escher-inspired level.  Why did you "burn out" so soon?
 
I wanted to do another conversion, and had planned and designed a fair bit of it before I realised that the time was past. It would probably take me another six months to do the conversion, and by that time, Doom/Doom2 would be on the way out. My main love is for creating worlds, and it was more inviting to wait for the next generation of game/world engine than to spend it with Doom/2 again.  
But while the game ideas for my next conversion could be kept, the technical ones were only relevant to Doom/2, and as I saw more and more wads doing the same things over and over again, and regularly heard people complaining about how you couldnít make a decent level because everything had already been done in Doom nine times over, it seemed a waste to keep the ideas to myself. Hence the Nemisis.wad you mention above. I also love doing the impossible, so seeing a discussion about how an Escher-style room in Doom Ďwould be cool but impossibleí was cool  :-) 
Itís probably more accurate to say I moved out rather than burned out. I still love creating worlds, and still create them, just no-longer for Doom.  
When the next-nearest thing, Quake, came out, I assembled a group of people to make a conversion for that. Our Cunning (but ultimately flawed) Plan was to do the design work and non-editor-based work while we waited for Quake editing software to get up to speed and make it all possible. As it turned out, our estimates were wrong and we emerged from the design phase to find the editing software still woefully behind what we needed. This was a big problem because the amount of work involved 
meant the bulk of it needed to be done before university resumed early the next year, and that was no-longer able to happen, so we basically had to abort.  
Most of the stuff Iíve been doing isnít of much interest to the Doom community (or isnít available online). You can see a part of my experiment with a Riven type of game/style but itís probably not the typical Doom playerís thing. 
 
What happened to the supplement with "The episode map at the end of each level, a better smartgun explosion, lots more destroyable scenery, an egg-laying queen hanging from the nest roof, A proper sky texture, better sounds, lots of things...?"
 
Err, yeahÖ The cat ate itÖ 
At the end of six months of Aliens-TC, I didnít want to touch it with a barge pole.  I was sick of it and wanted a break. Now, over four years later, I _might_ have had a long enough break, but Iíve also decided to never base my work on someone elseís intellectual property. Obviously there are big advantages to using such a great (and popular) theme, but the disadvantages are greater (and less obvious in the beginning :-)
 
That almost sounds like you might get around to finishing it...?
 
Nope. No chance. (Unless someone pays me obscene amounts of money to do it :-)
My reasons would in some ways be different now, but still nearly as strong.
 
Aliens-TC is easily one of the most-loved and most-played Doom WADs of all time.  Even people who have forgotten Doom long ago in favor of newer games can still vividly remember their first time playing Aliens-TC.  Did you ever expect it to have the impact that it did?
 
No. Not even close. As it was nearing completion, I did think it was better than almost everything else out there at the time, so I thought it would have a comfortably warm reception, but I was a little off the markÖ 
(In the week following the anticipated release of Doom2, more of the newsgroup discussion was about Aliens-TC than Doom2). I wanted feedback about A-TC, so had my email address pretty prominently placed in it. The day after I released it, I spent five hours answering email. That really scared me - I just didnít have the time to spend all day on email. (To anyone who wrote to me and got a short reply, or no reply - sorry - I was swamped) 
Four years later, it still surprises me. Recently I decided to buy a computer game magazine, (something I hadnít done for years) and come across an article about the upcoming game "Trespasser", which cited Aliens-TC as an inspiration for some of their game design. For a game to be influencing games four years later, in the computer industry, seems pretty amazing. 
 
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