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Mike Gummelt
Mike Gummelt currently works at Raven Software, where he has helped with the creation of Hexen II and most recently Heretic II.  His Big Break, however, came as a direct result of his hacking such games as Doom.  Known for his masterful work with the source-hacking program Dehacked, Mike Gummelt was able to literally create whole new worlds within the confines of the Doom engine.  Gummelt is most well-known for his Doom TC Aliens Doom III, which recreated the Aliens experience complete with all-new weapon and monster behaviors, such as hatching eggs, placable land mines, and computer-controlled marines which would help the player on his mission.
 
Doomworld: When did you first play Doom?
 
Mike: I guess it was 92?  93?  I don't really remember since I didn't have a PC of my own in those days, I just remember my friend Perf showing me the Spear of Destiny on his new PC (we both had had Amigas previously).  He then showed me the Doom games later on when they came out.  I wasn't too impressed because I still had an Amiga and refused to believe PC's were better than Amigas, I still had hope that Amigas wouldn't die like they did.
 
When did you first get interested in hacking Doom?
 
I actually got into Doom hacking pretty late.  I heard there was an Aliens Doom TC out (the first one, I think) and I downloaded it at school, put it on disk and took it to Perf's house to try out.  I had always been an Aliens fan and I was really excited by the TC (especially that first level).  But after playing it for a while, I had a whole bunch of ideas I thought would make it better.  I had no idea whether these were possible or not (my only other experience with making games in any way was writing a whole bunch of 
games for my Commodore 128)...  I grabbed a bunch of Aliens graphics from other TC's and Aliens projects, modified them, and made some of my own and started writing Aliens Doom 3 (because I was aware there was already an Aliens Doom 2).  I guess that was in early 95 since I got my own PC in August of 95 for my birthday.  I subtitled mine Aliens vs. Predator to distinguish it and because I actually threw in a couple kinds of Predators. After that I made Insane Weapons doom to make some monsters and weapons I had thought of that didn't fit into Aliens.  My last Doom project was Marines Doom 2 which I made starting with the original Marines Doom as a base (a lot of the stuff we came up with is in 'NAM now...)
 
What was of greater enjoyment to you: making levels, making graphics, or making .DEHs?
 
Definitely making .DEHs!  I made some graphics and a few levels, but they weren't all that good (especially the levels- I really only ever completed 3 or 4 levels in all my Doom modding days).
 
Your most famous Doom work is entitled "Aliens Doom 3," an unfinished conversion which still contained some spectacular effects.  Did you decide to make this conversion after playing Aliens-TC?
 
Yes, the Aliens-TC is the mod that got me into editing and is probably most responsible for me being where I am today.
 
How much time did you spend learning Dehacked?  Did it come naturally, or did you put in long hours testing new effects?
 
It was a long process.  I learned by doing and by downloading every resource I could about hacking Doom.  I checked out other people's mods at first to see what could be done, but eventually I just went through listing every pointer and what it seemed to do and experimented and came up with some cool stuff.  A lot of the more interesting things were results of playing around, like the helper marines, medics, eggs that spit facehuggers, chestbursters, spreading fire and Jonesy the cat (you'd chase him around to catch him- when you touched him, you'd pick him up (he was really the yellow key but could run around and hiss)...
 
My favorite part of Aliens Doom 3 was weapon 7, a landmine which, if used correctly, could blow you clear through a wall into the outside void (obviously not its intended use).  What was your favorite weapon/monster?
 
Hmm... In Aliens Doom, my favorite weapon was probably the heavy machine gun just because it felt so much like the movie, but I can't really take credit for that since I didn't make the graphics or sounds... I guess I'd say I like the grenade launcher and the flamethrower.  My favorite monster was probably the facehugger since it scared thw hell out of people... or maybe the Predator since it would throw it's slicing discus or tracking plasma bolt and cloak... or maybe just Jonesy since it was such a weird hack!
 
You also made an "Insane Weapons Doom."  What sort of stuff did this have in it, as compared to Aliens Doom 3?
 
This arose out of a desire to make some of the weirder wtuff I came up with while working on Aliens Doom 3.  I had ideas for monsters that could go through walls or get back up after being hit... I wanted to try a morphing monster (I had a program that could do simple 2-D morphs), or an imp that could reconstitute itself from a beating heart after gibbed (looked like Hellraiser's Frank), etc.  I had also come up with some weapon ideas like a super mega shotgun, a lightsaber, thermal detonators (Dark Forces was out by then) double pistols (John Woo style- which every game seems to have had since "Rise of the Triad"), and a weird item that would let heal you and act 
as a kind of jump button.  My favorite was a kind of holy cross that you could place and as long as it sat around, anything you looked at would be struck down by lighting... but if someone found the cross and blew it up, you'd die.  Later on,  Mike Jaworski and I made some really cool levels for Insane Weapons and I made some new monsters for it(little slimy things that were basically Lost Souls that walked instead of flew, invisible flying succubi, revenants that could uppercut you, skeletal warriors that pulled 
themselves up out of graves and could never die, just be collapsed into bones for a while, and flame elementals that could only be extinguished by explosions)...
 
Why did you never finish Aliens Doom 3?
 
I had finished about 90% of the code and in my mind the game really only needed levels and a couple art tweaks to be finished.  Unfortunately, I could never really get anyone to make even one comeplete level for the game and I was much more into hacking than level-making.  So I moved on to Insane Weapons and Marines Doom.  I had started to go back to Aliens Doom at one point, but then a little game called Quake came out, ready to be modded and I got hooked on making Ultimate Quake. (I also dabbled a bit with an unreleased Duke Nukem mod.)
 
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