SFC Orion Pirates
By Captain Starkiller for BlackOps Station, 2001-02-04
The Creators of Ship Edit and FMSE
(Interview conducted over ICQ)
(Interview joined in progress...)
...Captain Stoneyface: Native American...we collect names heehee
Heavens Eagle: What Tribe?
Captain Stoneyface: Lakota Siouz
Captain Stoneyface: Sioux
Heavens Eagle: OK Cool
Captain Stoneyface: Just dissed my ancestors by the typo
Heavens Eagle: I got my handle from a lady friend that was Cherokee.
Captain Stoneyface: I wondered about that very cool well since Heavens Eagle gave up the goods on where his handle came from how about you Remus
Remus: Well, it came from a lack of imagination.
Captain Stoneyface: lol how so?
Heavens Eagle: LOL
Captain Stoneyface: as in uncle Remus
Heavens Eagle: like in hillbilly.
Remus: When I started playing, I just used my real name. Found that I really enjoyed playing Romulans. So, I thought Romulus and.... the rest is history
Captain Stoneyface: oh very cool, I love how the names of the Romulan home worlds follow the roman myth about Romulus and Remus
Remus: It is cool.
Heavens Eagle: They have added a lot of detail for the different races planets in the game now.
Remus: The bad thing is Remus was that one that got killed ;)
Captain Stoneyface: lol well first question in no particular order and for either or both of you *official voice now* ;-)
Heavens Eagle: Rush to the keyboard.
Captain Stoneyface: heehee
Remus asks to be excused and heads for the toilet
Remus: oh, delete that LOL
Captain Stoneyface: oh no it stays heehee
Heavens Eagle: ROTFLMAO
Heavens Eagle: KEYBOARD!
Remus: Okay, going to stop messing with those. Heh
Captain Stoneyface: for those who don't know, how would you classify your relationship with Taldren? Are you making money doing any of this?
Heavens Eagle: :^)
Captain Stoneyface: I know, long answer
Remus: Our relationship with Taldren is pretty much like it is with most of the community.
Captain Stoneyface: and that would be hobby status...or something more
Heavens Eagle: We hope that with more recognition that we can get some monetary enlightenment.
Captain Stoneyface: Awesome... It really is about the game and not the money
Heavens Eagle: Yes
Captain Stoneyface: do you both still play SFB at all or have you just gone with the computer version. did you play SFB?
Remus: I played SFB about 15 years ago. Didn't get to play much, but I loved the game. Don't get a chance to play anymore though. Pretty much just play the computer version.
Heavens Eagle: I played years ago with the bag packs and expansions. Then picked up the first massive rules binder when it was released. Got out of it though when everyone locally kept arguing about rules.
Captain Stoneyface: how good did it feel to get Ship Edit included in SFCII?
Heavens Eagle: I enjoyed playing with the miniatures the most.
Captain Stoneyface: rules, rules, rules, me too about the miniatures
Captain Stoneyface: how about mentioned then, sorry have to watch wording
Heavens Eagle: Unfortunately, there were so many last minute changes that we were not able to keep up with them and thus SFC 2 didn't have ShipEdit included.
Captain Stoneyface: I know many weren't happy about that
Heavens Eagle: We weren't either.
Captain Stoneyface: frustrating?
Heavens Eagle: Just a bit.
Captain Stoneyface: would you like to explain what makes ShipEdit so cool for the community...and how it really simplified the dreaded spreadsheet
Captain Stoneyface: I can't even type it with our cringing
Captain Stoneyface: SFB...13.txt spec file
Heavens Eagle: Still having to play "catch up" with the newest "not released yet" patch.
Remus: Well, ShipEdit took out many of the chances for errors. With the spreadsheet, one extra keystroke and you're game wouldn't run....
Captain Stoneyface: tell me about it...sigh... you could never find the mistake either
Heavens Eagle: Also with the graphics enhancements, it makes it easier to see what is changeable and what isn't.
Captain Stoneyface: I heard one guy tried printing that thing out...it's still printing I think
Heavens Eagle: I thought about it. I have a printer that can do 24" x 36" sheets. With 8 point fonts, it would have taken 12 sheets.
Captain Stoneyface: wow still...
Captain Stoneyface: yes it makes modding the game very easy compared to days of old
Captain Stoneyface: I giggle when I think that someday archeologists will find that file and wonder what language it is and its significance heehee
Heavens Eagle: :^)
Captain Stoneyface: some see you as heroes in the community for that little program called ShipEdit...any response to those people?
Heavens Eagle: We are glad they liked it. We enjoyed building it, and it was a great learning experience for both Remus and myself in using our respective talents.
Captain Stoneyface: what is your biggest thrill for you as contributors to the SFC universe?
Captain Stoneyface: I personally enjoy FMSE immensely because I am not sure I want to get back into c++ coding...
Remus: My biggest thrill is seeing the number of hits on our website go through the roof when we make a new release :)
Captain Stoneyface: oh yeah!!! the hit counter
Heavens Eagle: Well I like being able to go out and meet some of the folks in the SFC community now and it is nice to be recognized.
Captain Stoneyface: ok back to the questions...how about personal setups. at BlackOps station we call it the captains yacht. what are your personal systems
Remus: Computer systems?
Captain Stoneyface: yep
Heavens Eagle: Well about 6 months ago I had the opportunity to build a new machine. It is an Athlon 850 on Abit Ka7-100 MB, 128MECC ram, Elsa GeForce 2 64 Meg video. 72x CD, Sound Blaster Live Platinum, and a WD 45 Gig HD.
Captain Stoneyface: wow
Heavens Eagle: Of course there are a few other Items in it as well.
Captain Stoneyface: cool
Heavens Eagle: But that is the gist of it.
Remus: I have two Celerons (500 MHz and 566 MHz) with 128M RAM each. The 500 is a Compaq and the other is one that I build. Each have a CDR and I have a 19" monitor on both.
Heavens Eagle: Makes nice screen shots of SFC.
Captain Stoneyface: cool paint shop pro 7 makes good screenshots
Captain Stoneyface: I'm an AMD guy too Atticbat and I built my system with his fiance, Chicula...
Remus: I don't do development on the Compaq, so it's safe :)
Heavens Eagle: I use Deneba's Canvas 7 for doing most of my graphics.
Heavens Eagle: My memory is a 128meg DIMM with ECC (Parity checking) The CDRW I run is the Iomega 650
Captain Stoneyface: nice. Do you both still play SFC2 actively or do you just get sick of looking at it sometimes
Heavens Eagle: I tend to play "with" it more than playing it.
Captain Stoneyface: yeah I hear that
Heavens Eagle: Kind of the old "miniatures" thing.
Remus: I'll get on MPlayer some. I don't play the single player much.
Captain Stoneyface: I just don't have the connection yet for MPlayer waiting for DSL
Remus: It works with just a modem. I play it at 26.4k it works fine.
Captain Stoneyface: you guys willing to answer a few more questions?
Heavens Eagle: Sure
Remus: go for it
Captain Stoneyface: is there anything you would like to say about the beating that the Taldren people have taken in the forums, especially the general forums. How do you fell about Jinxx pulling out of the forums because of the flame wars?
Heavens Eagle: All I can say is that I bought the game. I had been doing beta testing and so knew what was in the package. I also know that when it comes to the printed stuff that most of it has to be done several months in advance. I thought the game was a lot better than the first, even as released. I also know that this is the most complex game I have seen and the fact that it has to follow SFB rules makes that tougher to do.
Captain Stoneyface: yes I like the complexity, and yes I can't believe how long Jinxx stuck it out. I have to say for the record. I am running on patch 2003 and don't have too many problems
Remus: I don't blame Jinxx for pulling out of the forums. He should have done that long before he did.
Heavens Eagle: Look at how long it took for SFB to develop to where it is. Then try and convert that to code. Not easy.
Remus: I understand the people paid money for the game and it wasn't complete, but I think they need to be patent. The game will get done and we'll all be happy then.
Captain Stoneyface: thank you that was a toughie
Heavens Eagle: It isn't like (problems that) I have seen with some of the hardware I have bought.
Captain Stoneyface: such as
Heavens Eagle: Bought a NEC CD changer one time. Turned out it was OEM. 3 months later the platter motor froze up. I was unable to do anything about it and got stuck with a defective drive. Was out over $100. NEC drive was junk
Heavens Eagle: Could not return it or use it in anyway.
Captain Stoneyface: ouch
Remus: I bought a car once.... :)
Heavens Eagle: Was it yellow?
Captain Stoneyface: lol
Remus: Isn't that the popular analogy?
Captain Stoneyface: yep
Heavens Eagle: :^)
Captain Stoneyface: we'll go for a light one. Do you go to the new Star Trek films when they are released or do you wait until they hit video?
Remus: I'll go see it. It's not the same on TV.
Heavens Eagle: Got to see them on the big screen. Went and saw ST 3 The Search for Spock 3 times. Just to see the Enterprise blow up.
Remus: LOL that was cool.
Heavens Eagle: Kahn, I watch periodically for similar reasons.
Remus: That one was my favorite.
Captain Stoneyface: Atticbat and I loved in ST6 when praxis blew up
Captain Stoneyface: Atticbat REALLY loves it in the TMP when the Klingons get spanked by Vger
Heavens Eagle: Looks like we all like SFC for similar reasons. You ever watch DS9?
Captain Stoneyface: umm some. Not really into it have you read the stuff on Black Ops Station. I like voyager more than ds9 but I like the grittier feeling of ds9 not everything is roses in the federation.
Heavens Eagle: The last 2 (or 3) seasons. They were at war with Cardassia and the Dominion. Plenty of ship combat. Lots of big explosions. 8^D
Captain Stoneyface: 8^O eye candy big time
Heavens Eagle: Yup.
Captain Stoneyface: what are your favorite characters, races any?
Remus: Romulans :)
Captain Stoneyface: favorite race Heavens Eagle?
Heavens Eagle: Actually I don't have much in the way of favorite races.
Captain Stoneyface: ok
Heavens Eagle: I like characters on the different series for different reasons.
Captain Stoneyface: cool
Heavens Eagle: What Class versus Impulse?
Captain Stoneyface: I like big ships like Maggots majestic class or the Ent-E but I like the defiant too
Captain Stoneyface: what is your opinion of the different models and modelers out there
Heavens Eagle: I like the detailed and well-designed ships. The new Kodiak that pneumonic81 has done looks quite nice.
Captain Stoneyface: oh yeah!!! Atticbat and I both drooled over that model
Captain Stoneyface: Black Ops Station has commandeered that model for our station
Captain Stoneyface: have you seen maggots Majestic model
Heavens Eagle: No I don't think so. Actually the modeling is what caught my interest originally many months ago. Could do nothing about tools though so I just hung out and compiled info.
Heavens Eagle: Anyway that situation has changed and I am also going to be doing some models as time permits.
Captain Stoneyface: cool, can't wait to see eagle eye software and also models
Captain Stoneyface: I also like Wicked zombie models
Remus: There are a lot of talented people out there. I wish there were more programmers though. We need many more missions.
Captain Stoneyface: well that is why I started the script reviews no one was doing them and I love FMSE
Captain Stoneyface: who was the force behind FMSE, both of you?
Heavens Eagle: Actually FMSE is mostly Remus' program. I only had input on the user interfaces on it.
Remus: I disagree
Captain Stoneyface: Really? This is interesting... how would you classify it then, Remus?
Remus: It was both. Without Heavens Eagle's input on how it should work, I think FMSE would not have turned out so nice.
Heavens Eagle: I guess that what Remus was trying to say is that I have a feel for what works, works well, and what works intuitively in programs.
Heavens Eagle: Sometimes just a little thing can make a program a lot easier to use.
Remus: Right. If it was left up to me, I would make it in a way that a programmer would understand.
Captain Stoneyface: cool do you both program code?
Heavens Eagle: I don't know (yet) how to program. Been wanting to learn, but with everything going on have had no time for it.
Captain Stoneyface: have you both had a lot of positive feedback about the FMSE program? I have some c++ experience and it seems like it is a simplified visual c++ compiler I love it
Remus: We've had a lot of positive response on FMSE. Also a lot of requests for more functionality. Everyone has also been really patient about bug fixes and such.
Captain Stoneyface: well there is always that lol unless it cooks breakfast for you too, there is always more functionality requested
Heavens Eagle: Yup Always something else that could be added to make this obscure function that nobody knows about work better.
Captain Stoneyface: oh I know, I wish people were as patient about the 2005 patch
Heavens Eagle: Me too. I understand (maybe even more so now) about what is involved with building a game. There are always so many things to deal with for each change.
Captain Stoneyface: do either of you release FMSE created scripts to the public I want to do some Black Ops Station scripts that would be cool with FMSE
Remus: No, the only scripts that I make are test scripts and they aren't any fun. :)
Remus: my favorite is the one that I name finaltest.scr :)
Captain Stoneyface: named like test and test 2?
Captain Stoneyface: let me guess Remus one ship one enemy and they are neutral to each other lol
Heavens Eagle: I built several scripts early on to do some special screen shots.
Captain Stoneyface: I am also going to post an err(or) [here was a typo by myself] tutorial online with screenshots with the new version
Heavens Eagle: error tutorial?
Captain Stoneyface: lol, whoops just the tutorial part
Heavens Eagle: Hmmm (gears grinding) not teeth
Captain Stoneyface: sorry typo just read the tutorial part heehee
Heavens Eagle: thinking hard (or is it hardly thinking)
Captain Stoneyface: now that you mention it though an explanation list of the errors would be interesting
Remus: Error messages you mean? Kind of a troubleshooting guide of sorts?
Captain Stoneyface: you bet
Remus: Hmm.... that's a good idea. Thanks.
Captain Stoneyface: like the compile (sorry, *build script*) errors would that be cool
Captain Stoneyface: well I do get mail from some asking me to explain some of the errors
Captain Stoneyface: I usually try to answer them the best I can and then refer them to your web page for an email or the scripting forum at Taldren
Heavens Eagle: The results of some of those are seen in the ShipEdit, Weapon Edit, Num Select folder
Heavens Eagle: I watch the mod and scripting forums fairly close at the Taldren site.
Captain Stoneyface: yeah me too when I am at work with the T1 line I haunt the forums fairly heavy as Hawkeye
Heavens Eagle: Ditto when I have time here at work too.
Captain Stoneyface: nothing
Heavens Eagle: yes
Captain Stoneyface: should I send the finished tutorial to you guys before I post it at Black Ops Station? I wouldn't want to step on toes
Remus: You can if you like. We might be able to provide more insight into some if... LOL...
Heavens Eagle: keyboard races.
Captain Stoneyface: cool, what kind of feedback have you gotten about FMSE or ShipEdit for that matter
Heavens Eagle: Mostly little things. The biggest item right now is the inability to use added ships in campaign games. I have some ideas on this, but need to experiment before I say much more.
Captain Stoneyface: hmmm...interesting
Remus: Events are a big thing for FMSE Event handling that is...
Captain Stoneyface: so.... does that mean preset damage in the future, things like that. Atticbat and I are trying to promote published shiplist.txt's and spec files that would help
Heavens Eagle: After reading many of the posts that some folks have put up and doing some thinking, I believe that there is an answer to the corrupt ships in the campaign games.
Captain Stoneyface: hmmm.... interesting very interesting from a scripter point of view
Heavens Eagle: Actually if we do solve the problem, the import/export functions in SE will be more useful than ever.
Captain Stoneyface: rock on... any hints for the curious...?
Heavens Eagle: The original purpose of those functions was to enable the model makers to design an entire ship and make it available to the public as a package. (It) will require testing on the shiplist.txt files and running the game.
Captain Stoneyface: hmmm...which makes it important for modelers to develop some sort of spec file for new models.
Captain Stoneyface: so this leads to a big question...any big projects in the future for Eagle Eye Software?
Remus: Yeah, we've already started our next project...
Captain Stoneyface: any hints???
Remus: We've teamed up with Brad Barr to write the windows version of SCME.
Captain Stoneyface: wow, can you explain the importance of that for the community. And for the record brad Barr is the founder of the website Starfleet battles to Starfleet command, and a very cool person
Remus: BTW, most people probably know Brad as bbarr97
Captain Stoneyface: atticbat had worked with him in the shipyards over there
Remus: SCME is going to allow modelers to convert the .mod file format to other 3d formats. LOW for example. With this format, people can use Milk Shape, which is very inexpensive.
Captain Stoneyface: what will the impact of the release of the 3dstudio max illumination plug in have on that project
Remus: It will impact it in two ways....
Heavens Eagle: In addition we want to try and have some kind of viewer in the program to see what the models look like.
Captain Stoneyface: excellent
Heavens Eagle: Note the word "TRY"
Captain Stoneyface: lol
Remus: BTW, on that note, I do have the viewer working without textures.
Captain Stoneyface: interesting!
Remus: I'll be working on getting the textures on there next.
Remus: Back to the impact....
Captain Stoneyface: cool
Remus: The first: People with 3dstudio Max will probably not need SCME....
Captain Stoneyface: ok I had thought that wasn't sure
Remus: The Second: It is going to make decoding the mod file much easier in SCME. It will be more robust and there shouldn't be any unknowns.
Captain Stoneyface: very cool, well is there anything else that either of you would want to add
Heavens Eagle: Sure. Just this. Working with Remus on these projects has been a whole lot of fun, and has really pushed me to develop the graphics skills I had to a higher level. In addition, Remus has become a good friend in the process of doing the programs. He and I mesh quite well with our abilities, with one's abilities such that they can fill the others gaps.
Remus: Same here. Heavens Eagle has suggested things for these programs that I would have no idea how to do. It would cause me to figure it out where otherwise I would have skipped it. Also... hehe, like my loss for words :)
Captain Stoneyface: awesome, much the same with Atticbat and I
Heavens Eagle: LOL
Remus: You know that Heavens Eagle and I have never met face-to-face?
Captain Stoneyface: really? What a shock!
Heavens Eagle: Yeah I live in Oklahoma and Remus is now in Texas.
Captain Stoneyface: you work very well with each other if that is the case wow
Remus: OH!!!! I want to say something...
Captain Stoneyface: you have the floor
Heavens Eagle: :^) always something (joking)
Captain Stoneyface: lol
Remus: as you heard earlier, Heavens Eagle is getting into modeling. I don't know about you but I can't wait to see what he makes. Not a joke this time, a joke would be if I did a model... LOL
Heavens Eagle: I have some ideas. Mostly damaged. :^)
Captain Stoneyface: a flying shoe perhaps...maybe the dreaded flying toaster
Remus: him or me?
Captain Stoneyface: well pick one ;-P
Captain Stoneyface: Well... we are looking for a space station model for Black Ops Station that is on our banner...
Captain Stoneyface: lol or other ships for the Black Ops fleet
Heavens Eagle: As someone mentioned, and as I learned years ago when doing plastic kits and miniatures. I will have to do things that make me happy. Suggestions are welcome, but don't expect them. ;^)
Captain Stoneyface: well if there is nothing else I want to thank you immensely for your time and patience. it was an honor to interview you both. I look forward to the future of what Eagle Eye Software has to offer the community
Remus: Thank you for taking the time. It has been a pleasure.
Captain Stoneyface: You both are always welcome at Black Ops Station
Heavens Eagle: I know that Dix has been pestered to the point he tends to hide.
Captain Stoneyface: lol
Captain Stoneyface: thanks a lot guys you guys rule
Remus: thanks Capt.. and thanks for taking the time. I love these interviews that you are doing.
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