Talk about Tam…
1/ First of all hello, and thanks to the Team Arena Master dev team for answering our questions.
Thank you for your support!
2/ How did the idea of Tam come about?
TAM was an experiment to find out what would happen if the core game dynamics of UT were adjusted to « level the playing field. » We were actually thinking about the modifying the game to include elements from horse racing. I wrote a couple articles back in the summer of 2005 that went into details about the design philosophy behind TAM. I’m attaching the two articles, feel free to post them if you would like (for download click here)
3/ Who is currently involved in the mod development?
We are not actively working on the mod at the moment, but the guys who built it are alive and kicking working on some really cool technology for our other projects.
There’s Eric « Dizzid » Chavez, the lead programmer; Len « eByte » Bradley, graphic designer; and then there’s myself (Michael « MaStur » Massey executive producer).
Additionally, we have some other superstar talent in Colin « pxlpshr » Anawaty and Dustin « revenant » Land, both of whom are avid fans of UT and active in the North American community.
Our sound guy, Mike « ChaosTheory » Hillard, is off doing radio work at the moment, but we look forward to pulling him back in when the time is right!
4/ At the beginning of this adventure, did you imagine that your mod (Am and tam) would be among the most played under the servers of UT2004 ?
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That came as something of a surprise, to be honest. We were experimenting and then woke up one day to discover that the game accidentally was fun to play, and apparently other gamers thought so too.
Team Arena Master version 3.141
5/ After so many different versions and so much evolution, do you believe you found the perfect gameplay?
Not really. I think we came very close to finding the perfect « meeting ground » type of game for the different communities (ONS, TDM, CTF, etc) to compete against each other. I also believe the round-based nature of the game requires much less sustained focus, so it can be played for longer sessions (i.e. several hours) whereas other gametypes can lead to fatigue after 30-40 minutes. Add in the ability to drink a beer when you die and it becomes a fun way to spend time with your friends.
Ideally, TAM would be coupled with two additional gametypes, one designed specifically for beginners, and another specifically for advanced competition. Together, the 3 gametypes would represent a complete game.
6/ Talking about the « Team Arena Master 3.141 » version, and the feedback you had from the community, what are the main demands you received for your next release?
About 90% of the feedback we’ve received during the whole development process has been related to what the default settings should be (ammo counts, challenge mode, etc.). This feedback has steadily diminished with each version, which we take to mean that gamers are pretty happy with the current defaults and the game balance. We always like new ideas though, do you have some?
7/ The mod Freon in spite of unquestionable qualities was not a success comparable with Tam (for the « large-public »), how analyze it you, and bet you always above it for the future?
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Freon was never put through the polishing phase like TAM was. We had around 4 or 5 different gametypes we experimented with looking for fun factors, Freon was one of those and was the most complete when we were wrapping up the final release for UT2k4, so we just tossed it in there as a bonus.
The future of the mod
8/ Have you announced a new version ? If so, do you have a release date, and what are the main features or changes coming with of them ?
We have not announced a new version, we’re waiting patiently.
9/ And for the major question, will Tam be ported to UT3?
Most people don’t know that the transition from TAM v2.57 to TAM v3.x involved a complete re-write of the game code to prepare it for rapid porting to UT3. We’ve been planning ahead. original
10/ Will Tam on UT3 be the end of development for UT2004 Tam?
TAM for UT2k4 is a wrap, we won’t be releasing a new version.
11/ With the phenomenal success of the mod have you contacted by leaders of Epic to integrate your mod directly under UT3?
Unfortunately, it appears that Epic hates us. Imagine that. In truth, we’ve had several discussions with them about collaboration, but those talks didn’t lead anywhere.
12/ Is there anything you would like to add?
Chuck Norris plays TAM.
13/ Unreal.fr and the French-Speaking community would like to thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. We look forward to seeing your future work, See you soon.
Thank you, Good Luck, and Have Fun!