Last Man Standing Co-op Mod Interview
Calimer has a long history of mod development, but unfortunately as hard as he worked, the leadership of the mods he joined ended up failing. The tables finally turned when he decided to lead his own mod team. Calimer and his good friend Altheus had an idea that would take the Doom 3 community by storm. Their primary focus was to bring back the feel of the original Doom game, but to also include addition gamemodes, one of which was inspired by the custom defense StarCraft maps. With many releases of the mod, and plans for even more features, Last Man Standing is a mod built for gamers with sharp minds and fast reflexes. Those lacking the skills quickly become demon fodder. Say your prayers, lock and load, and dish out some lead in the pure adrenaline rush that is called the Last Man Standing co-op mod.
[LadyGamers]: Please share your history on how you got involved with gaming. We want to know how you got from point a to z!
[calimer]: I was first brought into gaming when my childhood friend introduced me to the Nintendo game Double Dragon. For a while that was my favorite game. I yearned to play it all the time, especially since my father would rarely let me play video games, and I was not allowed to buy a Nintendo. He did actually let me play some educational computer games such as Think Quick which I liked because it required some thinking and strategy to beat. I liked to design my own levels and create all sorts of quirky setups.
I was able to eventually get a few more computer games such as Golden Axe, a game which I absolutely loved. Even though my dad's computer was so slow that it took about 10-15 seconds for the character to respond to key commands, I fell in love with the game and wanted more.
Eventually when I was around 14 I snuck off to the mall and bought a gameboy. I had to hide it under my bed so that my dad would not find out about it. I later on got more bold and purchased a Sega which I had to unplug and run up to my room every time I heard my dad coming home.
When I was 18 I bought my own computer for college, and I was constantly gaming and I even began doing mapping for Halflife 1. The first game I played multiplayer online was Starcraft, which was during college.
[LadyGamers]: You were playing Doom at a time where first person shooters (FPS) were the hottest thing on the market. Doom, Wolfenstein and then Quake began to roam like a virus among high schools, colleges, and homes across the world. There was even talk among prisoners who couldn't wait to get out of prison to buy such games. Do you feel like a FPS veteran to have seen every aspect of the online gaming history since it began?
[calimer]: Unfortunately, I did not get into the game as much as I wanted as a kid due to my dad being strict about not playing video games. I did however get some chances to play Wolfenstein and Doom and I absolutely loved them. I do feel like a veteran as I have been gaming since the Atari days. It has been so fascinating to have been able to watch the evolution of video games through the years.
[LadyGamers]: Please describe other mods you have worked on prior to Last Man Standing. Were any of them a success?
[calimer]: Diabolic is the first Mod team I was ever on. It was a fantasy action RPG for Halflife 1. I was a mapper on the team, and worked on creating an ancient town that was located in the desert. I had created all sorts of cool stuff for it such as an altar room and a secret cavern system deep below the town. I worked on an underground cavern where deep down there was a lake with a mystical pyramid in the middle. I don't remember the exact dates for when I was on that team but I think it was around 2000 or 2001, when I was 20-21 years old. That mod failed due to poor leadership and coordination so unfortunately my maps were never 100% completed or released.
After that mod I kept playing more TFC for Halflife 1 and ended up eventually designing a map for it that included a new gametype (at least I'm pretty sure it was) called Kill The Carrier. As assumed, the team that had one of their players holding the flag would gain capture points every so often for holding onto the flag.
After a while I wanted to join a mod team and I figured this time I would go with one that had actually released a version or two, as they would probably be reliable in releasing more. The team I joined was HL Heroes where you could play as various Marvel superheros and basically it would be team deatchmatch. One of my favorite characters to play as was Spiderman as the webslinging code for him was awesome. Surprisingly none of the mappers had a created a city setting, so I started on one. It was called Dark City and it was so much fun webslinging down the block. Unfortunately it never got finished because the mod died when the leader, who was also the lead coder, lost the source code when his hard drive was hit by a power surge. Needless to say he didn't have a backup.
I then decided to create and lead my own mod which was called The Mind's Eye. I had a small team but I was the main worker. Not too far into development I canceled the mod because I didn't think that the concept would work out as well as I had wanted it to. When thinking back to it now I do think it could of worked out and sometimes I wish I had kept with the mod, but then I also mostly likely would not have created LMS Coop, which I absolutely love.
So after that mod, I started to work heavily with my game design buddy Altheus to work on creating some concept that could work well. Eventually Doom 3 came along and we had come up with the mod idea LMS Coop for it and put the concepts into action.
[LadyGamers]: What caused you to get involved in mod development? Was there a modification you enjoyed in the past that gave you the desire to develop one?
[calimer]: My main for reason getting into mod development had been my exposure to games like Starcraft and Warcraft 2. I really wanted to create games like them. Then one day I saw a job posting on Blizzard.com and they had wanted people have experience creating content with game engines such as halflife. When I read that I immediately went to the mall and picked up a copy of halflife and began mapping. I can still remember my first halflife map actually, and even though it made no sense as it included a box of water sitting on top of a platform. Regardless, it was a thrill to me to be walking around in a world I had created.
[LadyGamers]: I noticed that Altheus is a name you have brought up from time to time. Are you old friends or rivals from the Doom days?
[calimer]: Altheus aka Scott Penner was a fellow that I met on the Halflife modification Diabolic. We have been longtime friends and have created a lot of game design concept together, including for Last Man Standing Coop and our upcoming game products Legends: Combat Arena and Legends: Journey. Due to real life problems and commitments he did not stay on the Last Man Standing Coop team for long but he was always willing to offer advice on concept and maps. He currently works with EA, first starting as an Animator for the newest Need For Speed and now he is working in Marketing.
[LadyGamers]: Both you and Altheus hoped for a day when StarCraft's swarm of enemies would be in your Doom 3. Now that the mod has been available to all of your fans, do you feel you have accomplished what you had originally planned? For anyone who hasn't downloaded the mod for Doom 3, what does the multiplayer portion bring to the table?
[calimer]: I think we have far surpassed our original goals for the mod. We have added in a lot of new features, especially Single Player Cooperative support and ROE (the Doom 3 expansion) Cooperative support. Also all of the new weapons, Infrared and content really goes beyond our original concept. I think that the multiplayer element is huge as I personally think that it is much more fun to play with and/or compete against other human beings. You cannot directly kill other players in LMS Coop (unless friendly fire is enabled), but you can try to outscore them in our Killfest maps.
I do wish the netcode was improved well beyond what it is in Doom 3 since
I did have quite a few map ideas I had to scrap since the amount of
players you can have on a server is relatively small. I would of loved to
have had maps that would support 32 players or so and have a massive base
with multiple entrances where players would have to work together to fend
off the assault. I was able to create a watered down version of this
through my map Defense Radiotower but I don't recommended more than 8 for
So answering your question, I definitely think that making the mod multiplayer makes it much more dynamic and fun.
[LadyGamers]: You desired for Last Man Standing to have more strategy to defeat an opponent as you have stated that you didn't want someone to be able to jump on a server and spam rockets. When playing this mod for the first time, do you have gameplay tips for a new player that desired to play for the first time?
[calimer]: Run like hell
[LadyGamers]: There was recently a type of merge with Cdoom Coop and Last Man Standing. It's rare to find two mod developers have this type of affiliation. It reminds me of Marvel vs DC Comic heroes joining together to be featured in one comic book! What caused you to get involved with the development crew of the Cdoom mod?
[calimer]: This is something that I am so proud and excited about. I can't say enough good things about the Classic Doom team and I have to say it has been an absolute blast working alongside them.
Our collaboration started out when I used to idle in their IRC channel and