Rich: I’m speaking with Jitspoe about the project Paintball2. Paintball2 is a first-person game, with a bunch of different styles of game play.
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Rich: Tell us something about the game. Tell us the storyline of the game.
Jitspoe: Paintball2 is the sequel for the Quake Innovation paintball that was made for Quake 1. Paintball2 was made on Quake 2. It started out as a mod. Since ID software released the source code for Quake 2, we’ve taken that and made it its own standalone game. It is a full standalone game now. You can just download it – it’s completely free. The engine is Open Source under the GPL. It’s just a free game. You can play it online. Just a fun, multi-player game.
Rich: So, the game-play is kind of Quake-ish, except you have paint guns, right?
Jitspoe: Yeah. It has the Quake 2 movement style, so it’s very fast-paced. And the paintball element brings a one-shot kill degree to the game, so it’s even more fast-paced than Quake in a lot of ways. You’ve got a lot of fast-paced movement, you can run and jump around. Quake 2 has mechanics we call “strafe jumping” where you can actually build up your acceleration as long as you stay in the air, so people will keep jumping. And you can jump off of ramps and get extra height. So there’s a lot of fast movement. The single-shot kills lets people kill people with a single shot, but it’s pretty difficult because the movement speed is so fast that it kind of balances out in that regard.
Rich: This project’s been going for about 9 years now. How big is the community?
Jitspoe: It’s actually gone over ten years now if you count the time it was in development on Quake 2 as a mod. But I guess it’s probably 9 years on SourceForge since it’s been Open Source. The community is … unfortunately it’s getting a little bit smaller now. A lot of people have moved on. There were a lot of people that played when they were younger but now they’ve gotten families and moved on – they aren’t playing games as much. It’s a little bit slow right now. I’m hoping to build that up. It’s a little difficult to get fresh blood in an old game.
Rich: If somebody did want to get involved, where can they fit in?
Jitspoe: Mostly we’re looking for getting a lot of players – to get more people playing the game, to help build the popularity. As far as development goes, we’ve actually got something on our website, it’s called the feature vote list. If there’s a feature you want, you can request that, and people can vote on features they want, and if people want to help out they can look at that feature list and see if there’s anything that they could contribute to. So if you want to help out on the development side, that’s a good place to start.
Rich: And that website is DigitalPaint.org
Jitspoe: That’s correct, and there’s a feature vote list right on the top of that web page.
Rich: What kind of functionality, what kind of features are you working on for upcoming releases?
Jitspoe: Right now I’m working on setting up a tutorial map. I believe the most difficult thing for getting this game to grow is the barrier to entry. It’s a kind of difficult game. It’s not your typical shooter where you just put the reticle on somebody and shoot, and everyone moves at the same speed. There’s a lot of mechanics that you have to learn over time, and people aren’t going to get that. People get in the game and people are going to be flying around at 300 miles an hour and they’re just like, what’s going on? I can’t shoot anybody. I just keep dying. So I’m hoping that a tutorial map and some things to kind of help new players get into the game, understand what’s going on, understand what the game modes are, things like that, will help. We get a lot of people downloading the game, but hopefully this will help get the people that download to continue to play.
Rich: And what platforms is this game available for?
Jitspoe: Currently it’s just on the PC. There is a Windows and Linux version.
Rich: Tell me about the various different game modes that are mentioned in the project description.
Jitspoe: The most popular game mode is probably the capture the flag game mode. Typically you’ve got … it’s kind like your standard capture the flag. Each team has a flag and you take the enemy flag and bring it back to your base. Paintball2 has a little bit of a twist on that. In some maps … It’s up to the mapper to decide how he wants to develop the map, but a lot of people will have multiple flags. Some of the maps get kind of difficult to get the flag because everyone sits there and defends the one flag. But game play can be a lot different on other maps where there’s multiple flags, so you can’t easily defend a single flag. There’s a couple different types of capture the flag. You’ve got your traditional colored flags on each side, and other maps have a center flag where you have to get the center flag and bring it to the enemy base to capture. We’ve also got the standard death match game where it’s a free for all. You just get points for killing people. Team death match – same type of thing, except it’s for teams. There’s a couple kind of unique game modes – we’ve got something we call pong, kind of like soccer with paint ball guns. You’ve got this big ball in the middle and you’re trying to hit it into the enemy base. There’s a king of the hill game mode, where there’s a central space, that you try to stay on there. For every few seconds that you hold the hill you get points. And there’s also a siege game mode, where it alternates between attackers and defenders. The defenders get points for every attacker that they kill, and the attackers get points if they get the flag out of the base and the defenders are not able to leave the base.
Rich: I definitely need to give this a try. Sounds like something my son and I would enjoy.
Jitspoe: Yeah, that’s the other great thing about it. It’s great for all ages. A lot of people have been using this for LAN parties with kids, because there’s no violence but it still has that really fast paced competitive game play, so it’s good for the experienced gamers as well.
Rich: Thanks a lot for speaking with me. I look forward to trying this out.
Jitspoe: I appreciate what you guys do at SourceForge. It’s great to have a place to host all of this stuff and not have to worry about paying for bandwidth to host downloads and things like that, because we’re definitely not making money off of this. We’re just doing it for fun.
Rich: Awesome. Thanks a lot.
Jitspoe: Thank you!