Hello everyone! Today I have quite the treat for you all.. an interview with Vechs! Vechs is the creator of the ‘Super Hostile’ series. In case you didn’t know, it is a fairly popular series of adventure maps on the Minecraft forums. He’s built serveral huge maps, ranging in difficulty, from slightly-easy to ROMHack hard. I’m a huge fan of the series so, when I got the idea to do an interview, Vechs immediately popped into my head and I decided to ask him for and interview.
If you’re not familiar with Vechs, here’s a couple images from the Super Hostile thread:
Kaizo Caverns(my personal favorite!)
Legendary(another favorite of mine)
KruSuPhy: First of all, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me!
Vechs: Sure thing! I’m currently waiting on MCedit to finish a lighting operation so it’s going to be crunching numbers for another 20 minutes or so… (Edit: it was 28 minutes, actually.)
KruSuPhy: Okay, so how long have you been playing Minecraft?
Vechs: Since November 10th, 2010.
KruSuPhy: What made you want to make Minecraft maps?
Vechs: Any time I have access to any kind of editing software in a videogame, I start making things. I have a long history of making custom mods, and maps, and all kinds of things for myself and my friends. One of the first programs I used was BUILD (by Ken Silverman, I believe) to make maps for Duke Nukem 3d.
KruSuPhy: Where did the idea for the Super Hostile series come from?
Vechs: Well, I was fiddling around with MCedit, making schematics for others to use, and my favorite things to make were pre-built dungeon areas that people could just plop down into their worlds. I was looking around on the forums and I saw a bunch of survival island type maps. I thought that it would be cool to make my own survival map, but I would make mine different by having them be in hostile environments with lots of dungeon type areas to explore.
This was way before I came up with the Victory Monument system — that didn’t come about until the fourth map (Kaizo Caverns) and then I went back and added them in a sort of ad-hoc way to my first three maps. I think the results from that are somewhat mixed… but I have plans for that.
KruSuPhy: What is your inspiration for Super Hostile?
Vechs: The two styles of maps that I currently make are Open World and Linear-Branching. Open World feels like Zelda or Elder Scrolls (Morrowind, Oblivion, etc.). Linear Branching is similar to Metroid or some of the later Castlevania games (Symphony of the Night, for example.)
I’ve played a lot of independent games like ‘I Wanna Be the Guy’, ‘Tohoe Project’, and a bunch of ROMhacks. That’s definitely where I draw inspiration as far as difficulty goes. With a lifetime of video-games behind me, I can definitely say I draw inspiration from a lot of different areas.
KruSuPhy: What kind of project are you currently working on?
Vechs: Super Hostile #08 and also a remake of Super Hostile #01. I feel my first three maps haven’t aged that well compared to my newer work (Endless Deep in particular) and I am going to completely redo them.
KruSuPhy: How many maps do you think will be in the Super Hostile series? Or are you just going to make them until you get bored of it?
Vechs: There is a reason I called my first map “01” and not “1”. I wanted to leave myself room for plenty of new entries to the series. I have room for up the #99. I know it’s totally insane but I think, if I somehow one day reached that number, it would be pretty cool.
KruSuPhy: How often do you work on Super Hostile and what kinds of things do you do when you’re not working on them?
Vechs: Usually a few hours a day, although some days I try and take a break from it — if you do nothing but work on one thing constantly, even if you love it, you will get burned out. And, in all seriousness, there is a practical limit to how much creative activity I can do in a single day. You can think of it like a mana bar or stamina meter that depletes, if you want to.
I know one time I just woke up and started working on something (It was a module for Neverwinter Nights), and I worked on it for like 12 hours straight. That type of work marathon is rare… Eventually, you just feel mentally drained and you have to do something else for awhile.
When I’m not working on maps or mods, I like reading and playing video games. Warhammer 40k and Battletech novels are some of my favorites. Recently, I have been playing IL-2 Sturmovik, Mount and Blade: Warband, Team Fortress 2 and Borderlands.
KruSuPhy: Okay, so tell us about yourself. How old are you and what do you do in life?
Vechs: I am an amorphous mass of elemental spite and hatred that has congealed over the years and eventually obtained sentience. It is my goal to cause strife and suffering in the form of very difficult maps in Minecraft.
(I’m 25 and recently graduated college. To use a Minecraft metaphor, I sort of feel like I just spawned in a fresh new world and am now looking for a good spot to set up my base. I would like to get a career as a profession game designer or world designer.)
KruSuPhy: Do you have any shoutouts that you’d like to give?
Vechs: Yes, and what I am about to say probably won’t make any sense at all to most readers, though each thing is a shoutout to someone: “BEEGHMEET!”, “Ho! Ho? Shut up spiders… Augh!”, “What the?! Heeby jah! Huh! Huh! Heh? Neh?!”, “Oh good, well that’s a small kindness… oh wait that’s a creeper and I IMMEDIATELY REGRET THIS!”
KruSuPhy: Thank you for your time, Vechs! It’s been nice interviewing you!
Vechs: No problem! *trollface*
So there you have it, folks! An interesting interview with an amazing map maker! Please do yourself a favor and play a couple of Vechs’ maps. You won’t regret it.
You can find the Super Hostile series here:
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