Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
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In a recent interview, Subspace Radio sat down to talk with Environment Artist Nick Duguid. Listen to the recording, and read the transcript, here.


Link to the news article.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
04-13-2012, 02:44 PM
Had a great time doing the interview! Tumerboy is awesome and I, on behalf of SSR, want to again thank him and Cryptic for giving us the opportunity to sit down and talk STO
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
04-13-2012, 03:16 PM
Thanks again Creamy. And apologies again for being kind of spacey (ha!) that day. I'll try to bear listening to myself ramble this afternoon.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
04-13-2012, 03:21 PM
ranscriber(s): Berryshine [Typist], Yumene [Verification]
Date: April 8, 2012
Original Air Date: April 10, 2012

--- START ---
[Music playing]
Creamy: Right, welcome to Subspace Radio, the voice of Star Trek Online. I am DJ Creamy
Tumer: Whoo!
Creamy: [laughs] And I am sitting down here, more or less, with Cryptic Tumerboy. Why donít you say what up?
Tumer: What up.
Creamy: Whatís going on? We are here, we are going to be doing a little bit of an interview so I say we just get right into this. And, uh, first of all, why donít you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Tumer: Iím Tumerboy, AKA Nick. Iíve been working at Cryptic for far too long now, what is it Ö seven, seven years at the end of the month. And, uh, been here since the CoH days, been moved from project to project a few times and most recently now, Iím on Star Trek.
Creamy: Excellent.
Tumer: Environment artist, um I model the world that you run around in, or, I guess in Star Trekís case, you might fly around in, I guess.
Creamy: Very cool. I know one of the burning questions that Iíve seen popped up here and there on the forums and in our chat and stuff is; whatís up with the taco?
Tumer: [laughs] [scrambled] in Champions, thereís a big bad guy name Takofanes, spelled T-a-k-o-p-h-a-n-e-s, I think, and thereís always debate about how to pronounce his name and many people, both in the office and players of the game, call him Taco-fans or Taco-face or Taco-something something. Shortly after I started posting on the Champs forums there was a thread about how to pronounce his name and I mentioned that we all call him Taco-face around here and I just drew them up what I had in mind when I said Tacoface, and then as a joke I just put that over the default avatar and, expecting that at some point I would swap it out for something else but it kinda stuck and struck a chord with people and then I am Tacoface.
Creamy: Alright, sounds interesting. Um, weíd like to know about Tumerboy the man. Who are you, and what makes you, you?
Tumer: Uh, well [laughs] The Tumerboy kinda makes me me. I, letís see, Iím thirty-one, Iím from Santa Cruz, just over [scrambled] and when I was ten I was diagnosed with a craniopharyngioma, so thatís where the whole Tumerboy thing came from. Itís a brain tumor, happens at the base of the brain by the pituitary gland and optic priasm and, um, a couple surgeries, another recurrence and surgery, then radiation therapy and then lots of meds ever since. Uh, where I am. Me the man? I donít know, what do you want to know?
Creamy: Ah, well, what do you like to do in your free time, do you play STO, do you still play Champs, what else, you know?
Tumer: I havenít played Champs in a while, I am trying to get through STO but I kinda got sidetracked by Mass Effect 3 for a little bit [scrambled] thatís all finished Iíll probably pick back up where I left off in STO. I was, when I started the project I started a new character. I hadnít really played since STO launched. So I started a new character and Iíve been working my way up through the ranks without dev magic to autolevel me or anything. I think, uh, when I left off, I was about lieutenant nine, maybe. Canít remember. Somewhere around there. Uh Ö in my free time? Yeah. Games, TV, Movies, uh, what else? I volunteer in a tank museum up in Portola Valley [scrambled] with board games, roleplaying games, we do all sorts of games. Games , games, games.
Creamy: Very cool. Ah, I just lost my [laughs] all over the place here. Okay, weíll edit that part out. [laughs] We have a question from KirianDarkstar on the forums. Basically, what do you do at Cryptic and I know you said youíre an environmental artist, but a little bit more detail on that, and whatís a typical day at the office like for you?
Tumer: Uh, so Ö what I do. Uh Ö everything. Texturing to modelling to lighting to layouts. Material creation is pretty much all, all are on my shoulders or an environment artistís shoulders. Um, in a lot of companies they will split a lot of that up so, um, weíll have a level designer whoíll whitebox out the whole area, then weíll have a modeller come back and model the whole thing out to match up with the white box and the level texture artist can come through and pass on that. One of the things thatís nice about Cryptic is that we, we the environment artists, do all of that. So at the moment Iím laying out, uhm the map for a new, uh, five man, and [scrambled] for us, because we are persistent, or we keep working on the game after we launch. That involves a lot of reuse of assets we already have. So, Iím taking the, uh, kit from some Romulan mining mission, forgive me I havenít played through everything yet, and rearranging it and tweaking it and putting it in a new environment, adding grass and trees and turning it into a new mission using some of the old assets. We might make some new stuff for this, but not necessarily. You know, sometimes we, you know, some things call for entirely new things, like Utopia Planitia that you guys will see tomorrow, that weíre showing pictures of, that was all brand new modelling using a lot of textures from Earth Spacedock and other spacedock textures we already had, so I donít think I really made any, well, I did make some new textures for that, and then [scrambled] laid out lighting and all, and, uh, trying to make it look awesome, detailing any props and such, so thereís a lot of reuse in that, so weíll take Ö I built the entire room, the hall, the whole hallway and design center, but then youíll see a lot of the same assets youíve seen in other places so, um, we got some plants sitting around that youíre gonna see, uh, the replicatorís reused, a lot of consoles and stuff weíll reuse like that. Um, we canít, with the amount of stuff we have to make in an MMO, we really canít afford to make brand new things for every mission, so we try to reuse and change things up and, and, you know, make it less apparent that weíre reusing what we have to. So, that mostly covers it. My typical day [scrambled] so, youíre expected to work an eight hour day and be here between the hours of eight thirty and ten thirty, so if you want to come in earlier and leave at five thirty, thatís fine, if you want to come in at ten thirty and leave later, thatís fine too. I, Iím an early bird and I canít help it, so Iím awake at six, six-thirty and as soon as Iím awake and showered I come in, which usually gives me three, four hours of uninterrupted work before everybody else shows up. Uh, and then Iíll take off at five, five thirty. Most days. Some days Iíll stay a little later.
Creamy: Alright. One question we had posted from one of our listeners, I actually didnít write it down because Iím terrible, um, what is different from working with Champs and Star Trek Online, is there any difference?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
04-13-2012, 03:26 PM
Tumer: Hmm Ö
Creamy: Whatís cool about it, whatís not?
Tumer: Thereís, thereís [scrambled] Star Trek does stuff differently, you know, every project that we do, we try to learn from previous mistakes, or at least try to do something different to make up for where we saw previous problems. So, Star Trek has, um, has things organised in a much different way than Champions did, so that was what really took me the most time to learn when I came on over here. Uh, you know, in terms of better or worse, itís hard to tell.I think that, we are still all one company, we still share all knowledge and resources and, you know, and help each other out, so there isnít a ton of difference between one and the other, itís mostly just learning my way around and, you know, I guess with all that asset reuse we have to know where to find the things that weíre looking for. So itís a lot of time learning where [scrambled] when you go to a new kitchen you have to figure out where the glasses are and where the herbs and spices are. So ...better, worse. I donít know. Thereís certainly a bigger art team here, which is nice. Um, yeah, we actually have multiple environment artists, which Champs couldnít afford towards the end. Towards my end, itís obviously still going. And Ö yeah, I donít know, itís pretty comparable, itís the same work environment on both for the most part.
Creamy: Okay, and what would you like to see happen in Star Trek Online as we move forward?
Tumer: Um, Iím still learning the game and learning what we have got and what we havenít got, so, uh, what would I like to see? Uh, you know, I am up for more KDF stuff, Iím up for more pvp, yeah, Iíd love to see more factions added, but I totally understand why we wonít do that until the Klingon stuff is finished. Um, I personally like working on social zones, so I would love to, there was a lot of talk when I started of redoing DS9. I donít think thatís really feasible in the short term, but it would be fun to do in the long term, even ESD. It functions, but, uh, the layout kinda bugs me sometimes, thereís stuff I would like to change in some of those things, um, overall for the game, Iím not a numbers guy, I really donít, I couldnít care less what percent my console is giving me, itís more about the visceral feel of me playing, so as long as me playing, I feel like a badass, I feel like Iím doing damage and having a good time, thatís good enough for me. Um [scrambled] Itís all visual and, what Iím saying, more that tactile feel than actual numbers. I get bored when people start quoting numbers about, you know, something doing this much more percent. I donít care.
Creamy: [laughs]
Tumer: So, you know, Iím not gonna be the guy who complains about, or wants, some specific console to do something specific. I am the guy who, I might some certain ship in the game because I like it a lot, or, um, I want something to feel more badass like I said, but a lot of that can come from effects and not necessarily be doing any more damage, it just looks like its more effective. I dunno. Iím probably rambling on at this point so Iím going to shut it.
Creamy: Thatís alright, man. Um, from one of our listeners, Kali-fal, he wants to know whatís on the agenda that you can talk about, thatís something cool thatís coming up or what is the working being done at the moment as far as your department goes.
Tumer: Um, I guess Iím working on a five-man now. We just started it so thereís not a whole lot to talk about there. But just before this I was doing some preliminary work with starbases, which is pretty exciting. Um, again, canít really talk much about it, but we were figuring out sizes, I was building the actual bases themselves, uh, the exteriors I should say. And, uh, figuring out how big they are, what we want to do there, what kind of other assets we need around, uh, just all the kind of preliminary, not quite whitebox work, but more, just the, you know, we have it all on paper will but will this actually function once we put it into the game.
Creamy: Okay, in reference to this, that class Y planet map we saw on Twitter.
Tumer: [laughs] Yeah, that was Sam. Uh, I donít remember exactly whatís going on there. There were some good guesses on the forums and some of the [scrambled] know about it. I have not been involved in that map, so I donít know a lot about it.
Creamy: I was trying to prise some Tholian stuff out of you, but I guess thatís not gonna happen.
Tumer: No, I cannot confirm Tholians at all, ever, uh, hint hint, wink wink.
Creamy: Okay [laughs] Finger on the side of the nose, message received. Um, I know, uh, one of our DJs, Concentus and, uh, and one of our listeners named Brex were curious about ship interiors. Um, and possibly more specifically about race and class specific. You know, are we ever gonna see maybe, or do you even know, maybe a Vulcan interior for the Díkyr and I know we saw, uh, like, for the JemíHadar ship there was an actual JemíHadar bridge. Are we gonna see that for Gorn ships or Orion ships or specific race specific interiors?
Tumer: Probably [scrambled] heard any of that. I havenít built any of those bridges, uh, the Cardassian bridge was built by another artist here, the Bortas bridge was built by the same guy who did the class Y planet you guys were looking at. Uh, and the Odyssey bridge was built by Logan before he left. So, I havenít really, I havenít done anything on interiors yet. Um, I think that would be cool, I can certainly envision us doing that and would not be surprised at all if we did more, uh, more specific interiors for other races. I think a lot of that comes down to, um, if we launch like a Vulcan interior, we probably wouldnít spend time to do a Díkyr specific set, but maybe if we launched another Vulcan ship we might do a bridge or interior for that that could then be used for the Díkyr. Um, I donít really know, this is all speculation, there really isnít any plans [scrambled] but I wouldnít be surprised at all if it was.
Creamy: Okay, and one thing I know people are screaming about, um, customising interiors. And chance of that happening? Or do you know anything about that?
Tumer: I, yeah, no, uh. I mean, again, the interior stuff I have not heard anything about plans to work on interiors at all. Um, I would love to do it, but there are other things in the works first, or things that I am working on in the meantime. I think that weíre trying to focus on starbases at the moment and maybe once those are done we could focus back on ship interiors and trying to incorporate more customisation in there. Uh, but I havenít heard anything, you know, any plans for that. But Iím not the guy who plans that, thatís all, that all comes from above. I know what Iím doing for the next [scrambled] somebody does, but when it gets to those couple weeks then they come by and tell me what it is Iím working on, so I probably canít help you with, you know, grand plans.
Creamy: Okay. Somebody wanted to know, again, I didnít write this down because I was scrambling around at one point, did you work, did you personally work on Bajor?
Tumer: I did work on Bajor but I didnít build the map as you see it, the map was already built by another guy who left just before I started and it was mostly complete. I just did more finishing touches, uh, you know, I built the Bajoran exchange and bank and mail consoles and fixed lighting issues and added some more details, you know, just little kinda tweaks and fixes more than anything else. Iím not responsible for the overall map, I was kinda the last one to touch it.
Creamy: You can sure take credit for it, for I know it was a fantastic looking map.
Tumer: [laughs] Yeah, it was all me.
Creamy: [laughs] Uh, a day/night cycle for Risa like the day/night cycle on Bajor, I know Iíd personally love to see that, Iíd love to see Risa at suns set, there should be two suns.
Tumer: Uh huh [scrambled] I havenít seen Risa yet, thereís a lot of complaints of it not feeling enough like a resort, I know that thereís complaints about it, you know, not having anything to really do there, and sure, we could do a day and night cycle pass for it. I did do the sky file on Bajor, or I should say I modified the sky file, the sky file already existed, but, uh I added the moons and things, um, itís doable but day/night cycles take a lot more time to figure out and to tweak and get right because youíre not doing one time of day, youíre doing, you know, potentially twenty four times a day. Usually weíre not actually [scrambled] weíre setting it at noon and then six and then midnight and then six or something, so we have a couple times [scrambled] but, yeah, I would love to do the work for it, just, uh, coming up with the time and figuring where that sits in the schedule. Seems like that would probably be good for an event, maybe we do something that takes place on Risa that warrants a, you know, couple of weeks to touch Risa up and add it, modify the sky file and, you know, dress it up better. But, again, there are no plans that I know of for the moment.
Creamy: Okay. Um, moving on to a couple more questions from the forums here, Roach from the forums asks, weather effects. Where are they and why do we not have them in ground zones?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
04-13-2012, 03:26 PM
Thanks very much to those guys for making a transcript!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
04-13-2012, 03:28 PM
Tumer: [laughs] Weather effects are kinda an interesting problem at Cryptic. Weíve talked about them forever [scrambled] and we looked into doing it in Champs, and in Monster Island in Champs we did kind of a hacky attempts to get some changing weather. We can certainly make it, we can do right now where, you know, where thereís weather, whether itís snowy and blizzarding or rainy or whatever, where that is just persistent and that map is always set to be that way. We canít do anything right now with current tech that would allow us to change the weather on the fly. So we couldnít make it where, if youíre standing in one place the clouds roll in and then it starts raining and then they go away and then it gets clear and sunny. Um, we might be able to do, to set up a map where you, as you run through the map you pass through several volumes that change things, so maybe it starts off nice and sunny, and as you move through the map it gets [scrambled] rain, but if you ran backwards through the map it would clear off again. Uh, we just donít have the tech to do proper, you know, weather effects like that, where itís actually changing on the fly. Static weather effects, where this is just a blizzardy planet, thatís totally doable. We just need effects time and, you know, the proper environment to apply that to.
Creamy: Okay, and Roach also wants to know your personal opinion, where did all those bikini clad women hide those phasers when Klingons could go on a shooting spree on Risa?
Tumer: Oh, uh, well, you know. Thatís a womanís secret. You donít ask ladies about that. Thatís their business.
Creamy: [laughs] I just, I got a real kick out of that question. Um, Blitzy asked, can you make the nice lighting effects stay when you change your costume on a planet?
Tumer: Make the nice lighting effects stay when you [scrambled]
Creamy: I guess when you change costumes on a planet the lighting on the costume changes, I donít
Tumer: Hang on a minute [hums] No, that didnít work. Okay, my dev magic is not functioning ingame right now
Creamy: uh-oh.
Tumer: Oh, there it goes. Uh, I donít know what theyíre seeing, but I certainly look like Iím being lit normally. I guess if they arenít seeing that then they should file a bug because it should just update, you should get the same lighting on whatever character you happen to be, no matter what costume you happen to be wearing.
Creamy: Okay. Um, what is on, oh, Radkip asks, what is on the horizon for ground maps? I know we talked a little bit about this before, but they were a little more specific. With Taris escaping from Facility, quote, ĎI canít rememberí, and the DíDeridex Defender prototypes being mistakenly launched from the Romulan shipyards, will we be getting a Romulan themed map shortly? And teaser or even just any in-house-
Tumer: [laughs] I donít know of any Romulan themed maps. I think that would be cool. I actually really like the Romulans. My, my, my kind of, uh, what do I say, my pet ship that I want to see in-game is the DíDeridex, but I donít know of any Romulan missions coming up, uh, that would be cool, but, yeah. No plans to my knowledge.
Creamy: Okay, um, and I want to say, you really stick your neck out there on the forums and kinda take a lot of heat.
Tumer: [laughs] Yeah, I put my foot in my mouth rather often.
Creamy: Yeah, itís great. We all love to see you guys, devs in general, posting. Um, why do you act like a lightning rod? You seem to take a lot of heat.
Tumer: [laughs] Um, I donít mean to, I just, I donít know, I just like to interact, I like talking to you guys and [scrambled] I think the yellow name is what acts like a lightning rod, I donít think that it's anything I specifically do, but I think that as soon as someone sees yellow in a name they want to tell them everything, you know, when I jump in game and I have a pink name, within minutes everyone is trying to tell me their idea for the game and, you know, some of them might be great, some of them might not be so great but I canít even remember any of them by the end of, by the time I log off because there were so many thrown at me so quickly. And of course that leads to people feeling frustrated that weíre not listening to them and, you know, I certainly am listening, it's just hard to keep track of all of it. Um, so, why am I a lightning rod? I think its just the name, I think its just the colour of my name and the fact that I, you know, that I actually bother to show up on the forums so [scrambled] were flooded with devs no one would care as much.
Creamy: [laughs] Alright, another burning question; Taco Bell, Del Taco or Mighty Taco?
Tumer: Oh, nuts to that. We live in San Jose, man, thereís good taco places all over the place. None of them are chains.
Creamy: Oh, thatís true. Yeah, Iím from the northeast, weíre pretty much limited to our four choices of taco here. Iím a Taco Bell guy because thatís all weíve got here, but, yeah.
Tumer: No, no no. Thatís nothing, man. If you want real tacos come on out and visit us, we got good Mexican food around here.
Creamy: I definitely might have to do that. Are we possibly going to see you in Vegas at the convention in August?
Tumer: You know, Iíd love to. I actually sent BranFlakes a note, uh, asking if we were gonna do anything, or like, what the plan was, because I havenít heard much, and if we, you know, if I might be able to get the company to cover any of it, which would be super awesome. Iíve never been to the Star Trek Vegas con, itíd be a lot of fun [scrambled] if itís a choice, for me its a choice between that and PAX if I am paying with my own money, and Iíll probably end up going to PAX Ďcause thatís where my friendís going to and Iíve gone to in the past and Iíve enjoyed it. Um, so if the company wants to cover at least hotel or air fare or something, then Iím all for going to Vegas too. But, yeah, Iím not sure yet. I think itíd be cool.
Creamy: Ďcause from what I heard last year it sounds like an absolute blast. Iím going this year, Iíve saved my pennies
Tumer: Ooh, nice.
Creamy: And Iíll be there. I know a bunch of our DJs are going, weíd really like to see, you know, you guys from Cryptic there, just to hang out, buy you guys a drink.
Tumer: Iím sure some of our people will be around. I know Zero was looking into it and Iím sure Brandon is going to be there if nothing else, but I donít know a lot myself yet, Iím still waiting to hear back about that.
Creamy: Alright then. Well, um, I want to thank you for your time, for sitting down with us and, uh,
Tumer: Yeah, no worries, man
Creamy: Ö shooting everything around and, um, gonna throw it out there, you are listening to Subspace Radio, the voice of Star Trek Online. I am DJ Creamy and this guy is
Tumer: Tumerboy
Creamy: I want to say-
Tumer: Tacohead
Creamy: Whatís that?
Tumer: Tacoface, Tacokit-head, Taco Ö whatever.
Creamy: Works for me. So, again, thanks for sitting down and weíll catch you guys out there and weíll see you on the forums.
Tumer: Yo man, take it easy.

--- END ---
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
04-13-2012, 03:34 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tumerboy View Post
Thanks again Creamy. And apologies again for being kind of spacey (ha!) that day. I'll try to bear listening to myself ramble this afternoon.
No worries...I have to hear myself ramble every week during my show
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
04-13-2012, 03:49 PM
Hehe, I kinda want to know what you thought of the ME3 ending Tumber!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
04-13-2012, 04:53 PM
not the greatest, but nothing bad enough to warrant the backlash it got.
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