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OFPEC Spotlights... "SaOk" @ Intel Depot | OFPEC The Editing Center

Intel Depot

OFPEC Spotlights... "SaOk"

Jan
30
2012

Our Spotlights series kicks off with an interview with SaOK!

Interview

Who are you and what do you do outside of the gaming community?

I am a physics student from Helsinki university. Quite a nerdy person with musical hobbies and allergies.

Where in our world do you reside?

Helsinki, Finland. A great place during short summers, depressing dark and grey during long winters.

When and how were you introduced to BIS titles and what was your initial impression of them?

There was a preview of "Operation Flashpoint" in finnish gaming magazine in very early 2001. The game sounded so great that I begun a campaign to get new computer for it right away. When I finally got the demo from PC-gamer, it totally blew me away. Unreal good combination of "battlezone" and "hidden & dangerous" games that I had played before. I even believed first that the whole island was populated with human-like AI which made it even more hard to wait the full game release.

The missions that you have released to our community have received praise from many players. How has that affected the quality of current or future projects? Does it inspire you to maintain that quality or advance it even further?

It defintely gives extra motivation, but anyway it would be boring not to advance with every project. There is always something new to discover for scripting, cutscenes and other things without repeating mistakes from earlier projects.

Where do you draw the inspiration for each project?

From other games (including stalker and men of war), also movies and many tv-series. Small ideas from here and there. As an example - from Stalker Clear Sky, I got much more excited to make different AI functions. I liked how in that game AI groups captured randomly target area and after that changed to guard that point with different behaviour including sitting at fireplace. That kind of AI behaviour details are something, I've been trying create for my missions too.

Working for hours within the editor and scripts, can become stuffy and frustrating. What do you do for stress relief?

I listen much music while editing mission. And if the editing become frustrating, I can have fun playing with the unfinished missions or do something else. At the end, the scripting itself dont take much time, more the planning (if all goes good - the old AI pistol bug with stucked units have probably shorten my life Wink).

Got any other hobbies you care to share with us?

As most interesting hobbies, I daily practice guitar playing - mostly accoustic. Also like to listen music a lot, mostly folk-rock, and take part in different racing simulation series (iRacing and now rFactor2).

The balance of a mission often becomes obscured by the designers inability to let things go. Have you ever experienced this? If so, care to give an example?

While learning much new ways of scripting and fighting against bad FPS, I updated my "Black Forest" mission so much that it looks now very chaotic in editor even when everything in it works without a problem. I hope, I understood the question right.

You're a very prolific mission maker, with several published campaigns and missions. Are you immune to the tendency of other community mission makers to abandon their missions halfway through, or do you have a slew of abandoned missions waiting on your hard drive as well? What keeps you motivated enough to see each project through?

I had only unfinished projects in OFP and in ArmA1 until I joined a mission creating group that made me work together with SavedByGrace on SP mission "Fly Like an Eagle". With his much better story telling, cutscene and voice-acting skills, I finally got hooked to expand & polish missions as good as I can even when there was much frustration to face. After that I have been trying to complete almost all my projects except some very few that I started when Arma2 was released, when I was still learning the differences in ArmA2 and slowly getting to use SQF and FSM instead of old clumsy SQS.

With your latest work being a campaign, what did you discover to be the most challenging aspect with that type of project?

Limited time. I like more to work on single missions, then you can focus all effort to one thing. With campaign missions, you need to hurry to get something ready in good time.

Care to share any intel on projects you have planned for the future?

I have a new "Black Forest"-style mission coming. I am planning it to be bigger and partly much more dynamic, but still have much fixed cinema and thrilling story. I have already many new ambient scripts ready for that and all units in enemy side are made to use tactical script in order to work together, they share their knowledge of where player might be going without cheating (much). It will be very deadly to stay put, but possible to withdraw from battles. There is also much other different features included, but better to leave much unrevealed to build suprise factor.

Your projects have been primarily addon-free, despite repeated requests within the community to include for instance user made islands. Any particular reason behind this preferrence?

I didnt have much missions made for all the official maps. I wanted to do something for the takistan too before creating something for mods. Then I got this new idea for campaign sequel mission which I think would work best for Chernarus since it could be attached easily to the current campaign. Also it would create a cool connection between the campaign and "Black Forest"-mission. But I havent forgotten the many great mods. With the new dynamic scripts, I am still planning to create something for unsung vietnam mod, FDF or IceBreakr's maps. But with quickly closing "Iron Front Liberation 1944" and "Arma3", I cant promise anything. Still I alread converted "Black Forest" for FDF and old ArmA1 mission "Fly Like an Eagle" to CAA1 MOD.

With a database of over 20 missions that include the campaign build and span the distance of two game titles, what keeps you so interested in the Arma series?

There is no much limits for mission creating and every new ArmA have offered new possibilityes. Always room for new ideas. Especially the new FSM scripting have kept me interested of the game. So easy to create complex structures in few minutes.

With Arma2, you have began to release scripts to the community as well. What's next for you?

My all scripts are free for use. I have been just slow to write instructions for those. I will probably try to have AI scripts for building use next (with the guides). If meant what is my next big step, there isnt any. I like to stay working on missions, instead of addons.

Is there a community member that has inspired you with their own projects?

Many, rejenorst with his "Cause"-campaign for ArmA1 and Bardosy with his campaigns. The latest inspiration I got from Nettrucker's Hammer of Thor campaign, that I need add more life for my campaign too to match the great athmosphere from massive battles (if player have a good CPU). In my campaign the much expanded life is enabled via "multiple life"-option. As another latest inspiration, I would say Zonekiller's Battlefield that I tested quickly with him. The realistic feature for enemy AI to track player's latest position without cheating, is something that I have been working to be key feature for my next mission project too which itself is very different from Zonekiller's great work.

You've been a part of this community since 2006? How would you rate the comradery of the BIS community as compared to that of others?

I have been visiting this community since 2003 (when I got internet access) to find many great missions and mods, but I didnt sign in until 2006 since I wasnt very ready to communicate in english yet in that time. The spirit is great in this community, much talented members to work on wide-ranging content and mostly very good and friendly behaviour from the rest.

If you were to make one request of BIS developers, what would that be?

I hope to see a great thrilling challenging original SP campaign for ArmA3 that dosent end too soon.

If you were to make one request of the BIS community, what would that be?

Be excited to voice-act massive roles. Cheesy

Any last words of wisdom for our readers and/or mission designers?

Dont slip when heading out to pick up snacks for ArmA editing.

Community Questions

These questions come from Bardosy
Is it true, that every Finnish creates ArmA missions OR drinks vodka from Sept to April?

Half true, the drinking continues around the year. Only swimming or driving may stop it. Smiley

Is every Finnish an IT guy or do the others have no internet connection?

Finns with internet connection are usually very nerdy (IT guy type). Smiley

Do you have brothers in arms in our Armaverse? Or are you a lone wolf?

I have been working from time to time with community member & great chap SavedByGrace. Always nice to change words with many other community members too.

What is more important: the story or the action?

The story, but somehow I have got closer with the action with my recent missions. Trying to be more story focused again in future. I have much to learn in story-writing.

Pick 3

What was the last game you bought?

rFactor 2, a great new realistic driving simulation that will serve next many years with the big community ready to create countless mods.

If you could travel to any city in the world in the blink of an eye, where would it be?

Tokyo, Japan. I lived there the most time of my first 5 years. Japanese people have great creative spirit and honor towards culture. Very great and beautiful country (if you forgot anime and WW2).

If BIS asked you to join their team, where do you think you would fit in the best?

A mission creator, I believe I would be able to create some big actionfull performance friendly missions. Still not sure if I would want to move to Czech, but would be ready do work oversea anytime if they need someone to playtest ArmA3 ;D


We'd like to take a moment to thank the Community members who sent in questions for SaOk. Your participation is greatly appreciated and warmly welcomed. We'd like to invite you to now send in questions for our next spotlighted Community member, "Clayman".

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