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Interview with Glen Dahlgren


3/28/00 by Tom Smallwood
with Glen Dahlgren
Designer/Producer 
Legend Entertainment

Can you tell us a little about your responsibilities while working on WoT?

Glen Dahlgren: I was the designer/producer for the project, with quite a lot of art directions responsibilities as well.

How did you get into the game design field?

Glen Dahlgren: I started as a programmer, but Legend needed designers.  So I contributed design to Gateway I, got MUCH better in Gateway II: Homeworld, and came into my own with Death Gate.  WoT was very different than anything that came before it, but no less challenging.

What games have you edited professionally? Nonprofessionally?

Glen Dahlgren: Edited?  Well, if you mean in the writing sense, it was quite a few-but I suspect that you're talking level design.  It's not a well-known fact, but I created the original prototype level that we used to sell the game. After that, though, I left it to the professionals.

What is your favorite computer game after WoT?

Glen Dahlgren: Starcraft is taking up a lot of time right now, and Half-Life captured me effectively.

Do you play user created levels?

Glen Dahlgren: I try to play a little of every new WoT level.   I'm very interested in someone new's take on what we created. 

What is the biggest problem you see in user made levels?

Glen Dahlgren: Quality, both in editing and design.  A lot of thought went into artifact distribution and placement, as well as the architecture and texturing. People should use our levels as templates, even steal architecture and ideas from them (we won't mind).  Amateur designers are getting better, though, and I continually look forward to seeing more--especially more single-player levels!

What changes do you see coming in computer games over the next 5 years?

Glen Dahlgren: We still haven't gotten to the point where technology is a given, and game design is what sells the product.  Hopefully, this will happen in the next five years.  The next-gen consoles may help to bring this about.

What are you doing now that WoT is finished?

Glen Dahlgren: I'm writing a few articles and starting in on my new concept.  It's pretty cool.  Perhaps I'll start its web-site sometime soon.

What did you enjoy most about working on WoT? Least?

Glen Dahlgren: Bringing my vision to life; that's why I'm in this business.  I have people who are much more talented than I working on art, music, etc., but they all feed into realizing my vision.  It's very satisfying.

And then watching my vision lose major features and important elements due to schedule, resource, or personality problems.   That's never fun. 

Finally, how about a quick strategy tip for MP?

Glen Dahlgren: Learn what each artifact does and what elements it uses.  Press the F2 key!  You'd be surprised how this information can come in handy, especially when using the elemental shields!

I want to thank Glen Dahlgren for this interview. Look for more interviews with Legend's staff over the next few days.

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