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Feature: 'Frags to Riches: Splash Damage's Paul Wedgwood'

For today's exclusive Gamasutra interview, Gamasutra speaks to UK studio Splash Damage's founder Paul Wedgwood (Enemy Territory, Quake Wars) about his team's humble beginni
For today's exclusive Gamasutra interview, Gamasutra speaks to UK studio Splash Damage's founder Paul Wedgwood (Enemy Territory, Quake Wars) about his team's humble beginnings, relationship with id, and its development future. In this excerpt, Wedgwood explains that though the mod community was less than thrilled with the overhauling work the then-fledgling team did on its Quake 3 Fortress, the release proved to be instrumental in establishing Splash Damage as a commercial studio: ”"In truth the community hated us," concedes Wedgwood. "We were taking this pure game that they loved, and I guess it seemed like we were just dressing it up as a portfolio piece - and there would be some truth to that idea. But we were still proud of it, we had new special effects, new models, new skyboxes. We thought we were doing something for the community." The growth of the mod now, however, was a little slower than it had been before. It was only when the team returned to Quakecon the next year that they were able to get things running at a pace they were happy with. "We had something really really polished to present," Wedgwood recalls. "And at this point we were introduced to [Id Software co-owner] Kevin Cloud, and to Jonathan Moses of Activision, who was the producer on Return To Castle Wolfenstein." This meeting was to prove fruitful, and was a fortunate turn of events for the newly formed company, now called Splash Damage. They had been relying on the soon-to-be-bankrupt NOW TV Quake-match broadcasts for their income, and the money intended for new, serviced offices would rapidly dry up. Splash Damage began their new direction by crafting some multiplayer maps for Return To Castle Wolfenstein, paid for by a UK telecoms company. These were soon to be the most popular third party maps for the game. It was clear to both Splash Damage and their friends at Id that the team was ready for a more ambitious commercial project.” You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject, with more from Wedgwood on that first commercial work, Return To Castle Wolfenstein - Enemy Territory, as well as how the internet is changing everything, including the maturation of the mod community (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).

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