Donald Forgues aka Dnf Productions back homepage search
interviewed by Andzia9 in April 2013

Andzia9: "First, can you introduce yourself to us? How old are you, what is your job?"

Donald: "My name is Donald Forgues, I was born in Cornwall, Ontario on October 1968, Iím 44 years old. My job has nothing to do with creating custom levels, I'm working at Olymel (making bacon)."

Andzia9: "Do you have any interests, hobbies?"

Donald: "My favorite hobbies are creating videos of home movies, and of course creating tomb raider levels. What a challenge because everytime I have to think of something different, which is a little bit complicated especially when I want to create large levels and everything has to work."

Andzia9: "What was it like, your first contact with Tomb Raider? I mean did you buy a game, did you get it as a gift, or you saw gameplay of TR somewhere?"

Donald: "I bought Tomb Raider 2 on Playstation in 1997; I was so excited to play the game that I had ideas of building some levels, but there were no editors at the time. That was my biggest wish (and it came true)."

Andzia9: "Do you have any favourite original Tomb Raiders?"

Donald: "Yes, my favorites are TR2, TR3 and the new Tomb Raider (2013)"

Andzia9: "What do you think about the Tomb Raider reboot? Do you think it was a good idea? Did you play the new Tomb Raider? Did you play in multiplayer?"

Donald: "I played the new Tomb Raider twice and completed the game at 96%. Iím still working on it to find the rest of the goodies. That game is really awesome!!!"

Andzia9: "Do you have a favourite TR environment?"

Donald: "Oh yes, the beach with the broken boats and I love very much the hidden tombs."

Andzia9: "Where did the idea come from to create custom levels?"

Donald: "Watching action movies, playing other games such as Ratchet and Clank, Call of duty, Splinter Cell and all the Tomb Raider games."

Andzia9: "From what are you taking your inspiration?"

Donald: "My large imagination. It starts by one object that I dream to add in a level and the next thing I know something else pops up out of my head. I love very much textures, so sometimes I go on the net just to see some textures and from there it gives me good ideas to build a level."

Andzia9: "You just released your new custom adventure - The Training. Why did you decide to make a prequel of Saudi Arabia, Russia and Costa Rica?"

Donald: "Because I felt like something was missing such as the story. I couldn't build cut scenes in Saudi Arabia, because I didnít know how to create them, so it was hard for me to tell a story without cut scenes. And I just didnít create all the levels I wanted in the original trilogy. I said to myself what if I could built a dark sewer with rats, guards, secret passage and so on and I've always dreamed of a submarine. I love the ambience but there was no place in my trilogy, now there is a sub level in the training game."

Andzia9: "Are you planning to create another custom level? Maybe sometime later or is this the end?"

Donald: "Yes, I want to do the LAST game and it's gonna be the sequel of Costa Rica, Lara has to find a way of getting out of the past and go back to the present time, there will be like 10 levels and it's gonna be in doom castles, grottos and ancient ruins. I just don't know the title yet besides bla bla bla...episode four."

Andzia9: "About that new custom adventure - Will you show some screens, trailers or will you keep everything in secret till the premiere?"

Donald: "I will give few things on the net, such as screens."

Andzia9: "Can you estimate when the project will be ready? Not in in this year and not in the next?"

Donald: "In 2016"

Andzia9: "If there is the possibility to use textures, objects from new TR (2013) would you use them?"

Donald: "Yes I will use them."

Andzia9: "Are Kurtis or Amanda (I know she was in demo in Episode Zero, but I don't know if she appeared in full version, I didn't play it yet) in your last game?"

Donald: "Kurtis and Amanda are both in the training game adventure, Kurtis meets Lara for the first time, he's a bit frustrated with Lara because she just finished her training in Brazil and she needs some rest for her next training in Egypt, so Kurtis tries to understand the behavior of Lara by asking questions to Daniel (former trainer of Lara). Daniel explains the story of Lara 5 years before the training and that's how we know that she is not too friendly with Kurtis. As for Amanda she also works for Daniel she's well trained to do any raiding stuff, so she was called by Daniel's boss to help Lara in Nepal."

Andzia9: "So far you released three big custom adventures. How much time did it take you to build them? (Not all at once of course)."

Donald: "Saudi Arabia took me one year and a half, Russia took me about 2 years, Costa Rica took me 2 years and the Training took me 6 years."

Andzia9: "Have you got any favourite places, moments from your custom adventures?"

Donald: "Yes, I got favorite customs of my levels such as Ice Man Palace, Dark Dungeon, Dark Dungeon 3, Dark Sewers, Inside the building, Lab41V and Lab42V."

Andzia9: "Was it very difficult to make the invisible Lara in Episode 2?"

Donald: "No, it was really easy, every meshes was the same texture."

Andzia9: "Do you have any favourite custom levels from other creators?"

Donald: "Yes, The Sanctuary of Fire, Water and Ice from Piega."

Andzia9: "Did you ever think about making a level by using DXTRe3D?"

Donald: "No."

Andzia9: "Do you have contact with different level creators? Did you meet successfully with someone personally?"

Donald: "No didnít have that chance."

Andzia9: "Is there any custom creator, which you admire? (I mean about her/his work)"

Donald: "Oh yes, Titak and Piega (very good creators, better than me lol)"

Andzia9: "What in building caused you the biggest problem?"

Donald: "Creating stacked rooms and portals, also creating flip effect triggers with NGLE, that is so complicated. As for an example the shotgun name, I have 6 different shotguns in the training game and each time that we change location the name has to change, the hardest part is to find the right trigger and add it to the script."

Andzia9: "How do you find the time to create your projects?"

Donald: "One hour after my day work at Olymel."

Andzia9: "Have you ever not been happy with some results in your games?"

Donald: "All the time. I will never be satisfied. I feel like there's always something missing and the editor has its limits so that bugs me a lot."

Andzia9: "Did the place in Top custom levels and Hall of Fame surprise you?"

Donald: "Very much, oh my God. I never thought that my name would appear in the Hall of Fame. I feel so privileged (at least some people like my games LOL)"

Andzia9: "Was there any moment, enemy, object etc which you had to delete from your previous customs?"

Donald: "Yes indeed, I had to delete lots of objects in the game as well as enemies because I wasn't satisfied with the character behavior. Some of the enemies was shooting and we could see fire coming out of the stomach (that's not a glitch it's hard coded from the previous TR games), so it was inacceptabel for my game. Lots of objects have too many polygons for nothing and too large textures as well, that consumes a lot of space in the level graphic wads, so I've deleted those unnecessary objects from my ideas."

Andzia9: "Have you ever thought about creating X-Mas levels, Easter levels or maybe Back to basics, One room challenge?"

Donald: "No, not really and the reason for that is the fact that I'm so hooked on my own story that I always have new ideas for the same story and for new levels."

Andzia9: "What do you think about Angel of Darkness? Success or reverse? I mean did you enjoy it or not?"

Donald: "Angel of darkness is good, could be better though, but I love the soundtrack very much. If the builders of this game had one more year to work on it, it would've been a good game."

Andzia9: "Do you have Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light? If not, would you like to play it?"

Donald: "No, I don't have the Guardian of Light, not yet, cause I want to have it on Playstation3, but no cash for now."

Andzia9: "Do you have favourite countries from Tomb Raider? They can be from customs too."

Donald: "Saudi Arabia and Venice"

Andzia9: "Which level did take the most time for you?"

Donald: "The one that took me very long to built was : Lab41V, because of the shotgun name that I had to change for HK5. You need a lot of special triggers in the level as well as in the script. Also the hardest thing was to create the gas room with NGLE- The first version was with the normal editor and I used the harpy to trigger the (fake) gas room, which Lara looses health randomly. When I decided to work with NGLE everything was different. I had to add the button damage and delete the harpy, but it didn't work, the level was crashing, so I had to trick the editor to make it work, as a matter of fact the harpy is still in the level but it's not trigered and everything works perfectly."

Andzia9: "Thank you for the interview!"

Donald: "You're welcome! P.S.: I'm so excited. The fact that a lot of people are playing the training game and they're breaking their heads off to finish this hard game. It's not for beginners...sorry."

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