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Lukasz Studnicki aka Lukasz Croft back homepage search
interviewed by Andzia9 with additional questions by Ian Smith aka Marksdad in January 2010

Andzia9: "First of all, can you introduce yourself? Whatís your name, how old are you, and what are you doing?"

Lukasz: "My name is Lukasz Studnicki, as you know I come from Poland, I live in the city of Klodzko. Iím 22 years old (21.04.1987). Now Iím learning in default average school and Iím working in my brotherís firm."

Andzia9: "How did your history start with Tomb Raider?"

Lukasz: "My history with Tomb Raider started a little bit atypical. Around 2000-2001, I became owner of a console Sony PlayStation1, my brother was in Germany then, we spoke at telephone, and he said that he has a surprise for my birthday, didnít tell what is it. He came to my birthday and gave me a present Ė Tomb Raider IV The Last Revelation for PSX1, I didnít know yet that Lara Croft is Lara Croft -:) From beginning I didnít play TR4, my brother was doing that, who lived yet with my parents and me, I watched his game in TR4, it enchanted me right the first time, and has drawn me in for good. When my brother finished training in TR4 and came to ĎEgyptianí levels, then I started to play TR4 and without any solutions, we came ourselves after few weeks to sadly ending TR4. I was sad, that Lara was dead, then I decided to check if there are more parts of this game. And I found out that there are! My next Tomb Raider which I passed, was very good TR1 for PSX and PC, TR:5 Chronicles (PSX and PC), TR2 (PSX and PC), TR3 (PSX and PC), TR6 (PC), TR7 (PC), TR:Anniversary (PC), TR8 (PC) and all TR Golds in order TR2 Gold, TR1 Gold and TR3 Gold and The Times Exclusive Level. Now Iím waiting for darker and more difficult Tomb Raider (TR9)."

Andzia9: "Why did you decide to make your own custom levels?"

Lukasz: "I decided to make my own custom levels after finding out that the Level Editor for TR exists! That was a gladness, which doesnít die away until today! I wondered, how it would be to send Lara to a 'place' created by me and see the whole TR engine in action. It has also given me ideas to creating my own setting of a game, for example horror; however several years ago there wasnít many objects yet to create good horror. And also the first version of the room editor was strongly unstable, now there are a few very good and modern room editors available for TR."

Andzia9: "Where do you take your ideas from?"

Lukasz: "I take ideas mainly from different films, dreams :), world history and the other games, and even from other Tomb Raiders."

Andzia9: "Do you read all opinions about your works or do you ignore them?"

Lukasz: "When itís possible, I read opinions about my customs, what Iím doing wrong, I try to repair it in next levels. But sometimes, some custom levels have another message, not only collecting positive or negative opinions."

Andzia9: "Which other interests do you have except for Tomb Raider?"

Lukasz: "I have a lot of interests, among them is Ancient Egypt and other Ancient countries, Iím interested also in Biology, Geography, History, Nature (I have two dogs in my home, mongrel and hybrid of German Sheep-dog), other games for example: Vampire The Masquerade Redemption and Bloodlines, Mass Effect, Resident Evil, a little bit Silent Hill, F.E.A.R, 18 Wheels Of Steel Series, Grand Theft Auto IV, Legacy Of Kain series, Hitman series, Call of Cthulhu series, Far Cry 2, Assassin's Creed series, and many more games and films. My second love (just after TR-:)) is music and singing, I have many favourite singers from Celine Dion to Lacuna Coil or Fall Out Boy, Black Eyed Peas and practically everything except Heavy Metal. Iím interested too in modern technology and generally computers. If it would be possible to publicly perform, for example singing some songs, I would be very happy, unfortunately in Poland there isnít many possibilities in this category. Some people 'caught' me when I was singing and told me to do something in this direction, however I havenít money for recording of a CD -:("

Andzia9: "Did you ever think about taking part in contests like: Back to Basics or Levelbase Advent Calendar?"

Lukasz: "I thought many times about taking part in contests like these."

Andzia9: "Do you have any favourite moments from your custom levels?"

Kabul

Lukasz: "My favourite moment from my own custom levels, hmm..There is few, but Iíll give one example, Kabul, Afghanistan Episode 1 & 2, when we must be stealthy and avoid shooting turrets and lure soldiers to places before we can kill them :-)"

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

Lukasz: "The biggest problem in building is the LE itself :) Often textures and objects disappear; sometimes LE entirely refused obedience, but most issues I have with flipmaps."

Andzia9: "Do you have a plan about building a next custom level? Do you have any ideas already?"

Coliseum

Lukasz: "Yes, Iím planning to create next custom levels, actually Iím working at Colosseum Style from TR1 and TR5, I have half first level already, full custom will have three stages. And premiere Ė first quarter 2010. Stage nr 1 Ė set in Colosseum from TR5, Stage nr 2 Ė set in Colosseum from TR1, Stage nr 3 mixed setting Colosseum TR1 & TR5. Next Iím planning to make something in TR6:AOD setting, and underwater city a little bit with Bioshock."

Andzia9: "Do you have already finished a plot?"

Lukasz: "Regarding plot of† new custom levels, I have some Ďindicationsí, because I wonder, if to place it in history from TR1 and TR5, or to simply create the next expedition for an artifact."

Andzia9: "Will there be new objects, new enemies?"

Lukasz: "Yes, there will be new objects and enemies, there will be also old objects and enemies that are a little bit altered."

Andzia9: "Do you like using objects from classic or newer games more? Or does it not matter to you?"

Lukasz: "I do not make a difference with objects from classics or from new games, if I find any object suitable to my level, then I simply use it."

Andzia9: "Have your family and your friends ever played your custom levels?"

Lukasz: "Yes, my family played my custom levels, I have one beta tester. Itís my older brother Bogdan, but sometimes my oldest brother Robert plays my custom levels too :-)"

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

Lukasz: "I have a few favourite custom levels from other Ďmap makersí. For example Ancient Artifact by Max, a few maps by Richard Lawther and many more with Mystery-Horror settings. And also settings linked to stealth :-)"

Pakistan

Andzia9: "Are you planning to make a full version of your level Pakistan?"

Lukasz: "I thought about making a full version of Pakistan, but now I also consider connecting it with my next project, which will probably be Kazakhstan. But for now, I want to create Colosseum and later underwater city, then really later Kazakhstan."

Andzia9: "Did you ever think about making a custom level jointly with another person?† Or do you prefer to do it all alone?"

Lukasz: "Yes, I thought about making custom levels with someone else. But right now I am wondering myself."

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

Lukasz: "Yes, I was thinking about making a level by using for example DXTRe3D, but for a long time the new version (I think v3.0) has not appeared, so I left it alone. Besides, I wanted to make custom for TR5 with DXTRe3D, however I missed a few functions."

Andzia9: "Are you in contact with different level builders? Did you meet someone personally yet?"

Lukasz: "No, I have not (yet?) had contact with different level builders and I didn't meet any of them (probably, because who knows :D)."

Andzia9: "Is there any chance that in your works, we may be able to play as Kurtis or Amanda?"

Lukasz: "I thought about that often, but now Iím not planning it yet."

Andzia9: "Was there any moment in your games with which you were not satisfied? (meaning: you made something in Level Editor, but then when playing it, it turned out that this was a bad idea?)"

Lukasz: "Probably no, although I changed Ďsomethingí often..."

Andzia9: "Which of the official games is your favourite?"

Lukasz: "All parts are great and I like them all and I regret the unfinished TRAOD :( Because it would have been better, when it would have appeared in November 2003, and not in June 2003."

Andzia9: "Is there any level builder which you admire? (I mean of course his/her levels)"

Lukasz: "Maybe a little bit Richard Lawther, Titak and Agnes, and more which I canít remember :-)"

Monstrum 3

Andzia9: "Why is one of your custom levels called Monstrum 3? (I mean, why the 3?)"

Lukasz: "Hehe, my first custom, pity, that the modified Tomb4.exe engine did not exist at the time; it would have avoided lots of bugs. Monstrum 3 had to be a trilogy, however after average Ďacceptanceí I deleted the full project :-("

Andzia9: "Clinic of Death supposedly had a few bugs and you knew about it. So why didnít you try to eliminate them, but released the game nonetheless? Though we would have to wait a little bit."

Clinic of Death

Lukasz: "As it turned out later there was a graphics distortion which happened only on my PC, culprit was a damaged graphics card. And other bugs were not possible to eliminate at the time."

Marksdad: "You build at a huge rate! How do you find the time?!"

Lukasz: "I often build my levels at night, when it is calm and silent, so I have more time. I only need about 6 hours of sleep :-)"

Marksdad: "Some of your earliest levels seemed unfinished (e.g. Chunnel and Pakistan). Why did you decide to release them?"

Lukasz: "Yes, Pakistan had to be a much longer level, however technical problems and other little factors settled in and I had to release it earlier than I would want. I will try to recover from this in future works."

Marksdad: "Temple of Tibet was your first triumph from a creative point-of-view, in my opinion. It had a great appearance and was your first level where you really followed through with your ideas to produce a lengthy adventure. How long did it take you to build?"

Temple of Tibet

Lukasz: "Temple of Tibet was time-consuming; it took me about 2 months with breaks."

Marksdad: "You are one of those builders that has always had an easily recognised 'style'. As a result, you have built up what can only be described as a 'fan following' (I count myself as one of them!). Are you aware of this?"

Lukasz: "Thank You. Yes and No :-)"

Marksdad: "What is your next project and when will it be ready?"

Lukasz: "My next project is Colosseum in style both of TR1 and like TR5. Release should be between January and February 2010. Later I plan two stages in style underwater city, for example: Bioshock."

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