This special will be split into two parts, mainly because these two individuals deserve their own separate interviews, and are each extremely talented modelers
Let's get started with out first guest...
In the 4 years he has been here, this person has released impressive work. At first he started doing texture mods and ended up creating some of the most dead-on accurate and highest quality recreations, that we have yet to see of the Constitution, Constitution Refit, Doomsday Machine, and Excelsior. And as of lately the Enterprise from the latest Star Trek movie.
He has also built ships from another movie entirely, such as the City Destroyer and Attacker from the hit blockbuster film Independence Day. He's also the only person to fully recreate the Star Trek Phase II Constitution, the fan-favored Bonaventure, and the Infamous Monarch Class Enterprise J.
His latest ship, the Proteus, is a radical change in starship design, and is truly innovative. It is slated for release in this years Bridge Commander files Christmas Mass Release. As well as an undisclosed surprise ship.
He also appears in a webcomic known as Hyper Boy Comics, which was created by his brother back in 2005.
Please give a big holiday welcome, to the man behind the Coyote, Mr. Michael Wiley!
Q: So when did you start modeling? And how long have you been around in the modding community?
I started modeling in early 2008 with the completion of the TOS Akira. I was using gmax then, and it was awesome. Though the program has some limits, it has everything you need to make ship mods. I've been modding since January 2006, so that's about 5 years. When I was first modding, I never thought I would be making 3D ships, being one of the "modding legends" alongside of Scotchy, P81, LC Amaral, and Zambie Zan. I guess I'm part of the "next generation" of BC modders. In 2006, I just started with retexturing- it was easier. As long as computers can still run the game, I'm going to still be here for a while.
Q: What was it about modeling that fascinated you, and was that why you ultimately got into modding yourself?
I was amazed how people can get such detail into something that was low poly. I like the feeling of saying that "I made that ship from scratch." I just decided one day to try to build or at least script an individual ship so it will not overwrite anything to expand my skills. What I really like about modeling is that anything is possible in a 3D form, a clean slate when starting. You really start showing off your individuality when modeling.
Q: Do you remember the first thing you tried to build?
The first thing I created was a Terran Empire retexture of the C2 Galaxy. At the time I thought it was cool, but many people were picky about details. They wanted the high poly ships that were recently released, but my computer couldn't handle them.
Q: How did you hear about the Bridge Commander modding community?
When I was creating additional Terran Empire ships, Tiqhud tested them and Starforce2 helped me with hardpoints and scripting. I think one of them pointed me toward toward BCC. Since I joined, I've started making ships from scratch.
The interview continues after the break.
Everyone was nice. They all knew I could retexture ships, so I had some skill to bring to the group.
Q: Which ship of yours was first released? And how well was it received?
My first ship was the TOS Akira. I should really thank Lint for doing the bussard animations. That really made the ship a keeper. I still see the ship occasionally in screenshots.
Q: Do you mod for any other games other than Star trek related ones?
I first modded SFC 1 by adding the Enterprise-D for my own personal install. I was afraid at first thinking that scripts and text files, etc were going to mess up the game and my computer. The mod worked and I was happy. I've been playing with other mods for Armada II, but so far I only mod for BC. It was much easier than Armada II.
Q: So aside from modeling for Brisge Commander, do you have any other hobbies?
I build Trek model kits and put LEDs in them. I have a closet full of kits, completed ones, somewhat completed and unbuilt. The 1/350th scale 1701-A is a beast to complete. It is a minimum 1 month completion time, and a good summer project. I now have the Pearl Ex iridescent color-shifting powders for the TMP hull effect. That is going to be a LOT of masking tape.
Q: So what are a few of the games that you favorite?
Grand Theft Auto, ST:Armada II (for massive fleet battles), SW: Battlefront II, War of the Monsters for PS2, the Neverhood and Roger Wilco in Space Quest 6.
Q: Do you console game at all? And if so what is your preferred machine? Also would you care to share your gamertag with the readers?
I have PS2 (the old boxy one), but I now use it as a DVD player. I now use my computer for gaming. The first time I ever played an online multiplayer game was when I beta tested ST Online in January 2010. It was fun and highly addicting, but the download was too long. Since then, I still do not play with other people.
Q: What are your favorite Star Trek games? And which was the first that you owned?
I had lots of fun with Interplay's StarFleet Academy and SFC 1. I remember trying to install ST: Armada 1 into my first computer and it took up half of the hard drive space. BC and Armada II are now my favorite Trek games.
Q: How long have you been a Star Trek fan, also what was your favorite and least liked series growing up?
I can't pinpoint the exact date, but ever since I was little with Back to the Future and Independence Day. I grew up with those scifi movies. TNG was still new in my childhood- All good things was probably the only episode I remember when it was new on TV or at least recorded on VHS. I loved the space battles. I liked TOS back when it was on the Sci-Fi channel (now SyFy) with MYST3K. I never really caught on to DS9, but each series had its ups and downs.
Q: Do you have a favorite Trek movie of all time? And explain your reason behind that choice.
Wrath of Khan or TOS movie trilogy, followed by First Contact and Star Trek (2009). Would Galaxy Quest count? Once again the TOS movies were what I grew up on- recording them from TV or renting them from the local library. I liked the Mutara Nebula battle from TWOK, and stealing the Enterprise from TSFS.
Q: What is your favorite class of ship? And what makes it unique to you? (It can be either canon, or non canon)
Constitution-Refit and the Sovereign. Maybe because they had more screen time, I don't know. I liked the final warp sequence in TMP- whoosh and it's gone. For the Sovereign, the first time you see the ship in First Contact and when it comes to the Defiant's rescue. I really like how the ship's bussard collectors pulsate.
Q: Apart from your own work, what are some of your favorite mods?
KM and DS9FX Xtended for the larger mods. I pretty much like other people's mods of ships I haven't built yet. (insert chuckle here) DJ makes some great stuff and Zambie Zan too- I like the Wolf 359 ship mod.
Q: If you could recommend any one of your mods to a first time player of a Star Trek game, which one would it be?
Many new people of BC probably saw the recent Star Trek movie, and it is still fresh in their minds, they are going to want the new Enterprise (WC JJ Enterprise v3) as well as the Kelvin. For those who hate(with a few explicatives) the new Enterprise, I have a good TOS Enterprise for people to try.
Q: Do you have any intentions of releasing any kind of tutorials on ship modeling, texturing, or things of that nature?
Yes. I probably will have some video tutorials on 3d modeling and texturing in Photoshop using either Youtube or Livestream. People just can't get enough tutorials.
Q: So far out of everything you have built so far, which have given you the most amount of challenge?
The Enterprise-D and E. The deflector dish area of the D was very tricky to achieve and the smooth flowing shapes of the neck and saucer shuttlebay area. It's much like the new Enterprise. The Ent-E is another story. If one can successfully build that ship, they can pretty much build anything. It has a little bit of everything.
Q: Would you care to share with the readers anything about what you plan to release in the BCFiles Mass Release? And will it be available for both Bridge Commander, and possibly Legacy ?
The Proteus-class ship I built in August that is reminiscent of a speedboat. The other is a secret that only I and Meteorfallen will keep until Christmas/Christmas Eve. It is a fan favorite that no one has built for either game. They are only for BC, but not too many people in Legacy are good at converting my ships.
Preferably I like to do everything myself on my own time. Other people have different schedules and sometimes might be pushy to get their project done. That's why I quit being a ship texturer for Excalibur- it was a bit out of my skill level and half of the stuff they wanted me to do I had no clue how to. But now, I might have the ability to re-join. I still think that modding for BC is more fun and the positive comments are nice.
Q: Can you share with us any bad experiences you have had in your times of modding?
Attempting to make the Narada for BC. It was frustrating. The model kept warping and stretching whenever I exported it. I never released the ship.
Q: I once recall a small scrap you had with Filefront, how was it that you came to be banned from there, and what was your reaction to the whole situation?
I was kitbashing the Dignity Class made by Zambie Zan making it into the Enterprise-J. I didn't ask for permission or never got a reply back from ZZ for kitbashing and I got banned from Filefront for 3 days. I sent a polite email to Starforce2 saying that banning me was harsh and a warning would have done just as well. Soon enough I was back on Filefront.
Q: After all that was said and done, was your perception about the community changed in any way?
I just had to be careful. Always give permission and let the original owner know what is being changed to their mod. Since then everything was smooth sailing. Generally people are very nice and you get quick responses.
Q: Can you give us a run down of your modeling process? How you do come up with your designs?
I've pretty much been building existing ships for BC, making them updated and high-res to keep up with today's computers. It is only until now I've started making my own unique designs. The Proteus is the only original ship so far. I just grab my sketchbook and start drawing. Do lots of drawings, keep parts you like and refine the shapes. The basic ship designs have already been laid out for us, it is just a matter of rearranging and redesigning the components.
Q: Word has been going around that you are planning on entering the Star Trek Online Enterprise-F Contest, Would you like to address this now?
Yes. I'm entering in the Design the Next Enterprise Contest. Designing a ship worthy of being named Enterprise is very difficult for a fan. Just trying to make it not look like another ship is hard enough as it is. I don't plan on winning the grand prize, but it would be nice to at least get a lifetime subscription or a signed poster. It's way to early to tell.
Q: So what else can we expect next from you after the holidays? What's at the top of you to-do list?
My Enterprise-D is 75% done and I have yet to export it for game use. I plan on having another ID4 ship pack for July 2011 because the last one was a big success. I'll be updating my previously released ships with better updated ones and maybe throwing in some new ships too.
And we'll end today's interview with this question...
Q: Aside from what you are releasing, what ship or mod are you the most excited about seeing in the Bcfiles Christmas mass release?
Sovereign001's High Quality Planet textures (they have been already released) and Baz1701's TMP bridge.
I would like to thank Wiley, for being able to take part in this interview on such short notice.
There is no doubt on why he is now being called one of the greats. His ships are exquisite, extremely detailed pieces of work. And while he may just now be starting to build his own creations, I have no doubt that we have not see anything yet, compared to what awaits in the years to come.
It has been a pleasure to work with him on the Sentinel so far, and I can not wait to see how it looks when he is finished with it. I am also thrilled to say that I have been given the privilege to beta test his Christmas surprise, which should be extremely fun.
And that's it for Part One! Please join us very soon for Part Two, featuring another one of the next generation of BC modelers as DJ Curtis sits down with me for the second half of the Christmas Special.
Until then I'm Angel Hernandez, this has been Spotlight...and Happy Holidays.
He has also provided a link to his brother's website, whom of which is the creator of Hyper Boy Comics.
Wiley's BCFIles Profie Page:
Wiley's DeviantArt Page:
Please remember to leave a comment, to share your thoughts on the interview.