I know you were all expecting Part Two of the Christmas Special, as was I. But as of late I have not heard back from DJ Curtis, I promise that as soon as I hear something regarding his interview, that I will keep you all apprised.
Also this interview was on purposely made longer than normal, to make up for the lack of the second part of the Christmas Special.
But in the meantime Spotlight will continue as usual with today's episode. Featuring another member of the Ultimate Universe modding team.
This person is responsible for a lot of the custom ships built just for UUM, and is a very impressive modeler. He has also built kit-bashes for Bridge Commander, and Klingon Academy. He was the first to being the Dominion to Star Trek Legacy, and since then has been a member of the Ultimate Universe Modding team.
He is now one of UUM's Assistant Directors, the head of Asylum, which is a modding school hosted by Chris Jones Gaming. And the head of the Modeling Department for Ultimate Universe.
His latest ship the TOS era Proxima was released for Christmas, and can be found on Legacy Files, and UUM.net
Please welcome Mr.Phoenix Bondi, but we all know him as Nix, Phoenix, or PhoenixFett
Q: So when did you start modeling? And how long have you been with the modding community?
Well my basic’s started with Star Trek Klingon Academy, I use to play and hang around with exar-kun, and Jakeo but it was simple Kit bash’s and stuff, nothing major as I had No clue what I was doing with Light wave, I released a few mod’s but have no time frame memory to give u a date, L But the 4th of January I released a reskin of Rosh for Star Wars Jedi Academy which picked up a nice amount of downloads, I had also been experimenting with 3d max trying to mod for star trek bridge commander, But alas it was still only kit bash’s, before I disappeared due to personal life I released my 2nd and 3rd variant of my borg hybrid Defiant class – F.A.S. Kadet, A Beta for a Huge kit bash called the invincible and about 4 others. Then I resurfaced when legacy came out and started all over again, having lost ALL my old acquired skills L so I’d say from 2000 onwards with K.A
Q: What was it about modeling that fascinated you, and was that why you ultimately got into modding yourself?
Oh without a doubt being able to firstly improve the game, and secondly add things you want your self. Not limited by damn companies doing only what they wanted.
Q: Do you remember the first thing you tried to build?
Yea I had a tutorial for light wave to build a Constitution class starship, But couldn’t do it, No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t do it L so I gave up L - wish I hadn’t as I’d be even better by now
Q: How did you hear about Ultimate Universe, and the Star Trek legacy modding community?
Well I was hanging around the Legacy forums and had luckily found out about the armada sod files working in legacy before it was announced so I started to put the legacy dominion pack together, then I ended up with 2 emails, one from Chris Jones and one from Acidrain, both from CJG at the time, another team also took note of me who where, - I apologies I really can’t remember, it wasn’t New-Gen or Aftermath, the other main contender back then.
Please keep reading after the break.
A lot of problems at first, as it was the first time I’d gone public in a long time, and many of my ideas where I presume a bit pig headed, I was full of ideas and no way to do them. But after I started to show off my dominion work, people soon started to take note of my work
Q: Which ship of yours was first released? And how well was it received?
Oh good question –
1) K.A – My Invincible class star ship – Kit bash (a mix of an intrepid, excel refit, akira, sov)
2) B.C – Kadet class Defiant / Borg Hybrid
3) Legacy – My Port of 7of9’s Dominion Bug
Q: Do you mod for any other games other than Star trek oriented ones?
Not anymore, but I use to mod Jedi Knight Academy, Counter Strike source,
Q: So aside from modeling for Legacy, do you have any other hobbies?
I really love my music, so playing on my guitar is my biggest past time...other than that, I’d say riding my Bike
Q: What do you do for a living?
I use to D.j a little apart from working in a store called Asda which is owned by Wal-Mart
Q: So what are a few of the games that you favorite?
STO, BC, Red Faction Gorilla, All C.O.D’s
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 own both a ps3 and Xbox 360 – not online with ps3 but my live account is Phoenixfett if anyone wishes’s to add me. But I’d say Xbox for me, due to the huge selection of games!
Q: What are your favorite Star Trek games? And which was the first that you owned?
First owned was 25th anniversary, but favorite would be between KA and BC
Q: How long have you been a Star Trek fan, also what was your favorite and least liked series growing up?
All my life from as far as I can remember! favorite is DS9 due to the wars, but least id say voyager but I still loved that though ….
Q: Do you have a favorite Trek movie of all time? And explain your reason behind that choice.
It’s a draw between Wrath of Khan and First Contact, for first contact all I can say is BORG, but WOK is just EPIC, the atmosphere is INTENSE from open to end, a death of a main player – even though he’s back next film! And well BEST SPACE BATTLE EVER!!! Just an amazing film though and though
Q: What is your favorite class of ship? And what makes it unique to you? (It can be either canon, or non canon)
Tie again L but 3 way this time Sorry
1) Defiant as I Love the fact it’s a warship
2) Excelsior since it was just a beauty to look at, What a timeless design
3) Classic Hell and Refit Connie – Need I say more???
Q: Apart from your own work, what are some of your favorite mods?
Hum, well I won’t say UUM then lol, but I’d say Km and Ds9 effects for BC,
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?
Either my Dominion pack for extra race and lot of ships, or my Guardian class as it give the Oberth Some teeth
Q: Do you have any intentions of releasing any kind of tutorials on ship modeling, texturing, or things of that nature?
I actually already have, as an idea put to me by Brex and Marky-D I opened the asylum earlier this year, so far it has 1 tutorial on but I’m in the process of making a lot more
Keep your eyes open as 2011 will see a lot more input into this site!
Q: So far out of everything you have built so far, which have given you the most amount of challenge?
My Origins pack I’m doing at the moment, it’s all TOS era stuff, and once I’m finished, I think I can do better and end up restarting it – getting annoying in all honesty lol
Q: Would you care to share with the readers any news about what you may be releasing in the near future for Ultimate Universe?
Well why not, I’ll give you a few pictures too if you like? Well I hope to get this finished for an Easter release if not earlier, I’m working on a project called ORIGINS which is all CLASSIC TOS stuff, so far 1 ship from it was released for XMAS my TOS PROXIMA Class which I had help porting it by Muldrf, but I hope as to have a nice list for you,
There will be K7, all MK’s of the Connie, Rommie bop, Rommie battle bird, my own Rommie vulture hell just too many to say, all I’ll say is keep your eyes and ears open
At the time, I’d lost BC and I wanted a fresh start with a new game! So basically the early bird gets the Gak (lol) I wanted to do something new for the game that hadn’t been done yet, IE THE DOMINION
Q: Is it difficult working within the constraints of a game like Legacy?
Yup it drives me completely insane at times and bore’s me to death... lol.
Q: Can you share with us any bad experiences you have had in your times of modding?
People who steal your work and say it’s their own, EVEN with your secret water mark embedded on the textures – Dumb Barstards!
Q: How has working for Ultimate Universe changed your perspective of the Legacy community?
Well as a member I was around when the TEAM WAR came about, but luckily, I was part of the comittiee that kind of held things together, as I was part of the ambassador ship or whatever you call it, I was doing some joint operations between new-gen and aftermath. Helping to keep a good friendship between all 3 teams, Even though even to today some idiots still try to destroy what people like me and Travis (Muldrf) have worked so hard to achieve!
Q: What are some of your responsibilities, being one of two assistant directors of UUM?
Well I head the Asylum which is the School of Modding. I am also the head of the modeling department and all models NOW go though me or Muldrf, but since its only us two doing anything at the moment it don’t matter. I also deal with some PR helping promote and represent UUM. I do the odd pod cast with Elite force and have done a couple of others for example Argus array
Q: What have been some of your personal highlights working for UUM?
Apart from being the first to bring the dominion to Legacy, I’d say Learning How to model from scratch! And then obviously the promotions to where I am now!
Q: Within the Ultimate Universe team, you're known for improving your models, sometimes completely remaking them from the ground up, it sounds like the quality of your work is important to you.
Oh it is, for some reason I have a strange fetish for the Oberth, so when I started to get somewhere with my scratch built models I built my own edition with it, the guardian class. I don’t like games that say here is *what ever* class of ship – then you look at it and you’re like WTF That’s Crap – like the Connie, Romulan BOP, and Oberth! I mean come on, they could be 1000 times better – so I did the best I could and rebuilt them from the ground up!
Q: Word is that you have been working on a major expansion to UUM entitled Origins, can you give us an idea what Origins is and what will it mostly consist of?
Well in 2009 star trek fan base got a huge BOOST with JJ Abrams version of star trek, and people now see a NEW Kirk and a new Classic 1701 Enterprise, Origins Is just what it says on the box, it’s the original, its meant to remind people of what Star trek once was before it got bastadized by JJ, but alas u see what one ship in TOS really and a couple more from books and games so I’ve done my best to bring you more ships, higher quality and a selection of race’s so far I have at least one ship from the Romulan's, Thoilans, obviously Federation and hopefully will get more done, I can guarantee it will turn a couple of heads, upset some people with a ship I have in there and hopefully have some others awaiting with anticipation – If they like my work that is!
Q: Would you care to share with the readers any information regarding the Doomsday Machine that you are currently working on?
No Lol, It’s a pain in the ass, I need to speak to Wiley about how he did his, as I’m having not much luck with it at the moment lol
Q: Apart from building from canon, you've also contributed a number of original designs, such as variants on the Oberth Class and the Romulan Battle bird, which all add to the unique feel of the Ultimate Universe, where do your ideas for these designs come from and do you plan to make more original ships in the future?
Well origins will show off some more of my ideas, but basically they are normally kit bash’s or things that shouldn’t be For example TOS EXCELSIOR, and PRIME TOS Kelvin, I also see other work which inspires me, think Yea I could do something like that, So I build my own with differences and get to work from them, like my vulture class bird of prey I’m working on now, was inspired between the classic BOP and one of Altoms classic designs. Another example is if you look at the USS Grissom's Registry is 3 digits which makes it older like the Daedalus class or earlier than the constitution, so my brain says HEY it should have been around before the Connie, Let’s give it a TOS feel!
Q: Recently you have been working on replacing the stock ships that have been left over in Legacy; can you give the readers some examples of the ships that you are replacing? And have you made that a priory of yours?
A priority, no not really, but as of origins I think I’m only changing the Romulan BOP, K7, The D7 but the Romulan one,
Q: I know every modeler has a different setup and has their own way of building their ships, how do you go about making your ships?
A good question, one I get asked a lot of and one I will be very happy to finish my video tutorial about, firstly in 3d studio max I start off with 5 Planes, one for the Left or right view, Top, Bottom, Forward and finally Aft. Once they’re all arranged into position I start adding basic shapes like a cube, cylinder or a sphere, get them all placed into positions, then start Molding each part to be the correct shape I’m after *I’ve included a couple of pictures to show what I mean* after the shapes are looking right and in the correct place, I then optimize the mesh, making it 1 SINGLE object instead of multiple ones, for example you’d have Hull, Saucer, Neck, pylons x2, and nacelles x2- so that’s 7 shapes, make them into one single mesh and then, Break it all apart again for texturing, One reason I choose to optimize is, it gets rid of Unwanted polys that u don’t need/see and saves on the ships, FPS if you know what you mean,
Q: Any final comments before we finish this interview?
Yes most defiantly, firstly I’d like to say it’s been an honor being asked to do the interview and I would just like to throw some thank yous out there to the people who have helped me get where I am today.
Ok a big ass thank you to the following people;
Adonis, Brex and Marky-D = without your help I’d still have no clue about making mesh’s
Chris Jones – Without you I’d of not wanted to learn more, and have nowhere to show off my stuff.
Muldrf – Helping me with my new ships, so I don’t have to do every damn thing! I make the mesh and textures he does the rest lately – Thanks mate!
Starforce – for offering to help get my work into Bridge Commander
And finally the last question for today's interview..and 2010.
Q: Chris Jones gaming has a policy of allowing Ultimate Universe modders contribute their own work to the mod, as long as the quality is not lacking. Is this important to you to have complete creative control over what you want to contribute rather than being restricted to time tables?
Oh most defiantly, I just don’t have the time to ADHERE to time tables; I need to be able to work on my own time and my own pace! But sometimes I throw out Example mesh’s quicker than you can imagine just then takes me time to optimize the mesh and then my most HATED job TEXTUREING!!! *YUK!!!*
And this concludes the last episode of Spotlight for the year of 2010. I would like to thank Phoenix for taking part in this years final interview.
Nix is one of the easiest people to get along with in the UUM team, I was there when he joined the team, before he achieved his modeling greatness. He has been a tremendous asset to UUM over the past years, and I couldn't ask for a better assistant director. Him and Muldrf are the dynamic duo that keep this well-oiled machine that is Ultimate Universe running.
I would like to say so far this program has had more success than I had imagined, since the programs announcement, before even the first interview, there has been a total 2,818 page views, and from only been 7 guests in total. If these are the kind of numbers that have been achieved so far, then I can not wait to see the numbers that will be reached next year.
I would like to thank everyone that has participated in Spotlight so far Tim Bondi, Luiz Cordova Jr, Travis Durf, Chris Jones, Armando Perez, and Greg Smith. Without them this program would not have been possible.
Also I would like to thank some of the groups of individuals who have publicly shown their support in this project; BCS:TNG, Chris Jones Gaming, CG Web Consulting, LegacyFiles.com, and Outpost Gamez.
And of course a big thanks goes out to the of readers of this blog, and the modding communities.
I have't even yet to scratch the surface of the community, please join me next year for interviews with more of the communities contributors. Such as AcidFluxxBass, Bones, DJ Curtis, Fallen_Warrior, Kaden, NanoByte, and U.S.S. Sovereign...
As well as an exclusive interview with one of Star Trek's most famously known contributors...Doug Drexler.
Please join me for next week for the first episode of Spotlight of 2011. As next weeks guest will be announced soon.
Until next year, I'm Angel Hernandez, this has been Spotlight...and happy new year!
You will find links to his Legacy Files profile page, as well to the Ultimate Universe Mod website, Facebook page, and more.
Phoenix's Facebook Page:
Modding Asylum Homepage:
Phoenix's LegacyFiles Profile Page:
Chris Jones Gaming:
The Ultimate Universe Mod Website:
Please don't forget to leave a comment, and share your opinion on the interview. Also I have had to make changes to the comment system in which I will now approve each comment myself, due to spamming.