Donut: So who are you? What is Dawn of the Reapers?
Paul Kiesling: My real name is Paul Kiesling. I’m the head and only remaining founder of Dawn of the Reapers, a Mass Effect mod for Sins of a Solar Empire (Rebellion)
Donut: Great, how did you begin the mod? Did you just sit down and start modelling?
Paul Kiesling: It’s actually a pretty funny story, like three years ago I wasn’t a Mass Effect fan at all. Couple of friends of mine and I went out to local bar for a few drinks and kept talking all night about it and I started to play it and fell in love with the universe. I saw after playing it that it would translate well into a game I knew and loved at the time: Sins of a Solar Empire.
Donut: Everyone knows getting drunk is the best source of inspiration, it is how the Bastion came to be after all. So besides translating Mass Effect to Sins of a Solar Empire, what are your main goals for the mod?
Paul Kiesling: I started this wanting to push the SINS engine to its limits, after being given a reality check by my old coder Zombie. What we did is aimed for accuracy. Everything about we do is about aiming for perfection. My co-lead Skyline and I will spend hours fussying about a stupid little detail on skins. We want that immersive experience that our fans love from the ME universe.
Donut: Not enough devs embrace the lore they go off of. So Dawn of the Reapers is starting to really come along, what part of the release are you most excited for?
Paul Kiesling: Cerberus, they were my dream child. When ME3 came out I had to redo everything. I was lost because i had made so many ships and had no idea what to do with them. Cerberus offered me a conduit to responsibly use and hone my imagination and now they are the most completed faction, and looking to be our first completed one. Everything they are has come from my imagination and im actually really proud of that.
Donut: So after release, what features are you excited to add, if any?
Paul Kiesling: I think multiplayer is going to be our big hit, there are unofficial polls all the time about which faction each person wants to play as. Its always split pretty even across the board but like I said before this mods intent is immersion. So having huge fleets duking out over a multiplayer environment i honestly cant wait to see.
Donut: Speaking of fleets, how do you manage the size of the reapers and pure power they hold? I doubt we will be seeing an equal number of reapers to other factions.
Paul Kiesling: Reaper (Faction) fleets will consist of heretic geth, and collector ships as well which will make up of the bulk of the fleet. Reapers (Units) consist of a smaller part put still important part of the fleet acting as flagships and buff units causing your existing units to operate better. The amount of reapers playable in game will not be as immense as ME but still will allote for some pretty pleasing battles. We are having tons of fun just messing around with it in the alpha right now.
Donut: So what unique features of the game can you tell me about that aren’t already in vanilla.
Paul Kiesling: Reaper indoctrination is one we are working on right now
Donut: Can you flesh that out?
Paul Kiesling: Sure, as in ME Reapers broadcast essentially a field that warps the mind of organics bending them to the will of The Reapers as a whole. Thats what we are doing right now in SINS. Reaper units will possess a passive ability that will start convert lower echelons of an opposing fleet as a prolonged battle continues that “taint” will work its way through the ranks from frigate-cruiser-capital ship. Most battles don’t usually last long enough to convert cap ships but if its big and you have enough reaper units you would be surprised what can happen.
Donut: Damn, scary. So moving on from the reapers, the other two factions are the Citadel Alliance and Cerbreus, correct?
Paul Kiesling: Indeed. Citadel Council and Cerberus. Each containing two subfactions that allow for use of different ships and fighting styles.
Donut: Oh? Can you tell us more about the subfactions? Or how they work at least.
Paul Kiesling: Well we kind of played off the ME universe when designing the subfactions. For the Citadel Council we have Paragon and Renegade subfactions.
Just as the player makes the choice in ME1 to save the Destiny Ascension or let it be destroyed that decision affects your titan.
Paragon gets the Destiny Ascension as the titan while renegade awards the Volus Dreadnought, a funny little easter egg we still giggle about in development, there are more changes between each faction but some hasn’t been hashed out yet.
Donut: Glad to hear the Volus finally have taken their rightful position as masters of the military. So now that we are wrapping up, what do you think the defining feature of the mod is?
Paul Kiesling: Asymmetrical game play. We offer different game-play styles for each faction, something that you don’t see to many mods do. Of course for my boys over at Sins of the Prophets.
Donut: Thank you for the wonderful interview, when can we expect to see the mod?
Paul Kiesling: July 13th 2013, thats our estimated date of release
Donut: Hopefully we can talk again then.
Paul Kiesling is the founder and lead developer of Dawn of the Reapers, an up and coming mod for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion. Dawn of the Reapers can be found at http://www.moddb.com/mods/mass-effect-dawn-of-the-reapers