For this week’s Founder Spotlight, we sat down with Duke of Rock. Enjoy this detailed interview!
Q: You are the author of the five-part series called “Spawn of Medusa.” If I recall, this series took nearly a year to complete, due to the massive work involved. Can you tell our readers more about the series, how it developed, and what inspired you to devote so much work to a single story arc?
Yes, it took about a year to complete the series. I had hoped to have it done quicker originally, but the Season 4 bug bit and like many other authors, I pushed away from the table for fear of publishing something broken due to the issues from its release. However, I did work on the maps a bit through the “dark times” and when I was able to get the fire back, so to speak, it helped me get the latter episodes published faster.
A lot of the early development time was taken more trying to make cool tricks with the Foundry tools. In the original Spawn of Medusa, getting the Halon system visual on the Klingon ship took me a little while. I still was breaking the ice on the Foundry tricks, and object placement was still basically “dots” on the map, so it took me time to get the hang on it. When I worked to place the different objects in the Medusik Imperial underground chamber map, I had to factor in the different levels stacked to get everything placed right, but as I finalized the map, it was a bit of a breakthrough for me. It inspired me to try something original for the 2nd episode. I found I could place objects outside the windows of the ship map, and I was able to place debris spewing plasma onto the outer hull of the ship as viewed through the window. As a good deal of this episode dealt with repairs to the ship, I came up with the idea to expand my “Halon” system trick in a unique way using a shuttle. It took a good deal of time, as it was before we could see the objects we placed on the map, but I set up the scenario so you went to the window where the plasma was damaging the hull and could make visual contact with the shuttle. I next set it up where the shuttle would fire two Halon streams at the plasma, extinguishing it, but only after you gave the order to do so. Setting up the triggers was easy, but getting the blinking lights on the shuttle in the right location and the Halon Streams to appear to fire from the bow of the shuttle took time. A lot of place object, preview map, back and forth, etc. It was a task, but when I succeeded, I felt it was well worth it.
I got the story title and idea from the Clash of the Titans movie that happened to be on as I was pondering what to do my next Foundry mission on. I always liked the story of the Medusa and how she had the power to immobilize men by turning them into stone. I saw it as an opportunity to create a similarly powerful alien species with a matriarchal society. As I worked on the mission, the ideas kept coming on expanding it, using old Earth myths regarding Atlantis, as well as pulling something from a TNG episode with the Argus Array and blending it together. The Argus Array map was my proudest achievement as far as custom builds. This all basically required the series to expand to 5 parts, which was not my original intention.