The JediKnight community has it's share of news sites, review sites, strategy sites, and project info sites. But one of the best out of all of them and the most helpful is the Massassi Temple. The name Massassi Temple is from Star Wars by being the place were Luke Skywalker taught the next generation of Jedis the ways of the force. Well ,this Massassi Temple site is teaching people the ways of editing.
Let's say you are a newbie to Jedi Knight and you are very interested in creating your own add-on single player level. But the problem is that you don't have the slightest clue how to use any of these programs such as JED, ForceBuilder or JKedit. You can probably find a few tutorials here and there, but nothing quite detailed or enough information to teach you. That's were Massassi comes in.
It takes alot of patience and time to learn how to make levels, or what goes into making a level completely by yourself and the Massassi temple can basically start you up by having every tutorial you need under one roof. Whether it is one for making custscenes, new weapons, new characters, creating 3dos or most importantly level editing it's self. Massassi is unbeat for containing all those "how to do" articles you should need. And the ones that the Temple didn't make, there are links to find them.
With an emphasis on level editing (mostly JED use) you can learn alot of those basics in order to get your level off the ground. There are easy to understand step by step instructions for such basics as cleaving, adjoining or lighting. The site only seems to be growing as well as more "free-lancers" submit tutorials to the site. Besides completely technical articles, there are some interesting ones about style and what good levels should include. If you continue to have problems, just put your question up at the message boards and the staff will most likely answer it.
The Massassi Temple was started and is still webmastered by Brian Lozier. Who also doubles as a newsmaster at JediKnight.net. Here's a couple of questions I threw at him regarding his site.
Firstly, why did you start the Massassi Temple?
I started Massassi when I had just started editing. I had some extreme help from a guy who goes by the name of Pot-head when I was just starting out. After that another person called GMS_Slug helped me out on creating the "sector in sector" illusion, which is used to make it look like you have "outdoor buildings." I saw on the Darkjedi message boards that there were TONS of people asking pretty simple questions. After watching this for a while, it was easy to see that people were asking the same questions over and over. So, I wrote a tutorial, then decided to base a site off it. At the time I only had 5 megs of web space on my ISP's server. I posted the tutorial with a few other small ones (adjoining, ramps), and went out to try to get hosted. I guess I just wanted to help people out. It was finally my chance to be involved with Star Wars and computer gaming, two of my hobbies.
Have you found the site to be as successful as you had planned?
Actually the site is a lot more successful than I thought it would be. I figured it would be visited, and it was, but it was nothing like it is now. I wrote emails to all the news sites when I posted tutorials, and eventually others wanted to help out. I started receiving tutorials right and left. It boosted even more once we put in the message board.
What can you tell me about the "Cog Archive" Merge?
When I first started the site, and got hosted by JN.com, Red (of the Skinners and Cog Archive) contacted me to show me a beta of the site. I was a bit disappointed at the time, because I had wanted to implement a section like that in Massassi. After a few weeks though, I decided it was better with two separate sites as I was already extremely busy. Later on, I was a bit disappointed because the Cog Archive didn't get as much support as I thought it should. After a while it was apparent that Red didn't have the time/motivation to keep it up, so one day we were kind of talking and one of us suggested it. I don't remember who exactly. Anyway, GMS_Slug has basically taken that section over, and he's doing a great job. Cogs are coming in almost daily, and as more mods come out, I have promises of more cogs on the way.
What do you hope to provide with the new "Editing Groups" feature?
Well, the Editing Groups section hasn't been what it was supposed to be. I'm actually thinking about taking it down. See, I figured that once I got the editing groups up there, and notified the group leaders, that they would start sending updates. Unfortunately, I have only received updates from one group. When Massassi started, we had no intention of covering editing groups at all. I felt they weren't getting the recognition they needed. So, I set out to give them that recognition. For some reason it didn't catch on. Really the only groups that seem to be updating are VtD, Whiplash, Holocron, Gangstas, and the SWRPG. Other than that, I haven't seen much activity from groups.
What other features and or plans do you have for Massassi in the future?
We are getting pretty full of information -- which is great. I have to re-design the tutorials section. I have some ideas that should make it a lot easier to navigate. The basic editing section needs to have the final 3 lessons written. Alot of the work pretty much has to be done by me because I'm pretty picky about how the tutorials/lessons/articles are written/presented. I can't think of any major site updates or anything. We pretty much have all the sections I can think of. I was going to add a plugins page but Stealth grabbed up that idea right after I said it -- which is a good thing, I could use a lighter work load.
You announced that you were going to leave Massassi but it didn't happen. Why did you stay? And are you looking to leave anytime soon?
I was planning on leaving for a while at least, so I hired on 3 extra people. Unfortunately, it didn't work out. Massassi wasn't updated for about 11 days, which is unacceptable to me. We're by no means a daily news site, but when big things happen, we should announce it. Anyway, I didn't want to see the site die, so I came back. As for looking to leave, I'd really like to take a month or so off -- I will talk to some people about it later on, right now is not the right time though. Don't worry, for as long as we're getting visitors, the site will stay up. Once it gets to be out-dated, it's time to decide whether to move on to the next thing, or just close the doors. I have been considering what to do when the next Star Wars FTS comes out. Like I said, my choices are to either expand to include the new game, or close the doors and be done with it. As of now I can't see how I'll have the time and motivation to do it all over with a new game. By that time I hope to be back up in Washington (state), going to college, and living a more social life. Right now I live on an Air Force base -- not much to do, so being on the computer doesn't take time away from the other things I want to do. Not so when I'm back in WA, unfortunately. Things change though, who knows.
Any last words?
Yes, I live in Southern California, and I snowboard during the winter a LOT. If there's anyone in the area who'd like to learn, send me an email and we can talk about it :-)
A big thanks to Brian for those answers.
Despite it's busy schedule, Brian and the Massassi Temple have been responsible for launching the Vault (which merged with SpacePort) and has been an integral part in helping many people. With a respectable and responsible staff, The Massassi Temple is defiantly worth a check out. I highly recommend this site, especially to those new editors out there.