Interview with A-Grand: Creator of Kino Der Toten
Q1: You go by the name A-Grand, where did the idea for your name come from?
A1: It's really weird story how I got this name. I don't know how to put it words, but it's got something to do with the car Grand Marquis, haha.
Q2: What originally got you interested in custom zombies and the community and how long have you been active in the community?
A2: I was on YouTube searching for a Black Ops zombies gameplay videos until I saw someone playing a custom zombie map. The map looked cool and there was some ported weapons from Cod 4. I read the description on that video and it was "cod waw custom map..." I thought why not check this out, I went to search and zombie-modding and UGX wiki were there with all the tutorials and stuff. It's been about 2 years now.
Q3: It seems like you'll make a map and then disappear for a while, what are you doing when you aren't making custom zombie maps?
A3: There are various things I do. First off, I play many PC games and some PS3 games and watch lots of shows/movies/anime. Second, I like 3D modeling, I render stuff or sometimes make 3D cars, characters, levels and add them in games like Garry's Mod, GTA Vice City, Left 4 Dead 2, Fear Combat, Midtown Madness 2...etc. Third, I also like drawing a lot, I draw characters from Anime and video games.
Q4: You've made almost 10 maps now, so what is it that makes a map fun to you?
A4: I like maps that are really challenging and require teamwork. I also like maps that have weird atmosphere or ambient feel.
Q5: What are some things that other mappers do with their maps that just irritates you?
A5: Random high brightness colors in lighting, weird weapon skins, and colored zombie outfits.
Q6: Some people spend years making a map others a week or so, how long do you typically spend on making a map?
A6: 2 weeks I guess.
Q7: What are some of your favorite guns to use in zombies?
A7: Thunder gun, HK21, and ppsh.
Q8. What are your 2 favorite official Treyarch zombie maps and why?
A8: Five and Ascension. In five it's really challenging map with real teamwork especially when it comes to using elevators, teleporting to PAP room, and killing the weapon thief. In Ascension, it's fun because of the new perks and the map layout is just awesome, it also got the thunder gun. Oh and the space monkeys, it's really fun when playing with other players to protect your perks.
Q9: Outside of your own maps, what are your 3 favorite custom zombie maps and why are they your favorite?
A9: UGX Comosea, because it's dark and rainy and has an awesome set of weapons. It's also challenging.
Jourknee, this map is just awesome, I felt like I'm really there alone inside that fog trying to survive. It's very challenging, I hadn't seen all areas in the map.
UGX cabin, this is the only map that scared me. It's dark, challenging, and you only see the zombie eyes coming at you. It's also a survival with a very cool satisfying ending.
Q10: Treyarch has come a long way with zombies since Nacht der Untoten, but fans seem to be pretty divided in how they feel about the new maps. Do you feel that Treyarch is taking zombies in the right direction or are they losing what made zombies so much fun to begin with?
A10: I think Cod waw is a classic, despite how simple and small Nacht der untoten is, it was a lot of fun map. Verruckt, shi no numa and der riese are the beginning of real zombies and the story. It was a powerful beginning, they made it even more better in Black Ops. They added lots of things, but kept the simple survival there. However, in Black Ops II, the simple zombie survival is gone. It feels like you're playing just to get the easteregg done. So, yeah, I think Treyarch is going on the wrong direction.