Interview with prome
Today we’re giving you a little peek into an ARK modders life. Let’s meet Andreas Hagström, also known as prome!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Age, where you’re from. Interests, hobbies, etc.
I’m a 35 year young Swede, live with my dog and SO. I like watching hockey, playing games, coding(mostly web development), hiking, and fishing. Love horror- and sci-fi movies. I’m currently working as an IT teacher on a consultant basis for Folkuniversitetet(Google Translate; People’s University :P). In my spare time, I play floorball and football.
How did you get started on your project?
This particular project was something a friend of mine, FroggyMan, wanted to be made. It could be described as a tech-savvy hybrid mod as it uses assets from Zythara, Prometheus, Pandora, Foreworld Myth, and my own creations.
It has by far been the most fun project in ARK I’ve worked on. I guess it’s because no other of my projects was tech-oriented at all. And not to mention I’ve taken everything I learned from the past which equipped me better into making what I wanted. Granted, ARK Bionic didn’t last long as I was really fatigued before I started working on it, and time wasn’t on my side either as RL finally catch up with me big time at that point. So the project was only active for a couple of months(excluding the most recent update to add in Gen2-spawners).
What is/has been your inspiration?
Firstly, in regards to the world of ARK, my biggest initial inspiration was the mod, Annunaki Genesis. That was really a game-changer for me. When I started playing that I found some other players that enjoyed it as well, so long story short, we started a clan/guild called Poopraiders and played together and suddenly ARK became so much more enjoyable.
Secondly, the more I created and the more I learned, the funnier it got. Discovering new methods to achieve things. And not to forget how good it feel to be able to help others. That was also a gamechanger, both for the positive and for the negative.
During my peak ARK modding time, I got several inquiries asking for help each day, and in the end, it got too much and that’s when I decided that everything I make should be made open source for anyone to look at for help and inspiration. Thus ARKMod.Net was born.
Is this your first ARK-related project? Have you worked on anything similar before?
No. I started working on ARK Comes Alive with Tbjubu2 2016. We parted ways and he left me the source files for that mod, which was very broken at the time. I fixed it up and was going to republish it, but for indifferences between us two, I chose to make a new mod instead, ARK Eternal.
After the foundation for ARK Eternal was done in march 2017 it was released and I got LeutianKane to join and we developed it together for a couple of years. During that time, contributors have come and gone. At some point, I realized that ARK Eternal was not my vision for ARK as it is very overpowered in terms of creature stats. So I gave ARK Eternal to LeutianKane to manage and I started on my next big ARK project, Gaia. Sometime later, LeutianKane needed to take over the ownership for ARK Eternal on the Steam Workshop so he could get it sponsored by WildCard, and ever since, I have not worked on it.
I started working on Gaia in July 2017 and the first playable test version was released in September 2017. This mod was more down to earth as I’d like to call it. Creatures weren’t overpowered compared to vanilla and one of the biggest aspects, if not the biggest, was to include a lot of quality of life things into it. Consumables, buildings, weapons, tools, etc, but still try to balance it around more mature and vanilla gameplay. I made 95% of it myself but had some people add their smaller contributions as well. I considered Gaia complete in mid-2020 but I have updated it 2 or 3 times after that to fix things that got broken by WildCard updates and to add new spawners.
During this period of time, I also made a bunch of smaller mods as well, most of them were either a request from players, a commission, or requests from other modders as I shared the source files with them. My Steam Workshop now has 97 mods, where around half of them are private. In mid-2020 I started working on ARK Bionic.
Outside of the ARK world, have you any other experience with any type of modding or coding?
I started making simple websites in the late ’90s. Nothing fancy, just plain HTML. Gradually became better and better and during the years I have picked up some more coding skills like JS, PHP, MySQL, and a bit of C#.
I also made some Left 4 Dead 2 mods and co-managed one of the biggest modding communities back in the days.
Do you have any tips and tricks for other people that either are doing this or want to get into it?
Take your time. Baby steps in the beginning. Either look at finished source files or follow Zen Rowes modding series. That is a really good source for learning. Also, join one of the ARK modding communities discord-servers. There are tons of helpful people there.
ARK Bionic is a minor creature overhaul mod where the focus is on TEK/tech creatures with special abilities. With a Bionic tier, a Mechanical tier, AI tier, and bosses.
The basic “Bionic” tier is a hybrid between robot and creature, creating enhanced dinosaurs with artificial body parts, especially electromechanical ones. Hence, you are not riding them as regular ARK have you do. You control them, and no saddles can be used on them. They can be knocked out and tamed but will only eat Bionic Kibble in the process.
The “Mechanical” tier only uses an organic brain, the rest is purely mechanized. These creatures can not be tamed, you’ll need to kill one and hope it drops a blueprint for an unassembled version that you can craft yourself. You don’t ride these either, but control them from within inside just as “Bionic” creatures.
The “AI” tier is a hybrid as well, where the Overseer harvested bodies from fallen survivors and enhanced them with mechanical parts. These can be knocked out and tamed and will eat the same as a wild Raptor.
The “Bosses” tier is an extremely strong tier that can not be tamed. They are docile and won’t attack unless attacked first. They only drop banners as a cosmetic trophy for defeating them.
For full info, visit https://arkbionic.net/.
Do you have any plans or spoilers for your project you’d like to share?
No – All my mods are considered finished and source files for all of them are available for anyone to fiddle with.
Anything you’d like to add?
I’d like to extend my thanks to everyone that in some way has helped me during this wild ride. Everything from helping me rig a new custom creature, someone helping with graphing and replication in the beginning, guest modders that have made small contributions, other modders I have collaborated with, testers that have taken their time to test my shit and make sure it works before public release, my awesome community managers on my Discord-servers, people that have submitted ideas, suggestions, and bug reports, people that have streamed or uploaded gameplay/spotlights of my mods to YouTube, and obviously all players that have used my mods.
I could make a huge list with names but I’ll most likely forget half of them. But I do want to give special thanks to these wonderful people, in no particular order,
Delanne, CrazyDemonicWolf, Kane, NanoDragon, LeutianKane, Blunder & Pavilon.
Thanks to prome for taking the time to talk to us and share his experiences!