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Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Radical Software - Classic Interview



With the original Amstrad CPC now firmly in its twilight years, Radical Software decided they would give the CPC one last push in order to squeeze out that very last bit of power. This is an interview I did with Georg a few years ago now, enjoy!  

What have you been upto?

Earlier this year I finished my graduation in Social Psychology. Since then I’ve been working as project manager in a market research institute near Hannover.

How did you get involved with computers?

My parents bought my siblings and me a Schneider CPC464 in late 1984. They hoped that it would help us with our homework or finding a job later in our lives. Shortly afterwards it helped us to spend our leisure time – that’s at least something.

Does the amount of attention old programmers get on the web surprise you?

Not really. I've been following the talk and discussions on some of the 8-bit forums on a more or less regular basis throughout the years.

How do you feel about your own work?

From my point of view today I really wonder how I ever had the time to create so many programs and even write a game. But I’m very proud that I was part of the CPC scene at that time and that I actually wrote a computer game that a few people are still playing today.

What software (if any) have you written since Megablasters?

After Megablasters, Rex (my graphic artist) and I wanted to create a Zombie beat’em up game for the CPC called “Rigor Mortis”. But when I started to study I just did not have enough leisure time to continue working on this game. The last CPC program I ever finished was a demo called “Heat” with a nice fire effect (especially on the Plus).

Have you got any intention of writing any more games?

If I had the time and it would pay off, I’d probably write another game. Maybe do a “Megablasters – The Lost World” or so.

What do you think to the video game industry today?

I think there are too many sequels of popular games and not enough innovation. Also a lot of games are too easy, if you die you just resurface where you died or close by. I remember playing Manic Miner for like 5 hours and then lost my last life in level 81 (out of 99) and had to start all over again.

Do you have a favourite CPC game?

Pfweh, that’s a hard one. I’m no so sure that I can pick an all time favorite. There are so many games I liked to play. I still do play “Fruity Frank” every now and then, maybe that game would be a good choice…

What's your view of the emulation scene?

I think that it’s great that you can run all the old software on the new computers. Actually that’s the only way I can currently watch new CPC demos and games since I don’t own a CPC anymore.

How do you feel about old games being played on the Net?

I’m not much into Browser games, but if people like it…

Are you aware that Megablasters, although late to the CPC market is still held in high regard as one of the finest examples of CPC programming even today?

Really? I wasn’t aware of that. I would rather have thought that games like Elite, Star Strike 2, Trantor, Zap’t’Balls or Prehistorik II would be on top.

What was the Amstrad like to work with?

With the right tools such as a Ram-Box with a Maxam 1.5 compiler and the OCP Art Studio in it, it was quite fun.

What were its greatest strengths/weaknesses?

The limited ram and the bank switching to access the remaining 64kb on the CPC6128 were a real weakness. But the biggest drawback was the way the screen was structured with this weird and unnecessary 8 lines principle, where consecutive lines were spaced 8 lines apart from one another, allegedly for an improved image display.

Any big plans for the future?

Well, none concerning the CPC or any software developments.

Finally, any final comments on your days as an 8-bit programmer?

I had great fun. It was absolutely worth it!



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