Author Topic: Interview with Juen  (Read 744 times)

Offline 4pLaY

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Interview with Juen
« on: May 16, 2019, 08:36:32 PM »
Hello Juen. Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi my name is Paul. I'm an ex Amiga demo scene guy called Juen. I was a member of such teams as Harvester, Appendix, Nah-Kolor, Resistance, Mawi and many others... In the old days I was a swapper and coder - mostly of several compilations and diskmags. Now after many years I've come back to make Amiga games as I always wanted to do. I live in Kraków (Poland) and you will find me on many local meetings and demo parties!

When did you get interested in computers and what was your first computer?

28 years ago (7 year old Juen...) I got my first computer. That was an Atari 65 XE. First games, first basic programs and many articles from polish brand magazines like "Secrets Of Atari", "My Atari", "Bajtek or Radiotechnik". I was a child with big interests in programming. I wasn't that interested in playing games. Then, in 1992, I got my first Amiga 500. A mouse was something strange – I remember this utility for learning to use the mouse. That was a strange experience :D.

What Amiga(s) did you have in the past, and if you remember, what were the(ir) configuration(s)?

First, as I said, was an A500 with a memory expansion and Kickstart 3.1. Later I wanted to buy an A530 expansion but my friends forced me to buy an A1200 and leave ECS behind. That was a totally great idea! After I got the A1200 I bought a tower and a Blizzard PPC with 64MB of RAM. That was real fun! But unfortunately after some years my PPC died and I sold my Amiga. Now after my comeback I have an A500, A600, A1200 and a CDTV. All with some expansions. These computers are used to test my games.

Can you tell us how you got started programming on the Amiga?

Oh, the very first language I used was Amiga Basic. That was slow... but then I got to know AMOS. It was wonderful programming stuff (Hi Francois!). I wrote many weird utilities, some of my first games and other script-like software. A few years later I got my hands on Asm-One, my very first assembler which I'm still using today. I started learning assembler from one book made by Adam Doligalski (also hi!) which was available in polish bookstores, and from many articles in magazines. I have made many utilities, diskmags/compilations and some intros, but I never wrote a fully functional game. Back then I preferred system friendly programs, but now I code directly to the hardware.

What programming language/environment are you currently using to create Amiga software?

The sourcecode is prepared in Notepad++. That's a simple and fast solution on standard PCs. The assembled code is quickly checked in WinUAE with various configurations. Periodically and finally I run a full test on my Amiga 1200 (with different configurations). Sometimes I test on my CDTV or A600. I'm using local FTP to quickly transfer my files to the real Amiga or burn CDs for the CDTV. And of course I'm still using Asm-One. For graphics conversions from IFF to RAW format, to make tiles and sprites etc, I always use a software package named AgaIFF.

Could you tell us a bit about what you have created for the Amiga previously?

There was Tanks Furry before Bridge Strike. That was a Battle City like game, with a cooperation mode and a deadmatch mode for 2,3 or 4 players at the same time. That was my first game after many years since last my development on the Amiga. In the old days I made some silly intros and many pack-mags for the demoscene. One of them was my Ascii Pack, a compilation of ASCII art. You can find it on my old site: http://negative.nakoz.org - there, you can find many old programs and sources. Some of my utils can also be found on Aminet. If you dig a bit extra on the Internet you can find a few of my ASCII collections. It is nothing special... There was also one extra project from me between Tanks Furry and Bridge Strike. That was a chip music compilation for Resistance called SummerChip .

You recently released your new Amiga game Bridge Strike. Could you tell us a bit about the game/gameplay and specifications needed to play it?

This game is like River Raid on steroids. River Raid was never released on the Amiga, and because of this, it is one of my favourite games that we decided to create an Amiga clone of. You must act quick. Fuelling your tank or destroying bridges will score you points for lives. But watch out! Rescue survivors and win the game! The original River Raid doesn't have an ending, but our game has designed levels and a final bridge to destroy. The game runs on all Amigas with at least 2MB of RAM (1MB of chip RAM) The game can be pretty slow on low Amiga configurations. The game runs smoothly on an A1200 with fast memory. Without fast memory or on a stock CD32, it will run with some frame skipping from time to time... I heard that someone played the game on a CDTV with mc68010 and fast memory, and he told me that the game ran alright!

How long was the development cycle on Bridge Strike, and is this a team effort or did you create everything yourself?

Development took a long time. From the very start to the final release 3 years passed. In this time my daughter was born and development was stalled for almost two years.. So the whole game could be have been completed in a year, ideally, but you must remember that we spent only a couple of hours a week, because we have full time jobs and other commitments. And yes this is a team effort (which is identical to my previous game - Tanks Furry). Except me, Project R3D are: Koyot1222 - he made all the brilliant gfx, JMD, who made all songs and DOOMER our sfx guy. Koyot is also responsible for tiled level design. I'm doing enemy units placement. We have our own online tools for that so that the job can be painless and sort of quick..

Is there anything you would have liked to include in the game that did not make it for various reasons? If yes, are some of these potentially something you would consider including in an update?

There are a lot of things which could not be done because of the long development time. We planned to make two difficult levels with two endings (unused picture is already in the data package on disk). The achievements system with unblocking extra planes and game modes... For now this is the final release. Users did not find any bugs. But if some are found, then we will make a bugfix release. Probably the free Aminet version will have one extra hidden item. I'm not planning to do extra stuff because I don't want to create new bugs on a well tested game. I wish to move on with other projects from Project R3D.

Where can people buy a copy of the game?

As always on our official distributor's site AMIGA.NET.PL. We are also releasing our games for free on Aminet, and you will soon see Bridge Strike there. So if you want to support us, please buy the boxed edition. Otherwise, just grab the free copy from Aminet .

To anyone else that might be dreaming of creating their own games for the Amiga, do you have any suggestions for them?

Hah, if you are afraid of coding one - don't do it! Coding is probably the easiest process of making the very best games. You need to start with a good graphician, but no problem, you can pay or use free sets of graphics. So.. can you make a game? Maybe, if it is a cover like our games :D, but for a good game you need a man, a man who when he makes breakfast can do it like reading a book. The man with a big brain and many solutions, who can write for you a great scenario. Maybe you won't sell many copies, and expenses are big, but the game will be great! I'm waiting for an MMORPH on the Amiga! I'm challenging you, I'm begging you!.. I will help you :D Koyot1222 for sure will too, and we're gonna play this game for at least 15 more years!!

You have also been a part of the demoscene, can you tell us how you got involved in this?

Yes, I was swapping a lot with almost all Polish swappers and some contacts outside the country. Except that I did some coding work. I was a member of Appendix, Dark Team, Harvester, Mawi, Nah-Kolor and many many more groups... I visited almost every party held in Poland since 1996. That was a great time, but when my PPC broke down and nobody could fix it I was forced to move on to PC... But now I'm here again!

What would you consider your best demoscene production?

I don't like to evaluate myself. I think in the first place I was a swapper with a lot of contacts and pretty good placements in Eurocharts, and that was my success. Most of my Amiga productions were creators, some script languages and utilities, so mostly for the system stuff. I have made only a few intros; mostly for fun - nothing special.

What do you think the state of the Amiga community is in these days?

It is strongly divided to demosceners and other users. One of them might have an A1260 and is watching demos only. Others have all kind of Amigas and other retro machines and those are playing games and are using utils rather than watching new demos. Two types of meetings; classic demo parties where you can find only a few Amigas but you can meet your old mates and user meetings with a tons of computers, new faces and interesting conversations about new hardware for old computers. I like both, but user meetings can be less time absorbing and more healthy. Yearly, the calendar is filled with many of those types of parties. I think it is better now than five or ten years ago.

What is your favorite Amiga demo scene productions?

In my subjective opinion, the best Amiga demo is "Skarla - When we ride on our enemies". Very good, and shows that you can make perfect 3D demos using 030, and the intro - "Potion: Gift", ten minutes of pure magic from the wizards - Mavey and Skipp.

Is there anyone you would like to send some greetings to? Or perhaps you have some other last words?

I wish to thank you, for inviting me some time ago to Resistance so that I could feel, for while, as part of the demoscene again. And to make something new. Also many thanks to koyot1222. Without him, my last two games would not be realized. Now I can make another one and be a happy Amiga developer again (from now on, we are working on a complex platformer). Best wishes to all of my Amiga contacts from the old days, and the new guys, which I can meet from time to time on meetings. A big hello to the ppa.pl community!

That is the end of this interview, thanks for taking the time to do it Juen, I am sure our readers will appreciate it .