Author Topic: Interview with Dan / Lemon.  (Read 881 times)

Offline 4pLaY

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Interview with Dan / Lemon.
« on: March 09, 2019, 06:30:44 PM »
Hello Dan, could you please do a small introduction of yourself to our readers?

Hi, I'm Dan, you probably know me from my demos and time as a member of Anarchy and then Lemon., and various other groups before that. I had a nearly 20 year break from the scene from 1995 to around 2015, and have been feeling really inspired and creative since getting back to Amiga coding.

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

I stumbled across one of my brothers computer magazines in around 1981. I was about 8 at the time, and immediately was fascinated, especially by the BASIC listings for games for various early computers. I then persuaded my parents to get a ZX81 (second hand from the ads in the local paper), and then upgraded to a ZX Spectrum in 1982.

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

I bought an A500 in around 1987/1988, then upgraded with a 2nd drive and half meg of trapdoor RAM, that's about it really. I did own an A1200 briefly when they first came out, but lent it to Nuke / Spaceman and never saw it again :), I also won an A600 at The Gathering in 1993 for the 40k intro compo. I sold that to a friend at work almost immediately as it was no use to me at the time.

Do you still have any Amiga(s) today? If yes, which ones and what configuration(s)

I have my original A500, all totally broken and only keeping it for nostalgia reasons. I also have an A600 that I had to leave in Germany last year after Revision, and will be picking it up later this year. Otherwise, I just use WinUAE now to code and test things, and then a little real hardware testing externally through friends.

Can you tell us how you got involved with the demoscene?

There were a group of us in my home town, that used to meet up once a week, to swap demos, games etc. We were all interested in the demo scene, and decided to form our own group "Slipstream".

Do you remember any of the tools you used back then when creating productions, as well as the process you guys had behind creating a production?

It would have been Deluxe Paint for the graphics (I was mainly doing graphics back then), Sound Tracker for the music (although we ended up often using ripped music from other demos in our intros), and the coder at that time (Andi) used Devpac (pretty standard assembler for UK coders at that time)

What is the setup and tools you use now to create demos?

PC with WinUAE, code is written using Visual Studio, and compiled using VASM. I still use some original Amiga tools (running in WinUAE) for things like IFF -> RAW conversion. Also use Unity now to generate data to use in the demos.

Was there any particular production where you experienced severe difficulties in realizing it due to technical limitations in the hardware and or development tools?

Not that I can remember really. I have always designed things with the Amiga hardware & CPU in mind. Sometimes compromises have to be made, or extreme optimization have to be developed ;).

You did many productions back in the days before retiring. What do you consider your best work back then and now?

It's quite hard to pick my "best work". I am quite proud of the more recent demos I have worked on, particularly "The Fall" and "Lemonade" (which was actually started in 1992).

Can you tell us what you consider the best Amiga demos back in the golden years? and now

Ah, there's sooooooo many demos from back in the day, will be hard to pick some and not others, let me try, Enigma, Hardwired, Arte, Roots, Desert Dreams, Mental Hangover, too many more to list. There have been some pretty nice A500 demos in recent years too, but won't pick any by name ;).

What do you think of the state of the scene today compared to the golden years?

I don't think it's changed too much, just some new faces, and some old ones returning too. There's quite a healthy competition still between groups, and it also seems a large number of productions on a whole range of other old-skool platforms (The C64 demo scene seems particularly healthy right now).

What do you feel you got out of the whole experience of being active in the Amiga demoscene? for example, did it lead you to code professionally in any way?

Yes, it was definitely a stepping stone into the games industry. I started in the games industry in 1991 (I started working for a fairly well known developer / publisher called Core Design). I have been in the industry ever since (bar a couple of years where I was between jobs and doing my own thing for a while).

Could you list the games you worked on for the Amiga, and what would you consider the best title of them all?

Heimdall, Wolfchild, Premiere, Chuck Rock 2, Wonder Dog, Blastar. The best? probably Chuck Rock 2, but it's not my personal favourite of all the games I have worked on in my career ;).

Do you remember which year you personally noticed the decline in the Amiga market, and when did Core Design call it quits on the platform?

Definitely from around 1993 onwards. I think Core finished their Amiga development in 1994, and had already moved onto the major consoles (Genesis / Super Nintendo / Master System etc) by that point.

Do you know what happened to the Amiga machines at Core Design once they were deemed redundant?

I think they were either taken by people that worked there, or they ended up in the bins

Do you have a good story to share with us from your days in the Amiga gaming industry? maybe even more then one :).

I probably do, but I can't share them here right now (will probably need to consult my Lawyer first!) ;) ;).

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

Greetings to: all the guys & gals in Lemon (official and unoffical), our current demo co-op team (Soundy, Made, Facet, Dascon, Virgill, Leonard), and all Amiga sceners that I have known over the years, too many to mention here.

Look out for some new OCS originals, coming soon to a screen near you!

That is the end of this interview, thanks for taking the time to do it Dan, I am sure our readers will appreciate it :).
« Last Edit: March 09, 2019, 10:53:22 PM by 4pLaY »