|The interview was
done by Charon
& Blowtorch of the N.A.T.O. in
October/ November 1990.
Software became more and more important in the software
scene, what are the reasons?
Perhaps they're good,
that's it already...
I don't know. I don't
understand why the games are so famous, because... well,
I don't want to...
Yes, hash them!
They would never
forgive me! But there are many ST-freaks...
How many employees are
working at Thalion at the moment?
Two? Who else?
There's Chrisse, too.
Ah, Chrisse is there, too!
There are two, but Chrisse will leave in February. So
there's only one left (2-1=1).
But in some games many
people were credited?!
That used to be...
No, no... There are many
freelancers, ST and Amiga programmers. Recently there are
more programmers for the Amiga.
Does the result of the
work deteriorate, when the game has to be finished on
short notice? Do you think deadlines are important?
Many things change
You're making more mistakes.
The company demands, that the game has to be finished on
that day. When you don't have any time left at end, it
doesn't make sense to code all night, because you don't
There also are some
companies which impose contractual penalties.
How many hours per day
do you have to work in order to code on time?
That depends on you
being a sound programmer or a normal programmer. It also
depends on how big the game is supposed to be. If a
normal sized game is in development, the programmer has
to work at least eight hours per day. You should do eight
hours, but you don't have to. The sound programmer is a
different matter. If he has to be finished in half a
year, he wouldn't need to work that hard - if he wasn't
regularly working on five or six projects simultaniously.
You're also composing
your own songs - how many of them per year?
I don't know. I
never thought about it, but it could add up to 20 per
year, perhaps even more.
How long does it take
you to compose a 2-4 minutes long tune?
That varies quite a
bit. There are moments my head is totally empty and it
takes quite a long time. Otherwise it doesn't take long -
2-4 hours maximum.
What has been the
longest time to work on a tune? Which one was it?
Certainly the Atari
ST theme of Wings of Death. Including the sound
routine, composing, conversion to the ST it took at least
Are there days, you want
to scroll your computer out of the (closed) window?
(Where have I heard
that before?) Normally I wouldn't. One time at Thalion
five people were getting on my nerves with everyone
deeming his matter the most important. I thought it had
to stop. I didn't want to care about it!
are your idols?
Rob Hubbard, of
The Eygon, because he made a
lot of money!
Programmers who are talented
but not conceited - Eygon, for example. The "Maniacs
of Noise" on the other hand are also talented but,
well, are extremely conceited!
Who is the second best sound
programmer (after yourself)?
I don't know if I'm
really the best.
Whittaker. Who's the guy,
Ah, this one - well, what
was his name? I don't remember his name at the moment,
but it's the one who made "Incredible Shrinking
Well, it was a very long
...it really was very good!
What do you think about
lamers limiting themselves to buying and playing games in
front of their sets?
What do you mean by
that? The guys who like to play, well, just do that! It
pays our rent. It's great that people are playing our
What's your opinion on
why there are no female coders?
There are female
graphic artists... Monika Krawinkel is one of them.
What about coding?
There was one you
wanted to employ!
I never heard of her again.
Why are there only few?
Well, I guess women
are not interested in coding, they're frightened of it!
What's your experience
with female coders?
I've never seen a
female programmer programming! Never!
Who do you think is the
I'd say that Neil
is still the best.
Yes, but he's mad... he's
The one from TCB...
Have you ever had
problems with a virus?
Yes. At a time when I yet
owned a hard disk, all of my disks were infected. This
changed after I got a hard disk - I don't have any
problems with viruses anymore.
What do you think about
the programmers of viruses?
Let me say it this
way: If it's a virus, that doesn't do damage, its
programmer should be aware that he is doing wrong. But if
it's a virus that destroys data, the guy should be
deprived of computers for a lifetime!
I know somebody who
programmed a virus only for his own security. The disk
was stored in one of his cupboards and when the police
arrived one day, they also got the virus disk. Their
floppies and computers got damaged which made him happy.
Of course there will be
a follower of the ST, STE and Amiga sometime in the
future. How do you think it should look like?
resolution, a 68040 processor at least, 4096 colours,...
... at the same time from a
palette of 16 million colours, eight voices digi-sound -
but we're also pleased with a 68030 processor...
Thanks to Michael Raasch
and Jochen Hippel for this interview and to Mrs. Hippel
(Jochen's mother) for the good tea.
Ledgers Vol. 5