|[ Interview with groepaz ]
Interview conducted by Kojote on 20th June 2003 via IRC. (C) 2003 by Kojote - All rights reserved! No reprinting or translation without written permission!
[00:27] [Kojote] Hello groepaz... nice to have you here! You are well know for a GBC demo called "Bitte 8-Bit!" which has been release at Mekka-Symposium 2000! Before we start... please introduce yourself.
[00:33] [groepaz] ok :) Well what should I say ... like many people I got in touch with computers in the 80s by owning a c64, playing games (and copying them :)). However I quickly got in touch with what we nowadays call demo-scene, and later on not also wrote demos for the c64, but mostly every other "thing" with a cpu inside that I owned... the PSX, the GB(c), Dreamcast, GP32 and some other stuff. Most maybe remember our group Hitmen from the PSX hacking times.
[00:35] [Kojote] At the time of "Bitte 8-Bit!" many demoparties did not had an own console competition. Why did you decided to enter a console demo anyway?
[00:40] [groepaz] Several reasons... for once it was about time that more "alternative" systems get some attention from the demo scene. eg there have been demoish things on pocket calculators years before, and yet they are pretty unknown.
[00:41] [groepaz] Another important point was that for us (our group) as for everyone else it became harder and harder to create a cutting edge demo on the established platform - due to the fact that we are all diehard coders and as such suck at design :o)
[00:43] [groepaz] So creating something "oldschool" (some call it "coders porn" - routines and nothing else) on some other not so established machine was the logical conclusion...
[00:44] [groepaz] the fact that we have all been crackers in the c64 days probably also helped with the decision, since with most consoles even creating a simple program can have a lot of "hack value".
[00:45] [groepaz] Oh...and last not least
[00:46] [groepaz] The year before some jackasses released a lame (and LONG) skatevideo in the wildcompo.... we thought it's time to show something that runs on a real computer again :)
[00:46] [Kojote] Did you had a lot of troubles with the limitations of the Gameboy Color?
[00:50] [groepaz] Not really, I guess most c64 programmers would feel quite comfortable with it :) There's effectivly a bit less memory than on the c64 (available without banking at the same time that is) but the machine is much faster, and most importantly all the video related stuff is a lot simplier and easier. the one most annoying limitation probably was the missing index registers in the cpu, those could have made life easier a lot :)
[00:52] [Kojote] Have you seen a lot of GBC demos before you started to code "Bitte 8-Bit!"? If so, which one impressed you mostly?
[00:54] [groepaz] I think there wasnt much around by this time, and only a handful of them were really demos (in the sence of a nice screen with a tune playing and some effect etc)
[00:58] [groepaz] I remember some c64-like plasma thing from "Abyss" ... and some really cool effects from "dox". I think most other GBC demos came out later.
[00:59] [Kojote] I still remember the amazing start of your demo. A "Windows 98" screen which get's shooten with some nice sounds... don't you like Windows? ;)
[01:00] [groepaz] lol :) To be honest, I don't quite like PC's in general... and Windows is always an easy target :)
[01:01] [Kojote] Do you remember the tools you used?
[01:06] [groepaz] RGBDS like everyone else :) The gfx was done in Paintshop or STH and converted with some little tool I hacked... as for the music I don't know what he used, probably STH selfmade since by that time there weren't any of these tracker programs available I think.
[01:06] [groepaz] Oh and ofcoz, I have used several emulators and a flash-linker for testing :)
[01:07] [Kojote] Can you imagine to code a GBC demo again? Or is your power concentrated on another system at the moment?
[01:11] [groepaz] You never know... right now I have more than enough projects going though, and I am trying hard to get a demo on the c64 done aswell :)
[01:12] [Kojote] How do you see the future of the GBC as demomachine?
[01:19] [groepaz] Hard question, since the demoscene as a whole is somewhat slowing down recently. one problem with the gbc is that you need expensive hardware (the flash linker) for programming it, and even then you can not easily pass your productions to other ppl unless they also have the hardware. So the GBC scene will probably always stay a relativly small bunch of ppl, just like the other console scenes (excluding the mainstream warez crap).
[01:23] [Kojote] Do you want to say some last words? ;)
[01:30] [groepaz] Well what should I say to put it to a good end? :) I'd like to see more people making demos for little machines like the Gameboy, or maybe the homecomputer they owned when they were young. (or couldn't afford then and now find it for virtually nothing on ebay :)) the scene would just be to boring if one day there were only PC demos left.
[01:31] [Kojote] Thanks for your time, and good luck for your future projects.
|groepaz's Grouppage: http://www.hitmen-console.org/