Interview with Cas Cremers,
by Jose C. Clemente Litran
|This interview was given in November 1997, and the delay is due to the fact that Hnostar Magazine decided to publish it in issue fourty-one. I wanted to wait until that issue was out before putting the interview online.|
|1. To begin with, we'd like to know something about yourself: age, studies, likes, birthplace...|
I like almost everything, especially when it's difficult. That is the best way to describe my attitude, I guess. Both my studies occupy a lot of time, but I always find time to work a bit on my MSX.
|2. Which was your first contact with MSX, and which was your first MSX?|
|3. When did u began to make games for MSX? Have you made (or r u gonna make) games for other computers than MSX?|
I am not sure about games for other computers. I have always said that I make these games purely for fun. Creating for another computer would mean that I have to learn stuff about those computers, and I don't feel like learning those details. But on the other hand, the new computer systems are quite exciting, and I'm reaching the MSX limits. 3D would be exciting. But as I am not expecting to make my living out of games, as I am planning to get a real job! No, I never made games for other computers yet.
|4. Till now, which games have u made for MSX and how many have u sold (more or less)?|
|5. How much time do u take to develope a game? Which is the whole process since u have the storyline?|
The game-making process is different every time. I never do the storyline first. I mean, sometimes you have an idea about the story, but everything is actually done simultaneously. So, for Blade Lords, I started out with "I love bubble bobble, but it's not violent enough. How can I improve that?" I then created a two-player game (with the knights and swords, but no enemies.) I played that a lot with Patrick, and I then fine-tuned it. After the controls and speed were in properly, I decided it could make a fine game. Then enemies and levels were designed.
For a game like Akin, I started of with the scrolling routine because I didn't really know if it was possible. When that was installed, player routines were done, and some weapons. At a certain point I had developed a story, and started discussing it with Patrick. It then just of grew into a game.
In Core Dump, things are much more complicated, as there are several storylines that run at the same time. That is much more fun for the player, but it's really hard to design. It has been taking a long time now, but I believe it will be worth it.
|6. Who has been member of Parallax till now? Which is/was their function?|
|7. When is gonna be finally finished your new game, Core Dump? Which is the whole story before Core Dump? (I mean, Akin is continued in Core Dump. Were Vectron/Arc/Magnar/Black Cyclon part of the Akin-Core Dump story?)|
Note from the editor (me):
No, that date will not be met. That is why I didn't mention any deadlines
for Core Dump. I want it to be as good as it can be, and I will not compromise
on that point. I apologise for any delay to the gameplayers, but the can rest
assured that it is only to make a better game. For details, refer to the "Work In Progress" section on the subject of deadlines.
No, that date will not be met. That is why I didn't mention any deadlines for Core Dump. I want it to be as good as it can be, and I will not compromise on that point. I apologise for any delay to the gameplayers, but the can rest assured that it is only to make a better game. For details, refer to the "Work In Progress" section on the subject of deadlines.
At first, all were seperate games. I smuggled a bit of Magnar into Black Cyclon, but that was it. Core Dump is the first real sequel in that sense. I cannot reveal all the details, but I am planning to converge the storylines of Black Cyclon and Akin in the new game. That is difficult, but really interesting.
|8. About Akin, some people think that the final scene [the one with the alien ship and so] was actually bad. As this game was made for Sunrise Swiss suscription, some said that u had to finish the game in a hurry and that's the reason why that scene wasn't good enough. What do u have to say about this?|
We could have spent more time on the enddemo. That is true. We will make that up in Core Dump too.
And as always, once you've finished a game, you can really see what you could have done if only... So really, you should make every game twice, and only release the second game! Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time.
|9. Which r your all-time favourites MSX games? And not-MSX ones?|
1. SD-Snatcher Konami 2. Solid Snake Konami 3. Higemaru Capcom 4. Y's II Falcom 5. Firebird Konami 6. Dragonslayer VI FalcomNumbers 1 and 2 are obvious, I believe. I always thought Higemaru was brilliantly designed. So simple, so addictive. Y's II has a unique atmosphere that isn't even matched by Dragonslayer VI, I believe, although that latter one is also quite brilliant.
And then, at number five, Firebird. That is just a classic action game, if you ask me. Cleverly designed, and always compelling. Great PSG music too, so what more can anyone want?
1. Herzog Zwei Tecno Soft Sega Megadrive 2. Tekken 2 Namco arcades 3. Super Goeman Konami SNES 4. Super Contra Konami SNESHerzog Zwei is more or less the follow-up of the MSX game Herzog, and it is really astonishing. Everyone should have played that. Tekken 2 is of course the ultimate beat-em-up, so throw away those street fighters!
Super Goeman Warrior (or mystical ninja, as it is known here) is also a sequel to an MSX game, and a great sequel it is too.
I love super Contra not so much for its gameplay, as for its monster design. The enemy robots and aliens are just soo scary, I loved it.
|10. Which games have u bougth lately?|
|11. What do u think about MSX situation right now? Do u think there is a future for our system?|
But I think (as I posted some time ago on the MSX-newsgroup) that web-archive owners should show more respect for active MSX developers. Obviously, hacking could easily kill the last bit of MSX. So copying now is especially stupid. It would lead to no more software production. And we already have a shortage of new software.
|12. What do u think about GFX9000/Moonsound? Are u gonna make any games using any of this?|
I will even make a bolder claim. For many block-oriented games, a GFX9000 version could have soft-scroll. You could do something like Space manbow in screen x, have far more colours, and have a nice steady soft scroll. Here comes my claim: you cannot get effects like those in Core Dump (multiple cameras) in softscroll even with a GFX9000. So, if I can't even have a softscrolling Core Dump, what's the use?
GFX9000 is good for lazy programmers. It allows them to do things that were already more or less possible on an MSX2+, but with less effort. So that is not worth the money in my opinion.
The Moonsound is a different case. It really expands the sound possibilities. It is also quite easy to support, although current drivers are slow. If all goes well, Core Dump will feature Moonsound music. But I haven't had the time to make Moonsound music for the promo.
One thing is also important. When you make a game, it usually is for V9938 or for GFX9000, but never both. Therefore, in the first case, GFX9000 users will be disappointed, and in the other case, V9938 users will not be able to get the game. Moonsound, on the other hand, is always optional. Cool when you have it, no problem if you don't have it. It is much more fair to the buyers that way.
|13. To finish with, do u have anything in mind about Parallax' future? [games after Core Dump, any kind of application...]|
So I don't know really. I depends on the success of Core Dump too. If it is well-received, I might just create many more games for MSX. But if it does not sell because of declining MSX-user numbers, I am not so sure.
But I am working on a japanese version of Core Dump now. That is a really interesting new development, thanks to Takamichi Suzukawa. It has been really useful for me to focus on the storyline, the way I am doing now in Core Dump. Making more RPG like games is what I want, and I think it will also do good in the Japanese market, if all goes well.