There is always a couple of interviews in every issue of Alive (and other
diskmags) but they never feature the guys behind the mag itself, sounds obvious
really so I thought I'd ask our favorite diskmag editor some questions, here he
is ladies and gentlemen, Sebastien Larnac aka ST Survivor.
1) As always, please tell us a bit about yourself, the usual, age, occupation
You already know my name, let's add that I'm a 28 year old long haired metal
lover who's completely insane :) My main studies were related to foreign
languages such as English, Spanish, German and a bit of Japanese too but it
seems to me it was years ago as these days I teach computing to beginners
(yup nasty Micro$oft proggies :). I'd like to point out that I never miss a
chance to tell them about alternative computers and about our Scene too
hence showing them that computing isn't only about creepy business but also
about passion and friendship !
2) A lot of us discovered the demoscene from intros on game compils, what is
your background on the ST, when did you "discover" the scene?
I had my STe as a Xmas present back to 1990 but before that I played and
coded on an Apple2C and a home gaming system I had a great deal of fun with.
But it all changed with the appearance of that small grey box ! I was a
frantic gamer (and still am :) and spent a lot of hours on Ghouls'n Ghosts
and also Black Tiger which I used to play on arcade machines. As a "natural"
consequence I started with getting as many games as possible and still have
about 300 of them on floppies... As ST games grew less numerous my floppies
started to welcome strange things called demos, such as Tekno Drugs by NLC.
I instantly fell in love with such prods and finding a phone number in the
credits, I phoned Thyrex... and soon became main editor of French Toxic Mag.
I also wrote some articles for a French paper fanzine called CONTACT'ST and
wrote a lot of letters to game publishers asking for more ST support... I
even remember calling some of them and here's a nice story : I spent some
time talking with guys of Delphine Software who were delaying ST porting of
FLASHBACK, so called sequel to Another World. They told me they had hired
another company to convert the game to ST and that these guys had fucked up
and weren't able to deliver game on due date... Yep that's how this game got
lost on someone's harddrive :( I also phoned Electronic Arts about Risky
Woods and was quite amazed when they told me the ST porting HAD been
released in COMPLETE ignorance ! Later I downloaded that game but was quite
disappointed as it played way too hard...
As I used to draw crap on paper I then tought I could do it on a computer as
well and started doing things in 1994 and soon joined Thyrex into the long
delayed BACK IN FRANCE megademo project. You know what happened later :) Btw
there's a funny detail - no one gives a shit about : I'm left handed but the
only thing I can do with my right hand is handling a mouse !!! I wonder how
many left handed Sceners also share this :)
3) A while back you mentioned a french party, organised by you and whoever
could help you out, what happened to that ? Did you not get enough feeback
from people wanting to help you out with this ?
I mentioned this back to some issue of Alive! but I don't mind telling you
again :) Yes I "planned" a summer party nearby my place in a former bunker
but I REFUSED to handle all responsibilities remembering how Grey had paid
for putting up the Sillyventure party on his own :( So I sent a lot of mails
and posted many messages on various bulletin boards... Sure I had some
responses but ALL of them from people living hundreds of kms away... Then it
seemed that the whole thing was turning into an "impossible mission" and I
had to forget about it... I wish that someday I can welcome all of you to
this place but it implies a _lot_ of things : releasing an invitation,
creating a website, handling money, compos, bars and various services...
Just too much for a small man like me :) Besides the sleeping place seemed
to be a problem and even now I cannot tell if that place could offer some
facilities... Again it's not forgotten, I'd love to be your host but right
now it's too much for a single man organization :(
4) Its no secret that the atari scene is very small, especially on the artist
side I think and those remaining seem to be only interested in painting
for the ST, it's very hard to find artists for a falcon truecolour
production, why is that? Wouldnt it be easier to work with all those extra
colours on falcon ?
Aaaah, tricky question ! Here I have a few excuses :) First, I am a REAL ST
fan and tho I like Falcon demos a lot, the ST is still my first love ! Also
I don't think I currently master the 16 colours offered by the ST (hey have
a look at Niko's work and call me a lamer !). Then why move to Falcon ?
Besides my fave painting proggy - CrackArt - tends to crash on Falcon and I
feel too lazy to start learning painting on another program :) Then you got
it al summed up to laziness :) I still need to kick myself into painting
more lame 16c pictures for some projects and that's quite a huge task !
5) Over to Alive, what makes you motivated to keep working on it ? It seems
you're getting less and less feedback for every issue ?
Sure we get little support and it seems to get worse every time but.. Far
from dead we're alive ! These days all diskmagazines have to meet the same
problems : lack of releases and lack of writers and we can't avoid this !
But when CiH and I decided to join forces I guess we both knew it wouldn't
be easy and on that score we weren't disappointed :) YES, Alive! looks a lot
like former UCM (under my responsibility :) and I'm quite sorry I don't have
stylish ideas just like Moondog does but I have no time for that :( Yet we
have enough supporters to go on (erm at least a few of them) and unless I
suddenly grow mature and think of having a "steady" life (which is quite
unlikely) I'll go on with Alive!
6) Apart from Alive, have you got any other atari related projects going ?
Hehe you already know the answer to that question, you smart boy :) I hope I
can deliver more crappy gfx soon but I have to get rid of this issue first.
Then I'll focus on pixelling though I feel a bit apprehensive : it's been so
long since I last painted ! I kinda like my contrib to last year summer
compo tho :) More weird stuff is hanging in my deranged brain you can be
sure of that ! I'd like to start another game too since it seems "full"
version (at least FULL as we planned to make it) of TRACE will surely never
see the light of day. I think more small games or mind teasers like GODPEY
are a blessing and I'd love to work on a revamped Space Invaders using STe
features like additionnal colors and crazy samples, if anyone's interested
just reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7) On the same topic, are you preparing a contribution for a compo at EIL next
Apart from the gfx you should see in two demos ? :) Well right now I can't
promise anything, maybe I'll just enter a picture done for a full demo,
maybe I'll paint an extra picture or maybe I'll be a lazy bastard and won't
be able to do anything for anyone :) Sincerely I hope I can bring something
new so that EDO won't feel alone, he's done so much over the last months ! I
feel a bit jealous here :)
8) What is your view on the current ST/falcon scene? Do you think eventually
we will be sitting in our wheelchairs at some hospital playing Chu Chu
Rocket on our beloved machines ?
No, I don't think we'll end up playing ChuChu Rocket in a retirement house
because I'd rather play GODPEY :) I've started playing multiplayer with a
friend of mine who's too young to know what an Atari is and both of us have
grown addicted ! To get back to your question : I hope our community will
never disolve even when we grow older. I still have to bugger, erm visit, a
lot of you and REALLY mean to do so !
9) What is your opinion on add-on boards for falcon? Quite a few demos out
there require faster falcons and more than the usual 4mb ram etc, do you
think we will eventually end up like the amiga scene where 060 is pretty
Well I only have a basic Falcon with FPU and it took me some time to get
that damn FPU ! I still need to add more ram for sure as I wish I could
enjoy these demos or diskmags that require extra ram. I hope the CT060 can
bring us enough opportunities to stick to it and make full use of it. I
don't want us to quarrel over compatibility. It's okay with me if we ALL
chose a distinct path but NOT if we fight over several ways...
10) On the same topic, ever thought about getting an accelerator for your
falcon or maybe a clone?
Right now I don't feel drawn to accelerators AT ALL but... The ST's still my
first and stronger love u know :) I seldom use my Falcon or only to watch
demos but I strongly believe the CT060 could bring the Falcon more power and
new possibilities ! When I'll grow bored with not being able to enjoy such
wonders, I'll have to buy a CT060 and I hope this day will come soon ! I'm
already missing DON'T BREAK THE OATH, baaaaaaah...
And now over to the usual brainstorming, beware, there are some trick questions
Airbrush - nice stuff tho quite useless with pixeling but I use a
hair brush every day :)
Blushing - I do blush when some Scener I don't know says "hey you're
STS !" as if I had done nice things :)
Cricket - is that REALLY a sport ? for girls maybe :)
Drinking - argh, something I need to control and/or stop :(
Eil - something I SHOULDN'T stop going too, best parties ever !!
Full metal jacket - not my kind of movies, I'm more into Scifi and gore stuff.
Gfa basic - well it sucks but Thyrex made some wonders with it
Hyperpaint - must be some painting program but I never used it.
Interviews - nice stuff when people send them back, a torture when you
have to mail them again and again to expect a response...
Jaguar - I never liked it a lot except for AvP
Kylie - Minogue ? Not my kind of msx but gimme the girl and I'll
make a snack out of her :)
Loud - nice memories with Thyrex who is definitely a GREAT friend
Metal - the blood that runs thru my veins ! Couldn't live without
Noses - well I only have one :)
Omega - GROTESQUE is great and will always be !!!
Pixels - small wonders when I see what great artists make of them !
Quake - good game when you like to slaughter people like I do
Ripping - no good except when it gives BRILLIANT stuff like UMD8730
Stos - no good... at all ?
Tusker - who ? what ? sorry I don't know what this is
Underpants - needed or you'll lose your balls
Veed - surely you meant WEED :) Bah another of my addictions :)
X-out - great shooter but I'd rather play Xenon2 or Lethal Xcess
YMCA - no, I'm NOT gay ! Why do you think I refused to join SCT1?
Zebras - nice when filling 3D objects, boring on roads
Thank you for your time Sebastien, I know you are busy finishing off this issue
of Alive, keep up the good work!