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It would be  stupid and  ridiculous to introduce  MIC as  he was (and maybe 
still is) one of the  best  gfxmen the  ATARI scene  has had, along  with Niko, 
Flan or Wilfried. Long  time ago he vanished from the scene as DUNE did. In the 
late nineties they suddenly came back to life with a bunch  of sweeties such as 
Memorial, Paradise or their intro to ToXic Mag 18 (do mail me if you don't have 

Then we heard of ILLUSION, their mystery demo that ranked first at Place To 
Be Again back in 1994 tho it was  never released, nor enjoyed by no one but the 
organizers (yep !). The hype went very high and almost  instantly damn low when 
St Ghost of Sector One "gave up" debugging -ILLUSION- without  support from the 
survivors of DUNE :( 

The story doesn't end here as some time ago MIC started  using irc ! I had 
the chance to talk with him and he unveiled some nice secrets ! But let's give 
him some space to tell you all about this and more !

STS : Hi Mic ! I won't bore you with your whole  scener's life but surely 
we'd like to get some info about you, like name, age, occupation. Also that'd 
be cool if you could sum up DUNE's demos listings in few lines.

Well, starting with the  presentation  bit, my  name is  Michel and  i'm now 31
years old  and  i'm  currently  working as  a senior  graphic artist  in a game
company. Concerning Dune, we did  work on a lot  of productions (not only demos
but also games and utilities). The official release list from dune includes the
following prods :

- Mathematique squizophrene : our first ever demo under the Dune label,
  featuring some small 3d effects.
- Petit papa noel :  a small christmas dentro released at a sector one party.
- World of wonders : a gfa megademo born from the cooperation beetween Dune
  and Fantasy.
- Puppet show : the offcial party demo from the fist Crystal summer convention
  (a french party held by Dune/Fantasy).
- Graal :  a strange demo, unlike common demos at that time.
- Faith :  a dentro featuring amiga like design.
- Gobi toons :  a nice ste dentro with great pics by mjj prod guys.
- Don't wait for a demo :  a nice three part demo.
- Paradise :  our come back prod from 1999.
- Memorial : a tiny dentro released for a french party in 2000.

Other prods include some small intros, Dgraph (a falcon paint utility), Space
fighter (a game) and lotsa unfinished stuff.

STS : How and when did you  start doing  stuff ? I guess it's  pretty old, 
more than a decade ago ! Were you a member of DUNE right from the start or did 
you belong to other crews before ?

Well, basically, i started drawing around 1991 when i met chuck at university.
Until then i'd been  laming around, mostly playing  games. Things went serious
when chuck and i met evil metal who was already involved in a crew called TBS.
One major problem in 'TBS'  was its  enormous amount  of members, added to the
fact that most of the credited members were either inactive or retired.  After
a few  month (filled with  ambitious projects and  a quite lame one day coding
party), we  felt  that  we had  to restart  things from  scratch, kicking  off
inactive persons and getting new members. It was time to start 'Dune'.

STS : Now on with  technical  stuff :) As a poor  gfxman I am, I'd love to 
know what painting program you used ! Do you have special techniques ? I guess 
you've also experienced STe palette or raster split piccies like the cover pic 

Well, my fave paint package on  ST was Neochrome  master, which included  very
useful  functions  like  rasters and a  big dynamic  magnifier and very useful
sprites management tools. Concerning drawing itself, i don't  have any special
trick  except  using rasters. Another  point that any  artist should carefully
manage is the good use of colors. I think a good color palette is half part in
the final quality of any picture.  By the way i've never had an STe...too bad.
Looking at other artist's  work is also a  good idea. Last  point to notice is
that i have always  tried  to make  artwork by  myself, without  copying  from
existing art or using scanned material.

STS : What's the  strange story of ILLUSION ? A production  that only the  
organizers saw and was never released ? If I remember well it's said to be ST 
coded but only runs on Falcon !? Where's the truth ? 

Illusion story is the one of  many other demo  projects on the st : too big and
too  ambitious. Our aim  was to  simply  create  our best  production, not only
boasting on design but also on technic (mapping, zoom and so on). We finished a
nearly  complete  version of the Illusion for  the place to  be again party. At
this point, we had only a big running file on evil metal's falcon and many bugs
were still present, especially when running the demo on  regular sts. Of course
the final version would  run on  all both st (stf/e) and falcon. Unfortunately,
we  lacked of  motivation  to finish  this demo, mainly  because  some  members
turned over the falcon while others simply left the scene.

STS : By the way is ILLUSION the demo that features a pic of the guy from 
the series "Impossible  Mission" ? Being at  the Place To  Be Again myself, I 
clearly remember such screen tho I'm not sure it's taken from ILLUSION. 

No, the screen you are refering to is the menu screen of the "puppet show", the
official party demo of  the crystal  summer convention 1 we  held together with

STS : Correct me if I'm wrong but  Place To Be Again  was the last time we 
heard from DUNE. What  happened then ? Did  you all  decide to  quit like that 
while you had been working on your (surely) best demo ? Maybe you had projects 
on the Falcon then ?

Well, after the place to be, things  seemed like if dune would do falcon stuff.
Great, let's go buy a falcon. Ok, but it quickly  appeared that we were somehow
fed up with making demos. There are several explanations to this. One reason is
that at this time, around 1994, we  were finishing our studies and so were busy
searching  for  jobs. No more  time for  demos then, adding the  fact that some
members (including  myself) were  kindly  asked  to comply  with their military
obligations... Another reason for such a decay in our demo activities  was that
most of the  old sceners  had left the  st. What was  the point in making demos
when  there  was  virtually  no  more  competition or  audience ? As  far as  i
remember, our  falcon  releases  consisted  of  only  one  intro (coded by evil
metal), Dune graph and a few pieces of artwork.

STS : to end with ILLUSION, you seemed pretty enthusiastic on irc and said 
that you WOULD release it at last. Since then, no news has been heard tho :( I 
heard that Chuck wasn't too interested and didn't really support St Ghost...

Well, you all know  that Illusion was a big buggy thing. Big  news is that it
still is ! To be honest i really think that it's possible to see a release of
this demo. However, considering the amount of  work it needs, do not expect a
too polished version (e.g : missing loading effects or transition).

One possible solution would be that evil metal take part in debugging the demo.

STS : You also mentioned other projects :) So far we know that you painted 
awesome gfx for FAERY LAND which was resumed by Reservoir Gods. You  also told 
me about STe stuff, we want to know more !! 

Well, concerning the Faery land game, it initially started as a commercial game
project. We  even  started  to  convert  the game  on  Falcon, using  of course
revamped graphics (i  think a demo  version still exists  for  both  versions).
However, considering the  atari market  decline, we decided to turn our efforts
over  a pc  version  instead and  so  dropped  the atari  version  of the game.
Concerning  the new  stuff, several  demos  are in  the pipe. First a  new demo
(entitled "fantasia") is to be  released before the  end of this year. Our  big
stuff will come  later  with "seeds", an ste only (hopefully falcon compatible)
demo. This demo will contain a large  amount  of graphics and  could stand on 2
disks. Lot of work to do on this demo in fact.

STS : Here's  the trickiest  questions of all :) Rumours say  that Equinox 
gfxman NOVA and you are indeed  a single  person !! One has  to recognize that 
style, motives and techniques are VERY similar ! Do you feel like sharing some 
secrets with us ? :)

Well, i think you should ask this question to nova himself...

STS : What are your views on the current scene ? We know that "old" sceners 
(which is  in  no way a  pejorative definition !) don't really  like our latest 
efforts to bring modern FX to the ST. What do you think of that ?

Well, here comes the tricky one. As far  as i'm concerned, i've spotted most of
the st demo history from the very  beginning to the  latest prods. Making demos
in the early years was aimed  at proving that  regular developers were far from
pushing the atari to its limits. Complying with the one frame rule was the only
way to achieve  that goal, because you  had to compete  with people on the same
machine than yours.

A few  years later, PCs have  taken the spotlight and  the ST  demo  scene had
changed. Competition was no more in beating other st developers but instead in
achieving pc effects on the st. The single display of a mapped cube  on the ST
is now in itself an achievement, no matter concerning about the framerate.

I think that what oldschool people don't like  in the newschool is that most pc
adapted effects look like cheap conversion just because no matter how good your
coding skills are, the st  still remains the st, with  its limitations. However
we must respect the amount of work people put in such demos because we somewhat
have  to greet the  newschool for having  kept our scene alive  during all this
year when oldschool people were lazing around.

STS : Now that you're back in business, do we have a chance to spot you and 
maybe Chuck too at the next big ATARI party, namely Error In Line 3 ?

Yes, we are planning to attend this party...and be sure that we won't come with
empty hands...

STS : It's brain torturing time with our brainstorming trial ! Use the 
first letter to complete words. Say whatever you want !

M : Micro...err no! Motorola instead !
I : Illusion of course !
C : Cracking is good for you !

D : Degas elite, great art package but neochrome won the crown !
U : Union, they still rule after all these years !
N : Niko, an extremely talented graphist and also a very nice friend.
E : Eternal, a great dutch group featuring one of my fave st musician,

STS : last words you would like to tell us ? Do not hesitate, there's no 
censorship here !

Well, what else could i say except stay atari ?


Alive 6