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Alive 6


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

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
much standard?

   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!

Alive 6