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Alive 9
IRC Live Interview

with Cooper / Paradize

cxt: Hi Cooper, most people will recognize you from the IRC channels  #atariscne
and also your real name (Nicolas Hettinger) in no secret anymore. Last
not least people might have seen your picture in the "horror show" at DHS :)  or
they could have  read your interview  in Alive Issue  4, which is  now two years
old. I guess a lot of things have changes since 2002, so what's new?

Cooper: I'm 22 years old now (one of the younger Atari users nowadays, no?  :)),
and I have finished my studies in computing sciences. I'm a lazy GFA coder, more
interested in  doing fun  little games  than brain  blasting demos (maybe mostly
because I  am lacking  the knowledge  how to  do them  :)). However  I'm still a
hardcore Atari fan :)

cxt: You live approximately 100 km from the German border, and your name doesn't
sound too French at all. Do you know anything about its origin?

Cooper: Sure, my name  comes from a town  called "Hettange" which is  located in
France (about 50 km far from Nancy),  and my name means "the man who  comes from

cxt: I see, we've got something very similar here in Germany. And I am sure most
of you heard of a "Hamburger", "Berliner" or "Frankfurter" :) Since I grew up in
a city called "Hattingen" people could have called me a "Hattinger" during  that
time :) 

Cooper: ;)

cxt: You surely can't live from what you earn as a lazy GFA coder :), so what is
your current profession?

Cooper: I'm not working atm  (I'm on holidays :D), but  I plan to do a  training
course to work as a  driving-licence teacher (far from computers,  but computing
is just a hobby for me now :))

cxt: Well your education  seems to be a  good investment anyways, since  most of
today's cars come with more "computers" onboard than you will find in an average
sceners flat :) In addition to that I heard that the amount of Software used  in
state of the art cars exceeds the capacity of a CD already.

Cooper: Perhaps there will be games or demos in our cars tomorrow, who knows? :)

cxt: Last  time you  weren't to  fond about  the ST  Scene in  general and  said
something like the French ST scene was asleep. I guess things have changed a lot
since then. You  seem to be  a frequent guest  at and  lots of sceners
have become friends. How do you feel today about the French scene, do you  still
think it is sleeping?

Cooper: Since  the last  time, I  went to  several parties,  in France,  or even
abroad (EIL3,  or the  great Outline  2004 :D).  I met  really nice people, from
several groups (MJJ-Prod, or others), and after some chats and several beer,  my
point of view really changed. The French scene is in a rebirth mood I think,  as
many old crews  (Cerebral Vortex for  example, hi GT  Turbo!) or old  coders (hi
Tobe :) are  back. Anyway I'm  a bit sad  that great groups  like Sector One are
slowly dying.

cxt: What makes you think that Sector  One is dying? Ok EDO took a  timeout, but
he is still around here  and there. And most sceners  get back one or the  other
way after some time. Deun and Frost seem to be pretty active too, not to mention
DMA SC who is doing one SID after another.

Cooper: The majority of Sector One members have other activities (like  Zerkman,
Exyl, ...), I  had a chat  with EDO, he  doesn't seems very  motivated to go  on
pixeling. The only "survivors" are ST Ghost and Dma-Sc, but I'm pretty sure they
will join Dune one day :) It's easy  to see that they are dying too. Just  check
the Sct1's member list, and count  how many are around, IRC-wise or  BBS-wise...
Beside Frost is planning to sell his Falcon ;)

cxt:  That's bad  news indeed,  but even  without one  falcon he  still owns  an
impressive hardware collection :) He bought a Pegasos some weeks ago, so I don't
think he will quit the scene, and we won't spread rumours here :)

Cooper: Hehe, sure, and like real coders say: "ST is enough" :)

cxt: Can you define the term "real coder" ;)?

Cooper: To me, a real coder is someone  who is able to write a nice ASM  proggy,
which he actually understands :)

cxt: LOL, I always thought you have to know what you are doing before you  start
to code :) Anyway, we all know you are coding in GFA BASIC, but I read somewhere
you started to learn ASM too. When will we see your 1st ASM program?

Cooper: I must admit I had a brilliant teacher (Nerve :)) but ASM is not for  me
(for the  moment). I  like to  see the  result immediately,  and I'm not good at
thinking  with  data/address registers,  and  so on.  I  can release  my  little
scrolling screen,  but I  doubt it  would be  of any  interest for anyone :) and
perhaps I'm too lazy to launch the assembler each time ;)

cxt: I have heard there are solutions for these speed issues. Ages ago a  German
guy coded the Turbo Assembler, you can test your program within the blink of  an
eye I really like that feature, and I wouldn't like to swap it for anything else

Cooper: Hmmm, interesting, perhaps it's time to dig out my good old .s files :)

cxt: The  scroller you  were talking  of, was  it just  to learn  ASM or  was it
thought to be part of a bigger project?

Cooper: It was only to  learn ASM, no project was  planned at this time. It  was
really  interesting,  and  it  featured  useful  hints  (loading  the   picture,
displaying it, moves,  loops in ASM  and so on)  to put it  in a nut  shell, the
basics of ASM :)

cxt: Including the basics  of Gemdos it seems  :) What happened to  your plan to
convert this CPC game called "Rally 3000"?

Cooper: I haven't thought about it since the last time to be honest. No preview,
no  code done...  when I  think about  it, the  aim of  the goal  wasn't  very
original... perhaps one  night I'll do  it just for  fun, but these  days I have
more appealing projects :)

cxt: I was about to ask about them, so tell me more :)

Cooper: Something called 'Pooz' for example :)

cxt: Yes you joined forces with Exocet, STS and DMA-SC to create a conversion of
a really nice game. I heard it was planned that Schemantix should do the  music,
how comes that he was replaced by DMA-SC?

Cooper: Scheme  disappeared with  his tunes,  so I  turned my  hopes in  Dma-SCs
direction ;) Some time ago, before Pooz,  we planned to do a little music  disk,
with original tunes by Scheme (10 tunes). Code was done, but I never heard about
the ziks anymore...

cxt:  This kind  of figures,  maybe he  is still  busy with  his Super  Cars II
conversion for STE :)

Cooper: Loooool

cxt:With two  graphics artist  onboard progress  should be  rapid I  guess :) At
least in the  old days missing  graphics was the  main reason for  delay, beside
lazy coders of course :)

Cooper: Yes, I'm  a lucky man  with this project  (2 gfxmen for  1 game :))  but
there are other constraints: holidays and hardware problems (on my side).

cxt: Since  you own  several ST(E)  machines I  guess you  have issues with your
Falcon CT2?

Cooper: I love my falcon, but to be honest I think CT2 is a bit shitty...  speed
is ok, but I have many troubles with solders, or instability of the whole thing.
The previous user has also done many  modifications to it. Beside that, I am  in
desperate need of a hard disk for my STE.

cxt: Unreliable hardware is something I  would never work on, it sucks  to loose
work because of random system crashes. And for the harddisk: It should be pretty
easy to collect one from ebay for 10-20 EUR.

Cooper: ebay is like the lottery: sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.. and
postage costs are really expensive for such equipment.

cxt: Hehe, maybe one of our readers has still some ancient Megafile or something
like that gathering dust at the attic :). It seems you don't like ebay too much.
Despite of that, you  seem to own a  little collection of classic  computers (at
least several STEs a CT2 and an Amiga), where did you get them from? Local  flea

Cooper: I bought all my spare STEs from some friends and I found my Falcy thanks
to DHS BBS :) And my original STE is a gift from 1989's Santa Claus :)

cxt: Was the STE your 1st computer?

Cooper: Yes, it was my first computer, and I used it almost everyday until  2000
(unfortunately, I had to buy a PC for my studies).

cxt: You  mentioned Pooz  earlier. The  game itself  will be  covered in another
article in this issue. How is the cooperation inside the development team?

Cooper: We have many discussions regarding the design of the game it takes  time
to have the same style in all the screens when there are 2 gfxmen with their own
style. Exocet has a Nintendo-style, and STS has a Cannibal Corpse one :)

cxt: Exocet has  surely developed his  very own style,  especially his dithering
technique looks like nothing I have seen in any Nintendo game so far :)

Cooper: That's the problem ;)) his gfx are really colourful, like kids games  :)
but I'm really impressed by his dithering technique.

cxt: Well Pooz is  not really 18-rated or  would you recommend it  for grown ups
only :)?

Cooper: The aim  of the game  is a bit  like Tetris: 1  minute to understand the
goal and a lifetime to achieve the  ultimate hi-score :) It's really a game  for
any kind of person, but I doubt it would interest kids.

cxt: Beside Exocet often  uses cute figures and  puts them into situations  that
are not really suitable for little kids :)

Cooper: I see what you mean ;)

cxt: Wouldn't it be possible to avoid the design discussions by letting one  guy
paint the surrounding graphics while the other one does the in-game stuff?

Cooper: I don't think that will be  necessary since I noticed STS can adapt  his
work to many styles (look at his entry in the DHS compo, with the Bubble  Bobble

cxt: Pooz  is not  your 1st  game. You  did Manga  Puzzler before  which can  be
downloaded  from the  Paradize homepage.  Are there  any other  games you  have
finished yet?

Cooper: That's the only one. I've several projects almost finished, but I'm  not
pleased with  either the  graphics or  the rules.  Or the  games aren't original
enough. Releasing a 157987547th Arkanoid clone is no fun for me :)

cxt: Its pretty hard to come up with something original these days, isn't it?

Cooper: Cooper: yes, but I have some sources to find great concepts :)

cxt: Which leads to the inevitable  question: Where do you get your  inspiration

Cooper: Yep :) I often look to the Flash games on the internet, and also in  the
Game Boy  or Game  Boy Advance  game collection  many Chinese  games have  great

cxt: GBA? Sounds like you were either a puzzle or beat em up fanatic :)

Cooper: Yes :) Puzzles can easily be done in GFA ;) same for Flash.

cxt: Apart  from implementation  questions, what  is your  favourite game genre?
Maybe you can name some of your favourite games too.

Cooper: 2D fighting  (Street Fighter ...),  sport (Virtua Tennis  2 on Dreamcast
:)), action  games (Wario  Ware on  GBA, which  HAS TO  BE done  on ST!), and of
course puzzle and adventure games (Maupiti Island, Cruise for a Corpse ...)

cxt: It sounds like you own several consoles beside your computers.

Cooper: I only have a Dreamcast. A bit outdated, but there are really nice games
on it. I'm not on the consoles trip, I can't find the same feeling than with old
ST games for example

cxt: The Dreamcast is a cool machine, it was lightyears ahead of the other  ones
when it came out. What about the GBA?

Cooper: I only have the emulator, because I read somewhere about the great Wario
Ware... I had to try it :)

cxt: I guess,  well we better  don't get any  deeper into that  :) But since you
mentioned Emulators, what do  you think about ST(E)  Emulators, do you use  them
for coding or something else?

Cooper: Mmmh, yes  ;) I often  use STEem to  watch the latest  releases. If it's
great for my taste,  I create a real  floppy with the stuff  on it. I tried  one
time to code with STEem  but it was real nightmare  to use the PC keyboard  (I'm
addicted to the ST keyboard for special characters) and STEem is slower than  my
real hardware (my pc is getting old)  but it's really useful when I need  to use
an Atari application.

cxt: Ok lets go for  the last challenge, I am  sure you have already waited  for
it? The ultimate Alive Brainstorming Test :)

Cooper: Yeahhh :)

cxt: This time we won't use your Nick, that's far too easy ...

Cooper: Sh*t :)

cxt: Paradize  would be  ok, but  it is  to short,  so lets  use your real name:
Nicolas Hettinger.

Cooper: Wow this is a REAL challenge :)

cxt: Since you already know the game, just shoot, you have got 30 seconds :)

Cooper: ok :)

N: Natframe (I love this tool on my falcon :))

I: Internet (nice to gather all the Atari lovers)

C: Cooper (coder of Cybernoid II)

O: Outline 2004, a great party

L: I hope I'll never be one: a Lamer

A: Atari, what else ;)

S: State of the Art (the best Amiga demo IMHO)

H: Docteur H, the GFA Master (hi Tobe ;))

E: Eclipse (Software Design) rules

T: Terminal fuckup :)

T: Thalion (No second Prize could have been better ;))

I: IF (written thousands of times in my source codes

N: Nick/TCB (the impressive coder)

G: Gfxman (what I wanted to do, but I'm not good at pixeling :))

E: Always Experiment in your life!

R: Reservoir Gods, I *love* your games ;)

cxt: Wow, that was hardly 30 minutes ;) and you got them all :) Impressive!

Cooper: Hehe :) really hard to find ;)

cxt:  Now the  "feel-free-to-say-anything" part  occurs, I  am pretty  sure you
remember it from the last time, so if you have anything to say to the world,  do
it now!

Cooper: I wish to thank everybody who motivated me code-, or hardware-wise,  and
may Alive and the Atari scene live for a long time!

cxt: Thanks, for this live IRC interview,  we will feed it into our random  talk
generator to get a streamlined version for the next issue :)

                                                      2004-08-12 Cyclone/X-Troll

Alive 9