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%%  AR Interview:  Fredrik Liliegren from Digital Illusions                %%
%%                                            Interviewer:  Jason Compton  %%
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> What projects have you done on the Amiga?

We have so far only completed two Amiga games, namely: Pinball Dreams
(Released March 1992) and Pinball Fantasies (Original Version released
Oktober 1992).  We also made the AGA and CD32 versions of Fantasies
(Both released September 1993).  We also co-developed the PC version
of Pinball Fantasies.  All other versions of these two games has
NOTHING to do with DI part from being based on our original products.
 
> Given the limbolike trance the Amiga is in right now, what do you see your
> company doing in the future?

Sad to say with the current status of Commodore I do not see our
selves commiting to another Amiga project after completing Benefactor
and Pinball Illusions.  The reason is very very simple, It takes us 1
year to develop a game and in a years time the Amiga market is not
going to be able ti support us finacially i.e. we would loose money
doing an Amiga game.  

Another reason is that within a years time there is going to be 2-3
machies available on the market that technically is 100-200 times as
powerfull for games as the A1200 and CD32.  And due to the fact that
we are visionaries and want to do the best possible jobb, the current
Amiga hardware can not compete.

> What's YOUR vision of the perfect Amiga solution? [the best answer, the best
> new owners of the technology]

1. Somebody with a lot of cash needs to buy commodore.  Currently
   there is talk of a the UK commodore buying the US parent.  This
   would most likely see the death of the Amiga within 1 year as these
   people do not have the money to found new developement, they only
   have one core market (The UK) and they currently have no machines!
   It would take them 2-3 months to get new machines to the UK and
   that would at the current time mean they would loose the X-mas
   market which would make them bancrypt within 6 months.

2. If somebody like Samsung buys commodore, I believe they would be
   best of dropping the CD32 because they will not sell a single
   machine outside the UK when the new japanses machines from SEGA,
   SONY and NINTENDO arrives.

3. They should have 3 base machines on the market:

   1) The A1200 but with 4 MB of Fast ram added on the mother board
      And 80 MB Hardisk as standard. Price £300

   2) An A1200 like the one above but with built in CD-ROM drive.
      Price £450

   3) The A4000/040 with SCSI and CD-ROM drive. Price £1500

4. They should make sure that the AAA chipset gets done and on that
   chipset build three machines like the ones above but with AAA in
   them but the A1200 one having an 68030 and the A4000 on an 68060!

 
> Shifting attention to your new projects at hand, Pinball Illusions and
> Benefactor- it's easy to deduce that Pinball Illusions is very likely an
> offshoot of the wildly successful Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies.  What
> are pinball enthusiasts in for this time?

What we want to do with the Pinball Illusions is to finally put in all
the features that we have had to leave out before for diffrent reasons
such as processor power, time our machine capabilities.

This time we have 4 color dor matrix displays (like the real thing),
A score system much like all the latest REAL tables on the market,
with loads of MODES and special bits. We have diffrent display modes,
we have animated features on the tables, and most of all we have
MULTIBALL!!  (we have had 15 balls on screen running in a frame on the
A4000/040, you want get more then two in the A1200/CD32 verison
though).  We also feel this time that the table designs are much
better and have many more features on them so that it will take you
longer to score everything and also it will be even harder to get
scores which are hard to beat!

> As for Benefactor- I admit that it's a fairly new name to me.  Care to fill me
> in on just what it is?

Benefactor is a cross between Flashback, Lemmings and loadrunner,
which s turned out to be nothing like those games at all.  It is a
PUZZLE game palyed in a Platform enviorment.  You are the hero that
on each level have to free the merry men that are trapped arounf the
level, these are two kinds the colored ones that are abel to haelp you
by accessing inreachable areas or build things for you etc etc. The
other kinf is the evil kind that will destroy everything in its way
and walk into any deat trap, these needs to be moved to a coloring
machine so that they can get coloured and help you out.  Once all the
Merry men is at the exit in a colored form you may exit.

> How does Digital Illusions go about tacking projects like Pinball Illusions or
> Benefactor?  How much of the work is done in house, who has what
> responsibilities, etc.?

Currently we are 8 people (3 programmers, 3 graphics artists, 1 music
guy and me as a manager, designer etc)

Each game gets 1 programmer and 1 graphics artisst assigned and then
the music guy and me helps out on all projects.

Currently we are dveloping:

PINBALL ILLUSIONS on the A1200 and CD32

Code: Andreas Axelsson
GFX:  Markus Nyström

BENEFACTOR on MEGA-CD (Amiga version is finished):

Code: Thomas Andersson
GFX:  Patrik Bergdahl

HARDCORE on MEGA-CD and MEGADRIVE:

Code: Bo-Staffan Lankinen
GFX:  Joakim Wejdemar

All music by: Olof Gustafsson
And additional design on all games by me: Fredrik Liliegren

We usally start out with a vague idea of what we want to do, then we
make a small preview showing the basics of the game, this demo is then
showed to the most interesting publishers.  If any of them gets
interested we will sign a contract, get some money, miss all deadlines
with 6-10 months and then end up seeing our game pirated to death
within 2 days of release.

And that piracy is another reason for dropping the AMIGA, if we solf
as many units of our games as there are people out there enjoying our
efforts we would only be working on the AMIGA!!!