Description: Daniel Müßener
Categories: [EN] Eng_Interviews
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[url=https://amigafuture.de/app.php/kb/viewarticle?a=5177&sid=30a793ad59b57f35f18235f88273f385]Artikeldatenbank - Daniel Müßener[/url]
Note: Here we present all those remaining parts of the interview which had to be removed from the print issue (126) due to its page limit.
When and how did you come to the Amiga?
Pretty late, around 1993. Until then I simply didn't have the money and even then it was just enough for an A500. I bought mine during furlough because back then I lived in Ecuador and the Amiga wasn't really popular there at all. Then a friend and I were the only Amiga-evangelists there at school. And my trusty C128D could finally go on pension.
Which Amiga system (original or NG) do you currently use?
Quite some. A pimped up A1200, primarily used for demos and games; an A600 for (seldom) playing in the living-room (I'm not allowed to have anything bigger there...); a CDTV for playing CDs in my office; for the NG-Amiga-work I use a sam460ex, an A1222 Tabor, a X5000, an old PowerMac for MorphOS and also a small PC with native AROS x86, plus a Peg2 borrowed from Evillord. Until recently my sam440ep was my favorite test-system, but unfortunately this one's somewhat broken, hopefully it's just the RAM. Although: did you ever try to find that exotic printer-RAM outside the US??
What's your main development system?
A fat Windows7 PC. Probably the only I7 4790k that's used with the CPU's internal GPU. Since I don't play any "modern" games I don't need more. However, this one should be good enough for some years.
Which tools and programs do you use, especially considering ports to the different "amiganoid" systems?
I develop on that PC, for game projects most often using Embarcadero RAD Studio XE3 (which is one of the more recent versions of Borland C++ Builder, with which I share some kind of love-hate relationship since almost two decades now) together with my growing portable framework. By that the games run almost 1:1 on the PC too. This simplifies debugging quite a lot. I can feed those XE3-project-files into a self-made build-system which in turn spits out complete archives for AOS4, MOS and AROS; thanks to the I7 and the gcc-crosscompilers that's usually only a matter of a few seconds. Other than that I regularly use Cinema4D R17, Paintshop Pro 11 and an equally old UltraEdit 9.2. Things like OpenGLES2 or the Rx00-driver-fixes are manually made using the latter and an AOS4 crosscompiler.
What's your general opinion on current AmigaOS4 hardware like the AmigaOne X5000 or the Tabor?
The X5000 is without doubt a performance monster, but for me it's too expensive. I just couldn't spend that much money on a computer. If I hadn't got one as payment for the OpenGL ES 2 v1.0 project I wouldn't own one. But I really can't say anything negative about the X5000 except its price. Both the X5000 and the Tabor run very fast and stable with the current AOS4 pre-release already. Well, Tabor. That's a two-edged affair. The projected price/performance ratio is fine and the machine performs well, as long as you don't run FPU-hungry programs right now so that the poor thing spends most of its time inside the emulation. Of course not just I would prefer it to contain a non SPE CPU. But, I think I'm allowed to tell you that: the guys at Hyperion are working hard on an even better solution to that problem. If that works out then the Tabor will be the perfect successor to the sam460 or Peg2, the entry- / middle-class-model we all have been waiting for so long.
How do you rate the Tabor's performance compared to the sam460?
It depends. My T57 SPE build clearly shows that the Tabor can run circles around the sam460 if you give it something to swallow that allows it to unleash its potential. I know that other developers experienced similar. In practice I (!) estimate (!) that Tabor can perform up to 50% - 60% faster than a sam460 if no or only very little of the current emulation kicks in or if using dedicated SPE builds. Of course things look different if you're playing unfair and use FPU-hungry applications in combination with the current emulation for performance comparisons. At the moment nobody can say for sure how it will look like once the AOS4 developments in that area have been completed. But I'm pretty optimistic that at the end the Tabor's performance will be at least on a sam460 level even with hardship cases where a huge amount of standard FPU code has to be emulated anyhow.
The last time I interviewed you, you were member of the "Cherry Darling" development team (among others responsible for "Wings Battlefield" for various Amiga systems), your current software-project is called "GoldenCode" though. What happened? Is "Cherry Darling" still active independently?
I'm operating under the name "GoldenCode" since I became freelancer around 1999. After we finished "Wings Battlefield" H2o and I put "Cherry Darling" on ice due to personal reasons. So it was a natural choice for me to continue with my own stuff using my "normal" name. Btw: the golden logo with the parrot was kindly drawn by H2o too.
Can you imagine to also code or port something for the "classic" Amiga?
I can imagine quite a lot but at the moment I don't have any plans into that direction. And frankly, I think that I already have too many irons in the fire, don't you agree?!
Would it be possible to run one of your current Amiga games on "classic" Amigas?
If by "classic" you mean 68k, no. However, "Wings Remastered" also runs somewhat playable even on an A1200 PPC Radeon via Mediator. Maybe like the original Wings performed on a bare A500 The same is true for the Cherry-Darling-games. But without PPC and without graphics card, no. At least something like a sam440 is required to decently run that stuff.
People often asked me whether Tower57 cannot be brought to "classics". Unfortunately not. Of course a game in that style, massively trimmed down, is thinkable. But a port of *that* game is not. The main reason is that the whole game logic has been designed for flexibility and not for performance. As I explained before I'm already having quite a hard time to make it playable on a sam440. For 68k / AGA you'd have to rewrite that whole game from scratch, not to mention that the graphics cannot be converted to 256 color that easily and that the amount of graphics data would likely exceed the memory limits even then; that the game has been designed for a not AGA-friendly display resolution; that the tunes are no MODs or so; that you won't find too many dual-stick-joypads attached to a classic Amiga; etc., etc.
Speaking of Classic: with the Vampire turbo card a fresh breeze blows through the Amiga scene once again. What do you think of that development?
A master piece! The Natami project caught my attention back in 2010 and was the initial reason for my return to the Amiga. And now the Vampire delivers what this project had been promised back then. In my opinion there's no alternative to the Vampire, especially because it's not just the turbo but quite some additional features for a real killer price. I believe that there'll rise a nice game/demo scene around this thing.
As a game developer, apart from testing your own software, do you actually play games yourself? If you do: what are playing at the moment (all systems)?
When I play, which doesn't happen very often, then it's almost exclusively one of those typical Japanese "Danmaku" classic arcade shoot'em ups on the Xbox360. You'll also find traces of that preference of mine in "Wings Remastered" where I allowed myself some artistic freedom inside the bombing-missions - there you'll be confronted with a real bullet hell, a sheer delight Apart from that I sometimes like to play a round "Space Hulk" (for a W40k fan there's no way around that) and about 2x per year I meet up with some old friends for a decent "Atomic Bomberman" session.
Please name your favorite Amiga games!
SWIV, Battle Squadron, Alien Breed 1, Turrican 2, Lotus 2/3, Chaos Engine 1.