Dated: December 19th, 2001
Lars, Thank you for taking the time to do this interview!
are currently working on a new game (your first I might add)for the
called Star Alliance - Battle for Earth. First, how long have
been working on this project? Who are the others currently
working on this
game with you and their placement?
the moment I (Lars Hannig), Michael Hartmann and Christiaan Bogtman are
members of the
development team of Star Alliance - Battle for Earth.
The working title
of SA was "JDC Invader", I started the project on Tuesday,
the 31th Oct
of 2000. The basic idea was a simple space invaders clone, but after it
I wasn't statisfied with it and I decided to continue the development of
In December 2001
I first got in contact with Michael Hartmann, a very good comic artist
He was also the one who came up with the name: Star Alliance -
Battle for Earth.
He liked the idea of creating a 2D shooter for the Jaguar and decided to
help me with
object design, ideas and other stuff. About the same time I asked Christiaan
Bogtman from the Neatherlands if he wanted to help me with music and
sound fx, he
agreed. I am doing most of the graphics, design and the coding myself.
So the team consists
Programming, Graphics, Design, other stuff that needs to be done.
Object Design Sketches, Ideas, Suggestions
Sound FX, Music, additional graphics (like the status bar)
seems that space shooters have been very famous recently for the Atari
Zero 5, 4-Play's Battlesphere,Songbird's Protector, OMC's
title Dark Guardian, and the unfortunately cancelled title
Zero from Storm
Works Interactive) What inspired you guys to choose a space
any other type of game?
were quite a lot 3D space shooters, but sadly only few 2D space shooters.
2D shooter were
always some of my favorite console games. :-) I played some
of the best shooters
for Genesis, Super Nintendo, PSX and other systems,
I liked them
a lot. :-) Sadly the Jag had only few 2D shooters and they were not as
great as the
shooters I was used to. For example Crescent Galaxy is quite bad
in my opinion.
Raiden is still my favorite Jag shooter and Native would have been
it was never finished. I always said to myself, if you ever do a video
game, it will
either be an adventure game, or a 2D shooter.
I decided to
do a 2D shooter :-)
complete is the game as it stands? How many levels do you wish to have,
is it mission
based, what(if any) power ups are you expecting to add and are
there level enemies
or is it like Galaga in a respect of shooting for points
far most of the base routines are finished. There are already a few
the final level count will most likely depend on memory.
The game will
have a shop option, where you can buy powerups and other stuff.
You can also
collect powerups, like health, during the levels. There will be
and some static levels, like the one that is shown on some
of the screenshots.
There will be level enemys as well as different bosses.
I like the Shop idea! Adds a nice touch.
What do you hope
to do in Star Alliance that the gamer will not find
on the Atari Jaguar?
I hope to do a fun 2D shooter with some cool features, nice graphics and
some other features.
I don't know if it will be better than the other Jag shooters,
but we're doing
our best :-)
sure you'll do fine, indeed! You know what you want and you know what
your going for,
so I have no doubt in my mind!
the game be 1 and 2 player (Co Op) and/or (Deathmatch) like or just 1
will be a cooperative multiplayer mode for 2 Players, I think it will
be a lot like
the 2P mode in Raiden.
think that's what I enjoyed most about Raiden for the Jaguar, is the 2
This way a friend can join in or go solo just as well!
I liked that most about raiden as well. :-)
see your music score will be from Christiaan Bogtman. Will we see samples
music appear online in the near future for a "taste of what's to
the moment there are no plans to put a demo, music or a video online, but
when the game
is further in developemnt it could be possible that we offer things like
about a possible Demo download or Video footage of the game in action?
sorry. Not at the moment.
that your game will be released on cartridge, will it be 2MB or
We're trying to make it cd based. Cartridges are much to expensive.
The problem with
CD development is that even with Songbird's JagFree CD, the
Jag CD development
is a big problem.
has no CD dev kit (Jag development CD drive and Atari Falcon
with cd emulator
hardware) would have to burn a CD for each tiny change on
the game and
test it. I don't have a CD dev kit and as far as I know none of the
developers has one.
The only possibility
would be to use a Jag Emulator with JagCD support
is none with this feature so far.), or to program a BJL based game
and split it
into different sections. Each of the sections will be burned onto CD
and loaded seperately.
I thinkthis is the way we will do it.
not all that educated on the CD side, but you could use a CD-RW and
changes were made couldn't you?
I'm not banking
on the Jag Emulator (as I'd rather enjoy the real thing
myself) but if
it is BJL based, what would you say to the person who does
not own BattleSphere
(for JUGS) , a BJL Modified Jaguar and/or a Computer with CD-ROM? Which
also brings me back to the size of your game, being that it is on CD, will
it be larger
then 2-4MB considering
you may be splitting it up?
that is not possible. As far as I know the Jag doesn't accept CD-RW.
would be the time that it takes to burn a CD...
It would make
the development too slow. Imagine you change sjust one line of
code and you
have to wait 15 Minutes or more to burn it on CD. I'd rather play the
games on the
original system as well, but an emulator with CD support would be
a great help
for cd development.
I'm not saying
that that final game will be BJL based... The files will be burned onto
cd and a program will load the different program parts to Jaguar ram and
CD will be the
medium we are going for. :-)
the option appear for pro-controller use or does the standard Jaguar
care of all functions?
standard controller will be able to handle the game.
are you epxected to have Star Alliance complete, do you have a
or is it still in the air?
don't have a release date yet, but I think it will still take quite some
noticed it took you quite a while before you released any information
new game. Is that because you wanted to wait until
that was one reason. The main reason was that many "developers"
in the past and didn't finish the games.
Many people were
very dissapointed and a lot of people left the Jag scene
because of this.
The problem is that most jag fans think that a new game is fake.
It is hard to
show them that it is a serious project. I wanted to make sure that the
game is at least
in a playable demo state before I announce it.
I completely understand. There have been what, at least 4 projects
that haven't made it out for the Atari Jaguar?
Yes, that is what I meant. Many Jag fans loose faith in new Jag developments.
It's time to finish something.
I noticed that there is no title for your
group (such as OMC has theirs
and Storm Works
Interactive had theirs) do you plan on having a title for
that is right.
I use Jaguar
Development Club as my lable, Michael and Christiaan both have
their own lables/companys,
but you can look at the game as a
is the expected price for the game?
depends on the manufacturing cost, but we're trying to keep the price low.
Star Alliance is not completed before JagFest 2002, do you think we
will see a playable
demo available at JagFest2002? I have a flash cart if you
can't say that yet.
you have any plans set after Star Alliance? Do you think you will be
doing a 2nd Jaguar
game after you have successfully completed your first one?
I could imagine to do another Jag game. But it could also be possible
that I will do
a PC game as my next project. Who knows what will happen in the future
you considered programming for the Atari Lynx as well?
not really. The Jag project takes to much time to look into Lynx programming.
long have you been programming on the Atari Jaguar? I notice your
has TONS of programming information!
anyone willing to learn and programmers that need a place to go for
on the Jaguar!
to hear that you like it :-)
I never did much
programming before I started with the Jaguar. I wrote some
for the C-64 in basic, but not much more.
My interest in
Jaguar development started in the end of 1999. I founded the
JDC and downloaded
all the Jag infos that I could get. I started to modify little examples
in the beginning
of 2000 and I wrote my first little programs in the middle of
2000. In the
end of 2000 I started StarAlliance - Battle for Earth.
It was a real
challange and I learned TONS of stuff during the project.
I think it is
also time to erase the rumor that the Jag is such a hard
system to code
for. The Mc68000 really has one of the easiest assmebly languages
that I know.
You can learn it really fast and the rest can also be learned with some
effort. If you
are really interested in programming, have enough time and if you
really want it,
you can learn it.
I hope your become an excellent Jag programmer in the end! Well, I think
that's a wrap for now! Is there anything else you would like to add?
All I can think of has been said :-)
Lars... Thanks for taking the time for this interview! We all
will be looking
forward to your new game!
It was a lot of fun. :-)