Jurie Horneman - Thalion Jul 29, 2015 15:08:28 GMT
Post by The Laird on Jul 29, 2015 15:08:28 GMT
Firstly, What was your job at Thalion?
I was a programmer.
What games did you work on?
I worked on Amberstar, a role-playing game for the Atari ST, and Ambermoon, the sequel, for the Commodore Amiga.
What was so special about Thalion?
The company was founded by the best demo makers for the Atari ST - people who pulled off the impossible. Everyone was really talented, particularly the programmers. We wanted to make the best games we could, and we did. It was a small team with strong leadership by Erik Simon, so a lot of problems I’ve seen later in my career just didn’t occur. And the atmosphere was very friendly.
What are your best memories of your time there?
So many good memories - many of just hanging out with my friends and co-workers. And I learned a lot. It was my first job in the industry.
During my interview in January 1991, I looked over the shoulder of Michael Bittner and my jaw dropped as I saw a texture-mapped cube rotating smoothly in 3D on an Atari ST, which was supposed to be impossible.
At some point during the development of Amberstar I came to the painful realisation that I would have to use the operating system, which went against my instincts as a demo coder (“Step 1: Kill OS. Step 2: Do awesome things.”) But I realised it’d be too much work to manually code support for German keyboards, French keyboards, etc. So I grudgingly started using the operating system.
What did you do after leaving Thalion and what are you doing now?
Erik Simon, Thorsten Mutschall and I were the last developers left at the end of 1993, and it was obvious Thalion was done. Erik spoke to a few companies about new opportunities. In the end we felt the best match was with Blue Byte, so in the beginning of 1994 we joined them and developed Albion, another role-playing game.
Since then, I’ve moved to France (I’m originally from the Netherlands), then to Austria. I worked as a producer at JoWooD and Rockstar Games and later founded my own company, Mipumi Games. After 12 years there and getting married, I moved back to France. I’m currently living in Lyon working as an independent game designer.
This interview was conducted by Kieren Hawken and is not to be shared elsewhere without strict permission.