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Interview with Nick

Newts: For the benefit of our readers who might not recognise the name, perhaps you’d like to introduce yourself :)

Nick: Okay, my name’s Nick Cartwright. Im the guy from Nevil Software, currently working on a game called The Legend of Atlantis.

Thanks :) When and why did you decide to develop your own Shining fangame?

Gosh….. I think it’s just my love for RPGs.. It was so long ago when I made my first RPG that I cant remember what actually inspired me to do it! I guess Shining Force is the only RPG iv ever *really* played, so it’s no surprise I decided to make one with a similar style.

So you have a long history of making RPGs? What are some of your other titles?

It’s only ever been LOA =) Just lots of versions of it! My first attempt at LOA was when I was 12 or 13 using a version of Delphi I got off PC Format… I worked on this for a few years when I finally gave up as I encontering loads of problems. I then made a re-start in Turbo Pascal, also ending in failure. I think I had a go at making other versions in other languages in-between.

Is this why we saw LoA disappear for so long? Did you just encounter too many problems to continue?

I got a bit fed up of it all to be honest.. I remember one of the main problems was that I wrote really messy untidy code, so if I were to go away for a few days – id come back and not have a clue where I had got to. I also used to write the engine at the same time as making the music, maps and graphics. This lead to all kinds of problems as Id always be changing the core of the engine to fit the new maps I wanted to create.

Well, that all sounds like a lot of hassle… what made you decide to bring it back?

I really missed it =)

awww, how sweet :) Surely you didn’t miss the stress, though…

I dunno…. I feel really confident this time, Im finding there is much more reward than stress – probabably because I cant see any aspects of the game that I cant do with the tools and techniques I know now.

I guess in that regard you’re similar to Devlyn and Ty, who are both at University and finding their work there highly beneficial. Would you have been able to bring LoA into being without your education?

No – I was never going to try and re-program LOA on any of the languages I had learned before going to Uni.. Iv always had LOA on my mind while sitting in lectures, thinking ‘That would be a really good way to do that!’. Also learning JAVA has helped loads as its focusses on making neat modular code – which is easier to come back to!

What are your main aims and ambitions with Legends of Atlantis?

A personal aim is to finish it… Another is for people to play and enjoy it when it is finished! Similiar aims as most SF Fangame Programmers =)

Indeed :) Can you give us much information on the storyline?

Storyline…. Hmm… Iv been dreaming up loads od sub-plots, as I think it’s really great when you get engrossed in a sub-plot, forget about the main plot and then are brought swiftly back into the main plot again. As for the main story line – the whole Good vs Evil thing will definitly be there.. I’ve bought a book on Ancient Greek Mythology – so I hope to use a few of those stories. But as fot the main plot – I’ve not yet decided on anything.

Mythology eh? Sounds very interesting 8) With your project being around for such a long time, what changes have you noticed in the fangame scene? Do you think the games are better now, on the whole?

Oh definitly, the kind of community you have built here really makes us want to make a good game. It’s a good feeling to know there are people out there with similar interests who will actually play your game when you release a demo and give you constructive comments back. As iv only just been introduced to the community it’s been such a buzz downloading and playing on all the other SF Fangames. Some of them are so good I feel l need to work harder to keep up with the fast pace that has been set :)

Hard work is always encouraged at the Source, although Dev and Ty aren’t exactly Shining examples of motivation sometimes *apologises for bad Shining pun* I think that’s all the questions from me… we have some user submissions though :)

Oh Great :) Bring em on!

Right into the thick of it – Edgemaster wants to know when the first JAVA demo of Legends of Atlantis will be available.

Soon – I should have a few maps ready before Christmas :) This is mainly so that I can see if what Im doing actually works and is effecient on different computers. I’ll be releasing full source.. which has actually helped me as Iv forced myself to program neatly with commenting and other good programming practice (I hope)..

I’m sure Devlyn will be more than happy to comment, he knows his JAVA :) This question from Edgey [again] – the graphical style seems very reminiscent of Shining Wisdom on the Saturn. What were your major graphical and design influences?

Not being an artist, the GFX was always the hardest part for me – I have always been determined to draw my own though. Having never played Shining Wizdom, I cant say it was an influence. What I do think has influenced me is inspecting lots of other RPGs artwork, looking at what I think works and trying to draw it myself. Im a complete perfectionist – so as you can imagine this is a very lengthly process!

Being the lead artist on SO I know how hard it can be to design and draw character after character… how do you keep sane?

lol! I try not to draw more than one character per day, as I just run out of ideas!

One character a day? Damn, I need to start doing some serious work ;)

No – I dont mean I draw a character every day =) Just when I do sit down to draw, I’ll stop at 1 :)

Ahh, I see :) Well, I still need to do some serious work 8P As we’re almost out of time, ie your pizza’s due any minute, is there anything you’d like to say?

Yeah, Good luck to all other Fangamers out there and thanks to everyone at The Shiney Source for giving me such a warm welcome :)

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