Shining Aid » Interviews » Interview with Ty

Interview with Ty

Edgemaster: Before I begin the interrogation, please introduce yourself

Ty: OK then :) I am Ty, the lead programmer of Shining Online, and drinker of tea.

Nice 8) … What was your first inspiration for Shining Online?

Hmm, it’s a long story :P A (long) while back on the SF3HQ forums somebody was asking for help with a Shining Force fan game. Newts and I decided to help, but when we read his story we thought it wasn’t the project for us. We left and started formulating plans for our own game – hence Shining Online (which was originally Shining Force X)

So that’s how it all started! Told you it was a long story

And its come along way since : ) What was your reaction to the review given to SO Demo 2 by Emagascene?

Stranger than you’d think. I started programming on the Atari, and to see the first demo being reviewed made me feel all nostalgic! I thought the final score was possibly a little generous, though it may seem harsh to others. I think that sometimes you need to look at the bigger picture. I wasn’t too impressed by the demo, so why should anyone else be?

Indeed…this was based on a 2-year-old demo, which seems unfair as SO has come along way since. The response for demo 3 has been great, how pleased are you overall with the communities’ reaction to SO?

If you’re talking about TSS’s reaction to demo 3, then I’m very pleased! As for Shining Force fans in general though, I’m maybe a little disappointed. Having said that, I think the demo needs a lot of improvement, so it’s probably best it wasn’t too well known.

How much more of an impact do you think demo 4 will make? Do you think that those other Shining Force fans will finally sit up and take notice?

Hahaha! As Newts will tell you, I’m very modest about the work I do. I don’t like any sort of hype, as I don’t want to let people down.

BUT…I’m a firm believer that if you put your heart and soul into something that other people will see it, and it will give them a good impression. Newts and I are working very hard to make demo 4 something special, and I think it will be the big step we’ve been looking for.

Its good to see the confidence in you both :) I know I can’t ask you when demo 4 is released *grins* but can you tell me how complete it is percentage wise?

If I told you when it was being released I’d have to kill you. It’s roughly about 40% complete. It doesn’t sound much I’m afraid

I’m sure the wait will be worth it 8) How is the LAN version coming along?

Not too bad, but not as well as I would have liked. There are a few problems that I need to resolve regarding design before it can go much further. Hopefully once the LAN Version is finished adding full Internet support should be simple (I’m expecting those words to come back and haunt me!)

Hehe! Lets hope your right : ) To date, What are you most pleased with about SO?

Probably the fact that it hasn’t sent me mad! Seriously though, I like the look and feel the game has. I also like the buzz it has generated for certain people, and I’m glad it can make people happy

It does indeed! But what are you least pleased with about SO?

This will be a long reply :P

The early demos are quite crude, and to be honest I wish I hadn’t released them as they were written before I learnt a lot about programming. I think they may give people a tainted view of the final product, and that disappoints me. I’m also disappointed that saying I’m the lead programmer of SO hasn’t made me more attractive to women ;P

lol!! And the online features? Can you let us in on anything?

Discussing the online features is always difficult for me, as I want to tell people all about them! Of course, keeping the majority of them a surprise is also important. There will be the expected 2-player Vs mode, as well as a 2-player co-op mode.

It won’t only be those though – we have plans to support the game via the website. So, for example, you may be able to see who the top players are, as well as the richest and most dangerous. There’s plenty more features planned though, and as time goes on we’ll be revealing more

Sounds awesome! Obviously, the Shining style rules all 8) But did you ever consider a different or modified battle system for SO? Is it entirely true to the original SF games?

It’ll be online so I suppose that is a little different It is as true as I care to get it, though there are some subtle differences. I have no idea how the original AI decides who to attack etc, so I’m writing that from scratch. The new AI should hopefully be a challenge. We’re also adding weather effects, which should spice things up a little All in all though, you will feel the Shining Style in our battles

Sounds good : ) Newts is a big help to you with this project, do you think his work has allowed you to focus more and improve on the programming side of things? Do you miss the artwork or do you consider it a weight of your shoulders?

He certainly is : ) I miss some of the art, as I was getting quite good at drawing tiles (I did the Vagabond tiles in the new demo ) – However, I’m not very good at drawing anything else so it does make my job more pleasant

Is there anything else about SO that you would like to mention in this interview?

I think I’ve covered everything there : ) I would like to thank everyone for their support though – it really does help and it hasn’t gone unnoticed

Oh, and thanks to all the Atari fans for their positive response to the early demos

Now…onto TSS chat! 8) Devlyn was the founder of TSS, but with your help it has expanded even bigger, what do you think the future holds for TSS?

Big things :D I certainly want to add more articles to the site, to make it a definitive resource for Shining Style developers. There’s a lot of complex work involved in a Shining game, and I think some more general articles on that sort of thing would be of great use to the community

TSS seems to be booming at the moment after a seemingly quiet period…why do you think this is?

I think the fact that we’ve started updating a lot more regularly, and that there are more projects springing up all the time :) I think the return of LOA has also helped

Indeed…and with SSC and Shining Flash both changing systems, there seems to a bit of a buzz around at the moment. Do you think all the projects benefit from each other?

Definitely. I wouldn’t say that we’re in competition, but seeing another project being updated with something new can often give you a kick up the backside. I think the fact it’s such a friendly community helps too – we all want each other to succeed :)

As well as SO, you have a few other projects. Sonic Groove and Ye Olde Columns are both looking quite impressive! Have you got any others in the pipeline?

I do, yes :) I try to spread myself evenly over projects, but sometimes I need a break so I start something else. I have plans for 2 other games, as well as a re-written version of Shining Online for the Atari range of machines (due to popular demand).

Cool…that’s it from me, lets hand it over to the blahians. Firstly, a question from your own brother :P Newts asks: What do you think the Shining fangame scene will be like in a year’s time?

Hmm, hard to say. I certainly think there will be a lot more projects around, and maybe some will be finished by then! I think the future only holds good things for the Shining Fangame scene

And secondly, from the daddy of the Shining style himself; Devlyn asks if you planning to continue the 3D pc version of Shining Online someday?

I highly doubt it. My talent for 3D modelling is terrible, so I won’t be touching it again. Plus my laptop has no 3D card so I can’t play them anyway.

And finally, here are a few questions from Drkoolguy. Firstly he asks; do you focus more on shining online or your own life?

Seeing as demo 4 is still not out and I’m still single, I’d have to say I focus on them both equally

lol another one from Drkoolguy: are you pleased with the progression or do you feel its going a bit slow?

I think it’s going a bit slow to be honest. I’d love to get the whole thing finished and out of the way, and I could use a bit of time for other projects.

Drkoolguy again: what are your favourite games besides shining online?

Any of the Shining Force games :P

I like Sonic too, and I’m a big BIG fan of Shenmue.

Same here! Do you think any Smash project will one-day feature such realism?

If we had the money and resources, then maybe – I highly doubt it though

One more question from me ;) I noticed that you and Newts are big fans of the A-life system in NiGHTS and the Sonic Adventure series…do you think any such system could be implemented into SO? Or is that something you are planning only for Sonic Groove?

I love my alife :) To be honest though, I can’t really see how I could fit it in SO. It is definitely going to feature in Sonic Groove.

Cool :D Thanks for the interview! Its been interesting as well as mildly amusing 8P

It’s been a pleasure

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