Welcome Nircada Jörg! Tell our readers who you are and what do you do today!
Hi, my name is Jörg Winterstein and I live in south germany. I was born in 1980 and I am a true child of the 80s, with all its great video-games, comic books, movies, toys and cartoon series (one would say "nerd-stuff" nowadays...). I have been creating video-games myself for all of my life. Or better: since we got a C64 in the early 90s. It started out as a hobby. Later, I worked in different companies in germany that were producing video-games. Nowadays, I have my own little company called "winterworks", because I wanted to realize my very own visions.
When I saw the work he has done for Hurrican I was breathless! When you have decided to create a modern clone of Turrican? And why?
When I first played Turrican on the Commodore 64 as a kid in the 90s, I immediately fell in love with the game. It was and still is one of my favorite video-games of all time (The C64 version of Turrican 1 being the best of them all!). I was dreaming that one day I would create something similiar. I wanted to create the same feelings and emotions in other people like Manfred Trenz, the creator of Turrican, has created in me. It then took some time until I got my "skills" ready to start with the project. I wanted to create a game that resembles the classic turrican feeling but also has some ideas of its own. And so "Hurrican" was born.
How long did it take you to make it happen?
I worked on the project for a time-span of 5 years. But not all of the 5 years were full-time development. There were times when I did not work on the game for several weeks. Then again, I sometimes worked on the game late at night after my regular work, until 5 o'clock in the morning.
How many people were involved in the project?
There were mainly two people: Me and Thomas "Turri" Schreiter, who did all the graphics, enemy design and additional level design. I started out alone and posted about the game on our website. This is where Thomas got to know about the game and joined me. Two other people, T.R. Schmidt and Gerhard Weihrauch, contributed additional level-design. But 99% of the work was done by Thomas and me.
Puoi raccontarci qualche aneddoto accaduto durante la produzione di Hurrican?
One of the coolest things was that I got to know some of the creators of the original Turrican game in person. It was totally by coincidence and I did not even recognize them first! One day, I was entering the elevator to drive up to the 2nd floor where the company I worked for, "Spielkind", was located. Another guy entered the elevator with me, and he asked me to press the button for the 2nd floor. I asked him where he wanted to go, and he told me that he was going to "Spielkind" to discuss some projects. I asked him his name, and he said "I'm Ramiro Vaca, nice to meet you". I started to stutter and asked him if he was THE Ramiro Vaca who created the C64 soundtrack of Turrican 1. When he said "yes" I literally fell to my knees and thanked him for creating the wonderful Turrican 1 soundtrack.
You used some graphics engine or software specifically, or you have programming everything from scratch? If yes, what programming language you used?
The game was programmed in C++ and I used the DirectX library from microsoft for displaying graphics. I also used a library called "fmod" for playing sound and music. I created my own sort of "engine" for the game, along with a self-made level editor. I really learned a lot during the project, and I am very happy that I created all the stuff myself to get a better understanding how engines work.
Manfred Trenz has ever asked about your Hurrican? I saw that in the game you also have dedicated an altar!
I wrote an email to him to tell him about the game. He was very polite and told me he liked the game. Unfortunately, I never saw him in person.
Qual è stata la più grande difficoltà durante la produzione?
The only difficulty was to stay motivated during that long time. As I said, there were times where we did not work on the game at all. But everytime I started working on the game again, it was very fun. And working with Thomas was also very amusing. We kept motivating each other not to give up until the game was done.
Nel tuo Hurrican sono presenti delle nuove features rispetto alla serie di Turrican?
I would not say that there are really any new full features. Only small enhancements that made sense in my opinion. For example, when turning into the wheel and laying bombs, you can do some sort of bomb-jump like in metroid, when you roll over the bomb at the exact moment of its detonation. Then you can jump back up to transform into your normal state. This way, you can reach higher passages when combining the bomb-jump with a normal jump. We placed many secret passages in a way that you can access them with a bomb-jump only. So once you master this technique, you can really explore much more of the game.
You can also "charge" the lightning weapon and shoot a great energy ball into any direction.
Hai mai pensato ad un seguito di Hurrican?
I am thinking about this most of the time, for the last couple of years, believe me :)
2017 is Hurricans 10th birthday. I would love to announce a "spiritual successor" to hurrican this year. But first I'll have to finish some other projects.
The games were once work much the imagination of those who played them. Today, however, play a video game has become an immersive experience. In your opinion, the real video games, were those of our childhood? Perhaps this is the reason for the success of retrogaming?
Well, many people tend to say that games in the past, or "retro-games" were the better type of games. I always compare this with other people who say that the past was better in so many ways. I think it has to do with nostalgia. Of course I love the games of old, and they have influenced me and turned me into what I am today. And there ARE many many wonderful retro-games that I still love to play today. But there are also some terrible games from the past, that might be great in our memory, but when looking at them today, even with nostalgia-goggles on, one must admit that they are bad :)
On the other side, there are also great games that come out today. But you can surely say that games in the past were more diversive.
Bloo Kid is a wonderful example of platform with a graphic style reminiscent of Taito and Nintendo; it is important to have some stylistic references in your work?
The main reason is my lack of creativity, so I just steal from other games xD
Haha no. I have played so many games as a kid that I'm sometimes not even aware that my ideas come from an old game. I have been inspired by so much great stuff in the past that it just happens that nearly everything I do has some root in the work of others. But of course I totally adore Taitos graphical style, and I have played many of their games. So it is just natural that my work resembles this love.
Oggi vengono rilasciati ogni giorno nuovi giochi, tantissimi rispetto a ciò che accadeva trent'anni fa. È difficile farsi conoscere dalle persone oppure no? Era meglio un tempo o adesso?
I always thought that it was more easy in the past, because as a kid I thought there are so many games, so there must be a hell lot of people creating them. But the longer I think about it, the more sceptical I become. Making games is a hard business, and it also was a hard business back then. We just did not realize it that much, because we were trading games on the school yard on copied disks, without even knowing that these are pirated copies and that people worked for months and years to create them. After reading books like "Masters of Doom" about iD-Software, or "Making of Prince of Persia" from Jordan Mechner I realized that it maybe was even harder to create games back then, because the sources of information were very limited. Today, you can google everything about gamedev, you can do marketing with social media and you can even use 3D-Engines that can create games like "Ori and the blind Forest". This did not exist back in the days.
Se tu potessi tornare indietro nel tempo, negli anni '80 e '90, quale gioco avresti voluto creare?
Normally, my answer would be "Turrican". Because it is my all time favorite game. But then again, I think playing Turrican without having created it was also a great experience that I dont want to miss.
Attualmente stai lavorando su nuovi giochi?
I am currently doint a Bloo Kid 1 "remake" that will come to 3DS and some other platforms. After that is done, I will start with what I call the spiritual successor of Hurrican :)
(Unfortunately, I will work alone on the game for the moment... xD)
(This is an application for a work in progress of the site ...) What is your TOP 13 of the most beautiful games? (The list of the 13 games you should also tell me what computer / console..per example Amiga, PC nintendo etc ..)
Soltanto 13???? Potrei fare una lista di centinaia di giochi qui!
While they might not be the most beautiful games, these games I list here all have a special place in my heart for many different reasons. Because I played them with friends, I played them with my two brothers when we were little kids, or I played them alone and got overloaded with emotions because of the music, the story, or the overall atmosphere of the games. They are part of my past and also a part of me.
Californa Games, C64
Midnight Resistance, C64
Final Fantasy Adventure, GameBoy
Mega Man Series, NES
The Legend of Zelda, NES
Mortal Kombat, SNES
Street Fighter II, SNES
Eye of the Beholder, PC
Doom 1+2, PC
Contra: Hardcorps, MegaDrive
Castlevania: Bloodlines, MegaDrive
The Last Ninja Series, C64
and of course, Turrican 1, C64
Thanks a lot, Jörg!!!! sorry for my bad english!!!
You are welcome! Thanks for taking the time to make the interview! I wish you all the best :)