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Interview of Glames, 2012-08-08

Glames, founder of Boing Attitude, answers questions from the magazine Bitplane ...

The interview was conducted by Gianluca Girelli in July 2011 for the issue #25 of the Italian magazine called Bitplane published in June 2012. Please note that you'll find also a review of the game Word Me Up XXL. As nearly a year has passed, the answers were sometimes updated. These changes appear in italics purple.

Gianluca Girelli : Who are you?

Glames: My name is Jérôme Senay and my pseudo is Glames. I'm 38 years old and I live in a nice city called Nantes, near Atlantic Ocean in France. I work in Computer Science area since sixteen years. I'm an Amigan since 1987. My first computer was an Amiga 500, then an Amiga 1200. These days, I've got an Amiga One G4 and a "The Red One" (Sam440ep-Flex) from Relec. I like very much the latter because it's a low energy comsuption and quiet unit. I've installed AmigaOS 4.1 update 4 on both. I've also got a Mac Mini PPC with MorphOS 3.1

Gianluca Girelli : What do you do for a living?

Glames: I've founded a company called "Boing Attitude" almost five years ago (January 2008). I've done it for the release of my first game on Amiga computers, Word Me Up XXL. At the beginning, I was still employed by a firm at the same time: it was my day job. Even if I was happy to have created my own firm, those times were difficult and frustrating because I had to work on my Amiga projects only on my free time. But things are now better: since mid-2010, I'm self-employed. I love it because I can be my own boss and work from home when possible. My occupation is divided in two parts: service provider as a project manager or analyst, and Amiga intended editor. The first one makes it possible to work on the second one, I mean in matter of money. My software sales are for now not enough to live. But, I can now devote more time to my own projects. It's great.

Gianluca Girelli : Why did you started producing commercial software (notably Word Me Up XXL)?

Glames: Well, I think it is foremost a youthful dream. Then, as an Amigan, I like very much the Amiga thing, I mean the computer and the community. I've thought about how I could help and the answer was quite simple: software edition. I could have done it for free but, in my humble opinion, I would have been less involved in it. Software creation is very time consuming... And you need money to keep on living: that's quite logical. Finally, I think there's also maybe a need of recognition. Good feedbacks from users that have bought your products are always very pleasant :) and raise your motivation to go on.

Gianluca Girelli : How did you come up with this idea, how long did it take to develop/release?

Glames: The idea has come suddenly: I was watching a soccer broadcast on TV (yes, it's true :) when I've thought about a game in which you would have to catch some letters in right order to build a word. I've immediatly taken a pen and have began to write and draw everything that was coming to my mind about this idea... Even if I still don't know what is the connection between soccer and word building ;). I don't remember exactly how long it has taken to create Word Me Up XXL on AmigaOS 4 but I would say almost four years (please remember that I was working only on my freetime at that moment). After the initial release, I've again worked on it (around eighteen months) and released several updates. The lastest is the 1.53 that has been released on AmigaOS 4 and MorphOS systems in early 2012.

Gianluca Girelli : Are you satisfied with the result?

Glames: Well, I'm perfectionist so I'd say "no" :). At least for the update 1.4 and previous ones, even if they've brought lots of enhancements in matter of graphical arts, musics, ... But now, I'm really satisfied with the lastest version (1.53) and users (all updates have been free of charge) have given me good feedback about it. The game is now available for AmigaOS 4, MorphOS... And Windows (XP, Vista, Seven). The Linux (x86) release is beta-tested right now and the Mac OS X (x86) version is a work in progress. Maybe there'll be an AROS release but I'm not sure about this one.

Gianluca Girelli : Do you have further/future projects?

Glames: Yes, I do. I have lots of projects in my to-do list but I think I'll need several lifes to finish all of them ;). I'm always a bit cautious when I speak about future projects. You know, things could change and the "when it's done" sentence is always a good answer. However, I could tell to Bitplane readers that we're working now on a quizz game, of course with the Boing Attitude touch :-). At first, it should be released on smartphones/tablets (Androïd, iOS) then on computers (AmigaOS 4, MorphOS, Windows, Linux, ...). There'll be also some others games and software. Stay tuned :)

Gianluca Girelli : What do you think about Amiga and about the community?

Glames: Well, things are now far better than a few years ago for both. Moreover, legal issues are now solved. Concerning the platform, AmigaOS 4 is still evolving and there are now numerous computers for it : micro Aone, Amiga One, Sam440, Sam440-Flex, Sam460, Pegasos 2... And now the AmigaOne X1000. A few years ago, new hardware was missing, it was a real problem. I would like to thank Hyperion, Acube Systems and AEON for their fantastic dedication! MorphOS is also better than ever and the team has decided to go the MAC market, so the hardware is not a problem any more. This operating system is very good: I know one of the developper, Fabien Coeurjoly and I can tell you he's a very good coder but also very friendly. He has even allowed to port Odyssey (web browser) to AmigaOS 4. AROS makes strides and there is now official hardware (Ares, Imica, ...). So, I'm quite confident for the future. I think than Amiga NG community is now growing faster.

Concerning the community, things are now better too. I think the "red/blue" war is now over and it's a good thing. Of course, there is still some rivalry between a few individuals. But I think that people are now more serene. War is bad but competition is good: it makes both operating systems better. Moreover, there are amigans, like me, who have both systems at home. So, it isn't AmigaOS 4 against MorphOS but AmigaOS 4 and MorphOS : you can use both :). Morevover, there are more and more developpers that make software for both. I do. All these facts and actions makes things easier for everyone. AROS was not involved in this war but I think it has contributed to end of it by giving another possible choice.

Gianluca Girelli : How do you judge the actual scenario (X1000, Natami, Sam460 etc)?

Glames:As a developper, things look good. I mean, Sam460 and X1000 may bring new users to AmigaOS 4 market. It's a tiny one so any new user is welcomed. AmigaOS 4 represents 87% of our Amiga sales (and MorphOS 13%). So it's really important for us that this market grows. Moreover, both computers are powerful and it could be interesting to use this power in new software. The X1000 brings also Xena, that is very promising. But I have to admit that I don't have any plan for now to use these features in my future projects. But I'm sure it could be very interesting for a professional usage: drawing, 3D scenes building, robotic, home automation... I don't know Natami very much but if I understand well, it could be the real successor of the 1200/4000, I mean in hardware respect. That sounds very promising. I hope that it'll be finished soon. I like the Minimig project too. As a conclusion, I'd say that Amiga is not dead, quite the contrary. Next years should be the ones of a true revival.

I'd like to take the opportunity to thank WordMeUp XXL users and all people that help me to make this game real: Arnaud Schwetta (splash screen, characters design, ...), Anders Persson (musics), Raymond Zachariasse (a few tiles in game) and all the translators that are too numerous to give their name in Bitplane interview, so here are only people that have worked on Italian translations: Marzia Taramasco, Philippe Ferrucci, Stefano Guidetti, Samir Hawamdeh and Gianluca Girelli. A big "grazzie mille" to you.

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