Interviews



Interview with Valsary

Published in Domination #13
Performed by Jazzcat


Needing no introduction to most, Valsary is one of the best graphicians in today's scene. His efforts can be seen in countless demos by Lepsi De, Samar, Arise and more recently in Elysium.

This interview was conducted over the internet between Valsary and Jazzcat in late August, 1999.


J)
Welcome to the Domination magazine! Being part of the production team in previous issues, please introduce yourself to the readers on a more personal level, such as your name, age, where you live and what your jobs are on the wonderful C-64Ö

V)
Hi all people out there!!! My real name is Pawel Petkowicz, I'm 21 years old and I come from Poland. I'm still studying, working (or worked if you wish, but I hope to get any job when the summer will enJ) and generally trying to make my life happy :) I live in a rather small city called Bolkow which is quite ok I think it's also pretty nice to know almost everybody in place where you used to live. My jobs on beloved machine are painting, painting and once again painting, and finally coding but usually only when there is a must for this.


J)
Could you tell us a bit about your C-64 history. When did you start in the scene? What groups have you been in? What are the main events and highlights of your scene career?

V)
Oh well, it all started somewhere around 1991 when I bought my first c64, which was quite popular back then in Poland, of course I was doing nothing but playing games at that time, however I still remember those all crazy meetings at my place after every school day and they ware usually cool (but it sometimes made my parents mad :). A little bit later one of my friends showed me Deluxe Paint on Amiga500 and it really amazed me, so I tried to find something similar on c64 and so I did. Finally a couple of weeks later I had everything what I needed to start painting - Art Studio and AMICA Paint...I produced a lot of crap back then but after some months (half of '92 if my memory serves me right) my pictures were good enough to save them on...tape :), yes, I had only datassette and if you know how saving pics on datassette looks in Art Studio then you know it's worst than a bloody horror. Since then I started to paint at least once for a month but I still didn't know too much about the thing called scene, I was only wondering who stands behind all those intros in front of every game. It all changed in 1993 when I met new freaks with c64s in new school, but we were just doing nothing, or at least nothing what you couldn't call -lame-, so after another year I was really sick of everything I did before, then I renamed into Valsary and joined the scene 'for real' (September'94, more or less) and this moment I take as my real scene entering as everything I did before this date is simply not worth of mentioning (maybe only a few pictures are worth to show someday). Everything what happened next is nothing special I think, at least nothing very original...During all those years Iíve been a member of several groups, so in '94 I joined Dragon Software and we seriously planned producing games on c64 but it all failed, in '95 I joined Black Picture, founded Qpha Dezign with my old fellow Killof (now in Kreciki) but the group turned into fake label after some months and AFAIK it exist somewhere till know I suppose. Finally in late '95 I joined Lepsi and some weeks later, after Tarnow'95 Demo-Party (my picture for the very first time got 3rd place in graphics compo) I joined Samar and as double member of Samar/Lepsi I spend over thee years and these were just great years (mainly '96 '97) because I still had a lot of spare time and, I think, my skills were good enough at that time to let me paint everything I wanted to. In 1998 I got seriously bored with c64 and I also had more important things to do in so called 'real life'. But this year brought another feedback, so I decided to change everything once again and I joined Elysium...What will be next ? Who knows ! Thatís all in very few words, and I don't wanna bore you with more detailed story ;)



J)
What are your hobbies outside the scene and how would you describe the average day of your life?

V)
Well, rest of my time I usually spend on hanging around with friends and generally doing nothing what is important :), I also love bikes but since I damaged my own one I had to stop this hobby for a while...but only for a while I hope. My average day...I enjoying my four months long vacations right in the moment, so it's a bit hard to describe average day as I never know what another day might bring, but in normal part of year it looks rather boring...work, school, work, school and so on, and on, and on. Not that I have no time for other things but it everything is sometimes so monotonous, only weekends bring some fresh air.



Valsary's all-time favourites

Demo group: Black Mail, Crest, Origo, Horizon, Taboo
Demo: Dutch Breeze/BML, Elysion/Origo
Programmer: Asp, Crossbow, Graham, HCL
Musician: Drax, Metal, GRG, Kristian Rostoen
Graphician: Hein, Electric, Fazee
Game: Moon Fall ...and to be as objective as possible you should notice that I didn't mention Elysium members :)
And what is your favourite of:
Food: Italian is ok - spaghetti, pizza, etc.
Drink: Coke, Beer and water ;)
Movie: 12 Monkeys, all Monty Python movies.
Music group: From rock, hard rock, metal stuff: Sepultura, Korn, Red Hot Chili Peepers More technical, dance stuff: The Prodigy




J)
Have you ever been involved in commercial productions such as utilities or games? Please describe some of them to the readers..

V)
Yep, Iíve been involved in several commercial productions, games mainly.
The first was Pilot426, a strategy produced by Dragon Software in 1994, but as I wrote some lines above - never finished...second was a small Arkanoid styled game produced by Lepsi De, but while we were working on it Zielok got lazy and the project simply failed. Finally, now Iím involved in game you should know probably better than I do, Dave :) It's a martial arts/fighting game called Godflesh produced by First Blood Entertainment...We already work on it for more or less two years, but I really hope we will finally manage to finish it.


J)
Whatís your view on the internet and how it has affected the way computer scenes and people communicate and produce?

V)
First of all internet makes our existing in this funny world easier, we all know this, for example Illmatic/Elysium is the very first demo Iíve been working on it 100% via internet (via email, to make it clear, only final works I had to send via snail mail to Brush) and compared to the old days producing such things like demos this way is simply brilliant, when you can speak up about everything with your group mates anytime you want and don't need anymore to wait long weeks for a mail-pack. Unfortunately there are also wrong aspects of internet, it killed the true scene feeling, mail trading, long notes, stamp cheating ;)...I still keep some snail-mail contacts and great that there still are people like Walker/F4CG who keep mail trading alive.


J)
Your handle, where do you get it from or what does it have a special meaning?

V)
It doesn't have any special meaning, I do get it from an old Polish s-f comics "Gladiators" painted by my masta Greg Rosinski in 1988...nowadays I think it's kinda stupid but there is no sense to change it anyway, so I will stay Valsary till end.



J)
I am sure a lot of people would like to know the answer to this one, why did you leave Samar?

V)
Boredom was the main reason for leaving, besides, most of old Samar members I knew over all these years got lazy, very lazy due to the very different reasons, this happened also with me quite a time ago, I simply lost the motivation and interest. I've decided to change this so I joined the new group, met new people and after all I think it was very good move for me as I am still active.



J)
Lately there has been an argument between Brush/Elysium and Deekay/Crest, the argument originated from the topic of graphics. What is your opinion on this?

V)
There has been argument not only between Brush, and also me as I had little email exchange with Deekay. Everything started with Deekay's Particle Worlds in Newspress #20. The point is, that Deekay seems to be very suspicious and no matter what proofs he has, he calls everybody who is unknown for him a wirer (or at least just insinuates it). Well, he probably feels like a sheriff in SceneTown who can judge everyone, every time and everywhere and this behaviour is wrong in my eyes. The whole thing is even stranger because he reproaches that this or that picture is wired, while he wires outlines for his own pictures.


J)
Ever had any problems with a scener? Any disliking or arguments?

V)
As far as I can remember I only had problems with Baldhead/AFL/Kreciki but it was years ago and all case is long forgotten now, even when we speak about it from time to time it makes at least smiles on our faces.



J)
What is your opinion on the voting at C64 parties?

V)
Some people seem too unhappy with some of the results, for example, the North Party 4. If voters don't cheat then usually everything is ok, however the truth is that very often releases (demos, pictures, tunes...whatever) which look great on big screen are in fact notsokool when you watch them in home on your own computer...for example tunes, people vote for crappy techno stuff and after the party-rush when everybody can listen all tunes in home, come to the conclusion that not the winner but someone else was better. I think North Party 4 results were quite fair, maybe some tunes should take higher places, but generally ok for me.


J)
What graphics skill do you think you have improved the most on over the years? (Or are you just a natural)

V)
Maybe it is not a graphic skill, but over the years I have really learned how to be patient and how don't give up when something goes wrong...no kidding, painting on c64 is really hard and sometimes thoughts like 'argh...you're wasting your time so better put that shit called 64 away' cross up my mind but I think I know how fight with such thoughts, I know when I finish the thing it will pay me a lot of satisfy.


J)
Any hints and tips for the learning C64 graphician out there?

V)
Paint a lot, if something looks not as you wanted to, then try once again and again till the result will satisfy you, just don't give up. Analyse other graphicianís pictures (Not necessarily c64 graphicians, but also real ones). You only have to practise to learn all graphical tricks which make your sixty-four pictures looking cool, that's all. And of course don't forget that it's all about fun, so if you are bored then do a little break before you will get sick of painting.


J)
Demos and their design. What are your thoughts on how a demo should be made in order for them to achieve a quality status?

V)
Good contact between all people involved in demo making is a base before you start doing anything, later a concept which should be clear for all (usually only leading coder has an own concept and when he link everything into one, concept is somehow misseJ) and finally equal proportions between code, graphic and music (designed in way to fit with chose concept) which should impress not only coders, or graphicians but all of them. When you reach all these elements it's very possible to achieve a quality status, but this is my point of view of course.


J)
What does the future hold for Elysium and you as a graphician? Any new ideas that may be realized?

V)
I was really glad when Brush told me that Illmatic won't be out last release on c64 so I hope we will smash the scene with more than one demo. Personally I work as a guest graphician on a demo which is still kept in secret (or maybe not anymore, dunno) so better watch out...one day you may open your cupboard and see my graphics there ;)


J)
How would you describe the differences between scene personalities in the DEMO scene and CRACKING scene?

V)
Hmm, hard one...To be honest I have never had connections with the cracking scene (only some contacts with several swappers) and only what I know about cracking scene comes from magazines, or rumours heard from different people (however I respect all cracking scene mainly for their traditions). Anyway, in few words: Demo scene personality - creating, innovating. Cracking scene personality - hunting (for orries :), always loyal to own group- mates. And sorry if this what I wrote is nothing but bullshit ;)


J)
Here is some room for you to say hello to any of your friends and acquaintances..

V)
So a big hello goes to all Elysium, Samar and Lepsi members, all guys from Polish C64 mailing list, to all people I have an email contact with, and finally all people I used to swap with or met on copy-parties...no list here, they should know who they are.


J)
Well thanks for your time and I hope you've enjoyed this interview. Any last comments to leave a final impression on the audience?

V)
Well, somebody said me lately that I should get myself 'out of the dark' and I hope after this small interview VALSARY won't be only a combination of letters as it probably seemed to be for some jerks out there. People, you say that this scene is dying, so better put that lame PCs away and make something on C64 instead, we do not need another c64 related www-homepage...we want another c64 demo, magazine or whatever !!! That's what I think. And it seems to be all...thanks David for this nice interview.

Signed...

Valsary/Elysium

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