Interviews



Interview with HCL

Published in Domination #12
Performed by Jazzcat


The comeback of a scene veteran on C64 is certainly a positive one, this programmer holds no exception. Providing some great demos in the past he is also releasing some great wares in the present day.



J)
Welcome to the Domination magazine. As normal, I will ask you to introduce yourself to the readers. Such as who you are and what are your real life activities.

H)
Real life?!? What do you mean? David Malborg, 24 years old, from Sweden (male). I'm still studying and I hope to get my exam the next year, Master of science. So this is my last year of studying and I'm spending it here in Germany at the RWTH-Aachen as an Erasmus-student. So that's what I'm officially doing, hehe.. but what am I really doing then?!? Well, I try to do things that make me happy (that's why I am still coding on C64 c, I enjoy this year in another country, but I'd also like to go somewhere further away on this planet (or some other). Keep on dreaming and being confused about what life is all about.


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

H)
It all started somewhere around 1988, my neighbour (Garvin) at that time forced me to make my first logos for a small demo he was coding on (EXOD by Magicans). I was using Ultra font editor and a bitmap-prg called Vidcom64 (still the best!!) and I only had a tape station!! Later I also joined that group, Magicans, (yes, it's wrongly spelleJ) and started to do music also. The only things we released was a crack of that Vidcom64 (with a really nice intro!!) and the EXOD-demo (might have been two EXOD-demos). I made lots of graphix at that time, and I still use some of my old charsets sometimes. Later we found some other active dudes and formed a new group: TRONE DESIGN... hmm... that was just a short time, can't really remember if we did anything under that label. Then it happened!!! I went to my first copy party!! The HORIZON-party 1990, where we met the ANTIC-crew (they were like gods). Accidentally there was a tune missing for the INTRO of their demo (UP THE LIMITS), so they got one of mine!! As they didn't want anything from non-group members, we had to join them (we were more than happy!!). Ok, shortly after the party we were kicked out, however some of the ANTIC members didn't agree with that. 3 dudes + us 2 left at the same time an formed... (the ground is shaking...) BOOZE DESIGN!!!

The crew:
Trash - code
Vodka - gfx
Trident - code, music
Garvin - code
HCL - gfx, music
Vital - ruler!! (He never really joined, but he always boozed with us!)
Dr.Smirnoff - boozer

Booze Design was a really funny group, because we had the motto 'having fun'. Of course we were boozing a lot together, and we made funny drunk demos (well funny for us at least). At the time we started BD, I also started to code a little with lots of help from Garvin (remember that first 1*1 scroller pal!?! I still have it somewhere). Slowly all the dudes got lazy and I was the only one who had ambitions to be serious hehe.. Unexpected from anyone, we (I and Vodka) went to TCC'93 and got the second place with Totally Stoned 2. That was the first demo compo for us, and it was really fun! After that success, we both joined Light, to do some serious demos... Light was fucked up at that time, so we joined Fairlight instead. Then I started at the University and met some dudes from Censor. I joined them, Vodka stayed in Fairlight. It was all a mess at this time, I made one part for SPASMOLYTIC, but I lost interest and Booze Design was dead, So being in 'better' groups wasn't that fun after all. After some time all the old Boozers came together again, and we made a new Booze-demo!!! Back to the roots really. And here we are... All inactive, but me! Booze Design is my home!!



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

H)
Music, last year I spent as a full time musician. I have been into music my whole life. Played the piano about 13 years, but nowadays mostly E-bass. Sports, I like playing basketball, and to keep myself somewhat fit. Nature! There is nothing like forgetting everything about work, studies and computers, and go out to feel the phenomena of the earth. Should do it more often. Average day...? Oh, I hate that. It's average days I want to forget! But actually, I feel a little like I don't have an average day really. I go to school, but not that very much. I code a little almost every day, and I have time to do what I want. Should try to keep it this way...


J)
I know that you may be working on a new demo and that it may be released quite soon. What projects are you working on and what is the future of BD?

H)
The demo takes much time, and I will not save any parts for later coming demos. One project at a time is enough (Ed: yeah tell me about that!) I have one more demo-idea though, secret of course... Hard to tell anything about the future, as long as I get new ideas for the c64, I'd probably make some more demo(s). I think that I must start something new also though on some other kind of computer...



J)
What are the other BD members up to, and will Vodka rejoin the group now Fairlight are inactive?

H)
Don't know, they are mostly into PC groups nowadays. I don't expect anything from them on the C64. Vodka still does some gfx I think, but it was a long time since I heard from him. Booze Design demos will probably be coded by me in the future, with graphical and musical support from people outside Booze Design. I can't really imagine that anyone would like to join BD, so I can choose the best people out there!! :)


J)
I am sure Vodka is reading this interview at the moment, somewhere out there. What words would you say to any learning programmers out there?

H)
Do what you feel like, and not what you think that others expect from you. If you think that a demo must look in some special way to be cool, or to win a compo, you're wrong (well, maybe right for winning a compo.. when PC lamers vote..) I also need to look at other's demos that has given me inspiration many times. But use that inspiration to do something of your own, your own style... Totally new ideas are hard to find, but of course that's what we're always longing for. Learn to code without Turbo Assembler! I guess I'm almost the last coder who still makes his demos in the monitor. People only coding in Tasm don't seem to be able to link a demo properly. The result is often dead parts with no flexibility, and a total lack of 'flow' through the parts... Of course I also use Tasm sometimes, but I hardly ever make whole parts in it.


J)
What programmers do you respect and why?

H)
Uuhh.. many of those coders are no longer active (or is it just that I've become the best my self). No, I respect coders who really work a lot with their demos, who really put their soul into it. A hint.. "this demo was made in 5 hours during the party, and we were all drunk...", a 7 minutes trackmo?!?! That is "lameness"!! If the makers of a demo are not proud enough to tell that they have wasted a whole lot of time on it, it's probably not worth watching. I will probably have been working on my demo at least a year when I release it, and that is really fast!!! (Ed: I can appreciate that, Album of the Year took around 14 months) Ok respect to: Graham, Crossbow, others still have to impress me more ~ Oh, also to that PLUSH coder behind us at MS2k-1, take your time!!! One day you'll be able to do your own demo without copying Graham's ideas (forgot his name... too baJ). Also respect to old coders like Flamingo/Light, Yabba/Light, Zodiac/Flash Inc., King Fisher/Triad, most Horizon coders... hmm... all of them are from Sweden! Funny?



J)
You have been involved in many productions. What demo routine do you consider your best and is there any particular routine you like to see in a demo?

H)
Okay, not a word about what's coming in the next demo. One routine I made uhh... about 7 years ago, is still a favourite of mine (part #5 in "1 year totally stoned"). It's an FPP-logo over an AFLI-screen. They are both swinging sideways, but towards each other. I haven't seen anything like that, except for that one... The ESCOS-mover from "Totally Stoned 2" is also a nice one (Vodka's idea!), and the last part in "SOUL". I like parts that make me really amazed! Like if I just can't believe that it's possible! (on c64..). The last time I got that amazed was when I downloaded KRESTYRON and watched Graham's plasma. Also a little when I saw his pic-zoomer in ComaJob, but then I had my part in SOUL to show him - Making complex vectors, and 4*4 stuff mostly doesn't amaze me at all, unless it's done very smoothly and looks nice. I don't care if the objects are phongshaded blobs or what ever, if they are updated every 10th frame on a shaky 8*4 screen it suxx and it always will. There ARE ways to use 8*8 and 4*4 and still keep it nice, I hope to be able to show you what I mean soon...


J)
What do you think is important for demos on a C64.. their design? their technical achievements? should a demo be based on a theme? How should a demo be to get the best results...

H)
Watch the screen, it tells everything. Even a simple demo can look very nice. Why do some people use double buffering? Because it avoids showing false screens, that's a good reason. The whole screen must be totally under control, today's demos often have small bugs everywhere. It can be a hell of a job to get rid of them, but that's a part of demo making. Music is also very important, it should fit well to the demo, but still not be made only for the demo. Just strange noises with drums that match something on the screen is not always enough... But making music that fits well is very hard, especially when the coder and the musician is not the same person. Making ugly effects is a crime totally committed by the coder. Ok, still people will go on making ugly demos, and those might also find my demos ugly, I don't know... Making demos based on a theme can be very funny, I tried that a little on the small 'Happy Birthday' demo at MS2k-1. Not a great demo, but phun to code. The starfield was added just because I think it works fine with the music, the code is very simple...




HCL/Booze Design's all time favourites:

Demo group: Horizon, Oneway, Crest, Oxyron (after Comalight!), Camelot...
Demo: Tales Of Mystery/Spirit, Elysium/Origo Dreamline.
Programmer: Kjer/HZ, Crossbow, Graham.. many already mentioned...
Musician: Swallow/Censor, GRG/Shape/Onslaught/BM (already!), Jeroen Tel, JCH, Drax...
Graphician: DeeKay, Valsary...
Game: Impossible Mission!!, Ghosts 'n' Goblins!! Krakout (for the music!!)
Webpage: Hate all of them :)
Food: hmm.. Chinese maybe..
Drink: Tea! (green)
Movie: Starwars!! (I'm dying to see the new ones)
Music group: Meshuggah, Pantera, Depech Mode, Kraftwerk, U2, Sting, everything that is great!




J)
What are your goals in life? is there anything you wish to achieve?

H)
This world is sick. But there is still ways to live happily here (except from coding). I'm grateful for every day I don't care about money, duties, commercials etc... Over all my goal is to keep on being free, and in the moment also to find someone who wants to spend her (!) life with me. erhm. Will any girls read this mag?!? probably not. There are no titles I want to achieve, I don't know anymore what to do with my exams, why?


J)
Have you ever been involved in commercial productions such as utilities or games? If so, please describe some of them to the audience..

H)
No, nothing like that. I worked on a program last summer for a Swedish car company (SAAB), but that's quite different.


J)
Do you have any other computer related activities on any other platform (PC, PSX, Amiga)?

H)
No, sadly not. I've tried to code A500 some years ago, and that was quite fun. On PC I have also made some small things, but I have no control... Dos, 64k-limit, PMode, Windo$e... it's just too much... Actually I am really inspired to make demos on another platform, even I have to admit that things have happened since the C64 was invented. The abilities of today's computers are quite different, I'd like to try that also. Someone helps me!?


J)
What's your view on the internet and how it has effected the way computer scenes and people communicate and produce?

H)
This is great! I can get people to work together with me on my demo, without ever really meeting them. It helps all of us to get contacts, and to keep them. Of course a personal meeting can be done over the internet. I'm mostly interested in talking to other people, e-mail and so on, surfing sites is not really my business.



J)
Your handle, does it hold a special meaning?

H)
Hmm... It comes from the Asterix-album #6, there was a spy called HCL. Don't ask me why...


J)
Please feel free to send any greetings to anyone you know...

H)
Oldies: All BD’ers!! (list earlier), Jayce, Zorgon of course!
Later: KingFisher, Swallow, Bob, Goblin, Unifier, Morpheus, Depeh, Creeper, Jordan, Buzzer, Zyron, Moppe, Skyflash, many more (all Swedish guys...)
New: FCT, Danzig, Graham, Deekay, Pioter+Xenon crew. Frank, Age, GRG... This is starting to get many! I always thought I was a loner.


J)
Thanks for your time David, any last words to leave a final impression on the scene?

H)
Where the F**K is my black bottle vodka, that was confiscated at MS2k-1 and I never got back!?! Next time I will NOT cooperate!! (but he probably didn't know that I was a Booze Designer :)

HCL/Booze Design.


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