Interviews



Interview with Jaws

Published in Vandalism News #38
Performed by Jazzcat


Some of you may remember those wonderful Dutch guys in BWB. Those who were responsible for Hawkeye, Flimbo's Quest (System 3), International Truck Racing (Codemasters) and more. They were also active demo producers who made the Dutch C64 scene alive with quality activity.

I managed to chat to one of the members of BWB the other day, his handle is JAWS and he is a graphician.



V)
Welcome to the magazine and back to the roots of the computing underground! Please introduce yourself to the readers.

J)
Hi, my name is Jacco van 't Riet, born in 1968, living in the Netherlands together with my girlfriend Mirjam for nearly 20 years now. We have 2 kids: Isis ('98) and Mels ('01). I work in marketing nowadays for a company called Esselte (Dutch division of a Swedish/English company in office supplies). My handle used to be JAWS of Boys Without Brains in da C64 times.


V)
I remember seeing your handle in the credits for the famous C64 game Hawkeye. As well as some of older demos such as the one called Madonna. How did it all start and what happened?

J)
I bought my C64 from hard-earned money as a paperboy in 1981-82. Since I was becoming an art-school student at that time, I started doing drawings in Koala Paint, I met a local cracker called The Intruder and he brought me in contact with Mario van Zeist (programmer of Hawkeye) and Laurens van de Donk (Flimbo's Quest) and until this day Mario, Laurens and I are still best friends.



V)
With your painting on C64, which tools did you prefer to use, or did you make your own custom tools to match the project you were working on?

J)
For normal drawings I used Koala Paint, for the games we always had our own editors made by Mario van Zeist.


V)
Is user-friendliness the main thing or is it the greater amount of options that make the better editor?

J)
Since Hawkeye was the first game with real parallax 2 layer scrolling, it needed a separate editor, and the whole game is of course character based and there were no other character editors that I knew of which were so good as Mario's.


V)
Out of every project on the C64 you were ever part of, which was the most challenging and which was your favourite?

J)
Demos: Madonna Demo, that sort of made me famous, my address (at the time) was in it and I hear that people who live there now are still now and then getting post...! ;)
Games: Hawkeye is my favourite project since that changed the course of my life dramatically, and I earned a bit of money at the time with it. Most importantly is that the programmer (Mario) is still my best friend. I mean we are talking already about 20 years now nearly.



V)
What artwork in real life gives you inspiration or ideas to make or help create graphics?

J)
Classic art from Van Gogh, Monet and Rembrandt are my favourites, but I also like modern photography such as Anton Corbijn for example.


V)
During the time that were working on the C64, who's work did you most admire?

J)
Bob Stevenson (BOB)


V)
Were there any games which you worked on which never saw the light of day?

J)
One game: Bamboo, this was supposed to be a game on the 64 for Thalamus. But it never saw the light of day. We only worked for 2 months on it so there was not that much anyway. Just a demo.


V)
What impressed you most about the C64 at the time and for what reasons?

J)
Such playable and good games and concepts in basically 64kb is (I think) still today a small miracle.


V)
Was the C64 just a step in your gaming life or was it a major inspiration?

J)
MAJOR inspiration. It too me on to the Amiga and from there on to the Apple Macintosh, with which I am still today earning my money.



V)
Do you still own a C64 today?

J)
I dumped it 2 months ago. It was broken, my disks are still sticking together and that’s it.



JAWS' favourites on the C64:

Graphician: Bob Stevenson
Programmer: Stavros Fasoulas
Musician: Ben Daglish, Rob Hubbard
Game: Exploding Fist, Delta, LOCO
Drink: Beer, Wine, Water
Movie: Heat
Music: Madness, Depeche Mode, The Doors.


V)
I know the interesting (and rude ;)) story behind your handle and how you came by it, but please tell the readers. ;)

J)
How do you know this?? :) Anyway, I used to play water polo on a quite high level and I had this joke which I would throw at players from the other team: I said to them "have you ever heard of Jaws without teeth?", "no..." and then I would show up my bare ass above the water. There was a guy in my team who stuttered like hell, and he was never able to say Jaa-aa-a--Cccc-c-ccc-o, so he called me 'Jaws', with which he had no problem to pronounce. So my handle became JAWS.


V)
You were involved in the cracking/demo scene as well as game production, what was your last production on C64?

J)
Some graphics on Flimbo's Quest C64.



V)
What are your current activities these days?

J)
I am a product manager at a company called 'Esselte' and I am responsible for a production group called DYMO amongst others.


V)
Do you know what people like Laurens van de Donk, Arthur van Jole, Mario van Zeist etc. are up to these days?

J)
Laurens and Mario own there own -successful- company (Euphoria-It), Arthur: I don't know, I think he is still doing 3D graphics.


V)
Please feel free to send any greetings...

J)
Honey/1001, BAF/Softrunner, Paul/Phill from Southpark Crescent London, Stavros, The Intruder, TMC, ABC, Marius/JCT, Pete Dabbs, Paul Cooper/Thalamus, Ian Stewart/Gremlin


V)
Thanks for your time! Any last words for the audience?

J)
"If you're stepping with cold feet on a warm kitchen floor in the morning, the downstairs neighbours must have had a fire!".

Jaws/BWB.

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