Interview with hedning of Genesis Project

Published in Vandalism News #64
Performed by Magic

Vandalism News went one on one about the bright future of the Gubbdata party, new developments regarding the Propaganda diskmag engine and layout, new Genesis Project demos, the C64 diskmag scene, cracking new c64 games in 2015 and much much more.

V) Please introduce yourself.. Who are you and what are you doing in the c64 scene ?

H) I am hedning, a 36 year old teacher in literature and history, freelance writer and critic, father of two and main organiser of the well known cracking and demo group Genesis Project, founded back in 1986 on the C64, but nowadays also active on other platforms. I am the main organiser since about 2012, and also serves as the main original supplier.

V) I read you are the main organiser of the Gubbdata parties. What can you tell our readers about this party?

H) When I came back to the scene (2009) after many years I had only a few C64 contacts, and I wanted a local platform for friends that shared my interest in retro computers, and the C64 in particular. Therefore I invited some local scene friends from Triad and Fairlight to my workplace, which is a school in Lund, Sweden. From the beginning in 2010 we had two meetings every year, called Isterparty, Y (After the X party comes Y, right?) and Gubbhelg and so on, until we grew enough to get compos with remote entries. In 2013 I renamed the gathering to Gubbdata (Swedish for "Old men Data" or "Geezer Data") and got a great response from the scene. In 2014 family took all my time, but this year I was back in full effect, and Gubbdata 2015 was a complete success with 60+ visitors and smashing compos, mostly focusing on the C64. The party itself was free of charge and invite only, because I had it at my work place, and I do this to nurture the scene. The whole event was streamed online for the poor bastard that couldn't fit. I am thinking the party could grow, but the question is: will it really be the same thing then? I don't know. What I do know is that people really like Gubbdata, it seems. For more info about what Gubbdata is all about, you can read the Gubbdata manifesto in VN #56, or online:

V) You wrote earlier you are an original supplier. Are there many new Commodore 64 games coming out? What does it take to be an original C64 game supplier in 2015?

H) Yeah. It's not the 80ies anymore, so there are not 100 games coming out ever year, but still we have the first release scene alive and kicking on the C64. Quite amazing, eh? Well. There are some differences from back in the days: today the first release groups focus on two fronts: the good old first releases of new games, but also digging up, archiving, fixing and first releasing unknown old games. I like both these fronts. These days we are seeing a renaissance of C64 game development, and new games are made for free, but also sold through some of the commercial game houses still around. To be a original supplier of today takes a lot of time, and sometimes money (if you are collecting and buying rare and obscure originals). You also need good knowledge of what has been released before, and where to look and search for old originals. I have got a whole desk filled with special gear to back up originals: one special C64 to dump cartridges, an old PC to dump original tapes and a ZoomFloppy device for disk games. I also have different gear to test releases: a NTSC C64, and different C64 models, like the C64GS, the breadbox, SX64, C128 with different disk drives etc etc. To first release old games there is really no stress involved - but of course when it comes to new games, we have the RUSH. Grab, crack, release. Just like 20 years ago. You also need to be first on three specific BBS systems, still running on real HW through Telnet.

It's fun, stressful, and refreshing. Some might think it's pathetic to run for first releases on the C64 in 2015, but it's really nurturing the scene spirit, and it's fun. The scene always had a competitive side, and the whole demo scene originally comes from the crack intros.

V) Propaganda diskmag is being released by GP. What can you tell us about this diskmag and whats your role in it ?

H) The founder of Genesis Project, Antichrist, was also a pioneer of the whole diskmag thing back in 1989 with the C64 diskmag Sex'n'Crime. Propaganda was created back in 1992 and ran until 1998. After Genesis Project was rebooted by Sixx back in 2009, Sixx had the plan to also reboot the legendary diskmag Propaganda. Unfortunately we had too much cracking going so we never got to creating a new suit for Propaganda. In 2014 I and L.A.Style decided it was time to hit it, with or without a new layout. We got the editing rolling and used the old classic design by S.E.S. from 1992, and released the first issue for 16 years at the huge X party in Holland. The diskmag intro had a great GP logo slamming a monitor with VN displayed on it. A cocky but honest way to say that we want to change the Vandalism News dominance in the scene. My role is to be main editor and organiser. We have some great stuff coming, and a new design is on the way as well.

V) Talking about Vandalism News.. What do you think of this diskmag? And what do you think of the c64 diskmag scene in general?

H) Vandalism News is, and has been, very important for the whole scene. Keeping it together, and published The List of first releases even in the desert days after the year 2000. Even if I prefer the journalism in Nordic Scene review and Attitude, you can always trust the fact that VN is coming - it will hit your diskdrive about once, or twice, a year. The parts I have enjoyed the most is The List (even when Jazzcat used The List to slam GP in the head when we started to threaten Onslaught's dominance) and some of the interviews. The main problems are boring news - "news" that groups send in themselves - and too subjective reviews of cracks. Lately that problem is gone, due to no reviews at all - I actually liked it better when Jazzcat wrote more about every crack. Enough whining: Jazzcat worked hard to keep VN rolling year after year. That is heroic, indeed. The C64 diskmag scene is quite vital, We have more than three elite mags, and quite a few ordinary good hearted ones, but most of the diskmags suffer from too little feedback (charts etc.), and too long time between every issue. But you gotta love the will and devotion of the editors.

V) Why the cocky and honest way in the Propaganda#28 intro slamming a monitor with VN displayed on it? Is there some small war going on between Propaganda and Vandalism News?

H) War? No, no war. Just some teasing. It's good for the scene to be a little competitive again. It's tradition. There are not evil schemes going on behind the Propaganda curtains - just some really busy sceners. What I can say is that we are going to have a completely new layout, engine, design and gfx. Also both the news part and covering of the first releases will have a deeper drill than any other diskmag of today.

V) That's very great! When is the new issue planned? Can you tell our readers who is behind the gfx and engine ?

H) No more info about the new design and engine will be leaked right now, sorry. Next issue will be released after the summer, perhaps with the old design, perhaps with the new.

V) Okay back to Gubbdata. It was held not so long ago in 2015. How was it?

H) It was just what I had hoped for. A lot of more or less local C64 sceners, most swedes, gathered for some oldschool fun in a school building. A lot of old hardware, people talking, discussing releases, making music, coding etc. Some guys watched Terminator 2 on VHS, others scanned floppy disk sleeves. It was cozy and interesting with the right atmosphere. People were friendly, and had a lot of fun. We received tonnes of releases for the compos, and it was a great ride. We also had some new game releases at the party: Bruce Lee II and Trance Sector Ultimate, and a pimped version of the classic Ultima IV, enhanced by Genesis Project. I am very thankful for all support from the sceners involved making this year's Gubbdata the best to date. But more is coming!

V) What do you mean with more is coming?

H) We are planning Gubbdata 2016. I'll say no more. I'll hopefully get Triad on the train as well, and we'll see where we end up.

V) Triad on the train for Gubbdata? Will you guys try to organise a Datastorm replacement party in scope and scale?

H) Not to begin with. I actually don't know how much time I can give that, haha. As I told you I have Propaganda, and Genesis Project to organise, you know... Oh. And my family, hehe.

V) In my humble opinion that demo with the new Hubbard tune was a very Nice surprise. Was the tune really new? What the story behind this release?

H) Oh, that one. Yes. We were very proud to be able to release that one. We were contacted by Max Hall directly, who helped Rob Hubbard to get the tune to the C64. The tune is composed by Hubbard, and he sat with Max Hall when it was tracked. The whole thing was a part of the awesome From Bedrooms to Billions movie.

V) Bruce Lee II was a nice surprise. Donkey Kong Junior as well. What new games can we expect on the C64 you know of?

H) Yes, great games, and brilliant conversations, and GP were able to first release both of these gems, by the way. And there are a lot more new games coming: Knight 'n Grail 3, Sam's Journey, Magot and Hammer Down just to name a few.

V) When I think of Genesis Project, no big known demo springs to mind. What is the best demo by GP? And is a big nice new demo by GP something the scene can wait on?

H) We were and are mainly a cracking group, and since the reboot we focused on smaller demos and crack intros, but also standalone gfx and music. The most popular demos are probably Tiki Pahu!, Are we there yet?, and Holy Crap, if you can trust CSDb; the two latest share the same cartoony and humourous touch. We'll see what will come when it come to bigger demos, as we have very talented members, both code, music and graphics-wise. If you check out our music disks and invitations you can find some really neat stuff as well.

V) Propaganda 29 was just released. What are the highlights of this issue article, music and gfx wise?

H) Music and gfx is the same as the original design, article-wise I must say the Interview with Jonas HultÚn, the maker of Bruce Lee II for the C64 was an interesting thing to do. The List was the most fun part to make, though.

V) What is "The List"? And why was it the most fun part to make?

H) The List is the list of released first releases. Cracks are given points, and groups are fighting for the top position. It's hard to get a grip on the c64 cracking scene of 2015. ;) Don't worry.

V) Why is it hard to get a grip? Also who said I am worrying? :)

H) To crack games for the c64 in 2015 and fight for points... 40 year old men playing it's 1989. But: It revives us, the scene and it's a lot of fun. :) C64 will never die.

V) So what's next for hedning and for Genesis Project? What to expect in the very near future and on the long run ? Please say goodbye to our readers... Any wise words before we shut you down? ;)

H) I will keep on organising GP, Gubbdata and Propaganda, and try to nurture the C64 scene as much as I can. Genesis Project will keep on serving the hungry crowd with quality crack releases, and we will also try to make more demos, even on other platforms.

In the long run? World Domination comes to mind, but first things first: now I will grab a cup of coffee and watch Kung Fury, the new awesome low budget Swedish movie. Thanks and goodbye; make sure to get into the BBS scene of today, and never forget: C64 for life.