Hey everyone, I’m back with another interview. This one is a short one, but I was lucky enough to get an interview with Dirk Hassinger of Topware Interactive. So without futher ado, let’s begin.
First of all, what inspired you folks to start in the games industry?
– Well, I cannot speak for other people at TopWare Interactive, but I started to work with computers and create video games in 1976. At this time there was no games industry. I simply wanted to make applications, which users could play at the time they have been waiting for compilation, calculations, printing or other tasks. 1977 Commodore released the first “Personal Computer”, PET 2001 and I started to “port” the ideas from Arcade Machines to this device. With the appearance of the more affordable VIC 20 in 1981, it was possible to have acceptable graphics and sound. And it was the first time I was able to sell my computer games. Before no one did pay anything for a software which was “for fun only”. So, I would say that the games industry started in 1981, 5 years after I started with computer games.
I understand you’ve been mostly using WINE for your Linux ports, can you explain the decision behind this?
– We use Wine, if no source code is available, or if the source code is too old to compile it on actual systems. Using Wine is not really our preferred method for Linux ports. If it is possible we prefer native ports, but Wine is a kind of “better than nothing” way to port older games. Of course Wine is a good tool, but native is always better.
Do you have any office pets?
– Yes, two of them. A nine years old female Bernese Mountain Dog called Daisy and a male, really huge, three years old Newfoundland Mastiff. He is our head of security 😉 and no one can enter the building without his permission.
Thank you for your time, but one last question. Are there any upcoming game developers or games you feel need more attention?
– It looks like that people are very interested in retro gaming. This is also the reason, why we make old games available for Linux and update such games on Steam. Maybe the graphics are outdated, but if such classic games are available for a reasonable price it is worth to keep an Eye on these.
I was honestly surprised to get such rapid responses, and even more so that they let me interview them. Thanks again to Dirk, and the rest of Topware for taking the time out for this piece.