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Advent Calendar: Door 17 - Thomas Claus
Behind the 17th Advent calendar door awaits the anecdote of Thomas 'imagodespira' Claus, who as a graphic designer forms the duo of EntwicklerX together with the programmer Frank Menzel.

When one thinks of EntwicklerX, two things come to mind: the commercial media player Emotion and elaborately written games for AmigaOS 4. And there is something for everyone. A small list: They started the development of their media player Emotion in 2016 and released a first alpha version soon after. The official version then was released at the beginning of 2017. An update to version 1.9 is available on the developer page. As Thomas told us, more games and remastered versions are planned - but since they are not pure Amiga developers, of course always depending on other projects. We wish good luck and look forward to today's anecdote:

"My first computer was an Atari 130XE. At the time of the German reunification, there was a "welcome money" for GDR citizens and my brother and I begged "our" money from our parents to be allowed to buy a computer in the Intershop. Of course, we had no idea about computers, we just wanted one. When we were standing in the Intershop, there was only one option for the 200 DM (100,- per child). An Atari 130XE for 192,- (the value is burnt into my memory, I hope it's right ;)). So we bought this one. Of course, there were also C64 computers and Amigas in the corner, but financially unattainable.

Once home, the device was connected to the Raduga TV (Russian brand, very explosive). A blue screen came up with the text "Ready". That was it. By trial and error we got into a screen where notes could be seen. Our English skills were close to zero, so we couldn't even translate "Self Test" (I was 13 and we were learning Russian at school). However, Self Test brought us a tune and made us want to hear more. After that, there was some digging in the manual and we found out that we couldn't go on without external media. We needed a "datasette". We begged and pleaded with parents again and were able to dust off my little sister's money for our Atari and thus buy a Datasette XC12 and a game (Kikstart). That was the entry into my computer world. In the course of time we found out that our neighbour had an Atari 800XL and so we got some software. My favourite game at the time was Montezuma's Revenge. Actually, it's still my favourite game. In the meantime I have an Atari 130XE again, Datasette and every now and then I give myself a round of Montezuma...

Back to my youth. As a happy Atari fan, I dreamed of the Atari ST, MegaST and other Atari devices that were also in our computer shops at some point. Amiga didn't interest me at all. But one day my cousin who lived one street over called. "Come over, I want to show you something". No sooner said than done. Now I was standing in his room. There was an old TV on the floor, an Amiga 500 in front of it and Rick Dangerous was playing. I've never seen such graphic splendour, it looked like the real thing. The sound was amazing, especially the dying in the game. You heard that a lot... Yeah, what can I say. It was a quick conversion. After that afternoon, I didn't even know how to spell Atari anymore. I wanted an AMIGA! Some time later I was able to sell the Atari, my brother was in training and gave money for an Amiga 500 and I shovelled out my aunt's coal cellar to be able to buy a memory expansion... From here on there was no turning back.

To get a reference to today: as some may know, I develop small games with Frank Menzel at the EntwicklerX. Also for AmigaOS 4. I already dreamt of this with the first Atari. Here I drew simple pixel pictures in Basic with the commands "Plot" and "DrawTo" (I didn't have a drawing programme). Later I pixelated in Deluxe Paint, mostly small game scenes for platformers. So running levels and obstacles. Montezuma's Revenge but also Rick Dangerous never really let me go and so we were able to finish our "Pyramid Quest" in early 2021 and release it on Windows, Playstation, Nintendo Switch and Xbox. My 14-year-old Atari self had already dreamed of this, but would never have thought it possible to pull something like this off. We're not well-known developers, don't have a hit, but get by and still dream of new projects that are viable for 2 people. Often our games are interpretations of old games and game principles that we used to love on the Amiga and still love and enjoy playing.

You can find our projects on various platforms, for example You will certainly recognise one or two of the game principles, even if the realisations are often somewhat different and the templates usually remain unattainable...". (dr)

[News message: 17. Dec. 2022, 09:45] [Comments: 0]
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