Interview with Carl Forhan

On his current Lynx projects

> Why did you decide to make games for the Lynx?

I've always been a big Lynx fan, largely due to the high-quality action and puzzle games it has, and of course for its networking abilities. I first considered programming games for it when I learned that I could buy a cheap developer's kit from Bastian Schick.

> When will Planar Wars or Ponx come out?

Sorry, I'd rather not speculate because both games need a lot of work to be ready for publication. Ponx is definitely closer to completion, and will be my first original publication.

> Who will publish them?

We'll see when the time comes... I may very well self-publish, but of course it's nice to have a distributor pick it up, too.

> Will you do any sorts of advertising?

Just mostly internet-based ads and perhaps a few more demos at Atari shows (like I did this summer with MIST and JagFest). It's not feasible to consider buying ads elsewhere, although I'd certainly be willing to mail demo carts to magazines if anyone's interested when the time comes.

> How do you feel about the other companies making Lynx games like SGG and others?

The more, the merrier. More companies producing games can only sustain the Lynx long-term, which is good for everybody making and playing games on the Lynx. I just hope we all end up with something to show for our efforts a year from now; what we don't need is more empty promises (and until I get a game published, I'm in the same boat).

> How are you different from them?

I don't really know anything about the other companies other than the occasional rumor posting on the net. What I can tell you is I've got real games running on real Lynxes and playtested by several individuals. I'm doing my best to not hype my games too much until I have something to show for it.

> Where did you get the ideas for these games?

Ponx really started out as a simple programming exercise to learn the Lynx, but as time passed I added more and more features until it really became a blast to play. My playtesters have enjoyed it a lot as well, and so I decided to push for completing the title, instead of walking away from it.

SFX was driven by my need to create original sounds on the Lynx, so I wrote a tool to let me play with the audio regs directly.

Planar Wars is intended to be a great, free-for-all multiplayer shooter. It will be a lot of fun, but it's still in a very, very alpha stage currently. I have a simple movement algorithm with a parallax scrolling background implemented, and that's about it right now.

> Will you make any others?

I have several more ideas for fun games, but I don't really want to get too far ahead of myself at this point. I've got enough to keep me busy all the way through 1998.

> How long have you been a programmer?

I graduated with a BSEE in 1992, and have worked in the industry since then -- so 5 years professionally.

> What is the run-down on Planar Wars?

See above. If I can get this game finished and networking smoothly, it will be a lot fun IMO.

> About how long have you been working on these games?

Whew... longer than I'd like to admit. :-) I've been tinkering with the Lynx for well over a year, but the most activity has been in the last eight or nine months (i.e. most of 1997).

Bear in mind that it takes a long time to code a game when you're doing it for free in your spare time.

> We thank you for any answers you can give us about these questions, thanks again!

No problem, I'm always glad to talk about the Lynx.

Carl Forhan

The Jaguar's Domain

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