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[url=https://www.amigafuture.de/app.php/kb/viewarticle?a=282&sid=39b280a73f56783b5a9a85cd1ccee2fc]Artikeldatenbank - Interview with ClearWater Interactive[/url]
Interview with ClearWater Interactive
Editor: Andreas Stürmer
ClearWater Interactive, formerly known as Crystal Software, provides the Amiga community with high quality AGA software gametitles.
When and where was ClearWater Interactive (Crystal Software) founded? Where are you located currently and how many people are working at CWI?
Crystal Interactive Software was founded back in February 1998, and was merged with another company based in the same town, ClearWater Interactive Limited in October 2000.
We are based in a town called Hertford, in Hertfordshire England.
We have ten people working here.
What was the reason for choosing "Crystal Software" as the companys name at that time?
I had been fed up with the quality of Amiga games being offered around the time we started and I had developed a moto "putting the sparkle back into Amiga computer games". I sat around trying to thing of a name related to the moto, and Crystals sparkle so hence Crystal was used.
Who were the main founders of Crystal Software and are they still working at the company?
I was the main founder, then I was luck enough to meet someone who shared my dream and invested a sum of money to help the company stay around. Both of us are still in the new company.
What was the first game ever released by Crystal Software?
The first game was Bubble Heroes by the very talented Italia team ArcadiA, lead by Andrea Morolli
Crystal Software morphed into ClearWater Interactive this year. What was the reason for this decision?
Several reasons really, all playing a decisive factor. The Amiga games market was dead, with sales of Bubble Heroes selling a few hundred copies worldwide. We had to make a decision quit or expand to new horizons. We still had the PC development of Gilbert Goodmate nearing completion and we didn't want to quit and loose all that we invested in that game.
At the same time another company called Crystal Interactive Inc was doing some bad things to PC developers and the developers and public alike were thinking we were the same company, and then another company started in the Amiga market called Crystal Software & Electronics (CS&E) and the whole name issue just became too confusing and we were being accused of other companies wrong doings.
So with all these factors we met up with another local company called ClearWater Design, who had skills that could help us with Gilbert and were also looking at moving into multimedia and interactive software. We merged our skill base and here we are today.
Your latest games are "Bubble Heroes" and "Land of Genesis", both for AGA and/or RTG Amigas. What was the reason why you decided to publish these game-titles?
Bubble Heroes, was and still is a brilliant game, and should have sold many many more copies than it did. If we were publishers in the early 90's this game would have sold thousands and given ArcadiA the financial reward the so rightly deserve.
Land Of Genesis. This was a funny one as we had decided to make Bubble Heroes our last game for the Amiga, and whilst in Italy visiting ArcadiA. The author of L.o.G. travelled on a train over ten hours from Sicily to Rimini just to meet with us and show his game. When we saw it, I thought it showed promise and I personally like the platform shoot-em-up's and this one had an R-Type style levels as well.
So after explaining that the Amiga market was dying and sales wouldn't be so good, I offered the author the option of publishing it. Unfortunately my prediction on the sales was right.
You are also publishing software titles for PC, PlayStation 1 and 2 and also for GameBoy. Since when are you in the business of "multi-platforms"?
We are not publishing on any platform now, just developing. It was easier to publish for the Amiga as the costs were lower. But there is no way we could afford to publish any game on any other platform. So we stick to developing. We are developing for PC and AGB at the moment.
Can you name us some upcoming titles for the consoles above?
No sorry as they are under NDA's due to them being Licensed games.
Do you plan to publish more Amiga game-titles in the future, or will you specify yourself more on AmigaOne or PPC software?
No, not likely - the thing that realy upset us was the amount of Piracy, I think there are a lot more than 300 people out there who have a copy of Bubble Heroes, and the same for L.O.G. Piracy is on every platform and we will never beat it, trouble is the other platforms can afford to cope with pirates due to the large volume of sales. The Amiga can't.
I think we will leave the Amiga platform for now - we did have an oportunity to develop for Elate, but the expense of development was all ours from start to finish, with no advances from the publisher, so the risk of if the game would sell on an unprooven platform was ours and not the publishers.
We are fed up with taking all the risks - we have lost too much money since the day we started, on taking risks.
If yes, are there any work-in-progress titles which you can tell us from?
What was the most famous (most sold) game you published?
Bubble Heroes, as a publisher. As a co developer it has to be Gilbert Goodmate.
What do you think of the Amigas current position on the computermarket?
What position? The Amiga doesn't have any position at the moment. No one in the main stream computer / console gaming industry think about the Amiga and anything but a platform of the past, and quite openly laughed at us when we told them about our thoughts of continuing to support it.
For the Amiga to gain a market position Amiga Inc would have to spend millions on Marketing. I don't thing they will do that somehow.
What are your expections for the new AmigaOS 4.0, AmigaDE and the AmigaOne?
I have none.
Anything else you want to tell our community?
Don't missunderstand me, I love the Amiga - what it stands for and for it userbilty. I still have mine at home and I still buy games such as Shogo and HereticII. Unfortunately the Amiga on its own will not keep a company in business - and untill people who are making or publishing for the new Amiga are willing to show (non bedroom) developers that they believe in the platform by paying advances or paying for development rather than offering just a small royalty on each game sold then companies like ours, who need to pay wages will not be able to make games for it. Sorry.
Regards and best intentions
Project Development Director
ClearWater Interactive Ltd
Tel: +44 (0) 1992 583223
Fax: +44 (0) 1992 583224