|Today Fabio Trotta talked to the leader of Hyperion Entertainment, Ben Hermans.
1. Hi Ben, since hom many years are you an AMIGA User ?
I got myself one of the first Amiga 1000s, one of the early models with 256K. That was back in 1985.
2. Why have you chosen the AMIGA as the right one ?
In 1985, I chose the Amiga because it was the normal progression from my C64. By the time I bought my Amiga 4000, I knew why I liked the Amiga OS: superior multitasking, high degree of flexibility, limited use of system resources and very responsive to the user.
3. What are your hobbies beside the AMIGA ?
My Amiga related activities are professional and no longer a hobby. Running Hyperion takes up quite a lot of my time. My hobbies include reading about science and technology, reading SF novels and watching SF movies and series.
4. What are your favourite games at the moment ?
I unfortunately dont have much time anymore to play games. Shogo and Freespace are very high on my list, one of the reasons we licensed them.
5. What machine is at your desk at home ?
A towerised A4000 with Cyberstorm PPC.
6. How long does Hyperion Entertainment now exists ?
Hyperion Entertainment is in business since April of 1999.
7. What was your idea behind Hyperion ?
I was frustrated by the fact that despite decent hardware (PPC, 3D cards), no high-end games were coming to the Amiga that actually made use of this hardware. Here I was, having invested a sizeable amount of cash into buying a PPC card and there was no software for it. How were people ever going to be persuaded to upgrade their Amigas if the upgrades didnt result in better software?
8. Of how many persons are you the "director" ?
Im the managing partner of around 12 people, most of them developers.
9. What`s your job at Hyperion ?
I run the company which means I negotiate the license agreements, take care of the financial and economic side of things and allocate development resources to the projects.
10. What are the next releases from your company ?
Our next release will be Shogo: MAD. Finally, I would say. Its been quite a task to port the LithTech engine to the Amiga. Its a very complex piece of code, completely in C++. Far more complex and advanced than the Quake 2 engine based games we encountered until now. Before the end of the year we also hope to release Alien Nations and possibly Freespace.
11. Are there any news about forthcoming games ? Did you aquired some new licenses ?
Yes, we did acquire several new licenses but for contractual reasons I cant disclose the titles yet. We are trying (and with success) to expand the genres we have been able to offer.
12. What`s do you think about the AMIGA Community from the sight of your sells ? Especially the low HereticII sells.
We are obviously somewhat disappointed. I believe the low sales are partly due to people having unrealistic expectations about their 3D hardware. A Permedia 2 cant run Heretic 2 in 800x600 at 30 fps, no matter if it is used in a PC, a Mac or an Amiga. Luckily, we are seeing the arrival of new PCI busboards on the Amiga which opens up the possibility of using Voodoo 3 cards on the Amiga.
13. And what do you think about the actual AMIGA situation ?
Things are improving again. Amiga Inc. has some competent people at the helm who care only about Amiga, not about building Wintel machines. On the other hand, people should realise that you cant write a completely new operating system in a few months. Releasing a SDK is one thing, releasing a fully-featured operating system is quite another. It took Be 5 years to get to the point where they are now. How long has the Linux kernel been in development? It will be quite some time yet before we can expect the new Amiga OS.
Meanwhile, I urge all Amiga users to support the current Amiga companies and upgrade their machines and buy the excellent products that are available now. The Amiga still has software that you cant find on any other platform and this at very low prices and requiring comparatively very little system resources.
Some people have a tendency to think that everything is better on Wintel, Mac or Linux. It isnt. Wintel and Mac users pay substantially more for applications than Amiga users. Moreover, applications tend to force you to continually upgrade your machine and at an ever faster pace. Dont even think about running Windows ME on a Pentium II with 64 MB of ram.
Windows 2000 requires 256 MB of ram if you want to do some serious work with it.You will require a PIII or Athlon. Mac OS X will require 192 MB to run properly. Linux is very fashionable but really not suited for normal users despite all the claims about it becoming more user-friendly. It has a lot of potential but despite the hype we still have a lot more applications on the Amiga.
14. Do you believe that the AMIGA One will bring back the AMIGA Spirit ? And will it be successfull in your opinion ?
The Amiga One, the machine, wont be anything special. We are not talking about a machine with some special hardware here, it uses all of the shelf components. The really exciting stuff is the new operating system. If Amiga can deliver on their promises and provide for a small foot-print, scalable operating system with binary cross-platform compatibility which can be used on a variety of digital devices, they have a winner.
The idea that they are competing head to head with Microsoft or Apple is a fallacy. They dont need to become a Windows like monopoly in the desktop market to be succesful.
Thanks for the information and i wish you much success and better sells on your next releases. I would be proud to get my hands on shogo soon
You can reach Hyperion Entertainment online at :