Depeh / Squadron,
Added on January 15th, 2007 (6021 views)
Tell us something about yourself.
Göran Johansson, born 1975 (currently 31 years) in a small town called Skövde, Sweden. I work as a Systems Architect, and I run my own company. I have a wonderful daughter (born 1997), and I am dedicated to raise her and make her childhood as good as possible. I still live in Skövde and enjoy life as much as possible. In my spare time, I meet friends, watch movies, etc.
What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
My first handle I think was Mr. GoJo, inspired by Mr. Z back in the days. I just took the two first letters of my first and last name, and there it was. I soon changed it to DP which was a "handle" I had while playing landhockey with my friends as a kid. I then inserted two E's, and the name became DEPE. I then added an H just because it looked cool. ;) Depeh was a cool handle I thought. At least until some foreigners tried to pronounce it on copy-parties. I have heard at least 4-5 different pronunciations of my handle. It was first intended to be pronounced like we pronounce the letters D and P in Swedish, but I have heard Deppe, Diiipiii, Depech (like the music group), Deeep, and other fun variations.
What group(s) were you in?
OMG!! Am I supposed to remember this? :) Squadron (1989), Prizma (1989-90), Cicen (1990), The Mob (1990), Antic (1991-), and DualCrew (1995-).
What roles have you fulfilled?
I mostly did the coding, but I did some swapping, and some fast and dirty "graphics" as well. I also took over the leadership in Antic when Spirou left for Light.
How long were you active for?
I am not sure, but I think my first demo ever on the C64 was made in 1989. I just included a lame scroller with a D016-thingy or something like that. The Party '96 was the latest copy-party I attended.
Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
I saw some demos in 1988 and thought it would be cool to be able to code stuff like that, and so I learned some reading Datormagazin and other computer mags. Me and my friend Bom started a demo group and released some lame demos. Later on, Bom purchased a modem (I had no money for an expensive item like that), and started talking to people on BBS'es. He got to know a guy called The Lord, who together with another guy called Acty, were about to start a demo group called Cicen. Me and Bom joined them and I think we (I) made two demos for the group. Now, it turned out that our "leader" The Lord was a bit of an odd guy. People couldn't handle him, and he was called a lamer where ever he showed up. Acty and Bom got the idea to start a new group without The Lord, and asked me to join as well. The Lord found out about our "evil plan", called me up, and cried on the phone! I mean, he literally CRIED! I think me and Bom later formed The Mob, and I only made one small intro or something like that for the group. I then got to know Xor and Spirou. They joined The Mob for a while, but short after, we joined forces with Jason from the more-or-less dead group Antic. We decided to drop The Mob as a name, because it was too much like the famous D-Mob group on the Amiga, and so the "new" Antic was born. This is exactly how it was, or at least how I recall it. I did not join Antic, and Spirou did not form it alone, we formed it together.
Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
Haha! Some days, I did not even touch the C64. Some days, I started coding on a project and finished it veeeery late. Five o'clock in the morning was not unusual. As school started at eight the following morning, guess if I got good or bad grades?
Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
Yes, my way of developing demos has almost always been about inventing new ideas, rather than to take for instance an effect and improve the code a few cycles to do one more sprite in a 110 sprite multiplexer. Some of the things I invented were: smartbobs (Lunacy 4), doom/wolf-clone in FLI (Dein Zycrex), x-ray vector (Beyond Imagination 2), pixel-tunnel (Beyond Imagination 2), rotate-twister in seven colours (Lunacy 6), transparent vector on bitmap (Lunacy 6), real-time "raytracing" (Lunacy 5), ollesball (a sphere) hidden line vector object (Lunacy 5), FLI D.Y.P.P. (Lunacy 3), real-time stencilled vector with D.Y.P.P. (Beyond Imagination), 150 pixel FLI tech-tech (Up the Limits 2), FCD FLI changing D.Y.C.P. (Up the Limits 2), and a bitmapped morphing twister (Retroactive).
I also coded some utilities that helped me when developing demos, amongst them; a converter that converted Amiga pictures (1-6 bitplanes to IFLI), a seven-colour editor (sprites overlayed on three-colour chars), a morphing editor where Creeper made a morph-movie that can be seen in Lunacy 6, and some 3D-precalcing programs for Lunacy 7 (last part).
When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
I must say that our last real demo, Lunacy 6, is the one I am most proud of. I made the parts in just a couple of months, Zyron made a mind-blasting pumping techno-like tune, and Creeper made some fantastic graphics. We locked ourselves into my room a hot summer day in 1995 (while still living at my parents house), drank a lot of booze, ate a lot of pizzas, smoked, and also worked hard like hell to convert my extremely memory-consuming parts into a trackmo. After 2-3 days, we were finished, and very proud of the result. Oze was supposed to enter this demo in the demo compo in Finland the coming autumn, but I don't know if it was shown. Also, Lunacy 5 and Lunacy 7 are demos I am pretty satisfied with, and the underestimated Beyond Imagination 2.
Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
Mr. Z. Almost all games I played, Mr. Z had cracked them. That must have been hard work! I also remember admiring Kjer of Horizon because of the mind-blowing demos he released. Don't think I ever met him though. The biggest scene heroes were the people that worked hard like hell to get the demos ready before the demo competition deadline. You know who you are!
What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
Ahhh, I can think of a million things that were cool inventions, but one of the coolest has to be breaking of the sideborders. I have no idea who came up with the idea to fool the poor C64 that the border is not yet reached by shifting $D016 exact at the right clock cycle. That is impressive, I think. Also, all the $D011 manipulation was cool. Bob's (of Censor) bitmap-colour-cycling routine was also cool.
Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Yes, I think I attended about 10-12 copy-parties in total. Horizon Easter party 1991, Jam party in Lundsbrunn 1991, The Light/Phenomena party 1992 in Alingsås, TCC'93 in Gothenburg, Brutal Party 1992 on Samsö, Denmark, Tribute ‘94 in Gothenburg, The Party 1993-94-95-96 in Denmark, and, I don't remember the names, but there was one in Skövde and one in Västerås.
In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
The scene was divided in different parts. There was the cracking scene, the BBS scene and the demo scene. I belonged to the demo scene which was all about making the coolest effects, breaking records, making fine graphics, and beautiful music. I have seen so many cool and innovative demos on the C64! I still fire up the emulator to watch demos from time to time.
What were the particular highlights for you?
The Last Traktor III from Horizon released at the Brutal party on Samsö 1992, I think. The best copy-party I attended was TCC ‘93 in Svenska Mässan/Scandinavium, Gothenburg. Great organising work by Spirou, and the other dudes in Light.
Any cool stories to share with us?
1) Creeper and me got so tired at The Party that we heard each other say stuff to each other even though we didn't say a fucking thing. 2) The first party I ever attended, the Horizon Easter party in 1991, was something to remember. I got my TFC III stolen and Dr. Cool sprayed mace in every toilet, and I got a dose of that. We had problems with either us or Horizon having bad aligned diskdrives, but our contribution to the demo-compo (Up the Limits) was not shown there because our disk was "not readable". 3) When I asked Zyron to join Antic, he said: If you can do the coolest plasma ever, I will join. Shortly after, Zyron joined, and the result can be found in Lunacy 5. 4) The scrolltext in Beyond Imagination was written in a very drunken state of mind! :) Me and Creeper shared a 75 cl Absolut Citron Vodka and got really drunk, and so did everyone else on the Jam party in Lundsbrunn. I really recommend you to read this scrolltext! Hehe!
Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
I have Creeper, Zyron, Jordan, Morpheus and Dirty C on my ICQ-contact list, so I chat with them sometimes. Other than that, no, can't say I do.
When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
My C64 was actually my big brothers', but I constantly used it and so it became mine... MY PRECIOUS! :) I still have two C64's left, in the basement somewhere. The emulators on the PC are almost 100 percent accurate today, so if I would ever do another production, it would be developed on my laptop. I actually did some code about two years ago when Creeper was visiting me. We coded and drank a lot of beers... Those parts are probably on a CD-R somewhere.
Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
Yes, the C64 was special because it helped a whole fucking generation to make friends and have fun with it, in the scene and by just playing games.
When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Hahahaaaaa... Well, you never know... Maybe I will teach my daughter 6510 Assembler soon, and she will rise up and rebuild a next generation of Antic (with the help of Zyron's son maybe). :)
Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
Yeah! Greetings to everyone I ever met and had fun with at all the parties. I have nice memories from the parties, not just being chased by the deadline, but also making a lot of new friends. If you are one of those who I met, then contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org (change hotmejl to the real known Microsoft webmail name).
back to the list of available interviews