Drakir / Damage,
Added on April 26th, 2008 (5314 views)
Tell us something about yourself.
My name is Rickard Hansson, 33 years old, and born in Engelholm, a small city in southern Sweden. Nowadays I spend my time in Limhamn, a quarter of Malmoe. I've been running my own business for the last six years. The company's name is Mindroute Software (www.mindroute.com) and we focus entirely on developing standard scalable software for the web. Products we have developed and released includes lemoon, damoon and recently Incentive. The little spare time I have – I recently became a father, my first one – I spend on movies and of course video gaming with both XBOX 360 and PS3.
What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
I had two handles. First I called myself Maze for what reason I have no clue, but it sounded cool. I didn't even know what the word meant. Later I changed my handle to the more unique (but no better) Drakir which simply is my real name spelled backwards, minus the C that is.
What group(s) were you in?
I've only been with two groups, where one was my own called Damage. I had a lot of energy – too much some might say. I actually released a new demo almost every weekend. I wasn't so good at spreading them, but my god, I could produce!
Later I joined Noice, initially on the C64 but also Amiga and PC when we "moved up". Noice was a tremendous group of intelligent and social characters. More than just programming and producing, we really socialised and had a great time every time we met up on our meetings.
As to my knowledge many of the members has been successful within the IT segment today including games programming, research and development, military defence, etc.
What roles have you fulfilled?
Coder, coder and coder. I had a brief career as swapper but when my parents saw the phone bill, it simply stopped.
How long were you active for?
Oh, let's see... I would say from 1985 to 1995, give or take.
Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
At first I wanted to control the hardware = coding. Being tired of just writing code from some magazine, I wanted to create something of my own. Many times I was inspired by the small crack intros and also in some cases the games. But the documentation of the C64 and the access to it, was limited. But lucky me; one of my best friends at that time, Maja, had a brother who called himself Jaggadash was a real wizard and taught me everything he knew. He later on joined Noice as well, especially during the Amiga period.
At first I created my "own" scene, producing demo after demo, but at one point I came in contact with Cyclone (I think) which had a BBS and was a member of Noice. He asked me to join and suddenly I was a part of the real scene. The years being a part of the scene was fantastic! Not so much for the techie stuff, but more for the events and get-togethers. At that time it wasn't that cool to be playing with computers, so when you found like-minded people, you had a great deal of fun.
In some way it was a good "business school" as-well. At fairly early age you must learn how to work as a team, within in a project with a specific task and toward a deadline.
Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
Switching the computer and floppy on around 10 o'clock in the evening, loading up the latest code produced, and then just hacked away until early morning with my mother shouting to me from downstairs that was time to go to bed!
Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
Constantly. Everything from small developer tools to loaders, "ready to use"-snippets, etc.
When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
Hmm... To be honest, I have no memory of anything I was particular proud of on the C64. What does stand out is a demo I did on the Amiga 500 called Reductio ad Absurdum which was a more arty and political demo than a technical.
Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
No heroes apart from the other guys in Noice; mostly Swoffa, Gnilk, Jaggadash, and Rocket, who was a tremendous talented graphical artist.
What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Yes, indeed! In Denmark, Finland and Sweden. I competed in demo competitions both on C64, Amiga and PC.
In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
Getting together and showing off, to be honest! But I must say that I experienced the scene as "honest", no bullying.
What were the particular highlights for you?
Highlights were our internal meetings with Noice all over Sweden; Örebro, Göteborg and Ängelholm. Those were the days! At one time, we weren't able to get a location, so we sat in my parent house on the second floor. No sleep for them that week!
Any cool stories to share with us?
I especially remember a copy-party in Gothenburg – my first actually. It was in a school, can't really remember were. There was a group called Censor Design where most of the members were nazis or just disorderly. They really scared the shit out of us by walking around with a baseball bat threatening everyone. Right after the demo competition, we ran back to our place with those guys in our tails. We ran straight in to a invisible tear gas bomb they just dropped! We couldn't see for quite a while, and instantly we lost our breath.
Not a happy memory, but a strong one. Someone had put needles through our disk just prior to the demo competition, but if I remember correctly, Swoffa had a backup and we could still compete. Censor who arranged the party was of course our prime suspects. The copy-party was apart from this a huge success.
Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
My father bought a used C64 from a relative when I was around 8 (1983) and I still have it, boxed and everything – but in the attic.
Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
Yes, I would really like to think so. It was the first personal computer affordable for every home. The most interesting aspect is that the creators of the C64 probably had no idea what the hardware was capable of. That is what happens when you release a computer with a "prompt" – people must get creative to get any experience at all!
When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Probably never. I've forgotten the most things, and the time is limited. But if the old members of Noice decide to get together and create a demo for old times sake, I'm happy to participate.
Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
Keep in touch! And I really appreciate initiatives like C64.COM to preserve the history – or revolution – that the C64 created!
back to the list of available interviews