The Sarge / Mutants 2001,
Added on December 2nd, 2003 (9986 views)
Tell us something about yourself.
Joachim Ljunggren, 32, born in Laholm 1970-09-06. I live in Gothenburg and I work as a freelance graphic designer. Art, music, formula one, movies and photography are my main interests.
What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
First JOL, which simply is an abbreviation of JOachim Ljunggren. Then after a while I thought it was a bit lame so I decided to come up with something better. I flicked through a lot of Commodore User magazines for inspiration. After a while I found the review for Combat School and there was a text, "The Sarge rallies his troops" or something. Great! That's my name, I thought, and it was decided.
What group(s) were you in?
Mutants 2001, Front, Triad and Fairlight.
What roles have you fulfilled?
I was an artist.
How long were you active for?
I think it was between 1986 and 1991. I then moved on to the Amiga.
Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
Those years were great! I look back on it with a magic feeling. For the first time I had the opportunity to show my work to an audience bigger than my family and friends. I probably made a bit over a hundred pictures for demos. I remember having the goal to make at least one picture a week. If it didn't happen then I felt sad and miserable. I got to know a lot of nice people from a lot of countries. I started to swap games and demos with them. It was sometimes a bit more than I could handle. I ended up copying disks all the time and got fed up with that and decided to slim down my swapping and concentrate on my art.
I got into the scene by an accident. Me and my father put an ad in Commodore User wanting to swap games. We got a lot of answers and especially from a guy in Älmhult. He called himself The Beast and we started to talk and we found that we had a lot in common. We soon after started a demo group, Mutants 2001. We did some stuff and had a lot of fun. Then the guys from Front called and as they were a bit bigger than us I decided to jump ship. And then the ball was rolling...
Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
Lots of games! I was a big gamer. I could play for hours. My friend and I talked and played games all the time. In the weekends I painted pictures. And between that I took care of my swapping. I checked new disks that arrived and copied stuff to send. Not a lot of time was left for school unfortunately.
Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
Yes, I invented a way to transfer my paper drawings to the TV-screen in an easy way. I first started to draw with pen and paper on an A4. Then I put a clear cellophane plastic sheet over my drawing, and with a waterproof pen started to copy the drawing line by line onto the plastic. Then I put the cellophane on my 14" TV and it just sucked on the screen with static electricity. Then it was a simple job of drawing lines with Koala Painter behind my painted plastic sheet. I then removed the plastic and I had the perfect base drawn on screen just waiting to be colourized.
I'm a bit unsure about the anti-aliasing thing. I probably played with darker colours around a white jagged line and found out that I looked so much smoother. I will not say that I invented it but I probably discovered the technique at the same time as the others.
When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
Making the two games No Mercy and Rubicon with Gollum. I took part in graphics and designing game play.
Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
Martin Galway, Rob Hubbard, Chris Hülsbeck, Jeroen Tel for making excellent music. BOB and a lot of other very good graphic designers for making very good pictures and inspiring me.
What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
Gollum invented a routine that made it possible to have as many sprites on the screen as you wanted. He made it for Rubicon and I think that was the coolest ever.
Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
No, and I regret that now.
In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
Pushing myself to do better all the time. To show my work. Getting friends that understood the values of creativity.
What were the particular highlights for you?
Making the first complete picture that got spread. Becoming a member of Triad. Getting the original game box of No Mercy and Rubicon. Actually, seeing the C64 in action for the first time at my friends’ house was a thrill! He was playing Zeppelin and I was amazed! :)
Any cool stories to share with us?
I have nothing spectacular to tell. But making those two games and working with Gollum, who is a real genius, was a very cool experience! We learned a lot and had a lot of fun despite all the hard, hard work.
Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
Yes, I have a couple of them that I'm in contact with. The Beast and I are still good friends.
When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
Probably got it in 1983 or 1984. It's still lying in the attic at my parents’ house.
Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
Yes! For me it was very special because it was the first computer that made it possible to make decent art with.
When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
I've thought about it but nothing has happened yet. Who knows?
Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
Hi! Thanks for good times and hope you are well!
back to the list of available interviews