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Mevlut Dinc


Mevlut Dinc

Mev is a very experienced programmer who was responsible for the Vivid Image game Hammerfist. He has a long string of successful titles to his name on many games machines.
Since moving back to his native Turkey from the U.K. he carries on working his coding magic, this time on the PC at his company Sobee
.

Interview:


Slipstream
What can you tell me about Hammerfist - did you write all of the port yourself?

Mevlut Dinc
Yes, I did write the Konix version myself, in fact it wasn't a port as such, we were doing the Amiga and Konix versions together, some things were even coded first on the Konix!

Slipstream
Did you program for other machines like the Amiga? From a programmers perspective, how do you think the Konix compared to the Amiga - was it better or worse?

Mevlut Dinc
As you may know I come from the good old days of the Spectrum and C64 coding, although by the time we started developing for the Amiga I was more involved with the project management and designing of our games but I did some coding on the Amiga and the PC too

And of course I knew quite a bit about the capabilities of all the hardware whether I did any coding or not...
Now to answer your question before I forget it - from what I can remember - it was all such a long time ago and I was quite bit younger then too and remembering it all is not so easy for me - the Konix was a good piece of hardware and it was fun to code on it. To be there right at the beginning also helped quite a lot!

Slipstream
Do you think it was difficult to program for this machine?

Mevlut Dinc
I really can't remember having any problems at all; I remember that myself and a few others who were involved with the early development of Konix did insist on 256k of memory and hardware flipping of sprites. In fact these two little suggestions made a lot of difference, we were able to cram more into and get more out of the machine.

Slipstream
Do you think these were the only real deficiencies and that the machine would have been good enough to compete? I've looked at the pictures of Hammerfist side by side and I must say that the KMS looked the most colourful - even more so than the ST or Amiga.

Mevlut Dinc
I agree, the Konix version was more colourful, had a lot more things going on on the screen and was faster than both the ST and Amiga - of course I don't know how much difference my coding made!!!!

Slipstream
Well it seemed to look really good in the Jon Dean videos! So your coding must have been spot on

Mevlut Dinc
The original Konix was designed for 128K memory and there was no hardware flip - upon our suggestion or should I say insistence the final machine had both the 256k of memory and hardware flip, and as I said this made a lot difference and made coding and doing fancier things much easier

Slipstream
Did you code completely in 8086 assembly language for the KMS?

Mevlut Dinc
Yes, the whole thing was completely coded in assembly - in fact I never learnt any other programming language!

Slipstream
How do you think the machine would have done if it did get released then - would it have been successful?

Mevlut Dinc
To be perfectly honest with you for its time it was good enough and it would certainly be a success, it was such a shame that it never got released - not counting of course for my 8-9 months of hard work!

Slipstream
How close to completion were you on your project and how did you feel when you heard the machine wasn't being released?

Mevlut Dinc
Hammerfist was almost finished in fact and it was featured on all the promotions and demonstrations of Konix as a major title! I was gobsmacked when it became clear that the machine wasn't being released!

Slipstream
I bet you were - all that hard work down the drain!

Slipstream
What was the atmosphere like regarding the KMS in the development community, when you talked about your project with friends were they interested or intrigued by the KMS or could they see it failing?

Mevlut Dinc
Of course not all the developers had the chance of developing for it but generally everybody wanted the KMS to succeed, this would have been the first European console!

Slipstream
How did you hear that the KMS wasn't going to be released?

Mevlut Dinc
I honestly cannot remember that at all! I think there always a lot of rumours about it - Amstrad was going to buy, IBM was interested in it and so on - but the guy who owned it wanted to do it all himself and basically he couldn't (I can't even remember his name, this isn't because of any remorse - it just that it was over 16 years ago!)

Slipstream
It was Wyn Holloway - yes it was a long time ago, but people are still very interested in it, it was made out by the press to be the best machine ever, and with the add-on's like the Power Chair and the great software you guys were writing, Us gamers were sooooo eager to get it.

Mevlut Dinc
Oh yes Wyn! Well apart from the Power Chair thing (a lot of people didn't think it could work) the rest of the machine was good enough! There wasn't enough money to make it all happen I think.

Slipstream
Were vivid image thinking of writing any other games for the KMS?

Mevlut Dinc
I don't remember if we made any plans at the time but of course we would continue to support it...if you look at our released titles and schedules we weren't really making any plans at all - just every couple of years we were trying to write the best game we could and I am happy to say that we managed to succeed a lot of the time!

Slipstream
I think people will happily agree with that!

Mevlut Dinc
Thanks

Slipstream
Have you got any source code or binaries for Hammerfist anymore? Would you be able to allow emulator authors to use them to try to emulate the KMS - people still want to see what games like yours and Jeff Minters would have been like.

Mevlut Dinc
This is a very upsetting thing for me - when I decided to move back to my native country Turkey I lost of a lot of my old stuff including the source code which would be suitable for a games museum at a later date!
I had also kept the KMS dev kit as well - I am sure there were just a few made!

It would be really great to see the KMS version of Hammerfist again myself!

Maybe Jon Dean has it!!!

Slipstream
Lost as in you don't know which box you packed it in, or it's gone forever? Does that include the Dev kit too?

Mevlut Dinc
I am afraid lost as in gone for ever!

Slipstream
Nooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I believe there were about 20 dev kits made.

Mevlut Dinc
My old Speccy and C64 code too!!!

Slipstream
You should have stayed here :)

Mevlut Dinc
I was kidding Jon wouldn't have it at all!
But the Speccy and C64 games are already on the net and all over the place which is something, but the KMS is gone forever!

Slipstream
Ok, Thanks for your time Mev, it's been great speaking to you. This will help a lot.

Finally what are you working on now? Are you still in the games industry working on next-gen projects?

Mevlut Dinc
I am still and just about in the games business....just about to finish the first instalment of our MMO which looks very good - initially

Mevlut Dinc
It will be released in Turkish only but I am hoping to do the English version in a few months time.

Slipstream
What's it called and who are you working for now?

Mevlut Dinc
It will have "Istanbul" in the title and we are working with a local company!

Mevlut Dinc
The game takes place in Istanbul and we have been modelling parts of the city for the game!

Slipstream
Nice - is it on PC?

Mevlut Dinc
PC, and online

Slipstream
Well, if I'm ever in turkey, I'll look you up and buy you a drink for your time..

Mevlut Dinc
if you come to Turkey and look me up I'll buy you a drink

Mevlut Dinc
That's a real exclusive you know!

Slipstream
Excellent! I'll hold you to that Thanks Mev - I appreciate your time.

Mevlut Dinc
No problem Slipstream - it was good chatting and thanks for helping me remember and talk about some of the good old days!....I really miss them!!!!
I hope someone does something to bring us good old developers together to talk about the good old days and share some of the events from yester years!!

Slipstream
Ok, thanks again and goodbye