About GLBlocks with Andreas Gustafsson

Andreas Gustafsson is most of all very interesting person. His game, GLBlocks, became known nearly all over the world (because of Internet and its qualities), so we decided to ask Andreas few questions. He agreed...
First, tell me something about yourself. How old are you, where do you live,

you know, this stuff.

My name is Andreas Gustafsson, I'm 24 years old and live in southern Sweden.

I am currently working as a Windows/GUI programmer at a company called Intellicom.

What was your first computer and your first computer game?

My first computer was a Commodore 64, which I got when I was 12. My first game? Game that I played or programmed myself? First games I played I think was Spy Hunter and Out Run. First game I coded, don't really remember, some lame text-based game I wrote in Basic on the 64 probably...

When did you begin to be interested in programming? What was your first program? What programming language did you use?

Actually, unlike most youngsters who get their first computer, the first thing I did was NOT load up a game, instead, I started programming at once. My first program I think was:

10 PRINT "*"

20 GOTO 10

:)

I continued to develop my Basic-skills and I programmed some small games and such, later i learned Assembler on the C64 and coded demos. A couple of years later I bought an Amiga and programmed Assembler (and some AMOS) on that, before getting my first PC (a 486SX-25)

Lets turn page to the present. What's your computer configuration? What programs and languages do you use for developing?

I have a Celeron 466MHz (overclocked to 525MHz), 192Mb RAM, 30Gb HD and a

GeForce DDR card. I do all my programming in Visual C++ nowadays, but before, in the days of DOS I used Turbo Pascal 7.0 alot, and also some Watcom C.

Could you tell us what are your favourite games or genres?

Well, I play a lot of games, mainly FPS, RTS and RPGs. At the moment the game I play the most is Diablo 2 (countless is the hours I spent on Diablo 1). I have also played alot of Quake 1/2/3 in my days, and Warcraft 1/2, Starcraft and Total Annihilation. Oh, and ofcourse I enjoy small puzzle/logic games like GLBlocks! :)

Do you play on-line games? If you do, which one(s)?

Well, as I mentioned earlier, I used to play lots of Quake 2 back in the days when I was doing my university studies and had a 10mbit connection in my apartment. I used to play atleast a couple of hours each day, not to good on the studies, but it was fun! :) Nowadays I hardly ever play online, but I do quite a bit of LAN playing with my brother and other friends.

What's the response on GLBlocks from other players? Can you say (approximately) how many people have already downloaded it?

I have gotten some GREAT feedback on GLBlocks, I never get tired of reading mails from people who like GLBlocks!

As for the downloads, it's really hard to say, since the game can be downloaded from so many places. The only place where I have some numbers is from 3DFiles.com, where the current version have been downloaded around 10.000 times, and think the first version (1.2) had something like 5.000 downloads. But as i mentioned earlier, there are a lot of other places you can download it from, so the total is probably much higher. I have also gotten a couple of requests from people who wants to put GLBlocks on cover-CDs, etc. which means GLBlocks will reach even more potential players, just the way I want it!

Where did you find that idea that the playfield could swing?

Well, I can't take credit for that, actually I got the idea from an old DOS-tetris game called 'Pufftris', which featured a swinging playfield similar to the one I have in GLBlocks.

Who created the excellent graphics background for GLBlocks? Did you draw it yourself?

No, the nice background picture is painted by a guy called Joe Parson. My own graphics/design skills are kind of... uh... limited.. :)

Why do you use OpenGL as graphical API? Why not DirectX?

First of all, when at the university I took a course in '3D and Virtual Reality', where we used OpenGL, that's how I got started. A big reason to why I stuck with OpenGL is that it's powerful, but very easy to use. When I checked out DirectX/Direct3D it needed like 1000 lines just to get the simplest of programs running, in OpenGL you can do the same thing MUCH easier. I've heard that D3D has been simplified since DX7, but I still think OpenGL is the better choice.

What are your future plans? GLBlocks 2,3,4 ... ?

Well, since I started working a couple of weeks ago I've found out just how little time is left for 'fun'-coding. But maybe when I get some time over I will make another little game. If it will be GLBlocks 2 remains to be seen. IF i choose to do it I have lot of suggestions for improvments and new features that people have sent to me that I can use.

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