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Spielkultur | Special | 4Sceners

23.08.05, 19:14 Uhr, Paul Kautz

Aki Määtä should be well known for every oldskool demo freak. The 29 year old graphic artist who's best known under the handle »Marvel« showed his skills in many famous demos from the legendary Future Crew. After some years working for Remedy (Max Payne 2) he left Finland and started to work for Electronic Arts in the position of a game and level designer. We've talked to him about his job and the demoscene.

(german version)

4Sceners: How old are you?

Marvel: 29 years, so hitting the evil 30 soon.

4Sceners: When did you start being active in the demoscene and what groups have you been to?

Marvel: I first started in '88 or '89, but only became more active in '91 when getting to know the Future Crew guys. Before

Aki »Marvel« Määttä started with doing graphics stuff for the legendary Future Crew. He's working for Electronic Arts today.

FC I was in an Amiga group Dark Angels and also was a member of Amiga groups Eclipse and Sonic (Sonik Clique) and PC group Sonic PC.

4Sceners: Where do you live, what do you do now, are you married and so on. :)

Marvel: I live in Montreal, Canada, work as a game designer/level designer at Electronic Arts and am not married (have lived with my girlfriend for over three years now though).

4Sceners: How did you get into the demoscene?

Marvel: Through a cousin of a friend. He held a BBS for a group and asked me if I'd be interested, having seen some of my early graphics.

4Sceners: Are you still active in the scene? Or at least keeping track of it?

Marvel: I was semi-active until Assembly '03, meaning I read websites ( several times a year and took part in the Assembly GFX compos (also oldskool music in 2000 I think). As I live in Canada now, I don't really have time to attend to European parties nor do I feel as attached to the whole scene any more.

4Sceners: What are you doing for a living now?

Marvel: Game Design / Level Design. I did some art for Medal of Honor: European Assault as well (Xbox, PS2, GC).

4Sceners: Why did you switch from Remedy to EA?

Marvel: I wanted to try something new / different. Also staying in one spot at Remedy for over six years made me want to do something other than that for a change.

4Sceners: What do you think is the main difference between the »oldschool« and the »newschool« scene? Do you like that progression?

Marvel: Oldschool was more about teamwork, group gatherings and spirit. Newschool is graphic artists doing 'funky' objects and coders integrating them in - I feel it's not as unified as before, but also it's not as coder driven as before (haven't seen too many new effects in the past five years - in the late 80's and early 90's there was way more progression per year).

Marvel reached the third place in the "Freestyle Graphics" competition at Assembly in the year 2003 with this picture, called 1-800-xxx.

What do you think about scene-events like Assembly or The Gathering becoming more and more something of a gamer- than a scene-party?

Marvel: I think it's a natural part of the progression - had they not taken gamers in, the parties would go back to their early days of 300 attendees in a school. I think it's still nice to have all the compos in the large LAN events and to see most gamers to respect them. If there is to be another wave for the scene, big parties like Assembly and Gathering play an integral part as a possible driving force.

4Sceners: What do you think is more important in a demo: amazing technical tricks, which no one has ever seen before – or good design, based on solid effects?

Marvel: Balance and good design. That said, I think the best demos still have a few technical tricks here and there and old tricks made in a new way. Still, having amazing art on top of everything helps to make the whole look better.

4Sceners: What is your favourite demo?

Marvel: Propably Crystal Dream by Triton. I also enjoyed many NoooN demos due to the fresh perspective on art.

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