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CREATED XXX.XX.XXXX
UPDATED DEC.01.2007
FRANZ LANZINGER INTERVIEW
PROFILE
Name Franz Lanzinger
Profession Programming
NES Reference Tengen, Bitmap Brothers

Finally another interview. I've always been a fan of Krazy Kreatures, a game by Franz Lanzinger and Dave O'Riva, released by American Video Entertainment. Well found Franz Lanzinger on the net and ofcourse asked him if he would answer a few questions, and they are as follows.....

INTERVIEW
NES WORLD:
How/why did you start programming NES games?

FRANZ LANZINGER:
I was hired at Tengen in 1989. My first project there was to convert Toobin' to the NES. I had learned 6502 assembly language eight years earlier when I programmed Crystal Castles coin-op, so the NES was right up my alley.

NES WORLD:
Was it hard to work under the NES units limitations?

FRANZ LANZINGER:
It was at first, especially when given the task to port a coin-op game like Toobin' which uses much more memory and many more colors etc. Dave O'Riva and I basically redesigned the game to make it fit into an NES cartridge.

NES WORLD:
Who came up with the idea for Krazy Kreatures?

FRANZ LANZINGER:
That was me. I wanted to do an original game after porting Toobin' and Ms. Pacman. I always liked puzzle games, especially Tetris, so it seemed like it would be fun to invent a new one.

NES WORLD:
KK is my favourite puzzle game, and at the end of the game it says "watch out for Krazy Kreatures 2". Was this game ever made or even *really* planned?

FRANZ LANZINGER:
Well, yes and no. We wanted to design and develep a sequel but American Video Entertainment had trouble selling their games in large quantities and soon went under.

NES WORLD:
Why was Krazy Kreatures released by American Video Entertainment? Didn't you work at Atari Games/Tengen?

FRANZ LANZINGER:
Both Dave O'Riva and I left Tengen to form Bitmasters in mid 1990. KK was our first game. It paid our bills for a few months while we got started. Soon after we got a contract to port Rampart for the NES, later published by Jaleco.

NES WORLD:
Is Krazy Kreatures freeware today (to be copied freely) or still copyrighted?

FRANZ LANZINGER:
Well, copyrights are valid for 75 years here in the U.S., so I would say that it's still copyrighted. The copyright probably belongs to Macronix, the old parent company of AVE. But then again, they might have sold it to someone.

NES WORLD:
Remember how many people who worked in Tengen's NES game department?

FRANZ LANZINGER:
About 8 or so. Some of the Tengen NES games were developed outside. Also, some projects never saw light of day (XYbots, Police Academy ...)

NES WORLD:
Could you give me a complete list of the games you made or helped making for the NES?

FRANZ LANZINGER:
Sure: Toobin', Ms. Pacman, Krazy Kreatures, Rampart and Championship Pool.

NES WORLD:
Have you made any NES games which didnt get published?

FRANZ LANZINGER:
no, somehow all my games always find a way to get published.

NES WORLD:
Do you know what Dave O'Riva is doing today?

FRANZ LANZINGER:
He's working at Atari Games programming the N64.

NES WORLD:
Your new company, Actual Entertainment, has just released a new game for the PC. What type of game is this?

FRANZ LANZINGER:
Gubble is an action-strategy-puzzle game, reminiscent of the old Crystal Castles. The sequel, Gubble II, is just now being released (on September 26th). It's got more of a puzzle emphasis, with less hand-eye coordination and more thinking required. As with all my games it's non-violent and suitable for the entire family.

NES WORLD:
Would you want to make a game for the new videogame consoles like the N64 and Playstation (or even Sega's Dreamscast) if you were asked to?

FRANZ LANZINGER:
Yes I would, especially for Dreamcast!!! The hard part is getting paid. I've found that it's very difficult to do original game development and to get a publisher to pay for that development. I've occasionally funded my own development (Gubble and Krazy Kreatures) but then I need to go back to doing something that makes me enough money to try again later.

Right now I'm doing 3D firmware development for a great new startup company. It's not games, but I enjoy it and it pays well. Meanwhile I'm getting all kinds of great game ideas. Now if I only had the spare time to write all those games...