Predstavljamo: Ambrosia Software – Uz Mac korisnike preko 15 godina

Roberta Barbarić

Objavljeno 26.01.2009. Objavio/la: Roberta Barbarić
U sekciji Interview | 7 Komentara

Kad čujete ime Ambrosia onda se sjetite svih onih ljudi koji gunđaju, kišu i kašlju u blizini te alergene biljke. Poznavatelji grčke mitologije imaju jednu drugu asocijaciju – božanski eliksir s Olimpa. No, u Mac svijetu ovo ime od ‘95. godine znači nešto sasvim drugo. Stari korisnici Macintosh računala pamte par tvrtki koje su uveseljavale korištenje računala u ta, pomalo zaboravljena, vremena.  Jedna od njih je Ambrosia Software. Bile su to vedre retro igre koje su uveseljavale Mac veterane, a danas su dostupne i svim novim korisnicima. Ambrosia Software je tvrtka koja podržava neovisne developere, predstavlja njihove projekte i potiče na kreativnost. No, nisu više okrenuti samo igrama. Kod njih možemo naći i razne korisne utilitije od kojih su najpopularniji iToner i WireTap. S iTonerom jednostavno kreirate ringtonove za iPhone a s WireTapom jednostavno snimate zvuk na Mac s različitih vanjskih izvora. No, tu je cijeli niz drugih aplikacija koje možete upoznati na njihovoj web stranici. Iako je osnivač Ambrosie, kako ga u firmi zovu El Presidente, – Andrew Welch, razgovarala sam s Johnom Champlinom zaduženim za odnose s javnošću. Ovo “odnosi s javnošću” možda zvuči pomalo uštogljeno i službeno, no razgovor uopće nije bio takav. Uvjerite se u interview-u koji ćemo opet objaviti i na hrvatskom, ali i engleskom, kako bi ga mogli pročitati i u Ambrosia Software-u.

- Ambrosia Software je s Mac korisnicima već preko petnaest godina. Kako je to bilo u početku. U eri kojeg operacijskog sustava se dogodila Ambrosia?

- Početak Ambrosie vraća nas u studentske dane našeg El Presidentea Andrewa Werlcha.  Radio je na svojoj tadašnjoj snažnoj mašini - Mac llsi, gdje je stvorio prvu igru – Maelstrom. Bila je to “Asteroidna” igra za koju mnogi ljudi kažu da im je bila prva igra na Macu. To je vrijeme predstavljanja Mac OS 7.1, iako ne mogu biti siguran jer tad još nisam bio u tvrtki. Mislim da je Malestorm napisan u Assembleru, dok su neki dijelovi riješeni u C programskom jeziku. Andrew je napisao igru, a nekoliko njegovih prijatelja pomoglo mu je oko grafike i zvučnih efekata. Stavio je igru na AOL, te je odmah postigla nevjerojatan uspjeh. Osvojila je nagradu Shareware Industry-ja i proglašena najboljim programom za Mac 1993. godine.

- Znamo da je osnivač Ambrosie Andrew Welch. Ambrosia je biljka koja izaziva alergije (Neki od naziva na engleskom su i bitterweeds, bloodweed), ali također je poznata i kao misteriozni eliksir grčkih Bogova s Olimpa. Možeš li nam reći zašto je Andrew izabrao baš ovo ime?

- Na sreću većina Amerikanaca ne zna za ovaj naziv biljke koja izaziva alergije. Ovdje ju zovemo Ragweeds. Većina korisnika ime Ambrosia povezuje s grčkom mitologijom. U vrijeme osnivanja tvrtke Andrew je bio veliki obožavatelj mitologije i starih kultura i svjetova, te je odlučio dati neko impresivno ime. I tako, rodila se Ambrosia.

- Tvrtka se doima kao idealno mjesto za mlade kreativne ljude. Slažeš li se da kreativci uvijek nekako završe na Macu?

- Mislim da Ambrosia ima određenu atmosferu koja privlači kreativce. Mogu slobodno reći da su ljudi koje Andrew zapošljava neki od najtalentiranijih koje sam ikada upoznao. Naši programeri su vrhunski, naš tim za podršku je izvrstan… To je jasan pokazatelj o tome kako Andrew pristupa stvarima. Očekuje samo najbolje od svojih ljudi i ne prihvaća ništa ispod tog standarda. (Ovo na nekog podsjeća (op. a.)) Što se tiče kreativaca i korištenja Apple računala, većina mojih kreativnih prijatelja je otkrila Macove i zavoljela ih. Sviđaju nam se i zbog toga smo odlučili raditi software upravo za njih.

iToner, lakši put do vlastitih ringtonova na iPhoneu

iToner, lakši put do vlastitih ringtonova na iPhoneu

- iToner je najpopularniji ringtone utility za iPhone. Možemo li očekivati još utilitija za iPhone?

-iPhone je nevjerojatan komad tehnologije. Već je promijenio način na koji ljudi dolaze u kontakt s internetom i samim računalima. Trenutačno nemamo najavljen još jedan utility za iPhone, no to ne znači kako ne razmišljamo o tome. Imamo 4 igre za iPhone, a još neke su u pripremi. Ambrosia kreativni tim radi punom parom na idejama za nove tehnologije.

WireTap - program koji će vam olakšati audio snimanje s raznih izvora

-Možemo vidjet da su audio utility-ji najtraženiji kod Ambrosie. A u Ambrosia igrama se primijeti snažan naglasak na zvučnim efektima. Postoji li neki poseban razlog za ovo?

-Audio utilities koje nudimo svi su u glavnom proizašli iz našeg free proizvoda WireTap. Kako smo se širili kao kompanija našli smo nove, impresivnije načine da proširimo ovaj proizvod. Ovo se uklapa s vizijom koju ima Andrew i talentima programera koje zapošljava. Još jedan razlog zašto su naše Audio aplikacije odlične je potreba za njima na Macu. Andrew je to shvatio i stvorio nešto što će popuniti tu prazninu Audio aplikacija za Mac zajednicu. Što se tiče snažnog naglaska na zvučne efekte u našim igrama, to je samo pokazatelj koliku pozornost detaljima Andrew zahtjeva za svaki proizvod koji dolazi pod imenom Ambrosia. Dobra igra ne može biti samo vizualna. Mora imati dobru priču, način igranja ali i vrhunske zanimljive zvukove koji će vam pomoći da uđete u igru.

-Moram spomenuti Apeiron. Veliki sam obožavatelj još od vremena Mac OS 8. Sjećam se vremena kad je to bila najpopularnija igra za Mac. Sad je imamo i u inačici za OS X. Možda je remake, ali je originalna u retro arkadnom stilu i idejama. Misliš li kako Retro igre imaju budućnost u današnjem svijetu hladnih, realističnih, 3D igara?

-Nedavno smo bili na Macworldu u San Franciscu gdje smo prezentirali sve naše proizvode. Zanimljiv detalj je da se najveći broj ljudi zadržao na našem štandu dok smo pokazivali Apeiron X. Svi vole ovu igru, jednostavna je, zarazna i nevjerojatno zabavna. Ne žele baš svi stalno igrati 3D FPS igre, neki ljude žele samo zabavnu malu igru u kojoj će uživati. Čak i neki od hard core gamera koji igraju one super realistične igre, ponekad požele igrati nešto klasično i jednostavno, kakav je Apeiron. Vjerujem da će retro igre uvijek zauzimati posebno mjesto u srcima mnogih ljudi. Možda zbog nostalgije, a možda zbog jednostavnosti igranja.

Legendarni Apeiron, stara igra s Maca koja je preživjela tranziciju na OS X

Legendarni Apeiron, stara igra s Maca koja je preživjela tranziciju na OS X

-Ambrosia pomaže neovisnim developerima da predstave svoj rad – i na kraju – da donesu svoj proizvod na tržište. Koji je glavni kriterij koji neovisni developeri moraju zadovoljiti da bi impresionirali Ambrosiju svojim radom?

-Ovo je veliko pitanje koje nas često pitaju. No, nemam neki konkretan odgovor. Svaki proizvod koji mi donesemo na tržište mora odobriti Andrew Welch. Ima ono nešto što ga natjera da kaže: “Ovo je proizvod koji može biti pod okriljem Ambrosie”. Nisu isti kriteriji za sve proizvode i developere. Mogu samo reći da proizvodi moraju biti originalni, dobro osmišljeni, te da ne izgledaju kao kopija nečeg što već postoji. Ili, mogu biti inspirirani nekim postojećim proizvodom, ali s dosta poboljšanja. Oduvijek želimo raditi korisne utilitije za Mac korisnike, ili igre koje su posebne u svojoj priči i izvedbi.

- Mogu li vas kontaktirati developeri iz Hrvatske ili radite samo s američkim programerima?

-Mi nismo ti koji bi odbili developere zbog njihove zemljopisne lokacije. U stvari, neke od naših igara razvila je britanska grupa koja se zove Introversion. Kreirali su Uplink, Darwina, DEFCON, a uskoro spremamo novu njihovu igru pod imenom Multiwinia. To je vrlo impresivna i zarazna real time ratna strategija. Također smo surađivali s njemačkim developerom kako bismo predstavili Redline, našu multiplayersku trkaću igru. Ako hrvatski developeri misle da imaju dobar proizvod i žele nam ga pokazati kako bismo ga ponudili na tržište, sve što trebaju uraditi je kontaktirati nas na pr@AmbrosiaSW.com.

Štand Ambrosije na Macworldu

Štand Ambrosije na Macworldu

Kad si se ti pridružio Ambrosiji? Možeš li nam prenijeti djelić radne atmosfere? 

-Prije par tjedana bila je deseta godišnjica otkako radim u Ambrosia Software. Bilo je to dugo, ali ugodno vrijeme rada. Mnoge stvari su se promijenile, narasli smo brojčano. Kad sam ja počeo raditi bilo nas je pet, a sad nas je tri puta više. Ambrosia je kupila simpatičnu malu baraku koja je preuređena u urede za programere, ljude za podršku, umjetnike i jednu papigu. Teško je opisati radnu atmosferu. Mogu reći da je dosta opuštena, no ipak ispod te opuštenosti tu je ozbiljna radna etika i posvećenost detaljima. U biti je ovo jedna od najzanimljivijih tvrtki za rad.

-Koja je tvoja omiljena Ambrosia igra?

- Originalno je to naravno bio Apeiron. Mogao sam ga igrati satima. Bilo mi je drago vidjeti da je stigao na OS X platformu. Što se tiče novijih igara, moram reći da sam postao ovisan o igri koja se zove Aquaria. Predstavili smo je prije par mjeseci. Bio sam hipnotiziran crtežom i grafikom ali i pričom, pa sam vjerojatno proveo 100 sati igrajući. (Ovo se može nazvati beta testiranjem, što mi daje opravdanje da je to bio posao). Jednostavno je vizualno impresivna, vrhunski crteži. Predložio bih vašim čitateljima da zarone u Aquariu.

Aquaria - privlačni, mistični podvodni svijet

Aquaria - privlačni, mistični podvodni svijet

-Jesi li ti Mac veteran?

-Pa svrstao bih sebe među veterane, ali ne mislim da sam baš stariji veteran. Više od 12 godina koristim Mac i nemam nikakvih planova prebacivati se na nešto drugo. Uvjerio sam svoju obitelj i prijatelje da se swich-aju, a nadam se da ću još ljudi dovest na pravi put. Još uvijek imam moj PowerPC 6500/250 s njegovimnevjerojatnim krutim diskom od 2 GB.

-Upoznali smo Hektora, papigu koja vam je maskota. No reci nam o liku iz vašeg loga. Jeli to Zeus?

-Da, to je Zeus. Kralj Bogova i vladar planine Olimp koji u ruci drži munju. Nažalost nemamo i orla koji je također simbol Zeusa, ali zato imamo papigu koja može glumiti sve ako treba. Logo se odlično slaže s imenom Ambrosia, a osobito nam se sviđa što je naš simbol ujedno simbol snage.

-Hvala ti John na ovom ugodnom razgovoru. Ako ti ili netko od Ambrosia tima odlučite doći na odmor u Europu razmislite o Hrvatskoj, mediteranskoj zemlji u kojoj ima pristojan broj MacKorisnika. Možda možemo organizirati natjecanje u Apeironu? :D

-Hvala! Drago mi je čut se s drugim Mac korisnicima širom svijeta. Još mi je draže čuti da je netko od njih fan Ambrosia igara. Vjerovala ili ne, Hrvatska je jedno od mjesta koje razmišljam uskoro posjetiti. Čujem da ima prekrasne plaže i zanimljiv noćni život. Čak sam i vježbao kako izgovoriti “živjeli”!

As usual, when we do interviews with English speaking people, we publish it in English language as well. So We will do the same for this interview with John Champlin of Ambrosia Software.  Here it is…

-Ambrosia Software is with Mac users for over 15 years. How was it in the beginning, what operating system era was the time when Ambrosia was formed?

-The beginning of Ambrosia really starts during the college days of our El Presidente, Andrew Welch. He was working away on his powerhouse… the Mac IIsi, and created our first game, Maelstrom, which was an “Asteroids” style game. Which many people still say was their first game for the Mac ever. So, around then had the introduction of System 7.1, so while that is before my time, it was most likely what he was using at the time, though I can’t be sure. I believe Maelstrom was actually written in Assembler, and some other points of the game handled in C. While Andrew wrote the game, he did have his buddies help out with some graphics and help record some sound effects for it. After that, he put the game up on AOL, and it was an instant success, winning the 1993 Shareware Industry Award for best Macintosh program.

- We know that the founder of Ambrosia Software is Andrew Welch. Ambrosia is a plant (also known as bitterweeds and bloodweeds) which produces allergies. But also it’s a mysterious food of ancient Greek Gods… Can you tell us why did Andrew chose the name Ambrosia?

- Luckily most Americans seem to look over the genus of plants that bare the same name as Ambrosia. Although, here in the states we call them “Ragweeds”. Most users usually have the reference that Ambrosia is “Nectar of the Gods”.  At the time Andrew was a big fan of ancient cultures and mythology, and simply felt that if he was going to have a company, why not name it something impressive. So, Ambrosia Software was born.

-This company looks like ideal place for young creative people. Would you agree that creative people somehow always end up using Apple computers?

-I believe that Ambrosia has a certain air about it that seems to draw the creative mindset.  I can easily say that the people Andrew has hired over the years and that still remain here are some of the most talented people I have ever met. Our programmers know their stuff inside and out, and the support staff are second to no body.  It’s a definite sign of how Andrew approaches everything, he never expects anything but the best, and will not settle for anything less. As for creative people ending up using Apple Computers, I would say that I have seen that trend with a great many people. Most of my creative friends have found Apple and love it. It’s merely a matter of getting a chance to really be on one, and learn why they are impressive bits of technology.

-After Macs, Ambrosia started making games for Windows too. But somehow, Ambrosia stayed predominantly Mac oriented company. What is the reason for this?

-While we do have some of our games for Windows, they were not specifically made for the Windows platform.  They are just PC versions of our Mac games that we thought would be nice to share with “the others”.   For instance our game EV Nova was a huge success on the Mac and it only seemed logical to offer this great of a game to everyone.   The sheer reason why we have stayed predominantly Mac, is that we all love the Mac platform. We prefer it, and wish to use it ourselves, so it stands to reason that we would create things for it as well.

-iToner seams to be the most popular iPhone ring tones utility. Can we expect any other utility for the iPhone?

-The iPhone is such an amazing bit of technology, and it has already changed the way many people interact with their computers, and the internet. While we currently don’t have any utility announced for the iPhone, we would be foolish to not be thinking of other items for this handheld device for down the road. We have 4 games out already for it with more on the way, and the Ambrosia think-tank is working overtime with all the new ideas and technology coming out.

-We can see that Audio utilities are always one of the top apps that Ambrosia Software offers. And in Ambrosia games there is always a strong emphasis on sounds. Is there any special reason for this?

-The audio utilities that we offer were all spun off of our free product WireTap, and as we have expanded as a company, we have found newer and more impressive ways to also expand this product. This goes with the visionary nature of Andrew, as well as the talents found in the programmers he hires. I believe the reason why our Audio applications are as amazing as they are, is that there was a definite need for them on the Macs.  Andrew realized it, and created something to fill this need for the Mac community. As for the strong emphasis on the sounds of the games, i believe that is also merely an extension of the level of detail that Andrew expects to be shown anything under the Ambrosia name. A great game can’t just be visuals, it needs to have amazing storylines, game play, and also the sound needs to help you really get immersed in what you are doing!

-I must mention Apeiron. I am a big fan from the times of OS 8. There was a time when it was the most popular Mac game here. And now we have it for os X. It might be a remake, but it certainly is original in retro arcade style, and ideas. Do you think retro games will have bright future in this era of cold 3D realistic and almost plastic looking games?

-We recently went to Macworld San Francisco, demoing all the products we had, and you know what people were always stopping and watching when played on the big screen?  Apeiron X… Everyone loves that game, it’s addictively simple and amazingly fun. Not everyone wants to play full 3D FPS, some just want the fun little game to enjoy. Heck, some of the hardcore gamers that play those super realistic games, often times want to play something simple and classic like this now and again. I believe retro games will always hold a special place in a lot of people’s hearts.  Either for nostalgic purposes, or merely cause they are just simple good game-play.

-Ambrosia helps independent developers to present their work and – at the end – to bring this products to the market. What is the main criteria for Independent developers to impress Ambrosia with their stuff?

-This is a big question that I get asked frequently, and the answer is not something easy to pin down.   Every product that we bring to market has had the Andrew Welch seal of approval. There was something in there that made him realize “Yes this product is worthy of being under the aegis of Ambrosia Software!”   It’s not the same for each person or product, so there really isn’t a solid answer I can give here. But, i could easily say that the products have to be unique in nature, something that is genuinely solid and well thought out idea, and unlike anything else you see on the market. Or, alternatively, that it’s something that might be seen, but is handled in a unique way, making it better for the users. We always want it  be a helpful utility to the Mac users, or a game that is distinct with very solid gameplay and story.

- Can any developer from Croatia contact you, or do you work only with American developers?

-We are not ones to turn down a developer for reasons such as geographic location. Infact, a few of our games were developed by a british group called Introversion. They created Uplink, Darwinia, DEFCON, and we will be releasing a new game called Multiwinia in the next month or so created by them. Which is a very impressive and addictive real time strategy battle game. We also worked with a German developer to bring Redline to the market, which is our multiplayer racing game. If the Croatian developers have a product that is working and wish to have us look at it and try to get it to the market, all they have to do is visit our support page on our site, or write to pr@AmbrosiaSW.com and they can help point you in the right direction.

-When did you personally join Ambrosia Software and what kind of the working atmosphere you have at Ambrosia?

-As of a few weeks ago, i have been with Ambrosia for 10 years. It has been a long, and very enjoyable time here at Ambrosia. A great many things have changed,  we have grown in numbers. When I started I was one of 5 people here, and now we have nearly 3 times that many people. Ambrosia purchased a lovely old farm house which had been converted into a large office, which is filled to the brim with support staff, programmers, artists, and a parrot. The atmosphere here is hard to describe, there is a very laid back feel to the place, but under it there is a very solid and straight-forward work ethic and attention to detail.   More of a family working together with a common goal than a group of coworkers. It’s really one of the most amazing companies to work.

-What is your favourite Ambrosia game?

One of my original favorites was Apeiron, i could play that for hours. And was very happy to see it come to the OSX platform. But, as of now, I have to say that I got addicted to playing the game Aquaria. We released it a few months back, but I was soo hypnotized by the artwork and storyline that I probably played a hundred hours easily on that game (some of it was technically called beta-testing, which counts as real work!). It’s just visually impressive, and the artwork is captivating. I suggest folks download it and dive in.

-Are you a Mac veteran?

-I would classify myself as a veteran, but not as far back as some. For over 12 years or so i have been using the Mac, and I have no plans in the future to ever use anything else. I have convinced family and friends to make the switch, and I am hoping to convince more down the road. I still had my original PowerPC 6500/250 (with it’s whopping 2 GB hard drive!) on my shelf at home last time I checked!

-We met Hector, the bird that is like a mascot of Ambrosia Software. But tell us about the guy in Ambrosia Software logo, is that Zeus?

-Yes, indeed!  Our logo is that of Zeus, the king of the gods and the ruler of Mount Olympus. Holding his telltale lightning bolt in his right hand. Sadly we don’t have an eagle, since that is his other symbol, but we have that parrot that can pretend really well if needs be. It goes well with the Ambrosia name, and it seems fitting to have our logo be something powerful.

 - Thank you John for this pleasant conversation If you or Ambrosia team decide to have vacation in Europe, think of visiting Croatia, beautiful Mediterranean country with many friendly Mac users. Perhaps we can organise Apeiron Challenge! :)

-Thank you!  it’s always enjoyable to hear of Mac users from around the globe! And even more exciting to hear that they are fans of Ambrosia Software. Believe it or not, Croatia is a place that I have on my list of places to visit in the next few years. I hear the beaches are wonderful, and the nightlife is divine! Plus, I’ve been practicing my toasts “Zivjeli”!


Tagovi: , , , ,

 

Komentari:

7 komentara na “Predstavljamo: Ambrosia Software – Uz Mac korisnike preko 15 godina”

  1. Alen u 18:06, 26.01.2009.

    Kad se sjetim samo njihovog bubble troublea…. :D najjace arcade ikad!

    cure i momci znaju svoj posao nema sta…

    Slažem se/Ne slažem se: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0) Za ocjenjivanje komentara morate biti registrirani korisnik.
  2. nikolina u 18:20, 26.01.2009.

    Imam nekoliko njihovih igara i za mene ne postoji niti jedan drugi izdavac. I ja sam navucenica na bubble trouble bila… ovakve igre volim i cijenim, lijepe igrive. 5 + za intervju i veliki pozdrav svima u Ambroziji!

    Slažem se/Ne slažem se: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0) Za ocjenjivanje komentara morate biti registrirani korisnik.
  3. divo u 18:28, 26.01.2009.

    Jaoooooo Apeiron. Pa to je legendarna igra. Gljive podriguše, gušter koji viče evo ga evo ga, onda onaj moćni ženski glas kad pogodiš gljivu s brojem a kad tebe ubiju Mr. Bean kaže: Ohh Noooo :P
    Odmah hitam skinut tu verziju za OS X!!!

    Slažem se/Ne slažem se: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0) Za ocjenjivanje komentara morate biti registrirani korisnik.
  4. Darko Kontim u 23:34, 26.01.2009.
    Darko Kontin

    Bas obozavam ovakve intervijue. Bravo Roberta

    Slažem se/Ne slažem se: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0) Za ocjenjivanje komentara morate biti registrirani korisnik.
  5. think! u 12:38, 09.02.2009.

    E dajte nešto napravite sa ovakvim člancima, ovo je prebrzo palo na drugu stranicu, bez da jew itko skužijo.

    Inače odličan i zanimljiv intervju :) svaka čast ambroziji i autorici

    Slažem se/Ne slažem se: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0) Za ocjenjivanje komentara morate biti registrirani korisnik.
  6. Roberta Barbarić u 00:39, 10.11.2009.
    Roberta Barbarić

    Žao mi je da je mali broj ljudi vidio intervju, šteta, Ambrosia stvarno zaslužuje pozornost :)

    Slažem se/Ne slažem se: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0) Za ocjenjivanje komentara morate biti registrirani korisnik.
  7. Toni Milovan u 09:50, 10.11.2009.
    Toni Milovan

    Morat ćemo vratiti sekciju Izdvojeno. Samo da joj nađemo mjesto.

    Slažem se/Ne slažem se: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0) Za ocjenjivanje komentara morate biti registrirani korisnik.

Ostavi komentar




Pretplati se na odgovore bez komentiranja članka:

Tagcloud:




RSS

Newsletter

Vidi top 100