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Raúl Ortega Palacios (Dinamic 1987-89)
Graphic designer in titles such as Capitan Trueno or Megacorp, he told us his experiences in this interview with Karnevi.

Right now you will be able to read the conversation that Raul and I had by email. There were several messages, where we had time to talk a little about everything, and I am sure you will like it. Moreover, we still keep in touch with Raul. There it goes :

>> Hi Raul!

Hi Jose. How is it going?

There you have my questions : of course, if you see that there are important things I am missing, just tell me.

Here we come.

>> How did you get to work with Dinamic?

I got there after making two design works. They wanted me to do a loading screen for Fernando Martin Basket Master and another one for Nonamed. They definetely let me in because of the graphics of “Alhambra Tales” a never-released game.

>> How long did you stay there?

I was there for 2 or 3 years, working as a freelance, I used to make the graphics at home and then I took them to them.
I liked spending the evenings there, because the work environment was nice, and I was only 17 years old.

>> What games did you participate in?

Capitan Trueno, Freddy Hardest, Megacorp and Alhambra Tales.

>> Alhambra Tales!!! Wow, it would be great if you tell me everything you know about it. I am planning to dedicate a section to those games that time forgot and were never released, although as for now, I am going to include it in the interview. Do you still have any material from this game? It would be perfect if you send it to me :-)

Well, I have to tell you that I still keep material of this game, but just the part I did, I guess the rest is kept by Victor, here you have a sample, these were the first graphics I did, they were prepared to be on my website, but I will send them to you exclusevely.
I am also sending to you a loading screen of Capitan Trueno that never was seen before and that didn’ t make it to be in the game, and some other graphics to show.

>> How did you guys work in Dinamic?

First of all, the plot of the game was elaborated. All the stuff of that game (ideas, maps, info) was always writen down by Victor Ruiz (whom I send greetings in case he is reading me), and from that information, we organized the group of people that would participate in the making of the game.

>> What was the computer you used to create the graphics?

We usually used whatever of the computers available by then, but everything depended on the compatibility, sometimes we had to use some tools to convert from one computer into another one, e.g. from Amstrad into Spectrum. The Amstrad had a 16 colours limit and the Spectrum 1+ attributes, so there already were tools in Dinamic that converted to black and white interpreting the colour ranges we used. The opposite, this is, from Spectrum into Amstrad or Amstrad into C64 could be done too (this last case was the easiest one). With Amstrad, we used to use Screen Designer, plus an animation module writen by Dinamic coders, which allowed us, the graphic designers, to test the sprite animations.
I specially worked with Amstrad, and both Screen Designer and Melbourne Draw worked with a moving spot in the screen (using the numerical keys : up, down, left, right and diagonals). The “p” key painted, and “v” deleted, and that’s how we made the Graphics. Oh! I forgot, we even had a zoom with the “z” key. Now you can see how times have changed. Although, by then, there was more creativity in Spain, in those “black and white“years.

>> What can you tell us about the famous Dinamic mansion?

I met Victor Ruiz and Javier Cubedo there, and both of them were my helping hands in the world of graphic design, so I am really grateful to them. Javier showed me how colours worked in the screen (colour treatment), and tricks to draw (scanners weren’t as common as nowadays). Victor adviced me in technical and content issues in the videogame making process. Victor was a little presumptous at his job, but when time passes by and you start growing up, and you have seen more stuff in your life, you realise that he had the right to be like that. I haven’t seen anybody with his same ability to manage and direct a videogame project. Seriously, you miss people like him now, able to carry on a project perfectly and make it more attractive than those coming from other countries. I miss those years.
About Javier, I have never seen anybody with so much love for his job, he was such a creative person, he composed songs, produced games, and even made the graphics for some of them. He was an awesome professional. I met more people but these two people were the most important and the ones whom I have to be grateful for having helped me to be what I am now in the world of videogames.

>> When did you leave Dinamic? What did you do after leaving it?

I started to do presentations, with bar graphics, and texts in Union Fenosa. I didn’t find a job in the world of videogames, and that was very sad to me. After that, I started to write some multimedia aplications, I worked in the world of advertisment and now I design websites and do corporative image stuff, but I would like to settle down in the sector of the 3D, visual effects and animation, and that’s the reason I am enrolled in an Alias Maya course, where I am learning a lot and getting ready to work in this world. Also, I am right now preparing a little film of 40-50 seconds long and something related with cinema. I am going to send you some screens of the mini-film I am doing.

>> Did you use to play the games you participated in?

Of course! And I got killed often eh! Don’t doubt about it!

>> And did you play another games?

Yes, I was a big fan of videogames, with my first computer, a Spectrum, I had more than 500 games.

>> Which was your favorite computer?

Spectrum and Amstrad, I got really nice memories of these two.

>> What do you know about the world of emulation? Do you keep yourself updated about it?

It has had a really big evolution these last years, and they help us to keep our memories alive, and that’s good, my brothers!

>> Do you still play the games you participated in?

Sometimes I spend a little time playing, yes.

>> Do you keep in touch with your former co-workers in Dinamic?

No, and I would like to do it, cause I don’t know what they are up to, specially Javier and the Ruiz Brothers.

>> Do you know if Victor Ruiz left Dinamic Multimedia?I am asking this because there is no familiar or known names in the credits of PC Futbol, and that seems a little weird...

I think he is now an important part of another company : FX Interactive.

>> Can you send a message to all the visitors of CEZ?

Yes! If you are a youngster, try the retro games, and you will see the difference between what there was then and what there is now. Some of the retro games are far more addictive.

>> That’s it, I guess you noticed that I am not a journalist, but the interview came out nice! If you want to add something, feel free.

Yes, I would say, there used to be a lot more of creativity back in the 80’s when producing a videgame. Videogames used to impact people deeplier. Now we have more and better technology, 3D, virtual reality... But I wonder if all this is actually affecting the creativity and variety of the game as a final product. Since Doom came out, I haven’ seen a game that brought a different concept, everything is based on the same ideas and technologies : we have a planet , a gun... Let’s shoot!, you start killing everything. I think something got lost along the way, don’t you think? Like those old video-adventures that made you think and act at the same time...
That’s all, cheers and thanks!

An interview by Karnevi.


Related links
Capitán Trueno


Visitors comments (3)

by KAR @ 08-12-2008 22:47:06

by TLG @ 20-12-2008 17:20:06

by @ 10-01-2013 23:48:46

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