diskMAGazine (Jan 1992) : CONFERENCE-EA

<EA-Orlando> The assi the assistant producer for the MultiMedia
Products at EA.  I previously worked for EA
<EA-Orlando> in the Customer Support group.  I am also a long time
amiga user.  I have
<EA-Orlando> been told that you folks have some comments and
questions regarding Dpaint
<Paul> What does EA plan to do with DMCS?
<EA-Orlando> Right now, we are doing some research into what to do
with DMCS
<EA-Orlando> We would like to gather some people's comments about
what they think we should do with DMCS.
<DEANF> Orlando...Deb has been gathering comments from users about DMCS...you
can download them
<BLUE-KNIGHT> Exactly DEAN thats the conference we are talking about :_0
<-=Chrispy=-> No shortage of suggestions here, Orlando <grin>
<Jamie> Will there ever be an ARexx port in dpaint?
<EA-Orlando> Re: ArexxRe: Arexx, we are well aware of everyone's
need for Arexx and are looking into to the best way to implement it.  No
release plans at the moment though.
<dan> Have their been many reports of problems with DPIV running
under 2.04?
<EA-Orlando> Yes, we have received reports of some problems
<EA-Orlando> They are happening on A2000's and A500's with the
2.04 ROMS if the processors are 6800's or 68010's.
<]3ob> When does EA plan to release a bug fix version to DPaint IV?
<]3ob> ga
<Kevin> does EA plan on developing a new IFF standard for music? 
the SMUS format doesn't seem to be enough, and other companies took it upon
themselves to come up with their own "standard" e.g. sound tracker, but there
are now a ton of "standards" for music files..
<EA-Orlando>  About DMCS, yes it would be great to have support for more formats.
<EA-Orlando> We have no plans on implementing a new music format,
but MIDI has become
<EA-Orlando> presety standard, so if we ever did a new version,
that would probably be high on the list.  Possibilities on supporting other
formats are a possibility.
<]3ob> There are a number of bugs with DPaint IV...When has EA
planned to release a bug fix version?
<]3ob> -=-
<EA-Orlando> We are gathering as much information on problems as
we can, we try our best at tsting the program, but it the users who really put
it through it's paces.  When we feel we have gathered enough we will do a rev. 
there is no firm date that I can give you at the moment,  the programmer is
evaulating how much time it will take to do all the fixes, but when it comes,
let me just say you'll be pleased with it.
<EA-Orlando> =-=-=-
<dan> Are there any plans for an upgrade to Deluxe Video III?
<dan> -=-
<EA-Orlando> There are no current plans at the moment, but we'd
like to hear your ideas on it. -=-
<Jamie> are there plans to optimize DPaint in assembly to make it
<EA-Orlando> We are always looking at optimizing  key features,
what features are too slow for you? -=-
<BLUE-KNIGHT> Go Ahead Jamie with the followup on this
<Jamie> er well stuff thats time consuming such as Metamorphing,
but then I realize that this by its nature is a time consuming task.
<Jamie> for 68000 folks this is a very slow process...
<Jamie> -=-
<Peg> Hal Jordy is also at EA and will be here in a couple
minutes, gang. He's real cool.
<Peg> Hal Jordy will be here as DEEPMODEM, and Orlando will be
back as DEBS-GUEST in just a couple minutes.
<Peg> Everybody please welcome Hal Jordy of Electronic Arts!
He's using the DEEPMODEM  account now. Great guy, Hal... and he knows about
DMCS, btw. :)
<Hal Jordy> Nice to be here, but this is verry difficult to read
<Peg>  meet Orlando Guzman and Hal Jordy from Electronic Arts!
<Hal Jordy> I know a little bit about DMCS, but I can't say much
right now.  I'd love to hear comments about it. And please send any suggestions
to me at EA.  Are we supposed to talk about DPaint now, or shall I ask/talk
about anything I like.
<Peg> Anything you like, Hal. We have suggestions about DMCS in
the bulletin board here now, so you wont need to worry about writing things
down.
<BLUE-KNIGHT> Hal we have an area setup for comments where you can capture all
the suggestions you want. Its in the Buletin Board here.
<Peg> We will send them to you, Hal.
<Jamie> pretty much the animation stuff....
<BLUE-KNIGHT> Orlando I have a question about DELUXE PAINT I tried to do a
gradient fill yesturday and it did not look that great in HAM how many colors
did DP4 use for the fill 16 or more?
<EA-Orlando> About the gradient fill, it is dependent on the base
registers...
<EA-Orlando> and how you have the gradient setup...
<BLUE-KNIGHT> Well I used a full register spread over the colors from one to
another.
<EA-Orlando> Do you mean you used the base 16 colors one after
another contigusouly? -=-
<BLUE-KNIGHT> No Orlando I took the full color spectrum and spread it form one
point (for a ssetting sun sky) from yellow.... to RED and then setup the
Gradient fill marker... but it did not go up to specs.
<Jamie> if you do some more complex moves with animbrushes it
gets bogged down a bit (I'm talking with 2Meg of RAM on a 500)
Message sent to Job 6  
<Jamie> (sometimes it even appears a little slow on my 3000
(25MHz) w 6Meg RAM)
<Kevin> is EA planning on releasing any new products in the Deluxe
line in the near future?
<Hal Jordy> We're always keeping our eyes open for new products...
<Hal Jordy> ...but to be honest, we're a bit swamped with the ones
we have right now.
<DEANF> Other than games, which of the three competing CDROM standards is EA
going to support?   Commodore's CDTV, Philip's CD-I, Microsoft's CDROM-XA? -=-
<Hal Jordy> About formats we'll support....
<Hal Jordy> ... we'll suppport anything that gets a large enough
installed base.  DCTV, CD-I etc, will start looking interesting when there are
10,000 installed units or more.
<BLUE-KNIGHT> Speaking of DCTV and 24 bit boards.. Are you guys planing to
suport them in the future (prior to comodore coming out with the driver). Like
having drivers of your own for them???
<Hal Jordy> About 24-bit...
<Bill> Hal, what about graphics cards like FireCracker or DMI
Resolver?
<Bill> Virtual screen support?
<Todd> Orlando, how do you think the Amiga will stack up with the Mac
and Multimedia=PC's in a year from now?
<BLUE-KNIGHT> Hal DCTV will never have a 10,000 user base because all of them
are spread out over 5 or 6 24 bit boards... and since your program is for
Graphic Design alot of people use 24 bit cards for Video and Graphic Design.
<Hal Jordy> ...We love it.  And we'll try to support it as quickly
as we can, but I don't know how soon that will be and whether or not we'll wait
on Commodore.  I for one would like to see a 24-bit STANDARD on the Amiga
tomorrow.
<DEANF> Hal..I thought at the most recent DEVCON that SAGE was formally made a
24 bit standard for addressing graphics boards?
<Peg> Might EA develop a 24-bit standard, as they did with IFF,
Hal?
<Hal Jordy> ...SAGE is "A" standard as I understand it.  Not "THE"
standard.
<EA-Orlando> I think it will take whomever gets supported the
most, unfortunately...
<EA-Orlando> t means whomever is selling more units,  and whomever
is making the biggest noise about their machines.-=-
<BLUE-KNIGHT> Well 24 bit already has a standard.... IFF24 its the displays
standards that are a problem
<Hal Jordy> Yes, there already is a standard for the file format. 
It is the video boards we need a standard for.
<DEANF> Yeah, IFF24 is the standard for the file format, what's needed is a
standard for sending the info to the hardware...I thought that was what SAGE
was going to be
<QUIYONTE> hi!~!
<Todd> Orlando, would a low cost CD-Rom Player with a standard format
help in your AMIGA development?
<EA-Orlando> Todd, absolutely a low cost CD-ROM unit would help,
if Commodore could get those into the hands of the average consumer.  The Amiga
Multimedia market would take off...
<BLUE-KNIGHT> Well as you guys know there is talk about that from comodore...
but CD ROMS are not cheap no matter where you look/
<EA-Orlando> I don't know about that, I think SEGA plans on their
CD-ROM unit to be very cheap
<Peg> There's an Amiga-compatible CD-ROM reader now, right.
Anybody know what it goes for?
<DEANF> There is a $50 or so software avail that lets Amiga use most SCSI CDROM
drives
<BLUE-KNIGHT> Dean but SAGE is going to be in a few years from now
<Peg> How do you find out things like that, Orlando.. like who
is doing the best?
<DEANF> Yury..SAGE is now...the DMI Resolver and the PP&S Rambrandt both use it
<DEANF> And CBM has endorsed it
<Hal Jordy> Maybe SAGE will be a standard.  I don't know.  We are
looking at it, but I can't make any promises.  It helps that more than one
manufacturer is supporting it.
<DEANF> Speaking of IFF24, does it have support for 32 bits, like for alpha
channel type stuff, or is it just 24 bits?
<W.LEE18> What is "SAGE"?
<DEANF> SAGE is a standard of addressing graphics boards
<W.LEE18> Like "QuickDraw"?
<DEANF> Sort of
<Hal Jordy> ...Re IFF24.  I don't know, but I sure hope it supports
32bits.  I've just assumed that it did.  Maybe I should talk to my programmers,
eh.
<Jim> Orlando or Hal - Can you give us an idea of what it'll take,
from EA's perspective to do the DMCS upgrade?  Is it some # of unit sales?
<DEANF> Yeah, with more high end boards having alpha channel capability, it
would be nice if the file format standard could support it  :-)
<Hal Jordy> ...we're looking at it right now.  We make our
decisions based on how many units we think we will sell of the new version (not
the old one), but the oone gives us an idea of how many we will sell of the new
one.  Also, a lot of the decision is based on our available re...
<DEANF> You can use almost any SCSI CDROM on the AMiga, it does not have to be
Amiga specific, you just need a software driver and they are available
<B.HUNKINS2> Damn...all this talk about CD-ROMS, and I don't even have a HD
yet! I can't ever catch up!!!
<Kevin> the problem is getting software on cd's that the amiga can
use..
<DEANF> It's the software that has to be Amiga specific
<Peg> I dont know, Dean. I'd like Amiga stuff on it.
<DEANF> The software drivers can work with some but not all CDTV disks
<BLUE-KNIGHT> Dean well companies put their software on ROM disks... Look at
IBM Corel Draw.. I am sure that Deluxe paint will look good on CD ROM as well.
<DEANF> One local dealer has an external Chinon CDROM drive attatched to an
AMiga 3000...it's addressed by the Amiga as CD0: or somesuch
<DEANF> Yury...No, Corel Draw is a HUGE program, it needs to be on CDROM
<DEANF> DPAint is not very big, floppy is fine
<EA-Orlando> Yeah , but think of the zillion piece of art and
fonts we could put on a cd-rom...
<DEANF> Orlando, yeah, that would be neat, but then DPAaint would cost $500  ;-)
<Hal Jordy> Ooooh.  I'd love to crush the piracy problem.  But I'd
love to ship DPaint on CD-ROM just to pack the disk with art.
<EA-Orlando> , Yeah you would have to password protect it like
other cd-rom companies do.
<Peg> What a great idea, Hal!!!!
<B.HUNKINS2> They will never defeat the piracy of software. It's too bad, cause
it's what keeps the software prices so high.
<Kevin> the higher the prices, the more people pirate..  the more
people pirate, the higher the prices go..  [sigh]
Message sent to Job 15 
<Amiga Man> I'm having some trouble with D-Paint..
<EA-Orlando> Go ahead Amiga man..
<Amiga Man> I can't get the cell frame to change without going up to
the menu and selecting "Next"
<EA-Orlando> Amiga man, are you trying to go to the next anim
frame or animbrush frame?
<Amiga Man> anim frame
<EA-Orlando> what keyboard command are you using?
<Amiga Man> I tried 1 and 2 like it says, even with all the
modifiers..
<EA-Orlando> Is your caps lock key down?
<Amiga Man> No, no caps lock.. is that wrong??  (Where the hell is
the manual when you need it?  It's always everywhere when I DON'T!!)  I hate
organized people.
<BLUE-KNIGHT> So I am sorry to bring this up Hal but .... what is the
possibility on the Upgrade to DMCS (you can give an approximation on the
percent of it.)
<Hal Jordy> ... RE DMCS...
<Hal Jordy> ...I give it a 50% chance right now.  And the odds get
better every day
<BLUE-KNIGHT> I am glad to hear that the odds are getting better.
<Kevin> come again!
<DEANF> Hal...DMCS, even after all these years, still has the POTENTIAL to be a
killer program...
<Jim> Hal - Would it help for us to organize a Torch Brigade to
march on San Mateo?
<Peg> You bet it does, Dean.
<DEANF> ...it needs some serious bug squashing and some fixing up, but it could
be another DPaint
<BLUE-KNIGHT> DMCS is one of the best programs around.. if it gets a little
tweek here and there... it can take the lead with no problems.
<BLUE-KNIGHT> Just look in the library and see how many DMCS in comparison to
all others are here :-)
<BLUE-KNIGHT> Yes I do ... HAL I will talk about DPaint any time... What are
your plans for it in the future? Is ther a plan to view GIF write on it?
<BLUE-KNIGHT> It was a rumor before the DP4 was released.
<Peg> Hey,that's a good idea, Blue. GIF.
<Hal Jordy> What do people think of the new palette layout in
DPaint?  We've heard a lot of varying comments.
<EA-Orlando> WHat single most feature would be love dpaint to
have????
<DEANF> The Amiga is multi-tasking, no need to have every feature in every
program...add AREXX to DPaint and run DPaint, ArtDept, have ArtDept do the
conversion then automatically shoot the file to DPaint's spare screen or some
such
<BLUE-KNIGHT> Are you guys planing to implement some other things! into DP4..
if you ever saw DigiPaint (I am sure you did)their pallette was amazing the way
it would change under your keyboard and let you pick away... How about using
that (with changing it so that no  copyrights are borken)
<Amiga Man> I don't see the point of adding rexx to anything
really.. I'm waiting for some macro maker like the one for the Mac.. not sure
if it's on it standard or not, but at our school, there's this prg. that
recordes the mouses actions, but not
<Amiga Man> nescessarily it's positions so if you move a window, it
won't miss the icon like Mach III
<DEANF> Amiga Man...there have been mouse recorders for the Amiga for a long
time, but AREXX has much more capability than a simple macro
<Amiga Man> Well maybe I should buy AREXX, but I haven't heard much
about it except that everyone says it's great.. you can get it to give you a
certian choice about the screen when you load DPAint.. why?  it giives you a
niice requester on it's own..
<EA-Orlando> Are most people aaware that we did a  silent DOS 2.0
rev. of DMCS....
<Dan> kNo I was'nt aware. Orlando.
<Peg> A workbench 2.0 version of DMCS!!??/ No, I didnt know that!
<DEANF> How do we get the 2.0 version of DMCS?  I added 2.04 a month or so ago
<EA-Orlando> To get the rev. call customer support at
415-572-2787,  I think it's $7.50.
<Peg> Great, I'll do it!
<EA-Orlando> It's doesn't look any different, just a little more
hard drive friendly..
<Peg> It's a testimony to Geoff Brown that DMCS (not the special
2.0 version) works under 2.0 as it does, and it does it quite well.
<EA-Orlando> To send mail to Myself (Orlando Guzman) or Hal Jordy
adress to:
<EA-Orlando> 1450 Fashion Island BLVD>
<EA-Orlando> San Mateo, CA 94404
<EA-Orlando> Yes, Dpaint IV will load up DPIIE files.
<EA-Orlando> They default into Halfbright, but look very good in
HAM...
<Steve P.> Can DP4 write a file that DAnimate or DPIIe will read?
<BLUE-KNIGHT> What are the plans for the NEXT UPGRADE TO DELUXE PAINT 4
<EA-Orlando> No DpIIE will read the IFF files as long as they are
non HAM....
<Steve P.> So DP4 can't write a 256 color file that can be read on
the IBM.  Drat.
<EA-Orlando> Nope, 64 colors is what the max DPaint IIe will
understand...
<EA-Orlando> From the amiga that is...
<Jim> But seriously, Orlando and Hal - It was gratifying to hear of
EA's renewed committment to the Amiga (at Oakland AmiExpo) and it was even
better to take DPaint IV home with me!
<DEANF> I guess the main thing DP IV needs other than bug fixes is a good AREXX
implementation, along with some spiffy pre-made AREXX programs, like to
integrate DPaint and ArtDept Pro
<EA-Orlando> Dp II to DP IV is 99.00, you could probably get it
for about $10 dollars more than that from a Mail order house....
<EA-Orlando> Jim I'm glad you happy about that, we are planning on
attending as many trade shows as possible.
<BLUE-KNIGHT> Yes AREXX is something that it DEFINETLY needs! It would make it
very very very powerfull.
<Steve P.> I'd vote for ARexx support, and also better
cross-platform integration.  Files should flow easily between IBM, Mac, and
Amiga versions of your paint products and music products.
<DEANF> Orlando...I'm curious about something...DPaint IV had a wroking demo
version available in England long before the US...how come?
<EA-Orlando> The UK office made a deal for a working demo for a
Magazine (Amiga Format), there was no deal like that made.
<EA-Orlando> Here in the US....
<EA-Orlando> It was uploaded on bbs nation-wide very soon after
that though.
<EA-Orlando> Yes, that is something that our MKTG folks will need
to do the next time around.
<DEANF> From a dealer standpoiint, we got demos of tons of PC stuff, stuff we
didnt want even, it would just show up in the mail or UPS, but getting demos of
AMiga stuff was like pulling teeth...not just EA, but almost all Amiga software
companies
<DEANF> I stopped working at the store in July...it was part of a franchise
long time ago, when the franchise went bust, the mamager bught the store
<Hal Jordy> ...I got to go..
<Hal Jordy> Orlando will be around for another 10 minutes or so.
<DEANF> Thanks for stopping in Hal, hope you'll do it again
<EA-Orlando> Going back to Todd's comment about marketing, you're
right for the most part.  But we have 
<EA-Orlando> assembled a pretty good 2 man MKTG team just for our
department, and they are awesome.....
<EA-Orlando> Both are rare marketing types, in that they are very
into the products, they can use it and demo it and answer questions, instead of
just hype...
<DEANF> You mean unlike some of CBM's folks who have trouble finding the on-off
switch?
<Peg> Sounds great, Orlando.
<Todd> Orlando, can you tell us about affiliated labels products...
like SSI or SSG products?
<EA-Orlando> I don't really have any info on AL products, our
customer support only handles a few: SEGA, OCEAN, UBISOFT..
 <EA-Orlando> Great, I think I can start work now, this has been
fun folks, hope to do it again, bye.....
<BLUE-KNIGHT> Godnight Orlando thanks for coming!
<DEANF> Bye Orlando...look for some great DMCS music in the mail next week  :)
<EA-Orlando> We don't support or sell SSG products anymore....
<EA-Orlando> bye folks gotta go...