Out of nowhere
a homebrew called Beats of Rage was launched into
the homebrew scene in 2002, it rocked the earth and clocked
up over 250,000 downloads in a very short time period.
The people responsible were called Senile Team
and this interview should cover everything you want to know
about them! In the interview chair is Roel van Mastbergen.
S.F: Tell us something about
yourself and Senile Team.
As a videogames enthusiast, self-taught C programmer and CG
artist, I've been making small games for years. However, it
was only when I started working on Beats of Rage
that my two younger brothers, Jeroen and Sander, also felt
inspired to help out. When the game was close to completion,
we decided to name ourselves Senile Team, after our internet
server and mailing list. After the success of BoR, we've had
the pleasure of working with other talented people from across
the world. Most notably, Neill Corlett from the USA, who ported
BoR to DC and PS2, and Ben Boahene from Germany, who is working
on the soundtrack for AotB.
S.F: Beats of Rage was downloaded
well over 250,000 times, you must have lost loads of money
to cover bandwidth costs. Did you actually receive something
back for your work? (in any form)
We spent quite a lot of time on the development of Beats of
Rage, certainly. But I think I can speak for all of us if
I say that it was more of a pass-time than an investment.
However, it was only after the game was finished and made
available that we really had to get to work. Contrary to our
expectations, we soon found that DOS wasn't dead at all. Our
server would soon be overrun by thousands of visitors, and
it would still take months before we finally managed to overcome
the bandwidth issues, through the help of many a friendly
S.F: The Beats of Rage
project is clearly based on the Streets of Rage series,
why didn't you do a direct port and use the actual SOF
characters? The King of Fighters art wasn't exactly
copyright free as well.
A direct port? Are you kidding? The SOR-KOF crossover was
the whole point! ;)
Besides, the use of KOF characters is no more or
less "grey" than using the SOR cast. We
obviously weren't trying to avoid any copyright issues, just
to make a game that we thought would be cool, and sort of
a tribute to some of our favourite series.
S.F: To be honest, a lot
of the Beats of Rage mods released aren't very good,
what are your
absolutely right. But there are some real gems out there,
too. Rage of the Streets and Hyper Final Fight
seem very well-executed to me, and the originality and humour
of the Roy Streets mod is just pure gold as well.
S.F: Senile Team has made a good
name for itself and interest for Age of the Beast
is big, what can we expect?
You can expect us to keep a very high quality standard. But
as for the details, you'll just have to wait and see.
S.F: How is Age of the Beast coming
along? Can we use the 3DRealms quote 'when it's done'
That is correct. This is a non-commercial project. We don't
get paid and we work in our own free time. I don't think anyone
would be eager to join such a project if it wasn't at least
stress-free, do you? ;) So, we have no deadlines, and we divide
the different tasks in such a manner that no one person's
work depends on anyone elses. A christmas release would be
nice, but speed is never a priority in this project. What
counts is quality. A well-polished game that you keep wanting
to play. And we won't stop before we're sure that's what
Can we expect it to be as mod friendly as Beats of Rage?
Yes and no. Contrary to Beats of Rage, Age of
the Beast was written with modding specifically in mind.
This means that some things are now easier. However, the new
engine also offers many new possibilities, meaning that the
number of commands and values one has to fill in has
S.F: Senile Team
is busy enough as it is at the moment but when Age of
the Beast is released, isn't it time for a shoot or racing
game for a change?
Well, there's a story to this. You see, whilst reactions to
Beats of Rage were mostly very positive, we
also found that there was a great interest in an improved
version of the game. At first we were somewhat hesitant
to start another project so similar to Beats of Rage,
especially with all the mods and source code changes that
were to be expected. It seemed well possible that by the time
our new project was finished, there might not be an interest
for it any more! However, the thought of creating a game that
would surpass expectations, even despite the competition from
our own creation, was just too tempting. And so, the Age
of the Beast project was born.
We certainly don't intend to build ourselves
a reputation of one-trick ponies, though. Rest assured that
Senile Team will still manage to surprise you in
When the content in Senile Team games is 100% original
can we expect commercial releases?
Age of the Beast was originally supposed to be our
first attempt at the creation of a 100% original product.
However, the small number of people working on it, combined
with the amount of time required to finish this project, forced
us to aim a little lower. So we're using sprite edits now
instead of completely new animations. All other material is
If we ever want to try a project this size
again, I believe it will have to be a commercial one. We simply
can't afford to keep spending so much time and effort on freebies.
S.F: What's your favorite
console for homebrews and which homebrew projects do you like?
Hmmm, the Dreamcast would have to be my favourite, wouldn't
it? A powerful machine which requires no mod chip or any other
trick, the Dreamcast is the platform of choice for homebrew
gaming. I was quite enthusiastic about the Alice Dreams
demo, and I'm looking forward to the finished game.
S.F: Finally, what are your
favorite 5 games ever?
There are so many great games, choosing a mere five of them
is a tough decision. But here's a list of the first five games
that spring to mind when I think "excellent":
-Streets of Rage 2 (Megadrive)
-Last Resort (NeoGeo)
-Sonic the Hedgehog, part 1 (Megadrive)
S.F: Thanks to Roel van Mastbergen for this
interview. Greets to the Team.
For more information on Team Senile and their games