|Paul Lombardi is a man with a long tradition in the games business. He has more than 20 years of industry experience. At first, he helped to build up Microprose. In 1989 he has founded Innerprise Software. Later he ran Interactive Magic together with "Wild Bill" Stealy, former Microprose CEO and aircraft pilot. Today he's the CEO of IGS - Interactive Gaming Software, the successor company of Interactive Magic. IGS is mainly a PC games publisher. Economic simulations like Capitalism or Hotel Giant are reaching the stores with the IGS label on their box. Also gems of strategic gaming like Seven Kingdoms 1+2 are coming from this company. Road Wars, an action-racing game, is also one of their titles, which they published in North America.|
When Innerprise Software released their first Amiga game, reviewers and gamers went totally crazy. A shoot'em up game called Battle Squadron got their attention, which featured furious trigger action in coin-op quality. It was the inofficial sequel to Hybris and was created again by Martin Pedersen and Torben B. Larsen. The sequel had better graphics and an amazing soundtrack, composed by Ron Klaren. Technically impressive were especially the hidden enemies, which crawled below the surface. Battle Squadron was also the first game, which allowed the gamer to control his ship by using the mouse. This was an excellent idea, especially for the two-player mode. Unfortunately the extra weapon system lacked a bit in originality and comfort. Anyway it's, without any doubt, one of the five best shoot'em up games, ever created for the Commodore Amiga system. This game was a big success. Even a version for the Sega Genesis videogame console has been made, which wasn't as good as the original version.
The other games from Innerprise Software haven't been as good and as successful as their first title. Cyberblast was a nice action game, with great title and intro graphics by Mike Bazzell. Today, Mike is an art director at Sid Meier's company Firaxis Games.
Mark Langerak programmed the jump'n shoot The Plague. Nice graphics and good music from Ron Klaren again, are the highlights of this title. The cover artwork was done by Dorian Vallejo, son of Boris Vallejo, the brilliant fantasy artist. Mark Langerak is also well known for his excellent Amiga port of Gunship 2000.
Globulus is a tricky game of skill, which also tests your brain. The programmer of this game was Jorgen Bech, who's name sounds very similar to the name of BTTR-maintainer Juergen "Bobic" Beck. It was a very funny experience, when Innerprise Software's sound driver programmer Yvo Zoer contacted Bobic. He thought he was his old mate Jorgen Bech, because of the similar sounding names. ;-). Also Paul Lombardi thought first of his former programmer, when Bobic contacted him.
Danish programmer Joergen Bech is a very nice person. He told us lots of interesting information about his former days, when he was employed at Innerprise. We don't want to withheld you these funny stories!
Joergen about a cracked copy of Globulus:
"Funny thing was that we received a pirated copy of Globulus *before* the game was released. I have no idea how it got out. Well, the *really* funny thing was that this cracked version had an intro with music by - yes - Ron Klaren. A coincidence, I am sure, as that intro was used for other games as well. Still, Ron could have told his friends not to use his music on games from companies he had done any work for. Really! :)"
Joergen about his days at the office of Innerprise Software:
"I was paid in the neighbourhood of $2000 spread over 5 months and the company financed the plane ticket (around $500) as well, so those 5 months worked out at around $500 a month. I lived at the office (no air-condition, and we are talking about Maryland in the Summer) all the time, and the money was just enough for food, a Sony Discman, and a bunch of cd's now and then. More than once we would go to the bank and find they would not cash our checks (and getting the checks themselves was difficult enough in the first place). Ah, what you put up with when you are young! :)"
Joergen about The Plague:
"Another little anecdote - this time about the Plague: We were 4 guys who "lived" at the office around the time this game was released. Now, I have never been fanatic about games myself, just enjoyed playing what was available. Never been one of those who would camp out in front of a store in order to get my hands on a game the minute it was released.
But one night I woke up (around 3AM) to the sound of someone almost beating down the door. So I took a baseball bat and went downstairs to see what the noise was all about. Turned out to be one of those fanatics (sorry if I offend anyone) who had gotten a defective copy of "The Plague" (second disk, of course) and wanted a replacement. So in the middle of the night I invited him in, turned on an Amiga and found a working copy for him. Sheesh. The front door was not even locked. The key was missing or the lock was broken - whatever - so for half a year, the front door was always open. Couldn't he just have walked in and grabbed a copy real quiet so I could have gotten my night's sleep? :)"
Bobic, July 2002
Seven Kingdoms II
Published by JoWood in Germany