I hope you are had a great thanksgiving (in the states) and as well black friday shopping for those who manage to make it safe from the stores and back to your house.
Have I got a treat for you! This is over due and I think its the perfect time to do this too!
Let me lay the foundation for this article, first this is an over due interview that was in the works but never had time to do it since our life schedules and work schedule had us both hands tied up for the longest time. So when finally I got the time and he did as well, I was able to ask him if he would like to do a special interview for our readers and visitors who are reading this blog.
I was blessed to get a chance to see him in person in the Netherlands back in October 2008. We talked coasters, theme parks, roller coasters, drank cappuccino (x2 for us) and as well talked 'Themagical' stuff and the future of 'Themagical'.
(Martijn ^^ & me ^^ (Reighard)
As the picture you can see above (Martijn on the left and me (Reighard) on the right) ), this was the picture I took of us when I was there and boy, we both had a great time. :D
Well last night, we were able to talk via msn messenger and I had the pleasure to have an exclusive interview with my pal and buddy Martijn who is the webmaster/ simulator creator of the simulations that you see on 'Themagical's' website.
NOW! On with the interview! :D
"Themagical Special Interview: Martijn Leseman"
Q) Now, since we are coming close to the birthday of Themagical (December 1), have you ever imagined that your site will be making this far online?
A) No, really did not, surprises me a little bit. Thought that the Sims never is popular, but it turned out to be a great spot for simulation lovers. I saw similar simulations at other websites, really got my attention, as I always want to know how an attraction works and just wondered how it would be to control them by myself.
Q) From that, where did the name "Themagical" came from?
A) Hmm, I first had a similar name themagical-online before I registered this domain. I think it came from the idea of creating a "magical" website, a Disney magic. Just added some combinations and voila: Themagical.nl registered the domain at December 1st 2000.
At that time it was not possible to register an .nl domain, without being Dutch Company. But a company had the possibility for normal people to do so. After 3 years I bought the domain officially and registered it at my own name at the time the law changed in the Netherlands.
Q) Tell me about the process about creating your first simulation; Tower Of Terror was your first simulation correct? What made you decide to create that simulation than any other E-Ticket Attraction?
A) My first simulation was the Space Mountain Simulation. It all started with watching the "Shot for the Moon" documentary playing at the TV station in the Netherlands, around the time Space Mountain opened in Disneyland Paris.
I had my first computer and started to experiment with Flash, as other Sims I saw at the internet, a lot used flash. So tried to find all information I could, at the internet, about the new SM and draw my first lines for the sim really took a lot of time, because the first project is always difficult.
Q) How long took you to create your simulations?
A) Sm (Space Mountain) took me about 1.5 year. BTM (Big Thunder Mountain), the 2nd one shorter already knew how to start a simulation at that time. Released the BTM sim in 2005, a lot of time is used for preparation, like getting all stuff which is related to the attraction: pictures/audio, documents, and blueprints. SM and the BTM sim are built on handmade drawings, (btw the MPI ‘Millionaire Play It’ sim too).
Q) From the time 2001 through 2006 showed big traffic to your website and notice that it grew as well your staff. We we’re introduce to Millionaire Play It (MPI) the following year in March 2007. What made you to decide Millionaire Play It as your next "5th" simulation to the website?
A) I met a guy named Randy, also a big enthusiast with simulation. We got in touch, and started to work together at the project. I did not have a project running at the time, and wanted to stop creating Sims. But he managed to get me working again and 2 new simulations followed. MPI is a comprehensive project as the show is difficult to simulate, but we managed to finish the sim and it worked. A great new addition to the website, already 5 simulations.
EE (Expedition Everest) follow in 2008 with a lot of new techniques used for the sim. Better action scripting, more options, improved performance and the introduction of flash 10 plugin.
Q) You said that you weren't going to expand the simulations. WOW! So what made you to continue, it sounded like you were done making any more simulations!?
A) Building the Sims is a time consuming development and my life changed.
So I had to spend more time at other things in life. I’m married and had (still have) a full-time job. So my personal life asked a lot of time, and I had to leave the website. But with the MPI simulation, the idea of working at a development team, just got me to work again as we could share the development and creation of the huge amount of props build for the sim.
Q) Randy, as you mentioned came to help you work on your website. How did you get in contact with him? And what does he do to help you on your website?
A) My specialty is scripting, and Randy had the great visual views. We met by an email send by randy. After some posts at the forum, he asked me, if he could join the Dev Team. We mailed a lot and I decided I needed someone at the Team, with the same "drive" for the Sims, with the same view about making a good simulation work. We both love the Disney theme parks, and also visited them, so had a lot of ideas.
I remember that I build the first 2 Sims without having visited the attractions before. So we started to work together. Sometimes difficult, because the difference in time. I'm living at the Netherlands, and Randy in the US. So a 6 hour difference. But I managed to keep each other up-to-date by using email
And send daily/weekly updates. Of course, by discussing hours by msn;
One advantage, I sometimes work a nightshift, so we had more time, and then normally would have, with a 6 hour time difference. The last 2 Sims are a US-Eu co-operation. He also currently “Working at the introduction of a refurbished BTM simulation for the TSA (Themagical Simulation Academy) pages”.
Q) What do you see for the future of themagical? Any new plans for themagical?
A) Yeah, thinking about a new simulation, and working at a co-project for another friend-website. But first I will finish the transfer of the simulation to the TSA website, so that all 6 Sims can save scores. So Tm will have a separate Sims section and a forum section.
Q) What's this TSA? What does it stand for?
A) Ok, TSA means Themagical Simulation Academy. First wanted to give the new section this name, but I found out that Disney already used a similar name for a website section. Still using the name for the project, but trying to find a new name for the future still in progress. The idea was to build a place where you could be virtually educated as Cast member.
Q) Did I hear about new simulations in the works??! Is there a way of a sneak peak of these new simulations?
A) No sneak peak, still choosing which project it is going to be.
My fav’s are Indiana jones and Splash Mountain. Both classic rides, especially the last one.
Q) Do you have any comments to our viewers of the website that you would like to say?
A) I really hope everybody loves to play the simulations as much as I still do, and I am glad I am
not the only one who loves them. Thanks for all the support!