I'm not sure how many of you know Amy, but I'm quite certain she must be well known to most Mac users of the FM community. Why? Well, she's the author of the one and only FM utility for Mac, FMSX. FM10SX was released a few days ago for FM 2010 and as it was released initially from FMScout.com I had the chance to chat with Amy and prepare this cool interview for you.
A bit about Amy:
She's 26 years old from Sheffield, UK; working as a freelance developer mostly, and a Sheffield Wednesday supporter. She has been following CM/FM for many years now.
OK then, let's kick off!
Stam: Hi Amy! I'll start with the obvious question. What the hell a girl is doing with FM?
Amy: It's so much trial and error. You know I learnt a whole programming language from scratch, got good at it JUST to make this editor, because in 2005 Marc Duffy said "you've no chance of making an editor from scratch" to someone on the forums, and I wondered how hard it was and had a go. Over the course of 5 years I got very good at programming and probably know as much about the FM db as anyone outside SI.
Stam: In 2005!! There actually was a FM05SX?
Amy: Yep - anyone who saw my attempt at FM05SX will attest to how pathetic it was lol
About 2 hours to load a file and most of the time it wouldn't load the file the whole way lol briefly: very very small. FM06SX was a redo from the ground up based on new stuff I had learnt; was faster and better. FM07SX was another redo and by FM08SX I had the whole thing - it was just GUIs and updating code for new FM game db changes.
Someone commented in my thread on SI forums earlier saying he's used it since FM07
lol I still have the code - if I showed you FM05SX I'd be ashamed to call it mine now lol
Stam: I'm in shock atm.
Amy: FM09SX was going great but then reality caught up with me and I never got the project off the ground like I wanted to, so only got a basic viewer and scout done.
So yeah - I've been at it a while now. And I find it fun so when I lost all my work on FM10SX in a hard drive death I was going to give up, but when the demo came out I couldn't help but look through the new stuff in a hex editor and my love of the project made me start from scratch.
You know I never actually use my own editor/scout when I play FM... well very rarely.
Originally the plan was to do 2 - SX (S being for savegame) and PX (pregame) but I figured in the end there was no need for a pregame and savegame; was hard enough and the name just stuck.
Anyway, sorry for that - I just kinda get talking and I cant stop lol
Stam: No problem, I'm a good listener and besides I like what I'm reading. But it's amazing... a girl who plays FM, learned programming just to code FMSX and you started FM10SX from scratch even having the hd dying on you.
Amy: Aa yes - someone on FM britain said "I can't believe a woman made this" and it made me laugh so much it was in the title bar of FM09SX every version lol
Well, started from scratch this time but all the stuff I know about the SI db, a lot of it is just in my head.
I'll do it again and embarass you for that in my app lol
It's funny - I never said anything and from FM05SX - FM08SX everyone just presumed I was male til I got sick of it hehe
Stam: Of course... have you seen any other females hanging around SI forums? lol
Amy: Actually yes - I've had pm chats with some other girls - there's more than you think and we are all presumed male lol
Stam: I know that several people proposed to you on SI forums other than this, what was the most funny comment you got so far?
Amy: The funniest comments I get are usually about my gender. I'm proud of my proposals though - may put an easter egg in with a list of proposals I've got lol I think I'm on 5 now haha
Stam: No mean to offend you or the guys by this.. but do you think that deep down all those guys hope they can get to you somehow?
Amy: I hope not. I mean harmless playing/flirting is ok (and I'm used to because Im in a male-dominated profession) but to be honest if anybody started to seriously think about getting close to me it would bother me. That's why I never and will never put personal information anywhere.
Stam: So you would never reveal a real photo of you online for all the FM guys to see and satisfy their curiousity about it?
Amy: lol a photo I might do one day. I hate photos - I hardly have any of me anyway.
Stam: Want a funny fact? I told my mate that we are probably going to do an interview for FM10SX... and reminded him you are a "she"... he said "omg a girl who plays FM and is a computer nerd... tell her to add me!" haha
Amy: I've heard that before, actually my sister is too.
Stam: This is totally random... I live in Greece, and I wonder if you have ever visited my country?
Amy: Yes, I lived there for a year. Working as a hotel entertainer before I went to Uni... games, music, water aerobics, etc.
Stam: OK, back on topic again. Could you convert the whole app to be Windows compatible?
Amy: Someone wanted to do that once but didn't end up doing it. Besides, Windows people have Genie.
Stam: Lot of utilities are getting released lately. Activity has risen since the old days, huh?
Amy: It's good to see so much activity in the scene. I remember the lull before Genie got going.
Stam: I remember FM Scout by nygreen, he was the reason I created this site.
Amy: Yeah, I remember talking to him when I was working on my first version - before it died when it was still CM Scout. I have his source code somewhere.
Is it just you on the site then?
Stam: In the beginning yes... I made some friends from within the site that helped me out in the process. Currently there's another admin and 2-3 moderators.
Amy: Anything I can do to help out let me know, though I'm not very useful lol
Stam: Thanks for volunteering anyway. In the end, what works better is what people like to do by themselves... I'm not pushing anyone to do anything on this site.
Amy: Yeah - freedom is always the best for people. When I get hassled about release dates and feel pressured it stops being fun so I know the feeling.
Stam: Your FM idols? Marc Duffy should be one of them I guess.
Amy: lol Graeme Kelly too - he's at SI; pioneer of save game editors, back in CM3 days.
Stam: Shouldn't you been working for SI by now? Your db knowledge and your work with FMSX should give you the points needed I guess.
Amy: lol if only, if only...
I'm not a PC programmer , I'm happy with community recognition... I wish I could work at SI. I applied to be a localiser once as i'm bilingual but no joy hehe.
I'd do anything for SI - even unpaid lol
Stam: I wish I could design FM11 offiicial site, their designs usually suck.
Amy: They really do! I'm surprised for a SEGA run group... maybe they do them internally.
Stam: There's like no order in this interview, I like it lol Tell me about that damn cable. Your progress was delayed because of that. It has to be the most famous cable in the whole FM community haha.
Amy: It turns out that the guy I bought it from said it was from London but actually shipped it from Hong Kong!! I wasn't impressed by that - I'm not giving him positive feedback on ebay haha
lol must be! Mac FM users in the future will look back and say "I was there in the old days with the big cable caper".
Stam: Are you always so humorous? or is it because of me?
Amy: I tend to be a bit silly all the time.
Stam: The girly nature I guess...
Amy: Well being a programmer and loving football, my girly side has to come out some way I guess.
Stam: I only know one girl who loves football except you... and I think I'm in love with her lol
Amy: Actually my dad hates football - my mum got me into football when I was a girl, taking me to matches. People find it funny.
Stam: So, have you played FM yet?
Amy: Spent alot of time snooping around and ALOT of time in the editor but not played FM yet.
I always get 2 FM copies though... 1 English, 1 Japanese. I guess I like playing in Japanese - keeps my Japanese fresh. It's hard to practice Japanese in England so I like to do all sorts in Japanese. My OS is in Japanese
Stam: You're full of surprises!!! Why did you choose to go to Japan anyway?
Amy: I fell in love with the language and culture ....and later the food ...and the amusing TV.
Japanese TV it's......bizarre! Crazy even! I once was watching a TV advert where koalas were dancing on top of cars singing a song about their mothers then they took off their noses and dialled a number and started to talk to people on their phone noses... it made no sense and was therefore amazing!
I once got off a train in Japan and this big pepper kept hiding behind a pillar and peering out at me! I left the station and it followed me! I turned around outside and it tapped me on the shoulder, did a little dance and then posed...
it was the strangest experience of my life!
And so I love Japan lol
Stam: Do you really have so much free time to be devoting it developing FM10SX?
Amy: I spend about 7-8 hours a day on FM10SX recently. I'm in a dry spell of work; I have projects but they are going slow so I have time for fun and this is fun.
Stam: Anyone helped you through the years to get better understanding of SI database or such? Or you learned everything by yourself?
Amy: Umm.......no. I got the code for CM Scout for CM 03/04 which gave me clues but sooo much changed when they started FM that it was barely recognisable; helped a lot though.
Stam: A couple of random quick shots now... Are you blonde?
Amy: Well no lol
Stam: Do you think you're pretty?
Amy: Im average I guess....with RED hair (not ginger, red - I dye it) original colour is brown.
Stam: Wearing any eye contacts? Red maybe? lol
Amy: Nope... lol nah - Im not that evil. Average green eyes.
Stam: Are you using facebook?
Amy: Nope... emm it's 4am so I should go to bed.
Stam: Yes, 6 am here; I should drop dead as well. Alright, thanks for the chat Amy and looking forward to the release of FM10SX! The final words belong to you...
Amy: Thank you to everyone who downloads and uses my editor/scout and to everyone in the Mac FM community and all your positive comments and encouragement.