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Gauging Interest for New Magazine


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#1 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:47 PM

I have an idea in my head which I currently do not have time to go forward with, but may do in a few months time.

 

I was wondering if anyone would be interested in a new digital magazine for the Atari based on modern day Atari development?

 

So the kinds of things it would contain are:

 

- Tutorials in different computer languages

- Information about different development tools

- Work In Progress updates for different projects from different authors and maybe a bit of information about the technical issues that they've came across (and how they overcame them)

- Discussions with different people in the development community

- Possibly reviews of newly developed games, with a bit more of a look at them from a technical viewpoint. i.e. Discuss the algorithms used, graphics mode trickery, ethos of the game etc.

 

In order to put something like this together, I would need the assistance of many others as I wouldn't be able to do this alone. Would you be interested in helping in something like this? Perhaps you could put together a series of MADS / CC65 tutorials? Maybe a review of a great PC based graphics editor? Maybe we could discuss your new game/utility which is being prepared? How about some more XBIOS tutorials/examples?

 

Then perhaps after a year or so of magazines, they could be compiled together into a book which could be bought?

 

Let me know your thoughts and if you can help out as I cannot do something like this alone.

 

Steve

 



#2 fibrewire OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:20 PM

How would one visualize a retro magazine layout? Would it be like Antic or Analog magazine? What would be in a mockup table of contents?



#3 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:41 PM

Probably a bit more like Analog. I think it would be a magazine which is more of substance than style, something that could easily be made into a book of a traditional layout.

 

Table of contents - and this is off my head as I've not got that far yet as I want to see whether there is interest first...

 

1. Foreword / Introduction

2. Language tutorial 1. (Perhaps Assembly with MADS)

3. Language tutorial 2. (Perhaps C with CC65 or maybe Effectus) / other languages could be inserted inbetween issues.... Turbo Basic / Basic etc

4. Library tutorial (RMT / xBios / Sweet16 etc)

5. PC utility review: <different utility each time, alternating between different types, i.e. graphics / sound / editors etc)

6. Feature on a Homebrew Developer

7. Work in Progress Updates - whoever wants to put something forward for the issue...

8. Homebrew release review - one of the latest games looked at from a technical point of view.

9. Final word

 

The main slant on the magazine would be that it represents the future of Atari and may encourage new people to start developing.

 

I think that with this slant, it shouldn't be treading on other magazines feet. Other magazines are nostalgic and this is great, but I think that a new magazine with a look into what could/can be done with the Atari will add to the Atari scene.

 

Oh, and I think I'll make it free, unless people want to make PayPal contributions.


Edited by snicklin, Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:49 PM.


#4 therealbountybob OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:39 PM

Content sounds good. I really like(d) the Pro© mag actually having something arrive in the post with new editions as and when it is available. Would be great if you guys (or others with similar thoughts from recent posts) might want to work together on one combined magazine - how great would that be eh?

:)



#5 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:47 PM

Personally I cannot afford to do anything that is printed and couldn't risk not being able to cover any costs.

 

If we worked on a combined magazine, it'd mean that I'd have half liability for any lost money. Yes, it'd be great, but I can't do that.

 

Also, I wouldn't really want to compromise Markus' ideas nor mine. So I'd like to be fair to us both.



#6 fibrewire OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:23 PM

Well you can always plan to have a printed format, and if someone else wanted to take up the gauntlet it would be available. Nothing says retro like physical printed literature. :)

#7 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:54 AM

I'll prepare it in a format so that it could be printed off into a nice little booklet / magazine.

 

I know that there are those online printers which are quite extortionate, but if someone wants to print off via them, they can do so.

 

If anyone else wanted to print for me, that'd be fine.



#8 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 28, 2014 3:18 AM

I love the sound of it, been looking at some of JAC's online tutorials just yesterday, made me feel like trying to learn to code properly again (sigh, I wish my maths was better).

 

Maybe a bi monthly item unless you think there's enough material for a monthly item.



#9 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 28, 2014 3:46 AM

I love the sound of it, been looking at some of JAC's online tutorials just yesterday, made me feel like trying to learn to code properly again (sigh, I wish my maths was better).

 

Maybe a bi monthly item unless you think there's enough material for a monthly item.

 

Precisely, you've hit the vibe that I've seen. That is, there are people out there who are putting out some excellent material (and Jac's online tutorials are excellent) and they are "enabling" others to do what they do. He has even inspired you to want to take up coding again.

 

As for your mathematical abilities, I wouldn't worry about those. The reason is, although you need maths skills to program, there is no harm when you make a mistake. You compile your code, notice that something doesn't look quite right, you check what you've done and compile again. If you do it all on a PC, then the turnaround time is so quick that it doesn't matter.

 

If you still can't work something out, you can ask online. It's so much better than 80s coding in that sense.

 

As for every 2 months, probably 3 to be honest - time will never be overflowing.



#10 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:32 AM

I love the sound of it, been looking at some of JAC's online tutorials just yesterday, made me feel like trying to learn to code properly again


And it's about feckin' time! =-)

(sigh, I wish my maths was better).


Don't worry, my maths is terrible! Just follow my lead and stick to doing 2D stuff where it's all add, subtract and simple multiply/divide with the more complicated stuff done with tables. =-)

i like the idea of the publication itself and, if the bollocks i've been known to write about A8 code is of any use, could possibly contribute. =-) Any chance of there being a website version as well because lumping all of this stuff together into a single web resource would be cool too?

#11 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:16 AM

i like the idea of the publication itself and, if the bollocks i've been known to write about A8 code is of any use, could possibly contribute. =-) Any chance of there being a website version as well because lumping all of this stuff together into a single web resource would be cool too?

 

Warning to readers: Yes, this is me thinking out loud. Apologies if you don't like this style, but this is how I wish to gather more refined ideas.

 

-

 

You know what, you've given me a good idea here. I don't quite now how to implement it, I just am inspired by your idea.

 

The idea is that this isn't a magazine as such. It would be a website which I retain editorial control over. In there, there would be different sections allocated to different topics, such as MADS programming (for example) and would all be in order and easy to find what you want. Contributions would still come from individuals and will be uploaded into the system.

 

Then, perhaps there could be an "Export to PDF" option for tutorial series? Or all articles added in Q4 of 2014 or some option like that?

 

It could be quite similar to the Atari wiki which I have much respect for, however there will be one person's ideas of how to lay it out.

 

Being online, it can easily link to Jac's video tutorials or other video tutorials which exist.

 

Does anyone know of some (must be £free) content system that I can use to run such a site? I'd probably then either publish it to the web or a Raspberry PI which I'll stick online.

 

I like the idea of it being on web also because I can update and edit it whenever, not stuck to a release cycle.


Edited by snicklin, Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:18 AM.


#12 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:43 AM

And it's about feckin' time! =-)


Don't worry, my maths is terrible! Just follow my lead and stick to doing 2D stuff where it's all add, subtract and simple multiply/divide with the more complicated stuff done with tables. =-)

i like the idea of the publication itself and, if the bollocks i've been known to write about A8 code is of any use, could possibly contribute. =-) Any chance of there being a website version as well because lumping all of this stuff together into a single web resource would be cool too?

 

Yes I agree, a site setup for the express purpose of teaching coding would be ace..

 

As for my coding, in the day I was pure amateur, me and a mate wrote a menu system which was actually real nice, most of thereal work was done by a guy called Steve Harley (no, not the one from Cockney Rebel), on my own I did mostly hacks like Raid Over Libya (Sidewinder with new levels, I hacked it a guy called Big Mac did the levels.) and I wrote a 2 drive copier all in assembler.

 

The rest were cheats that I did...Oh, and I deprotected Savage Pond.

 

No proper proper coding but I still have the bug for it which is why I love the mag and site idea.


Edited by Mclaneinc, Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:44 AM.


#13 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:09 AM

You know what, you've given me a good idea here. I don't quite now how to implement it, I just am inspired by your idea.


i have that effect on people... or revulsion, one of the two. =-)
 

Then, perhaps there could be an "Export to PDF" option for tutorial series? Or all articles added in Q4 of 2014 or some option like that?


Export to PDF is possibly doable from a plug-in, but there are ways to quickly build PDFs for uploading too - CutePDF pretends to be a printer and anything sent to it gets written out as a PDF file for example, so copy/paste the relevant part of the website to Word, print through CutePDF and bingo.
 

Does anyone know of some (must be £free) content system that I can use to run such a site? I'd probably then either publish it to the web or a Raspberry PI which I'll stick online.


There are loads that can be run from a local server; Drupal, Joomla, Impress Pages, Wordpress, MediaWiki... i'd go with one of the latter two personally, i run my personal blog with Wordpress and was looking at possibly converting OSG and FWar to it at some point and had a prod at MediaWiki (which is what Wikipedia is built on but with some of the extensions like sidebars missing) for a fun little project a while back and liked what i saw.

Not sure about running it from a RasPi though, have you got it working with a domain in the past?

#14 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:00 AM

i have that effect on people... or revulsion, one of the two. =-)
 

Export to PDF is possibly doable from a plug-in, but there are ways to quickly build PDFs for uploading too - CutePDF pretends to be a printer and anything sent to it gets written out as a PDF file for example, so copy/paste the relevant part of the website to Word, print through CutePDF and bingo.
 

There are loads that can be run from a local server; Drupal, Joomla, Impress Pages, Wordpress, MediaWiki... i'd go with one of the latter two personally, i run my personal blog with Wordpress and was looking at possibly converting OSG and FWar to it at some point and had a prod at MediaWiki (which is what Wikipedia is built on but with some of the extensions like sidebars missing) for a fun little project a while back and liked what i saw.

Not sure about running it from a RasPi though, have you got it working with a domain in the past?

 

I've ran a site from my computer before, just using one of those dyndns addresses, but only for a few days at the time and then I took it down. I suspect I should be able to do something similar from a Raspberry PI.

 

MediaWiki - I'd never heard about it before but I did hear about it for the first time yesterday and then you've mentioned it today. That may well be worth a look.

 

Because I'm moving to Australia which has very limited broadband bandwidth per month, I have to be careful of how much I use, therefore I'd like to leave a Pi running here at my Mum's house and if I can publish to that, that'd be good. She has solar panels on the roof and so wouldn't cost much to run .

 

It'd be nice to be able to export through a plug-in as it would be dynamic then, not just running from the last build that I'd put out.

 

Thanks for your ideas.

 

And  Paul - it'd be great to have another coder on the scene. The more the better.



#15 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:01 AM

... and I'd love to use the site to better my abilities!!



#16 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:30 AM

I've ran a site from my computer before, just using one of those dyndns addresses, but only for a few days at the time and then I took it down. I suspect I should be able to do something similar from a Raspberry PI.


One site shouldn't be a major issue from a RasPi, no.
 

It'd be nice to be able to export through a plug-in as it would be dynamic then, not just running from the last build that I'd put out.


You've got a few options by the look of it; for Wordpress there's PDF and Print whilst PdfBook does something similar for MediaWiki. You'll doubtless have to mess around with them to see which suits what you want to do but they're a starting point.

Edited by TMR, Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:31 AM.


#17 devwebcl OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:33 AM

3. Language tutorial 2. (Perhaps C with CC65 or maybe Effectus) / other languages could be inserted inbetween issues.... Turbo Basic / Basic etc

 

 

 

 

C & Action tutorials are good idea for several articles. IMHO.



#18 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:49 AM

 

C & Action tutorials are good idea for several articles. IMHO.

 

... any language that people want to write a tutorial for.

 

I'd like to see any tutorial not only showing how to program in the language, but how to do it for the Atari. i.e. What command line parameters are required for the compiler / in later articles it may talk about how to do something like a DLI or something quite Atari specific.

 

If I found time, I could do a 'C' tutorial.



#19 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:54 AM

I think that what else would be nice would be a tutorial on how to write a game. And I don't mean in a specific language, but how you should go about writing a game.

 

i.e. Having an endless loop to go through a cycle of Title screen->Game->End game sequence->High score entry (if required)->High score board and back to title screen. etc etc.

 

and then what you need to fill in each stage, what you need to consider and so forth.

 

I don't think I've ever seen an article explain this. Yes, things are different with each type of game, but if people can be helped to plan out their games, perhaps the development cycle could be quicker.



#20 orion1052003 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 7, 2014 8:45 PM

If you need someone to draw some pictures or some light backup writing, perhaps I could be in the loop. I wrote for 2600 connection and VGT a few times. Not much programming experience, made 3 not finished 'games' for TI-99.

 

Orion



#21 ryanmercer OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 8, 2014 11:59 AM

Just a heads up, if you want to make a magazine... you'll need to have every few pages be a paid advertisement unless you plan to charge 10-15$ an issue unless you are a billionaire that has money to waste or don't plan to make a single cent (or pay a staff).



#22 AtariNostalgia OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 8, 2014 12:57 PM

The idea sounds fantastic!



#23 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 8, 2014 3:35 PM

Just a heads up, if you want to make a magazine... you'll need to have every few pages be a paid advertisement unless you plan to charge 10-15$ an issue unless you are a billionaire that has money to waste or don't plan to make a single cent (or pay a staff).

 

Hi Ryan,

 

I thought a few posts back that I would probably go for a website instead as it is more practical. I won't have to bother with advertisements too, as no, I am no billionaire!! I also don't look at this of a way of making money, I think that would be impossible to be honest.

 

It's still a way off, I need to see how my situation pans out in a new country and a new job some day.

 

The essence of all this is based around the idea that I feel that we need to be helping the current day programmers as much as possible. There are quite a few resources out there now, but no one place that they can all go and have a concise and organised set of instructions / tutorials / links to good material.



#24 ryanmercer OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 8, 2014 3:41 PM

Go set up a free squarespace 6 account at squarespace.com and tinker with it for a few days setting it up as a blog either using a word cloud for the languages or doing a seperate page with links... www.ryanmercer.com is squarespace 5, you can't do squarespace 5 anymore but www.ryanthechristian.com is squarespace 6... new material could just be posted to the blog section (doesn't have to be landing page) and you can do like I've done on ryanthechristian.com/christian-resources/ and then have the categories be language families, then each language be a link to either the blog posts for that language or two a second similar page that then lists categories for a given language.

 

I say do it on squarespace because 1, you can set up a free trial account without giving them anything other than an email address (no credit card) and 2, it's next to impossible to bring a squarespace site down from traffic.

 

If you decide it's a good solution you are looking at 20-30$ a month tops. Squarespace 6 has amazon affiliate integration, tons of social media widgets, you could slap a 'support the site via 1-time or recurring donation' for paypal, drop a bitcoin wallet address for donating to or a bit of code that lets them type in how much they want to give and then have it generate the QR code etc.


Edited by ryanmercer, Fri Aug 8, 2014 3:44 PM.


#25 rkindig OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:13 PM

I would love to see something like this.  If there's anything I could do to help, let me know.

 

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