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Atari : A Visual History Book (Concept Project)


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#1 Greyfox OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:06 AM

Hello everybody,

Many of you may know me and many of you may not, I was the creator of a couple of Atari digital publications a few years back. The Atari Gamer Magazine and the Atari ST Gamer Series found over @ http://www.Atarigamer.co.uk and the AtariCrypt Atari ST Magazine which can be found for free here: https://ataricrypt.b...t-magazine.html


I had decided that I had given the Atari community some great product to enjoy and decided I wouldn't produce anymore Atari conent in the near future, but reecently had seen some products that completely fit the bill in a direction I wanted to go in for quite some time and have returned and began work on a new book pubication I am very passionate about and just knew this had to be done due to the complete lack of the Atari 8-bit computer range and its incredible software, so with that I present to you all a new Atari pubication in the works.

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The Sales Pitch

The books premise will be to cover a huge majority of classic third-party Atari 8-bit software from such amazing software houses, like Datasoft, Broderbund, First Star Software, English Software and a selection of commercial homebrew games plus many more for the first time giving these games the exposure in a visual compendium never seen in a format of this type before. The Book will also deliver a selection of Interviews with Game designers who worked on the Atari 8-bit computers and other unannounced additions to the book that you will see when released. I will also be profiling three Atari 8-bit machines the Atari 800 - Atari 800XL and the Atari 130XE home computers with additional photography of these computers throughout the book as well as a choice selection of Atari related Peripherals. With the completed publication completed, I will be taking the product to a crowdfunding platform in order to allow this publication to become a physical book for all Atari 8-bit fans and vintage computer enthusiasts that share an interest in the Atari 8-bit Home computer. Also to help the project meet its goal I will be working very closely with http://www.rhayadercomputers.co.uk in order to create some very unique and fantastic perks to add to the book that will not be available anywhere else so there is a lot of stuff in the works for this project.

 

The Book Previews

When creating something like this I am all about the visuals of a product and want to give the best experience in seeing these wonderful pieces of art and code and gameplay become one, so with that each game covered in the book with include on the left a remastered image of the Box or cassette inlay art work with a 200 word write about the game and a single screen shot of the games in action, I have chosen not include any Offical Atari branded games in the book due to facing a possible Cease and Desist violation order against the book that could prevent the book being released and will be going through under fair usage and investigative journlism allowing this to be successful as an Unoffical Visual History of the Atari 8-bit. This was something I decided I would do after what Atari had placed against Marc Oberhäuser and his Atari related publication. So please enjoy the previews of the some of the games that will be included in the book.

 

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How can YOU help?

With this project been a very serious undertaking, I decided who better to make this truly happen then the Atari community itself? I am looking for contributors to the book, whether it be a contributing game review of 200 words for games that will be included in the finished book and have your name credited and mentioned in the contributors section of the book, as well as an seasoned photographers with Atari hardware that would be willing to contribute photography of physical Atari hardware to be included throughout the book with full accreditation given for all imagery used. I wanted to open end this project to my fellow Atarians to help produce the best Atari 8-bit publication ever created, I'm also on the look-out for exclusive interviewees willing to share their thoughts and experiences creating for the Atari 8-bit platform, I have a few leads at the present, but the more the merrier for inclusion in the book.
 
 
I wish to personally thank you all for your time here, and hopefully we can make history with this book, I truly wish to go all out in a blaze of glory with it and with your help we can, so please get in touch with me via PM here @ Atariage or support@atarigamer.co.uk if you can help with this project, all will be included within the book as the main contributor.

 

Thanks everyone for your time

 

Kind regards

 

Darren.



#2 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:42 AM

So I guess you cannot include Star Raiders, the first computer game Killer-app in history, that's a shame because it's worth mentioning for sure.

 

But great, an Atari 8bit book is long overdue.



#3 Greyfox OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:24 AM

I would whole heartily love to include all these games, I even have a two page for star raiders done and everything but can't take the risk against Atari coming after this venture, so unfortunity it can't go in the final product.

#4 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:52 AM

Fantastic news.

I've become something of an avid book purchaser over the past few months, with titles covering the likes of The C64/ST/Amiga/ZX Spectrum and software by Ocean/US Gold/Imagitec Design/Gremlin Graphics/Bitmap Bros..

But nothing has really scratched the itch that remains of my 800XL ownership days.

I would recommend you contact the likes of Scott Stilphen in terms of an Atari Historian and fact checker, plus he has a wealth of material to offer.

In terms of writers,i always enjoyed Pete Latimer's Atari articles in the Live Publishing era of RetroGamer magazine, not sure if he's still around on social media these days?

There have been many fantastic A8 related interviews over the years,published online etc,so i suspect it will be quite challenging to find the lesser covered artists and coders?.

The fact your not able to cover the official Atari releases,is a shame although understandable, it does however present you with an opportunity to cover the lesser known/hidden gem type titles...

;-) I hope Arkanoid is only being used as a mock up shot..that's not worthy of being covered due to its broken ball movement and poor colour choices at times.

I'd also advise you employ a professional proof reader, i recently purchased a fantastic book by Shaun Mcclure, but you could tell it needed work done,which to Shaun's credit, he did re-release revamped with proper editing and extra content, but it wasn't enough to warrant a second purchase for myself.


I look forward to seeing what the community can offer with this one.

#5 Greyfox OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:32 PM

Many thanks for your input, I've opened this project to the community to get in contact and get involved as variety is the spice of life and really wish to here many different perspectives from my own inside the book feel it would be fresh and insightful of the experiences from the contributors.

I will be investing in a professional proofreader and editor to handle duties of written works within the book, I will also be picking the minds of multiple sources for material research and will have some great extra in there for good measure if all goes to plan.

I do have Arkanoid in the book, although it wasn't great I remembering tearing my hair out of my head as well as my father playing the bloody thing purely for nostalgic posterity is why I have included it

Edited by Greyfox, Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:25 PM.


#6 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:53 PM

The greater Atari community have a wealth of knowledge and experience to call apon and i hope the opportunity this presents for them to get involved, is acted apon.

Fantastic to hear a professional proof reader will be used, i know magazine editors spend a lot of time cleaning up articles submitted by freelancers and having having chatted to Shaun Mcclure And others who've taken the step of producing their own books, it is a necessity for projects with this type of ambition.

I've very much enjoyed the Atari coverage i have read over the years in magazines, but i would really welcome a coffee table style book devoted to my favourite Atari system.

Maybe you could do a small section on the Atari 8 bit Hall Of Shame?

Coin Op conversions that could of been so much more with a bit of extra time spent on them?

Arkanoid, Green Beret, Rampage, Gauntlet etc?

I paid good money for all of them,only to come away really disappointed.

A book can mix celebration with the disappointments.

#7 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:52 AM

Have you thought about contacting other authors to see if they have anything they can add content wise or to fact check/proof read on your behalf?

Jamie Lendino springs to mind, with his A8 Breakout book...he has some great credentials:

From his website:

Editor-in-Chief of ExtremeTech.com. Previously, he managed the consumer electronics and mobile teams at PCMag.com. He's written for the print, Web, and digital versions of PC Magazine for more than 13 years, and has frequently covered the retro gaming community in both places. He has also written for Popular Science, Electronic Musician, Consumer Reports, Sound and Vision, and CNET. Jamie has appeared on NPR's All Things Considered, CNBC, Fox News, Reuters TV, and dozens of terrestrial radio stations across the country.


Just a suggestion. .

#8 Greyfox OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:53 AM

Already hopefully taking shape with a wealth of talent on the project ,;)

#9 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:57 AM

Early days but it sounds like your taking constructive criticism of your earlier projects on board and also reaching out beyond just the usual suspects as it were..

Having spoken to various authors of the books i had previousily purchased, there was always content that couldn't be used due to time and space constraints or simply arrived too late to be included or simply didn't fit in with the approach they wanted.

So if you can make use of unused materials, skill sets others bring to the table, great news for the project.

#10 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:22 PM

@Greyfox:

I've passed the link to your project to a few friends of mine to see if they have industry contacts that might be able to help.

Long shots of course as i have already been told a few potential candidates aren't taking questions at the moment...but they have supplied some 'triva' type info which you might be able to use, which is appreciated.

If you can't use it? i will let Atarimania have it.

Already passed on some misc Lynx Game info after looking into a PS2 title for Unseen64..so you sometimes find info from the most unlikely sources.

Never know what might come up..i found the Jaguar Return Fire and Lynx and Panther Strider II info via friends who run sites that only give Atari hardware a passing glance...

So fingers crossed eh?

Edited by Lost Dragon, Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:33 PM.


#11 Greyfox OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:49 AM

Many thanks for your support here, I welcome everything that can go into the project and have great respect for those willing to share exclusive insights and unreleased content been seen for the first time.

Thank you for your efforts here, You've got some incredible contacts and reach within the retro gaming communities.

#12 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:53 AM

It's likes of Unseen64,C64 Audio.Com, GTW etc that have the contacts,but they understand how a community works and the value in ambitious projects like yours.

The thing to bear in mind here,is your looking into games from a long time ago,so people's memories will be hazy and sadly some who worked on key games might no longer be with us..

Witness sad passing of Paul Woakes :'(

Your also going to need to walk the line between offering up what's established information to the die hard Atari fans,as it will be new to others (and this will risk criticism of being nothing new..) and new and exclusive content.

#13 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:38 PM

I'm going to end by wishing you the very best of luck with the project.

I know from personal experience just how difficult it can be to find coders,artists who did little more than conversion work from C64 to the Atari 8 bit line, when your looking for content.

At the time, i would of liked to of found more sources of information to support Pro Atari Magazine, but there just weren't the people to talk with and even those there were, didn't have a lot to say.

That's why it's reassuring to hear your working with the likes of Scott Stilphen etc.

His resources are exactly the type you need.

Ditto the Author of the Atari Breakout book.

Unseen64 don't touch 8 bit micro's..
So don't have the contacts and GTW deal mainly in the area of the C64, so i honestly don't think will be able to assist here.

Sorry to be blunt..but that's the harsh reality.

The A8 was simply too niche here in the UK...

#14 Greyfox OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:47 PM

No problems Lost Dragon, I have acquired a vast amount of content in the last couple of days and really seeking out the rare to which I've never seen covered before and as you've mentioned, these individuals not having much to say, but I feel the Atari 8-bit has so much more to offer its audience than people give it credit for. I penultimately intend to change this.

Again anybody viewing this thread wanting to make history? You want in? Get in contact.

Kind regards

Darren.

Edited by Greyfox, Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:55 PM.


#15 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:06 PM

Sorry Pal, but as i explained to Pro Atari Magazine at the time, whilst i consider myself very fortunate to have spoken people behind games like Druid and Henry's House on the A8, likes of Simon Butler, Chris Shrigley etc only did basic conversion stuff.

Ex-Atari UK staff like Jon Dean and Martin Walker had interesting bits and pieces to share, there wasn't enough to flesh out much.

I firmly believe there's far more to be said about the A8 range..the Minority Report in this month's RetroGamer magazine sadly just played it safe with the usual choices of A8 budget games in many a case,rather than the more obscure hidden gems they might of gone for...

I honestly think you need to look further afield than you did with Atari Gamer and Atari Crypt magazine.

No offence meant to any of the publications mentioned.

You won't be alone.

I expressed my disappointment at the time that A Gremlin In The Works had little A8 coverage and the author was honest enough to tell me he just couldn't find ex-Gremlin staff to talk about the A8 projects they had done..

I'm not saying it's impossible.. Just it won't be easy.

#16 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:22 AM

Just an update:

GTW got back to me, Frank has been ill, he's very sorry,but he doesn't have any A8 coder or artist contact details (not really surprising as his is a C64 site), whom i hadn't spoken with at the time for Classic Console Magazine/Grumpy Old Gamers etc.

The 1 possibility he did have,email wise,just bounced back..so that was a dead end.

#17 Allan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:53 AM

Greyfox,

 

If you need good quality high-res scans of Atari 8-bit stuff, PM me. I have a ton of Atari and general classic computer magazines. I have a decent experience in scanning stuff since I have been doing a large part of the archiving of Atari 8-bit computer literature for Atarimania in the last three years or so.

 

Allan



#18 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 1, 2018 12:56 PM

Just another heads up Greyfox:

Back in 2016, the same person who very kindly put me in touch with A8 Druid coder,John Croudy, also i believe contacted Ivan Mackintosh
http://www.atarimani...am_842_8_G.html

On my behalf to see if he was up for an interview, don't think we ever had anything back from him, so if your hoping to interview him, the very best of luck.

#19 Greyfox OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 5, 2018 10:18 AM

Just a brief update guys, it's been a busy week with work, as usual, interfering with my real passion of working on this book, but have had great progress , a first wave a exclusive interviews coming in, as well as making great waves with some really key people to allow even more exclusivity to the book.

I am off for a couple of days and those of you wishing to help, if you could private message me with your emails , I can start assigning tasks. And those that have already I'll be in touch

More soon :)

Kind regards

Darren

#20 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 6, 2018 9:12 AM

I'm chasing up a PS2 game proposal on behalf of Unseen64 and the person in question did start his games industry career on the A8, so i will ask on your behalf if he has any memories he would like to share, if he can remember much from that far back.

But it's the PS2 era projects i am expecting the results from.

#21 Greyfox OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 6, 2018 2:51 PM

Many thanks for your time out for asking on my behalf. Again amazing that so-called prolific freelancers and self-proclaimed writers miss stuff like this? Why is this? And why try to portray yourself as knowing the facts when in fact they can't tell their elbow from their arse?.

You seem to grab these fact hunts like a sponge till every last drop, drips into the electronic history books!

Edited by Greyfox, Fri Jul 6, 2018 2:53 PM.


#22 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 6, 2018 6:29 PM

Not a problem.

I always enquire if people worked on any A8/7800/ST/Panther/Lynx or Jaguar games, so likes of Atarimania can be updated.

Konix Multisystem, even though the Slipstream website appears wrapped up these days, seems daft not to ask when you have the chance.

Chris Abbot of C64.Audio.Com has very kindly donated some Pokey information from his contacts and given me contact details of someone who might have further info for you.
So you've even got the C64 community on board here now :-).

I will drop an email and see what comes back for you.

The lead i was chasing to get info for Unseen 64 was a true gentleman...

Full 11 page game proposal for a big name game and story behind it,very kindly donated...forwarded onto Unseen64 and GTW to be archived and he's also promised a write up on a game he did for a certain US Government Agency :-o


He also very kindly talked a bit about his A8 work, memories of the game he worked on, i will PM those over to you.

He also gave me the personal contact details for the other person he worked with on the A8 title, again i have emailed on your behalf, but until anything comes of it, don't get your hopes up.

I've no idea your plans for specific features/articles in the book, but i dunno, you might be able to add in the misc odds n sods from folks to have credible, 1st hand info from those who worked on the hardware.

If it's not suitable for your plans, please pass onto Atarimania, so they can add it to their entries.

Community deserves to have it 1 way or another.

Ta.

Edited by Lost Dragon, Fri Jul 6, 2018 6:54 PM.


#23 NewKillerAmerica OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:47 AM

Greyfox...

 

AWESOME!!!!!!! 

 

Would love to help any way I can.  :thumbsup:



#24 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:41 PM

Great to see the offers of help coming in.

I was chatting with Unseen64 today about life in general, bit of a sombre tone from their end.


Talk of sending emails to developers, but never getting a single reply.
Plans to move the Unseen64 server on a cheaper one.

Visitors to the site being less and less every year..

So don't feel too down if not everyone you approach doesn't get back to you.

#25 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:36 PM

Random but...

Had an email from one of my old industry contacts this afternoon, wanting to know what had become of an old interview which was hosted on a now defunct website.

Pointed him to it's new home and also gave him a link to your project.

I expect he will be in touch as he lived what your planning.




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