Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by ultrasteve

  1. Hi @Jetboot Jack - sending you a PM to buy the boxed 800XL, boxed 1050 and 2x 1010s - and maybe the bag of software if you still have it (to be preserved on a8preservation.com)?
  2. @Mr Robot: I hope you're joking, but I'm taking the inference that you're not from your tone and use of emoji. Feel free to correct me if you were. I think you know that's not the same thing. I have respect for a lot of the work you produce, so a little respect for those of us who point out genuine cases wouldn't go amiss. Perhaps the author/publisher/artist of the Atari Color Graphics book got permission from Atari to create a design that was similar, perhaps they didn't. The difference here is that we know Darren didn't get permission, but was still going to go with it anyway. The cover discussion was the cornerstone of many of the further questions because it demonstrated a wholly unprofessional approach to what he was going to be doing with £30,000 of money that was not coming from his own pocket, and highlighted other errors and obfuscations. I don't understand why you're trying to undermine the evidence now.
  3. Kickstarter campaigns allow you to add voluntary amounts of money to your pledge. Often, creators encourage extra funding with 'perks' as was the case here. So those campaign page amounts only show the baseline pledge, not what an individual may have pledged over and above that.
  4. If Darren won't be coming back to AtariAge, then I see no reason why this thread should be locked. It will be a useful place for backers to come to show examples of how Darren fixed the issues raised, within the context of the criticisms.
  5. I think that will probably be someone who has a certain level of involvement in the campaign getting it over. I hope all of the backers get the book they think they should, now.
  6. Darren said that on the 21st April, a day after the Kickstarter was launched. During the course of the Kickstarter itself, on the pages of it – as we have seen – he said the same thing. The bottom line is that despite what anyone wants to level at those of us raising concerns, Darren said that, not us – you're shooting the messengers. Darren blatantly copied artwork, not us. Look at the myriad other errors, lifted content, and indecipherable, unintelligible rhetoric. They are the facts laid bare. I would have backed the project were it not for all of those things, and I and many others have only ever been warning against the risks they exposed. Frankly, he is lucky that this discussion has been contained to this Atari Age thread, and not taken place within the comments section of the Kickstarter campaign.
  7. @Lost Dragon. Brenski has summed this up perfectly, but I'll respond too since you were directing it at me. By your own admission you have very little Kickstarter experience, and now you've looked into it you see it's exactly as I said it was. Your words: "So it's a huge risk, with zero guarantees in place.". That's what I've been saying all along. I said you were misleading people by saying there was no risk, which you were because you didn't know the rules. Only then did you bother to look into Kickstarter's terms and now your opinion has changed. You were much happier to jump on me and take that one word personally than you were to read up on it first. "wrong to imply there was any misleading being done on purpose by myself to backers" I didn't imply anything of the sort. If you inferred that I was saying you were misleading people on purpose that's not down to me. You said there was no risk, and people should only be concerned if it funded and the book didn't arrive. Many people could infer that there would be recourse available to them in that case. I said that was misleading (and you were the one doing the misleading) because at that point it is too late.
  8. @Lost Dragon - I'm indifferent to most of what you've posted, but I can't understand why you can't see the risk. Neither of us know whether or not this will be a Mastertronic Archives or not, but that's the point. There is risk already, and plenty of it, that's why Kickstarter exists. Saying that until it's funded there's no problem is true, but only in as much that by then it's too late as people will not get their money back if no book arrives. There is still an inherent risk, very definitely not no risk. There is only no risk if the project doesn't fund, so you are misleading people who may not really know how Kickstarter works. The 'spate of concerns' is because Darren has done nothing to address the issues raised, not least of all over the cover. I don't want to see anyone lose their money. They may not. Darren may have addressed the issues, the book may arrive and be everything the backers want it to be, but he hasn't shown anything that suggests that so far, and that's why we're concerned. Some of us are putting forward an argument that a lot of the community might stand to lose money, and I'll keep pointing out the red flags as I see them. The backers want the book as they've seen it, and I hope for their sake they get it and are happy if this campaign funds.
  9. Three and a half weeks have passed since questions started being asked. Nine days have passed since the cover-copying was brought to light. I don't think in all of that time Darren has shown any new artwork for the inside pages. Neither has he shown a new cover. Not only has he used it on Facebook adverts, but in the update on the campaign he posted yesterday, it's still there (although he did at least correct ITS to IT'S!). His broadband may well have been down (never mind that there is mobile internet, are coffee shops and friends etc.) but if I were a backer I'd certainly expect more tangible and thorough updates, and I'd be even more nervous about my money, now.
  10. @JoSch: I don't know why you are continuing to argue against people just for the sake of arguing. I'd already pointed this out in my earlier post, but Darren explicitly stated in this thread: If that were the case, why wouldn't he use completed layouts in the Kickstarter campaign, as Mr Robot already said? Ignoring facts and blindly defending the campaign, whilst simultaneously lambasting others for having an alternative viewpoint and expressing doubts, is making you look a little like a shill.
  11. I don't have a personal beef with Darren. I am a creative, yes, but I don't have to showcase my work, I'm not the one asking people to invest almost £30,000 in me. And let's be clear here, many people still don't realise how Kickstarter works. Backing something isn't buying something. The money is being invested in the creator, not the product (which may or may not arrive, and if it doesn't, Kickstarter won't help you get your money back). So when someone asks for that much money they need to be robust in their processes. My criticism and concerns are all within the context of what I have already seen of this project, and the responses in this thread. I think the A8 community deserves to be treated with a little more respect. I'm just trying to look out for people who are considering giving this project their hard-earned money, as someone with experience of design, print, and Kickstarter campaigns. If you see that as a personal attack on Darren, that's down to you. @Greyfox: I think you know what 'my issue with you and your work is' but for the sake of clarity – you passed off someone else's artwork as your own, standing to make a profit from that, and as a designer (your word for you, not mine) you know how very, very wrong that is. Saying sorry once you were found out in this thread and changing it is a quick mop-up, but if it had not been spotted, and the project funded, you were the one who had full knowledge of that. When you're playing with £30,000 of other people's money you need to be fully accountable. You can't expect to run a public campaign and not have people question you and your intentions, and AA is not an echo chamber, so you won't only have people saying how brilliant you and your product are. If you didn't want this level of scrutiny you should have risked your own money and self-financed the project, or tried to sell it to a publisher.
  12. Not cool. Not cool at all. There's no 'if' about it - it IS plagiarism. Not being able to contact the author or publisher doesn't give you carte blanche to use the art from that book. The original artist of that image may well still have copyright of it for all you know, as it wasnt necessarily owned outright by the author or publisher. I'd challenge that claim. It's pretty clear that the logo shown on the cover image in the campaign is a direct copy. The middle line is a hatchet job, and explains the incredibly poor perspective on the added letter L. More damning than that, though, is the use of the asterisk in the yellow square on the last line. If you were redrawing that logo you just wouldn't have bothered drawing an eighth square. The image of the computer is EXACTLY the same as the one on the ACG book cover, you've just put a different monitor graphic over the top of it. Claiming that you've not copied it is disingenuous, and an insult to the intelligence of many of us in the community. Its an even bigger insult to the artist who created that cover originally. If you're genuinely a designer as you claim you are you wouldn't steal another designer's work wholesale. That was a really shonky move.
  13. ultrasteve

    Mario box

    That's just down to each game, I have quite a few that are white, but I'm not sure that's a marker for them being PAL.
  14. ultrasteve

    Mario box

    @ongikong: I think I have seen them with and without the red square next to that line - but a good point. @sixersfan105: I have a couple of those (without the gold sticker but with a black and white leaflet on the outer) but this one was not sealed when I got it, unlike the sealed one I referenced earlier in the thread! @MrBeefy: Good thought, but this is definitely overprint.
  15. ultrasteve

    Mario box

    As another twist in the saga, I bought another version that has a silver strip overprinted on top of the bit that says 'For NTSC systems' on the back of the box. I've never seen this but as it's one of the later releases maybe it was another of Atari's famous cost-cutting measures? It's a German release, with a German language manual. Anyone else ever seen this overprinted silver strip?
  16. Thanks for replying on here, @Greyfox. Acknowledging that posting about the book on a public forum is an invitation to comment is good, and certainly more than some could seem to grasp. Like Fred_M and Mclaneinc, this will be my last post about it. I’m not interested in arguing with others, and my original post was intended as feedback to you, as is this one. The specifications you’ve given for the book shouldn’t be treated as a secret you’re being forced to divulge in the face of criticism, as that is not the case at all. It’s not unusual for someone investing in a project to want to know what form the physical delivery will take, so it’s great that you put those out there. Lots of the detail won’t mean much to some people, but to others it will. To me, it’s an average, not premium product, based on those specs. Regardless of it being printed in the UK, unless you’re going to be doing colour correction work with multiple proofing rounds (I note you’re using no spot inks anywhere so you’re definitely not going for high-end reproduction) the output will be similar to any other supplier. Your choice of ‘print-on-demand’ as a term is a strange one, because nothing you’ve said has implied that you will be liaising closely with the printer on inking levels etc. so to say it will be a ‘high polish’ product lacks evidence of intent. And therein lies the problem, you’re asking people for money for what you are pitching as a premium product, with a premium price. You are asking for a LOT of investment. When someone challenges you about whether the final product will live up to what they would expect as potential investors, and how those results are going to be achieved, you should expect some hard questioning, and perhaps look at their concerns with a little more consideration. It looks like you have got a lot of content from other people, possibly without financially compensating them, and if what Fred_M and Mclaneinc say is true (and I have no reason to doubt them), your communication and handling of just two of those issues seems to have been pretty poor, and that doesn’t sit well with some. I stand by what I said originally that if you reach your target, you have exposed yourself to very little, if any, financial risk. Nobody is going to have a bleeding heart for you, as they are the investors, they are the ones putting faith in you to deliver a product of quality, it is their money that is paying for this book, not yours. Much of the layout design in the book is lazy, that’s not the opinion of me or any of the others who have cited that, the game pages have technically lazy design. Fact. A background of an image from the screen, a cover image, a block of text in the same place with a background colour picked from the screen, and perhaps a sprite. All put together with very little attention paid to accepted aesthetic rules. That’s what you’re doing for every game page, and they are the pages that make up the vast majority of the book. And that’s fine – that’s the way you’ve chosen to compile this book. Some people will be happy with it, many will not, me being one of them. The fact that you have to clean up cover images etc. is not related to people calling the design lazy, either – that’s just something you need to do to create a professional looking product, and is behind-the-scenes work. But for your 15 years in graphic design, to see you flaunt visual rules with such abandon is worrying, and makes me seriously doubt the quality of the output, hence why I won’t invest as it is. Finally, you didn’t respond to the point of proof-reading. Some people in this thread don’t have English as their first language, but you do, and all of your communications are littered with errors, including your response above. Again, you’re asking us (us being anybody that sees any of your marketing) to invest in your product. How can I do that if you have shown me nothing to suggest somebody else with professional writing skills is producing content, or at the very least a proof-reader / editor is being enlisted? And I may be one voice here, but Kickstarter is all or nothing. If out of 600 people interested in your book, 5 of those raise issues such as these, and you do nothing to build faith in the project and shoot them down with flippant comments, your campaign won’t hit target. You are choosing to say that I am, and others are, wrong – because 300 other people have backed you. Gambling on those odds is what you are choosing to do, it’s your project, and that’s OK. It’s also OK that potential investors tell you why they’re not happy to gamble on you and what you currently show as your concept. Good luck with your campaign, in any case.
  17. Whilst I commend the desire to bring an Atari 8-bit book to the market, I won't be backing this I'm afraid. I know one person not backing it won't change your campaign, but I'll still offer a few observations from someone who is fatigued with Kickstarted retro books, to explain exactly why I won't be backing it. I daresay I'm not alone, though, but perhaps some people won't vocalise it for fear of retribution from what is, at times, a rabid community! It doesn't look like a professional product in design terms. There are aesthetic considerations in a product like this, particularly as you are unequivocally selling this as a 'visual' history, not editorially. Ignoring those considerations makes for a jarring experience. To be brutally honest, the game pages look lazy, clunky, and a bit 90s. I don't think reading this book will be a comfortable experience. I'd also hope you've budgeted for a good proof-reader. Ignoring the funding target itself, the price per book at circa 1000 books looks fairly high, certainly too rich for my blood. If – as you yourself have said more than once – the book is finished, and this Kickstarter is purely to cover the cost of production, I would question your choice of supplier, as you're being fleeced. Alongside the cost of the book, you were asked this: I don't know if your reply was intentionally ambiguous, but for the sake of clarity, readers of this thread should ignore the 'Yes of course' at the beginning of that reply. Shipping is EXTRA on top of the pledge cost. For the UK, that brings the cost of a book to around £32. That's a hell of a lot for a book which is largely screenshots and cover images, from sources unknown. If this genuinely was for the love of it and a service to the community, for fans, then that cost would be lower. As it is, I just think you've jumped on a bandwagon (you have admitted to doing it because you saw others of the same ilk being successful) - you're not taking any financial risk yourself, will almost certainly be making a sizeable profit, and that's what I object to with not just yours, but many books and other campaigns on Kickstarter, particularly in relation to retro computers. You even asked other people in the community to submit words, reviews, images etc. All of that would be fine if you were transparently pitching this as a business proposition, but you are very definitely saying it's a labor (sic) of love, and the numbers just don't prove that out. Not to mention the fact that you are selling a product with images that will be live IP for companies still in existence. I'd say in some instances you're stretching Fair Use to the limit, if not slightly breaking it, and that doesn't sit well with me. Like I say, just my thoughts, and perhaps something to think about if you don't reach your target. Maybe 1000 other people will be happy to spend that on a book, though, and then you've achieved what you set out to do.
  18. ultrasteve

    Mario box

    That's something I thought of, but no, not in this case. I'm not convinced Atari really cared about localisation anyway!
  19. ultrasteve

    Mario box

    To resurrect this thread, I'm in a slightly different predicament! I have a sealed Mario Bros that I don't really want to open, but I want to know if it's PAL or not! It was sold as such, but without opening it I don't know... My box does NOT have the text to say that it is for use only with North American and NTSC TV sets, but some NA boxes were like that anyway, at least for other games. Anyone else with the PAL version want to chip in?
  20. I think the issue here (for me) is that if this was a Telegames version (which by all accounts it is, the seller confirmed that) then it's not an original CBS release. As far as I know, Telegames didn't have a license to manufacture CBS games. Just because a product is lithographically printed, it doesn't make it 'genuine'. No license, and not from original artwork film, makes this not 'original' for me.
  21. This is sealed in shrink-wrap, so no idea what the cart label is like - I don't want to open it in case I end up sending it back. The problem with the printing is that it shows artefacts that would only be present from scanning. Back then, artwork would have been printed from film, so even a reprint would be of pretty much the same quality, if not ink levels.
  22. Thanks @Supergun - I think Im going to try and get a return organised for this one - your info was very useful.
  23. an eBay seller called: videogamessource
  • Create New...