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kevincal

DieHard GameFan Magazine Praises the Jag BIG TIME in 1993.

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I also just went and looked at the issue I worked on, and have read some other people's reporting of how things were there after I wasn't there anymore

Friend of mine got me the job, I was maybe 6 months out of school and had a decent job already, but this seemed way cooler and they had better equipment. Plus I think it paid more, too.

 

They showed me what they wanted, but there was definitely a sink-or-swim attitude about telling folks what they wanted. Still, I felt pretty good, although as I recall I asked for some review of my work since I was new, and basically was told "I told you how to do it, you'll either do it right or you won't" which wasn't particularly helpful.

 

We did all get the chance to buy an Atari Jaguar at that time, and I bought one, I want to say at a steep discount, and I sold it about a decade or so ago.

 

The night of the dosing, I don't recall anything especially weird happening, but we were there all night. If memory serves, the owner and the editor were playing the game and were freaking out about it. I've played plenty of games, but wasn't playing, just (I think) doing screen caps when they told me to, they had a special hardware setup for it. I was there with them pretty late, although I think they were still playing when I left, maybe 3am? I had gotten enough caps for the spread, but they stayed. In retrospect, they were acting weird, but I didn't know them well, so didn't have any basis to judge. Also, as I mentioned, I didn't drink coffee at the time, so I wasn't dosed. I was also fairly naive about those sorts of things, had barely been drinking at that point.

 

What I think happened was that all of the layout had been completed – I don't think I did that layout, I think the editor did – and the magazine pages had been sent for film when they discovered the dosing. Then all hell broke loose, and I think the guy who did it was fired. It was too late to take the pages back, even though the issue wasn't finished because it was the cover story, someone had done art for that game, and it would have been pretty expensive and possibly made the issue late had they changed the story, and this was their big holiday issue. I recall they talked about making the story shorter, but I believe they decided against that.


For me, I kept chugging along, and at the end of the issue I was there 3 days straight, with only a few hours of sleep on one of the nights. I finished what I needed to do, then drove home and shouldn't have, I was totally wiped out.

 

During those three days, the owner made a point of coming to my desk and telling me he had seen my work and that I was doing a great job, he really appreciated all the effort I'd put in. Back at the previous place I had worked, who did newspaper insert layouts, I was pretty much a rock star, much faster than most everyone else, or just as fast but way younger than them. I was still pretty fast at Diehard, so I took the compliment in stride; I had no reason to think I wasn't doing a good job.

 

When everything for the issue I needed to do was done, they told me go home and sleep for a couple of days, there wouldn't be much to do until they worked out the next issue. I think I worked there for 3 -5 weeks, and the first two weeks I was doing both jobs because Diehard needed me right away but I had to give two weeks notice at my then job.

 

When I came back, there wasn't anything for me to do, I asked, and they said they would chat with me later. They did.

 

I was fired.

 

The owner sat at a desk (I don't think it was his office, though?) and the editor tore me a new one, saying none of my work could be used. I broke down into tears. I had done everything they told me to, had done everything as I had been taught at other places, and when I had asked for my work to be checked, they didn't do it.

 

Reminded of all of this, I looked at that issue, and saw several items that I know I did, most of my work was used, and I thought as much at the time when the issue came out. My name isn't in the credits, which is a bummer, but I will say that I don't think I did as many character cut outs as I saw in the final design. It's possible that my frames and layout were fine, but they didn't like my character cut outs, or I didn't do enough of them. But that is something that could have been solved.

Anyway, I never really found out the truth, but I went away thinking that rather than my work not being good, they really only wanted someone for a month on their big holiday issue, and they had too many pages for their team to finish. Best I can recall, I got paid, so that wasn't an issue. But having been let go, I needed a job and went back to my old job. They took me back through the new year, but then they fired me, too! Turns out I was a bit of a dick there, and they had replaced me. I took some solace in that they had to hire two people. But I ended holed up in my room at home for two weeks. I'd had plenty of jobs and had never been fired, and here I was fired from two jobs in a row!

 

Looking back now, I also think that there might have been some residual anger from the dosing incident, and since I had been there that night, they maybe didn't want me around to remind them of what happened. That's pure conjecture, though.

 

That's my story, as best I can remember.

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Wow, I thought the LSD thing was a joke, but I guess not!

Your art is totally fine, in fact I was going to exclaim how cool it was that this magazine went through the both of making custom Cybermorph artwork and doing this extensive coverage of it.  Nothing looks bad to me, I think you were just dealing with some guys who were bi-polar or extremely temperamental, rather than people having rational and logical critiques of your work.

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6 minutes ago, sirlynxalot said:

Wow, I thought the LSD thing was a joke, but I guess not!

Your art is totally fine, in fact I was going to exclaim how cool it was that this magazine went through the both of making custom Cybermorph artwork and doing this extensive coverage of it.  Nothing looks bad to me, I think you were just dealing with some guys who were bi-polar or extremely temperamental, rather than people having rational and logical critiques of your work.

Thanks for the support!

I just want to make clear for future searchers: I didn't do the cover art or any of the character art, I was a layout designer, my used skills were Quark XPress and Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop, so I was doing screens caps from the games, clipping them to make the frames for a certain number of games (I think I did like 10-20 pages of that) clipping out the logos from games and characters from the games, they laying out the pages, flowing text, etc.


Someone else was doing the original art

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5 minutes ago, SimpleKnight said:

I was doing screens caps from the games

May I ask how did you do it? Taking photos, or using some sort fo frame grabber?

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On 9/24/2021 at 8:01 AM, youxia said:

May I ask how did you do it? Taking photos, or using some sort fo frame grabber?

It was really long ago, so I can't tell you the exact method, but definitely not photos of the monitor


If memory serves, it was some kind of splitter and the video went into a computer

Given when it was, and what I remember from equipment I had at the time, I'd wager it was some kind of Amiga, I know I personally had one by then, and also had access to a Mac, but I don't recall those having sufficient hardware for video capture

Amigas did have the ability to capture video at that time with a Video Toaster (the company that eventually became TriCaster), and since I don't recall thinking it was something I'd never seen before, I'm going to guess it was that

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On 9/24/2021 at 7:57 AM, sirlynxalot said:

Unrelated question, is the Platypuss 33 from a diehard gamefan comic, a parody of the Jaguar?

 

gamefan1.jpg

I don't really know, and I was only there a month, so I think this was outside of that time

Looking at the art, though, I would say no

The Jaguar needed a separate device to play discs, and was really only one color

Instead, if you want my guess, I'd say this is a combination of different devices, probably done specifically to not offend any manufacturers, but I wouldn't be surprised if the name was inspired by "Oh, we can do an animal because of the Jaguar"

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