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Atari : A Visual History Book is now LIVE on Kickstarter

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Rob Hubbard was a very talented chip musician on the SID chip and i bought the likes of Knucklebusters (a dire ganw) just for his EPIC tune and ditto Jet Set Willy on the A8 (god that game was even worse) and i fully appreciate the commercial development environment he was working under, strict deadlines and limited resources to fit music into..

 

But i have never bought into the aspect of him being this legendary composer.

 

Too many of his tracks are simply based on the works of others.

 

He was content to port 8 bit music over to 16 bit versions of games when it suited.

 

And i really, really did not like his E.A work on the Genesis, it was a huge step back.

 

Back on topic, if Greyfox is looking to add a few lines of triva to certain A8 games in the book, there is opportunity to point our titles like International Karate simply cloned Karate Champ and took music from Forbidden Colours and Warhawk was nothing more than a Starforce clone with music from John Keating.

 

There does seem to be a degree of confusion out there as to what tracks were Hubbard's own compositions. .

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The bit of music you are talking about is this,

it's by Ryuichi Sakamoto. David Sylvian reworked it (added lyrics and vocals) for Forbidden Colours. If we're on a mission to find the source of things, let's make sure we find the actual source not just another cover.
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LD, well aware of RH and the other musicians, been an Atari bloke and a C64 bloke for BITD and even purchased my copy of Crazy Comets from RH himself at the Commodore show back then..

 

But if you read the STIL notes from HSVC collection you will note that RH as other composers around those periods happily admit their influences..

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There's admitting influences which Rob a (and indeed others from that era) has done via countless interviews via various mediums over the years and i met him myself at the very first BIT:Live all those years ago.

 

 

Video game artists also happy to admit in interviews past where they got their sources ..The legendary and now sadly passed , Bob Wakelin used the Conan Typeface for Rastan, Athena is based around Lisa Lyon (pioneering female body builder) etc.

 

 

It's the manner in which people describing these "influences" Rob had often present them that niggles me.

 

How many folk honestly knew the music to Warhawk was not an original composition from Rob?

 

The topic always seems to be which version sounds better...SID or POKEY?

 

Nobody ever brings up the fact it's based around the music written by John Keating as people simply assume Rob wrote it from scratch.

 

I cannot think off the top of my head any other C64 composer who took, ahem, inspiration from as many other sources yet gets called a creative genius as Hubbard does.

 

 

Rob expanded on..Rob made it more than a cover. .Rob simply did his own arrangement of...

 

 

Yes he did, but it's still a lot different than composing your own music solely for that game.

 

I'd personally say Tim Follin was more of a creative genius as he worked wonders with the ZX Spectrum and NES soundchips, but that's a topic for another day.

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The bit of music you are talking about is this, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF9_9MZyQGo it's by Ryuichi Sakamoto. David Sylvian reworked it (added lyrics and vocals) for Forbidden Colours. If we're on a mission to find the source of things, let's make sure we find the actual source not just another cover.

I did say Sakamoto in the original post.

 

Was not aware Sylivian did the rework and added lyrics..appreciate the info, but Sakamoto was credited.

 

I can only showcase where i had heard the music outside of the game (which i had on A8 and C64).

 

Thought the "mission" was to try and ensure people who had backed The Book, got the best possible creation?

 

 

You had provided Greyfox with alternative cover art, i am just trying to suggest what could be added to beef up the game description text as people had expressed concerns it was lacking.

 

How many A8 and C64 owners would of known of the Sakamoto original or Sylivian cover ?

 

And now i wonder which Rob was influenced by?.

Edited by Lost Dragon

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To be honest was not aware of just how much Rob 'covered', I knew he had influences from Jarre etc but clearly he dabbled a lot. That said I love the way he put the music together and his creation of certain sounds and instruments but knowing he indulged in others work as much makes my fondness of his stuff tire a little...

 

Yes for Tim and Geoff, Tim was the driving force and the real maker of the music, the Ghouls and Ghost stuff is fantastic..

 

Didn't realise until pretty recently that he had another brother also in the industry but as a programmer..

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I was a huge SID fan and had the full flask of weak Lemon Drink (any Fist Of Fun fans on here? ) type geek mentality and had a cupboard full of Commodore 64 music tracks on CD compilations done by Kenz of what was back then Binary Zone P.D ( that and the Xmas Chortles stuff on VHS tape).

 

There was an article in an issue of Binary Zone P.D magazine showcasing a mixture of SID tracks and just where they had been sourced from, that made me aware just how prolific Rob Hubbard in particular was and that has meant my opinion of him in terms of his creativity, has changed as a result.

 

 

I do tend to hold a candle for Tim Follin as again there i purchased games just for his music..Plok on SNES, the awful Batman And Robin on Playstation and despite the damn thing being unfairly challenging to actually play, Ecco The Dolphin on Dreamcast was at the time, my chill out game

 

 

A combination of the stunning for the time visuals and Tim's breathtaking music...just bliss.

 

 

Not sure what changed with Rob when he hit E.A..Skate Or Die is not 1 of my favourite tracks and everything post that just did not sound like Hubbard.

 

This was the man who gave us the Kentilla, Phantoms Of The Asteroids, Knucklebusters, Nemesis The Warlock epic SID tracks? .

 

 

Seemed hard to believe at times.

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Have to agree re his sudden exodus to EA, I'm sure they offered him shed loads of cash to be their technical director of music but Skate or Die just seemed a reason to push samples HARD, it just sounded wrong..

 

Didn't realise it was Tim on Ecco, oddly I've played it recently testing Redream. Never went as far as making CD's of SID stuff but as I was there when Rob, Stoat and Tim, Ratt (RIP) and the usual crews were making stuff for compunet and the scene I listened as I got the stuff.

 

Great times along with my beloved Atari's collecting.....

 

Shame things have soured in here recently, seems there's a divide now, a divide where there should be none, I've been in the Atari scene for 40yrs, after the sales stuff I rejoined when I found the internet and got straight away involved in comp.sys.atari.8bit, I loved it there, always trying to help, always getting help. I like the rest spent our time protecting and helping make it a comfy place. We had Curts faq who I tried to offer any help I could just like the rest and we spoke on the odd occasion, now I can't get a peep out of Curt, I know he's busy and I appreciate that but it feels like I'm now on the outside because I opened my mouth in naming issues with an author and a flawed book...But I love Curts work, he's a god in my books.

 

It seems in here has now a special core private rule that you don't disturb the peace even if there's merit to the words...

 

It wasn't like that back in comp.sys....and it wasn't like that before in here...Healthy debate was encouraged...

 

Now its just pushing people like me to bother less in here, annoying after helping for so long but such is the will...Bring on the clique...I won't be part of it..

Edited by Mclaneinc

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We had Curts faq who I tried to offer any help I could just like the rest and we spoke on the odd occasion, now I can't get a peep out of Curt, I know he's busy and I appreciate that but it feels like I'm now on the outside because I opened my mouth in naming issues with an author and a flawed book...But I love Curts work, he's a god in my books.

 

 

 

i honestly think that has anything to do with anything - and is little more than coincidence of events.

thinking anything more is stepping into paranoia territory.

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@Mclaneinc:

 

Nice hear thoughts from yourself that there was a definite change in direction for Rob Hubbard when he went to work for

E.A , Skate Or Die like you say seemed to be Rob focusing on pushing the SID chip further still than making anything as memorable as the titles i listed earlier.

 

 

As for Tim, hopefully the late payment issues with Sega for his music for DC and PS2 Ecco The Dolphin were resolved, seems Sega could be as bad as Atari on this front.

 

 

 

Sad but such is the way of things.

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i honestly think that has anything to do with anything - and is little more than coincidence of events.

thinking anything more is stepping into paranoia territory.

*don't* omitted above (after honestly)

Edited by Guest

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i honestly think that has anything to do with anything - and is little more than coincidence of events.

thinking anything more is stepping into paranoia territory.

 

Yeah I know but I was told that certain people were tired of hearing raised voices as the place used to be quiet, that's why the comment in general...

 

I only mention Curt because I've tried asking him stuff at least 4 or 5 times and got no reply nor to PM......But...... I do know the man is always on the move and across the US on what seems like a daily basis and almost always for ATARI and us lot so I repeat that he's a legend in my book. What I wanted to ask is a mere pittance compared to the wonderful stuff he has done and continues to do and if he's up to his neck then do what is more important first. I'd just be a bit sad if there was clique of folks that just like a quiet old place with only good news allowed. The book for me was exactly what needed to be heard about.

 

As for paranoia in here Martin, god forbid!! Someone losing their mind over trivial stuff.....Surely not...

 

The bottom line is the thread re the book dented everything I thought of here and how people mix with you..I wear my heart on my sleeve, I'm not here for the politics of a forum, I'm here to enjoy, help and just be a nice guy...No agenda's no playing people off each other, just the same as I was back then, here for fun, to help and to enjoy..

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hi Darren et al,

 

is this book still available for order? I checked kickstarter page but could not find a button to pledge...

 

thanks,

Marco

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No Marco, the backing time has finished last week...No time left to order it.

 

You could contact Darren and ask if he had plans to release the book afterwards as a normal buy..

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Ok, so...

 

I've had chance to have a proper look through The Nostalgia Nerd's Retro Tech book and some of the critiscm lain at the feet of Greyfox early on in this thread apply here sadly.

 

 

Lazy asthetic design:

 

The imagery on the books foreward looks as if it's been cropped to fit a single page..an Apple II and 2600 are sliced with left hand sides missing, few pages later a Playstation 3 and N64 controller suffer a similar fate, but right hand sides cropped.

 

The Sinclair ZX80 and ZX81 are put in 1 section, 5 photos of the ZX80, none of the ZX81 until it suddenly appears lumped in with the ZX Spectrum, to show the Sinclair Thermal Printer. .

All the C64 hardware photos are of the Bread Bin model, no C64C models.

 

Game descriptions are brief...

 

3 headings:

 

Must See...Must Play and Must Avoid.

 

1 small screenshot per heading, very brief, but good, text description.

 

So Greyfox is simply keeping with the style of these books, that's now evident.

 

Facts wise, generally pretty good but his Atari knowledge is lacking.

 

He is under the impression the 5200 wasn't a failure and seems oblivious of the UK side, where it was originally intended to replace the aging 2600, Atari UK annoucing it's imment arrival before annoucing that was no longer the case due to it's failure in the USA.

 

He also seemed oblivious to the limited early release in the USA of the 7800.

 

 

I still cannot get over the NEC TURBODRAFIX error getting through

 

 

His Must Avoid games do a far, far better job of highlighting some of the worst games over the years, than both books by Stuart Ashens, i found.

 

A very solid book and a good indication of the type of market Greyfox is after no doubt.

 

These mini-reviews are not a slight on his project, i bought all the books via Amazon, many months after their original release.

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For me the lack of Atari knowledge is the most disturbing, how can you enjoy a book if you don't know if the content is technically correct and on a different slant, many folks love a book even more if it introduces stuff that they as mad keen enthusiasts didn't even know.

 

At this point I'm talking about what I want from a book and not Darrens book particularly bar points that have been picked up rightly.

 

Its a real nice kick when you get real info that needed real detective work, just look at Curt's updates, utterly fact filled and most new to the people here..

 

Reviews I find mostly personal in a book, its hard to match a review that works universally but as long as salient points are caught in the review to give a framework for understanding the games cons and pros then I think most people are happy with that. Screenshots, very important, can make or break it especially if wrong content is used, we notice that, we need to see detective work and in the sake of screen shots it does not take a lot of work to get that right.

 

I like obscure stuff as articles thrown in as snippets for the 'nerds', obviously the book has to appeal to a broad audience unless its a specialised subject book, in the case of Darrens it was a table top book for all so addressing the audience is a a spread experience. WHat I don't like to see is a book be simplified beyond all, the days of "its a toy" or "its a kids games machine" are long gone, its a serious computer with serious fans, we want it to be hardcore where it needs to be.

 

And lastly, going back to its contents and its knowledge content, woe betide you if its full of mistakes, we know our stuff to varying degree's so bogus info stands out..It will make or break a book..

 

That's what I want from a book...Good honest content, a show that the author knows his or her chosen subject WELL and a bit of imagination in the way its presented to not make it 'another' book...

Edited by Mclaneinc

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Ah, will have to listen, not to critique it, just to hear what he has to say....I'm expecting a spoken advert but I'd do the same with a book I was talking about..

 

 

Edit:

 

Just listened to 99% of the interview and yes it was a huge promotional push as expected and who could blame him on that platform but was it just me or as he described the book did it not sound that it was all a bit above him, he admitted to not being able to keep up with stuff re Atari, he said it gave him a chance to get his 800XL out to play the games but all that should have been a normal routine for a guy writing a book on it.

 

I've dabbled in the Vic 20, owned one, had great times with it and have some nice memories from it but I could NOT write a book about it, I simply don't have the full experience of the machine, I know about it and a lot of spec but it was a machine that came along that I enjoyed it was an interval machine in the end. It never drew me in like the Atari and C64 etc, never kept it all going on after its demise, I'd have the odd play of stuff I like via emulation but it was just that and that to me is how Darren sounded like in the podcast.

 

Obviously its hard to convey on a podcast especially if its not a thing you do, the real bones on stuff but he just sounded unsure..

 

Here's hoping that it was just pod nerves and the book is everything its meant to be..

Edited by Mclaneinc

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@Mclaneinc:The Live Publishing era for myself had the best UK based Atari writers onboard when it came to covering the console side of Atari.

 

Writers knew about the UK 5200 plans and made note a few prototypes made it into the UK. .when they covered the 7800 they had an interview with it's GPU designer who openly admitted whilst the hardware beat the NES, the Sega Master System had the edge over the 7800, graphically and audio wise the NES and MS had better sound than the standard 7800 games (no Pokey Pokey chips on board).

 

Articles written by people that either lived through the era or as writers made sure they did their research and spoke to the key people.

 

For a long time under the Imagine Publishing era, the A8 and ST in particular were pretty much ignored, you might be lucky and see them mentioned in a home conversions section when the magazine looked at a popular coin op, but it was very hit n miss

 

Writers also content to go with the lies publishers told them..System 3 (Mark Cale) swearing blind ST Myth was released. .sadly never even finished and coder understandably does not want the reasons why made public.

 

Marty Goldberg had the Atari Corp and US side of Atari nailed, but as for the European side, the magazines coverage was awful.

 

It improved and there have been some superb company articles on likes of English Software that the writers and magazine should be very proud of, but there has also been some pretty lacklustre articles on the 7800 and ST , plus noticeable Atari bias at times claiming Atari was best version or Atari version held it's own..

 

To owners of both the C64 and A8 like myself, it's wretched to read stuff like that as you know only too well which played/looked/sounded better.

 

 

I don't mean to be overly harsh on The Nostalgia Nerd's book..but the photography cropping was poor, as was throwing the Sinclair ZX81 in with the Spectrum rather than having it in with the photos of the ZX80. .for so many of us, the ZX81 was where we started gaming.

 

And it would of taken so little time to research both the 5200 and 7800 that little bit more.

 

It came across as lazy and the author relying on his YT status to sell the book on name alone.

 

It's a shame as he did such splendid work on pointing out obscure and awful titles. .

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As said, what I was commenting was what I want from a book, I don't read too many retro ones because in general the one's I have read either focus on stuff that my have no appeal to me or its just bogus in nature. There are in deed some excellent books but I'm not a huge reader of of books in general....I like all the pictures instead.........That is a joke..

 

Never knew the thing about Mark Cale, he wasn't particularly good at anything bar having a silky tongue with the mags..System's 3's produce did the real talking..

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If people didn't listen already, Darren spoke about the book on the Antic Podcast Episode 59 between 37m and 54m

 

In the interests of complete and utter fairness and before i invest time in listening to this...

 

 

Do we have any idea of the time frame when the interview itself was conducted?

 

Before the kickstarter campain had started/middle of/nearing end of?

 

 

@Mclaneinc:Your making out Greyfox himself has written the whole Atari book...that was never the case and unless he's making drastic changes, i don't see that situation changing.

 

 

Breaking the books content down:

 

 

 

 

Reviews from time i was in contact with him, were being done by a mix of sources.

 

Himself.

People from the Atari Community.

People from the games industry.

 

The interviews..well I conducted 3 exclusively for the book with Greyfox adding Q's of his own

 

There's an older interview i gave him permission to use.

 

And if my memory serves, i submitted Q's to 2 interviews Greyfox conducted.

 

The book foreward is written by an industry legend.

 

And i seem to remember Greyfox saying the hardware features were written by others.

 

Prior to the kickstarter campain going live, Greyfox said the biggest concern was that whilst he was focusing on the Design side of things, he needed interviews and reviews back from various sources and i seemed to spend an awful lot of time politely asking industry people if they'd had time to write what we required yet?.

 

Again in case of Frank Cohen, who'd assured us it was possible, i was politely chasing him for weeks and ended up nowhere, passed matter onto Greyfox who hit a similar dead end.

 

If i didn't think i knew my stuff, i wouldn't of gotten involved at all.

 

I purposely declined reviewing games as even if i borrowed an A8, as i don't play 8 bit titles these days, there was no way i could of given an unbiased view.

 

 

He did in fairness make 100% clear in the kickstarter campain who had written specific features in the book and people like myself pointed out our contributions, so i am a little confused as to why anyone might think Greyfox alone wrote the majority of the book.

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LD, the interview is when it was funded up to 19,000 euro's so near the end, he mentioned only about himself although said he had reached out initially to people.

 

As said it was just a book push as expected but he did come across as unsure and non prepared for the project..

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As said, what I was commenting was what I want from a book, I don't read too many retro ones because in general the one's I have read either focus on stuff that my have no appeal to me or its just bogus in nature. There are in deed some excellent books but I'm not a huge reader of of books in general....I like all the pictures instead.........That is a joke..

 

Never knew the thing about Mark Cale, he wasn't particularly good at anything bar having a silky tongue with the mags..System's 3's produce did the real talking..

I don't subscribe to any gaming magazines these days and Sci Fi Now is getting more like a leaflet with each passing month, so will be stopping that sub soon...so i have turned to Retro books in force of late.

 

I had to go via Mark's 'people' rather than talk to him direct and there were set conditions. .couldn't ask about any System 3 game they'd hyped the ass off..yet never released..

 

Erm..i am here on behalf of 2 lost games sites..kick the interview into the long grass ta.

 

I did see Adrian Cale in a 3 page feature in Your Amiga..

 

Amiga Last Ninja 2 and Tusker blamed squarely on Activision. .Cales apparently wanting to delay release of both, Activision said no..

 

Amiga Dominator by contrast according to Cale, should of been released 2 years earlier than it had.

 

And the irony of Amiga Silly Putty. .then a W.I.P title and one of System 3's finest titles, never getting a commercial era release at all back then.

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LD, the interview is when it was funded up to 19,000 euro's so near the end, he mentioned only about himself although said he had reached out initially to people.

 

As said it was just a book push as expected but he did come across as unsure and non prepared for the project..

😆 I'm not going to listen to a podcast on a book i am not at this point going to see, but..

 

A.It's his project and he himself being interviewed,so it stands to reason he'd be talking about it as if it were a solo project.

 

And B.Like i say, if anyone else has similar concerns to your own after listening to the podcast, rest assured the credits list will include a good number of industry folk for starters and i would guess familar names when it comes to reviews.

 

Despite the focus on this thread being at times likes of Fred_M and myself now distancing ourselves from the project, credits wise, Greyfox did take a lot of time to ensure the right type of people contributed.

 

I used the example of Unseen64 and their Jaguar section in the Unseen64 book as an example of the type of person not to use.

 

Luca's writer hated the Jaguar with a passion and even after editing by Luca, that still came across in the sections opening text.

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Sadly the focus of the thread became me, one of the people asked to contribute....I was hurled on to the keel haul him platform for speaking out yet I'd got treated like poo by Darren..

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