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Greyfox

Atari : A Visual History Book is now LIVE on Kickstarter

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Many thanks, Nysavant for your awesome support, I truly can't wait for people to have this in their hands, it's way-way too long overdue. And we truly hope we bring something that will be looked at time and time again :)

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I hope people don't hate me for saying this. I have seen all the comments on this project and I am happy to see that many people appreciate this book. I hope there is room for my personal opinion, even when it is not so positive as the other comments.

 

I was aware of this book since the start of its creation. I think it is a very good idea to create an Atari 8-bit games book. But when I see the pictures on the Kickstarter page, I must honestly say that I am a bit dissapointed.

 

Just like AtariAge user "tane" stated, I see not much information for each game. I completely agree with his statement that the targetted audience already knows these games. Yes, it is mostly a visual book, but I was expecting more variation especially for the visuals. All game pages which are shown all have exactly the same layout. Box cover on the left, a small description on the upper right and at the bottom right a monitor with a screenshot. To be honest I really expected more visual variation. Looking at for example "The Art of Atari", that book was visually stunning!

 

I know the comparison is not valid, but a few years ago Future Publishing UK published a bookazine called "The Atari Book". Okay, it is not only about the Atari 8-bit, but at only 10 pounds for 210 pages it was a great book. Lots of visuals, lots of interviews, lots of little known facts about our beloved computers, background stories about publishers and so on.

 

Here are a few examples:

 

post-6711-0-66095400-1556814541.jpg post-6711-0-72662900-1556814578.jpg

post-6711-0-07212400-1556814612.jpg post-6711-0-84195800-1556814629.jpg

 

So I decided this book is not for me. I think 40 euros plus shipping is a lot of money for mostly box covers, short descriptions and a screenshot. The Art of Atari's original retail price was 40 dollars (no harm intended!)

 

Again, I hope lots of people will enjoy this book and I respect Darren for putting so much work in this. I was just expecting a bit more. I hope my opinion does not offend anyone and I hope there is room in this topic for positive and less positive comments ;)

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For me, there is the distinction... the sub-title of book shown is "The ultimate collector's guide to Atari", this is not what this thread's book sets out to do... to me, the phrase "Coffee table book" sums it up in the same way you get magazines in a dentist's waiting room, it would be for all people to pick up and peruse and perhaps even go so far as spark some conversation and woe-betide maybe get asked to fire up a title because it looks/sounds great!

 

So I'd disagree that "the targetted audience already knows these games" as I don't see it as just Atarians.

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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:

 

Quick question : does the pledge include shipping? Sorry if I missed this info on the page. Sometimes stuff like this stares at me right in the face and I still miss it. ;)

 

 

Yes of course, all pledge when placed will incur shipping on top, due to the nature of the cost from where I live in the world, I have indicated the shipping from the printers directly to the clients home and perks will be shipped from the vendor creating them, it's a double payment from my end, but was the logistical step needed in the method of delivery for this product. but your final cost will include everything even if I am at a loss on the charges to ship it to you.

 

Kind regards

Darren.

 

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.

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The "Visual History Book" lacks general information and text, and the layout is the same for every game, page after page, there is no variation. It looks like it was made with a batch processing software. I feel it's a very good visual idea, but it needs improvements.

 

Here is a review of the old "The Atari Book":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFTBUjnzrCA

 

Also, even if "The Visual History Book" seemed like a good idea that need to be polished, something that caught my attention with "The Atari Book", is what I can see in the top right part of the rectangle:

post-64419-0-50924900-1556895265.jpg

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The "Visual History Book" lacks general information and text, and the layout is the same for every game, page after page, there is no variation. It looks like it was made with a batch processing software. I feel it's a very good visual idea, but it needs improvements.

So? The two books have totally different purposes.

The one is a narration about Atari as a whole and naturally there are different number of pictures and text depending on the subject.

The other has only one subject, i.e. referencing games. Why should there be different layouts for every game other than for the sake of being different?

 

I'm really surprised, how small-minded some people here are, about some project which sure costs a lot of money and time. If you don't like it or the shipping costs or whatever, then don't back it or do it better yourself.

Edited by JoSch
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JoSch, read or reread what Ultrasteve wrote...It sort of answers your question and it gives you a big clue as to why.....I never shy away from supporting devs etc vocally but on this one I've stayed quiet...

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JoSch, read or reread what Ultrasteve wrote...It sort of answers your question and it gives you a big clue as to why.....I never shy away from supporting devs etc vocally but on this one I've stayed quiet...

He doesn't. He complains loudly, that a labor of love has to be free as in beer.

Would you complain, that flashjazzcat is taking donations? I certainly don't, I just donated to him.

I don't know what Ultrasteve is doing, but he sure took the money of the man, even if he was doing something, which he loves, isn't he?

I'm pretty sure that Greyfox accounted for Kickstarter taking its cut, the printer is taking his cut for what looks like a low volume self published book. And perhaps Greyfox needs some money to stick, because he has to put food on the table. Shipping costs, well we all know they are high across the pond. It's really petty to put that up to Greyfox.

Sorry for the rant, but I can't put up with such small-mindedness.

Edited by JoSch
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Regarding the price of "The Atari Book" - AFAIK it was a collection of reprints from several years of Retro Gamer magazine. It was quite easy to put existing pieces together and sell the same material for the second time. Also, bigger volume means lower costs per unit.

Edited by +Adam+
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Not to mention the magazine's existing distribution network, e.g. these specials were often available in the chain W.H.Smith of ~600 high street stores and ~1000 in airports, railway stations, motorway service areas, hospitals etc

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Why should there be different layouts for every game other than for the sake of being different?

 

It's a thing of perception and value, and improvement chances for an outstanding output.

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It's a thing of perception and value, and improvement chances for an outstanding output.

I don't get what you want to say. What perception and which value and which improvement do you get from layouting every page in different ways?

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I'm glad to see people like Greyfox creating a book like this, especially because it is related to our beloved Atari systems. He should be commended for it. Books like this draw attention and could help grow our 8-bit ecosystem.

 

Is it perfect? No - but what is?

 

Is it all encompassing? No - it's meant to compliment a library vs define it.

 

New books are expensive in general so I am not surprised by the pricing. It's about right. Compare it against some of the "artsy" photography and nature books. Remember, those books leverage publishers and printers scales, editors, distribution networks, etc. Greyfox is most likely one guy leveraging what he can.

 

Remember, you are always welcome to write your own book too. :)

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The perception is how valuable is for you that way. For me, more produced and detailed has more value.

So, you are saying detailed means variety for variety's sake. Detailed for me means refinement, information where necessary.

The declared objective of OP is to make a reference coffee table book about Atari games without much of technical details, such that we casually browse it, and say "Ah, that one."

What you are proposing is form that follows no function.

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As I've said, the book is wonderful and welcome. It's not necessary to continue a discussion about what value means.

But if there is a chance to add more statistics and for example variety of layouts, that has an extra value for the book, and I would be ready to pay such extra value, let's say $10 more...

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I suspect the book is already in a finished ready to publish state so I doubt any extra material will be added...I imagine that the kick starter is just there to pay publishing costs and to buy Darren a small island somewhere (mind out for cyclone Fani tho) :)

 

I of course could be wrong..

 

I don't go against people who make Atari stuff, I just won't be supporting this for my own personal reasons..

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Ermmm...What rants? I've said the book is fine, I'm just not going to back it....Its called a choice, I've not said a bad word about Darren or the book apart from 'its not for me' and that I agree with Ultrasteve and Fred etc, again, that's called a choice...

 

I don't mind when someone accuses me of doing something I did but making up stuff is just annoying as hell, you buy the book, have fun with it but its not for me...AS in answering the exact point of what you said, but done already in my last post.

 

Do something better, now there's a story to that :) which has nothing to do with being in here..

 

I detest the negativity towards people who just don't agree with an item and say its not for them, no one is turning against the Atari folk and I can say whole heatedly that you will not see a person more supportive VOCALLY of our devs and producers than me, I make a point of doing it and yet I get a post like this following my post. Those that want the book will back it, I'm not stopping that or tried to sabotage it, people are entitled to have a choice and say why..That's life on a forum..

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My rant was expressly not because people disagree with me, it was because of the way the opinion was expressed, especially because much of the criticism is refutable.

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My rant was expressly not because people disagree with me, it was because of the way the opinion was expressed, especially because much of the criticism is refutable.

 

Its a tough one as there are factors here but we all have that choice and its made. Darren's KS looks really nice and I hope that the people love the book but because of some things a few people are not backing...Its not the end of the world. as for the criticism being mostly / muchly refutable, well that's a whole new argument that really does not need to be had because its being blown up too much with people ignoring some voices for incorrect reasons. The bottom line is that there's a really nice looking book up for grabs if you want to back it, when it hits the target you get that book and whatever perks you backed for that's the plan and its down to people backing it.

 

There's no law to back it and we all know that...

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We're running in circles. My criticism was not about the dissent in itself, it was because I perceived it as rude and over the top.

Don't back it. Fine. But be nice about it. That's what you want, Mclaneinc, doesn't it.

Edited by JoSch
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