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Atari : A Visual History Book is now LIVE on Kickstarter

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Come on, if you don't like it - don't buy. Or do something better. What's the point of your rants?

 

I was referring to Fred, Ultrasteve and tane...

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Posted (edited)

 

I was referring to Fred, Ultrasteve and tane...

 

It probably would have been a good idea to have mentioned that in fairness, it was right after my post..

 

But there wasn't any rants in my opinion, just people offering their thoughts...

Edited by Mclaneinc
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Posted (edited)

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.

 

You see, there is the issue, I don't see it as dissent, it was people giving their thoughts, dissent is something else entirely, its when you go against the rule of law which is not the case. And again, the fact you thought it was rude is personal to you, it does not have any power, its simply your opinion.

 

But I agree its all circular now, the book is the book, its a business venture and those that like it will buy it, I have nothing against the book and that is what is being missed..The book is of no consequence to me but I hope people love it...(which I keep saying)..

Edited by Mclaneinc
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As a non-native speaker, I meant "dissent" to be of other opinion like "the judge's dissent".

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Hello everybody,

 

I just wanted to say firstly, many thanks for contributing to this thread for the Atari: a Visual History book, and wished to address some of the concerns and comments made here and didn't wish to shy away from some of the criticisms given here and also wished to thank everyone for the points raised, it good too see discussion on what people think and is valued to a certain extent that I can improve upon. As I can see that the book will not be for everyone, with that at least it has achieved some great interaction from many avenues across the world and social media etc.. When the book was initially conceived I reached out to many people in the Atari communities including Atari Age itself, one been Paul aka (Mclaneinc) which he thought at the time was a fantastic idea but strangely doesn't share this approach now and was offered a chance to contributing to the book but due to his own personal reasons he was unable to commit which was perfectly fine. And Fred_M was very nice to share his private Atari 8-bit cover archive and is mentioned within the book's special thank you section and has allowed certain cover art to be present inside the book and wanted to thank you both for your time.

 

So to address some issues you guys felt are present at the moment. Firstly we don't make a touch on a comparison to a bookazine magazine of reprinted articles with maybe a lick of paint throughout was not the intention for a book of this nature and we didn't wish to have followed that style of work and wasn't designed to be vastly in-depth in the making of scenario cover specific games on the Atari although this would have been great to include based on the page count, we couldn't include that type of thing in this book due to the number of games featured in the book. I also have not really mentioned the interviews also present which take up to 40 odd pages worth, or the system profiles to over 10 pages. So an existing Bookazine from a major magazine publisher that don't need to go the Kickstarter route simply is a ridiculous comparison for this style of a book. But again thanks for the input here and also to note that that type of content is readily available and if it is a case of a wider range of imagery and design choices then perhaps the "Future Publishing" bookazine is for you and maybe suggest approaching Future Publishing and ask them if they plan anything similar now that they own Retro Gamer magazine?.

 

Now let address the questions in relation to pricing structures and how I arrived at this value, following is the breakdown I feel I shouldn't actually have to declare, but I wish to be completely transparent to those that feel I'm buying an island offshore or creaming my backers or those purchasing the book. The Book breakdown:

 

Size 229 x 152mm Portrait (Standard 9x6")

Page Count: 420 pages @ 300ppi
Spec Cover: POB; Litho printed, End Papers: 2 x 4pp; Unprinted, Text: 420pp; Litho printed.
Proof We to supply a Blank Mock Up & Inkjet proof(s).
Printing Cover: 4 colour process + Seal one side only.
Text: 4 colour process + Seal throughout.
Endpapers: Unprinted
Materials Cover: 150gsm Silk (FSC Mix), End Papers: 170gsm Black Uncoated, Text: 130gsm Silk (FSC Mix).
Finishing Anti-scuff Matt laminate outer cover, fold text, collate, sew, line, trim with printed endpapers,
case printed laminated cover with 3mm greyboard, board hollow, affix head & tail bands. Pack into cartons.

 

The above is not from a Print on Demand service but a very professional Print House based in the United Kingdom and due to being based in Ireland, I have to pay in Sterling for both printing and shipping to all over the world that has taken up a vast amount of the fees from the crowdfunding stages as this is based an order of 600 books fully complete to the backers of a high polish product that has been estimated to fund the book, secondly the Pledges are also been handled by another vendor based in the United Kingdom on a final tally of orders submitted for all merchandise that may be in smaller or bigger numbers making the pricing fluctuate and this excludes shipping from them too. So based on the amount. Then this is followed beforehand of Kickstarter's 10% take of the final total of the €34,000 / £30,000, so also to take into consideration of books and possible pledges not arriving at backers due to been lost in the post etc. I will be also taking the hit on the replacements of them as they won't become from the Printers. So yeah..I'm going to RIO real soon with all this money :roll:

 

To address the comment of "lazy Graphic design" next..well okay this again is down to the eye of the beholder, I can't really see what you are addressing here?, I previewed the book back in 2017 as a concept and throughout the majority of 2018 to an audience of hundreds on social media and the Atari Age forum and find within this thread, the first to ever time to mention this? to me and I'm sure many others sounds like a cheap blow to the book and to those that simply want a publication that celebrates the software of this wonderful computer and is an insult to 11 months of remastering cover artwork, screenshot capture, layout design of the profiles, interviews and whatnot and the amount of writing of over 50,000 words, I can't see what was meant by this comment? the premise was simple, each game gets its own presentation of a remastered cover art not found anywhere on the internet other than in this book in the fashion they have to be cleaned etc. the background plate of each game has been used included extracted sprites for the majority of the spreads. The written word is those of the contributors with their own memoirs and facts about the games are in here as well, so I don't see what the questions of research or profiling fit the criteria other than to be seen in a teardown of the book?, maybe I should have included this in the fundraiser text? I have over 15 years in graphics design, I'm also the creator behind a selection of digital magazines (7 to be precise) with a majority of Atari Age members have enjoyed over the years here. I personally feel this is an unfounded remake to make and be honest a blatant insult to not just to me, but to everyone that has backed this book so far. But again if this is something you feel is a product you believe to be substandard then that's your single opinion based against the 300+ backers now supporting the project. As mention previously the Book, of course, was never intended to be everything for everybody, the fact it's even been done for the Atari 8-bit Home computer is miraculous as the Atari 8-bit platform goes completely undeservingly ignored compared to other 8-bit home computer books. Yet the product is been ridiculed in the last couple of posts without any real substance of relevant in justification of semi-negative commentary but subjective to the advice that I have found constructive.

 

Again I wish to warm heartily thank everyone for their input bad or good and those that have supported the book, I can guarantee you that the book is going to be fantastic in all it's intended purposes to those that love the Atari 8-bit and to those of you that won't be getting involved, this is all good too. but please all I ask you is with everything addressed here, please consider not derailing the thread, I have answered all key points to this product, so there shouldn't be any lack of clarity and have taken all adverts of commentary on board.

 

Kind regards

Darren.

 

 

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Whilst I don't want this to rumble on I do feel as one of the named people approached that how you describe it is a very watered down version which lead to me explaining I could not do more than a few articles (so had committed) because I was back and forth with the ongoing care of my anorexic daughter with hospitals, mental health teams etc. I passed on a person I thought could help with the more technical stuff, apologised that I could only do a few bits and sent the reply...

 

I was greeted with a big fat zero reply, no words on if you wanted the bits, no oh I'm sorry your daughter is very unwell, I understand (which would have been civil) and not a polite thank you for suggesting someone who could help......Basically I was no use to you and dump....

 

And you wonder why I wasn't so keen on what I DID think was a fantastic idea...

 

Look Darren, I saw that you thanked me and Fred (I don't speak for him though) in the last post and wish you well with the book and I hope people DO love it but the handling of our bit wasn't great, clearly a business venture and I didn't cut the mustard, understood...

 

Not quite as civil as I hoped...

 

Please, lets just leave it as it stands, you have said your bit, I've replied and its at an end..

 

Paul..

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Posted (edited)

I experienced exactly the same as you Mclaneinc. I offered my scans (for free ofcourse) and got one reply..... a question if I could financially support the project. I did not. Since then I never got any mail and this is the first time I read that my scans are used in the book.

 

But to make things clear: my comments were absolutely not based on my experience with Greyfox. Not at all! I was very happy to see a book created about Atari 8-bit games. But (sadly) when I saw the finished pages on Kickstarter I was (and am) dissapointed about the end result.

 

I don't want to keep this discussion going. This is my last post in this thread. I am happily continuing dumping games and provide scans for the a8preservation project :) That is my cup of tea :)

Edited by Fred_M
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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.


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Posted (edited)

I offered my scans (for free ofcourse) and got one reply..... a question if I could financially support the project. I did not. Since then I never got any mail and this is the first time I read that my scans are used in the book.

 

 

Just to make this clear (I received a private message from Greyfox): I received 2 messages from Greyfox in July 2018. In the first message he wrote me: "And also as a bonus would you consider an endorsement with the book at crowdfunding level? This would create a lot of awareness for your website." I declined the endorsement and told him a small credit in the book is okay.

 

After the very few private messages in July 2018 we did not have any contact. Greyfox is still allowed to use "my" scans (I never stated on AA that it was not allowed) and in this thread I have read for the first time that he actually used "my" scans.

 

My opinion about the book has not changed ;)

 

I used "" for my, because they are scans of commercial products, so I can never own these scans.

Edited by Fred_M
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This is very fair and respect your opinions and your permission to use the scan within the publication. Thank you Fred_M for your response on everything so far :)

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Posted (edited)

I really did not want to get involved in this and need to make a few things clear in the interest of full and open transparency. ..

 

I have contributed to this book in regards to conducting a few misc interviews on it's behalf with Q's included from Greyfox), submitted a few Q's of my own to interviews Greyfox conducted, contacted the gentleman who very kindly wrote the books foreward and passed on some minor background information on 1 developer.

 

Other than that?

 

My friend Mr Chris Abbot at C64.Audio.Com was kind enough to pass on some information regarding C64 musicians who also used the Atari..if that has made it into the book i have no idea.

 

Around the same time i assisted GTW with their yet to be annouced project. .in that case it was with 2 Lynx titles, a Playstation title and an Amstrad GX4000 title.

 

Everyone clear so far?

 

Both Greyfox and myself also invested considerable time in attempting to contact various people from Tynesoft and Zeppelin games, to name but 2 publishers, also Atari UK staff from the era.

 

Sadly nothing came of the approaches.

 

I also invested considerable time putting together an joint interview on behalf of GTW and Greyfox with the legendary Frank Cohen, for a planned feature for this book and the GTW site..sadly Frank was unable to reply to the Q's so both projects lost out and plans had to change. .It is part and parcel of these things.

 

 

My contributions were made months ago..i have no idea when GTW will annouce their project or what's happened with Greyfoxes book in the time since i passed on the material stated above.

 

I also own The Art Of Atari book, gave it 4 stars on Amazon review. .would of been 5, but i hate art spread across 2 pages and felt the Jaguar. .Lynx..Prototype hardware pages were out of place, would of much prefered remastered Atari UK 2600 comic strip style adverts as they were superb and from my childhood of reading Eagle magazine. .but book was not aimed at just myself

 

 

I've flicked through a C64 and Amiga visual compedium book..this book appears to take a similar template but with far more extras..reviews..interviews etc, which should add variety, but might not be what other people expect from a book of this type.

 

Greyfox made clear back in the 2018 (July) thread he was taking on a proof reader..i assume that is still the case?.But only Greyfox can answer that.

 

 

As for fair use aspects...

 

I can only assume people were unaware of this:

 

http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2016/07/nes_visual_compendium_dispute_comes_to_an_end_kickstarter_resumes_for_final_24_hours

 

Subject of fair use cropped up in the comments section there.

 

 

Now i have some constructive criticism for Greyfox from what i have seen of the book and i hope he takes it as such. .

 

1.The Cover:Sorry, just does nothing for myself..it just does not pack enough punch, but i find that with all these visual compedium books..the Sega Master System and Commodore C64 book covers look just as bland.

 

 

2.I'd like to see the more high profile titles in the book get better treatment than the lesser titles..extra text explaining what made them stand out is needed..even if it delays the book launch.

 

Not all Atari 8 bit titles are equal and personally i would not of included Arkanoid. .it was a mess and typical Imagine treating the Atari 8 bit system with contempt.

 

3.But my biggest complaint is why certain games have characters/images from the games overlaid on the games artwork itself..i hate that.

 

For a book that has had so much time spent capturing and cleaning up the artwork, why on earth tamper with it by putting in game stuff on top of it?

 

Sorry that is my OCD eye speaking, but it has the same result as putting art over 2 pages..do not ruin the purity.

 

 

So that's my involvement and personal concerns stated, along with a degree of explanation of just how frustrating and time consuming it was to try and bring as much to the table with this book as could be done.

 

I will also gladly tip my hat in the direction of Retro Gamer and it's Atari coverage...the feature on English Software was superb, (but they had the sheer resources to pull that off) but it was intended as part of a feature (company profiles) that has been running for years..As has the Minority Report feature and Hardware inspection features and so and so on which are all now collected in 1 bookzine.

 

Of course they will differ in style, presentation etc..written over a period of years with writers from both sides of the Atlantic and magazine itself is now on it's third publisher..Future Publishing, having started with Live and moving to Imagine Publishing.

 

Totally different set up to any Kickstarter project.

Edited by Lost Dragon
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I betcha Greyfox is soaking in all the comments and making quick, last minute changes to the book!

 

Yes, yes? ;)

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I would like to apologise if my earlier post came across as something of a rant, that was not the intention.

 

My thoughts have recently been on anything but other people's projects i assisted with in someway at some point last year....they've been more focused on the job i have been in for the past 15 years still being there in 6 months time and i am still recovering from my first stay in hospital in over 45 years

 

But a few people who knew i had helped with Greyfoxes project had seen this thread and kept telling me it was all kicking off, so i thought i would make my involvement and concerns clear.

 

 

I also have not backed the book....

 

But this is purely down to my concerns about Crowd Funding projects in general, i simply do not get involved with any of them.

 

I'm a huge fan of Mastertronic titles, they were the life blood of my A8 and Z C64 years, so many times, so this book seemed a dream come true:

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/15723376/the-mastertronic-archives

 

It funded, but has not appeared.

 

People say the person behind it over reached himself as he had several projects in the works at once, he's suffered ill health or he's done a runner with the money.

 

Other books looking at budget software never reached funding..

 

And this month's RG magazine has it's second ? Superb feature on Mastertronic, so i picked a copy of the magazine up for my fix instead.

 

Zero risk involved.

 

 

I would hope anyone reading this thread and planning any Retro related book or magazine project takes the constructive critiscm aspects from it and tailors their projects to suit as there honestly is no better critic than the person who's money and time your after.

 

Perhaps Greyfox could tell us a percentage of the backers so far who've come from outside the Atari specific community, as maybe the book is trying to capture a newer market?.

 

Those who have only dabbled with the A8 or never touched it at all, but are now showing interest.

 

Some further feedback from him would be most welcome i am sure.

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OK then, no word from Greyfox, but his book now has over 315 backers so possibly around the halfway mark?, but the clock is ticking.

 

I spent a while reading through the earlier pages of this thread and looking at some earlier preview pages Greyfox kindly supplied and comments he passed on.

 

Meaning no offence to Ultrasteve here (i don't know him as a fellow Atari Age poster, I have no idea of his line of work, he seems a lot more clued up on the printing and book design process than myself and seems as fatigued with all these crowdfunding projects that continue to spring up as i am :-)), but i don't personally feel Greyfoxes book is in any real danger of pushing fair usage of imagery beyond acceptable limits.

 

All he's using is cover art,then 1 in game screen shot per game to illustrate what was on offer,another for a background image and some sprites from the game scattered around.

 

Had he for example used 3-5 in game screens per game, i would say he was pushing it, but as it is, he appears to of taken a sensible approach.

 

I found another of those sprites on top of the box art examples.. Spy Vs Spy:Island Capers, really hope any game featuring this approach can be reworked.

 

 

There's sadly also a glaring contrast in how the hardware is covered :'(

 

The Atari 800 has those circular "badges" (48K and Programmers kit) plastered over the photo of the machine itself..why?

 

It doesn't sit well with myself.

 

The approach taken with the 800XL works far far better.

 

It's curious as some here have complained they feel the book uses the same visual templates throughout and as a result is lazy,by contrast i myself find the chop and change approaches are not to my liking.

 

Again, purely personal observations.

 

Greyfox had answered why Arkanoid is featured (he did so last year), Nostalgic Posterity apparently..

 

Ok, but personally I preferred the RetroGamer Magazine (under Live Publishing) approach to games like this,if your going to feature it, feature it for what it really is,as they did with A8 Rampage by having it as a Retro Shamer.

 

I know it has it's fans,but come on the Atari hardware could of done more than this..

 

 

I had a follow up look to whom else we did at various stages try and contact for various A8 projects.

 

Ivan Mackintosh (Tynesoft etc) and Tim Holland (Databyte) were dead ends as was Datasoft coder in the USA who's personal details were past onto me during PS2 research for Unseen64.

 

None of these emails bounced back..so one can only assume they were unable to assist.

 

But i don't think it's quite fair to lay claims of your book having a lazy approach are fair.

 

A lot of us over the years have made good attempts to bring fresh voices from the industry into the fold, sadly the majority remained apart.

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If Arkanoid is in there for nostalgia then there better be a 9 page spread on M.U.L.E. and a 5 page spread on Archon. :)

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Those who have only dabbled with the A8 or never touched it at all, but are now showing interest.

 

Never had an Atari, but I did nearly impulse-backed it at some point. I love books and grew up with old mags and was in a mood to buy something. I do agree with lots of critical points raised in this thread but ultimately it was the price which did it for me. It's a bit too steep, even if it's a standard for these Kickstarter retro books. I think if it was something like 25E, max 30 with shipping then perhaps...

 

Another personal quirk of mine is that I don't really dig the screenshots from modern sources. Need the CRT glow and scanlines :)

 

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Another personal quirk of mine is that I don't really dig the screenshots from modern sources. Need the CRT glow and scanlines :)

 

 

That's an awkward one, yes its nice to see it on a real machine and a real crt TV / Monitor but screen captures off monitors are not fun, trust me, I tried back then..Most were done (bitd) off the comp feed which loses some of the charm of the crt screen. Also, I've noticed a growing trend on people liking cleaner pixel sharp displays which looks nice for text based usage but the games look wrong to me, that bilinear look from the res and the comp / tv quality feed on a crt just hides some of the awkward angles that were not anti aliased out as they would be with today's hardware.

 

So its swings and roundabouts that appeals both ways but be it a book or a mag, if the screen shots were off a TV I promise there would be an outpouring re the quality in a bad way..I'd personally use a comp feed of a real machine for balance and honesty..

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Never had an Atari, but I did nearly impulse-backed it at some point. I love books and grew up with old mags and was in a mood to buy something. I do agree with lots of critical points raised in this thread but ultimately it was the price which did it for me. It's a bit too steep, even if it's a standard for these Kickstarter retro books. I think if it was something like 25E, max 30 with shipping then perhaps...

 

Another personal quirk of mine is that I don't really dig the screenshots from modern sources. Need the CRT glow and scanlines :)

 

Fantastic to hear the thoughts from someone like yourself,who never had an Atari, but is exactly the kind of person Greyfox will need to entice to fund a project like this.

 

As Greyfox will know from the early days of this project, when we threw ideas back and forth via email (note to Greyfox, my old email account is no longer active,hence my leaving constructive criticism via this thread) i person thought the A8 format was a very risky format to base a project like this around.

 

Going off feedback from RetroGamer magazine Atari 8 bit coverage over the years as a yardstick, it just seemed very niche and sadly not a format a lot of UK readers wanted to know more of..

 

Hopefully as the coverage of systems like the 2600,C64,ZX Spectrum, NES etc reach saturation point, more people will be looking to try something totally new to them and where better to start than the Atari range of 8 bit home computers :-))

 

 

I also 'warned him' as i have both himself and others in the past, that as soon as you put a price on something, you set out standards of expectation.

 

Your no longer putting up a forum post or free to read article or interview or feature on...

 

Your asking for people's hard earned money and that's where things can get very dicey.

 

Everyone of us is going to expect something different in terms of content, presentation, amount of coverage given to familar subjects and new and exclusive content, the latter being a bloody nightmare to source.

 

And as we are looking at a book very much based around visual preservation and capture, how do you do it in a manner that pleases everyone?.

 

Stick to an existing template.. Your wide open to accusations of plagiarism and having no ideas of your own..

 

Put your unique touches on art and people like myself kick off saying you've bloody ruined the purity of the very art i wanted preserved.

 

Others want CRT glow, scanlines, fag burns etc if it's arcade art,as that's what stuck out from their childhoods etc.

 

I don't think there is a 1 size fits all solution, i just hope Greyfox and others can learn from all the points raised here so far and get an understanding that it's not personal that many of us are not backing this, he's just entering into a very crowded, very risky arena and there are numerous factors preventing us from being as much of the journey as others.

 

I hope the book does get funded and those that receive a copy get some value from the minor contributions i made to it.

 

But to be brutally honest, i assisted with the Unseen64 book and as Luca is all to well aware, found that very primitive in layout (text running down side of photo's), black and white photographs, poor choice of intro writer for the Jaguar section etc etc and my copy went to recycling some months ago as the book simply had so little value to myself.

 

And that's the risk anyone attempting these books faces..

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That's an awkward one, yes its nice to see it on a real machine and a real crt TV / Monitor but screen captures off monitors are not fun, trust me, I tried back then..

 

Oh I know, it wasn't a "real" complaint, like I said more of a personal thingy. As somebody who still researches ways to photograph CRTs properly I know it's uber tricky, especially getting White Balance right, such a headache. Having said that, maybe now I'm getting an idea for a Kickstarter book with "real deal" screenshots....expect an announcement soon :)

 

@Lost Dragon

 

I was never one who sticks only to the platforms I had as a kid...that's the massive boon of the modern scene that we have access to everything. So while my Sinclair/Commodore camps were of course making jokes out of the Atari back in the day, now I'm thinking of maybe getting a real one soon. And the book is about games mostly, and I was always gamer first, fanboy later.

 

I wis him well still, but perhaps it'd be wiser to go for smaller amount of pages and lower price/campaign target. If it was successful you could always do a follow up. Or maybe it'll get funded and it's all empty speculation.

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Posted (edited)

If this does (sadly) end up going back to the drawing board and pages being cut, in order to be able to bring the book in at a lower price, what would people be happy to see removed from it?.

 

 

My personal thoughts as a long time RetroGamer Magazine are that you could loose titles that have already been covered in depth by publications before and were weaker on the Atari 8 bit anyway..

 

 

So i wouldn't miss:

 

Rampage

Spellbound

Arkanoid

Green Beret

Feud

Milk Race

Universal Hero

Panther

Chimera

 

If they were not included (not sure if all the above are) as RG did a feature on Universal Hero (and the A8 version is bugged), think Feud has a making of...Panther has..Chimera rings a few bells but i can't think off hand..

 

The Magic Knight series had a feature etc...because your in essence competing with already existing content and including so-so titles just for nostalgia reasons is expensive as it increases the page count.

 

 

I would keep games where the A8 version is superior to the C64 version as they showcase why (if your not familar with the hardware) the Atari range is worth checking out and that applies to budget titles from the era, not just flagship, full price titles.

 

Amaurote and for example and Ninja was visually far more vibrant than the C64 version.

 

 

Any cutbacks are going to require some pretty hard decision's, but if the book is to reflect what made the Atari 8 bit range so special, don't waste coverage on the commercial conversions that had so little time spent on them as the publishers knew the UK Atari market was so limited .

Edited by Lost Dragon
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If this does (sadly) end up going back to the drawing board and pages being cut, in order to be able to bring the book in at a lower price, what would people be happy to see removed from it?.

...

Any cutbacks are going to require some pretty hard decision's, but if the book is to reflect what made the Atari 8 bit range so special, don't waste coverage on the commercial conversions that had so little time spent on them as the publishers knew the UK Atari market was so limited .

 

 

I'll chip in that one of the aspects of the Kickstarters, going on the current uptake of the coasters, mugs, mouse mats and calendars these don't seem a real necessity?

Saying that though, as long as the project's target is not inflated by this so long as the additional cost paid for the option is covering it, then there isn't really a problem. Thoughts?

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Just looked in at the books Kickstarter campaign. .18 days to go, 331 backers and €17,564 of goal of €34,000.

 

 

So, i thought i would try and put that into perspective of the last Atari based Kickstarter book i was aware of...

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/beyondtheborders/the-atari-st-and-the-creative-people

 

Now i believe this initally did not fund on it's first Kickstarter campaign? goal for funding was rather ambitious, book a little expensive?

 

Others will have to help me out here, as i was never that huge a fan of Thalion, could never fault their games technically, but they just seemed to be so unoriginal at times...a flight Sim, a RPG, a Dragon Spirt Clone, an Alien Syndrome Clone, a Ghost 'N' Goblins clone...

 

 

My point here is, the subject matter was niche and the book apparently struggled to get funded 1st time around, so it was reworked, costs reduced and successful on round 2, but it had a far lower target in terms of funding needing to be met than Greyfoxes book currently has and did not have a huge number of backers by the end of the campaign, compared to what Greyfox has now.

 

To myself this seems to highlight books of this type are always going to risk having a limited audience, say 400-450 backers would be considered a great success? and thus need to be within a lower price point, to reach those numbers.

 

 

If they can rework it and relaunch it at a lower price point, i am sure if the worst comes to the worst, something similar can be done here.

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I have of course, given my personal feelings/constructive criticism of approaches to the manner in which imagery is used on certain pages of the book and why it is not for myself, but as an Atari 800XL owner during it's commercial era and an avid magazine reader at that time, i do struggle to personally find why comments like this are being aimed at the approach used:

 

"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."

 

I'm not sure what these aesthetic rules are, but the book is intended as a nostalgia type work and from what i have seen via the preview pages Greyfox has put up online, all he is in effect doing is trying to present the book in a visual manner people like myself remember the Atari 8 bit era from.

 

 

If you look through old issues of Atari User Magazine from the mid 1980's (magazine scans avaiable on Atarimania), that's the approach most commonly used by the publication itself and adverts placed within it..

 

 

Databyte double advert for Polar Pierre and Adam Caveman, plus Spy Vs Spy:Island Caper..

 

Mirax Force (Tynesoft)

 

Starquake (Bubblebus. .ok this had an extra all formats price listing box out)

 

They consist of the game artwork..then 1 or 2 in game screens ( Adam Caveman screens possibly fakes)..few lines of text.

 

Earlier Databyte game adverts were just the box art..no in game screens..no text description.

 

As for the magazine itself..

 

It's reviews often took the same format..look at reviews for Rampage, Panther, Phantom, Grand Prix Sim, Space Shuttle, Ace Of Aces, Astro-Droid etc.

 

Text adventures often just had the box art no in game screens. ..

 

 

Brief description of game itself, then a box out for the scores.

 

 

It could well be that Greyfox was indeed trying to recapture the very essence of the manner in which A8 games were presented to us during that era from a UK perspective as they were his memories as well?

 

If so, it seems a little harsh to use the 80's look as a negative, the entire book is dedicated to that era, is it not?.

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All I can say for my Atari User contributions is that because I wasn't in-house I was just given a rough word count and they handled the screens (I did try but they looked poor). All I care from a book, mag etc is that they are true to the machine, the times I've seen C64 screens for an Atari game etc. I'm sure this is 100% not the case for the book and what has been seen looks ok picture wise. As for if it should be period related, for me I like to see stuff done that way with an 80's feel, its a personal like, for me the idea of trying to make it an Atari in 2019 just seems awkward but as said, its personal because there's many users on here who still use their machine and have upgraded them and feel like they have evolved the machine, which of course they have but I still look at my machine and emulator as a cosy memory that I can keep using now.

 

I suppose I also see it as sort of current because if you still use it then I guess its current....Just not in the full technical way of the core material.

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