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Atari : A Visual History Book is now LIVE on Kickstarter

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@Mclaneinc:Apologies for the late reply, realised i had left my phone in my work locker 24 miles into the 26 mile journey home and there was no way i was going to do a U-Turn to go back and get the damn thing .

 

 

I felt it was both necessary and important to be fully transparent with the community on here and the books backers and those considering backing, exactly what my involvement had been and the issues both Greyfox and myself experienced many months ago.

 

I never feel any shame in admitting that despite our best efforts it just was not possible to get the assistance of Persons A to Z and especially not now as this is a high end product, price wise.

 

I also have no issues making clear how far my involvement went, that i myself have not backed the book, so beyond a contributor role, i have no real attachments to the book.

 

Sorry to appear blasé, but to myself it was treated no differently than trying to source material for Pro-Atari magazine or Unseen64/GTW etc in the past.

 

 

The number of backers has surprised me and that has no reflection on anything but myself thinking it was simply a very niche product and highlights just how our of touch i am with the greater community.

 

 

I've not intended any offence to Greyfox with my critiscms during this thread, it's simply my personal feelings he would of been a lot wiser putting the book into the hands of the professionals or at the very least having someone with a specific skill set handle the marketing aspects.

 

 

I've also attempted to explain from my limited understanding, why the book has taken a very colour/image heavy approach..this was in practice during the commercial Atari 8 bit era and is in keeping with the concept of Visual Compendium,plus the bold colours really fit in with the whole theme of the platform in my eyes.

 

 

It's hard to say anything else at this point.

 

I was never given exclusive access to anything that hasn't been shared on the kickstarter pages, people including Greyfox know all to well my concerns over certain choices on the art direction at times and some titles choosen, so i would of been critical had i purchased a copy and left a review on Amazon, had the book funded and remained unchanged...

 

 

But now so much has been said and books future is still very much up in the air, for myself it's hard to really feel any real degree of attachment to it any more.

 

 

I found myself in the same situation with Unseen64. .a site i had invested a lot of time and a small degree of money in, in terms of supplying them with material, the book came out, it was very dissapointing in terms of production values and presentation and i just felt my time with the site had passed.

 

 

It's probably the getting older aspect of my personality..but i just don't feel the connection to projects i once believed in.

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I wish to say it was unprofessional of me to utilise and copy a cover design of a publication that was plagiaristic and unfair, but I repeat, I did attempt to contact the author in relation to doing this type of design about 6 months as I wished to seek their permission to use this design style as a homage, not to steal or pass off as my own original work and felt it fitted the book brilliantly, but was inappropriate to have it there and I hold my hands up this,

 

In that case, the correct course of action - once you had been unsuccessful in contacting the author of "Atari Color Graphics" - was to have made a completely new, original design. But you didn't do that and instead you went ahead and appropriated someone else's work, without permission, as your own.

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The author just ran a Facebook ad today featuring his appropriated cover art. Despite apologizing for his unprofessional/unethical behavior, he doesn't seem eager to change it.

 

post-39889-0-59532900-1558904045.png

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Ahh, I was wondering how the backer count increased so much in the last few days. Make sense.

 

Hmm... yeah, I agree it's a little awkward to continue using the cover considering all the posts here.

 

Three days to go with 511 backers. The project needs almost 89 backers per day till the end to be successfully backed. This is like watching the Enterprise limping away in Star Trek II. It takes a self-sacrificing first officer to connect the broken warp coils so the ship can fly off. Can we make it?

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So is my understanding correct that this is 3rd party games only because there is a smaller chance that they'll sue for not giving permissions?

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Wow...the first time I've decided to read this thread! I was starting to think, with all the responses and how many pages long this thread is that there was a lot of excitement surrounding this publication...well, there is, just the wrong kind! I'm glad I decided I didn't have the time when I was asked to contribute to this book! I'm glad my name isn't associated with it now! Though I did enjoy Greyfox's 1-off magazine from a few years back...

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Posted (edited)

The author just ran a Facebook ad today featuring his appropriated cover art. Despite apologizing for his unprofessional/unethical behavior, he doesn't seem eager to change it.

 

attachicon.gifScreen Shot 2019-05-26 at 1.47.15 PM.png

"It's dead, Jim."

"What is dead, Bones?"

"The horse, Jim."

Edited by JoSch

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"It's dead, Jim."

"What is dead, Bones?"

"The horse, Jim."

 

If the author had found new cover art for the promo he posted today, then yes, the horse might be dead. But Greyfox keeps giving reasons to keep the horse alive. His Facebook post undercuts the sincerity of his apology.

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Why do all the Facebook posts appear to have been composed with gloved hands on a smartphone while riding a bike in a strong headwind?

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Three and a half weeks have passed since questions started being asked. Nine days have passed since the cover-copying was brought to light. I don't think in all of that time Darren has shown any new artwork for the inside pages. Neither has he shown a new cover. Not only has he used it on Facebook adverts, but in the update on the campaign he posted yesterday, it's still there (although he did at least correct ITS to IT'S!).

 

His broadband may well have been down (never mind that there is mobile internet, are coffee shops and friends etc.) but if I were a backer I'd certainly expect more tangible and thorough updates, and I'd be even more nervous about my money, now.

 

post-45046-0-68545900-1558946897_thumb.png

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Well as someone who's name is associated with the book (as a contributor) and someone who does not use FB, there are an awful lot of assumptions being made here.

 

 

I'm not defending the book or Greyfox in any regard, this is his baby and if it gets thrown out with the bathwater, so be it.

 

But with 71 hours to go, 516 backers, it has come a hellva lot closer to being funded than i ever believed it would, so there clearly exists a market for a product like this, which proved my inital expectations completely wrong.

 

I will attempt to answer points raised from our inital chats about the book concept in the early days.

 

1) It's unofficial for a number of reasons.

 

For starters if you covered the Official Atari titles, you would have to pay the current I.P holders money to cover them in the booK, which would of pushed book price up even further and with Atari itself having sold off I.P rights to likes of Battlezone etc, it was going to be a nightmare entering into negotiations with all the I.P holders.

 

The Atari 8 bit range, unlike say the 7800, Lynx or Jaguar consoles , had a wide range of third party software releases and thus an ample supply of titles and genres to call apon.

 

2) Issue of money from backers:I have never done a Kickstarter Campain, but my thoughts are unlike a crowd funding project like say Unbound books, NO money is taken unless the project target is reached at close of the deadline? .

 

This is looking unlikely so there is no money to be refunded as nothing has been taken.

 

This project for all the issues that has arisen, is not like the Mastertronic Archives Kickstarter, campain ended, money taken, no book, no sign of the author.

 

So there is no cause for any real concern at this point.

 

 

3) The FB post issue:Has anyone reached out to Greyfox via FB and put the concerns raised about why he's still using the same cover art since his last post on here?.

 

That to me would be a more sensible approach than putting more blood in the waters on here.

 

 

If he still plans to use it without permission then more bloody fool him and any consequences that come his way should the book go ahead using it, then that's his look out, nobody can say he was not given clear and present warning.

 

But on the flipside at this moment in time we ourselves have no idea what has happened since or what his plans are, who he's contacted, what subsitute art he may or may not have come up with.

 

As it stands all we do know is where the kickstarter is at..that Greyfox has run 1 last social media push and it still uses the old art.

 

 

He has an awful lot of explaining to do..But to his BACKERS (which i am not one of) and anyone who's name is going to be associated with the book (which as a contributor mine bloody well is).

 

Sorry to be blunt, but if your a spectator only, this is something of a mute discussion.

 

Had the book been funded and we were all in the dark still then maybe alarm bells should be ringing...

 

Until it does there's little to no risk to anyone including myself.

 

Even when it does not hit it's target, i will be expecting a full and public update as to what's to happen to the project and material i submitted.

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@Lost Dragon, lets see how this pans out rather than debate what will be IF he bothers, the simple fact is that he's hasn't so far, for me that says reams. c'mon in a day of mobile tech and etc there's no reason the same cover has been used other than its now intended to be the cover so to match the kickstarter.

 

Lets just leave this all be and see where it blows...Darrens a big boy he can defend himself....Also just constantly fielding questions that have been answered or not area waste of your time...This will be what ever it will be..

 

Seriously, trying to be the point of reason and the reason is that this thread needs to just pass on, its not being a roaring success in promotional terms but its got the backers its wants from here and we all hope every one is happy...

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Posted (edited)

@Mclaneinc:

 

I was rather surprised to see new life in this thread, espically with the kickstarter so close to completion and the target funding still so far off.

 

When I checked the kickstarter page i was expecting to see a figure of say 580 backers and the project potentially being reached.

 

All that has cropped up are the same assumptions made over a week ago..

 

A question that should of been asked a year ago when Greyfox pitched the book asking for help with it..

 

And more attacks on someone who clearly is not going to return here to reply.

 

Why the new spate of concerns from people?

 

Let Greyfox sort it out with his backers once the damn thing reaches a conclusion.

 

Atari Age as a site promoted the book.

 

In a matter of hours the entire chapter will be over.

 

There is nobody at risk of loosing any money, even i know that much about Crowd Funding projects.

 

If the backers are nervous they have time to pull out..it really is that black and white.

 

 

 

 

Why this thread was not locked 9 days ago is the only question i have.

Edited by Lost Dragon

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@Lost Dragon - I'm indifferent to most of what you've posted, but I can't understand why you can't see the risk. Neither of us know whether or not this will be a Mastertronic Archives or not, but that's the point. There is risk already, and plenty of it, that's why Kickstarter exists. Saying that until it's funded there's no problem is true, but only in as much that by then it's too late as people will not get their money back if no book arrives. There is still an inherent risk, very definitely not no risk. There is only no risk if the project doesn't fund, so you are misleading people who may not really know how Kickstarter works.

 

The 'spate of concerns' is because Darren has done nothing to address the issues raised, not least of all over the cover. I don't want to see anyone lose their money. They may not. Darren may have addressed the issues, the book may arrive and be everything the backers want it to be, but he hasn't shown anything that suggests that so far, and that's why we're concerned. Some of us are putting forward an argument that a lot of the community might stand to lose money, and I'll keep pointing out the red flags as I see them.

 

The backers want the book as they've seen it, and I hope for their sake they get it and are happy if this campaign funds.

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Posted (edited)

@Mclaneinc:

 

 

Why this thread was not locked 9 days ago is the only question i have.

 

Because people kept adding to it perhaps :)

 

I dropped out after talking with Josch and sorting out any issues we had, I like you watched the thread have new life but it was yourself adding it :)

 

With calls to quite rightly, stop flogging the dead horse... :)

 

I just jumped in hoping that if more than one person calls for a thread die that it might happen.. :)

 

The :) are there just to show its done in GOOD faith and not a want for continuum.

 

The cover I fear will stay with the book as its what it has been promoted as having (even now), it may get adverse reaction if it arrives with a different cover at this late stage?

 

Lets just hope the rest is cleared up for the sake of the backers..And I do mean that for them..

 

Paul..

Edited by Mclaneinc
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Posted (edited)

@Ultrasteve:

 

Maybe i simply look at different types of risk involved here than yourself or the backers? .

 

My name is associated with the book and so i would assume is that of my friend Chris [email protected] if Greyfox has used the materials Chris so kindly obtained on behalf of the book and like myself, gave in good faith for it.

 

We have personal interests in who the book is being marketed to any and all those who have made a pledge based on what they believe the book will contain and yet we are trying to remain calm and present the situation on what was presented to us at the start and what we can fathom from the situation as it's known know.

 

The very real concerns about the difference from being inspired by some supposedly iconic imagery from a book from the 1970's (it does nothing for myself personally) and plagiarism have been publically raised and discusseductive here, backers have had time to pull pledges from the campain, instead more people have joined.

 

That's a reality.

 

As far as I am aware, unlike the earlier Nintendo book kickstarter campain i linked to many pages ago, this book has yet to draw attention from any major player, there are no news stories going up online about Atari or anyone else stepping in to put the brakes on the campain, no copyright cases being pursued.

 

Should the damn thing reach funding this time around..Greyfox has a moral responsibility to inform his backers that there will either be a change to the cover of the book and make 100% clear just why he's changed it or...If he's stupid enough to go with the existing cover, explain to them he has done so without authorisation from the original artist/book author and offer full and unconditional refunds on any money taken.

 

Kickstarter has procedures in place and makes clear the risks involved to anyone making a pledge does it not? and this will be a matter for Greyfox. .his backers and Kickstarter to resolve, as it should be.

 

 

Until such time as the campaign ends..any comments made about what/why/maybe are pure speculation.

 

I'm not misleading anyone.

 

I've constantly made my limited involvement in the book clear, made attempts to tell backers just what else the book contains as this thread has been so focused on the cover and imagery , the book by my understanding contains numerous features besides what has been shown.

 

The entire point of mentioning the Mastertronic and Nintendo Kickstarter books was to highlight the very real risks involved with any Kickstarter Campain.

 

I've made clear much earlier on in the thread my feelings the book was going to struggle from day 1 due to general Kickstarter apathy and people being very badly burnt by successful kickstarter campain.

 

You of course have every right to put forward your concerns but your at a much lower risk of being associated with any long term damage the project has already caused, let alone may go onto cause as your in no way associated with it.

 

@Mclaneinc:

Very true, i did indeed originally add to the thread by giving you the courtesy of a reply, having explained i had left my phone at work, hence the delay in getting back to you.

 

But after that the thread went quiet..

 

Reawakening happening once the backer count went over 500.

 

If i have information that can answer valid questions, such as why it's not covering official Atari titles, i will answer as part of a general reply now the same issues are being raised about the cover still being used..

 

But the points still stand...

 

Unless the book gets funded, this thread is going in circles.

 

We have a rather curious situation here..

 

The site promoting a book which the community is doing everything it can to distance itself from.

Edited by Lost Dragon

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Posted (edited)

My name is associated with the book and so i would assume is that of my friend Chris [email protected] if Greyfox has used the materials Chris so kindly obtained on behalf of the book and like myself, gave in good faith for it.

 

 

Mine was too, but like others said, there is no visual evidence that Greyfox did anything with the comments. So I asked Greyfox to remove any reference to me, as I don't want to be associated with this book anymore. After all revelations about the cover, butchered artwork and I compared the first part of the text about Synapse (which is a 90% copy of wikipedia and an old interview in Antic from 1983. When you google complete sentences, I can find litterally the same text) I don't want to be associated anymore.

 

He can still use the scans he already has used (I don't know which and how many he is using), but no reference to me or atarimuseum.nl in the book. I saw a picture on Facebook of a published article about the book in 8-bit Magazine where the name of my website is used. I don't want that anymore. I have removed his access to my online storage with all scans I made.

Edited by Fred_M
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Posted (edited)

We have a rather curious situation here..

 

The site promoting a book which the community is doing everything it can to distance itself from.

 

That's not true, many of the community have backed it but some have mentioned certain things which shed light on issues which was the whole point of the discussion. as said for the last time, my POV is based on the treatment I received as did friends in relation to the book, I lost interest in the book itself at that point, it was not for me but I didn't rubbish the book or Darren. Since then other things popped up that should concern people and that's at Darrens door and that's been made clear so I don't want to bang on about that ever again.

 

The community, as has been said, LOVE new content, myself included and IF the book gets smartened up then I'm just as much a potential buyer as anyone else. The problem with the book is that it was classed OFFICIALLY as finished and yet presented in a format that seemed at odds with that in NUMEROUS ways.

 

Can't blame anyone for pointing that out...We love our stuff but we want it to be as great as possible..

 

Again, this is down to Darren's door simply as he's the boss and as I know the buck stops there....Its not personal, its a business fact that I've had to deal with at times in my management days.

 

With that I am out of this...Its just circular...and to point that out I use this ladies fine words..

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gLMSf4afzo

 

(why won't YT links show as they used to for me...Any answers a PM would be appreciated?)

Edited by Mclaneinc
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Posted (edited)

Sure, its the only possible explanation, that he just wants to constantly violate copyrights. Anybody can wip up ad material in production quality, which pleases you in just two days. Its so easy.

Edited by JoSch

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Sorry Mclaneinc but that's how it comes across.

 

I think Greyfox himself stated on here that only a tiny % of the then, pre-surge backers of the book came from Atari Age community and that % will of course be lower still given the recent jump in numbers.

 

I'm like yourself in terms of personally lost interest in it long ago, not a backer, but because my bloody name and content are in it and could well be used along with that of my good friend Chris Abbot and his site, i of course have very personal concerns about the handling of the book and the attention this thread is drawing outside of Atari Age.

 

And there is no escaping that fact.

 

I have no idea what's being said about the book on FB bar what's being repeated on here, but last i knew Atari Age as a site was still promoting the book and the backers are still increasing.

 

Nobody is at blame for pointing out anything about the book..

 

Be it the cover..

 

The question of fair usage over screenshots etc used..

 

The manner in which the artwork itself is presented.

 

The question of how it was marketed etc..

 

All are valid concerns.

 

However when Greyfox did point out he had taken on a professional proof reader for the book..back in 2018, that seemed lost on the community here, drowned out perhaps by the focus being on the bigger concerns and now he's named the guy in question it's finally gone almost silent bar the mentioning of Greyfox correcting grammar etc on his FB promotional stuff.

 

 

You talk of the community on here loving and wanting great content..true but let me ask you then, where has the discussion on this thread been about what else the book offers?.

 

The hardware features?

 

The interviews?

 

As someone who put the hours in doing them for the community, not for any personal gain, i won't even get to see them in finished form should the book ever arrive as i have not backed it..it really feels like a total waste of time, not so much of my own, but the industry people who kindly gave of theirs to answer Q's and write a book foreward.

 

Not 1 person has expressed any interest in just who wrote the foreward or who we reached and secured interviews with.

 

 

 

@Fred_M:

 

I have just contacted Chris Abbot..briefed him on the current situation and asked him if he wants his name and content removed also.

 

 

I myself have no concerns with my content being used by anyone for any purpose as it's all my own work, but felt it only fair Chris was given full transparency and can make a decision for himself.

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Posted (edited)

 

 

With that I am out of this...Its just circular...and to point that out I use this ladies fine words..

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gLMSf4afzo

 

(why won't YT links show as they used to for me...Any answers a PM would be appreciated?)

 

Paul

go to the menu below the video and copy the "share" link

 

Edited by brenski
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