Issue 58 feedback

Want to air your opinions on the latest issue of Retro Gamer? Step inside...

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GenghisJones
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Post by GenghisJones » Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:27 am

I was calling the practice of using reprints/ excessive amounts of reader material shoddy, not the issue. Where original material is used it is excellent - best in print in my opinion.

But at least when the shoot'em article was reprint a while back, you put a disclaimer that it was reprint - here you've simply passed off a reprint as new. That is the cause of my unhappiness.

(hope that back's better - mine's knackered too, so you have my sympathy)

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CraigGrannell
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Post by CraigGrannell » Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:34 am

With this issue, I suspect any attribution went missing in a mad dash to get the magazine to the printer. Missing print deadlines = massive costs, and that would adversely affect subsequent issues. Had a two-pager needed yanking, it would have been easy enough to add something else. However, when six pages are pulled on your press day, the only option is reprint.

As for the Reader's Revivals, in my opinion two of them is one too many per issue. But the fact remains that lots of readers were clamouring for extra reader content and interaction, and finding the right balance takes time. Retro Gamer responds pretty rapidly in publishing terms to feedback, and is constantly tweaking the magazine. Compare that to other titles, where you get lumped with a 'like it or loathe it' redesign once every couple of years.

If there were three or four of these and six pages of reprint in every issue, I'd also be worried. However, the odd reprint article here and there is an inevitability, not least when you consider that Retro Gamer has utterly knifed its standing content (down to a single page of editorial), resulting in more original content and therefore less room for manoeuvre when unexpected things happen.
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Darran@Retro Gamer
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Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Wed Dec 03, 2008 6:03 am

GenghisJones wrote:I was calling the practice of using reprints/ excessive amounts of reader material shoddy, not the issue. Where original material is used it is excellent - best in print in my opinion.

But at least when the shoot'em article was reprint a while back, you put a disclaimer that it was reprint - here you've simply passed off a reprint as new. That is the cause of my unhappiness.

(hope that back's better - mine's knackered too, so you have my sympathy)
That's fair enough. I wasn't here, it wasn't done. Apologies for the lack of notice. Final deadlines are always hectic and even worse when the editor is incapacited. I've only missed one in the three years I've been in charge of the magazine and I certainly won't be doing it again.
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Havantgottaclue
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Post by Havantgottaclue » Wed Dec 03, 2008 6:05 am

RG may fit loosely into the games magazines bracket, but it seems unfair to compare it with other gaming titles, because the bulk of those magazines are filled by 'news' items, be they in the form of previews, reviews or whatever. The content is, to a large extent, determined by what's released for the platform(s) covered by the magazine. Comparatively little of RG is made along those lines, so it's really up to the imagination of the regular staffers and contributors. In this case, both the Twelve Games of Christmas and The Twilight Game Zone were original and very interesting articles.

The core articles such as Retroinspection, The Classic Game and The Making Of series, strike me as being basically part of an ongoing encyclopedia of classic gaming - in fact, if a book of Retroinspections were to be published, I'd be interested in buying it. That's why I quite often don't read RG cover-to-cover as soon as I receive it. I usually read articles about the C64 and Amiga first, as I'm most likely to be familiar with the basics of these and am interested in the details straight away. Naturally, I really enjoyed the Bounder and SWIV articles. I also look forward to the Retroinspection article every issue as I like collecting the machines themselves. Some articles I don't read until sometime later - I haven't read the Shining Force article this issue yet, for example. I'll probably read that article if and when I feel like investigating the series or perhaps adding one of the games to my collection.

Suffice to say, I think there's just a huge amount of very rich content in RG, and they remain on my shelves as a mine of information for consultation whenever I'm thinking of adding machines or games to my collection.

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Kenz
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Post by Kenz » Wed Dec 03, 2008 7:06 am

Being a non-subscribing mere mortal I still haven't got my grubby mitts on the Chrimbo issue as yet but I just wanted to post some enthusing as that cover looks frickin' excellent and Oli deserves hearty back-slaps for delivering a massive nostalgia-fix (and well done to Darran too for making it happen!)

Keep up the great work chaps!

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mikeb
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Post by mikeb » Wed Dec 03, 2008 7:12 am

Havantgottaclue wrote:RG may fit loosely into the games magazines bracket, but it seems unfair to compare it with other gaming titles... they remain on my shelves as a mine of information for consultation whenever I'm thinking of adding machines or games to my collection.
Great post... RG has a quite different role from any of the other games mags around, and pulling together all that original, factually-led content (rather than review or news-led content of most mags) each issue can't be easy. The in-house chaps deserve a hearty slap on the back for pulling it all together each month. It's inevitable that things won't always go smoothly, but with the Activisionaries reprint, I for one don't read GAMES TM regularly and missed this article, so I'm grateful to see it included. It fits in really well from a design point of view, is a great piece, and sets up next month's Accolade feature nicely.
Last edited by mikeb on Wed Dec 03, 2008 7:15 am, edited 2 times in total.

gizmo1990
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Post by gizmo1990 » Wed Dec 03, 2008 7:14 am

Regarding the cover..

Surely, if you've managed to get Oli Frey to do a piece for you, it's preferable to do an 'original' cover? I mean, all the hard works done, money/scheduling getting the guys agreement so why not let him go wild and do something original?

It seems a bit barmy to me.. :?

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The Master
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Post by The Master » Wed Dec 03, 2008 7:18 am

It's already been asked a few times now and I have to say I'm dead curious, although I don't mind appropriate reprints from GamesTM at all being as I don't buy it...

...but what could possibly cause a 6-page article to be pulled at the last minute, and what was it about? It can't be a massive secret, surely?
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kaiserpc
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Post by kaiserpc » Wed Dec 03, 2008 7:56 am

yep great cover (always been a huge Oli fan), and great mag - my only criticism is that it's out too early, so I'll be finished it before the hols start :wink:
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Darran@Retro Gamer
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Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:17 am

The Master wrote:It's already been asked a few times now and I have to say I'm dead curious, although I don't mind appropriate reprints from GamesTM at all being as I don't buy it...

...but what could possibly cause a 6-page article to be pulled at the last minute, and what was it about? It can't be a massive secret, surely?
It's not a massive secret, it's just pointless to discuss as the feature in question is going to be in the very next issue.
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SirClive
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Post by SirClive » Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:17 am

Havantgottaclue wrote:RG may fit loosely into the games magazines bracket, but it seems unfair to compare it with other gaming titles, because the bulk of those magazines are filled by 'news' items, be they in the form of previews, reviews or whatever.
As RG isn't limited to what is current it is arguably in a more enviable position that it could be ahead of itself and have articles on the shelf as it where. In reality that is very rarely possible, despite best intentions though.
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Post by neuromancer » Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:21 am

Blimey, I regret pointing out the reprint now - to be fair though I was asking if it was a direct reprint or a re-working as I hadn't read the GamesTM impression anyway.

In my opinion Retro Gamer is going from strength to strength; I'm just upset that I can't get another binder to house my prized collection in. It's the one (current) publication that I take great care over; by its very nature the content is timeless and always informative. I use it as a reference library as much as a source of entertainment.

Personally I have always enjoyed the user content; the letters page seems expanded, which I'm in favour of. I also favour the user's reviews (who knows, maybe I will get my name in the hallowed halls of RG one day).

It never ceases to amaze me how RG consistently delivers so much high quality editorial content each and every issue - in fact it's staggering given Darren's statement about the bulk of the magazine being sourced from himself, a staffer, and a handful of freelancers.

In summation: a hearty thanks to all who work so hard to produce RG

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djcarlos
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Post by djcarlos » Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:26 pm

Seriously folks, I do have to wonder sometimes.....if you really get that annoyed with the mag, why on earth do you keep buying it?

When was the last time you bought a magazine, any magazine, and read it from cover to cover? I mean really digested it? Loved every word?

That's not what magazines are about, surely. There will always be some bits you like and some you don't.

Does anyone really believe that the editorial team just slaps these things together? The mag isn't just for you, it's for a lot of people with a wide range of gaming interests.

And as for the cover.....just leave it. Please. If you don't think it's up to your standards then don't frame it. You can't see it when you're reading the magazine anyway.
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SirClive
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Post by SirClive » Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:50 pm

djcarlos wrote:Seriously folks, I do have to wonder sometimes.....if you really get that annoyed with the mag, why on earth do you keep buying it?

When was the last time you bought a magazine, any magazine, and read it from cover to cover? I mean really digested it? Loved every word?

That's not what magazines are about, surely. There will always be some bits you like and some you don't.

Does anyone really believe that the editorial team just slaps these things together? The mag isn't just for you, it's for a lot of people with a wide range of gaming interests.

And as for the cover.....just leave it. Please. If you don't think it's up to your standards then don't frame it. You can't see it when you're reading the magazine anyway.
Yeah, thats right. How dare you have an opinion in a feedback thread!
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GenghisJones
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Post by GenghisJones » Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:54 pm

exactly Sir Clive - not much a of forum if you can't post your opinions.

I think you'll find people often post negative stuff because they actually really care about the mag and want to see it thrive.

anyway - that's enough from me on this topic.

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