The Missing Retro Gamer features

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Gibberish Driftwood
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Re: The Missing Retro Gamer features

Post by Gibberish Driftwood » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:23 am

psj3809 wrote:Think the video game nerd is like marmite, cant stand the guy and his annoying voice he puts on, urrgh !!
His voice kinda sounds like Anakin Skywalker in the Phantom Menace. :?
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Re: The Missing Retro Gamer features

Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:51 am

Don't be dissing the Skywalker. This guy makes Christensen look like De Niro.
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Re: The Missing Retro Gamer features

Post by Gibberish Driftwood » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:05 am

Antiriad2097 wrote:Don't be dissing the Skywalker. This guy makes Christensen look like De Niro.
I was refering to the Anakin from episode 1. Jake Lloyd I think his name was.
psj3809 wrote:his annoying voice he puts on, urrgh !!
You wouldn't have to listen to his voice when you read the interview. :)
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Re: The Missing Retro Gamer features

Post by NorthWay » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:00 am

Just finished "The rise and fall of Commodore". Made me kinda depressed. 'So many @ssholes, so few bullets' has seldom been more fitting.

I think you need to interview Bagnall about how the book came to be, and what is in his next book that should be here RSN.

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Re: The Missing Retro Gamer features

Post by cronicbadger » Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:39 am

Two features I would like to see:

1) A guide to the use of new storage devices to run games on original classic hardware. Most older platforms such as the Amiga, Atari ST, C64, Atari 8B and even Sinclair Spectrum have simple and inexpensive modern non-volatile RAM storage devices to replace the old and increasingly unreliable tape and disk drives.
For example, I previously used a combination of 1541-II, a CMD 3.5" floppy drive and a CMD SCSI hard drive for games (playing disk multi-loads from a fast hard drive is awesome!). However, after buying a 1541 Ultimate and uIEC I've been copying all my games to SD and micro SD cards. The "original hardware gaming" experience (C64 breadbox) is significantly improved by the dramatic reduction of the storage footprint and electrical requirements and the faster data access speed. A special mention goes to that other nice storage device, the Alien Flash Cartridge, which made possible the C64 port of "Prince Of Persia".

2) 80s gaming in Australasia.
In the late 70s and early 1980s the isolation from the gaming centres of USA and Europe meant that there was a considerable amount of innovative local hardware and software products, including games.

Games companies sprung up to develop for the new machines, which included the well-known Apple 2, and all Commodore 8-bits, TRS-80 and TI-99/4A. However, there were also some local computers such as the Microbee, and other computers that were localised for the Australian market such as the D-ick Smith Wizzard (aka VTech Creativision) and VZ 200/300 (aka VTech Laser 210/310, over 60,000 sold), Cat (aka VTech Laser 3000, around 2000 sold) and John Sands (Sega) SC-3000 (over 10,000 sold).

(QUERY TO MODERATORS: Why is "D-ick", sans dash, being automatically censored? It's part of a legitimate classic computer name (see previous para) as well as the name of a major company.)

We also had a few dedicated news stand games magazines, and perhaps the longest running magazine adventure column in the world (outlasted even Keith Campbell's column).

As for Australian games, they can be categorised as follows:
1) Those games from overseas which were localised in some way, such as Tony Crowther's "Gryphon" and PSS' "Theatre Europe".
2) Games produced and published either initially or exclusively for the Australian market by local publishers, for example, Ozisoft's "Mosquitoes" and Splash' "Flippit".
3) Games written for the International market, including Activision's "America's Cup Sailing", Melbourne House's "Way Of The Exploding Fist" and SSI's "Germany 1985".

Sydney-based Home Entertainment Suppliers (HES) is worthy of a feature article by itself considering the many varied software products they developed for the C64 and Nintendo NES.

Another aspect of the early games was packaging - much of the US and European imported software was rebranded in some way by local companies in the form of new cover art, different instructions booklets, alternative media (eg disk and cartridge for former tape-only releases) and odd marketing events.

A few stories:
A full price game from Gremlin (UK) offered as a public domain compilation by one of the major book and magazine publishers of the time, as they thought it was a public domain release. Gremlin was probably rather puzzled why "Bulldog" wasn't shifting boxes in the antipodes!

An American programmer commissioned to adapt Leaderboard Golf for HES' cartridge edition, but ultimately only a few thousand were ever produced.

SSG, one of the longest running classic games companies, author of Zzap!64 sizzlers "Russia" and "Battles In Normandy", is still in business, still publishing games, and have made their C64 games freely downloadable for non-commercial, personal use.

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Re: The Missing Retro Gamer features

Post by antsbull » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:26 am

Some others that have sprung to mind for me lately that I'd love to see:

1. Making of the Rogue Squadron trilogy.
2. Manfred Trenz interview or making of Turrican.
3. PC Shareware article - the Amiga one was great, a PC one could be even better given the modern games industry was pretty much built off it. Scott Miller, John Romero, Tim Sweeney, Mark Rein etc
4. Cinemaware company profile.

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Re: The Missing Retro Gamer features

Post by CraigGrannell » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:50 am

A Turrican making-of was already done, way back in issue 21.
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Re: The Missing Retro Gamer features

Post by antsbull » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:15 am

A Turrican making-of was already done, way back in issue 21.
Ah ok - will have to look at my Load #1 DVD and have a read! (didn't start buying actual issues until around #31).

Replace that request with some making's of for the Bitmap Bros games, or some kind of big interview with the Bitmap Bros, or a company profile - bet there are a lot of cool stories in there, especially the innovative work they did with musicians like Tim Simenon.

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Re: The Missing Retro Gamer features

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:07 am

antsbull wrote:Some others that have sprung to mind for me lately that I'd love to see:

1. Making of the Rogue Squadron trilogy.
2. Manfred Trenz interview or making of Turrican.
3. PC Shareware article - the Amiga one was great, a PC one could be even better given the modern games industry was pretty much built off it. Scott Miller, John Romero, Tim Sweeney, Mark Rein etc
4. Cinemaware company profile.
Manfred Trenz will no longer talk to the press about videogames. We've asked him a number of times now and he's simply not interested. I'm not sure if we personally did something to upset him and he had difficulties with the Turrican game he was supposed to be doing for Sony.
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Re: The Missing Retro Gamer features

Post by CraigGrannell » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:29 am

antsbull wrote:Replace that request with some making's of for the Bitmap Bros games
I've been trying to sort a Speedball 2 making-of for Retro Gamer for several years now. I've so far managed to get one interview from the four I need. Getting interviews from ex-Bitmap Bros guys is seemingly a bit like pulling teeth.
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Re: The Missing Retro Gamer features

Post by antsbull » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:02 am

Speedball 2 would be brilliant. Chaos Engine is one of my fav all time games, would love anything on that (probably a longshot given what you guys have said about difficulty talking to them). I loved how the Bitmaps did awesome PC conversions of their Amiga/ST games (unlike a lot of other devs of the time).

One other article I'd love would be a piece on Skate or Die/Ski or Die - those games were legendary - I enjoyed them more than California Games/Winter Games.

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Re: The Missing Retro Gamer features

Post by merman » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:37 am

antsbull wrote:Speedball 2 would be brilliant. Chaos Engine is one of my fav all time games, would love anything on that (probably a longshot given what you guys have said about difficulty talking to them). I loved how the Bitmaps did awesome PC conversions of their Amiga/ST games (unlike a lot of other devs of the time).

One other article I'd love would be a piece on Skate or Die/Ski or Die - those games were legendary - I enjoyed them more than California Games/Winter Games.
Funnily enough, many of the team that created Skate or Die had worked on Summer/Winter Games for Epyx before joining EA.
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Re: The Missing Retro Gamer features

Post by CraigGrannell » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:40 am

When I wrote about California Games for RG, it suddenly became very apparent how modular those multi-event games were, which presumably explains why they were so uneven—devs would take their own event and work almost in isolation. (See World Games on MobyGames for a massive programming list, for example.) The graphics guys would then, to some extent, make things at least look similar across the entire product. Skate or Die was a bit more coherent, presumably in part due to having a much smaller core team.
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Re: The Missing Retro Gamer features

Post by mikeb » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:52 am

I did pitch a making of Skate or Die years ago but for some reason it never got a go-ahead. Maybe I'll try again assuming the people concerned will still talk...

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Re: The Missing Retro Gamer features

Post by Hitman_HalStep » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:24 am

i was just playing a randomly chose game on MAME,the game was karate blazers and i couldn't help but notice the streets of rage feeling i got from it.i looked up the dates of release and came up with the same year 1991 but KB is january and SOR is july (us) i'm wondering if KB had any influence on SOR.

actually i'm hoping it doesn't have any influence at all because that's the point of a possible feature,games made in tandem that just happen to be/play/feel very similar.
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