Help make Retro Gamer better

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Shin_Gouki
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Post by Shin_Gouki » Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:57 pm

The buyers guide is a bit much. Is it really necessary every month?

I also generally skip \"Back to the Eighties\" and the homebrew stuff.

How about more arcade coverage?
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FatTrucker
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Post by FatTrucker » Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:17 am

Replacing the buyers guide pages with Retro ads, flyers etc is a great idea.

If you want to make things more interactive, how about featuring some small compo's, Screenshot Challenge?, Identifying games from in game quotes, general (retro) knowledge quizzes, etc. They can be linked to cheap prizes, T-Shirts, binders, etc or simply give the answers in the back of the mag.

Perhaps a 'What were they thinking' feature each month covering the bonkers, idiotic, unlucky or outright stupid hardware/games/novelties that people have tried to make/market over the years, stuff that was just so 'out there' it bends the mind (the Japanese have produced some 'interesting' stuff over the years).

A monthly Eastern Promise feature covering the games, toys and culture that were big in Japan in the 70's, 80's and 90's (think Back to the Eighties but with more Bicycles). You could also do a similar thing covering the scene in the US.

Also, small character profiles littered through the mag might be nice. Just small columns or boxouts featuring game characters, enemies, whatever and a quick bio, strengths, weaknesses, favourite breakfast cereal etc.
Last edited by FatTrucker on Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
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backdrifter
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Post by backdrifter » Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:04 am

Oddly, I cant see that much I'd like to see changed with Retro Gamer as it stands. My biggest draw to managzines these days - thanks to the ease of reading dozens of quality reviews online - is large amounts of chunky and informative articles, and Retro Gamer thankfully offers up loads of them. If anything, I'd prefer more of them if they could somehow be slotted in.

But then, there's nothing there I'd like to see the back of in all honesty.

More 'making of' articles would be good since I love hearing some of the stories ye olde developer types come out with.

Personally I think more 'reader interaction' is a bit of a bad route to go down. I think that's something that should stick to the online media.

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Re:

Post by Weblaus » Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:18 am

RandySparks wrote:
Seany wrote:The Desert Island Discs bit is crap.
Are you mad man? For me, DID is inevitably the highlight of each magazine, going right back to when it was first introduced. IMO no other RG writer comes close to matching Paul Drury's skill at telling a damn good tale that makes you smile.
I think his problem isn't the whole DID article, but the last page of it, i.e. the selection of the 8 games they'd take to the island. In this, I'd agree: While the rest of the article always is a good and very interesting read, I really don't care at all about seeing Robotorn mentioned again and again. That's certainly not Paul's fault, but it's probably unavoidable with the concept.

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Post by Weblaus » Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:24 am

Dudley wrote:It does depend on the feature. Reviews need to be personal, making ofs really shouldn't be.
I completely disagree about reviews needing to be personal. Sure you can't score games completely on an objective scale, but at least the reviewer should try to present it not only in context to his personal preferences. What's the use of a review for me in case I'm not completely "compatible" with the writer's tastes? Especially in RG's case where I don't really know anything about most of the writers that really judge how much I'm in sync with them?

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Re: Help make Retro Gamer better

Post by Weblaus » Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:41 am

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:I want to make it more interactive and while I have a few ideas (extra columnists, reader reviews, more home-brew info) I'd obviously like to hear your opinions as well.
I'm not quite sure why you'd want to have more interactivity. Personally, I'm really not interested at all in knowing what the average Joe (= some randon reader) is thinking, I'd rather read what the pros (= RG authors in this case) have to say. Therefore, reader reviews are evil and should be banished to the internet, it's not like you can't find a million there anyway if you really want them...

Columnists might be a good idea, of course it all depends on how entertaining somebody turns out to be (I agree on the opinion voiced somewhere that the Archer Maclean pieces usually are a good read, but seem to lose their focus lately).

Also, I'm very much in the don't-care camp ragerding home-brew stuff. I understand that it's of interest to people, but I'd much prefer to read about the commercial stuff from back then (childhood memories and all that). On a tangent, while I liked the Vectrex article in itself quite a lot, I still think it's wrong to include home-brew developments (especially current-day stuff) in the "top 10" games list.. it just feels wrong to me, when I think of retro, I think of games I was able to buy back then in the shops.

Personally, I like the way the frontend stuff is handled, I'd just like to see a little bit more in regards of news snippets etc.

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Re: Help make Retro Gamer better

Post by CraigGrannell » Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:26 am

Weblaus wrote:Columnists might be a good idea, of course it all depends on how entertaining somebody turns out to be
I've already mentioned this via email to Darran, but I'd personally like to see Stu given a column each month, even if it's something like a single-column 300-word type of thing. Without exception, Stu's stuff on his site is always excellent to read, and an additional opinion column for him would, I suspect, be entertaining and provoke discussion, which are two of the things Darran's trying to achieve with the revamp.
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paranoid marvin
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Post by paranoid marvin » Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:30 am

A column by Stu woud be great .I for sure don't always agree with his opinions (if they ARE his opinions,and not just a way of stimulating debate)
but he sure is an entertaining and thought-provoking read
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woody.cool
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Post by woody.cool » Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:48 am

I think we need Dudley's column in there - he's always got an opinion/answer for everything. He's an entertaining bloke!!!!!!

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djcarlos
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Post by djcarlos » Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:03 am

P-Head wrote:You damn kids. When I was your age we didn't have none of this interwebs malarkey- we found our porn the old fashioned way, in bushes by the cycle track. Pshaw.
I think we should have an article about this.

Or at least, someone start a new thread.
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Post by woody.cool » Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:12 am

djcarlos wrote:
P-Head wrote:You damn kids. When I was your age we didn't have none of this interwebs malarkey- we found our porn the old fashioned way, in bushes by the cycle track. Pshaw.
I think we should have an article about this.

Or at least, someone start a new thread.
Back of the bike sheds at school was always a good starting place :D

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TMR
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Post by TMR » Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:03 pm

woody.cool wrote:
djcarlos wrote:
P-Head wrote:You damn kids. When I was your age we didn't have none of this interwebs malarkey- we found our porn the old fashioned way, in bushes by the cycle track. Pshaw.
I think we should have an article about this.

Or at least, someone start a new thread.
Back of the bike sheds at school was always a good starting place :D
i had a deprived childhood, no bike sheds at school, no cycle track!

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Re:

Post by NorthWay » Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:41 pm

CraigGrannell wrote:
NorthWay wrote:And a very personal (since no-one else seems to care) wish: Go back to 35mm real film photography for screenshots.
I'm sure every contributor would love to be forced to set up a dark room, buy every piece of hardware and do professional photography shots. Not going to happen, though.
I know. Doesn't stop pissing me off though.

Don't the PhotoShops of today have some filters that can replicate what it _actually_ looks like? I mean, what is the point when you know that is not what it really is like? (Yeah, I'm grumpy.)

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CraigGrannell
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Post by CraigGrannell » Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:52 pm

NorthWay wrote:Don't the PhotoShops of today have some filters that can replicate what it _actually_ looks like?
But what it actually looks like to who? To someone with a cheap portable TV? To someone with a (then) state-of-the-art monitor? To someone using retro hardware now on their big-ass TV? To someone who used to use their kit with their parents' 24" TV that weighed more than a small car? There are simply too many variations, hence the ultimate decision to go with the original pixels. (Plenty of C64/CPC/Amiga et al owners would also argue that the pixels are what it should look like.)

As for Photoshop, I'm sure you could whack a Gaussian Blur over every shot, but many contributors don't know how to use such packages, and that would also make the art ed. go into "HULK SMASH" mode, removing the ability to cut out sprites.
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Post by neuromancer » Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:24 pm

The Master wrote:Type-in program listings on bright yellow pages with little pictures of space invaders and that scattered about
Hey, I'm with you on this one. Much as I've become horribly addicted to Resident Evil 4 and Remake on the Cube, I have extremely fond memories of learning to program on a zx81 aged 10 from listings in Sinclair Programs...

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