Retro Gamer - Issue 124

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HalcyonDaze00
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by HalcyonDaze00 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:50 am

what about someone who runs a game preservation organisation? I know someone who spends their days in a laboratory preserving old floppies, hunting down almost lost items, making backroom deals, recreating cover scans from several damaged copies to create a single non-damaged copy. Fascinating stuff. There's probably half a dozen academics who would write it for free, and can then enthrall us all about the technicalities of preserving our hobby.
good grief! that would be absolutely awful, would cancel my sub if they started putting that kind of sh1te in on a monthly basis. Iain Lee was excellent, best way to replace him (and keep the majority happy) would be to have a different guest writer each month and try to cover a variety of topics.

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RodimusPrime
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by RodimusPrime » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:59 am

psj3809 wrote:Think you're never going to please everyone. I really enjoyed his columns, liked the nostalgia about being in WHSmiths looking at computer magazines or swapping some game with a mate at school which didnt work in the end etc. Plus top marks to him for helping out at the last second (didnt want any money for an appearance, just travel costs) when he turned up at the retro show in Blackpool when Gail Porter at the last second cancelled.
Same here, I had the whole magazine to read about games, and I enjoyed a couple of pages of nostalgiac looking back. A lot of the things Iain Lee wrote about were very similar to my own experiences.

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RodimusPrime
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by RodimusPrime » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:04 am

gman72 wrote:
craigy132 wrote:
gman72 wrote:It was an average issue for me TBH. Some good articles in there, Wonderboy, Altered Beast etc but too much old, basic looking Atari coverage for my personal tastes.
I just cant believe that anyone - except perhaps Laird - actually plays these games for any length of time anymore.
Ive played most of them via emulation and on the actual hardware back in the day and they are so rubbish, although I do love the Atari 8bit sound effects. I can admit that the Atari history makes for an interesting story but how many times can one spin the same tale? If the mags main focus is 8 bit stuff I don't understand why we have to keep going over these basic, bland virtually pointless Atari games time and time again when there is tons of much better 8bit stuff to mull over.
Anyway, im well aware that the old Atari consoles are inexplicably well loved around here but im buggered if I can understand the attraction. Can anyone make me understand?
I regularly play 2600 games via emulation. A blast on space invaders is still as enjoyable now as when I was an 8 year old kid ( always found 2600 invaders to be much more playable than its arcade counterpart ) And a lot of the activision titles still appeal. Then again I suppose Im in the minority as I detest all the latest COD and medal of honour type games on the latest consoles so its all down to personal taste I guess
That's fair enough mate I was talking with reference to my own tastes not everybody elses however I fail to see what detesting COD has to do with liking 8bit Atari games.

Have to agree, We all love retro games, I dont see why people have to constantly add the fact they hate modern games in there. Does it matter, does it make you love retro games more, does it make other retro gamers take you more seriously.

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HalcyonDaze00
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by HalcyonDaze00 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:12 am

I dont see why people have to constantly add the fact they hate modern games in there
indeed, its very odd

psj3809
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by psj3809 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:20 am

HalcyonDaze00 wrote:
what about someone who runs a game preservation organisation? I know someone who spends their days in a laboratory preserving old floppies, hunting down almost lost items, making backroom deals, recreating cover scans from several damaged copies to create a single non-damaged copy. Fascinating stuff. There's probably half a dozen academics who would write it for free, and can then enthrall us all about the technicalities of preserving our hobby.
good grief! that would be absolutely awful, would cancel my sub if they started putting that kind of sh1te in on a monthly basis. Iain Lee was excellent, best way to replace him (and keep the majority happy) would be to have a different guest writer each month and try to cover a variety of topics.
Yep i agree with you there ! Again (rolls out the usual line....) its difficult to please everyone but i just want to read/hear about classic games, i dont want to be bored rigid on how they preserve some cover from 30 years ago or 'enthrall' us about the technicalities of preserving our hobby.

Same as i dont want to hear about some 1983 bulgarian text adventure on the Oric or some 1984 japanese only RPG, not saying everything has to be mainstream but on the other hand i dont think you have to have some super rare article for the sake of it.

Iain Lee's column was a great little nostalgia trip back to the 80's, swapping tapes with mates, going to WHSmiths and hiding some mag behind some others so you could come back later when you had some money and buy it etc.

Lost Dragon
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by Lost Dragon » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:04 am

There are a few key points the Atari XE Games system article does'nt point out, in terms of the UK and why we got it and why it failed to really take off over here.Thought they might be worth mentioning seeing as the look at the XE console has gone down well:

First is that Atari originally planned to replace the aging 2600 with the 7800 over here, but officials from Atari UK convinced Atari US that the UK would benifit much more from a machine that could run tape based games (and disk) as well as just cartridges, with Atari UK spokesman saying the XE system offered the user the best of both worlds.

Atari USA also accepted that in order to get UK software houses on-board (and area they were honest enough to admit in the past they just had'nt given enough support to..), they had to accept that making cartridge based games in the UK was going to be very difficult/unattractive for many, due to the manufacturing issues involved-high cost, need to do large production runs, long lead times etc etc.

In terms of high street support, Atari did try and get as many stores on-board as possible, but more often than not they found a muted response, stores adopting a wait and see approach.Woolworths and Boots would usually just look at what were offering but make no firm commitments, saying they constantly evaluated just where Atari hardware would fit in with their overal product ranges.So in fairness Atari did at least try and push the machine in terms of retail and also had support from likes of Smiths, Comet etc.

Atari also suffered a pretty major advertising set back at a crucial time, the run-up to Xmas, with their original TV ad (of which promoting the XE range was key part of), falling foul of the Independent Broadcasting Authority, who said Atari's TV advert, which was to be shown at prime time TV slots, did'nt comply with it's code of practice.

By the time Atari had a replacement TV advert ready, all the advertising slots had been sold, leaving Atari with an advert, but no key slots in which to place it.Atari had set aside some £2 Million for UK TV advertising alone, considering it 'money well spent'

The 65XE was also delayed in terms of release in UK as Atari knew there were still a lot of 800XL's sitting around in stores and warehouses and Atari wanted to shift these first, cue some 100,000 machines being offloaded via likes of Dixon's and Curry's and Atari PR at the time saying they'd not any kind of deal to shift old stock, ohh no....

Bob Gleadlow, Atari UK general manager, said Atari were encouraging software houses to port ST games to the XE range, yet publishers and developers felt Atari themselves were far too busy promoting the St over the A8 range...swings and roundabouts...

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ipmarks
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by ipmarks » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:25 pm

psj3809 wrote:
HalcyonDaze00 wrote:
what about someone who runs a game preservation organisation? I know someone who spends their days in a laboratory preserving old floppies, hunting down almost lost items, making backroom deals, recreating cover scans from several damaged copies to create a single non-damaged copy. Fascinating stuff. There's probably half a dozen academics who would write it for free, and can then enthrall us all about the technicalities of preserving our hobby.
good grief! that would be absolutely awful, would cancel my sub if they started putting that kind of sh1te in on a monthly basis. Iain Lee was excellent, best way to replace him (and keep the majority happy) would be to have a different guest writer each month and try to cover a variety of topics.
Yep i agree with you there ! Again (rolls out the usual line....) its difficult to please everyone but i just want to read/hear about classic games, i dont want to be bored rigid on how they preserve some cover from 30 years ago or 'enthrall' us about the technicalities of preserving our hobby.

Same as i dont want to hear about some 1983 bulgarian text adventure on the Oric or some 1984 japanese only RPG, not saying everything has to be mainstream but on the other hand i dont think you have to have some super rare article for the sake of it.

Iain Lee's column was a great little nostalgia trip back to the 80's, swapping tapes with mates, going to WHSmiths and hiding some mag behind some others so you could come back later when you had some money and buy it etc.
I felt that the article about Chinese only RPG's was one of the most interesting in RG in a while, as long as there's a mix of the familiar and the obscure then we'll all be happy... No one will ever like every article in each issue. Also an article about Bulgarian text adventures sounds ace.

Finally I'll never agree with you about Iain Lee's column because I hated it, but that's called an opinion and I respect the fact you liked it. There should be room in RG for all tastes.

antsbull
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by antsbull » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:15 am

psj3809 wrote:
HalcyonDaze00 wrote:
what about someone who runs a game preservation organisation? I know someone who spends their days in a laboratory preserving old floppies, hunting down almost lost items, making backroom deals, recreating cover scans from several damaged copies to create a single non-damaged copy. Fascinating stuff. There's probably half a dozen academics who would write it for free, and can then enthrall us all about the technicalities of preserving our hobby.
good grief! that would be absolutely awful, would cancel my sub if they started putting that kind of sh1te in on a monthly basis. Iain Lee was excellent, best way to replace him (and keep the majority happy) would be to have a different guest writer each month and try to cover a variety of topics.
Yep i agree with you there ! Again (rolls out the usual line....) its difficult to please everyone but i just want to read/hear about classic games, i dont want to be bored rigid on how they preserve some cover from 30 years ago or 'enthrall' us about the technicalities of preserving our hobby.

Same as i dont want to hear about some 1983 bulgarian text adventure on the Oric or some 1984 japanese only RPG, not saying everything has to be mainstream but on the other hand i dont think you have to have some super rare article for the sake of it.

Iain Lee's column was a great little nostalgia trip back to the 80's, swapping tapes with mates, going to WHSmiths and hiding some mag behind some others so you could come back later when you had some money and buy it etc.
I completely disagree with you there - those obscure articles are often the best parts of the magazine for me, particularly when they cover technical problems and solutions that they discovered for them. I can't get enough of that kind of stuff.

psj3809
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by psj3809 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:55 am

antsbull wrote:I completely disagree with you there - those obscure articles are often the best parts of the magazine for me, particularly when they cover technical problems and solutions that they discovered for them. I can't get enough of that kind of stuff.
Thats the thing, its difficult to get the right mix to please everyone. Too many techy articles and some gamers will moan its OTT, too many games or top 20 lists and techy fans will moan.

I love retro gaming and i'm happy to play the best retro games out there, just have no interest on hearing about some polish computer from 1983 which had 7 games kinda thing ! But like i say some people do like that.

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by ncf1 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:40 pm

Iain Lee's reminiscings (think I just made up a word there) broke things up just perfectly in my opinion; provided a hearty chuckle and seeing things from a perspective a lot of us had, and I for one will really miss his column. Now I have to rely on humorous amblings found on the Letters page to warm me up to the rest of the contents of the magazine. :)

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by martyg » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:17 pm

Lost Dragon wrote:There are a few key points the Atari XE Games system article does'nt point out, in terms of the UK and why we got it and why it failed to really take off over here.Thought they might be worth mentioning seeing as the look at the XE console has gone down well:

First is that Atari originally planned to replace the aging 2600 with the 7800 over here, but officials from Atari UK convinced Atari US that the UK would benifit much more from a machine that could run tape based games (and disk) as well as just cartridges, with Atari UK spokesman saying the XE system offered the user the best of both worlds.
For some of the laymen reading this thread, let's be clear the Atari we're talking about is Atari Corp. (Atari Inc. of course was not planning on replacing the 2600 with the 7800). Secondly, what's the source and time frame for this, as it's highly unlikely that it occurred that way in '87? Atari Corp. was making too much in sales of the 2600 Jr. world wide since it's launch in late '85. If the source is a single person (the mentioned Bob Gleadlow), for vetting purposes it's immediately suspect on those grounds. He's not automatically a reliable source and everything he says is not automatically reliable. Why? You can't make claims based on the remembrances of a single past employee because you run in to problems. They can misremember details because of how far in the past it was, they can be jaded and remember things how they want to, they can be going by things they heard, and in some cases (as we found) they fabricate things to fill in the blanks. For claims of this nature you need multiple sources, i.e. corroboration from other former employees (who present the info blindly and aren't lead to corroborate), internal documents, etc. That's something we ran into time again when writing the first book:

http://ataribook.com/book/example-vetted-info/

He may very well be right, but that has to be vetted and proved, not assumed.
Marty

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Lost Dragon
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by Lost Dragon » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:29 pm

Hello Marty.Your assuming the employee is talking about events gone by.I'm refering to statements they made to UK press at the time.

Bob spoke openly to UK press at numerous times and regarding XE he claims he brought back prototype hardware and it was him that took it round to UK publishers and software houses to gather interest.

Since he was the voice of Atari UK to the media at that time, who else are 'we' meant to refer to, during that era?.This was the message Atari UK were giving out to the press as/when events happened back then whilst they built up hype for the new product range.

I will of course post a detailed time-event log for you in just a moment, cannot comment on your book research as never read it, but i'm posting as an ex-A8 owner from UK during the very era of the XE and on the messages Atari UK were sending to press, of course being an Ex-Jaguar, Lynx+ST owner as well, i'm only too well just how 'mixed' those UK P.R messages from Atari could be....

:-)

Lost Dragon
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by Lost Dragon » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:38 pm

Also, no offence intended Marty, but seriousily? 'i cannot make claims...' and '....that has to be vetted and proved, not assumed.' Err, look, i'm not researching for some paid for work here, be it book or magazine article, this is just a forum, just posting up news snippets from the time and UK perspective.Should i get in contact with the advertising agency who said Atari's orginal TV advert did'nt comply and get detailed run down from both sides, before i post that section of the XE saga, just to be sure?.

Think some much needed perspective might come in handy here, we're just looking at bigger picture of message Atari was sending out to press about XE and what seemed to happen and i'm using key Atari UK figures words to explain it, you seem to be looking at it as if i'm about to launch a book on Atari....

I'm happy to answer questions on source material, but would prefer it you did'nt jump to assuming yourself to be honest, ta.Maybe next time ask for source material 1st?.
Last edited by Lost Dragon on Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Lost Dragon
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by Lost Dragon » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:53 pm

Here you go Marty, Time frame as requested:

Feb'87, Bob Gleadow is telling UK press that he's just brought back prototype XE hardware from USA to show UK software houses and it was Atari UK who convinced Atari USA to go with this, not 7800 etc due to very reasons i listed earlier, you also had Bob Katz (Atari UK Software Developer Manager) being quoted in same news article.

Then Aug'88, Bob Gleadow vist's UK Atari magazine offices in Adlington, cheshire and talks about plans for the XE range, how it'd carry the flame etc, how Atari were going to set up 30-40 dedicated Atari Games Centres in the largest towns and cities of the UK, how Atari were encouraging software houses to port ST games to XE (and also 7800 and VCS).

The very reason i use statements from the media from the time, is indeed very fact, that like all of us, key Atari figures memory probably is'nt what it used to be and the old mists of time might cause few facts to go astray.

Any other questions, shout out, happy to answer.

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RodimusPrime
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by RodimusPrime » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:14 pm

martyg wrote:
Lost Dragon wrote:There are a few key points the Atari XE Games system article does'nt point out, in terms of the UK and why we got it and why it failed to really take off over here.Thought they might be worth mentioning seeing as the look at the XE console has gone down well:

First is that Atari originally planned to replace the aging 2600 with the 7800 over here, but officials from Atari UK convinced Atari US that the UK would benifit much more from a machine that could run tape based games (and disk) as well as just cartridges, with Atari UK spokesman saying the XE system offered the user the best of both worlds.
For some of the laymen reading this thread, let's be clear the Atari we're talking about is Atari Corp. (Atari Inc. of course was not planning on replacing the 2600 with the 7800). Secondly, what's the source and time frame for this, as it's highly unlikely that it occurred that way in '87? Atari Corp. was making too much in sales of the 2600 Jr. world wide since it's launch in late '85. If the source is a single person (the mentioned Bob Gleadlow), for vetting purposes it's immediately suspect on those grounds. He's not automatically a reliable source and everything he says is not automatically reliable. Why? You can't make claims based on the remembrances of a single past employee because you run in to problems. They can misremember details because of how far in the past it was, they can be jaded and remember things how they want to, they can be going by things they heard, and in some cases (as we found) they fabricate things to fill in the blanks. For claims of this nature you need multiple sources, i.e. corroboration from other former employees (who present the info blindly and aren't lead to corroborate), internal documents, etc. That's something we ran into time again when writing the first book:

http://ataribook.com/book/example-vetted-info/

He may very well be right, but that has to be vetted and proved, not assumed.

Sorry but WTF, as Lost Dragon said, this is a bloody forum. most opinions statements etc are just what, and how we remember them. telling people they can't post certain things in forums unless they get multiple sources, then have the info vetted and proved. What utter tripe and nonsense.

If a former employee said those things then of course we can say " so and so said this "

People m,ake factual mistakes all the time in forums, correcting them is fine, being condescending and superior is most certainly not.

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