Retro Gamer - Issue 126

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markopoloman
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by markopoloman » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:51 pm

Just out of interest, when was the last Knight Lore article?
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ipmarks
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by ipmarks » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:11 am

markopoloman wrote:Just out of interest, when was the last Knight Lore article?
I'm not sure when specifically there was a knight Lore article, but all the Knight Lore facts in the article have been in the magazine before in articles about Isometric games in general or articles about Ultimate themselves.

I love articles about Spectrum games, i had one for all my childhood, but this Knight Lore article had nothing new to say... To the extent we had to have John Ritman explain how someone else had programmed it. I don't remember another RG article where peoples programming techniques were discussed by other people but not them.

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by NickThorpe » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:07 am

Prior to the Knight Lore feature in this issue, the feature planner shows that we'd have covered:

- Ultimate in issue 109 (about a year and a half ago)
- Isometric games in issue 86 (three years ago)
- A Classic Game two-page spread on Knight Lore in issue 20 (before I had any A Levels to my name).

Obviously, that's just a quick text search for relevant terms and doesn't include any mentions in broader Spectrum articles or interviews with specific people.

I understand where the discontent comes from (more so with Strider than Knight Lore, as that one was done within the last six months), but we're stuck between a rock and a hard place. Knight Lore is 30 years old and Strider has just had its first new release in over a decade - people will be equally upset if we don't cover these games on such occasions, as Darran touched on in the editorial. At any rate, he also mentions that neither game is going to be revisited any time soon - unless we hear from the Stampers, that is. =)
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ipmarks
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by ipmarks » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:26 am

But if there is nothing new to say?

Lost Dragon
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by Lost Dragon » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:29 am

The feedback threads for past few issues alone have raised some valid 'concerns' from the longer term readership, in terms of how by now very familar subjects are covered (Strider, games by Ultimate/Rare), how you can over-do subjects that were once neglected (too much Atari 8 Bit coverage in a period of months) and material that as Crusto put it this month, readers had read elsewhere (by time RG covered Tempest 2000, to myself it was 'old news' as Edge had done it months before), but is this not always going to be part of the huge juggling act Darran and team face each and every month?.

As others have pointed out, the Knightlore and Strider articles were done to 'tie-in' with a new release or anniv. of...etc, so they had to be in there and of course to new readers of the magazine, it could well be the very 1st time they'd read up on them.Plus it'd be interesting to see if sales spike when subjects like these are covered, as RG being a commercial magazine will always have to put content in that ensures it's survival.

The Stampers are it seems a nightmare to get an interview with, Edge has managed it in the past, but that was part of a massive article covering the complete history of....(if memory serves) and i'd hazzard a guess the MS connection played a key part in securing that.Plus i'd refer back to JD's Realms Of The Haunting article months ago, which was a fantastic piece, even though he was sadly unable to secure an interview with Tony Crowther.Getting interviews 'in' as part of an article can really make it special, but they are not essential and can sour articles at times if same interview is used for 2 articles in a row (A8 wise-it'd been far better to get seperate coders views for each article) or are 'biased' (Nes articles just saying how amazing system was, people praising Rare/Ultimates Speccy games etc-no balance there, i used to love Gamestm interviews whereyou'd get coders giving a system a hard time for the difficulty they encountered working on it).


I don't think anyone needs to 'jump to the defence' of the magazine and so far the feedback has all been very constructive, we the reader have explained what worked, what did'nt and why, what we'd like to see in future-so plenty there for RG team to take onboard to shape future articles, just as there has been the last few issues in terms of feedback.

RG Team been good enough to respond and explain why X was covered, why Y only got a piccy etc.

Your never going to produce a magazine that pleases all of us, there are going to be research blunders, things missing/mixed up etc, that's part and parcel of any magazine i guess.

I'd love to hear any thoughts (if they can be shared) from RG team on how they feel future coverage of by now well covered subjects should be handled.Will we see a different angle taken? fresh approach by a staff writer who's previousily had little or no exp.of a game or system? a warts and all approach, focusing on what went wrong just as much as what went right? or something off the page as it were?.

What ever happens, i'm looking forward to seeing how it's handled.I abandoned Gamestm as it decided to copy Edge, Edge sadly decided to drop it's best bloody features (the Retro making of's and lookbacks) so that just leaves me with RG.

You have the staff writers, the talent and the ideas to produce something that really stands out from the likes of Gamestm/Edge (which i'm cancelling, it's run itself into the ground now, it's just so dry).Starting to notice the little things like the way articles are presented (the opening page of Thalion:The Scene Kings) was superbly done, very eye-catching.

You'll always have the readership like myself 'nipping at your toes' saying sorry, this was wrong, they did'nt do this..why is'nt this, that and the other mentioned? etc, but it's only because we care about the magazine, likes of myself are cynical when approaching subjects that have been covered before/done to death and will speak out if same errors exist (Sorry to Strider article, but that's twice now i've seen it claimed Sega handled MS version), but it's only so mistakes don't crop up again.

RG has been the only magazine i've subscribed to where on the most part, the team will respond to reader feedback in such a positive way (sorry but past responses from likes of The Rev etc were not good for the magazine) and long may it continue.

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by Lost Dragon » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:34 am

PostieDoc wrote:Lost Dragon, do you know which issue of One Amiga had the exclusive level for Lionheart?

I personally enjoyed this months issue a lot more than last months.
The RTS article was very good although I feel it could have been a couple of pages longer. Some games only got a mention in passing when they deserved more coverage.
The One Amiga Nov'1992 i think....

Agree on the RTS feature, i'd have liked to see a comparison between console and PC RTS games, as developers always seemed to claim/moan RTS games don't really 'work' on console, never really sell etc hence why we seemed to wait so long for so few....

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by psj3809 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:45 am

The problem is there could be a lot of new readers who havent read much about Knight Lore/Ultimate, so all because we have issues and issues ago it doesnt mean it shouldnt be 'rehashed' again later on specially when theres an anniversary.

I've got every single issue, i dont remember every single feature in those magazines so if something is rehashed 20 or 30 issues later i wont always instantly think 'i knew that, i'm sure i've read it somewhere before'

As for the Knight Lore feature, yeah i'm biased as i love the Speccy but i think RG had to do a feature on 30 years of this iconic famous game. Be mad if they didnt. But yet again they cant win, they dont do it and people will moan, they do it and people will moan ! One reason Retro Gamer has survived so long (in my view) is because they feature a lot of popular computers/games for the brits as i'm sure we obviously are the main readership.

The second it features a 10 page write up on some 30 year old anniversary of an Oric game then i'll quit buying the mag. Its a bit like a football magazine, of course they'll feature the big teams more than a 10 page writeup on the history of Yeovils goalkeeper in 1960. Some hardcore fans might like that but the magazine has to survive and featuring popular games or iconic covers is needed.

I only read Retro Gamer so if a feature/article has been in say Games TM/Edge i dont mind as i obviously havent read those before. I'm sure some stories/news will clash as when Retro gamer do a feature on Knight Lore's 50th anniversary in 2034 i'm sure there'll be a lot of the usual questions/answers

But complaining about some of the screenshots seems very over the top. We all know what Knight Lore looks like, complaining about the screenshots ? Really ?

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by merman » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:04 am

theantmeister wrote:
markopoloman wrote:Fingers crossed there are no letter bombs sent when the Fairlight article gets read next month!
Fine, if you're happy reading the same censored over and over again, good for you. I've not read about Fairlight ten times over, so I'll look forward to that. As I said, it isn't the Spectrum coverage (even though all the Spectrum articles look the same) or even UK based developers that irritates me, it's the way the mag is stuck in a rut. Ultimate, Paradroid, Strider...if I never read another bloody article about them it'll be too soon! I get that it is the game's 30th anniversary, but if you have nothing new to say, why spend eight pages saying it?
ipmarks wrote:Was really looking forward to the Knight Lore article, but it really wasn't what it was sold as. It gave no new information on the game, and predictably didn't speak to anyone involved in its development. In fact most of the article was quotes from other game authors saying what they thought of Knight Lore, or talking about their own games. If I'm going to read an article about Knight Lore surely half of it shouldn't be about any other 3d Isometric game you can get someone to talk about, because the Stampers won't talk to you. If you want to write an article about Chimera then be honest and write an article about Chimera. Disingenuous. Also at least four of the pictures in the article are taken in the same room with the arch and the guard... could you only be bothered to go one room away from your start position to get screenshots?
Exactly as I feared/suspected.
The Making of Paradroid was the first full article on the game in the mag. It has been a Reader Revival (Paradroid 90) and a Retro Revival (original), plus a feature way back in issue 25 on Ovine's Project Paradroid remake. Everything in that article was new and written for that feature.

My opinion on issue 126? Varied content and plenty of good design on the page. Particularly enjoyed the Pete Cooke interview, Kieren's Thalion piece and Kerry's look at the WonderSwan.
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ivarf
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by ivarf » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:22 am

Knight Lore - I hope they show that Knight Lore can look much better than the mono Spectrum effort

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by ipmarks » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:30 am

psj3809 wrote:But yet again they cant win, they dont do it and people will moan, they do it and people will moan !
I wasn't moaning, I was offering my feedback on an article, in a feedback thread... controversial I know.
I too think there should have been a Knight Lore article, it's one of my favourite games on the Spectrum, but this article did not do it for me. Personal opinion of course. I learnt nothing from the article that I didn't know before, other than people's opinions on the game, who had nothing to do with the games development.

They're a clever lot at RG, and brilliant writers to boot... I just think they could have come up with a better way to celebrate Knight Lore's anniversary than with an article that told us nothing we didn't already know, even the imagined piece of writing was a left field type of article.

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by retrosofer » Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:51 am

For anyone who is interested i brought up the same issues about articles on the same old games, series and developer appearing in RG time and again in the feedback thread for issue 107, not sure if Darren responds to feedback any more, but you can read his responses to the issue in that thread.

Personally i would love to see more superior Spectrum stuff in the mag, even games, developer and other stuff concerning the inferior C64 and Amstrad machines. But let’s be honest, there is nothing more to be said of Ultimate and their games that hasn't been said in previous RG articles on the subjects a million times over now. So unless some undiscovered game comes to light or an interview with the Stampers, i think RG should move on. As for the 30 year tie-in thing, that’s great and all, but why hasn't there been a 25/30 year celebration of other defining and very important Spectrum (or other systems) games and developers that never seem to get the air time?

As for the new readers thing, i agree they might not know certain stuff or have read certain articles, but what about long time subscribers? Isn't it about time new readers are directed to the digital back issues of RG if they want to read certain articles on game/series/developer X? Or perhaps Imagine could create some print on demand thing for new subs wanting back issues.

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NickThorpe
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by NickThorpe » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:39 am

Darran normally does check these threads and will respond, but he's been out since last Monday for health reasons and isn't expected to return to work until the middle of the month at the very earliest.
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by Lost Dragon » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:21 am

NickThorpe wrote:Darran normally does check these threads and will respond, but he's been out since last Monday for health reasons and isn't expected to return to work until the middle of the month at the very earliest.
Speaking from personal exp.here, but the response from yourself and Mikeb.to my feedback this month Nick, has been superb.Nice to hear my comments taken onboard as constructive and reasons given as to why stuff i would have liked is'nt there.

As a reader/subscriber, that's all i'd ask of any article writer that and that they'd accept/take on board comments about 'facts' they got wrong.JD has been very good on this point when i've raised issues with his Myth article and he explained why things were written way they were (System 3 told him ST version did get a release, when it did'nt, demo only on a magazine cover disk) and why no mention of C64 cart.version (he did'nt know it was released on cart).Honest issues raised, honest replies given, that's how a feedback thread should work, right?.

Just read issue 107 feedback thread over the honest concerns Retrosofer brought up then, good few of us raised this month and past few over same old being covered and Darran's been honest enough there to confirm what i suspected.In order to survive as a viable, commercial product, the 'Big Names' need to be covered time and time again, which i'm fine with.

So, Team RG....think it's fair to say that we, the long time reader are 'happy' (?) to accept we are going to read very familar subjects and whats old to us is new to many others, but.....

Would it also not be fair to say there must be a way to ensure future articles not only give the well known facts to those who are already aware of the history of...but also to shed new light/discoveries to those of us looking for extra info/depth this time around?.

I only ask as subject is'nt going to go away, interviews keep seeming to be the be all and end all for these features, but are there not more creative approaches even with or without interviews?. :?

Basically the gauntlet being thrown down here by a few of your readers is:give us something that suits both camps (old and new readers) for future articles on subjects like ZX Spectrum, Atari (8-Bit/ST/Lynx), The NES/MD/SNES etc...if anyone can pull it off, it's Team RG i'm sure.

Think a good start would be to ensure different staff writers get a crack at each case, someone with little/no exp (nearly said bias, lol) for a format doing a follow up piece after someone who's very familar with it.Hows that sound?.

:?

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by ncf1 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:06 am

hey get well soon Daz! We need you for 127 ;)

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by retrosofer » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:42 am

Lost Dragon wrote:
NickThorpe wrote:Darran normally does check these threads and will respond, but he's been out since last Monday for health reasons and isn't expected to return to work until the middle of the month at the very earliest.
Speaking from personal exp.here, but the response from yourself and Mikeb.to my feedback this month Nick, has been superb.Nice to hear my comments taken onboard as constructive and reasons given as to why stuff i would have liked is'nt there.

As a reader/subscriber, that's all i'd ask of any article writer that and that they'd accept/take on board comments about 'facts' they got wrong.JD has been very good on this point when i've raised issues with his Myth article and he explained why things were written way they were (System 3 told him ST version did get a release, when it did'nt, demo only on a magazine cover disk) and why no mention of C64 cart.version (he did'nt know it was released on cart).Honest issues raised, honest replies given, that's how a feedback thread should work, right?.

Just read issue 107 feedback thread over the honest concerns Retrosofer brought up then, good few of us raised this month and past few over same old being covered and Darran's been honest enough there to confirm what i suspected.In order to survive as a viable, commercial product, the 'Big Names' need to be covered time and time again, which i'm fine with.

So, Team RG....think it's fair to say that we, the long time reader are 'happy' (?) to accept we are going to read very familar subjects and whats old to us is new to many others, but.....

Would it also not be fair to say there must be a way to ensure future articles not only give the well known facts to those who are already aware of the history of...but also to shed new light/discoveries to those of us looking for extra info/depth this time around?.

I only ask as subject is'nt going to go away, interviews keep seeming to be the be all and end all for these features, but are there not more creative approaches even with or without interviews?. :?

Basically the gauntlet being thrown down here by a few of your readers is:give us something that suits both camps (old and new readers) for future articles on subjects like ZX Spectrum, Atari (8-Bit/ST/Lynx), The NES/MD/SNES etc...if anyone can pull it off, it's Team RG i'm sure.

Think a good start would be to ensure different staff writers get a crack at each case, someone with little/no exp (nearly said bias, lol) for a format doing a follow up piece after someone who's very familar with it.Hows that sound?.

:?

Good post Lost Dragon.

I dont think Darren would say anything different than what he already explained in the feedback 107 thread other than why specific articles were featured, which has already been explained. I dont see any problem with the Strider article and expected RG to tie in an article with release of a new game in the series, but still not convinced by a feature on Knight Lore though, still great issue this month though.

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