Retro Gamer - Issue 126

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tapmantwo
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by tapmantwo » Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:10 pm

I've nearly finished the mag already, and so far I've enjoyed it immensely.

I get exactly what I want from it - pointers towards games I've not yet experienced/discovered, and happy memories when things I do remember fondly are mentioned.

I also really enjoy reading little censored-bits about how coding challenges were met, about the difference between different systems and how games were formed. The little box out about the Knightlore bit masking was interesting - it's all to easy to under estimate how clever the developers of the 8-bit era had to be..

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ipmarks
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by ipmarks » Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:15 pm

MartynC wrote:I don't think I've ever defended anything I've written on here before. I don't think I've needed to if I'm honest.

But this feedback has made me go back and check the commission from Darran, re-read the article more than once, and try and work out if I've messed up!

The idea of the article was to look at the influence of Knight Lore by talking to various developers of isometric games. This 'legacy' part was 3/4 of the article, with the first quarter covering the release and reception of the game (which I felt had to be covered to emphasise the initial impact of the game).

As for developers, I wasn't lazy! I spoke to eight people in total, half of which have never appeared in the magazine before (as far as I'm aware):
  • Mike Webb (Solstice)
    Bo Jangeborg (Fairlight)
    Graham Stafford (NEXOR, Nosferatu)
    Juan Delcan (The Abbey of Crime)
As for those that have appeared before, particularly Shahid and Jon, I'd argue that their input was crucial to the story I was trying to tell. Shahid did one of the very first Knight Lore clones while Jon did some of the most popular.

I understand that regular readers will know all about Knight Lore. However, this was the first time the game has had its own dedicated feature. As Darran says, it's now done. There's unlikely to be another one.

Finally, in case you weren't aware: Ultimate acutally became Rare!!! (I know!!!). And those guys at Rare liked the article at any rate.
I've never said it was a bad article... it was in fact a very well written article, and I have no doubt that you put a lot of time and effort into it. It did show, it was very detailed in its research, and if the commision was to talk to other developers about Knight Lore then you fulfilled the brief perfectly.

I stand by my comments though. There were no new facts about Knight Lore that have not been in the magazine before, and at least half the article was about other games that followed Knight Lore. Thinking about it I think that part of the problem is that there was an article about Isometric games in general a few months ago, and this trod a lot of the same ground. Perhaps it disappointment on my part, but I wanted an article specifically about Knight Lore, from which I learnt new facts about the game. Also I agree Jon Ritman is an important person in the world of isometric games, but getting him to talk about how to program a game he didn't program seemed a step too far to me.

It wasn't a bad article, just one I feel has been done before. I'm sorry if criticism has upset you, it wasn't my intention.

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by NickThorpe » Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:06 pm

ipmarks, looking over our feature planner I can only see an article about isometric games in general for issue 86 (it was the cover for the issue, a nice black and white image). Is that the one you're referring to?
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ipmarks
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by ipmarks » Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:26 pm

NickThorpe wrote:ipmarks, looking over our feature planner I can only see an article about isometric games in general for issue 86 (it was the cover for the issue, a nice black and white image). Is that the one you're referring to?
Could be... maybe I'm living in the past a bit, will have a think about the article I mean. The Knight Lore article just seemed like covering old ground to me. I'm not having a go at the magazine, or any writer in particular. Just didn't think the Knight Lore article was enough about Knight Lore. Many clearly disagree. Still enjoy and will keep subscribing, and as I said in the original post have really liked some of the features this month.

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by Lost Dragon » Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:54 pm

mikeb wrote:
Lost Dragon wrote: Think if nothing else is 'taken from' this months feedback thread by the RG team, it should be that the long term readership would really like to see a few fresh names interviewed for all future articles:Nes/Atari/ZX Spectrum8/16 bit, hardware/software related.
To be fair this issue has the developers of Ballblazer, Knights of the Sky, Thalion, Mike Webb of Solstice fame and Pete Cooke, all of which have never been interviewed for the mag before... the last one is a bit of a coup in my eyes as I'd been trying to track him down for years.... so we do try. Really, if you knew how much went into getting hold of some of our interviewees and then getting them to talk (as I actually outlined in the Ballblazer piece) I suspect you'd find it harder to be critical of this aspect of the mag.

[And well done Graeme, Martyn & Keiran - top work ;)]

There may be more 'new faces' actually as I've not finished the issue yet...
:wink: Well continuing to be fair, i did praise the Knights Of The Sky interview for coder being so open and honest and said it was just this sort of honesty on what worked in the game and what had to be lost and why and what he in hindsight would have changed etc and i'd love to see more of this type of approach.

I was'nt knocking the amount of work that went into securing an interview, in fact, without checking i'm sure i pointed out just how difficult it must be to find a person, secure and interview, if they even wanted to talk about games or hardware in question, in fact i did, it's all in the post above your reply on page 5 of this thread.

I also made it clear i was'nt asking staff writers to make the impossible, possible (in terms of interviews)

But that has nothing to do with my critiscm of seeing the same names cropping up so many times on the various formats i listed.Not wishing to be blunt, but having paid for the magazine, i will give constructive critiscm as to what i feel it's getting right for myself and what is starting to get a little stale.Plus i also praised JD for producing a superb article on Realms Of The Haunting, which he put together despite being able to secure an interview with Tony Crowther, so i honestly feel i've given fair comments here.

I'm starting to question if it's now worth giving honest, constructive critiscm, if likes of myself, ipmarks etc have to defend or stand by honest comments we made (on something we paid for) or Crustro 'retract' a statement he made and put it down to having a bad day, if writers are going to start saying we had no idea how hard it was to get hold of X, Y and Z, basically it's in danger of starting to sound like 'we should be grateful...'.

I mean no offence here but the staff writers are providing paid for articles here, plus for anyone looking to get further into the industry, it's great examples for your C.V, so guys, you really have to expect constructive critiscm and it should be viewed as just that.These are not blogs or articles submitted for free in an oline/digital only publication, but are appearing in a professional, dedicated Retro magazine.

Would you prefer we just read your works, gave no comments?.Explaining how an article was put together, what you wanted to achieve, what sadly proved impossible is fantastic, as is admitting errors crept in and how, but defending is going a little to far, none of us, reader or writer has anything to defend do we?.

Is'nt it like art? if people are talking about it, it's achived it's purpose.

Sorry but an interview can add a lot to an article, but if it's just the same limited selection of industry voices being heard time and time again, you can hardly blame the readership for asking to hear a few others, can you?.
Last edited by Lost Dragon on Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by ipmarks » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:18 pm

Lost Dragon wrote:I'm starting to question if it's now worth giving honest, constructive critiscm, if likes of myself, ipmarks etc have to defend or stand by honest comments we made on something we paid for, if writers are going to start saying we had no idea how hard it was to get hold of X, Y and Z, basically it's in danger of starting to sound like 'we should be grateful...'
I have to agree with this... especially as parts of this thread have recently started to sound like a RG writers lover in with lots of people trying to best each other on how hard it was to get interviews. I'm sure it was, and well done for doing it, but you didn't do it for love. Lots of us work hard and face challenges in our jobs. Journalists aren't the only ones who do difficult things to get their work completed.

As Lost Dragon says there is no point in a feedback thread if the moment you dare to put your head above all the people saying everything is marvelous and everyone works jolly hard, you get told you cant possibly understand the work that has been put in. Silly really. Rename the thread 'Positive Comments about Issue 126 only' perhaps.

It's ridiculous that a small comment about not really liking the Knight Lore article has led to having to essentially explain myself to the author of said article. I've bought the magazine since Issue 1, and surely have earned the right to say I don't really like something in the magazine.

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by mikeb » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:49 pm

Not really sure about your beef ipmarks, I can't speak for the other writers but I personally take on board the constructive criticism here, and in fact often agree with it. I was merely pointing out that it was indeed difficult to secure interviews sometimes, and (jokingly) discussing with The Laird said difficulties, which I also thought might be interesting for some of you to hear about. Likewise Martyn C came on here put aside his side of things in a polite and thoughtful manner, pointing out a lot of the interviewees were indeed new to the mag. Surely, as writers we should be able to put our side of things across too, as long as its respectful and vaild points are being made? Or do you feel this forum should be limited to customer/reader feedback and criticism only?
ipmarks wrote:I'm sure it was, and well done for doing it, but you didn't do it for love. Lots of us work hard and face challenges in our jobs. Journalists aren't the only ones who do difficult things to get their work completed. As Lost Dragon says there is no point in a feedback thread if the moment you dare to put your head above all the people saying everything is marvelous and everyone works jolly hard, you get told you cant possibly understand the work that has been put in...
Now who's coming across as patronising? In fact, as a reader as well as freelancer, I wanted to see the aforementioned pieces in the mag, hence going to the time and effort to secure them. So it was pretty much for the love of seeing them in the mag...

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by MartynC » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:58 pm

ipmarks wrote:It's ridiculous that a small comment about not really liking the Knight Lore article has led to having to essentially explain myself to the author of said article. I've bought the magazine since Issue 1, and surely have earned the right to say I don't really like something in the magazine.
I didn't post because of your comment. I posted because of several comments about the article. I wasn't responding to you personally. There was no need to explain yourself.

As there were several similar comments I felt I should try and clarify things a little, because well, if I didn't respond it may look like I don't care about this stuff. I'm certainly not saying anyone's feedback is wrong or unwanted.

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by gman72 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:01 pm

For me it was an OK issue nothing more nothing less.
The BallBlazer article was OK
The Unconverted on Scrolling Beat-em-ups was OK
The Minority Report on the Sharp X68000 was cool as id not played many of the games.
Knights in the Sky was OK
The RTS piece was OK
I enjoyed the Knightlore article despite no new information etc. How much new information about Knightlore can there actually be if the Stampers wont talk?
The Thalion piece was interesting as I've never heard of the software house or any of the games so it was all new info to me...
so overall an OK issue not a classic but not dross either.
“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” —Allen Ginsberg, WD

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by ipmarks » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:05 pm

This is getting a bit out of hand and silly now.... how many more RG writers want to chip in and call me patronising? Also i never said anyone was patronising, so how i can be addressed with 'now who's being patronising?' Is confusing.

I don't think i was rude at all to Martyn, rather i pointed out that it was a well written article, but not to my taste. In fact i don't think i've been rude or patronising to anyone. I don't have any 'beef' just didn't like the way one article went. Won't apologise for stating an opinion, but might not bother again.

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by Lost Dragon » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:06 pm

ipmarks wrote:
Lost Dragon wrote:I'm starting to question if it's now worth giving honest, constructive critiscm, if likes of myself, ipmarks etc have to defend or stand by honest comments we made on something we paid for, if writers are going to start saying we had no idea how hard it was to get hold of X, Y and Z, basically it's in danger of starting to sound like 'we should be grateful...'
I have to agree with this... especially as parts of this thread have recently started to sound like a RG writers lover in with lots of people trying to best each other on how hard it was to get interviews. I'm sure it was, and well done for doing it, but you didn't do it for love. Lots of us work hard and face challenges in our jobs. Journalists aren't the only ones who do difficult things to get their work completed.

As Lost Dragon says there is no point in a feedback thread if the moment you dare to put your head above all the people saying everything is marvelous and everyone works jolly hard, you get told you cant possibly understand the work that has been put in. Silly really. Rename the thread 'Positive Comments about Issue 126 only' perhaps.

It's ridiculous that a small comment about not really liking the Knight Lore article has led to having to essentially explain myself to the author of said article. I've bought the magazine since Issue 1, and surely have earned the right to say I don't really like something in the magazine.
It's basically turned into a 'Classic Era' Gamestm feedback thread, mores the pity....
:cry:

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by ipmarks » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:11 pm

MartynC wrote:
ipmarks wrote:It's ridiculous that a small comment about not really liking the Knight Lore article has led to having to essentially explain myself to the author of said article. I've bought the magazine since Issue 1, and surely have earned the right to say I don't really like something in the magazine.
I didn't post because of your comment. I posted because of several comments about the article. I wasn't responding to you personally. There was no need to explain yourself.

As there were several similar comments I felt I should try and clarify things a little, because well, if I didn't respond it may look like I don't care about this stuff. I'm certainly not saying anyone's feedback is wrong or unwanted.
I was aware it wasn't aimed at me personally. But thought i'd better explain my comment, as i never wanted it to seem like a personal slight. I've loved reading your articles Martyn since issue 1, i really have, you are one of my favourite RG writers, and one i look out for in the mag to read first. This one just wasn't to my taste. Maybe i was just disappointed that it wasn't the article i wanted. It's my personal taste problem not yours.

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by crusto » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:35 pm

Why don't we all go and beat up some MSX owners, just to feel better?





:wink:
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Eat your nans pants

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by mikeb » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:40 pm

ipmarks wrote:This is getting a bit out of hand and silly now.... how many more RG writers want to chip in and call me patronising? Also i never said anyone was patronising, so how i can be addressed with 'now who's being patronising?' Is confusing.

I don't think i was rude at all to Martyn, rather i pointed out that it was a well written article, but not to my taste. In fact i don't think i've been rude or patronising to anyone. I don't have any 'beef' just didn't like the way one article went. Won't apologise for stating an opinion, but might not bother again.
It was probably Lost Dragons bit (which you quoted) about "if writers are going to start saying we had no idea how hard it was to get hold of X, Y and Z, basically it's in danger of starting to sound like 'we should be grateful.." that sparked the 'patronising' comment, beccause that wasn't the intention of my post about tracking down interviewees, or the statement that there are indeed a lot of new ones this issue. So no offence to either of you. In fact I'm not really sure how you managed to ge involved in my post, you just happened to be the author of the one above it. I'm not upset and neither should you be. You both have the right to be critical on here as have I as a reader, or post explanations and counter-feedback as a writer.

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 126

Post by stvd » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:52 pm

MartynC wrote:Finally, in case you weren't aware: Ultimate acutally became Rare!!.
Nah, those are two completely different companies.
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