Lost Dragon wrote:But, is that not a key part of how you or others could help?.'you' were there at the time, you played the games
I agree, it's important (although not necessary) to have the perspective of people who grew up with the games and systems.
Personally, if I know that an article has been written by someone far too young to have experienced the subject first time around then it becomes less credible. I know it's possible for a teenager to cram up on facts and become an "expert" but still........
Also folk writing reviews on systems/games they never owned - information gained purely through a week or two playing with an emulator isn't really credible either. IMO!
Yep, i'm only making a suggestion to Team RG (hopefully it's seen as a sensible one).Without going too much into it, there have been a few clangers dropped over the years in various RG articles by various Freelancers for various reasons and often it's become clear to the reader they had'nt lived through the era they are describing, or had only played/owned 1 version of a game so unaware of the differences on other versions or could only comment on limited aspects etc etc.
Your talking of work appearing in a 'specialist' publication, so you've really got to expect the readership to sit up and take notice if an article describes a version of events they knew just did'nt happen, or they feel an article missed out several key events or is'nt covering a publisher/developers best games or indeed glossing over some of the weaker aspects.
When readers know themselves that school boy errors in articles could, in all honesty have been avoided, they are going to point them out on the forum, so they are'nt repeated again.There's no agenda there other than trying to improve the overal quality of the magazine.Readers/freelancers alike have all been happy to point out errors on here, other retro forums, Eurogamer, you name it.
We also appreciate just how tight magazine deadlines are, espically if freelancers are writing in their spare time, juggling work, family etc commitments as well, so an idea solution might be for them to accept help offered in good faith from the forum, in order to lighten the load as it were.As i said earlier, the magazine looks to the forum for ideas/suggestions for articles, what would you like to see/feel deserves a mention type stuff as is, so why not go one step further and ask if there's any key info/events etc they feel should be mentioned in an upcoming article, any mistakes to be avoided, are these facts right etc, before they go into print.
The magazine reaches a far, far higher number of readers than we mere few who post on here, so it would'nt be spoiling the article by giving away details, all 'we' would be doing is giving the freelancer/s in question as much viable raw data, ensuring facts were as good as humanly possible, so they could work their magic and turn out a damn fine article.
Thats how a community works, right?.
Emulation is a useful tool.I mean if your going to be doing a big, multi-platform comparison article on a game that appeared on (deep breath..) C64/ZX Spectrum, BBC , Electron, CPC, ST, Amiga, A8, C16 etc, there is no way i'd expect anyone to own everymachine or spend time trying to find each bit of hardware, just to take screenshots!-that's totally unrealistic and would be a valuable waste of time and resources, but...i'd hope person writing article was aware of differences between versions on same platform (16K, 48K, 64K, 128K versions for example, tape/disk cart versions and point out what enhancements were made with extra storage, more Ram versions etc).
I your talking an ST/Amiga game and later versions fixed bugs/improved gameplay, i'd hope writer could mention that aspect (thinking of ST FOFT, Carrier Command etc).Staff writer might not have been aware of said differences/improvements until someone on here pointed it out.
It might be hard for some to swallow, but we 'moaners' DO have realistic expectitions, are fully aware of how difficult it can be to write an informative article, without it coming across as factual, but by the 7 gods, dry as a bone and deliver it on time and want to help and so far have only been able to do so by putting up constructive critiscm in terms of what we liked, what was 'missing' and might be worth putting in future articles and which mistakes needed correcting.Lets drop the ego's, none of us, posters, freelancers, UK, USA, anywhere on earth are 'experts', this is RG, not Sparta...
, lets just focus on making RG shine.
As STVD points out, using emulation for a quick sesh, write an article on back of it, submit it, cheques in the post type deal just is'nt credible for a professional magazine like Retro Gamer.The reader expects higher quality research when it's paid for work and part of me thinks the publisher who's budget is going on freelancers pay, should be looking for a certain level of research, but what ever...bottom line is the readership can see when an article has been written based on someone trying to become and overnight expert...be it via emulation to test a game or a wikip.look at historical events.
Doubt we'll see another NES saved UK article anytime soon....
At the very least, how about this 'middle ground':In future, if emulation has been used for any article, please state clearly it was and, if you like reasons why.Just be honest with the reader, no-one expects freelancers to devote every waking hour to an article, but niether do we expect any 'wool pulling'.
We're here to help, if help is wanted.If not, no worries, i had to make the suggestion, but please just be a little more open.If you only had the NES/CPC as a kid, only know discovering another platform, tell us, hey we can point you in the direction of the formats best games, undiscovered classics etc.Just don't let your personal tastes for a platform cloud your writing, many of us owned more than 1 system, bought same game on 3 or 4 different platforms, we know which is 'best' version and why...
Thanks for your time.