New "How To" section - what should it cover?

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Boulder
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Re: New "How To" section - what should it cover?

Post by Boulder » Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:00 pm

Personally I'd like to know about the various aspects of running emulators and thus old games on a tablet (Android being probably the most common to use). There's for example Planescape: Torment and Fallout 2 that I'd really like to try but there's no easy for dummies guide to begin playing around with.

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Re: New "How To" section - what should it cover?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:22 pm

joefish wrote:And I'm surprised that anyone building a MAME cab isn't aware of the option of using Joystick rather than Keyboard encoders; you just need to configure MAME to respond to the extra joystick buttons (and there are plenty) rather than the default keys
Its not that I'm not aware that's possible, just that I wasn't aware they're now readily available inexpensively, wired and ready to use. I've ripped pads in the past to use, but it was fiddly, and the encoders available then needed faffing about with soldering since that's all they were, encoders with no gubbins attached.
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You want RG to promote the chopping up of vintage consoles? :shock:

I think the How To concept isn't expected to be a comprehensive guide, more just a launching point for further investigation once its shown how simple/common some of these tricks are.

I've never had issues setting up emulators, front ends or hardware, but then I did a fair bit of reading on these things. I'd been playing with them since my ST days so I had a head start, I understood the concepts and terminology through a gradual introduction. Now there's so much out there it can be overwhelming. When I was learning about mame cabs, I'd get lost in the interesting bits at arcade controls.com. In doing so, I missed out on some of the boring fundamentals. It took reading Project Arcade and its structured approach to give me the full picture.
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Re: New "How To" section - what should it cover?

Post by Megamixer » Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:53 pm

Probably already mentioned but I'll say these again to add further weight:

Emulators
Fixing common console faults i.e. Dreamcast problems, Mega CD fuses etc.
Console mods or available workarounds to get imports working
Getting old PC games working on newer OS's

Yeah, you could Google all of this stuff but a nice printed reference would be nice. Also, reading articles like these might even get you motivated/inspired to do something that you'd never previously considered or couldn't be bothered with.
Retro is a state of mind, and cares not for your puny concepts like dates and calendars.

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Re: New "How To" section - what should it cover?

Post by psj3809 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:44 am

Megamixer wrote:Yeah, you could Google all of this stuff but a nice printed reference would be nice. Also, reading articles like these might even get you motivated/inspired to do something that you'd never previously considered or couldn't be bothered with.
Yeah thats totally true, i'll be sat here with 3000 MAME games and i'll be unsure what one to play, if in Retro Gamer theres an article/feature/screenshot about a certain arcade game that'll make me want to play it. Same for other features

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Re: New "How To" section - what should it cover?

Post by gman72 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:16 pm

I dunno about this How To business. I do have serious reservations that it's just gonna be a seriously Anorak boring waste of pages. I will reserve my judgement until I've seen it in action but right now I'm just not sure...
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Re: New "How To" section - what should it cover?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:25 pm

There's not nearly enough anorakiness in RG. I reckon this will be only a bluffer's guide, nowhere near anorakky enough for my tastes. I can see its purpose as a starting point though.

I could be cruel and suggest a How To Program in Assembly. I'd like to see that. ST Format did it at one point, with excerpted code from Xenon 2 iirc to set up scrolling, movement, firing and hit detection. I'd like to see an 8 bit platformer series like that, explaining how level maps and platform detection and stuff works.
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Re: New "How To" section - what should it cover?

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:47 pm

I doubt you could get a solid guide to progamming in assembly across two pages. It's not going to be any more than that at the moment.
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Re: New "How To" section - what should it cover?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:13 pm

ST Format did a page or two a month over a few months.It doesn't have to be a one off. I guess the thinking is that you get repeat custom.

How To Get Paid for Playing Games and Then Writing About It? ;)

How to Create a Gaming Podcast.

How to Win Friends and Influence People.
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Re: New "How To" section - what should it cover?

Post by paranoid marvin » Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:34 pm

How to build your own lightsabre.

Failing that, an idiot's guide to emulation, and using stuff lie DosBox. Looking at the best /easiest emulators to use, which are most compatible with games out there. Looking at frontends and how they can make life easier; how to use an install them. There are loads of emulators and frontends out there; some are better than others, some don't work with each other. And when I say an idiot's guide, I mean step by step instructuions. Again, there are guides out there, but many assume some knowledge of what you're doing. So basically name emulators and rate them as to how good/dificult they are to use. Name websites to download them from, name experts people can contact to help set their emulators up. I'm sure there are a whole range of people out there hosting websites (or even from this forum) who would be more than happy to help people.
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Re: New "How To" section - what should it cover?

Post by stvd » Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:34 pm

NickThorpe wrote: We'll try to fit some entertainment into it, like Darran doing a big thumbs up after a successful repair or something. :wink:
Just do factual content.
Please don't try to make it entertaining.
Especially if it's on par with the "humorous" story added to last month's Driver feature. :oops:
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Re: New "How To" section - what should it cover?

Post by PanzerGeneral » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:35 pm

As has already been mentioned-a step by step guide to various emulators, I like to think I am pretty good with them now, but some of them took an age to get up and running.

How to keep "Real Iron" alive and current, eg:- Divide for the Spectrum, Retro Clinic Datacentre for the BBC, F18a for the TI,MSX and Coleco, Cloud9 hardware for the Tandy CoCo's, Atari 8bit Multicarts, VIC20 Multicarts, SID Master for the TI99/4a.

There are enough people out there doing great work to keep these systems alive, I would reckon it would take a few years to get them all covered on a monthly two page spread.

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Ryan_McN
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Re: New "How To" section - what should it cover?

Post by Ryan_McN » Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:36 am

Antiriad2097 wrote:How to build a mame cab. Or at least a decent USB arcade stick for mame.
I second this.

I know it was covered in the past, but maybe different methods? including the best places to buy the necessary parts?
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Re: New "How To" section - what should it cover?

Post by slacey1070 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:11 am

How to define retro..... ah... only two pages... scrap that.
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Re: New "How To" section - what should it cover?

Post by NickThorpe » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:45 am

slacey1070 wrote:How to define retro..... ah... only two pages... scrap that.
It would be entirely possible to release a full bookazine on that subject, but we'd still fail to garner a consensus in this forum, let alone the wider world.
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Re: New "How To" section - what should it cover?

Post by Doddsy » Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:57 pm

How to remix retro game soundtracks and get them released on the Internet!

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