Retro Gamer - Issue 141

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Avuncular
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 141

Post by Avuncular » Sun May 03, 2015 4:08 am

Just reading about the VirtualBoy in this issue and wanted to share my little story. Didn't know where else to put it.

I was in Florida in 1997. I went into a videogame shop in a mall and they had a pallet full of VirtualBoys for $30 each. Unfortunately I didn't have much money so couldn't buy any. Someone could've made a killing.

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gman72
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 141

Post by gman72 » Sun May 03, 2015 7:12 am

This ones the first issue I've not purchased in a very long time. Just nothing in there for me. :cry:
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ncf1
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 141

Post by ncf1 » Tue May 05, 2015 1:41 am

Cracking issue guys, well done. Just received my copy and have barely lifted my head up, this might be my favourite issue ever.

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ivarf
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 141

Post by ivarf » Tue May 05, 2015 5:05 am

Gryzor wrote: -Driller: come on, guys. A game developed on the 6128 and it gets exactly zero screenshots? The speccy conversion gets seven, including the two giant background ones, the Amiga gets two and... nothing else???
Do we know for sure that the Amstrad version of Driller was the lead version? Even if it was developed on a Amstrad CPC 6128 that doesn't necessarily mean that it was deloped for it. The Retro Gamer article doesn't tell that. In the same issue of Retro Gamer - the System 3 article - there was a quite large picture of the Amstrad version of IK+. It felt weird to to see that picture there and no Amstrad picture in the Driller article.

To me it feels like it is all about the bias of the authors/layout people and not a bias of Retro Gamer as such.

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Gryzor
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 141

Post by Gryzor » Tue May 05, 2015 5:10 am

Given that Freescape itself was also developed on the CPC, that Driller came out on the CPC and hence arguably it was the first version out since it was developed on it, since the Spectrum version was a port as stated in the article I'd say that yeah, the CPC one was probably the lead version. But even if it weren't, it doesn't change much...

I don't really understand the distinction between the authors and the magazine. The authors are that make the magazine, if an author displays bias and the article is published then the bias becomes the magazine's.
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merman
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 141

Post by merman » Tue May 05, 2015 1:38 pm

I think it's wrong to use the word bias here.

As a writer myself, I know how hard it can be to source screenshots. I always try to balance between formats whenever possible, but time restrictions often lead to me grabbing more from the formats/emulators I am familiar with.

And at the editorial stage there are challenges in terms of size and colour, fitting into the page layout and selecting what looks interesting.

Remember, it's NOT just grabbing screenshots from the Web and using them - that is not allowed without direct permission of the hosting site.
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Gryzor
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 141

Post by Gryzor » Tue May 05, 2015 1:52 pm

Hard to source screenshots?

I had never taken Speccy screenshots before. It took me literally 3.5 minutes (I timed it) to download Spectaculator, find and download Driller, load it and find how to take a screenshot (which is more complex than with CPC emulators). If nothing else, I guess the article takes a fair time to write and polish - if you can't devote a few minutes to take the necessary screenshots then go online and ask for someone to take one for you - by the time your article is finished you're sure to have dozens of them.

And what could be more interesting than different screenshots from different systems? Are you implying that looking at the Speccy again and again is more interesting?

If nothing else, if I were to write an article about a game I'd make sure I played it on all relevant platforms. You know, what games journalists have been doing since the 80s. And this would have enabled me to take screenshots as well.

But with this article, I'm afraid it *is* bias, not just shoddy work. It's not only that the author (apologies, don't remember who it was) didn't spend the least amount of time to do the absolute basic in terms of homework, but from the off it does show that the article is Spectrum-centric despite mentioning it was developed on the CPC.
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jdanddiet
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 141

Post by jdanddiet » Tue May 05, 2015 5:15 pm

Good evening all, and especially Gryzor.

I'm the freelancer who wrote the Driller feature. Thank you Andrew for your defence and you're correct there is no bias. But as Grzyor rightly points out, it is not hard to source screenshots and indeed I did submit several Amstrad and C64 screenshots, but unfortunately I failed to specify in the feature that the Amstrad ones (and C64) should have been included and the spectrum less so, or at least evenly. It's up to us as the writers to ensure the designers are informed on this as we can't expect them to be au fait with all the systems, so that's my bad.

I would point out however with the issue of "lead" platforms however that all the Z80 versions were developed on the 6128 using Devpac and the amstrad and spectrum versions were developed concurrently by Chris Andrew. Saying it was originally an amstrad game would be like saying most other latter games of the 8-bits' lives were PC games because they were coded in that environment or anything developed on a Sage computer system was actually a "sage" game. I think the article focuses mainly on the engine (which is what I thought readers would be most interested in, how they did it on the 8 bits, let's be honest it wasn't anything special on the 16 bits) which is why I didn't have room for mentioning little things like the c64 music unfortunately.

So there you go, no bias, no anti-amstrad sentiment, just one little thing I missed because I was probably overstretched for a couple of weeks (I did an article for GamesTM this month too although I'm not offering this as an excuse). I'm a bit disappointed if you thought the article was shoddy, I didn't think it was that bad, but I hope it didn't spoil your enjoyment of the rest of the mag too much.

Now I'm off to play some Sorcery+ and Roland Goes To Hell 8)
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Gryzor
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 141

Post by Gryzor » Wed May 06, 2015 3:14 am

Hello Graeme, so nice to finally hear from you (honestly).

First of all, I didn't find the article 'shoddy'. This characterisation was in reply to the argument about the inability to take screenshots, it did not reflect what I thought about the article itself which I quite enjoyed (and thought it could do with more than 4 pages, like many other articles in RG).

But, see, although I understand the reason you're giving, I've heard exactly the same thing before. Sure, it might not be your mistake/problem/issue and that's why I did not mention you directly (I had an inkling) but I had made the exact same complaint a couple of years back (I think) and that's the excuse I had received again, then. Sure, designers may not be experts on different systems (though, I suppose, a bit of education would go a long way for a good cooperation and result), but really, what designer is presented with a series of photos and chooses all the same ones (and, surprise, the speccy ones? How come this doesn't happen with other systems?)? And, what's more, isn't there editorial oversight? Does nobody take a look after the layout is done and before the thing goes to press?

Regarding the development system, good point, especially with the Sage. I seem to remember reading (in RG no less) that Freescape and its games were developed on/for the CPC primarily, but I classify that as general knowledge and can't point to specific sources. But the article does have a Spectrum slant, regardless of the screenshots, beginning with the large quote about 'fitting it into the Spectrum" and continuing throughout more or less. Along with the screenshots issue, you can understand why I speak of bias, even though it may not have been intentional on your part. Especially since it's a returning theme with RG - if it was just this article alone I wouldn't think much of it, but on the whole...

Hope you get to see this post, if nothing else because I was sad to hear you thought I called your article 'shoddy' :)
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Spiff
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 141

Post by Spiff » Wed May 06, 2015 6:49 am

I've often seen game articles where the lead platform was C64 but most shots are Speccy.
Would've thought RG would ask freelancers to use a file-naming convention that included a priority number, so designers can use this to help decide which shots to include, saving the need for separate instructions.

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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 141

Post by Gryzor » Wed May 06, 2015 11:22 am

Spiff wrote:I've often seen game articles where the lead platform was C64 but most shots are Speccy.
Would've thought RG would ask freelancers to use a file-naming convention that included a priority number, so designers can use this to help decide which shots to include, saving the need for separate instructions.
Indeed - I don't know how magazines work, really, but I'd bet there was a process for this...

As for prefering some platforms over others, what's with the Nintendo love? Am I wrong or Sega is relegated to a distant second position?
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Darran@Retro Gamer
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 141

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Wed May 06, 2015 2:30 pm

Gryzor wrote:
As for prefering some platforms over others, what's with the Nintendo love? Am I wrong or Sega is relegated to a distant second position?[/quote]
That's a drum that's not been beaten for a while…
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Gryzor
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 141

Post by Gryzor » Wed May 06, 2015 2:32 pm

Really not sure about whatever on earth you might mean. Unless the comment was directed elsewhere, please don't assume I'm au courrant with what is being said.
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 141

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Wed May 06, 2015 2:40 pm

It's a reference to everyone constantly saying we are pro Nintendo, when we're really not. It comes and goes until a new flavour of the month comes along.
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Gryzor
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 141

Post by Gryzor » Wed May 06, 2015 2:42 pm

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:It's a reference to everyone constantly saying we are pro Nintendo, when we're really not. It comes and goes until a new flavour of the month comes along.
Yeah, well, in my book "boooring this has been said before" is not an effective form of assessing critique... And if others have been saying it, well then...
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