Reader feedback wanted

Want to air your opinions on the latest issue of Retro Gamer? Step inside...

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Darran@Retro Gamer
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Reader feedback wanted

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:39 am

Hi guys, it's the start of a new year and we obviously have exciting new plans for the magazine going forward.
With that in mind we'd be interested in knowing what you'd like to see in the magazine going forward.
Are there too many features? Not enough? Do you want to see more developer access? Do you want more photography?
Let us know and we'll do what we can to take your feedback on board.

One thing though, let's not turn this into a what is retro thread. We have enough of those already and it should be obvious from reading the magazine over the last year that we include everything up to GameCube/PS2 and Xbox now :)
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Re: Reader feedback wanted

Post by Antiriad2097 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:44 am

More arcade and tabletop/handheld games please. Especially tabletops/handhelds. Its the one area that's been lacking so far. If nothing else, they make for great pictures. Now if you can just figure out how to make the VFD screenshots glow, that would be perfect ;)
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Re: Reader feedback wanted

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:56 am

Rory pitched a smaller feature looking at a table top game each month. As you've probably guessed the biggest issue would be taking screenshots of the games. Not all of them are emulated. Arcade covers always seem to do well so that's a no brainer too. Outrun is 30 years old and we've never done a history on it. There's obviously loads more too.
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Re: Reader feedback wanted

Post by jdanddiet » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:13 am

I'm working on a couple of cool tabletop/handheld collectors for collectors corner. Fingers crossed.
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Re: Reader feedback wanted

Post by Antiriad2097 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:17 am

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:Rory pitched a smaller feature looking at a table top game each month. As you've probably guessed the biggest issue would be taking screenshots of the games. Not all of them are emulated.
Good to hear, I hope you're taking him up on it. I think I'd rather see photos of the real screen instead of emulation, though no doubt time will tell. Enclosing the screen in a black box and sticking the camera lens through it at the screen ought to work if you get a fast exposure etc so it doesn't go overbright. It was good enough for Crash/Zzap bitd on CRTs.

The non-emulated ones may be more interesting since they're less likely to have been come across lately.
jdanddiet wrote:I'm working on a couple of cool tabletop/handheld collectors for collectors corner. Fingers crossed.
And there's more :D

Good to see the mag still catering for its old audience, no matter how much some may moan about newer stuff creeping in.
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Re: Reader feedback wanted

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:37 am

Antiriad2097 wrote:
Good to see the mag still catering for its old audience, no matter how much some may moan about newer stuff creeping in.
Regardless of what some may think Retro Gamer is obviously always going to cover old 8-bit stuff. It might not always been as a main cover image, but it will always have a place in the magazine as it's the oldest aspect of retro.
Anyway, even that's potentially going to derail the thread. So I'll go back to commenting on stuff when it goes up where I can.
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Re: Reader feedback wanted

Post by theantmeister » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:46 am

Back to the 00s?

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Re: Reader feedback wanted

Post by Bluce_Ree » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:49 am

I liked those 'Definitive Guide' things Stu Campbell used to do. Also, any making of articles are usually good.

Mainly though, I'd quite like to see a bit more coverage of merch or retro-flavoured gadgets. You used to do one page on it but I can't remember seeing it recently.
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Re: Reader feedback wanted

Post by joefish » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:56 am

As well as more arcade games, I always like the conversion comparisons, but there's no need to dig around for quite so many obscure machines to fill whole pages with then the briefest of descriptions. I'd rather see a few core machines covered with a bit more discussion. The other thing I quite like in these pieces are the pixel-art sprite-sheets from featured games. And perhaps you could source those from the conversions as well as the arcade originals?

I'd love to see a more technical breakdown covering the capabilities of competing machines, in terms of graphics, sound etc. Maybe to keep it interesting you could tackle two at a time and explain their differences, but the series is planned out in such a way that when you cover two more machines the comparisons still hold up across the board (e.g. Speccy vs CPC, C64 vs Atari, ST vs Amiga, MSX vs MSX2, MD vs SNES). There's nothing more annoying than an article on one machine with a 'key facts' block that quotes stats completely incomparable with those of another machine. It's about time we got past just regurgitating the marketing press releases of 30-year old computers. You could point to standout games on each machine, or games that work on one but fail on the other, to illustrate what differences the stats actually make.

I also enjoyed the 'definitive guide' pieces - even highly opinionated pieces are entertaining when they're obviously written as such. It's great to read a piece from someone who genuinely has passion (positive or negative) for a topic than someone trying to remain objective when they clearly have nothing positive to say. (Props therefore to whoever writes the amusingly sarcastic pieces on end-game sequences).

Though having said that, I think some of the worst articles of gaming journalism around at the moment are those endless independent whining pieces written for EDGE that always say 'the biggest problem facing gaming today is...' without offering even the slightest hint of where a solution might be found.

Keep up the homebrew love though!

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Re: Reader feedback wanted

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:04 pm

theantmeister wrote:Back to the 00s?
It's certainly a possibility and a lot more manageable than a 70s would be.
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Re: Reader feedback wanted

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:09 pm

Bluce_Ree wrote:I liked those 'Definitive Guide' things Stu Campbell used to do. Also, any making of articles are usually good.

Mainly though, I'd quite like to see a bit more coverage of merch or retro-flavoured gadgets. You used to do one page on it but I can't remember seeing it recently.
The biggest issue we've found with the Definitive Guides is that it's very hard to repurpose them. It's easy enough to update a standard history article, but virtually impossible with a definitive, both due to redesigning the feature and because Stuart has a very distinctive writing style.
We're certainly trying to get more gadget stuff into the mag, but it's usually the first section to get dropped due to ads etc. It's in the next issue mind.
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Re: Reader feedback wanted

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:13 pm

joefish wrote:As well as more arcade games, I always like the conversion comparisons, but there's no need to dig around for quite so many obscure machines to fill whole pages with then the briefest of descriptions. I'd rather see a few core machines covered with a bit more discussion. The other thing I quite like in these pieces are the pixel-art sprite-sheets from featured games. And perhaps you could source those from the conversions as well as the arcade originals?

I'd love to see a more technical breakdown covering the capabilities of competing machines, in terms of graphics, sound etc. Maybe to keep it interesting you could tackle two at a time and explain their differences, but the series is planned out in such a way that when you cover two more machines the comparisons still hold up across the board (e.g. Speccy vs CPC, C64 vs Atari, ST vs Amiga, MSX vs MSX2, MD vs SNES). There's nothing more annoying than an article on one machine with a 'key facts' block that quotes stats completely incomparable with those of another machine. It's about time we got past just regurgitating the marketing press releases of 30-year old computers. You could point to standout games on each machine, or games that work on one but fail on the other, to illustrate what differences the stats actually make.

I also enjoyed the 'definitive guide' pieces - even highly opinionated pieces are entertaining when they're obviously written as such. It's great to read a piece from someone who genuinely has passion (positive or negative) for a topic than someone trying to remain objective when they clearly have nothing positive to say. (Props therefore to whoever writes the amusingly sarcastic pieces on end-game sequences).

Though having said that, I think some of the worst articles of gaming journalism around at the moment are those endless independent whining pieces written for EDGE that always say 'the biggest problem facing gaming today is...' without offering even the slightest hint of where a solution might be found.

Keep up the homebrew love though!
Homebrew will be continuing so don't worry about that.
With regards to conversions we tend to cover all of them because people would moan when the same key versions were covered (or get annoyed if said versions were left out) I agree that it's difficult to do them justice when you only have a small amount of words to play around with.

I'm not too sure on the hardware stuff. Technical breakdowns tend to come across as very boring and seem to be more in key with something you'd see in a fanzine. I do like the idea of a verses piece though, and would like to follow on from the Spectrum Vs C64 article we did a few years back. Atari ST Vs Amiga anyone?
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Re: Reader feedback wanted

Post by The Laird » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:14 pm

I have quite a few arcade game making ofs pretty much ready to go, all big games too that have never been covered 8)

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Re: Reader feedback wanted

Post by joefish » Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:31 pm

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:I'm not too sure on the hardware stuff. Technical breakdowns tend to come across as very boring and seem to be more in key with something you'd see in a fanzine. I do like the idea of a verses piece though, and would like to follow on from the Spectrum Vs C64 article we did a few years back. Atari ST Vs Amiga anyone?
I guess I'm saying there could be a bit more meat to it than just the usual flimsy fan fights over 'this game's better on this machine than that game on that machine', which really tells you nothing. Put in a bit about what it is about the machine that makes one thing work but not the other, and vice-versa on the other machine. It could be a bit nerdy but at least it'd be a different angle on the subject. I mean, the obvious point I'd draw is that something like the sprites on a C64 are both a blessing (they're quick) and a curse (when you need more or bigger). Highlight the clever bits in the best games and say what's making it possible to make the point.

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Re: Reader feedback wanted

Post by Antiriad2097 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:37 pm

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:I do like the idea of a verses piece
Have we had any gaming poetry in the mag?
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