Retro Gamer #20 review

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CraigGrannell
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Post by CraigGrannell » Fri Jan 20, 2006 11:56 am

Who is this Pickford? And what the hell does he know about loading screens??
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NorthWay
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Post by NorthWay » Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:20 pm

merman wrote:NorthWay - it's down to the colour restrictions. In a multicolour bitmap you can only have three colours plus the background colour in each 4x8 pixel block. (It's 4 pixels horizontally, because in multicolour mode the horizontal resolution is halved to give the extra colours, so a multicolour bitmap is 160x200 pixels. And that's the sort of detail I left out of the interview to concentrate on the games :) )

So, a lot of artists chose black as their background colour so they could use that as a colour throughout the picture, and still have three other colours available.

And the reason I interviewed SIR? I met him at a couple of Back in Time events and thought he would make a good interview subject for RG. Loading screens were an ARTFORM back in the 80's.
Excellent interview. Do make more if you bump into someone else.

But give me a break on the C= 64, I know how it works. I don't doubt that it is easier it you need black to outline images, but I still stand by how non-blacks tend to look better. The Pawn and Guild of Thieves are fondly remembered.

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Post by NorthWay » Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:36 pm

ste pickford wrote:The colours on all the 8 bit machines were very strong and bright, so it was difficult to use any colour (other than black) across a large proportion of the screen without it becoming overpowering - almost hurting the eye.

I seem to remember that if you made the whole screen white on the C64 you got a buzz or a hum sound coming out of the TV speakers!

So a black background as a starting point gave the artist more control over the intensity of the image, as you could have bright areas and dark areas, rather than with any other colour as your starting point where everywhere was bright and intense from the start.
Now we're talking sense! (Oh, and very welcome btw.)
I have no problem accepting this, but it assumes that the artist is actually conscious about it and not only finds it easier to work with black. I wouldn't _bet_ on all pixel wielders back in the day doing so.

And then you get some that make it work in non-black and I'm all the happier :-)

(Oh, and Delta did something very clever with colours - they seemed to glow and turn up the contrast so you could see the phosphor after-glow in a tail when you moved your ship around, and the logo practically lit up the room.)

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Re:

Post by ste pickford » Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:41 am

NorthWay wrote:I have no problem accepting this, but it assumes that the artist is actually conscious about it and not only finds it easier to work with black. I wouldn't _bet_ on all pixel wielders back in the day doing so.
Yeah, I don't think it was concious, and as you hint, most pixels artists in those days could barely draw, and were often just people who knew how to work the graphics editor but couldn't program, so were 'artists' by default.

But those who chose black as a background generally got less censored results, so by a kind of evolution, those artists who used black tended to survive for longer )

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Post by BrunoFonseca » Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:22 pm

Hi,

I have been a reader of Retro Gamer for quite some time now, and I was quite happy to see you managed to revive the magazine.

Even tough I never got my order for number 18 (it seems to have got lost "in space"), I hold no grudges against you guys :lol:

Now on a more serious issue, I felt compelled to tell you I have not yet gotten into your new layout and style, because I think I preferred the old Retro Gamer.

First of all I realy hate the fact that "Retro Revival" and "Classic Game" sections are scattered all over the magazine. It is downright anoying. I would rather have them all together in a single section, where I could go if I wanted to, or skip it, it that's my will.

I have also noticed that you do not have articles larger than 4 pages. Some issues realy deserve a couple more pages, like the Spectrum article you published on issue 19. I think the article suffered a bit in the quality department due to it's "reduced" size. If it is important, than give it the coverage it deserves.

On the other hand, splitting articles between two magazines is also anoying. I'd rather read it all in a seating than have to wait a month for the conclusion of some article (Desert Island in issues 19/20 comes to mind).
Not that you should increase the number of pages of the magazine (because I know that is hard to do), but you could have shifted other article to issue 20, and finished the Pickford Brothers coverage in a single issue.

Please forgive me for being so critical, but Retro Gaming is something very close to my heart, and I think that even if your magazin is cool, it can be a lot better.

But since I know you guys are willing to improve, I will continue to buy your magazine (a subscription will follow soon). :wink:
Regards,
Bruno Fonseca

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LeeT
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Post by LeeT » Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:33 am

Trouble is, if they did the two-part articles in one issue, it would mean less of something else and people would complain that there was less variation.

Oh, and its no good holding a grudge against Imagine for the non-appearnce of Issue 18 as Live were responsible then! :wink:

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Mayhem
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Post by Mayhem » Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:37 am

True Lee, but as we've always said, you can't please everyone and I've had similar comments about "short" articles from other people I've spoken to who've gotten into the new RG.
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merman
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Post by merman » Wed Jan 25, 2006 5:38 am

I quite liked the way the Pickford Brothers interview was split across two issues... Gave more room to tell the (long) history of their involvement in games, and the two different lists of desert island disks...

As for article length, I'm in two minds about this (as a reader, and as a writer). Too long and people's attention wanders, and you are more likely to go off on a long digression. Too short, and you can't get enough detail in. 4/5 pages is a decent length for a single article on a tightly focussed subject. Again, splitting a longer article over a couple of issues is a possibility.

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Neilos626
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Post by Neilos626 » Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:16 pm

The cover, Wil Overtons cover why have more people not mentioned this?!

He was a legend back in the days of the mighty super play and it's great to see him back.

Please tell me he will do more covers for RG.
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BrunoFonseca
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Re:

Post by BrunoFonseca » Sun Feb 05, 2006 7:27 pm

LeeT wrote:Trouble is, if they did the two-part articles in one issue, it would mean less of something else and people would complain that there was less variation.

Oh, and its no good holding a grudge against Imagine for the non-appearnce of Issue 18 as Live were responsible then! :wink:
Yes, I know Live's the responsible... lets hope Imagine keeps the magazine running a lot longer :wink:

About the two-part article I can see your point, but I can also say that:

1 - If I don't like the subject of the article, then having it split between to issues is also very anoying.

2 - For me RetroGamer is about quality historical articles (hardware or software wise), and quality in historical stuff usually come with lenght (provided the writer is also a quality writer).

3 - Unlike other gaming magazines RetroGamer doesn't have to worry about timming. The Spectrum (or any other machine or retro-game) is already dead, so an article about it today or in 5 months time will have about the same impact. So, I would rather have more quality in one issue and wait for the next Retro Gamer with all new quality articles, than having the articles span over several issues.

And what about the "Retro Revival" and "Classic Game" sections spread all over the magazine? Why?

Regards,
Regards,
Bruno Fonseca

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Darran@Retro Gamer
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Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:15 pm

BrunoFonseca wrote:
And what about the "Retro Revival" and "Classic Game" sections spread all over the magazine? Why?

Regards,
Pacing and nostalgia purposes mate, pacing and nostalgia purposes...
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Mickey Juice
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Post by Mickey Juice » Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:07 pm

Just picked up issue 20 this week too.

Some random thoughts:

I'm not a fan of the thin font used for the regular article titles, it's not the easiest to read (havnt got the mag with me, but i'll give an example later)

Flashback was great, as was GBA emulation and NeoGeo handheld.

TombRaider was OK, but is it really that retro?

I havnt made up my mind about the 1 column reviews accompanied by the giant screenshot.... :?

Good to see less Spectrum stuff :twisted:

Not a fan of the console buyers guide... maybe every 3rd issue or something, instead of just cut&pasting it every month.

All-in-all a great read 8)
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Dudley
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Post by Dudley » Thu Mar 09, 2006 4:11 am

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote: Pacing and nostalgia purposes mate, pacing and nostalgia purposes...
I now have visions of Darran looking at the proof copy of Issue 23 and then throwing it down screaming "THIS WAS NOT MY ARTISTIC VISION!"
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Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Thu Mar 09, 2006 4:39 am

Dudley wrote:
Darran@Retro Gamer wrote: Pacing and nostalgia purposes mate, pacing and nostalgia purposes...
I now have visions of Darran looking at the proof copy of Issue 23 and then throwing it down screaming "THIS WAS NOT MY ARTISTIC VISION!"
I do that all the time :lol:
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