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 Post subject: The search begins....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 12:04 pm 
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Ken's Fishy Friend

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Right, I think its time I stepped up the search for various Zzap/C-Force bits and pieces, mainly because of the following....

There's a fair few instances where Zzap/C-Force could be the last remaning sources of a few games which were never released and its ever increasing for a number of titles during my research. I've already been asking Ian Osbourne about who might have had the review copies at the end etc, but can anyone else help with possible names of people who may have kept the review copies? Or leads which will possibly take us to something?

Also, although it may be flogging a dead horse, while on my search i'd be up for trying to find out what happened to the unpublished issues of Commodore Force and seeing if we can save any of the articles at least. Although master copies might well be long lost and unprinted, there could be articles in text form somewhere which could be retrieved.

Crazy yes.. but what with us being 6 months too late regarding finding Parasol Stars (Dumped in the tip 6 months before we discovered the coder), now might be the time for stepping up a final search :)

Any takers?, any ideas? any help? 8)

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:16 pm 
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Early days, but I got a reply from Mark Kendrick today after asking questions about review copies of games.

He says most review copies and things were most likely dumped when Zzap moved offices, and when Europress took over etc. So Murder! most probably won't be showing up via this method of searching.

Regarding Commodore Force's missing issues though, Mark has offered the possibility that he *may* have one or two bits and pieces from back then and will be checking. That might be something? :)

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 11:59 pm 
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Cool, I hope Markie does have something left... Sadly I don't have any extra text myself, stuff I wrote for issue 17 was crammed into 16 at short notice.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:59 am 
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The lost issues were discussed here a few months ago. Mr Zzapback probably remembers the details 100% :) but my memory can come up with something like this: issue 17 was sent to the printers but there was no money to pay them so it wasn't printed (or am I getting mixed up with Retro Gamer? x-) ) and bits of issue 18 were written.

The articles themselves were probably on the computers that were sold after the liquidation, Roger doesn't have any of them anyway :(

I would imagine, they are probably long lost, but maybe they are somewhere.. seeing as stranger things have turned up on your site! :)

Do search for commodore force issue 17 or something to see the original thread.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 9:51 am 
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Yup, thats the thread this is really stemming from :)... Back then I was offering to have a good search like with any GTW title, as this would be something amazing to find in some form (Even if its just like the NES Force parts from Retro Gamer, or just plain text).

From what I gather, Mark seemed to suggest that he may have a few bits and pieces which were MAC based on old floppy disks. His wife and himself did a fair bit of work on the last issues apparently. Mark is probably the strongest source at the moment i've spoken to. He does have a fair few text based articles from back in the day, but just needs to check if that includes the final days too :) If Mark did find something, it could well be printed in RG like the NES Force parts (I even suggested it).

Of course, there are others to chase up and speak to. Mark was just the start. And if I recall, Ian didn't have anything anymore. He had written a second installment of "That Was the Game That Wasn't" for either 17 or 18.

I'll push on anyway until I exhaust all possibilities :)

EDIT - Does anyone have contact address for James Price? or anyone else who worked on the final few issues? (I never got a reply from Miles at Paragon)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:24 pm 
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Just to dig up an old thread with a bit more information.... and hopefully of interest to people.

From a staff member who wishes to remain unnamed, weeks before Impact Magazines went into liquidation there was a decision made to cut Commodore Force down to 16 pages a month and have each issue produced by a freelance team of Impact staff in their spare time. I guess this plan was made to keep things going as they kept getting orders everytime they tried to kill CF off.

The general consensus was that sales of CF were driven by its covertape games and not each issue's content. Much of the content in the new slimline CF would have focused on the covertape games with a few reviews where available along with some small articles. There were plans to conduct interviews with classic programmers/developers, ideally linked with the covertape software. Standard letters pages would have remained.

I am not sure if this represents issue 17 and 18 which never were. From the sounds of things, it could have been issue 18 onwards or it was coming soon away. It sounds like 17 was finished but never printed and could have been a normal sized issue, or slightly decreased anyway (32 pages I think was mentioned)

Sadly it seems we will never see anything as the Macs were taken by the liquidators. Only hope seems to be now with Mark Kendrick, but its pretty much over. Additionally the same with review copies of games... things were pretty much kept low in terms of games stock and various pre-release bits were dumped fairly regularly.

Interestingly when some other publishers were looking at Impact publications after liquidation, CF and SNES Force were the only magazines still profitable and breaking even. CF could have been bought out by a few interested parties, but the liquidator's asking price and potential subscriber liability apparently put people off. It is not known if any offer by anyone was ever made (Maybe Commodore Format could have tried... I think I have heard this rumour once...).

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:28 pm 
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There were rumours at the time that Future wanted to incorporate Commodore Force into Commodore Format...

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:19 pm 
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Not my fave period, but thanks for the interesting info anyway, Frank!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:44 am 
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Professor Brian Strain wrote:
There were rumours at the time that Future wanted to incorporate Commodore Force into Commodore Format...

It wouldn't have been the first time. Look here
Issue 79 editorial, first after Newsfield's demise wrote:
Future Publishing (Commodore Format), wanted CRASH and ZZAP!. Commodore Format's publisher Jane Richardson denied their interest was simply in killing off the competition. 'CRASH and ZZAP! are very strong titles and we certainly didn't want them to die,' she warmly warbled. What exactly were they going to do with them, then? 'We had several options open to us had we got the titles. We probably would have incorporated them into our existing magazines.' If that isn't killing titles off, I'm blowed if I know what is.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:08 pm 
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Thanks for that Frank. Very interesting. So it seems that Zzap would had "Crashed" after all. (in relation to a letter that was published in Zzap regarding the permanent addition of covertapes and whether the magazine would go like Crash, a few pages with a tape on the cover)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:39 am 
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fgasking wrote:
From a staff member who wishes to remain unnamed, weeks before Impact Magazines went into liquidation there was a decision made to cut Commodore Force down to 16 pages a month and have each issue produced by a freelance team of Impact staff in their spare time.


That seems blimmin' unlikely to me. Remember, Commodore Force was closed after Issue 15 (IIRC) and put on firm sale, but when orders exceeded expectations, it was decided not to close it after all. To reverse the decision and then radically change the magazine wouldn't make much sense.

I was on Commodore Force as Impact closed, and this is the first I've heard of this.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:47 am 
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I'm not sure Ian, it could have been decided for implementation after 17/18 potentially, but I don't know. Maybe 16 pages was just a memory mistake, and it was something like 32 which has previously been mentioned.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:53 am 
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32 would seem more likely. To be honest, there was no real need to take it down any further than that. The magazine had stalled somewhat and become far too nostalgia-obsessed and backward-looking, but the unpublished Issue 17 contained reviews and previews of new stuff for the first time in ages. If anything, content was about to enjoy an upswing.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:28 pm 
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Just out of interest, was this some of the homebrew stuff that was being developed, like by Binary Zone, Jon Wells etc?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:22 pm 
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fgasking wrote:
Just out of interest, was this some of the homebrew stuff that was being developed, like by Binary Zone, Jon Wells etc?


It certainly was. I'd already put Alf Yngve in touch with Jason McKenzie, and together with Jon Wells, they were producing commercial mail-order games. Mostly stuff Alf created on SEUCK and Jon enhanced by adding power-ups, etc, and other stuff you couldn't do with the construction kit.

Jason was also pro-actively seeking out European PD and licenceware to release over here too.


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