The Def Guide to Zzap!64

Zzap!64 it's over, eh?
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Author:  Professor Brian Strain [ Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Zzap!64 it's over, eh?

debit wrote:
Reading this thread from the beginning for the first time tonight. Quite funny to read the posts from 2006 about how hard it was to track down people. These days, as Sam Dyer's book and other projects show, it's a lot easier and we've got some great projects out of it (my own website, the Commodore Format Archive - - has tracked down most people just via FB and LinkedIn. Social media's just made it all so much more straightforward and I looking back at these posts it's easy to see we've taken it for granted so quickly!)

Anyway, for what it's worth now I remember seeing that Retro Gamer issue with the ZZAP! supplement on the stands in WH Smith and nearly falling over at the sight of the logo in a shop after all those years. Through it, I found this website (and ish 107) and rekindled my love of the Commodore.

True, there are advantages. But then there are also people who don't want to be tracked down or simply don't want to talk about the old days. Which is frustrating.

Author:  CraigGrannell [ Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Zzap!64 it's over, eh?

Mm. John Van Ryzin (HERO) is the one I'd really loved to have chatted to, but, alas, he clearly has zero interest. And then there are others who just don't have the time. Retro Gamer's now on, what, issue 135ish? My RG folder in Mail is littered with commissions for making-ofs that just never happened, because the people behind the games didn't have time to talk, after initially expressing an interest and nailing down times and dates.

*looks at Mayhem in Monsterland commission from 2006, for RG35(!)*

*sighs at the never-ending quest to sort the Speedball II making-of, which has now been going on for well over five years*

Author:  PaulEMoz [ Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Zzap!64 it's over, eh?

Yeah, most people are perfectly willing and happy to talk, but some just don't want to. It's a shame, but what can you do other than respect their wishes, I suppose?

Author:  CraigGrannell [ Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Zzap!64 it's over, eh?

Well, quite. Without those generous enough to give their time, Retro Gamer and similar but more indie-oriented projects simply wouldn't exist, but we should also respect those who don't want to talk (or those who only want to talk about very specific subject matter, such as Martin Walker). It's a pity we'll never get the insider insight to, say, 3D Deathchase, but that's just the way it is. At least we will have chronicled the stories of many hundreds of other games whose stories might never have been properly told.

And as for those subjects that make you feel a bit like the frog and the lily pad, I'm happy to keep on leaping for the time being!

Author:  PaulEMoz [ Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Zzap!64 it's over, eh?

Yeah, there's plenty of life left in the whole thing yet. I've only had two refusals so far, and one of them was extremely nice about it, haha! Also, thanks to Jacco of Boys Without Brains, we finally know that Stavros Fasoulas is alive and well... and has absolutely no interest in talking about his gaming past! :cry: :D

Author:  CraigGrannell [ Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Zzap!64 it's over, eh?

Only two refusals? Blimey. I've had quite a few more than that, although timing's often a lot to do with it.

Author:  PaulEMoz [ Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Zzap!64 it's over, eh?

Well you've probably talked to a lot more than me! :D

Author:  Iain [ Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Zzap!64 it's over, eh?

debit wrote:
Hey Iain,
No, absolutely wasn't looking for Retro Gamer and didn't know the ZZAP! thing was coming *at all*. It was a proper movie style double take at the shelf! I was totally career minded post uni and it was pre the days of everyone having the internet at home or on a phone of course, so I had no idea. Even *these* memories are getting blurred and retro now - what year did you start the site Iain?

That must have blown your mind alright!

The official date of the site in my mind is November 1997 (hey 17 years this month!), when we had to build a site for a college project and I did mine on the C64 and a page for Zzap. It was originally on a web server in college and the Zzap page was just a few thumbnails of covers with a link to the full size scan with a small bit of bit. A mate had gotten a scanner very recently before that and I remember heading back home to get a few Zzap's to scan the covers.

It hardly seemed retro in 1997, just 3 years after the magazine had gone! The early issue were though I guess, for me around 40 etc.

The site expanded a good bit around 1998 / 1999 when I created a page for each issue etc. I think the domain and proper paid for web space came around in 1999. I started the first dynamic pages (the links page was probably the first) around end of 1999.

Just remembering the storage path now:

College server -> Tripod -> FortuneCity -> My own web space

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