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 Post subject: Amstrad Action Magazine
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:11 am 
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They are all trying to copy us! Zzap issue 107 and The Tribute have really started something...

p.s. Lee! What are you doing over there? I found the site through a referrer link to this site, but what excuse do you have?! ;-)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:50 am 
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Er...It was my girlfriend..it was the dog? :oops:

No, I registered a few months ago - I'm at every other bloody retrogaming forum, so I might as well do that one as well! :wink:

Seemed like someone was getting mixed up between 108 and the Tribute - I tried to put them right but think they are still confused. Ah well, that's Amstrad owners! :roll: :wink:

(In my defence, I owned a CPC464 in the late 1980's, sold it and bought another last year! I never use it though, it's too bloody heavy!) :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 11:13 am 
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Well, fair play to them. I only hope they ensure the production values are high, otherwise what's the point?

I also worry that by asking for permission, they're going to derail the project before it even begins. Reading the forum thread, it seems they think that fewer pages will make Future more likely to say "yes". I very much doubt that will be the case. Whether Future will say "yes" hinges on whether the company believes the IP of the magazine is still worth something to it, and whether such a fan-made production would enhance or detract from said value. It would actually be useful to know whether Retro Gamer paid Future for the Speccy mag tribute—if so, it'll be far harder for this lot to get permission. Lee's right, though, that Steve would have been the best person to contact. Also, I'm not sure why they're getting an answering machine—every time I phone Future, I get the nice girl on the switchboard.

Perhaps they should do Amtix instead! No problems there!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:38 pm 
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CraigGrannell wrote:
Well, fair play to them. I only hope they ensure the production values are high, otherwise what's the point?

I also worry that by asking for permission, they're going to derail the project before it even begins. Reading the forum thread, it seems they think that fewer pages will make Future more likely to say "yes". I very much doubt that will be the case. Whether Future will say "yes" hinges on whether the company believes the IP of the magazine is still worth something to it, and whether such a fan-made production would enhance or detract from said value. It would actually be useful to know whether Retro Gamer paid Future for the Speccy mag tribute—if so, it'll be far harder for this lot to get permission. Lee's right, though, that Steve would have been the best person to contact.

I mentioned the question in that forum; what will you do if they refuse permission and someone answered along the lines of "We will turn it into (insert name of lesser known Amstrad rag)" - Surely the whole point of these projects is doing it for the love of the original product? (hence the tribute to ZZAP!). It would have been like someone suggesting doing one for CCI... So I think they need to get that sorted.
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Also, I'm not sure why they're getting an answering machine—every time I phone Future, I get the nice girl on the switchboard.

If you ever get chatting to her and her name is Rachel, it could well be the daughter of the bloke who set-up New Generation Software - she works on the reception, apparently! (Amazing how I pick up these useless facts from message boards!).
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Perhaps they should do Amtix instead! No problems there!

I always thought AMTIX was a weird hybrid between CRASH and ZZAP! - It never seemed to settle on a design or theme - The staff seemed to move across mags more so than ZZAP! Plus they suffered from having too many rehashed features and interviews from those mags - I remember a few interviews by Sean Masterson that cropped up in the two or three mags.
I was still quite surprised when they pulled the plug - When it merged with 'Computing With The Amstrad' (a boring techhie Database Publications title), none of the AMTIX! staff joined and the AMTIX! name was just for the games reviews section. I suppose AA must have had the highest readership by far, out of all the 'Arnold' mags.[/i]

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:53 pm 
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From the look of that thread, they just want to do some kind of tribute, and they're not terribly concerned what mag to use. On the other hand, as you say, we were driven by a very specific magazine that stood head and shoulders above the competition, and wouldn't have thought of doing a CU tribute!

As for Amtix's "merging" with another magazine, didn't the same thing happen with Crash? From a quick look at the scans of the merged issue, the only thing from Crash that was used was the logo on the cover. I suspect had Future succeeded in buying Zzap!, the same thing would have befallen that publication and it would have been "integrated" into CF, in as much as the Zzap! logo appearing on the cover for a few months.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:29 pm 
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LeeT wrote:
I always thought AMTIX was a weird hybrid between CRASH and ZZAP! - It never seemed to settle on a design or theme - The staff seemed to move across mags more so than ZZAP! Plus they suffered from having too many rehashed features and interviews from those mags - I remember a few interviews by Sean Masterson that cropped up in the two or three mags.
I was still quite surprised when they pulled the plug - When it merged with 'Computing With The Amstrad' (a boring techhie Database Publications title), none of the AMTIX! staff joined and the AMTIX! name was just for the games reviews section. I suppose AA must have had the highest readership by far, out of all the 'Arnold' mags.[/i]


AMTIX wasn't created because there was a specific appetite for an Amstrad magazine. It appeared at the time that it did purely because Amstrad Action came along from Chris. Had that not happened then AMTIX may possibly never have happened. Jeremy Spencer was the only person originally involved with Amtix that was particularly keen on the Amstrad. For everyone else it was a bit of a chore to work on as their "main" magazine was either Zzap or Crash. Amtix did get its own staff later but they never hung around on the mag for very long. The whole thing was a bit of an after thought and I don't think it was ever particularly loved at Newsfield.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:09 pm 
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It does seem a bit strange to do a tribute magazine just for the sake of doing one. If it's not done out of love for an original, how can it possibly be convincing?

I mean, I read this quote:

"I'll be happy to contribute something. Game review if you'd like. Put my heart and soul into it and everything. But somebody oughta tell me what AA actually is. =) What is Amstrad Action?"

and thought, why bother? :?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:36 pm 
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Exactly. Maybe these guys ought to forget about dealing with Future and just start up some kind of Amstrad fanzine.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 8:42 pm 
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By the look of the threads that project is going nowhere, IMO.
They have no clue what they are actually starting or doing.
You have to set the standards high, nobody's waiting for a word-exported-pdf file. I even think it could do harm, if 'everybody' starts doing a tribute mag, without vision. Ex-staff might be put off by all attention and emails and requests. How would they know when a project is serious and worth the hassle?

Unless some mag or team of persons picks a project like that up commercially, Zzap! will continue to be the only mag (and rightfully so) having two professional 'tribute' fanmags, and a third one in the pipeline. :wink:

You gotta be *seriously* motivated to start and finish a project like that. Really! 8)

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 9:51 pm 
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Mr.Zzapback wrote:
You gotta be *seriously* motivated to start and finish a project like that. Really! 8)


and a little crazy / mad as well of course! ;-)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 11:10 pm 
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Mr.Zzapback wrote:
By the look of the threads that project is going nowhere, IMO.
They have no clue what they are actually starting or doing.
You have to set the standards high, nobody's waiting for a word-exported-pdf file. I even think it could do harm, if 'everybody' starts doing a tribute mag, without vision. Ex-staff might be put off by all attention and emails and requests. How would they know when a project is serious and worth the hassle?


The trouble is - One guy was in charge to start off with and then suddenly announced "I don't have time, I've got a fanzine to produce" when people asked what was happening (the same guy who used to heavily criticise RG on their own forums then got upset when the staff hit back at him).

Now it seems that they aren't keeping track of things (for example, the adventure section was supposed to be written by an ex-AA person and it seems that it isn't now).

I would like to see the AA project come to fruition but I don't think there is anyone with enough enthusiasm to really get it off the ground - maybe you should be an 'Executive Editorial Consultant' for them, Rob?

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Unless some mag or team of persons picks a project like that up commercially, Zzap! will continue to be the only mag (and rightfully so) having two professional 'tribute' fanmags, and a third one in the pipeline. :wink:

So is Issue 108 going ahead now?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 11:16 pm 
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LeeT wrote:

1:The trouble is - One guy was in charge to start off with and then suddenly announced "I don't have time, I've got a fanzine to produce" when people asked what was happening (the same guy who used to heavily criticise RG on their own forums then got upset when the staff hit back at him).

2:maybe you should be an 'Executive Editorial Consultant' for them, Rob?

3:
So is Issue 108 going ahead now?


1: I know who, well his 'fanzine' isn't bad at all, it could use an art director though. :roll:

2: In their dreams! :D

3:Not by me, but Craig keeps mentioning it more and more. (hint, hint) 8)

I'm into *anything* Crash, Super Play or Mean Machines related, if somebody pays me! :twisted:

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 12:48 am 
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You have to set the standards high, nobody's waiting for a word-exported-pdf file.

Good grief—they're not seriously suggesting producing the thing in Word, are they?

I think you're right, though—if everyone jumps on this band-wagon, it'll dilute the concept, unless every one of the tributes is done to a similar standard to the Zzap! ones. I think people forget that with 107 we had Gazunta (a journalist) organising the thing, Gordon (an ex-Zzap! editor and long-time writer/author) editing, myself (an artist/designer with a decade of experience and a writer with six years of professional experience) designing and sub-editing, hence why it had that professional sheen. And the DEF Tribute had you, Rob, who clearly knows what he's doing design-wise (although I've no idea if you're a professional designer or not) and myself doing some editing and rewriting.

I also doubt that too many fan-mags of this type will be picked up. This may become more likely if someone says to a mag like Retro Gamer "hey, we're nearly done" and flings them an almost-complete PDF (that also happens to look shit-hot and read well), but otherwise no.

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(the same guy who used to heavily criticise RG on their own forums then got upset when the staff hit back at him).

Hmmm... very "professional". Mind you, I got slagged off on that forum a while back by one of the RG team members, despite never even posting there, so that was nice.

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So is Issue 108 going ahead now?

Frankly, it's not terribly likely, but you never know (and Rob's DEF Tribute did spark something in me)—"never" is a long time, as the saying goes.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 2:07 am 
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Well I guess the one thing about issue 108, but that it should be easier to do than 107 since you have a lot of the design stuff available and the experience of it all.

But having said that, I'd say i108 could be quite a while away yet! :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 3:23 am 
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I think the only other mag that might have been loved anywhere near the amount that ZZAP! was/is would be Crash, and I don't see the Speccy mob in a hurry to knock out a tribute/new issue of that.

I think what we've achieved will always stand out among any other efforts in a similar vein, simply because the guys that organised it and all the contributors loved what they were doing, and also had their shit together.

I honestly can't see any other tributes coming close, and everyone, especially the lads that organised and produced 107 and the Def Tribute, should grin stupidly with pride.

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