HyperPlay RPG Fanzine – review
Aug08

HyperPlay RPG Fanzine – review

I’m probably the wrong person to be reviewing a fanzine concerning all things RPG. I have never been the biggest fan of the genre. Nevertheless I will do my best to be objective and look at this through the eyes of an RPG fan so here goes… When the fanzine arrived on my doorstep I was hit by a sense of nostalgia. This is a proper old-school fanzine, similar in looks to the music fanzines I used to subscribe to back in the 80s, but in this case not photocopied and unlike those fanzines of old, this one is legible! Presented in monochrome this 40 page ‘zine covers “all retro RPGs and any-bit Nintendo” and is currently the “world’s only retro RPG print fanzine” (so stated on the cover). I must say, in these days of PDFs, online media and expensive glossy magazines, to hold a true fan-made tribute to a niche gaming genre in your hands is a real treat. Inside HyperPlay RPG The fanzine itself is attractive with a nicely illustrated cover, with inside pages clearly numbered and indexed on the inside front cover, making it easy to find the section of the magazine you wish to read. Regular sections include the obligatory reviews (big and small), a news section, readers letters, book review, readers review, play tests, tips for collectors and more besides. Each section is packed with information – this ‘zine is not something that you will read over a lunch break. A lot of time and effort has clearly gone into editing and research and this results in some very meaty content indeed – something you will be picking up over and over, finding sections you have yet to read. Reviews are in-depth and well worded (a certain mainstream magazine could take a few lessons here) and the interaction with readership is obviously important to the editorial staff, which is after all, what makes a fanzine work. In summary The attention to detail and the obvious care with which this ‘zine has been crafted are what makes it stand out for me. And although I am not the biggest fan of the genre, I have to admit to having a lot more respect for it now, having read the ‘zine from cover to cover. So much so, I am considering subscribing just to keep abreast of all things RPG, at the very least so I know what I am talking about when someone broaches the subject in conversation! I can’t think of a better way of doing it either. My only gripe – I read the ‘how to win big at eBay’ article –...

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Commodore Amiga in Pixels Kickstarter goes live and hits goal in one day
Jun13

Commodore Amiga in Pixels Kickstarter goes live and hits goal in one day

The date is Saturday 11th June. The venue? The Centre for Computing History, Cambridge, England and another exciting Kickstarter launch event for Chris Wilkins and Fusion Retro Books, who’s previous works include the The ZX Spectrum in Pixels Vols. 1-3, Ocean The History and The Story of US Gold amongst others. This time it is for a book on the mighty Commodore Amiga entitled The Commodore Amiga in Pixels. Relaxed faces prior to the Q and A session Q and A session in progress with Darrell Etherington, Roger Kean, Oliver Frey, Archer Maclean and Ben Daglish Stoo Cambridge signing a Sensible Soccer canvas Mevlut Dinc signing a canvas perk Archer Maclean signing IK+ canvas perks Stoo Cambridge, Mevlut Dinc, Archer Maclean and Robin Levy Q and A session with Robin Levy, Mevlut Dinc, Stoo Cambridge, David Pleasance and Archer Maclean One day later and the book is already 110% funded (at the time of writing) and heading towards the stretch goals, which currently include a new album by Allister Brimble that will include re-imaginings of 10 of the best tracks that David Whittaker composed for the Commodore Amiga and a copy of Retro Now!, a new 68 page magazine covering all aspects of retro games, movies, cartoons and comics. I these weren’t enough to get your retro appetities truly whetted, Chris has just announced the latest perk; an Amiga version of the Spectrum and C64 classic Starquake, which is being produced by Galahad with the full blessing of original programmer Steve Crow. This perk will feature a boxed disk version of the game with artwork by Trevor Storey. Stretch goal: Alister Brimble CD Stretch goal: Retro Now! magazine The book itself will be a high quality 268 page hardback or softback featuring the usual ‘in Pixels’ treats; a foreword by David Pleasance – former managing director of Commodore UK, double-page games reviews and over 30 memoirs from Amiga luminaries such as David Lowe, Stoo Cambridge, Archer Maclean and Jez San. Also featured within The Commodore Amiga in Pixels will be an article on the history of the Amiga computer written by Roger Kean, joint founder of Newsfield Publications who gave us Crash, Zzap! 64 and The Games Machine. This section will contain new images of each and every Amiga released by Commodore taken by Johnnathan Taylor who took photos of his C64 collection for The story of the Commodore 64 in Pixels which we reviewed here. You can back this awesome looking book by pledging on the Kickstarter page here.     Links Fusion Retro Books website: http://www.fusionretrobooks.com Kickstarter page:...

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Memoirs of a Spectrum Addict Film interview at the Centre for Computing History
May28

Memoirs of a Spectrum Addict Film interview at the Centre for Computing History

Those of you who have seen me the wrong side of the camera lense on my YouTube channel will know beyond any doubt that I’m never going to be a film star. So imagine my surprise, mild panic, anguish and a few other emotions when Andy Remic decided to include me in his interview list for his upcoming feature length film – Memoirs of a Spectrum Addict. Me. In a film. Aaargh. The iconic Sinclair Building, 25 Willis Road, Cambridge 6 King’s Parade, former offices of Sinclair Research Will gets to grips with Jet Set Willy on the Tatung Einstein Taking a rollercoaster ride on the Oculus Rift. Playing on my old friend, the ZX81. Interview begins! Andy Remic, myself and Mark Howlett Memoirs of a Spectrum Addict, which was successfully Kickstarted in August last year, is unsurprisingly about the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, the effect it had on a generation of coders and gamers and the enduring legacy that came from it’s popularity. This is done through a series of interviews with gamers, developers, designers and (where I come in) fans. To think I will be in the same film as such Spectrum legends as Rick Dickinson, The Oliver Twins, Jonathan Cauldwell, Clive Townsend and Steve Turner is mind-blowing. Filming was on Saturday 20th May at the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge and I journeyed over with my friend Will, who also happens to be a big Sinclair fan. We decided to make a day of it and had a mini Sinclair ‘pilgrimage’ to 25 Willis Rd and 6 King’s Parade – both former addresses of Sinclair Research, before heading back to the Centre for filming where we were made to feel most welcome by Jason Fitzpatrick, the Centre’s curator. Nerves-a-jangling, I was filmed in the Centre’s Archives (a treat in itself) by Andy alongside fellow Spectrum fanatic Mark Howlett AKA @Lord_Arse who I had previously never met but often chatted to via social media. Mark turned out to be a real pleasure to meet and be interviewed alongside whilst Andy helped keep the nerves at bay during filming and was a true professional. Thank you both! All in all, an amazing day out in some great company and in an amazing setting that was tantamount to letting kids loose in a sweet shop. More information about Memoirs of a Spectrum Addict can be found on the website here, or to pre-order a copy visit the pre-order page on the Remic Media website.   Links Memoirs of a Spectrum Addict Website: http://www.spectrumaddict.co.uk Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zxspectrumaddict/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/spectrumaddict Centre for Computing History Website: http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/computinghistory Twitter: https://twitter.com/computermuseum Mark Howlett...

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The Fantasy Art of Oliver Frey Extended Edition Kickstarter launches
Apr29

The Fantasy Art of Oliver Frey Extended Edition Kickstarter launches

This stunning new book; The Fantasy Art of Oliver Frey Extended Edition, published by Fusion Retro Books and written by Roger Keane is a follow on from the extremely popular original book by the same author. Those of you who read Crash, Zzap 64 or Amtix will need no introduction to Oli’s work, his iconic magazine cover art will live with us forever. Book cover This hardcover-only book covers the history of the man behind the artwork and groups his artwork together in sections from monsters and aliens to heroes and villains. The 224 page book, which is already completely written, also contains an extra 52 pages over the original, highlighting some of Oli’s more recent work. As you have come to expect from a Retro Fusion Books Kickstarter campaign, there are also some unique perks on offer including signed books, signed 16×12″ canvasses of Oliver Frey’s art and postcard packs. Pledge your support for this beautiful new book here. Canvas perk Canvas perk Canvas perk Links: Kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/47744432/the-fantasy-art-of-oliver-frey Fusion Retro Books website:...

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Nintendo 64 Anthology launches Kickstarter campaign
Apr14

Nintendo 64 Anthology launches Kickstarter campaign

An English adaptation of the popular hardback book; the Nintendo 64 Anthologie by Geeks-Line and penned by Math Malent is 98% complete, primed and ready for funding via Kickstarter. We are proud to announce that Retro Games Collector is supporting this campaign for this amazing book which covers Nintendo’s highly influential console which sold over 33 million units worldwide and became reknowned for being the first true 3D-based gaming console. As one of the most prolific collectors of Nintendo 64 games in the world Math Malent is well qualified to pen this comprehensive book which takes the reader on a journey through a complete history of the machine alongside a detailed description of it’s complete software library and interviews with those involved in the design and development of the console at the time. With over 350 pages, the entire game library of 388 games, cancelled games, accessories, collector’s editions and all the Nintendo 64 console variants included, this beautifully finished hardback book really does cover it all. Interviews include Martin Hollis (Rare – GoldenEye), Eric Caen (Titus – Superman) which encompasses both the most sublime and the worst of what the machine had to offer. There are several versions of the book on offer; The Classic Edition, The Collectors Edition – featuring a limited edition cover and slipcase, The Box Art Collection which includes a box art collection of over 750 of the games published for the N64 and the Custom Zelda Edition Pack which includes a limited edition and signed Zelda Nintendo 64 custom painted by American artist, James Harvard. The release of the book is has been set to coincide with the 20th Aniversary of the launch of the Nintendo 64 – September 29th 2016.   T The Kickstarter campaign launched today (Thursday April 14th) – check it out here.   Links Kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2099439603/nintendo-64-anthology-the-ultimate-book Twitter:...

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Fusion Funding – new funding website launches
Apr05

Fusion Funding – new funding website launches

‘The Little Book of Spectrum Games’ ‘The Little Book of Spectrum Games’ Not dissimilar to other well known crowdfunding sites visually Wouldn’t it be great to have a new crowdfunding site, specifically for the retrogaming community? After all, Kickstarter and Indiegogo are awash with retro projects at the moment and having one tailored to retro gamers would make life easier for us all. Thankfully, Chris Wilkins – founder of Fusion Retro Books and author of the ZX Spectrum in Pixels Volumes 1-3 (see our reviews here: Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3), as well as books on Ocean and US Gold has now launched his very own funding website (Fusion Funding) to be used for smaller projects and for third party retro projects in the future. Fusion Funding also has a social side to it too and has features that will enable it to be used as a hub for the retro community to use for news and to share and promote ideas. Chris says: “I have successfully used Kickstarter to raise funds to produce the books I have published to date, and will continue to use the platform going forwards for the larger projects. I thought it would be a good idea to do spin off projects to the main books like producing mini books full of just the games on a platform like the ZX Spectrum or Commodore 64. So I came up with the idea of putting together a site called Fusion Funding. The site has a social element like Facebook – a wall where you can post, videos, photos, events etc. It also has a campaign manager a little like Kickstarter. So I put the site together – added a campaign to raise funds to produce a book called ‘The Little Book of Spectrum Games’ and pressed the ‘go’ button. The response has been great so far. In a few days the funding is up to nearly £700 and over 60 retro fans have joined the site. If this initial campaign is successful, then I will be opening it up to others in the retro community who would like to run their own projects on the site.” We wish Fusion Funding every success and really look forward to seeing the first campaign come to fruition along with any that follow, whether by Chris or others in the retro community.   Links Fusion Funding: www.fusionfunding.co.uk Fusion Retro Books:...

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