Author Topic: Project "8bit Stories": Diskmag-like collection of my retro-computer memories  (Read 3936 times)

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Offline Skunkfish

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8-bit Memoirs sounds good to me, and the sneak-peak preview looks lovely  ;D

Offline ||C|-|E||

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I am actually really looking forward to this!  :D

Offline mr_lou

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Status of project "8-bit Memoirs"
« Reply #22 on: 10:05, 28 August 16 »
Small status-update and searching for advice:

All 17 Philips Videopac G7000 texts has been edited for the last time.
All 35 Amstrad CPC texts has been edited for the last time.
All 36 Amstrad CPC videos are ready.

Left to do:
Create 12 Philips Videopac G7000 videos - one of my mates will mod my G7000 in the near future to output an RGB-signal.
Edit 6 Amiga texts (probably a few times).
Create 3 Amiga videos
Create illustrations - sadly my illustrator is dealing with health issues, so I may have to cut down the number of illustrations.  :( (at least if I want to release this any time soon)

So not quite there yet, but there's visible light at the end of the tunnul now.  :)

The text combined takes up the equivalent of 250 pages (and that's excluding the 100 screenhots). The videos alone will take up roughly 10 hours (I think). All in all there ought to be entertainment there for quite some time.


And then I need to ask for some advice.
It has dawned upon me that I may end up paying my webhotel host for the downloads of the project, due to the size of it. That's of course not in my interest.
Does anyone know of various free hosting sites I can upload the ISO file to? Anyone willing to host it for me free of charge? Other ideas?
« Last Edit: 10:13, 28 August 16 by mr_lou »
Currently working on "8-bit Memoirs"; a diskmag-like collection of memoirs about the retro computers I experienced in my childhood.
Will be released as a freely downloadable Blu-ray ISO file, playable with software like PowerDVD and VLC. The ISO can be burned onto a real disc to play with real Blu-ray players (including PlayStation 3, Playstation 4 and XBox One).
Read more here.

Offline robcfg

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Offline mr_lou

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Status of project "8-bit Memoirs"
« Reply #24 on: 05:56, 29 August 16 »
Mega, maybe?

You mean Mega File Upload - Free File Hosting ?
Looks like a good option yes, thanks.
Currently working on "8-bit Memoirs"; a diskmag-like collection of memoirs about the retro computers I experienced in my childhood.
Will be released as a freely downloadable Blu-ray ISO file, playable with software like PowerDVD and VLC. The ISO can be burned onto a real disc to play with real Blu-ray players (including PlayStation 3, Playstation 4 and XBox One).
Read more here.

Offline robcfg

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I was thinking more on the lines of https://mega.co.nz.

Offline mr_lou

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So the very first pre-betatester has been through the disc now. My better half read all of the content (for the very first time) and gave me lots of good feedback along the way. It only took her 3 days to get through the whole thing!  :-\

Quite a few small gramma and spelling errors were corrected.
And I will be cutting down some of the game-videos in order to make room for playlists with my Amstrad and Amiga music.

My mate says I'll be getting my G7000 back next weekend in a modded state so I can start recording the G7000 videos.
Currently working on "8-bit Memoirs"; a diskmag-like collection of memoirs about the retro computers I experienced in my childhood.
Will be released as a freely downloadable Blu-ray ISO file, playable with software like PowerDVD and VLC. The ISO can be burned onto a real disc to play with real Blu-ray players (including PlayStation 3, Playstation 4 and XBox One).
Read more here.

Offline mr_lou

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So, time for a status update.

Since my last post; 4th of September (meaning 7 bloody months ago), absolutely no G7000 videos has been recorded.

This is what keeps happening to me in this project: Everything takes ridiculously long.

I've waited at least a year combined for various illustrators. One at a time they all said they'd do illustrations, except they never did. Then I asked the next one, who said the same and never delivered.

This time my mate would mod my G7000. First, it was delayed. Then it didn't work. Then it produced the wrong colours. Then it still produced the wrong colours. Yes, 7 months has gone by trying to get my G7000 modded. Ridiculous, but that's how it is.

Just before posting this I heard back from another hardware guy posting fotos of the results of HIS RGB mod - with the exact same problem.

I don't suppose anyone here has a G7000 with a proper working RGB mod? Or else a G7400 model with built-in RGB? For sale?

As previously mentioned, I will complete this project no matter what. It may apparently take up to an entire decade, but I will bloody complete it dammit.
I had hoped to complete it for Christmas this year, but it's rather clear that I gotta stop having such silly hopes.
What I will not do is settle for "the next best thing". I will persist until I get the result I want.
Currently working on "8-bit Memoirs"; a diskmag-like collection of memoirs about the retro computers I experienced in my childhood.
Will be released as a freely downloadable Blu-ray ISO file, playable with software like PowerDVD and VLC. The ISO can be burned onto a real disc to play with real Blu-ray players (including PlayStation 3, Playstation 4 and XBox One).
Read more here.

Offline ||C|-|E||

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DonĀ“t worry about the timing, it will be finished when it is finished, and everybody here understands how these kind of things work. Just keep the moral and the enthusiasm and it will be awesome  :) Just as a matter of fact, we had our adventure in beta stage almost six months before the release. However, we decided not to rush anything and keep on working slowly, waiting when it was necessary, until we had it as we wanted  :)
« Last Edit: 23:45, 14 April 17 by ||C|-|E|| »

Offline mr_lou

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It might be a good idea to post the guidelines I've written for other potential authors of future issues of 8-bit Memoirs, so here they are. This text is taken directly from the project, so excuse the references to other texts.
This is for authors who'd like to write their memoirs about the 8-bit computers and games, and share them with the retro-community as an issue of 8-bit Memoirs.
Comments are also welcome.

Guidelines for authors
It is my hope that 8-bit Memoirs issue #1 will motivate other people to start writing their own memoirs, resulting in several future issues of 8-bit Memoirs written by different authors.

Writing an issue of 8-bit Memoirs naturally isn't for everyone. (But what is?)

First of all, you need to have somewhat of an unusual good memory. The stories here in issue #1 begin when I was only 5-6 years old, and yes, I do remember that far back. Not everything that happened of course, and not in great detail either, but I do remember the episodes I'm writing about.

You also have to have had a certain kind of love for these old machines back then. If these computers didn't give you a great time back then, you'll obviously have a hard time remembering them today as something extraordinary.

Next comes the skills required, which actually aren't that many when it comes down to it: You have to know how to write and how to do the necessary research. And most importantly; being patient while doing these things, and allowing the project to take the time it needs to take. Never ever rush it.

Those are actually the only skills you need. Because everything else can be done by other people: The coding of the engine (or compiling into an eBook), music composition, illustrations, photos, videos etc. No one says you have to do everything yourself. In fact, it would be silly to insist on doing everything yourself. So I strongly encourage you to seek assistance from your fellow retro-computer geeks. I certainly didn't do everything myself for issue #1. I had lots of help from many other people. See 005 for a full list of credits and 008 for a list people who helped out with various other things.


Requirements
It would be best if all issues of 8-bit Memoirs had somewhat the same feel, and somewhat the same kind of content about the same topics. Having your own writing-style is of course fine, but the fundamental feel has to be somewhat the same.

As far as I can see, there are only a few requirements you must meet in order to achieve this:
  • The stories must be about the computers and gaming consoles from the 70s and/or 80s and/or 90s.
  • There should preferably be only a single text author for each issue.
  • You must write a minimum of 10 stories. 20 would be good. More would be better.
  • All stories must be written in the English language.
  • Everything should preferably be presented in a diskmag-like GUI, or some other retro-styled presentation.
  • The whole thing must be available for free in some form at some point, if not initially at the time of release, then at least one year after.
Let me elaborate on those:

70s, 80s and 90s
Since the title is 8-bit Memoirs, it makes sense that the stories are actually about the computers and gaming consoles from the 8-bit era. There were of course also 16-bit and even 32-bit computers from that time, but I still think that most of the work we did on these computers was done in 8 bits. Like for example the music I composed with Protracker on the Amiga: It was still 8-bit music despite the Amiga actually having a 32-bit bus. So as already mentioned in 002, the title does not relate to the bit-size of the bus.
It's fine to include stories about 16-bit and 32-bit computers, as long as the majority of the stories are either about the 8-bit ones - or about 8-bit work. If not, then it is outside the scope of 8-bit Memoirs, and would have to reside in another production called "16-bit Memoirs" for example.

Only one author
I feel that all the stories in a given issue should be authored by the same person, in order to achieve a certain consistency. Having created issue #1 myself, I am aware of how much work that requires.
You don't have to be the coder of the engine though, nor the artist of the GUI or illustrations, nor the composer of the background music. While I have authored every single story here in issue #1, a lot of other people has helped out with other things.
I think it would be ok to have multiple authors in some cases though, when a group of people who grew up together each have stories that are more or less linked together.

Minimum 10 stories
Don't be scared by the size of issue #1. Yes, it does have a total of about 60 stories, 50 videos, 100 screenshots and several illustrations too. That's just because it ended up being a lot bigger than I initially aimed for. The same will probably happen to you, but you really don't have to include that much content. You don't even have to add videos or illustrations. In my opinion, I'd say about 10 written stories with a few screenshots should be sufficient for a decent issue of 8-bit Memoirs. But of course, the more the better.
If you feel that even 10 stories is a lot, just wait and see. Once you get started you'll be surprised how the memories start coming back to you. One story will remind you of another, and the next will suddenly need to be split into two separate stories. Suddenly the project will have doubled in size - twice, and you'll end up writing at least 3 times as much as you initially thought you would. That's what happened in my case. (So if you want to do this, you should expect and accept that it might take a year or more just to author the stories - especially if you also have a family and a full-time job).

English language
It has to be an international creation, and all stories should thus be written in the English language.

You're free to write in another language too of course, but in order to use the title 8-bit Memoirs, there has to be an English version available. You could choose to write in your native language, and ask someone else to translate it into English.

Diskmag-like GUI
One of my biggest wishes for the 8-bit Memoirs series is for each issue to give the same cosy atmosphere and feel that diskmags used to give us back in the good old days. Therefore my suggestion is that they should all be presented in a (preferably somewhat retro-styled) diskmag-like GUI. Or at least some other retro-styled presentation, to boost the retro-feeling. The cosy colour-themes and relaxing background music probably being the two most important key elements.
I imagine it's quite possible to create such a diskmag-like GUI with an eBook format like ePub3 nowadays. Or you could choose to use a diskmag-engine like "Panorama" that has also been used for the PC diskmag "Hugi".
An HTML5 web-app could also work. (Preferably one that can run offline after installation).

This diskmag-like GUI is not a requirement though. It's just a strong encouragement. If you'd really rather target another media, like e.g. an old fashioned printed book, then that's acceptable too.

Must be free in some form
Your issue of 8-bit Memoirs must become free for everyone to download or obtain in some form at some point within a year after the release of any commercial version.

"Free" in this context means it shouldn't cost any money. It does not mean that other people are free to edit it and make their own versions. This is not Open Source.

It is fine to also offer a version people can buy.

There can be various reasons why people would want to buy it rather than just settle for the free version. Maybe they'd like to support your work. Maybe they don't want to wait till the free version will be released. Or maybe they just don't have the means to use the free version.

For example: Since issue #1 is created as a Blu-ray disc, I have made the ISO file downloadable for free. This ISO file can then be viewed with a software media player that supports Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J), like VLC or PowerDVD. Or you can burn a disc and watch in a hardware player. But since far from everyone owns a Blu-ray burner and/or the means to print the cover and label, I've also provided a way to buy a disc version. It is not a requirement to provide a commercial version. That's entirely your own decision. You just have to make a free version available.

You are free to use crowd-funding to get started if you want. If the general public knows that you have writing-skills, and/or is particular interested in reading your stories, then crowd-funding might work for you. (Especially if issue #1 becomes popular and successfully creates the interest I'm hoping it will).
It's fine to ask for donations too. As long as the end result is freely available for the readers in some form within a year after any commercial release.

It's also fine to use your issue of 8-bit Memoirs to promote yourself and/or friends. For example, here in issue #1 I'm using background music composed by various artists of IndieGameMusic.com; a site that I created and therefore naturally wish to see gain popularity. Using music from artists of IndieGameMusic.com gives me an opportunity to promote my own site.
If you don't have a project of your own to promote, you could look for someone who'd sponsor you. I.e. pay you money in return for promoting them in your issue. That's allowed too. As long as the end result remains a free download for all - in some version. (I.e. more than just a "demo" version that only contains a few of the stories).

And that's it
Those are, as far as I can see, the only "requirements" there are in order for your stories to qualify as an issue of 8-bit Memoirs.
You are free to target any platform you want.

I went with Blu-ray because of several reasons explained in 002. I imagine most other people might feel like targeting the web instead nowadays. Some might also feel like targeting one of the 8-bit platforms they are writing about. Or maybe go for an old-fashioned printed book. It's entirely your own decision what platform(s) you want to target. There are no requirements that it has to be available on a certain platform. It's up to the readers to obtain the platform you target, either by downloading a certain emulator or a certain software media player or a certain eBook reader.

And finally, I'd like to remind you that the focus of 8-bit Memoirs should be on the stories. So please avoid writing any kind of reviews based on your present day knowledge. Stick to the stories of how you experienced everything back in the day; the childhood magic it was to be introduced to these entertainment systems. Describing the impression these computers and consoles and their games gave you, from the childhood perspective.

Tips'n'tricks
A great way to help yourself remember your stories, is to surround yourself with all kinds of things you remember from those days: Play the games again that you used to play on your 8-bit computer as a child (preferably on a real machine rather than an emulator). Put on the music you used to listen to back then, and watch movies you used to watch back then. Look at old photos and visit the places you used to hang out. Talk to people you used to know back then, see if they remember any episodes that you don't.

If you do these things I'm fairly certain you'll be surprised how many memories suddenly pops up.

I'm looking forward to read your issue of 8-bit Memoirs some day in the future. :-)
« Last Edit: 12:38, 05 May 17 by mr_lou »
Currently working on "8-bit Memoirs"; a diskmag-like collection of memoirs about the retro computers I experienced in my childhood.
Will be released as a freely downloadable Blu-ray ISO file, playable with software like PowerDVD and VLC. The ISO can be burned onto a real disc to play with real Blu-ray players (including PlayStation 3, Playstation 4 and XBox One).
Read more here.