About this project
Hello! This campaign is to hopefully produce a new exciting book about the Commodore 64. Unlike other books about the C64, it will celebrate the visual side of the computer. Each spread will feature a beautiful image and a few words. This could be a few games facts, a mini review or even a quote from the developer. I am very pleased to announce that industry legends such as Gary Penn, Andrew Hewson, The Oliver Twins, Robin Hogg, Mevlut Dinc, Dan Phillips and Stephen Thomson (S.I.T) will be contributing to the writing in the book plus many more to be announced soon. This will be the first book by new publisher Bitmap Books who specialise in high-end books all about computer games.
The C64 played a massive part in inspiring me to become a Graphic Designer and from an early age I used to actually look forward to the tape loading sequences because you got to see the stunning loading screen artwork! So this book brings together 2 of by biggest passions; Graphic Design and retro gaming and is something that I have always wanted to do. If funded, it will be a massive achievement for me personally but without you guys hopefully backing it (and me) it won't see the light of day. I feel that the idea is original and something I've not seen before done in this way. My ambition is that the book becomes an item that all Commodore 64 collectors and fans want to own.
The final book will be 200 pages and printed lithographically to the highest possible print standards. I will be using a local printer who I have used and known for many years. By using a local printer it will cost more to print opposed to using a printer abroad BUT I will be able to guarantee the quality and the end result will be worth it! It will be printed on high quality paper in full colour. A large chunk of £20K target I have set will cover the postage and printing of the book and what little is left will cover the other costs associated with the project (not forgetting the Kickstater fee!).
Inside the book
The book will start with a foreword by legendary Sensible Software Graphic Artist, Stoo Cambridge. Stoo was heavily inspired by art on the C64 before eventually designing predominantly for the Amiga. Whilst at Sensible, Stoo created artwork for games such as Sensible Soccer, Cannon Fodder and Mega Lo Mania but it was Stoo's initial love for the C64 that inspired his career as a Graphic Artist. Its amazing to have Stoo involved in the book and he is massively passionate about the C64 and been very supportive of this project. Stoo has also kindly agreed to personally sign 25 copies as special rewards.
The book will then be in a chronological order, starting in the very early days with games such as Jupiter Lander and work its way through to the latter days of the C64 featuring games such as Mayhem In Monsterland and Lemmings. It will then finish looking at modern day C64 with interviews with companies such as RGCD and Psytronik Software and modern day programmers like Paul Koller.
Featured throughout the book will be illustrations by Oliver Frey. These amazing illustrations will be printed across double page spreads in full colour. I am really excited to have gained permission from Oliver to print his awesome artwork! His work for Zzap!64 is legendary and really iconic. I have access to high-resolutions images to print.
I have also managed to gain permission to use a selection of game maps. Visually these maps are stunning and its amazing to see them put together as a single graphic. Each map will look great printed across a double page spread and to see them encapsulated in a printed form is something I have not seen since the days of magazines such as Zzap64! or Commodore Format. Websites such as www.c64screenshots.com and www.vgmaps.com features tons of these great maps and both have kindly agreed to let me print their maps in the book.
Also contributing to the maps is ex-Commodore Format writer Andy Roberts. Andy has kindly agreed to me having access to his archive of game maps that were actually used in Commodore Format back in the day!
Finally, will be a selection of 'loader' art featured throughout the book and beautiful photography by Matt Wilsher!
Examples of actual content
I thought it would be good to show actual examples of the writing that will feature in the book. As previously said, there will not be many words but what there will be could be an interview, mini review or a quote of the developer. I am very pleased to announce that industry legends such as Gary Penn, Robin Hogg, Paul Koller, Mevlut Dinc, Dan Phillips and Stephen Thomson (S.I.T) will be contributing to the writing in the book plus many more to be announced soon. Please note that this content is just to give an idea and will change in the final book. Check out the examples below.
A huge thanks to everyone who has agreed to contribute to this book. Here is a list of who is involved in various ways!
- Stoo Cambridge (Sensible Software)
- Gary Penn (Zzap!64)
- Robin Hogg (Zzap!64)
- James Monkman (RGCD)
- Jason 'Kenz' Mackenzie (Psytronik)
- Paul Koller (Micro Hexagon/Super Bread Box)
- Matt Wilsher (The Retro Asylum)
- Mevlut Dinc (Gerry The Germ)
- Andy Roberts (Commodore Format)
- Dan Phillips (Armalyte)
- Stephen Thomson (S.I.T)
- Steven Day (STE'86)
- Jon Hare (Sensible Software)
- Benjamin Wimmer (c64screenshots.com)
- Jonathan Leung (VGMaps.com)
- Philip & Andrew Oliver (The Oliver Twins)
- Andrew Hewson & Rob Hewson (Hewson Consultants)
- Steve Rowland (Thalamus)
- Robin Levy (Armalyte)
- Jacco Van 't Riet (Boys without Brains)
- Jonathan Temples (Thalamus/Codemasters)
- James Leach (Commodore Format)
I have tried to create a series of well prices rewards that will hopefully suit all backers. These range from £5 right up to £1000.
Each backer will get a 'Loader' postcard from me personally thanking them! There are 5 in total to collect.
Special rewards include personally signed books by Stoo Cambridge and also the chance to own your OWN spread in the book. You choose the game to be featured and even write your own mini-review to accompany the image. Please note that if you purchase this reward you will need to supply a first and second choice game and I will pick one. This is only to hopefully avoid duplication through the book.
I have recently added some new exciting pledges. These include: signed Thalamus goodies, signed Psytronik goodies, a personalised avatar by legendary C64 artist S.I.T, signed Dizzy map poster, a signed Roger Frames print, signed Oliver Frey goodies and a 'one off' framed Last Ninja print signed by original artist; Steinar Lund.
And then the icing the the cake is that RGCD are producing 100 copies of Micro Hexagon by Paul Koller exclusively for my campaign. Im really excited to be collaborating with such an amazing company. Each copy comes packaged with a hand-made cartridge to work on an actual C64. They also include a vinyl sticker, booklet and poster. Only 100 of these will ever be made so will be very desirable. 50 will even be signed by programmer Paul Koller and musician Mikkel Hastrup. Please note: the game will be PAL only. Worldwide postage of Micro Hexagon is free but if you require postage insurance, there will be an additional £5.30 to pay.
(The below image is a mock up and not representative of final professional print quality. A2 and A3 posters are still in production and not shown. Any copies of Micro Hexagon remaining after this campaign will be available at the online RGCD store at an unspecified date).
About Micro Hexagon
Micro Hexagon by Paul Koller recently came in at 2nd place in RGCD's 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition. Programmed by the talented Paul Koller (Super Bread Box/C64anabalt) this is a stunning Commodore 64 demake of Terry Cavanagh's Super Hexagon. Check out the official video below.
Finally there is a chance to have a full page advert placed in the book next to the campaign supporters. For this reward you will get a signed booked, signed game and the chance to promote your company to many people. Please note: I am unable to print anything containing 'adult content' if you know what I mean!
A special thanks to GamesYouLoved who have been major supporter of this campaign right from the start. GamesYouLoved is born out a love of retro games of every description from your childhood. By being reminded of the retro games through images and video, what people say about them and things you were doing at the time, you are unlocking these memories to see, share and enjoy. They love retro gaming!
- Sub: www.youtube.com/gamesyouloved
- Follow: www.twitter.com/gamesyouloved
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gamesyouloved
- Site: www.gamesyouloved.com
Also a huge thanks to my wife Sally who has supported me and put up with me talking non stop about this book for months on end!
If I raise more than my campaign total, I will use the extra money to add extras to the print spec of the book. This will include adding a dustcover and extra pages to the pagination. See the graphic below for what I propose if I go over the 20K target. Please note that I have had to take into consideration the extra costs (beyond printing) associated with going over my total such a extra Kickstarter fees and higher postage due to weight increase.
Postage within the UK will be free but unfortunately I will have to charge £5 extra if posting abroad due to the high postage costs.
Each book will be securely packaged in a corrugated book wrap and every care will be taken to ensure that the book arrives to you in perfect condition!
Design of the books will be finished in August and will be printed and ready to be posted in September 2014.
Any questions, please ask!
Risks and challenges
When producing a book there are normally certain risks associated with it which hopefully I have minimised. As a Graphic Designer by trade I am perfectly placed to deliver this project to a very high standard. I have over 10 years experience in design and print so am used to seeing through books and brochures of this size.
The other risk could be quality control of the print. By using a local printer, I am paying more but I can guarantee the print quality. I will personally oversee the whole process and will make sure it is printed correctly to the highest possible standards.
The final 'grey area' is around copyright. Now, I have NO intention of been dishonest or annoying anyone so I have done my absolute best to get permission where possible for the imagery used. Some of these companies are 30 years old and no longer exist so are impossible to track down. I have gained written permission from Oliver Frey and the various map websites. EVERY SINGLE image used will be credited with the owners details. This book is celebrating the wonderful artwork and in no instances will it be manipulated or altered in any way.
As said, this is a grey area and I have done my absolute best. Technically as it is a reference book, I did not even need to gain permission but wanted to purely out of common courtesy.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Sorry, Kickstarter only supports credit card payments (their words not mine!)
Micro Hexagon will be shipped by RGCD in May 2014.
The book will be shipped in September 2014
The book will feature games by developers from all over the world. It will not just be UK based.
That is me trying to me clever. It is a play on words but admittedly, it is quite subtle!
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