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The must have biography of the infamous Ocean Software - a groundbreaking publisher, developer and innovator.

STRETCH GOAL: Please accept my sincere thanks in getting the campaign to the finish line with over 7 days to go as well!

For the stretch goal, this is my proposal. I am going to arrange a large retro gaming event in Wolverhampton Race course. The venue can hold 1,000+ visitors and will take place over the weekend of the 18th and 19th May and will host arcade machines, pinball tables and retro games and consoles. Take a look at the new website for the event here : www.revivalretroevents.com. I am planning on bringing as many of the Ocean team as I can to the event for a big reunion and to do this I need to a little help in securing the hire of the venue and assisting with travel costs of some of the Ocean crew as many now do not live in the UK. The Galway and Dunn/Biasillo CD will be available at the event and the plan at this time is have both those guys there to sign them for you.

Therefore within the next 7 days let's aim to get the campaign to £16k. Everyone who pledges £60 or more will get a ticket for the event for free along with the PERK they have purchased. Of course if you just want to make a pledge update 'donation', then that is more than welcome also.

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Ocean Software was a revered and well respected software house all over the world, producing and developing iconic games throughout the 8 and 16-bit era. 

'The History Of Ocean' will unfold the story of Ocean; exploring the company's origins, its employees, their games, their music and the iconic artwork that placed the company at the forefront of the games industry for over a decade.

With your support we want to produce the definitive Ocean book - full colour, high production quality and written by Roger Kean of Newsfield, the company that gave us the seminal Crash, ZZap 64 and Amtix magazines.

Ocean Software

Ocean was a British company that was formed back in 1983 by David Ward and Jon Woods and was initially called Spectrum Software. Ocean Software began as a publisher hiring external developers - their first games included Daley Thompson’s Decathlon, Mr Wimpy and The Hamburger Game and Hunchback II: Quasimodo's Revenge.

Deals with Konami saw such titles as Pong and Hypersports be released through their acquired Imagine label.

Then followed the Movie Tie-Ins - Rambo, Short Circuit and Robocop to name but a few.

The company came to the end of its 15 year history in 1998 with the release of Mission Impossible on the Nintendo 64. Over 200 titles had been produced by Ocean by this time.

The Book

'The History of Ocean' will chart the rise and rise of Ocean Software throughout the 1980 and 1990's and will be littered with anecdotes from those that contributed to the company's success as well as photographs, concept graphics, sprites and Ocean memorabilia that has never been seen outside the Ocean Headquarters in Manchester.

The History of Ocean Software - proposed cover
The History of Ocean Software - proposed cover

The Ocean story will be captured by Roger Kean and illustrated by Oliver Frey (responsible for the artwork that defined the Newsfield magazines).

The iconic inlay artwork of Bob Wakelin 'sold' the Ocean games to the buying public - the artwork of such titles as Daley Thompson's Decathlon and Wizball continue to hit a nostalgic chord with retro gamers and will be used throughout the book.

Bob Wakelin : Daley Thompson's Decathalon and Wizball
Bob Wakelin : Daley Thompson's Decathalon and Wizball

'The History of Ocean' will be covering the following areas:

  • The Company
  • The People
  • The Games
  • The Music
  • The Artwork
  • Ocean and what the company meant to other industry veterans.

The Goal

The aim to produce a book for the Ocean fan. With those involved in developing this book being lifelong fans of Ocean, we feel the project is in good hands.

'The History of Ocean' will contain 300 (approx) coloured pages in A4 landscape with a hardback cover with the Ocean logo embossed in its centre. The inside pages will be 100gsm in a silk finish to really show off the artwork and contents within.

The more money raised within the auction the higher the production value with the promise of 'Special' Limited edition copies for the collector.

Perks

We have some great perks on offer including personalised, framed posters from Bob Wakelin himself. If you fancied an A3 or A2 poster of Wizball in your study then you are in the right place.

Further perks will be added to the campaign as we move forward.

Retro Fusion

We have produced four issues of the Retro Fusion magazine and as a result have made friends with with many of the key figures in the gaming industry - these guys are keen to tell us what 'Ocean' means to them. 

We have also become very close to many of the Ocean crew - we will be talking to the following (is your favourite in the list?) :

Jon Woods, Gary Bracey, Mark Jones, James Higgins, Mike Lamb, John Meegan, John Palmer, Brian Flanagan, Mark Rogers, Jon Dunn, Martin Galway, Dean Evans, Lorraine Starr, Bill Harbison, Brian Beuken, Simon Butler, Martin Kenwright (D.I.D.), Barry Leitch, Gari Biasillo, Les Long, Don McDermott, Jon Ritman, Peter Johnson, Paul Patterson, Paul Millar, Jane Millar, Tim Welch, Adele Welch, Alex Lunt, Colin Porch, Ally Noble, Jim Bagley, Steve Blower, Paul Salmon, Colin Bell, Ian Richardson, Paul Hughes, Peter Johnson, Bobby Earl, Kevin Oxland, Marc DJan, Pierre Adane, Steve Thomson, Julian Holtom, Lee Clare, Simon Alty, Haydn Dalton, Kate Duckers.... to name but a few.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The aim is to release the book in the Summer of 2013 to co-incide with a Retro Fusion Event - with the experience of producing four issues of a magazine and the input and expertise of Roger Kean and the Ocean 'employees' the task of producing this book to time, quality and budget should not be an issue.

The task of creating 'The History of Ocean' will be costly and time consuming - the cost primarily represents the printing of such a high quality book. We aim to produce 600 books in total and I need to ensure we sell these books upfront in order that the print run costs are viable and that the books can be sent out to those who bid in the UK for free.

With organising a large retro event in the Summer of 2013, there is a chance that the book may miss the event deadline. I will keep all those that bid on the project informed of any delays - every effort will be made to ensure no delays happen.

Rest assured if my target is not met, your credit card will not be charged and if for any reason I was unable to complete the project I would refund you all in full.

FAQ

  • No, all those who buy the physical book will get a complimentary copy of the digital version.

    Last updated:
  • Yes, you can choose a from Flyer Fox, Hunchback, Matchday, Superbowl, Gryzor, Operation Wolf, Rastan, Renegade III, Target Renegade, The Games '92, Comic Bakery, Daley Thompson's Decathlon, Galivan, Movie, Mutants, Roland's Rat Race, Super Soccer, Wizball, Choplifter 3 (unused artwork), Hypersports, Mikie, Narc, Newzealand Story, Nightmare Rally, Parallax, Parasol Stars, Psycho Soldier, Rainbow Islands, Rainbow Islands (with logo - new rework), Road Frog, Shadow Warriors, Where Time Stood Still, Vindicator, Wizkid

    Cheers,
    Chris

    Last updated:
349
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£16,302
pledged of £12,000 goal
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    10 backers

    For this you get our undying gratitude and a warm, fuzzy feeling of benevolence.

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    31 backers

    DIGITAL - a digital copy of the Ocean book plus a limited postcard signed by the Ocean employees and the book's author Roger Kean.

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    226 backers Limited (374 left of 600)

    BOOK - The Ocean book (UK shipping is free. Please add £6 for Europe and £10 for Worldwide).

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    35 backers Limited (65 left of 100)

    GOING PERSONALISED - A copy of the Ocean book signed by all those who contributed and a personalised message from Roger Kean. Also you will be listed as a Benefactor. (UK shipping is free. Please add £6 for Europe and £10 for Worldwide).

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    21 backers Limited (4 left of 25)

    WAKELIN PERSONALISED - Bob will personalise your copy of the book with a drawing of one of the characters from many of the games he has produced art for - maybe a character from Rainbow Islands or maybe Hunchback or Mikie! Also you will be listed as a Benefactor. And a big THANK YOU for supporting our project. (Please add £6 for Europe and £10 for Worldwide).

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    10 backers Limited (10 left of 20)

    WAKELIN AHOY - A framed, A3 poster of one of Bob Wakelin's famous Ocean cover images - maybe Daley Thompson Decathlon or maybe Batman or even Match Day - signed and personalised by Bob himself plus a copy of the Ocean book. And a big THANK YOU for supporting our project. (Please add £6 for Europe and £10 for Worldwide).

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    7 backers Limited (3 left of 10)

    WAKELIN DELUXE - A framed, A2 poster of one of Bob Wakelin's famous Ocean cover images - maybe Daley Thompson Decathlon or maybe Batman or even Match Day - signed and personalised by Bob himself plus a copy of the Ocean book. Also you will be listed as a Benefactor. And a big THANK YOU for supporting our project. (Please add £6 for Europe and £10 for Worldwide).

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    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    SILVER - A limited run of books with a 'Silver' cover. The book will be provided with a certificate. Also you will be listed as a Benefactor and be able to choose a Bob Wakelin, signed A3 framed poster of your choice. (Please add £6 for Europe and £10 worldwide).

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    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    GOLD - A limited run of books with a 'Gold' cover. Inside there will be an Ocean seal wax of approval and unique book number. The book will be provided with a certificate of authenticity. Also you will be listed as a Benefactor and be able to choose a Bob Wakelin A3 framed poster of your choice. (Please add £6 for Europe and £10 for Worldwide).

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    1 backer All gone!

    CRASH - Framed Issue 1 of Crash magazine (much sought after) signed by Roger Kean and Oliver Frey (Roger = Editor, Oli = cover artist and illustrator), GOLD edition of Ocean Book, A3 Bob Wakelin poster of your choice. (Please add £6 for Europe and £10 for Worldwide).

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    AMTIX - Framed Issue 15 of Amtix (the much sought after one and only Christmas Special of Amtix) signed by Roger Kean and Oliver Frey (Roger = Editor, Oli = cover artist and illustrator), GOLD edition of Ocean book as above and a signed A3 Bob Wakelin poster (Please add £6 for Europe and £10 for Worldwide).

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    OLI - Framed original print by Oliver Frey (Combat Air Control from issue 11 of Amiga Force magazine), GOLD edition of Ocean Book, A3 Bob Wakelin poster of your choice. (Please add £6 for Europe and £10 for Worldwide).

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Funding period

- (30 days)