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New Release: Super Play Issue 12 (October 1993)

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Of course big thanks to everyone who worked on this, but I've gotta admit it seems like an odd choice of mags to scan. I say this because there is already a pretty much perfect (even better than this one) scan of this issue over at the Out-Of-Print Archive. Considering how much effort is involved in scanning/editing these things, we might as well do mags that aren't available elsewhere or are in need of an improved scan. Again, I'm not denigrating anyone's efforts, just putting in my 2 cents.

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There is one key difference. The owner of that site does not allow people to mirror content, whereas this can be mirrored anywhere.

I would prefer we at least be allowed to link Out-Of-Print Archive in the database and mark those issues as preserved, but apparently that's not allowed either. I understand why hotlinking is not allowed, but a general link and status change would be helpful.

Anyways I don't mind multiple scans being available and actually encourage it. I don't think we encourage it enough. You may think the OOPA's version is better but I know there are people like KiwiArcader who prefer scans without the white levels adjusted. The more I scan that way, the more I prefer it too, but it's not a big deal.

Also, Depressor edited the 300 DPI version, so a higher resolution edit is still available, if you prefer.

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Also now that I look more closely I noticed that Depressor edited out the spine on the last page. Why'd you do that, man? That would have been another leg up on the OOPA version. :P

Oh well I'll keep the unedited version up on archive.org then.

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Also now that I look more closely I noticed that Depressor edited out the spine on the last page. Why'd you do that, man?

You want something like this?) Take and reupload)

P.S. never saw the spines in the scans, so i never think that they are necessary.

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You want something like this?) Take and reupload)

P.S. never saw the spines in the scans, so i never think that they are necessary.

They're not necessary at Retromags, but I personally consider them part of the magazine, so I try to make sure they're preserved. I have this idea that someday in the future people will read magazine scans through VR and they'll store them on a virtual shelf with the spines facing out. Maybe. Who knows, but I like them.

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There is one key difference. The owner of that site does not allow people to mirror content, whereas this can be mirrored anywhere.

I would prefer we at least be allowed to link Out-Of-Print Archive in the database and mark those issues as preserved, but apparently that's not allowed either. I understand why hotlinking is not allowed, but a general link and status change would be helpful.

They used to be admins here and when there was a bust up they removed or asked for all their scans to be removed from Retromags. Wasn't a good time and no, they don't like people linking to their scans even now which is weird given they have absolutely no ability to control someone making their scans available elsewhere any more than we at Retromags or OGM can.

The whole idea of preservation includes disseminating them so that if a site disappears they aren't lost forever otherwise it's no different to not scanning them in the first place. That's why I've been letting people know via my W.I.P when I release USA mags over at OGM so that if someone wants to make them available here they can as long as credit is given. Mutual co-operation has got to be better for everyone than holding on to an elitist position in my books. If sites took that position we wouldn't need to create separate scans and it would make preservation a whole lot easier but alas it isn't the case so we do what we have to do ....

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The whole idea of preservation includes disseminating them so that if a site disappears they aren't lost forever otherwise it's no different to not scanning them in the first place.

Well, I realize I don't run Retromags or Oldgamemags, but if I did, I've gotta say that should the Out-Of-Print Archive ever go kaput, I'd have no reservations at that point about uploading all of their scans. For now they're welcome to their exclusivity if that's the way they want it, but the resources are too valuable to ever let them simply disappear.

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There is one key difference. The owner of that site does not allow people to mirror content, whereas this can be mirrored anywhere.

I would prefer we at least be allowed to link Out-Of-Print Archive in the database and mark those issues as preserved, but apparently that's not allowed either. I understand why hotlinking is not allowed, but a general link and status change would be helpful.

Anyways I don't mind multiple scans being available and actually encourage it. I don't think we encourage it enough. You may think the OoPA's version is better but I know there are people like KiwiArcader who prefer scans without the white levels adjusted. The more I scan that way, the more I prefer it too, but it's not a big deal.

Also, Depressor edited the 300 DPI version, so a higher resolution edit is still available, if you prefer.

I understand that it can come of as overly protective. Heck, some even call it elitist.

Yet I can assure you it is not.

It comes down to having different philosophies.

For instance, we deliberatly distance ourselves from sites who accept monetary donations.

This is a touchy subject for many publishers and thus we don't even want to give the impression that we condone making money of other peoples IPs, even how big or small the amounts might be.

We don't forbid our scans to be linked nor shared, and don't even mind that they would be rehosted in case anything happened to us in the future.

All we ask for is to respect our wishes and most importantly intent and requests of the people who made the magazine in the first place.

In the work we have done with certain publishers during the past 7 years, it has come up more than once that we have to stay away from certain things, be that certain publications or even to distance us from certain sites. That's just how it goes.

Sites that seem dubious to them or ones that sometimes even come of as hostile to them (not specifically RM, just to be clear here) in any way can't be something we seem to indorse, nor would we want to.

In the end it should be all about the love we share for these classic magazines which hold tons of memories as well as respect for every single person who made them possible in the first place.

The internet is already hostile enough, so I just wanted to clear this up.

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I'll admit that monetary donations are a tricky issue. I feel that there is nothing wrong with accepting donations in order to pay for the server space to keep the site's downloads available. The site is a public resource; expecting a single individual to fund its existence is unreasonable in my opinion. However, once the server fees are accounted for, any additional monies received could be a matter of debate. Retromags diverts such funds into an eBay fund, I believe, which goes towards buying more magazines to be scanned for the site. But I personally have no say in what magazines get purchased, nor do any of the magazines I personally buy via auction for the purpose of scanning get subsidized by said eBay fund, so I can see why it could be a matter of contention.

All things considered, though, any publisher of a periodical publication who takes issue with copies of their publication which are over 15 years old being publicly shared is being contentious without reason. There is absolutely no justifiable argument they could make for why such a thing would negatively impact their sales. No one is going to pass on buying the current issue of MagazineX just because they're pretty sure they'll be able to download it from Retromags for free 15 years from now...that's just ludicrous.

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I understand that it can come of as overly protective. Heck, some even call it elitist.

Yet I can assure you it is not.

It comes down to having different philosophies.

For instance, we deliberatly distance ourselves from sites who accept monetary donations.

This is a touchy subject for many publishers and thus we don't even want to give the impression that we condone making money of other peoples IPs, even how big or small the amounts might be.

We don't forbid our scans to be linked nor shared, and don't even mind that they would be rehosted in case anything happened to us in the future.

All we ask for is to respect our wishes and most importantly intent and requests of the people who made the magazine in the first place.

In the work we have done with certain publishers during the past 7 years, it has come up more than once that we have to stay away from certain things, be that certain publications or even to distance us from certain sites. That's just how it goes.

Sites that seem dubious to them or ones that sometimes even come of as hostile to them (not specifically RM, just to be clear here) in any way can't be something we seem to indorse, nor would we want to.

In the end it should be all about the love we share for these classic magazines which hold tons of memories as well as respect for every single person who made them possible in the first place.

The internet is already hostile enough, so I just wanted to clear this up.

I'm more confused now than I was before! You're from OOPA, but I see that you're also a lifetime patron of Retromags? Is that an honorary title or did you donate? Because, if you donated or contributed, then you'd be associated with a site that accepts donations.

Regardless, no one "makes money" doing what we do and if any publisher thought it was possible they would be doing it themselves. It doesn't make sense to me that OOPA would be okay with scans being linked and shared, but not by organizations and communities like ours who pooled resources together to make the endeavor a little easier. It's our enthusiasm and love that brought us together, but it matters more in the end is that not a penny changed hands? Are money and love mutually exclusive? Would you tell museums or libraries they can't host any copies because they are funded by members and local communities?
We are lucky when there are still publishers who want to be involved in preservation, even if it's just to be part of the ethical discussion. It helps to identify which magazines are truly in danger of being lost. However, legally there's no need to involve them, as strange as that sounds. Courts are consistently ruling that scanning and making a searchable database of magazines is "transformative." It makes sense for the very reason that it's not a profitable venture in the first place, that it requires a significant investment of time, labor, equipment, and other resources. It's important to respect and appreciate the original creators, but let's remember who's doing the work here.

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Long story.

Used to be a co-owner. Trust was lost on both sides when things that shouldn't have happened, did.

Ended up leaving and creating something new with a different approach and stuck to that.

Was offered the keys to the whole shebang here and turned it down without any regrets.

Dunno where the parton things comes from as I haven't been here in many years, but rest assured I did not donate any money.

Not looking to get into another internet fight as that's what it always has to turn into it seems, so I'll leave it at that.

When you have a counter on your page with a couple of thousands of dollars, it looks bad to certain people. Especially when you take a look at the way print has been going the last decade.

We don't approach publishers, editors and writers because we legal need to, we do it out of respect and courtesy to them.

Heck, a lot of the time it's the other way around and they end up contacting us.

We have our way of how to make this work and don't meddle with other projects, even though sometimes a bit of advice might be justified and that doesn't have anything to do with the money issue btw.

But from experience it seems that such things are either taken the wrong way or even turned into something else on purpose, so we keep quiet and just do our thing.

The approach we have taken has showed us over the years time and again that it's very much appreciated by people in the industry, or who used to be in the industry, so we don't see the need to change that.

I'm certainly no legal expert and can only do what I feel is right.

So when these people bring up certain proposals or viewpoints, which up till this point have always aligned with ours (with the exception of Dave Halverson and Steve Harris, again a money thing, but not related to what is discussed here), I can only abide by them as I wouldn't have anyway.

Again, links and such are fine, as long as the sites in question don't gain any income from scanning and distributing said items, or claim any ownership of them.

If you want to do so, fine, go ahead. I honestly don't care one bit.

It's just that I can't and won't be part of that, and not just because the promises that we've made, which we fully intend to keep.

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HI Meppi,

How goes it with the house reno's? Hope all is tracking on well for you.

I'm guessing your comment re "elitist" is a reference to my comments in this thread. I can assure you that actually wasn't aimed at you believe it or not but actually at David Haynes over at Bombjack.org who was more than happy to receive submissions from me but then wouldn't reciprocate by allowing me to use some of his over at my site. That is, in my books an "elitist" attitude. This whole magazine preservation scene really is made up of two components:

  1. Sites like Retromags, OOPA, Bombjack and OGM who actively scan older content for the purposes of preventing their being lost forever .... and
  2. Sites like WorldofMags, Emuparadise who take other sites content for their own and/or pirate current content thus depriving publishers of potential revenue

There's not much we can do about the second type of sites as they pretty much don't give a rats ass about the consequences of their actions, just as the people leeching off our sites and re-posting files elsewhere while giving nothing back don't either.

What is rather more depressing however, is that the sites in the first group don't really give a toss about anyone other than themselves either. There are not a lot of people actively scanning content out there so having to scan content already available on one site simply because they want to retain possession of their content to me is simply a waste of time that could be better spent scanning previously unreleased content, especially when the current scans are good quality anyway.

In an ideal world the likes of OOPA, Retromags and OGM should be actively engaged in laying out what content they have so that one entity could take ownership of scanning a particular title for all the sites to use. In some ways Retromags and OGM are actually now on that path as I am making my USA content available here while Phillyman has been seeding UK purchases to marktrade to scan and allow my site to use them as well. I see this as a real way to move preservation ahead at a faster pace.

It's just a shame OOPA has a different agenda but that's how you choose to operate and I have no issues with that. The ONLY thing that I actually have a beef with you would be if I had donated my collection of magazines to you in the belief that they would be preserved I'd be pretty darned unhappy at the singular lack of progress that OOPA has made over the years. Releases have been glacial with lots of re-releases of existing content rather than new releases. Unfortunately triverse has flown the coop by the look of it and nreive is fairly M.I.A as well which just leaves you to carry the site. Someone who has given you hundreds of magazines for preservation might be likely feeling pretty unhappy that not only do they no longer have their physical copies but there's little chance of seeing digital versions on the horizon either. I know I would be if I was in that boat about now.

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There's still a ton of work to be done on the home, but it's starting to feel like a home.

Still need to break out the floors, redo the plumbing, heating, new windows, doors, kitchen, bathroom, etc. But those are all things that are planned for the next 10 years or so as I want to get them done right instead of quickly, which costs a ton of money.

In between all the work going on, I do love to spend time in the garden which is coming along nicely as well.

Even got some unexpected visitors this past week.

It's taken from inside so don't mind the cat hammock and the anti "bird go splat against the windows" stickers. ;)

qFv9nr1.jpg

The thing with the rereleases is, you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.

We've been over this quite a few times already and you've been very critical about how my scans used to look. Rightfully so in several occasions.

That is one of the reasons why I spent many months perfecting all kinds of settings to make sure that not only the new scans, but also the old ones that were done on a totally different scanner look pretty much perfect compared to their physical counterparts.

As we all know, making a digital magazine look spot on is near impossible. Each scanner "interprets" colours in a different way. so the output can be very inconsistent. Some colours look good enough while others can be way off.

Finding the correct balance and settings to make everything play well together is hard enough as it is. Some scans look washed out while other, like mine were way to fluo heavy and bright compared to the originals.

So instead of just running the old issues through the batch converter and making the colours look spot on, I've decided to give the old scans another editing pass as well since I've learned a lot from past mistakes and honed some nice techniques over the years that make things look very nice.

This naturally takes time, more so on the oldest issues.

Oh and I didn't adres this before, but the while white levels adjusting or "bleaching" of pages doesn't happen anymore and hasn't been implemented for many years now. Actually I'm in the progress of reversing those effects in the older scans I'm working on. Right now that's Dreamcast Magazine and Super Play.

As for people "dropping off", you know, life gets in the way. That's just how it goes.

Same with me really. Fist there was the appendix bursting and nearly dying thing, which screwed up my health quite severely.

Then a couple of years later that all came back for me and I spent 2 months in bed and 3 months at home due to sickness.

Last year it was the move (which I really needed, again for health reasons. This time physical and mental as my former home was in a neighbourhood filled with scum and drugs. That's why I moved to the countryside and picked a home with lots of privacy and a big yard with tons of wildlife.) and the tons of work that came with it.

It is what it is.

The slow new releases don't mean that there isn't any work being done, far from it in fact.

I'm sitting on two brand new issues with the third one about 3-4 hours away from completion and the fourth one ready to get going.

But I'm saving those up for the summer. August more specifically, so we can pay tribute to the late Hudson Summer Carnivals that they used to have back in the day with shoot em up competitions all through Japan. It's not the same, but I'm planning on having a new issue of this new magazine out each Saturday in August. It might even surprise you which one we've picked. ;)

On the subject of donated magazines not getting scanned, I explicitly mention this to people who come forward. About how it might take quite a lot of time before I can get to certain magazines and how each one takes up around 40 hours/100 pages. Combined with a 40 hour work week and an hour commute each day, that doesn't leave much room for hobbies.

I have never heard anything bad from people who previously donated magazines.

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About how it might take quite a lot of time before I can get to certain magazines and how each one takes up around 40 hours/100 pages.

Holy crap. And I thought I was slow. :o

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Yeah, it takes up a ton of time.

I scan every page from each side, so that I get the spine sides as well without any distortions.

I can scan about 40 pages in 2 hours, perhaps a bit less if things go well. (these are actually 80 scans)

Joining each page seemlesly back together, straightening and cropping them takes about 3 hours for 100 pages.

Unless there's parts of the top or bottom of the pages that aren't scanned correctly in which case those strips need to be scanned again and edited into the pages.

Editing or more specifically restoration takes on average 15-20 minutes per page, but can go up to an hour or even more when there's major problems.

And cover pages, which mostly take the harshest abuse over the years take anywhere from two to five hours to complete.

After that, all the tiff files get batch converted into jpgs with all the colour corrections applied. The draft cbz is made and then I painstakingly go over every inch one last time and edit out any spots and other things I missed the first time around. This also takes a couple of hours.

I created a small feature article on the site a couple of years ago to show what exactly goes into restoring a magazine, as most people think we just slap a magazine on a scanner and call it a day.

http://www.outofprintarchive.com/articles/features/out-of-print/the_restoration_process.html

At the bottom of the page you get 5 clickable full-page examples gifs.

They can take a bit to load, but give a nice example of how much can go into this. They are gifs though, so don't mind the artefacts and loss in details. Those don't show up in the final jpgs.

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It's your system, so if it works for you that's fine. Personally, I already feel as if I'm throwing away too many valuable hours of my life doing this stuff. If it took me 80-100 hours to do just one magazine (usually about 180-250 pages), I would give it up in a heartbeat with no regrets. 100 hours spent editing magazine scans is a hell of a lot of life spent un-lived.

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I agree fully, that's why I do this while listening to podcasts, watching other programs and such.

And it's also why it's easy to burn out for several weeks and need some time away from it all, thus making the release schedule even lighter.

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Again, links and such are fine, as long as the sites in question don't gain any income from scanning and distributing said items, or claim any ownership of them.

If you want to do so, fine, go ahead. I honestly don't care one bit.

It's just that I can't and won't be part of that, and not just because the promises that we've made, which we fully intend to keep.

Since Retromags doesn't gain any income and one of the main requirements for a magazine to be linked in the database is that it's scanned by a Retromags user, it sounds like we have the okay. As a scanner I feel the most valuable thing about Retromags isn't the hosting or distributing of magazines but the information database that assists the collaborative effort of tracking down which magazines need attention. I'll get confirmation from the curators here, but I think it would be great if we could at least link OOPA in the database.

You mentioned that each scanner has its own color faults. This has been one of my main areas of research recently. I've been purchasing color targets so I could scan them and calibrate my scanners. My ADF is a real challenge because the dmax is lower than most color targets, but having a custom color profile for one's scanner goes a long way to assist in color correction and minimizes the need for manual corrections. I'm wondering if you've also calibrated your scanner? Manually or with a color target or a combination?

I should be getting some more targets from Germany any day now. You can see my updates in my work in progress thread.

Also you're more than welcome to take any of my unedited scans on archive.org and edit them for OOPA. They were purchased by Phillyman and subsidized by Retromags' eBay Slush Fund, so that might make them off limits to you, but it's okay with me.

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Since Retromags doesn't gain any income and one of the main requirements for a magazine to be linked in the database is that it's scanned by a Retromags user, it sounds like we have the okay. As a scanner I feel the most valuable thing about Retromags isn't the hosting or distributing of magazines but the information database that assists the collaborative effort of tracking down which magazines need attention. I'll get confirmation from the curators here, but I think it would be great if we could at least link OoPA in the database.

You mentioned that each scanner has its own color faults. This has been one of my main areas of research recently. I've been purchasing color targets so I could scan them and calibrate my scanners. My ADF is a real challenge because the dmax is lower than most color targets, but having a custom color profile for one's scanner goes a long way to assist in color correction and minimizes the need for manual corrections. I'm wondering if you've also calibrated your scanner? Manually or with a color target or a combination?

I should be getting some more targets from Germany any day now. You can see my updates in my work in progress thread.

Also you're more than welcome to take any of my unedited scans on archive.org and edit them for OoPA. They were purchased by Phillyman and subsidized by Retromags' eBay Slush Fund, so that might make them off limits to you, but it's okay with me.

I guess I have to throw my 2 cents in on this :P

I have no issues either way, if Meppi or KiwiArcader want me to link to their magazine releases. If they do, great, if not....I understand.

With regards to Retromags releases, I don't care where they are mirrored. The fact that I may have bought a magazine, has no bearing on its availability. This site exists to provide a centralized location for people to preserve magazines and guides from the past. I am not hear to claim lordship over the digital versions.

When I created Retromags in 2004/05, I just wanted to make a website where people could come and work together towards the digital preservation of video game magazines. The only thing that has changed in 10+ years, is now I want Retromags to not only preserve the magazines digitally, but also the history about the magazines (which is where the databases come into play).

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Bit late with the reply, but I needed to talk this over before I could give a definite response.

Not to mention how I got sidetracked by playing Overwatch till 4AM after a long workday these past couple of days. ;)

Rehosting the magazines found on OOPA would be problematic, even more so if it would be with our permission, especially since quite a few of these publications are online thanks to agreements made in public as well as in private.

So I can't give the go ahead for that I'm afraid.

But what would be perfectly fine is putting up links to the content page of the magazines on our site, either as an alternative download to existing ones or to replace other, (possibly incomplete, lower resolution, etc) magazines on either site. (Retromags or OldGameMags)

What I would appreciate if at all possible is a small bit of text stating that these don't fall under the premium membership downloads or something like that.

Not sure what the different systems for downloading magazines is these days, but knowing that there wouldn't be any misconception to visitors that these download links are available to anyone would be reassuring.

I'm not sure how many files got corrupted during Filefactory's hosting troubles last year though. And since I'm in the process of redoing all the old releases, I haven't re-uploaded all the original versions.

Every single magazine posted in 2016 on the news page are sure to be 100% reliable, and probably a good chunk of the rest of the catalogue, but there will be broken links, or downloads that have corrupted pages here and there with the old ones.

It'll take a while before I've gone through my full back catalogue though. :-/

Oh, and marktrade,

I don't use any professional colour targets or anything like that.

Over the course of several months during last summer, I spent checking and rechecking my scans.

Comparing them with pictures I took of them as well as manual side by side comparisons on quite a few different devices.

I went a bit nuts and tested hundreds of setups where each one had certain image corrections applied, sometime minute, sometimes with completely different ways to achieve something specific.

After way more days than I should have wasted on this, I finally found a workflow with the exact settings that work wonders for my scanner.

Just for safety I bought an extra scanner of the same model since they get updated every year or so, and that always screws things up again.

Also, not every magazine seems to react the same. It probably has to do with the glossiness of overal quality of the paper and what chemicals are used in the process.

The new "secret" magazine I'm working on for August for example didn't work at all with any of my settings.

In the end I had to adjust the colour curves to be a bit brighter as well as up the cyan for reds by another +5 and do the same for the magenta in the yellows.

Really specific stuff that only works for one specific scanner/software combo which is a bit scary when taking into account how easy these things can break or become incompatible.

Also, thank you for offering those scans.

​And to be honest, I'm not even sure how that would work out with how they were purchased or if that would be a problem or not.

But I have to say that I have enough trouble already to get my personal scans completed and released, so taking on an even bigger workload just isn't feasible.

If I ever win the lottery and can spend all my time doing what I want instead of having to go to work, I'll get back to you on that. ;)

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