Dear Readers,

It has been a long time coming, but we are finally set to deliver the next issue of Old Skool Games Magazine!  As many of our long-time followers may know,  OSG has been a labor of love that I have labored long and hard on, often being unable to publish new content for lack of contributors.  But thanks to a few submissions during the Review Contest we had, following the re-launch of the new site, as well as many contributions made by one extremely dedicated individual – we will be publishing our next issue at the end of July.

I don’t know what will happen after that,  nor if there will be a next issue after this one,  or when it would be published.   But I have faith that over time,  and with the help of others spreading the word;  and perhaps with the addition of a new “Modern Retro” section to the magazine, hopefully more loyal readers (and new ones too!) will step forward to volunteer their own efforts at writing quality reviews, about some of the best quality games that the gaming past has to offer our younger generations.

There is still a lot of work to be done, a lot of type to be set,  a lot of colors to be picked, and even a cover image to finish designing!   But please, everyone, look forward to the end of July; so you can welcome Old Skool Games Issue #6 with open arms.

-Zachary Bartels
Editor in Chief, Old Skool Games.

OSG New Section
Should we add a new "Modern Retro" section to Old Skool Games?

With the advent of programs such as Steam Greenlight,  Kickstarter, etc.  there are a lot of new independent games coming out these days.  A lot of these games are catered specifically to fans of “retro” games, played by many when they were children.  A lot of the time these games also offer a similar visual style,  whether it be straight up pixel art, or a new take on the classic  Side, Top-down, and 2.5D views  using updated graphics and 3D models in some cases.

Do you, dear readers, wish to see such games reviewed in Old Skool Games?   Let us know what you think.
Some examples of such games:

  • Aqua Kitty: Milk Mine Defender  (classic horizontal shooter inspired)
  • DLC Quest
  • Eterium (1990′s Space Combat Sim inspired)
  • Project Root  (Top-Down Action Shooter inspired)
  • Recettear: An Item Shops Tale  (Isometric RPG inspired)
  • Fortune Summoners  (RPG Inspired)
  • To The Moon  (16-bit RPG inspired)

 

 

So we’re gonna have a site poll!
It’s very simple.  We’d like to know what kind of layout you prefer when reading a magazine.   Do you like the standard tall layouts?  Or perhaps you like wider layouts, which do not require you to scroll as much (if at all)?  We’d be very interested to find out what readers prefer, so let us know!

Magazine Layout Poll
Do you prefer a wide layout or a standard "tall" layout?

Dear Readers,

If you are out there — thank you!
With that out of the way, I would like to take a moment to announce one of the new changes that will affect you as a patron of our fine (heh) magazine. For many years now, Old Skool Games (OSG) has been designed and exported with Adobe products, however we are slowly moving away from this for several reasons. There has been a seven (7!) year gap between new issues, and one of the problems that came with this, is that I, your humble editor, had forgotten many of the things I learned through using Adobe’s Indesign software.

Because I chose to simultaneously undergo a design revision and learn new software, I did not want to spend a lot of time re-learning everything and I needed a solution, so I chose a much more easier to use suite, and things are going quite swimmingly. There are minor headaches in everything but progress has been made, and Indesign is no longer a part of OSG. Unfortunately this also lead to the discovery that Adobe Acrobat, the venerable “Proof of design as intended to be seen”, has problems of its own and does not play nicely with PDF output from other, non-Adobe products. Whether by malicious corporate design or by shoddy project management a number of rendering bugs exist within Acrobat; They are mostly cosmetic and appear limited to PC viewing (printed work comes out fine), nevertheless I found myself having to abandon it as well.

Going forward, OSG will be designed for and intended to be viewed with PDF-XChange Viewer & PDF-XChange Editor software, by Tracker Software Products. I chose PDF-XChange because the software is available freely to anyone who wishes to use it to view PDF files, the format that OSG is distributed in. PDF-XChange Viewer has, at this time, been superseded by PDF-XChange Editor. From what I understand the main difference is Editor contains useable “trial” features of the PRO version of PDF-XChange, however you should be able to use the Viewer Edition just as easily. I will also try to maintain compatibility with other PDF Readers that are out there, but we can only guarantee that OSG looks as it was intended on PDF-XChange. The software is very light and fast from what I have seen, and I have every confidence it will provide a pleasant viewing experience.

I will likely publish an Editorial in the upcoming new issue that goes in to more detail on why I have made this decision, but for now I would like to thank everyone who has continued reading and supporting the site over the years. I truly hope this is the start of a new wave of regular publication intervals and I am always accepting applications from prospective writers who can submit quality work in their free time. If you are a good writer and you love retro gaming, this is the perfect chance for you to share your thoughts with the world.

Note: This is a guest post.

There are old-school games and there are old-school games. No, we’re not talking about coin-operated arcade classics like Pac-Man or Space Invaders here; what’s being referred to here are traditional games of chance like poker, blackjack, roulettes, slots, and bingo – the ones that existed long before the first attempts at developing electronic gaming tech produced the Cathode-Ray Tube Entertainment Device during the post-World War II era.

Why the focus on what seems to be an unrelated area of gaming, as far as readers of this site are concerned? For those who haven’t heard of the developments happening on this particular side of the gaming fence being referred to, traditional games are already starting to show signs of impending demise – at least as far as the future operations of their traditional venues are concerned. All across the world, bingo halls and poker rooms are, in fact, experiencing substantial growth in terms of new player numbers, but there’s a catch: the growth is happening online.

From online poker rooms providing satellite qualifiers to tournaments like the World Series of Poker to virtual bingo halls capturing an erstwhile unthinkable demographic to the RPG-infused gaming mechanics of virtual Betfair Arcade slots and casino games, the surfacing trend seems quite clear: more and more players from the newer generations are trooping to these online portals, much to the chagrin of traditional venue operators.

It seems surprising, then, when publications like the Las Vegas Weekly came out with reports on traditional casino venues in Las Vegas (of all places) scaling down operations or closing shop altogether as a result. As for traditional bingo, venues are also following suit as more and more new players continue to gravitate towards online versions of the game. The bingo “Exodus” is even starting to dispel the stereotypical perspective that views bingo as a game for the elderly, especially when one considers the statistics shown in a popular Bingo Infographic that was released just a couple of years ago online.

Of course, there isn’t any threat of these franchises being driven to extinction anytime soon. The growth of the online platforms has actually done much to strengthen the traditional franchises, with only the traditional venues experiencing relatively unexpected adverse effects.

Still, the key issue is how technological developments are now starting to encroach on the territories of even traditional casino and parlor games. Multi-core processors, advanced GPUs, and blazing fast clock speeds may be welcome developments in the race for modern gaming supremacy, but one can’t avoid going into the age-old debate regarding the loss of face-to-face social opportunities that abound in live venues.

Those who grew up on the arcade games of the 70s and the 80s would know about this, so it’s going to be interesting to see how high-tech will eventually substitute for those missing socialization aspects characteristic of the old school gaming experience.

The Content Submission Contest has officially ended — but you still have up to 1 week to submit anything you have been working on, so don’t  dilly dally around!

I know this is 2 days early, but the contest is also a few weeks late!  Therefore, I am pleased to announce that the Old Skool Games Content Submission Contest is underway!

The contest will run for the entire month of February, with the submissions deadline being February 28, 2013.  Make sure you visit the Content Submission Contest FAQ page, and learn all about the Rules as well as the detailed description of the  fabulous prizes we will be awarding for 1st and 2nd place!  In the mean time here is a brief summary of the prizes.

1st Place Prize: The Humble THQ Bundle  (Games + Soundtracks)
2nd Place Prize: The Humble Indie Bundle 7  (DRM Free Games + Soundtracks + 1 Movie)

Make sure and visit the Content Submission Contest FAQ page to go over the rules of the contest, and get a full description of the prize packages!

Good luck!

Hi everyone!

The Archives section is now back on the site, and available from the main navigation menu.  Remember, this is where you go to find all the previous issues of Old Skool Games listed for download!

You may also have noticed the Register / Login  Status  information I added to the main menu bar,  which will take you to a page where you can choose to  Register for an account to write comments, or if you have one already, login to the site.  If you are already logged in, then it will also let you click to logout, if you should like.

I will also be making an announcement a little later on Friday, or Saturday, about the upcoming content/review submission Contest that will kick-off soon.