With this project I hope to bring you in my world of growing up with THE Commodore 64. My book will take you back in time and hopefully give you the feel of how an 80s youngster’s life revolved around this machine. Just imagine your teenage bedroom full of friends and this shiny Commodore, like a king, standing proud in the middle.
Around this machine, battles were fought, friendships were strengthened, plenty of emotions were shared and exciting times always laid ahead.
This home computer was an as important part of my life as were my family and friends. When I first saw one, I knew this was it! Not knowing then though that the world of swapping discs and games was going to become such big business in my environment. Your status was measured by how many discs and the amount of popular games you possessed. The kid with the new and highly desired games was ruler of our world.
Many bubble-gum, A-team gaming cards and even BMX bikes traded hands for these new, not so new and even cracked games. Nothing mattered more than being Knight Rider, the A-team and even ET for a moment.
Holidays were all about gaming, endless hours of battling it out around the Commodore 64.
To my friends and myself, a gaming holiday was worth as much as a Caribbean get-a-away to our parents!
8-BIT KIDS – Growing Up With The Commodore 64 is the first of hopefully many books by publisher Amicom Books. The main focus of Amicom is top level books all about the 1980s.
An Interview with Koen De Brabander
By Peter Ward
“Welcome to Retro Gamesmaster thank you for sparing time from your busy schedule. Let’s get this interview underway”
Thank you for having me!
“What got you into writing books about retro gaming?”
Well, it’s my first book about ‘retro gaming’, really. But I’ve been retro gaming for a long time now; so it’s really my passion. Apart from that I am president of the Belgian Commodore 64 club, so really into the Commodore brand of computers. Because, to be honest: back in the days it was mainly used as game computer.
“How long has it taken to research for the new book?”
Since I’ve been 12 and first laid eyes on my C64! Must say, I always knew I wanted to write about ‘my main machine’. I’m really emotional attached to that computer. So, it took 28 years…
“What is in the new book that will tempt retro fans to hand over their cash?”
The title of the book is ‘8-BIT KIDS – Growing Up With The Commodore 64’. I won’t write about the history of Commodore Ltd., nor will I show a line-up of all Commodore machines produced or a serial number guide. My book is about ‘growing up’ with the C64, and all stories that go with that. So, except from all the fab 80s pictures, it will be full of nostalgic stories about swapping discs, fighting for that 1-in-stock new game at the local computer-store, etc…
“Tell us more about the Kickstarter?”
Kickstarter really amazed me. Obviously with the funds needed to publish a book like this, you take a risk when you just pay for them yourselves: what if no-one buys the book? So Kickstarter gives you a worldwide forum to get in touch with your audience. And soon I discovered that other campaigners got in touch and offered to inform their backers about my project. A really friendly community. It gives one the freedom to become an ‘entrepreneur’ if you want. And at the same time you get a market research for free: if no one wants what you’d like to produce it simply won’t work, and vice versa. I can recommend it to everyone!
“When is your book due for release?”
September this year all should be ready to ship.
“How long have you been writing books?”
I published my first book in 2007, so nine years now. This will be my seventh book. I mainly write about recent history related subjects. Some of my books got published by UK/USA publisher TEMPUS/The History Press.
“What was your first gaming experience?”
As a kid Out Run on the Sega Master System at my cousins. Later must have been Leisure Suit Larry I on a Schneider at the neighbours. A naughty game at that time :-). It was a miracle you could move Larry around and give him instructions. Revolutionary!
“My favourite computer was my Amiga, and my favourite console the Megadriv. Do you have a favourite?”
Commodore 64 obviously. Console the SNES. Although Megadrive was better in Arcade ports, I like the friendliness of all things SNES related. And it seems a less straightforward console. I found the Megadrive a bit slowly concerning reacting to the buttons you pushed.
“What is your favourite retro game?”
On C64 Maniac Mansion. Overall: The Secret Of Monkey Island I. Amazing!
“Do you still game on the current consoles and if so what is your favourite game?”
I own a Wii and Xbox360. On Wii it must be Back To The Future and on Xbox360 Far Cry 3 and Sega Mega Drive Collection (lol).
“Whats the worst game you have ever played?”
“Finally what game or feature would you like to see on Retrogamesmaster in the future?”
What about Infiltrator for the Commodore 64. A really hidden gem. Check it! Would really like to see an in-depth review on that game.