Interview with Andrew Foster by Peter Ward
Based upon the memories of a Retro Gamer, this coffee table style book reflects upon computing and gaming consoles such as: the C64, Sega Megadrive, Sinclair Spectrum, Arcades, Gameboy and other various memories from what is now known as the golden age of gaming.
“Welcome to Retro Gamesmaster thank you for sparing time from your busy schedule. Let’s get this interview underway”
“What got you into writing books about retro gaming?”
Well I’ve always been interested in blog articles and small reflection pieces. I also enjoy the nostalgia of looking back to simpler times especially peoples fascination with hobbying and the like. I relate to people who get obsessive over things and lose themselves in tiny worlds. Doing some writing for retro gaming blog Games You Loved started the ball rolling so I thought Id’ pull the articles together and start to write a few more little pieces to go into a small coffee table book. Lots of people write fact, jargon and tech heavy retro books but not many cover the simple fan emotional side of it. That’s what I wanted to achieve.
“How long has it taken to research for the new book?”
Originally I was going to fit some interviews in but it instantly proved a logistical nightmare and everyone was moving much slower than I wanted so I decided to do it myself. I like working quickly to keep the vibe up and keep it coherent. Researching was easy I have so much retro goodness still left in my life.
“What is in the new book that will tempt retro fans to hand over their cash?”
Well like I said earlier its the memories of my upbringing with the golden age of gaming that I’m sure many will relate to. My book is merely a scrapbook made to order from Blurb and available on Amazon so I’m not offering the usual high quality print, Kickstarter rewards etc. I’m new myself to writing and didn’t want to dupe the retro community with something masquerading as one of the Bitmap books etc. It sounds like I’m playing it down but this is an emotional piece that If people like I will do more of and hopefully find a bigger publisher. What I do know though is that I think people will enjoy the writing style, pictures and understand there is scope there, I know people will enjoy and relate to it!
“Tell us more about the Project?”
Well its early days at present but Id love to explore a possible series of small books in the future if this does okay.
Pete: “When is your book due for release?”
It’s out now from Amazon, Blurb…and you can buy the PDF for £3 from the website!
“How long have you been writing books?”
I’ve been writing blogs mostly since I had my first ‘free with the paper’ AOL dial up CD! Books is a new thing and I hope to do many more!
“What was your first gaming experience?”
Probably Granny’s garden on the BBC but first proper time with a machine was the perfectly 80’s ZX Spectrum 128k and the mighty Pacmania! What a game…isometric too!
“My favourite computer was my Amiga, Spectrum and my favourite console the Megadrive. Do you have a favourite?”
At the moment its my Sega Saturn no question! Bought last Xmas by my girlfriend its the AM2 arcade in the home I never had when I was a kid. Its difficult to say an overall favourite, I’ve had so many but It would be out of my Gameboy or C64.
“What is your favourite retro game?”
This is obviously an extremely hard question! There’s a few that are important to me and are kind of milestones in my gaming life. Virtua Racing, Treasure Island Dizzy, Donkey Kong Country, and Super Mario Bros are all perfect to me.
“Do you still game on the current consoles and if so what is your favourite game?”
Not on the current Gen no, I’m a poor musician and always a generation behind! To be honest although my interest in technology hasn’t waned I just don’t have the time for the style of gaming the current-gen consoles force upon us. This culture of rewards, first person shooters and huge expansive worlds is all very nice if you have the time but does it ever capture the spirit of the first Daytona USA track or Green Hill Zone?…. That’s why I’m increasingly looking at the indie developers as they seem to still adore simple game-play. I enjoyed the XBOX 360 especially FallOut 3 but it still doesn’t beat Mario Kart Super Circuit or the simple pleasures of Killer Instinct! Of recent times I’d have to say Monument Valley on iOS is my favourite game. Its a beautiful creation, simple, adorable and absorbing with trippy meditative game-play. I am also looking forward to Nintendo’s NX. They get a bad rap and I definitely don’t agree with how aggressive and unapproachable they can be but…they know how to make a game that you can take to the heart.
“Whats the worst game you have ever played?”
I adored my C64c but there was a plethora of nonsense on that machine just due to the huge volume of games but Id have to say Rise Of The Robots is my worst. I know its a cliché and an obvious choice but its more about how gutted I was. I really wanted it to be good as I was into silicon rendering and digitised graphics at the time. What we got was a game that looked great on screenshots but didnt seem to be tested before it left the developers at all!
“Finally what game or feature would you like to see on Retrogamesmaster in the future?”
A feature on the 5th generation in its entirety. That 32 bit leap into 3D I find fascinating and there was so many consoles that came out at once it would be interesting to talk about it all together!
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