GSQ3: Agent 17 and Albatross

I’ve decided to switch from the sort of scattershot approach to posting GameSpite Quarterly 3 content I used yesterday to a more sensible alphabetical approach. That way someone could theoretically read the entire issue online from beginning to end by clicking links at the bottom of each successive entry. As it happens, this makes the next two entries pieces by me, both drawn from two of my all-time favorite classic arcade games, both very much heroes in the classic late-century spy-guy tradition. A curious coincidence, I’d say.

  • Agent 17 from Elevator Action is a pragmatic sort of adventurer who knows that architecture is the deadliest weapon of all;
  • Albatross from Rolling Thunder is more of a dandy who fusses over his appearance, though he wields a mean submachinegun.

Also, after receiving some pushback on the “budget” edition of the magazine (including the fact that it’s only sold three copies), I have renamed it the “compact” edition so that you don’t think I’m calling you a cheapskate if you opt for that version. Hey, believe me, I know. Money’s tight these days. No shame in making ends meet. On that note, please also remember that Blurb offers flat rate shipping on up to (I think) five books, so it might be smart to wait to buy these publications until several are available. This is all print on demand, so the books aren’t going to sell out or vanish.

Also, I’m thinking about laying out Quarterly 4 in an actual page design application instead of the horrible Blurb default software, so hopefully that means future issues will look a lot more interesting inside.

Edit: I am informed that the promo code BLURBSHIP is good for free ground shipping until next Tuesday, should that fact interest you.

15 thoughts on “GSQ3: Agent 17 and Albatross

  1. What’s good for page design these days? Although I use lots of Scribus, I don’t do anything more complex than CD/record jackets… and the free/open way never seems to be the quality-optimal way.

  2. As the rigors of the creative process demand that each new work top your previous efforts, I think Quarterly 4 needs to be released in an unprecedented FOUR editions: Compact, Standard, Deluxe, and Super Turbo Hyper Fighting DASH: For Answer. This last will be a lavish coffee table tome, featuring hundreds of glossy full-color pages, bonus “making of” DVD and night vision goggles. It will retail for $599 and be solely responsible for rejuvenating our national economy. Call me, we’ll hammer out the details.

  3. I’ve been on the hunt for such a thing a while too. I have vague recollections that the only flaw with the desktop publishing software of the mid-80s was that at the end of the day, your output went to a dot matrix belt-fed printer. Currently I actually use frelling Graphic Converter for image heavy stuff (i.e. card games), and LaTeX for the more text-heavy end of things (RPGs and such). Massive problems rest with both.

  4. I’m talking specifically about InDesign. I don’t like it as much as QuarkXPress, because Quark is what I learned and it doesn’t behave exactly the same way, but it’s what they do magazines in these days. Slowly, slowly, GSQ will take over the world.

  5. Yay for real Page Design software! A friend of mine worked on InDesign for awhile and she says it’s the aces.

  6. I use InDesign to lay out all of the flyers, catalogs and instruction sheets my company puts out – I really don’t mind it at all. It works pretty well with the rest of the Adobe Creative Suite and is fairly self-explanatory to anyone with a background in that sort of thing.
    We used to use an old version of QuarkXPress at the newspaper I worked at a couple of years ago, and I really wouldn’t trade back for the world, though that likely was due to the dated version of Quark I used.

  7. Me and PageMaker used to be like this. We broke up when I stopped doing journalism and started doing computer science. She died a few years later, but I hear her younger sister is hot.

  8. Jeremy, I was a Quark user in school, and made the transition from Quark to Indesign back when Indesign 2.0 was out. I’ve been using it ever since. Honestly when Quark went from 4 to 5 it was highly disappointing. When Indesign went from 2.0 to CS1, I thought to myself, “This is a REAL update.” If anything, Indesign has made Quark strive to become a better product than it once was. Quark 4 was the standard for so long that there were NO efforts to really improve upon it until it had viable competition.

    It will take some getting used to, but there’s a lot of features in Indesign that are incredibly useful. Being able to place native Adobe files like .psd and .ai is a real time saver. I would recommend subscribing to the RSS feed and podcast, as they really know their stuff and you can learn a lot of cool tricks and such.

  9. This may be the first edition of Gamespite Quarterly where the content is inherently better suited for casual reading in a real-world encyclopedic format rather than in linear web-chunks. It’ll be interesting to see how this content comes together when the books start landing in peoples’ mailboxes next week.

  10. … Huh. Now that I look at the headers, you know what else today’s pair of characters would appear to have in common? A love of bright red pumps. I’m pretty sure there’s a J. Edgar Hoover joke in there somewhere.

  11. Do you alphabetize by first name or last name (when applicable)? I sense an Alis Landale entry approaching.

  12. I approve of the revised branding, although I figure that the other reasons in the thread (it’s Christmas and so people are more willing to open their wallets; the sort of person who’ll spend $12 on an internet magazine is probably the sort of person who’ll spend $16 on an internet magazine) are probably more relevant.

  13. Parish, your pricing scheme also fits neatly into a known psychological phenomenon explained by Dan Ariely in his book “Predictably Irrational.”

    If you give people three choices where the third choice is in a different class than the others (in this case, the deluxe edition is significantly more expensive), and of the remaining two choices, one is marginally more expensive than the other (in comparison to the third choice), people are likely to pick that one. For those people that have already ruled out the deluxe edition, the extra $4 is marginal compared to the $24 “savings.”

    Of course, this purchase is different from most since it’s a niche product made by and sold to the same community, but I think something like that is still going on.

  14. Albatross’ lankiness and haircut remind me of Lupin the 3rd. Lanky characters are hard to control in platformers, and have a third the pixels to work with as squat characters the same height. That’s why Super Mario and Megaman can afford eyes, even with a smaller palette. Still, I’d like to see it tried more with modern technology. I guess the closest thing we have is the Vanilaware games, but even they have huge heads.

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