Initially, I didn’t understand where the energy for retro-gaming was coming from. While one would expect a few old timers to look back at the past with rose tinted spectacles, what interested anyone else? Why should Shahid challenge himself with a retro project?
Quite by accident, I saw a small article that introduced the idea quite nicely.
“..remakes, demakes and new games made in the old style.”
This is very much in line with other decentralizing and ownership issues bouncing around the internet at the moment. As game developers, Shahid and I naturally wanted to sell what we made. But we probably considered that whatever we produced was meant to be part of the continuing games culture as we understood it.
The connection between a book author and his readership is only briefly interrupted by the publisher. Once you have ordered a book online, bought it from Waterstones or borrowed it from a friend you have dealt with the mediation stage. All that is left is to enjoy the material.
With software, the publisher gets a big say in form and content. There is a perceived genre, performance, visual quality, difficulty, and flavour that a published game is expected to fulfil. This is equivalent to a book publisher telling an author that her novel should include a red house, only mention characters with popular Christian names and be split into exactly 12 chapters.
If someone remakes, or demakes your game they are to some extent taking back control of the mediation. They are usually preserving the actual material.
I don’t say this to damn publishing as an industry – but society does need to re-balance the needs of culture against the needs of a market.