InterAction Magazine project update

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    • #21044 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      In the left-hand menu of SierraGamers.com, you will now see a section titled “The Sierra Archives.” If you go to that page there is more explanation about it. The reason I mention it is because also on that page you will find an update about the InterAction Magazine scanning project including a full progress report.

      Brandon Klassen, archivist ~ SierraGamers.com admin/dev team ~

    • #21043 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

    • #21045 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      I’ll see what I got.
      I used to have boxes of interaction magazines for the 4 years I was there. Don’t know if I still got them (sorry). I’ll look in my old closet for them…

    • #21046 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      This is very interesting, expecially for those like me that have always been interested in Sierra’s magazines.
      What is the final purpouse of the project? Make all the numbers available for downloading? Sell them as a complete collection?

    • #21047 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      The magazines will be available as a complete set for purchase in digital format. The final details are still being worked out. I will probably update that page again soon as progress is continuing to be made. The packaging design is also being worked on at this time. It should be really awesome when it’s finished!

    • #21048 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Purchase? Will it not be available for browsing online?

    • #21049 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      I’m sure we’ll have a sample issue for people to see or selections for people to see, something like that. As I said, not all the details have been worked out yet, so I really cannot comment much more. But we’re talking about archival quality scans of every single Sierra magazine assembled into a complete set that has taken literally THOUSANDS of hours of painstaking work and cost to create. So yes, when the work is done it will be available for purchase. Plus it will be very nice. It will not be just a CD in a cracked case that someone scribbled “InterAction Magazines” on.

    • #21050 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      If the digital copies are going to be sold, then where will the proceeds go?

    • #21051 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      I remember reading somewhere on this site that the original ads that appeared in the magazine would not be included with the digital copies. However, perhaps they should be. Paging through old Interactions now, there is no clearer way to identify the context (or gaming environment) within which Sierra’s games were released. (I remember Chips&Bits selling Return to Zork for $69. I bought it second-hand a few years ago for a little over one dollar.) Anyway, for lack of a better word, I think it would help today’s readers in imagining the right “atmosphere”. Or something like that.

    • #21052 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Even the ads are going to appear in the mags. Every page will be included.

      The proceeds will go to recover the cost of scanning the mags and the production costs of the collection.

    • #21053 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Quote:
      “… (by Brandon Klassen) Even the ads are going to appear in the mags. Every page will be included.

      The proceeds will go to recover the cost of scanning the mags and the production costs of the collection.
      …”

      How many takers do you think there will be? The only way to make it really professional is to send a master to a rep plant for pressing and labeling – not cheap or even possible below certain quantities. Might be nice to have a supplementary dead tree publication with Sierra’s history and maybe a few words from ex-employees or something like that, too. But I’m probably getting too far ahead there. But if you want to get away with selling it, that’s probably what it will take.

    • #21054 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      I think there probably will be about 50 fans willing to shell out some money for the magazines. Maybe less… How many board members do we have?

      How about a word from Ken Williams with an autograph instead of some word from ex-employes 😉

    • #21055 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Why not both?

      And really, this has the potential to sell many more than fifty copies. In the end, it’ll all come down to effective promotion (plus obviously affordability).

    • #21056 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      SierraGamers has 4750 registered users at this time. Never mind all the adventure fans we can reach through various other adventure websites and message boards who may not be registered here.

      There is a ton of work and thought being put into the InterAction Magazine project as well as other archival projects currently in progress. Please trust us that we will make this stuff happen and that we will do a professional job of it. I’m not really sure that adding a little message from Ken would make it any more marketable – after all, there are lots of little messages from Ken on these message boards already.

      I know some of you guys have wanted to help with archival stuff – I still have those scans you sent Chris – in the near future we will be launching new areas of the site that everyone can participate in. We are taking our time in everything we do to ensure that’s it done right. Please give us a bit of patience.

    • #21057 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Quote:
      “…
      There is a ton of work and thought being put into the InterAction Magazine project as well as other archival projects currently in progress. Please trust us that we will make this stuff happen and that we will do a professional job of it.
      …”

      Brandon, I’m not questioning the level of quality of your work or your dedication to the project. I’m just offering input to help it be as much of a success as possible. Sometimes that involves playing the devil’s advocate, which I can do pretty well. Since you pretty much run the project, you know better about what will work and what won’t, and you know certain truths that I do not. That said, I will say what’s on my mind, but ask that no one be too offended if I seem somewhat of a jerk.

      Quote:
      “… (by Brandon Klassen) SierraGamers has 4750 registered users at this time. Never mind all the adventure fans we can reach through various other adventure websites and message boards who may not be registered here….
      …”

      Though there may be 4700+ registered users, I daresay hardly any of them are active. It seems to me this message board gets an average of one post a day. The marketing of the archival project will definitely have to expand beyond the borders of this site.

      Quote:
      “…
      ….I’m not really sure that adding a little message from Ken would make it any more marketable – after all, there are lots of little messages from Ken on these message boards already.
      …”

      Actually I wasn’t really thinking of Ken at all. If I recall correctly, he regularly wrote articles in Interaction, anyway. Of course he and Roberta were important primary figures at Sierra, but so too were the employees. It’d be cool if they could write memoirs about the early days and you could see different accounts about how Sierra built up over the years. Of course, they would have to be located, convinced to write such things, and compensated – which most likely makes the whole idea impractical.

      My whole point is that I think it would be a good idea if you could throw something in there that adds value to the purchase…Something no one’s ever seen before that could provide more incentive for someone to buy it. You may have gathered from the tone of my earlier posts that I’m not really that hot on buying the magazines by themselves…But throw in something cool and you’d probably have a sale.

    • #21058 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Thanks Chris.

      “Since you pretty much run the project…”

      Actually Ken and Brad are in charge of this one, but I’m acting as their spokesperson since both of them are very busy.

      “It’d be cool if they could write memoirs about the early days…”

      “good idea if you could throw something in there that adds value to the purchase…Something no one’s ever seen before that could provide more incentive for someone to buy it.”

      Actually we are communicating with former employees about their memories from the early days – but it’s for another project. We have a number of cool projects down the line, but we don’t want to keep fans waiting to wrap them up all together to make it a great-value purchase. We want to put out each one as it’s ready.

      Personally, I think that a complete set of InterActions on DVD is going to be value enough and incentive for many to buy it. Very few Sierra fans have a complete set of magazines (I don’t) and they’re rarely seen on eBay. Many of these magazines ARE going to be something that very few people have seen before… or haven’t seen for a long time. It’s true that this website doesn’t see a lot of active discussion. On the other hand, I think that such a product as-is will sell in sufficient quantities as long as we get the word out to lots of different websites.

    • #21059 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Quote:
      “… (by Brandon Klassen) SierraGamers has 4750 registered users at this time. Never mind all the adventure fans we can reach through various other adventure websites and message boards who may not be registered here. …”

      My personal experience is that about one in 10,000-15,000 unregistered users will end up buying something if the price is right. Once you take the step to registered users, I would suspect things improve significantly.

      It’s kind of like… out of someone who pirated Photoshop, and someone who purchased it… who is more likely to buy a Photoshop help book? You could say both are as likely, but the truth is the registered one has more invested and therefore more to gain (or less to lose) by taking the extra step and making an additional purchase. Not that I’m equating unregistered users to pirates: the point is that there is a difference between committed and uncommitted people. 🙂

    • #21060 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      The big issue which I can’t believe I forgot to mention will be price. Have you decided on one yet? And how to gauge interest…I suppose one could throw a firecracker in the pond and see what floats up, so to speak. Maybe get the word out of the project to other boards and see who’s interested. The forums over at justadventure.com might be a good place to start.

    • #21061 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      The price has not yet been determined to my knowledge. It will depend on the final manufacturing costs.

      Of course we will promote the product to other boards, when it’s done though and not before. We don’t want to make hype for something that’s not ready yet and have to deal with an influx of questions.

    • #21062 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Quote:
      “… (by Chris Schweiter)
      My whole point is that I think it would be a good idea if you could throw something in there that adds value to the purchase…Something no one’s ever seen before that could provide more incentive for someone to buy it. You may have gathered from the tone of my earlier posts that I’m not really that hot on buying the magazines by themselves…But throw in something cool and you’d probably have a sale….”

      Chris, there is no need to add extra value to this IMO. Just the ability to have the complete set of Interaction magazines on DVD would be priceless to many die-hard Sierra fans. I personally, only have 1 InterAction magazine, and would love to be able to read through them all. I have tried downloading pdf’s of them from the net, but generally they have been poor quality, large in size and in-complete. The ability to have copies of every magazine in itself is something that most on this board would never have seen before.

      I am sure that many other Sierra fans would feel similiar about this project.

    • #21063 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Quote:
      “…
      Chris, there is no need to add extra value to this IMO.
      …”

      Could be, but you see I’m a tightwad by nature and like to get the most bang for my buck. Price would be a big factor for me. For the disc itself I’m thinking maybe I would bite at $10-15. If you wanted to get away with charging $20-$30 I’d say you’d have to throw in something to sweeten the pot. But that’s me.

    • #21064 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Personally, I’d willingly pay up to $50 for it! (uh oh, I shoulda kept quiet.) Seriously though, if you break it down to a penny per page, let’s say roughly 20+/- issues at an average of 80 pages per issue (they got pretty thick by the end) would be about $16.00 right there. Less than a dollar an issue! And I was low-balling it, too.

      If you really want to add an “extra value,” I would make that the “SuperDeluxe Ultra Mega Mega” edition, and include things such as demos, videos, and other multimedia that was sometimes included with the issues. Or even take it a step further, and include scans of all the catalogs that were included with the games. (the 10th anniversary one is the most entertaining and fun to read piece of advertizing I ever came across!) Best part about this is, you can release the first “version” and then work on this at your leisure. (No larry pun intended)

      Of course, what you REALLY should do is release a 16-color version of the scans on disk, and include an order form to “upgrade” to the 256-color version on CD. 😉

      Tom.

    • #21065 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Quote:
      “…Of course, what you REALLY should do is release a 16-color version of the scans on disk, and include an order form to “upgrade” to the 256-color version on CD. ;)…”
      Haha, good one.

      Quote:
      “…and include things such as demos, videos, and other multimedia that was sometimes included with the issues. Or even take it a step further, and include scans of all the catalogs that were included with the games….”
      We will eventually have all of these things (and more) scanned and collected as well, and lots of stuff for free access online as well. As a matter of fact, in the coming weeks we plan to make more announcements regarding things like this so that people know more about what we’re doing.

    • #21066 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Quote:
      “…let’s say roughly 20+/- issues at an average of 80 pages per issue (they got pretty thick by the end)…”
      You’re right, they get thicker as they go. There are almost 40 Sierra magazines, including the early newsletters, that will be included.

      Quote:
      “…If you wanted to get away with charging $20-$30 I’d say you’d have to throw in something to sweeten the pot. But that’s me….”

      Quote:
      “…Personally, I’d willingly pay up to $50 for it! (uh oh, I shoulda kept quiet.)…”
      I don’t think we’ll convince you that the full set of InterActions on a DVD is value and special enough, nor will you convince us that it isn’t. So we can agree to disagree and we’ll have to see how things go when it’s done. It doesn’t really make sense to add other things such as Tom was listing to this project. They’ll all be released in their own time in their own way.

    • #21067 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      To me added value would be to included copies of the supplemental CDs that came with the original magazines. I remember there was a great sneak peaks CD that I would love to own again.

    • #21068 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      I don’t recall how those Sneak Peek CDs were distributed, I haven’t heard of them being shipped with the InterActions though if you say so, they were distributed in other ways too. I have one of those I luckily found once at a software store, I think between a few of us collectors we’d have all of them. Again, that’s content that will certainly become available for everyone, but it’s not necessarily something that makes sense to include with the InterAction set.

    • #21069 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      I visited my Sierra Vault about a week ago and found the letter I received when the InterAction CD Project was cancelled. I’ll scan it for Brandon to post in the archives, but here’s the text version:

      ——-

      September 12, 1995

      Dear Customer,

      This letter is to inform you the we have canceled plans for the Sierra Multimedia Club. Your credit card has been credited, or if payment was by check you will find a refund check enclosed. Your order for the Sierra Multimedia Club has been canceled.

      We apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment that this decision has created. We have worked long and hard to bring this concept to reality, but ultimately decided that we could not deliver a CD-ROM quarterly that would live up to the standards that Sierra sets for itself.

      If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please contact us at the address below:

      John C. Williams
      Executive Editor
      InterAction Magazine
      P.O. Box 53008
      Bellvue, WA 98027-3008

      ——-

      Tom.

    • #21070 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Thanks for posting that, Tom! Serves to remind us why we loved the old Sierra so much.

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