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Re: The Wonders of...
Shirrif
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I'm pretty sure you could still buy this new from Tolkien.co.uk until fairly recently (I'm referring to the Alan Lee signed version limited to 500 copies with the different information sheet, but otherwise identical to the non-signed one). They took a LONG time to sell.

I can't image that anyone would ever pay $500 for it (but if anyone wants to, I have a spare one in a box )

Posted on: 2014/6/17 1:53


Re: Designing Tolkien's Beowulf book
Shirrif
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Urulöké wrote:
I get the feeling that consistency is not a high priority for any publisher, unless the new book is part of a multi-volume set.

I also think that the designer here is not the same person as on the others (just a hunch) and they of course want to show some individuality and contribution to the design.

Plus now when they come out with a matching style, people like us will be "forced" to collect that as well because they look so much nicer together on the shelf!



Yeah, I know what you are saying. For me, all they needed to do was put "J.R.R. Tolkien" on the spine instead of "TOLKIEN" and it would have been a relatively good match to the previous two. It isn't like there was a massive amount of creative freedom for the designer here anyway - It really is drag-and-drop design. The fonts would pretty much have been dictated, as would the front illustration, so beyond the overall colour which was probably decided by a committee (), the layout of the spine is about the only thing that had much in the way of potential choice. And that's the only thing that I think lets it down!

As a software engineer that has worked on a couple of relatively giant projects, I'm obsessed by uniformity and consistency as that is what makes life easy for users (without having to continuously roll out extra training). Graphic designers are usually obsessed with "new" and "different", which is why every new release of every new major Operating System is a little bit more of a visual mess than the previous release (iOS and OSX being prime examples of this phenomenon).

That said, overall, I like the jacket :)

Posted on: 2014/6/13 21:52

Edited by Stu on 2014/6/13 23:43:50


Re: The Wonders of...
Shirrif
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Only $490 too expensive.

Posted on: 2014/6/11 21:57


Re: Designing Tolkien's Beowulf book
Shirrif
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It is a nice cover, but it is a pity that "matching the style of the previous two releases" didn't rate highly on anyone's agenda. It would have been very easy to have produced a cover that stylistically matched FoA and S&G, without having to change any colours or art. Other than the Deluxe editions, HC does seem to struggle with consistent styling for more than a couple of books.

Posted on: 2014/6/11 0:00


Re: I just wrote "The Hobbit" in C#
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Urulöké wrote:
Cool! Sounds like that NPC algorithm was (a) advanced and (b) broken.



Yeah, I think they wanted to leave things quite "open" so that the game would be a little different every time and have repeat playability once finished -- which was different from text adventure games of the period. There are several different ways of solving the game, which is also unusual. Unfortunately, some permutations of the "random" behaviour can result in situations where the game can't be finished. For example, if the wood elf captures a warg and throws it into into the Elven king's dungeon and the butler unlocks the door between the dungeon and the wine cellar, the warg is likely to kill the butler -- and then you have no one to throw the barrel through the trapdoor (which you need to be in -- or jump on top of as it goes through, in order to get to the second half of the game).

One fun bug is that you can pick up Elrond (because his weight is obviously not defined correctly) and if you throw Elrond at a Goblin it will permanently kill the Goblin without it respawning (otherwise you see a little debug message about the respawn :))

To be fair to Megler and Mitchell (at Beam Software), they had only 48K to play with and it was 100% written in Z80 Assembler. Having only done simple stuff in Z80A when I was a kid, I can't imagine how much of a pain that would have been. They had to write their own text compression scheme to fit the game in (which is probably why some of the grammar in the textual descriptions is a bit "off"). The simple graphics are a restriction of size as there was only space to store the points for simple vector graphics (and then flood fill).

But like I say, they created something very strange and special back in '82.

Posted on: 2014/6/9 20:23



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