Matt Chat 41: The Story of Cinemaware with Bob Jacob

Matt Barton's picture

Hi, all. I'm back this week with an exclusive interview with Bob Jacob, co-founder of Cinemaware. Cinemaware is on my shortlist of best developers and made several of the Amiga's greatest hits. In the interview, Bob talks about everything from the importance of Deluxe Paint to his love for chesty women. It's great stuff for anyone even remotely interested in the Amiga or cinema-inspired games.

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Catatonic
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Joined: 05/20/2006
Thanks to you and Bob. This

Thanks to you and Bob. This was great.

Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Wow - you did it again!

Great interview, thanks to Bob for sharing his thoughts and experiences. Excellent Matt Chat mate! Just keep the name, it's catchy and whilst the other suggestions you made capture the content in the title a little more - having this cathy 'Matt Chat' title actually gives you the opportunity the be a little more free with the exact content!

PS3: MarkVergeer | Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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Rowdy Rob
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Joined: 09/04/2006
Another great one!

It was a great Matt Chat. Mr. Jacob is a very engaging personality (as was Mr. McCord). It did feel like he was "cut short," though, as if he had much more to say, and I would definitely have liked to hear more!

I think I have the original, "chesty" DotC advertisement (referred to in the Matt Chat comments on YouTube) in one of my old Amiga magazines. I did a quick Google search for it and didn't find it. Perhaps I should scan it and upload it here? It was.... memorable, especially since you didn't see gaming ads like that back in the day (or really, even now!).

I was a bit worried about how this episode would turn out, based on your ridiculous "I'm too hideous to show my face on YouTube" comments in a previous post you made, saying you're considering replacing yourself with a CG avatar. Damn, is that what would happen to my self-esteem if I ever post a video???? Other than an occasional, change-of-pace gimmick, I think the idea of replacing yourself with a CG avatar is ludicrous.

Some things to keep in mind about your videos, your appearance, and your audience:

At the risk of sounding sexist, I suspect that the vast majority (at least 95%) of your regular viewers tend to be male, and couldn't give a damn about how "hot" you are. Your appearance is actually "cool," and certainly more pleasant than many (most?) other YT commenters. You look like a "rocker," or at least one of the Three Musketeers, (and NOT the Three Stooges!), and that's cool in anyone's book. And you have more personality than, again, most other YT commenters. Together, this makes for a winning combo, and most (if not all) hardcore gamers and gaming industry types will enjoy your appearance! If there's anything that works about your show, it's Matt himself!

Second of all, I suspect a lot of the "grief" you received may have coincided with your "hit" video on WoW, whose general audience is probably made up by otherwise non-hardcore gamers, and probably consists of a whole lot of "griefers" and "haters," and thus the very people who ruin the game itself for potential players are the ones probably making the comments! It's not surprising that these twits would want to spread their lowlife sickness on YT.

Third of all, you're doing serious, informational videos for hardcore and nostalgic gamers. What seems to get attention on YT is humor or shock videos, and you're not doing that. You're taking the hard road, doing informative, classy videos, and that's not going to attract the audience of a vulgar comedy video. Perhaps you should throw more jokes in to lighten it up, but not get TOO whacked out in the comedy.

Keep in mind that your shows will stand the test of time, and may make for scholarly reference in the future, just like your books will do!

I still think that hardcore gaming geeks just don't know your show exists, and that's why you're not getting larger audiences (unless you cover games like WoW). It will take time for them to find you, but eventually they will! They will have to!

Anyhow, sorry for getting off on a tangent. As always, I love the show and look forward to it each week!

qoj hpmoj o+ 6uo73q 3Jv 3svq jnoh 77V

Matt Barton
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Hehe, thanks for the

Hehe, thanks for the comments, all. My ego had taken some hits recently. I tend to be a bit too heavily influenced by external opinion (realize I should take it ALL in stride, not get too dependent on praise or respond too deeply to criticism). I think anytime you put yourself out there like that you must be prepared for the worst. Some people are just SO good at spotting those weaknesses and exploiting them so ruthlessly.

I was just being silly about using an avatar, though I think it could be funny occasionally like Mark does it. I also think dabbling a bit in "machinima" could be interesting.

One interesting thought I had was that maybe people should never talk about their # of subs or whatever; at least not on the videos themselves or in the comments. My guess is that when people see that, it turns them off. I think I'm going to try to distance myself from that sort of thing and just pretend not to be paying it so much attention. My theory is that no amount of cajoling or begging is going to make any difference anyway, in fact it may hurt it, so probably best just to make the best videos I can and respond respectfully and intelligently to comments. Indeed, it may be that even saying something like "Please send this video to your friends!" might hurt, because a friend might not want to send it and risk looking like a toadie or insider. Anyway, just some thoughts I've been having on the topic; love to hear other views.

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Mark Vergeer
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external opinion...
Matt Barton wrote:

.... I tend to be a bit too heavily influenced by external opinion (realize I should take it ALL in stride, not get too dependent on praise or respond too deeply to criticism). I think anytime you put yourself out there like that you must be prepared for the worst. Some people are just SO good at spotting those weaknesses and exploiting them so ruthlessly.....

1. People just being mean and sprinkling acid in wounds of insecurity are not worth it. BLOCK and IGNORE is what I say. Check out what type of channel these persons have and you'll soon discover most of them have nothing to show for it. And if they DO have something to show for it - well you must ask yourself if you want to be associated with that type of 'youtube retrogamer' - again BLOCK and IGNORE may be the best solution.

2. It does take quite some courage to show yourself on Youtube and do your thing despite one's flaws. So take some pride in that - and you do make excellent videos. And that is not just a biased friend's opinion!

3. What you yourself and important others think of you is what matters - the rest well.... it really doesn't if you don't want to.

PS3: MarkVergeer | Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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Nous
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Joined: 04/07/2007
Another great show, I've

Another great show, I've enjoyed every single one of them so far. If anything, I'd like more of the same (at 10 minutes, that being the limit as I understand it, they just leave me wanting more!).

I don't know what those "negative comments" are about, but dude.. your shows are well above average, they rock .. you come across as comfortable, knowledgable and passionate about gaming. Now, constructive criticism is one thing, but being mean is another. In any case, why on earth would you pay any attention to what other people say or think? I'd go so far as to say, you should intelligently filter the opinions of even those close to you. You're who you are, and you should just focus on doing what you want to do as best as you can!

About making the show known to a wider audience. Now, this is a tough one and it was always going to be tough. Without a significant budget to consistently push and promote the show you're left with word of mouth - and that usually takes a lot of time. All you can do is make the show as good as it can be and let as many people know about it - but promoting the show from within the show itself is kinda pointless (and comes across as desperate). There's no reason for you to worry too much about it. Again, all you can (and should) do is make the show the way you want it to be and focus all your energies on producing the best show you can!

---------------

"Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it."

-- Dijkstra

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adamantyr
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Joined: 01/28/2007
Cinemaware

I remember the Cinemaware games as well... my brother's friend Chris had a Commodore 64, so he showed us the Three Stooges on it way back when. I remember at the time that all the Commodore guys thought Cinemaware was the "greatest".

I remember the controls and play was really tough... we played T3S for awhile, but we weren't doing so well on that one. We did slightly better with Rocket Ranger... of course what we wanted to see was the "chesty women", which only came up if you succeeded at the missions. :) As for Defender of the Crown, he lamentably didn't own it... That one looks the most interesting to me now.

All of the Cinemaware titles show their nature as a bunch of "small" games collected together. This makes sense since you could load modules of code from disk to keep the gameplay as expansive as possible. It does kind of make the games all feel a bit the same though... still, a good run of games, it's unfortunate that they're only remembered now by Commodore/Amiga owners of my generation.

Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Great interview, Matt. I

Great interview, Matt. I didn't realize that Cinemaware gave 20% of the company to NEC. That explains why many of the Cinemaware games were on the TurboGrafx-16. Of course they also released their games for the Philips CD-i and other secondary consoles. Fascinating stuff.

What's also interesting is that this is the second time we've heard a contemporary from the time talk about how the Amiga failed (the other being the marketing guy for Epyx) and how it pretty much sealed the fate of their once-great company. I'm also stunned that they did so well on the C-64. I was already an Amiga user by then so I only experienced the Cinemaware stuff on the original platform (and TG-16) back in the day.

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[About Me]

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