Games with proper "Micro Manuals"

edited October 27 in Games
COMBINED CASSETTE INLAY AND "MICRO" SIZED INSTRUCTION MANUAL

This is something I have not come across before . Two staples are used to hold it all together . One staple (offset towards the top) staples the 25 page "micro manual" itself together . This means that the staple is not centally placed in the manual . Normally one centrally placed staple would be used or 2 evenly spaced staples. But here just one staple is used to "bind" the booklet itself together but it is "offset" more towards the top side . The lower second staple is used to attach the "micro booklet" to the outer cassette inlay .I think this is a very clever use of space . The 25 page "micro manual" with the cassette inlay fits inside a normal cheap plastic cassette case .

I found this on "The Double" (Summit's 299 Range) 1988 . It says it was originally published by JONHSON SCANATRON . And there is a RANDOM LETTER BLOCK inside the cassette inlay. There are particular difficulties with this in MICRO FORM ( it is very hard to read!!) . Luckily I have a large magnifying glass to help with inputting this and I will then do a "SAVE" with Spectacultor - after I hope that it will not be needed .No-one can argue with the price however : today it seems to be amazing what could be done with just £2.99 in those days .I wonder if any other Software Houses tried anything similar?
Post edited by harriusherbartio on

Comments

  • edited October 29
    "In the Beginning"

    Of course "Micro Manuals" is a bit of a "double entendre" as it applies to a "micro" sized software manual for a "micro" computer . Some of these ,like the one above , will also be "micro sized" to fit into an ordinary cassette . But this was not always "how it started" "in the beginning" . A certain amount of "product rationalization" had to take place before this minaturization could be put into effect.. "In the beginning" "macro" micro manual was one possible starting point and so big manuals were often produced for the Spectrum software.( this meant a big sized "macro" manual for the ZX Spectrum "micro" Computer) . A good example would be the manual that went with "The Great Space Race" by Legend which came in a big plastic case 24cms by 18cms by 3cms with a manual with over 50 pages which included black and white cartoons about the "Great Space Race" . So a high proportion of the overall product cost must have been with this expensive looking case and manual . The cost of the software on the tape was therefore probably less than 50% of the overall cost . "In the beginning" the early games were sometimes sold with very big manuals indeed!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Space_Race

    And the correct genre was Interactive Fiction ( not adventure or strategy) . It seems that the game was well received by everyone ( so that explains why I was able to buy it so cheaply!)
    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • edited October 29
    And "The Great Space Race" is listed in the WOS archive as "Strategy Manegement " . So is shows how fuzzy these categories can get as it is often a matter of opinion as to where each game belongs . And that massive manual come at a cost - just look at the original price (WOW) . And it can be bought for about 3 quid today! In real terms that must be about 1% of its original cost (£15.00)!

    https://worldofspectrum.org/archive/software/games/the-great-space-race-legend-1
    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Space_Race

    And the correct genre was Interactive Fiction ( not adventure or strategy) . It seems that the game was well received by everyone ( so that explains why I was able to buy it so cheaply!)

    Erm, just because it says so in Wikipedia doesn't mean it's true lol. Unless their definition is that 'Interactive Fiction' is 'anything that is textual but is not as good* as a real text adventure', then it would fit right in.
    And "The Great Space Race" is listed in the WOS archive as "Strategy Manegement " . So is shows how fuzzy these categories can get as it is often a matter of opinion as to where each game belongs

    https://worldofspectrum.org/archive/software/games/the-great-space-race-legend-1

    People are always fuzzy (yes, people, while the categories are pretty clear) but still most of them won't call it a platformer, or interactive fiction. I just played it and I'd definitely categorise it under '(Real time) Strategy'. (and since there are many Strategy types defined in the archive, Strategy Management isn't a terrible category for the game.) You could probably also call it a 'Quick Time Event' game too, but that would skip the strategy part of the game.

    Anyway, the point is, in the 80s people were innovating and don't care about these categories, and therefore the games can't be categorised easily. Which is a good thing. Nowadays all AAA games are just 'Macrotransactional First-Person Gambling Programs' (just kidding).

    Surprisingly, I like the game.
  • edited October 29
    I was just pointing out that the Wiki article referred to it under a different category . I was not saying that the WOS classification was incorrect .

    Was it a good game? The Wiki article seemed to imply it was not well received at the time.

    A sticker (also a security device) on the case also says:- "Pack contains program cassette , player manual , giant colour poster . Made in the UK" ( such a shame I did not get the giant colour poster !)
    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
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