Propaganda 04 ch07

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From 5th til 8th September'91,the second
ECES took place at EARLS COURT in the
center of London.

People who visited the first edition of
this "new and improved PCW-show" might
remember the big hall,the arcades (which
you could play for free) the high number
of companies,and most of all that the
hall was packed with people...
(Especially during the public days!)

This year things were different...
Everything seemed to be alright this
year,EMAP International Exhibitions Ltd.
promised it to be (and I quote Neil Wood
the Exhibition Director:) "the biggest

and most proffesional leisure computing
games event ever to be held in the U.K.
Featuring over 1OO exhibitors and events
from all areas of this booming market".
But shortly after the Russion coup,the
news were spread that this extroardinary
show was cancelled! It appeared in most
of the magazines and they even opened
a special phoneline which continiously
ran a tape saying: "We're sorry to
announce that the ECES 1991 has been
cancelled due to the recession"...
But we quickly found out that only the
public days were chancelled while the
trade days would still be continued.

So we from Mega-Industries got our VIP
tickets,and went off to visit the ECES!
Together with OMEGA and THE RED DAWN of
our AMIGA-Section,ALTER Developments

on our bus to France,where we took the
SEACAT (a catamaran) to Sheerness,where
we went to London by bus.
When we arrived at the bus-station in
London,we were looking for cheap
accomodtion close to the exhibition.
We found a hotel easily,right across
the Exhibition Centre,and just out of
sight,so no Company Bobo,would see our
rather cheap accomodation. Just Perfect!
After we had unpacked our luggage and a
refreshing shower we took our tickets
and went to the show.
Well,we already had found out that Earls
Court 2 lies directly behind the main
hall and that the show's main entrance
was the back-entrance of this second
exhibition hall.

As soon as the cancelling of the public
days was announced,many companies
chickened out in the last minute,which
made a lot of people (including scene-
dudes) not showing up.
Among the 46 companies which still took
part were:

They had one of the biggest stands again
but this year they didn't have these big
TV screens or the huge amount of arcades
at their stand. They locked the biggest
part off for the public and only people
who were able to make an appointment
with one of OCEAN's employees could see
what was inside. (Well,actually there
was nothing special. Only some desks
with some Amigas and PC showing some of

their recent products like TERMINATOR 2

Another company with a biiig stand,but
they didn't lock the public out,well a
bit,as they had a small 'office' where
you could see previews of unfinished
games. But on the outside they had left
enough space for several Amigas and
SEGA Megadrives running new games like
VIRGIN was one of the only stands where
you could play some new products.

They completely locked the public out,
and unless you had an appointment with
one of their employees you weren't even
allowed to peak inside. But inside you
could play one of their soon coming
coin-up conversions: PITFIGHTER. Once
you were inside you could take almost
everything what was lying around,freely
like drinks and snacks,press-packs,
women,you know,all the stuff which is
usually presented to you. On the back
wall,several Amigas and PC showed demos
of several forthcoming DOMARK releases.

They had a somewhat smaller stand than
the previous companies, but their amount
of new products was impressive,I saw a
few games like LOTUS TURBO CALLENGE 2,
PEGASUS,HARLEQUIN (a platform-game),
VIDEOKID (another platform-game),FLAG,
SUSPICIOUS CARGO (a text adventure),
DEMONSGATE (one of the best role-playing
games I've ever seen,with over 1OO.OOO
different playing screens,and over 5128
independent characters!) Sadly most of
them will only be published on Amiga,
ST and PC format. But LOTUS 2 and
VIDEOKID might be released for the C64.

MICROPROSE also had a fairly big stand
and were presenting many great titles
but sadly enough none of them is going
to be out for the C64. But Amiga and
PC users should watch out for a LOAD of
games coming out around Christmas!

At their stand you could meet one of
their beautiful female employees. She
informed about their latest releases,

A small stand was rented by ELITE,where
they showed THE LAST BATTLE,soon to be
released on all formats. But when asked
you got to see more of their products on
various formats. And ELITE is starting
to move on the field of handhelds,like
the Gameboy and the NES (with titles

And there were a few more...
SOFT had their stands outside the
Exhibition Center,guests were brought
to expensive hotels like the Kensington
Park Hotel (VERRRY expensive!).

But also several smaller companies had
their own stands like...

At their stand you could watch some
demos on a big TV-Screen,like MYTH and
THE LAST NINJA for the Amiga,and their
latest C64 release: TURBO CHARGE.

They had an Amiga and a C128 on their
stand on which you could see some of
their new products like KAWASAKI.

Well, actually THALAMUS didn't rent a
stand,but you could meet several of
their employees near the restourant of
the hall. Nothing new from them but for
that "THE HITS 2" compilation.

They also had locked off their stand
from the public,leaving only a small
entrance. And their 'office' was only
big enough to get 2 computers (an Amiga
and a C64) and a fridge with cooled beer
but their setup was sooo "professional"
that,if you turned on both computers,
the monitors would jam each other...

For the persons who visited the show
last year: The hall was as big as the
one last year... But they only used 1/3
of that hall. There were no arcades,only
at the VIRGIN stand you could play some
games on several computers (mostly SEGA
Megadrives) Our favourite was TERMINATOR
on that Megadrive,it was great!
Especially the animations of the main-

sprite (If you shoot,he had to open his
white trench-coat before he actually
could shoot the buddy. It was a bit slow
while you were playing... But you could
shoot faster if you kneeled down.)
However,the animations were perfect!
Later we were talking to somebody from
ZEPPELIN games,he asked if we could do
a conversion of an Amiga-game... So we
looked at the game. It was a formula 1
racing game with filled vectors,called
we wouldn't have to do it in filled
vectors on the C64 as it would be too
slow and rather unplayable then... He
offered us £1OOO to do the graphics and
the code and another £1OO if we did the
music aswell. But if we wanted to do
this conversion we had to come back at
2 pm as then his boss would be around

aswell,as he wasn't allowed to give out
any orders.

When we left the building to go and grab
some Hamburgers at Mc Donalds we saw the
awesome dudes from APEX Computer Prod.
(You know,the programming team who did
RETROGRADE and CREATURES,and currently
are working on CRITT for THALAMUS.)
But as soon as they saw us looking at
them,they did as if we weren't there
and walked on,their noses high up in
the air...
Annoyed by their arrogance,we started
joking about how we would humiliate them
on the next show,when we had sold our
Full Price game,and got incredibly
famous... We already saw them begging us
for some autographs,or just because they
would want to touch us... Hehehe!

We spoke to Colin Gordon of OCEAN about
our Full Price Game,but he was very
annoying,always saying that OCEAN was
too big for us,and that they wouldn't
buy original C64 products anymore but
this might have been a somewhat more
comfortable conversation if a certain
artist called GC SINN would have shut
up as his English was pretty pathetic,
making Colin think he still wanted to
sell the game,while GC SINN,was talking
about converting games. Smart move,dude!

After that we spoke to some persons from
cool beer but wanted to buy our full
price game as a budget-game... Nice try
dudes! Too bad for you we didn't fall
for it! Thanks for the beer anyway!)

By then it was 2 pm and we went back to
the ZEPPELIN stand as we wanted to try
to convert that racing game.

We meet Gareth Briggs there,and we
started talking about the racing game.
We said that we thought £1OOO were a bit
on the low side,but we were interested
in doing the game for £1.5OO. He said
that was alright so quickly that we
thought we could have asked for £2OOO
for the game and get way with it...
We talked some more about how much time
we would need to make that game,about
the contract,and a few conditions and
everything seemed alright so we went
away with a conversion order,and a
contract which should be in our postbox
a week after the show.

After that we just walked around a bit
and looked for some scene dudes...
Actually it was very hard to find some,
as everybody wore the same bureoucratic
suits,except for us then. But I finally
got to see some of them,I spoke to
STRIDER of FAIRLIGHT,and I saw members
have seen someone walking around with a
GENESIS sticker,but I didn't see whether
it was from the programming team (they
made a lot of CODEMASTERS' games) or
from G*P. All others I saw were Amiga
only. (QUARTEX,SKID ROW etc.)

When you stayed just outside the hall,
in front of the entrance,you could see
a real American yello-cab from U.S.GOLD
taking and dropping off people in front
of that entrance. We sat there,smoking,

talking and resting a bit. We were just
about to get back in when we spotted
THEM again... APEX Computer Productions!
They wanted to go to U.S.GOLD,and as
soon as they saw us,that same flair of
supremacy was in the air,when they were
entering the cab but what happened...
A few more people had to go to U.S.Gold
too,and that cab got real crowded...
And we didn't have difficulties to
laugh,when they drove off, canned like
fishes in a tin-can. (Hehehe!)

Then we finally meet David Birch from
THALAMUS,finally as we somehow missed
eachother yesterday, when we had an
appointment. But he also immediatly was
interested in the game,and he hadn't
even seen anything! But he was the
coolest person we spoke at the show,as

most of the company bobos talked to you
as if he (or she) was your supervisor,
But with David it was like talking to
your best friend... And most of the time
we spoke about Creatures, The Rowland
brothers (APEX...), and he really liked
those dudes,as he kept talking about
them and CREATURES all the time... Did
you know that CREATURES sold 3O,OOO
copies on tape!?! (£1O each,which means
£3OO,OOO and that is about 9OO.OOO DM of
only the tape-sales? As programmer you
get 18% royalties (the highest in the
business!) from those sales working for
THALAMUS,that is bout 162.OOO DM!! Now I
know how the Rowland Bros can afford all
these vacations! And that was only about
the royalties! You get about £4OOO extra
extra for expenses while you are making
the game!! Or did you know that THALAMUS

is a department of NEWSFIELD,the same
company that published the fab magazine
ZZAP? Or that Robin Hogg (from ZZAP) is
going to work for THALAMUS as a project
manager? According to David Birch,he
recognises a good game and knows how to
make it even better...
So now you know why THALAMUS always gets
high ratings in ZZAP,and low ratings in
COMMODORE FORMAT,the magazine of their

The last appointment we had was with
U.S.GOLD. But as I already said,their
stand wasn't at Earls Court 2. They had
placed their stand in a very luxe hotel.
And you were brought to that hotel by a
real American yellow cap,with U.S.Gold
and MIRRORSOFT written all over it.
But when we finally arrived,we stood in

front of one of the best hotels you can
get in London. I had to leave as I had
another very important appointment about
5OO km north-east of Paris the next day.
The other dudes stayed another day but
didn't visit the show,enough to be worth
mentioning here. What should have been
"the biggest event ever to be held in
the U.K." concerning computers got to be
an ordinary show,worse than last year.
But last year was great,and that makes
this show a bit less great,but still
great enough to visit. At least for our
means. If you're interested in scene-
stuff,you should go and visit another
meeting. It was just simply TRADE ONLY.
With most of the companies available,
only too bad the public days were

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