I know it's been like ... 20 years ... since the RetroGaming Radio Year 8 DVD preorders were accepted. I'd like to tell the story as to why there has been a delay and what I have done to rectify it.
As you may or may not know, the Yearly DVDs were largely constructed using an amazing tool called Scala. Back in the Amiga days, when you made titling and animations for TV and interactive kiosks, this was what you used. Fantastic stuff.
When I did Amiga work professionally, I was able to score a copy of it for a few hundred bucks - and the company afforded me a one time PC upgrade to the "Windows" version - named Scala Infochannel Designer.
Several years of DVDs were made with this product.
Time went on, and as Windows progressed (namely the jump to 64-bits) this software became aged and I was not eligible for upgrades. In the beginning of making the Year 8 DVD, the program would literally crash every few minutes - making the interface development a NIGHTMARE to say the very least.
It was then I decided to find a different product to make the interface. I wanted the same features and feel - so coding something on my own (which I DID do for earlier interfaces) simply wouldn't do.
Over the years, I've been searching for a true replacement for Scala that would let me do what I want, without compromise.
I thought I'd found a winner in a product called My AutoPlay - used to design interactive CD autoplay launcher software. I squeaked in on a summer promotion last year and got it for $79.
Unfortunately, while it has a lot of what I needed the software is buggy. Updates were far and few between - even a year later. While I had about 30-40% of the interface done, it was simply infuriating to use (I recently revisited it).
Each time I sit down to work on this project - I get immensely discouraged that I'm not able to use Scala anymore. Last week, I revisited Scala's website, hoping that they have created a product more like what I need at a price I can afford.
The Scala product has indeed moved forward - complete with Win7/64-bit support - the whole enchilada. I decided to get a quote.
$1700. Yeah, well - um .. that's not going to happen. Even the non-profit price of $1200 ain't gonna happen.
So once again, I set out in search of a "Scala replacement".
I got lucky and ran across a tool called Opus Creator 7. Before anything, I peeped the price; $135 - that's something I could afford. Then I downloaded the demo.
I spent about 3 hours working with the demo - and came to the conclusion that it can deliver the interface I want without compromise (well, too much compromise).
Anyway, last night I went ahead and made the purchase - and now I once again have the Year 8 DVD product in motion. I am already making progress by leaps and bounds - this will be my immediate focus until it is complete.
I still have a list of those that have already paid for the product - you will be getting it as soon as I can deliver it. As a bonus, I will throw in (just tossed on the disc) all the remaining shows of the classic RetroGaming Radio (something like 10 more episodes).
Once the backlog of preorders has been filled - I'll flag it for sale on the website and those wanting it can pick it up - finally completing the legacy of RGR's classic run.
There has been requests for some sort of "full set" version ... where every show and every DVD is available in a single, lower cost package. I am still very much interested in pursuing that - but until I get this Year 8 monkey off my back, it's on the back burner.
The new RGR show will continue the yearly DVD tradition come November. Thanks to this new product, I can safely consider the future of the brand on DVD. The best part is - thanks to HTML5 - you will be able to experience the RGR+TV versions of the show directly from DVD - including video. I'm very excited to get started on that project and it will come.
I guess that's about it. I was excited to finally get re-started on delivering this product that is beyond "past due". Thanks for everyone's patience.