Why RAW succeeded!
Lord Helmet of Spaceballs looks back on his diskmag R.A.W. and the quarrels with Andromeda. Written by Lord Helmet of Spaceballs. Reaction on this article by Hydra of Andromeda.
Who is Lord Helmet?
“I remember Lord Helmet as a friendly and humorous fellow who I worked a lot with when it came to diskmagazine(s)”
El Loco / Talent
“The infinite Andromeda sends fuckings to -Lord Helmet- of Spaceballs for being a pathetic figure and a pitiful liar!"
“If there's a goal for a maineditor he could dream of, then it's to reach the quality RAW has proven!!!”
“Lord Helmet is the best scene journalist ever. Damn I've stolen many ideas from RAW in the past, like most editors I guess.”
What is RAW?
The best diskmag from 1991 – 1996. Started 1991 and reached top of charts after 3 months. Lord Helmet was the founder and main editor to 1994.
Chapter 1: Why did RAW succeed?
1. Try harder: When I started as main editor it was either to be the best mag or not to do it. Zine was the mag at the time and I looked forward to the competition. It was ALL in. All communication from day one was to show self-belief and be number one. Already after 3 months we succeeded!
2. Have 100% control of the end product. I had very good helpers but I did never compromise on the final result. I worked together with a group of people so I got the result I was 100% satisfied with! No compromises! I did not publish articles/music etc. for friends just to be nice fellow.
3. Find the best people wherever they are. I found the best people to work for me. Fairfax/Andromeda painted the front page for each issue and also did the design. Lone Star/Spaceballs and Andromeda was invited to make intros. Perplex/Offence made a fantastic mag engine. I invited the best musicians to make modules. RAW was not product belonging to any group it was a scene product.
4. Think about your “customers”. Write short and interesting articles about what they want to read. Before RAW every mag was objective. RAW started with opinions and did mainly scene stuff. I think RAW did understand its readers. With the mag we wanted to make scene interesting and big. Our purpose was to be positive about the scene.
5. Let people advertise for you. We always had articles that we knew would be discussed. The best marketing is people talking about your product. “Have you read that article in RAW”. “Have you seen that intro”. People should feel that if they didn’t have the latest RAW issue they were missing something.
6. Be someone not just anyone. RAW reinvented discmag scene with new ideas all the times. We broke conventions already established. If all you do is copy you’ll never fulfill your potential.
7. Always improve. The day you are satisfied, you are history!
My favourite issue is #7, I still watch it, over and over... its module is amazing ! It reminds me a lot of wonderful memories.... the good old days, when Amiga was THE computer...
Chapter 2: How about fuckings in Andromeda Nexus 7 demo?
I like Andromeda. I see many of them as my scene friends. Fairfax/Andromeda was also on the main contributors to design and front page in most RAW issues. Andromeda also made an intro for one of the first RAW issues.
I wrote on article about Hydra being harsh to a member in Andromeda. Not allowing the team member to leave the group. The member called me on the phone. I called Hydra -> Stalin of the scene. I met Andromeda and Hydra several times after this. Hydra told me “He didn’t care about the article”.
1. First time: I was at the party 94. The issues of RAW got more and more delayed. I was just getting back from army. My last issue was just around the corner. I met Andromeda at this party. Nice guys! But they are maybe smiling of what should happen ? During the Demo Competition I saw the fucking scroller. For me it came out of nowhere. I knew nothing.
2. My first thought: In our first RAW issue in the editorial I wrote: “if you of any reasons dont like this mag, dont hesitate to fuck us in your productions !” Andromeda did that. First, I got a bit concerned. At the same time I was a bit proud to be part of this fantastic demo. Everybody knew me so didn’t think it hurt me so much. I thought that this is good publicity for RAW. Maybe I was so full of myself that was the reason I didn’t take it personal. I even had contact with Andromeda just after the demo competition. I had no problems or anger towards them, and I thought that this was a good revenge for them. Now we are even. ?
3. Second thought: Just a week ago (20 years after) I read an article in Jurassic park (2007). This article was an interview with Archmage.
When I read this interview done 13 years after the release and listens to their story I see that I hurt Andromeda. They say that their greatest achievement was to get rid of me. Andromeda was annoyed that they didn’t get more response. I read that the main inspiration to make Nexus 7 was to punish me.
After reading this article I got a bit sad. It meant that I hurt Andromeda real bad back in 92. I have never apologized to Andromeda. Although the story is true I now apologize for the article and how I compared Hydra with Stalin. Characterize someone as Stalin is not acceptable. Hope Andromeda will accept my apologies. Its never too late!
4. Third thought: I guess that my article did bring a group effort from Andromeda to make the best ever demo on Amiga. So that is the good side of the story. I was their enemy hanging on the wall making it worthwhile to work hours each day for their final demo ?
Chapter 3: The scene
1. The scene is about talent? I have never, never worked with so talented people as I met in the scene. No workplace can compare to the scene. I had the pleasure to meet and work with people with great talent and enthusiasm. To see so many hours of work done without getting a penny is the scene for me. A special thanks go to all scene musicians. I still listens to some of your music. For me you are the stars of the scene. Enigma by Firefox and Tip is still is in my head. Great memories!!
2. Today's demos: Haven’t seen much demos the last 15 years. For me it’s not the same now. It’s like watching a soccer game where you don’t know any players. A quick thought: they look too professional. I like freshness, boldness and rawness.
3. Today compared to early 90s - Internet age: My scenetime was just before Internet got everywhere. During the peak for RAW I got about 30 envelopes in my mailbox each day. Today 20-30 is a small number to get into an email box. Internet also made the discmags obsolute after my opinion.
4. AGA: AGA divided the scene and it really was the start of the decline. In addition, the AGA chip was not good enough to keep people from getting a PC.
Chapter 4: Thanks
Thanks to pouet.net and Kestra Bitworld who provide a database over all AMIGA productions. Marvelous! Write me if you need a donation! Thanks to all who supported RAW. Thanks to Andromeda for giving me a fucking scroller. Thanks to all of you who made AMIGA productions 88-95. If you want to read about RAW or Scene history 88-95 download RAW issue 7 from Pouet or Kestra. Enjoy your scenelife... Lord Helmet signing off for the last time.
Hydra of Andromeda reacts:
The motivation behind Nexus 7 was to win "The Party 1994", not to punish Lord Helmet or make him leave "The Scene". It is, however, true that during the making of Nexus 7, "Strafferen" (Norwegian for “The Punisher”) was the preferred working - or, rather joking title for the demo until Interphace came up with "Nexus 7". The word "Strafferen" was simply a part of a broader internal jargon inside the group at that time.
I never formally left Andromeda, but it is true that I reduced the time spent on the Amiga after the victory in Denmark. We all did, even though some remained more active than others. It was the dawn of the Web and we all saw that the Intel based computers were dominating in hardware specifications. I myself felt that I spent too much time with the Amiga instead of real "amigas", studies and life in general.
After all, Nexus 7 was Andromeda's final release on the Amiga and 1994 was a good year for the team: Victories at both "The Gathering" and "The Party" with "Sequential" and "Nexus 7" respectively.
I actually shook hands with Lord Helmet back in 1997: It was just by coincidence that I met him a Saturday night in Kristiansand, where I studied. We did not speak of the incident then, but I cannot recall that I have ever rejected a sincere apology all my life, so I won't make an exception this time either.
Hydra of Andromeda
Links related to this article
Nexus 7 demo with the fuckings to Lord Helmet scroller
Andromeda RAW#4 intro
Spaceballs RAW#5 intro
Lord Helmet & Hydra