Face to Face with Tyson!

Game expert and major contributor to the book, Matt Turk, recently personally hand-delivered a copy to Mike Tyson! Matt attended a Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth speaking event as a VIP, which includes a brief meeting with Tyson himself.

tyson

Here is Matt’s recollection of the event:

The show itself was really good. Going into it I didn’t know if Tyson would be able to hold an audience for 2 hours, but he did a great job and I was glad I went. My only complaint (so to speak) was that he did not talk too much about his boxing career, but rather spent most of the time talking about his volatile personal life (marriage to Robin Givens, numerous arrests, etc.)

There were probably about 80-100 total VIP’s out of a crowd of about 3,000. After the show I got about 1 minute to talk to him and here is what I asked after presenting him with the book:

  • “Do you remember anything about who you are hitting on the front of the MTPO box?” Unfortunately, he did not remember but he did not think that it was a real boxer.
  • He did say that he did remember filming the original commercial for TV where he is in front of all the TV’s.
  • He also said he remembered signing the contract to let Nintendo use his name and likeness.
  • I asked whether he would have beaten Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis had he fought them in the early 90′s if he had not gone to prison. He said they both would have been tough fights but felt that he would have beaten them both if he would have stayed in shape.
  • Finally, I asked about his acting career. He said he has an appearance in Scary Movie 5 and will be in The Hangover 3.

On the whole I think he was pleasantly surprised by the book and gladly accepted it. I didn’t see anyone else who had anything for him so it is probably pretty rare for someone to actually bring something for him when usually everyone is expecting something from him. After showing him the book he asked if he could maybe use the cover of the book on a slide in future shows when he is talking about his endorsements.

I included a note tucked into the book that explained the project in greater detail (why it was done and why we were unable to distribute it to the public) that also had a link to the book’s website and my email address. 

As I was walking away he grabbed me by the arm and asked me my full name. I responded and he said sincerely “thank you”, and almost on cue he winked at me with his right eye, which was very reminiscent of the video game itself. 

So, after this, even if the book never gets to the public I believe it has been a major success for 3 reasons:

  1. Through the Kickstarter project it was proven that there is a market for such a book by surpassing the goal of $25k.
  2. Mike Tyson received a copy of the book.
  3. The author, experts, designers, and editors have created a project with a standard that will never be surpassed and that can only hope to be equalled. 

A big thanks to Matt for all his help and making the effort to deliver the book.

Retro Gamer Punch-Out!! Feature

Retro Gamer #114 has a 6-page feature on Punch-Out!! that is worth checking out.

Retro_Gamer_Issue_114

A while back I sent links to the digital copy of the book to Retro Gamer to see if they wanted to write about it. I never heard back, but it appears to have contributed quite a bit to this article — especially considering there is nothing not already covered in my book.

Go pick up a copy and support this great magazine!

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good

  • Thanks to the contributions of MTPO experts, Matt Turk and Sinister1, I’ve been updating the book approximately 2 hours per week
  • Edits have primarily focused on strategies and are almost complete (up to Super Macho Man)
  • There have been new strategies discovered for consistently faster times and higher scores, which have been added
  • These edits have added an extra layer of polish to the book
  • I was briefly contacted by the organisers of PAX Australia 2013 about the possibility of a Q&A session about my experience making the book. Currently waiting for a follow-up to go over the details.

The Bad

  •  After continued attempts to contact Nintendo:
    • Emails to NOA and Goldie Marketing (licensed distributor)
    • Physically sent a copy of the book to NOA headquarters with a cover letter, which was returned with a generic message, phone number and reference
    • Followed up call to Nintendo, but the reference number did not work (and the call went nowhere)
    • Investigating personally giving Mike Tyson a copy of the book during his nationwide speaking tour (VIP ticket entitles a meet-and-greet)
  • Today I finally received an email response (names removed):

Thank you for your inquiry regarding the Punch Out book. We’re all very impressed by the amount of passion you have for the project.

Unfortunately, due to the complex rights and ownership issues involved with licensing the “Mike Tyson’s Punch Out” IP, we’re not able to consider an official license grant at this time. While we appreciate your enthusiasm and the demand from the fanbase, there are a number of insurmountable intellectual property hurdles that would prevent us from moving ahead with this project.

My apologies for the delay in responding to your inquiry. I wanted to ensure I thoroughly understood the issues surrounding your request, and it took some time for my own inquiries to reach the proper personnel within Nintendo.

Thank you again for your interest. I regret that I could not offer you a more affirmative response but do wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

With Kind Regards,

Nintendo of America Inc.
Merchandise Licensing

The Ugly

  • The response from Nintendo dashes any hope of an official release
  • I have responded asking about the possibility of either:
    • An unofficial release; or
    • Giving the book away for free (digitally)
  • If I can’t even give the book away for free without repercussion  the book will most likely never see a public release.
  • This would be a shame, but the world moves on! I really enjoyed the journey of making the book and have started preliminary scouting for a second book (hint: arcade)…

Stay tuned for future updates.

Cheers, Daniel.

Update!

A very quick reply to my inquiry around unofficially publishing or giving it away for free.

I’m sorry that it took so long for someone to get back to you—we get hundreds of these kinds of inquiries a week and sometimes it takes a while for things to make their way to the correct person. I’m glad I can be responsive, if nothing else.

Regarding your follow-on inquiry: Unfortunately, the only answer I can give to you is to suggest you speak to an intellectual property attorney. Nintendo vigorously defends its intellectual property rights, so it’s important to consult a professional to ensure you don’t infringe. Since IP law is complex and confusing, it is best to explain your particular case to someone who specializes in these matters and get a professional opinion.

Again, I’m afraid I’m not being terribly helpful, and I’m very sorry for that. It is clear that a lot of care went into your project, so I wish I could be of more assistance. Whatever the outcome, I hope very much that it’s a positive one for you.

I’ve informally spoken to an IP lawyer in the past and they like to play it safe, which is bad news for a public release. Considering almost everything in the book was freely sourced from the web, if I’m infringing then a lot of people are infringing.

I will look to speak properly with an IP lawyer in the coming months. If anyone is or knows an IP lawyer and would like to volunteer their services, please let me know!

To be clear, I am only concerned with Nintendo infringements at this stage. If I can clear that hurdle I’ll tackle fan-created content, which will be much less of an issue as I am more than happy to remove/replace — new content is created everyday!

January Update

Apologies for the lack of communication over the last two months, but there just hasn’t been much to report!

Awesome Games Done Quick 2013

  1. Minor updates and corrections in the book from experts Matt Turk and Sinister1
  2. Updated to include a new dodging discovery from Matt Turk
  3. A single prototype copy of the book will be given away during the speed run at Awesome Games Done Quick 2013. It’s a great event for a good cause so please tune in and show your support. Link: http://marathon.speeddemosarchive.com/schedule
  4. The last hurrah attempt at contact Nintendo is to physically send a copy to Nintendo of America headquarters with the cover letter below. It will be sent this week.

Please find enclosed my fan project to create a book dedicated to the 1987 Nintendo game Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!.

Created over two years with the help of the community and the game’s best players, the goal was to celebrate its 25th anniversary by producing a definitive encyclopedia. It has been professionally designed, edited and printed to the highest standards.

Placed on crowd fundraising site, Kickstarter, the book gained favourable public attention and raised pre-orders in excess of $28,000. These sales were based on the relatively high self-publishing cost of $125 per copy and proved there is a demand for such a book. In addition it is important to note that there was no profit gained for any of the authors and/or editors. Owing to numerous failed attempts to contact Nintendo, I voluntarily cancelled the fundraising before any money changed hands.

I would like the opportunity to share this book with all Nintendo fans, whether as an unofficial printed copy or free digital PDF. I have included my contact details and link to the marketing website, which references other resources such as the Facebook and Kickstarter pages.

First and foremost, it must gain approval from Nintendo. Mainly what I am concerned about is what is “intellectual property” versus what is “public domain.” Since the book took so long to complete and gained fan support it would be great for a Nintendo representative to take a look at it. The book is yours to keep for future reference and as a memento. However, if you are not interested in this project at all please return to the following address…

Will let you know if/when I get a response. Fingers crossed…

Print Comparison: Blurb (Australia) vs Kindvast (China)

I’ve been a bit slack with the updates of late because I moved house 2 weeks ago and have no internet. I won’t even get a phone line installed until Thursday…!

Below are comparison photos (click for larger) between the two books. Comments:

  • The Blurb book appears on the right and bottom respectively. When they are stacked on top of each other, Blurb is on top.
  • The Blurb cover is a lot nicer (and not shiny). Kindvast acknowledge this and can provide a non-gloss cover…
  • Kindvast is slightly larger
  • Blurb pages are more glossy and have richer color
  • Blurb is a lot nicer for black background custom toy figurine spread
  • There was some handling wear-and-tear on the Kindvast book (e.g. “give up” page), which is not a good sign
  • Based on this I wouldn’t use Kindvast for a hardcover edition, even though they are significantly cheaper. I may request a softcover sample…

Let me know if you have any questions or would like further photos…

Update

Response from Kindvast:

Blurb cover is nicer…
The cover is no problem, we can do you a matte finish. Please check the attached pictures…
Blurb pages have more gloss and colors are a bit brighter…
Because our sample uses digital printing, not offset printing, so the color and finish will be a little different. To do a sample in offset printing is very expensive, so all of our samples are digital printing. In our production, they are all offset printing. If possible, please send us a Blurb sample to check, then we can do a better job to match quality during production. It may not be 100% similar, but we are sure we can get it 95% the same.
Scratches and marks on some pages…
Because the sample is made by hand, not by machine,  sometimes there will be some scratches during the cutting and seal process. And for the production, they are all made by machine, so there will be no scratches and marks on the pages.
Blurb binding is nicer…
Refer to the other production sample which we sent you — as in production your book will also use that binding.

Milestone: 100% Funded!

Amazing! Big thanks to Matt Turk (contributor), Sinister1 (contributor), Alex Sahhar (design), NP (editor), and all the pledgers and retro gaming community in general.

Updates:

  • Pix’n Love Publishing have expressed interest and are currently reviewing the book
  • 20 tweets, 7 following, 19 followers
  • 78 Facebook friends
  • 343 backers, 43 comments, 10 updates
  • 25/25 $250 books sold, 24/25 $175 books sold, 108/200 $125 books sold
  • 9 new articles/posts online
  • 1,069 blog views
  • 1,261 visits to pixelperfectbooks.com

 

Only 5 days to go until the actual 25th anniversary of the game!