Who or what is "GAC user"?

Games for Spectrum, C64, Amstrad, Amiga, Apple ][ and the rest of the 8-bit and 16-bit platforms. Pleas for help, puzzles, bug reports etc.

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Garry
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Who or what is "GAC user"?

#1 Post by Garry » Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:56 am

The CASA database has two adventures published by "GAC user", but who or what is GAC user? It sounds like a magazine published by a GAC users' group. An internet search unveiled nothing related to a user group or a magazine or a company, but it did uncover four other adventures with some sort of association with GAC User. Then I thought it may be an author's pseudonym, but some of the six adventures have known authors and/or publishers. Can anyone shed any light on GAC User?

Here are the six adventures in question, all for the Amstrad CPC:

The Balrog by unknown
One source had this listed as the winning entry in the Amstrad Action GAC Adventure Writing Competition, but Amstrad Action itself listed the winning entry as Who's Afraid of the Balrog? and the two games are completely different. Perhaps this was one of the other entries?

City For Ransom by John Packham
CASA has this as published by GAC user and WoW Software.

Fallout by unknown
Not listed by CASA.

Mountains of Ket by Simon Lipscombe & Tim Walsha
Published by Incentive Software. I have the second author as Tim Walsha, CASA has it as Richard A. McCormack, but it was published for several platforms. Could GAC User have published it before or after Incentive or just on the Amstrad?

The Traveller by Mike Stanworth
CASA has this as published by Recreation Re-Creation Software.

Winter Wonderland by Simon Lipscombe & Tim Walsha
Published by Incentive Software. Same authors as Mountains of Ket.

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Strident
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Re: Who or what is "GAC user"?

#2 Post by Strident » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:47 am

Definitely not a pseudonym, for all the reasons you stated. Those authors are known.

From a bit of research, there was a GAC Users Group run by Barry Roberts in Mold, but I don't think they're connected. Incentive may have had an official user club but I've not come across a reference to that yet (Adventure Probe's Mandy Rodrigues later ran a 3D Construction kit magazine/club under license).

They're certainly tagged with GAC user elsewhere on the 'net, but that doesn't necessarily mean the information is correct.

Will keep my eye out and see if I notice any references. Probably a case of looking through a lot of old scans that aren't indexed very well yet by Google or the Internet Archive. I've got a few old Adventure Probe's which might help but I've already scoured them for updates for CASA in the past.

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Strident
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Re: Who or what is "GAC user"?

#3 Post by Strident » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:53 am

I have a feeling that "GAC user" is just a placeholder that has been copied across archives.

City for Ransom, for instance, I know from Adventure Probe, was originally sold directly by the author and later re-published by WoW. I think I added the WoW Software tag but didn't delete the "GAC user" one as I had no idea what it referred to.

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Strident
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Re: Who or what is "GAC user"?

#4 Post by Strident » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:59 am

I mean, Spong similarly lists a load of titles under "GAC user"...

https://spong.com/company/544/mode/wares/

We know for certain who a lot of those were actually produced and sold by!

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Garry
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Re: Who or what is "GAC user"?

#5 Post by Garry » Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:35 am

Thanks Strident. This is sort of what I suspected. I'm starting to think that "GAC User" is just nonsense and the ignorant are blindly copying bad information from other sites without checking its validity. Don't you love the internet? If anyone can shed any further light on this, it sure would be nice to know.

Alastair
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Re: Who or what is "GAC user"?

#6 Post by Alastair » Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:28 pm

Garry wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:56 am
Mountains of Ket by Simon Lipscombe & Tim Walsha
Published by Incentive Software. I have the second author as Tim Walsha, CASA has it as Richard A. McCormack, but it was published for several platforms. Could GAC User have published it before or after Incentive or just on the Amstrad?
My Dragon copy of The Ket Trilogy states that the authors are John Martin and R. A. McCormack. From reading Simon Lipscomb's notes I see that Lipscomb converted the game to the Amstrad, and given that World of Spectrum mentions just McCormack (clicking on the link for the cassette inlay image re-affirms this) I suspect that Martin converted the game to the Dragon. This leaves us with just Richard A. McCormack as the true author of the game. I have found no mention of Tim Walsha being involved in any of the Ket games.

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Re: Who or what is "GAC user"?

#7 Post by Gunness » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:05 pm

Garry wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:35 am
I'm starting to think that "GAC User" is just nonsense and the ignorant are blindly copying bad information from other sites without checking its validity. Don't you love the internet?
I don't know who you are referring to as "ignorant", but I don't like the way the term is thrown around. I know that many of us are doing a great deal of footwork to get the credits as right as possible, and that includes correcting information provided by other sites (for instance by looking through old magazines and contacting people such as Simon Lipscomb). But if you know how to get clear evidence of what person/publisher the "GAC User" games ought to be credited to, I'd love to hear it.

You say it yourself: "I'm starting to think that "GAC User" is just nonsense" - yet you'd like us to know for certain, by verifying the information somehow. But I'm not sure where?

Once again I need to re-iterate that CASA is a hobby project with a limited number of active users. I'd love the data we have on more than 7,500 games to be correct, but I also think it's obvious that if we need the kind of rigorous verification you're seeking, we need more hands. A lot more.

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