At the beginning of April 2016 Peter Verdi's Magnetic Scrolls Chronicles website went offline. So far all my attempts to contact Peter failed. His site carried some invaluable interviews with former Magnetic Scrolls people. To preserve the work I temporarily uploaded a dump of his site taken in summer of 2015. All you can see below is 100% Peter's work! Hopefully his site will reappear soon! Peter, if you read this, can you contact me?

Remember how it's like to ride on a cloud? How it feels to be squashed by a bus, or how to get that damned gold disc from Micky? Well, here's your chance to relive all these situations.

Have a chat with the devil in THE PAWN, ransack an entire island in THE GUILD OF THIEVES, restore luck itself to a whole country in JINXTER, uncover a conspiracy in CORRUPTION, become an inter-dimensional secret agent in FISH!, an ancient god in MYTH, walk in the footsteps of Alice in WONDERLAND and inherit a haunted mansion in THE LEGACY.
Become a part of the fantasy of Magnetic Scrolls - you certainly won't regret it . . .


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    - The Guild Of Thieves
    - Jinxter
    - Corruption
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    - Myth
    - Wonderland
    - The Magnetic Scrolls
       Collection Vol. One
    - The Legacy - Realm
       Of Terror
   Magnetic Interpreter
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The Arts That Spell Adventure - Page One
written by Mike Gerrard for "Atari ST User" magazine 03/1988 (used with kind permission)

Mike Gerrard relates the graphic story behind Magnetic Scrolls

They say that software sells hardware, in which Jack Tramiel must owe many an ST-sale to the award winning British adventure House, Magnetic Scrolls, and in particular the comparatively unknown name of Geoff Quilley. Geoff's the artist who produced the ST pictures for The Pawn, most of those for The Guild of Thieves and 19 for the company's brand new release, Jinxter.

"It was the ST version of The Pawn that made us successful, and it's still one of the biggest selling pieces of Software for the ST", says Anita Sinclair, the company's co-founder and managing director, and who for many adventurers is Magnetic Scrolls.

One of the reasons for that is simply that it's Anita's job within the company to deal with press and publicity. She does more than just talk to the press, however. As managing director she's involved in every aspect of Magnetic Scrolls' work.

She is writing her own adventure, and in fact the initial success of the company is partly down to her little-known ability to turn out an arcade game or two! This was after the first text-only version of The Pawn had been published by Sinclair Research for the QL. While waiting for other things to happen, Anita went to Firebird and showed the games to Tony Rainbird. He thought they were ok, but didn't sound too enthusiastic.

But while she was there she also demonstrated The Pawn. Tony loved it and said he'd buy all the budget games for the rights to all other machine versions of The Pawn. Fortunately she had only sold the QL rights to Sinclair.

The founders of Magnetic Scrolls were Anita, who'd been writing software on a freelance basis, and a friend of hers, Ken Gordon, who was leaving school and also wanted to write software. They decided to team up and try to produce a really good arcade game, till Ken turned up one day with Hugh Steers, who had written a text parser. After a trial run with a small adventure, the team of three decided they needed a serious writer in order to produce a proper game.

At this stage Ken turned up with someone else, Rob Steggles, who was to write most of The Pawn and its follow-up, The Guild of Thieves. "The bulk of Guild of Thieves was actually written before The Pawn first came out, which was late 1985", Anita explained. "Rob had said he was going to write another adventure for us, so we locked him in a hole for a while and he came up with what is basically The Guild of Thieves. Maybe we should lock him in a hole more often.

"The most important thing about an adventure is the writing, and if you can't write then that's that, you might as well give up and go home. You can learn programming, you can learn to use an adventure system, but you can't really learn to write in the same way.

"The Pawn was written as a text-only adventure, but when it was decided that Rainbird was going to publish it, graphics were requested with it. So we said, 'Only if they're very very good". At this point Shakespeare and a pub in Oxford enter the rather haphazard development of the Magnetic Scrolls success story.

Oxford Digital Enterprises is the programming team behind such best-selling computer games as Trivial Pursuits and Yes, Prime Minister, although the company's first enterprise was an attempt to turn Shakespeare's Macbeth into an adventure game.

ODE advertised for artists in an Oxford news-sheet, which was picked up in a pub by Geoff Quilley. Despite the fact that he hadn't had any contact with computers, Geoff replied to the ad and landed a job working on the graphics of Macbeth on the Commodore 64.

"After Art College", Geoff said, "I moved to Oxford because that's where my girlfriend was living, and I was on the dole at the time, looking for work, when I saw ODE's ad in the paper. That was my first contact with computers.

"David Pringle of ODE later introduced me to Anita, who was looking for someone to do the graphics for The Pawn, so I submitted some samples. She seemed to like them and that's what led to a good working relationship with Magnetic Scrolls".

On the bus - A typical busload of Aquitanian commuters

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