I think the author is severely underestimating just how much people will pay for a physical book on this kind of topic. I really hope that they find a way to get this printed. $60 isn't even nearing what many people interested in this kind of topic would consider "very expensive."
Edit: Just finished downloading and took a look at it. Splitting it into a "1975-2000" volume, and a "2000-2014" volume seems to make the most sense. That splits it almost exactly in half by page count, as well.
cpdf crpg_book_1-0.pdf 1-259 -o book1.pdf
cpdf crpg_book_1-0.pdf 260-end -o book2.pdf
Better still get a price, and minimum print run, for a quality hardback with premium paper. Then all or nothing kickstart it with whatever minimum and price is needed. Not forgetting enough profit in the deal for time!
Many many people who grew up with these now have decent earnings and a whole load of nostalgia. There's been countless successful Kickstarts in this niche - books, emulators, films, arcade cabinets etc.
I agree with mathgeek, and would like to encourage you to at least do some kind of poll based on a quote from a decent printer. I think you would be pleasantly surprised.
I'm not rich and don't go around throwing $100+ at random whims, but man, we are talking about an impressive tribute and memory of the games I, and many of us, love. A good bunch of the games you cover were an enormous influence during many years in my life (and I still come back to them regularly). It would be one of the most cherished books in my library. Although I love books, these years I'm limiting my physical book purchases to three or so a year due to lack of space, but I would get this one without even a second thought.
I don't want to believe that I live in a world where this book can't get a physical edition to make it justice. One way or another, it must be done.
PS: in page 79, the caption of the last screenshot of Ultima IV seems wrong. I think it was miscopied from a screenshot of The Bard's Tale.
And in term of taxes, as someone living in Japan on a temporary visa in Japan, you do not pay taxes in Japan on income from abroad that does not get sent to Japan. I'm not sure about the Brazilian side of things but you might qualify as non-resident and in that case not be on the hook there. Of course, consult with a professional or read the double taxation agreements (which is a dry reading) but it's likely to not be too complicated in your case.
But really, it is as mathgeek says. You are underestimating how much people are willing to pay for this. Though, as you said in the blog post, it's all future-talk at this point.
This CRPG book full colour book would be snapped up at $80.
They would have to do an actual print run to actually make any money on it, which means crowd-funding, and I'd only put the odds at 50-50 that it gets funded.
When I tried the first one, I was very impressed by the combat system as shown on the starting tutorial, but as soon as you get to the first city there is too much dialog. I realize that dialog is part of cRPGs, but when the ratio of gameplay to dialog is too low, I'd rather read a book.
I noticed World of Warcraft was missing, which seemed odd at first. But then I noticed:
> This is our first full release. We’re very proud of it, but we still couldn’t add all the games we wanted to cover,
and sections on MMORPGs, old hardware and developers had to be cut, so hopefully there will be more versions
in the future.
In case anyone else was wondering.
Looking back on that I can imagine that hardcore
roleplayers would be miffed, but to a newcomer like
myself it was perfect. I did as the manual suggested
and created a mixed party of four characters that
could deal with whatever dangers lay ahead, knowing
that I could recruit two NPCs in-game if something
I don't have the impression that D&D players were particularly miffed about this. At the time I think it was well-understood that implementing the full AD&D ruleset, technically and in spirit, presented insurmountable challenges given the state of technology in the early 90s.
It wans't until Baldur's Gate that any game really managed to blend the adventuring and combat elements of AD&D into a coherent whole. Don't get me wrong the Gold Box games are great and in some ways better even than Baldur's Gate, but the adventure and exploration elements of those games feel bolted on to the deep 2d tactical combat system. I think one of the reasons Baldur's Gate became so popular is because it seemed like the game AD&D fans had been waiting for.
PS congrats on the book release!
Shigeru Miyamoto and his team at Nintendo mixed Hydlide with Xanadu, removed all the RPG elements and focused on the most important – the call for adventure.
They added an attack button, created a huge world full of secrets, designed clever dungeons, puzzles and boss battles, made magic items alter gameplay and got rid of all the time wasting grinding
Design decisions that resonate today with Breath of the Wild ;)
This book is a stunning achievement. A true labor of love. That I am sure will provide indelible inspiration for many years to come.
As a huge Zelda fan, I think they created an amazing, interactive world for BOTW, but then slapped a bunch of shallow, generic, repetitive, FarCry 3-esque open-world gameplay on top of it and took out the most interesting part of previous Zelda games, the Dungeons. The shrines (the meat of the gameplay) are incredibly boring and unimaginative. The actual content of this game does a serious disservice to the intricate world and the elaborate, experimental gameplay mechanics.
There are no clever dungeons and the entire game is a time-wasting grind.
On Lulu, full-color, US Letter, 528 pages (they support up to 740) standard paperback with otherwise default options has a $30.39 printing cost, with no volume discount. Volume will drop that.
Or at least I do. And I'd be willing to drop good money for a copy one it's been through some proper copyediting.
>podiki: There's also albums on Flickr with 18,000+ images from the games: https://www.flickr.com/photos/crpgbook/albums
Also, if you guys would be willing to throw the "raw" source onto something like Github, it might be easier to get people to submit proofreading corrections.
The author of this blog is in the process of playing every CRPG created since 1975. They discuss strengths & weaknesses, its place in the history of RPGs, etc.
Ultima I and II were a hot mess. Ultima III was remarkable. Ultima IV and V were mind blowing when I was a kid. If a 19 year old "CoD Player" can't figure out to RTFM, its their loss.
RPGs aren't easy for a reason, they're supposed to require effort to master and possibly win. And like life, you don't always win.
Kids today want everything handed to them it seems. I lost interest in games decades ago because I thought we'd get better versions of Ultima IV as time went on. Instead we got "interactive" movies for the most part.
Little Johnny wants to be a rock star, but learning guitar is hard. Try this 5 button fake guitar, now you've got talent! So of course mastering the up, down, left, and right arrows would be hard to figure out. </typical old man rant>
> If a 19 year old "CoD Player" can't figure out to RTFM, its their loss.
Mechanics in games, much like things in user interfaces should be discoverable without reading a manual. The actual act of creating a potion or weapon out of materials or managing your inventory or doing simple combat should not have to be looked up. The process for creating or doing something well can be experimental or based on skill, but the physical act of doing the thing should be easy to understand without reading. This extends beyond games to user interfaces, tools, or many other things. It's clear what a knife does when you look at it, getting good at preparing food takes practice.
> Kids today want everything handed to them it seems. I lost interest in games decades ago because I thought we'd get better versions of Ultima IV as time went on. Instead we got "interactive" movies for the most part.
The CRPG scene is going through a renaissance. Games like DotA and many fighting games make their objectives clear but take time and strategy and experimentation to master.
> Little Johnny wants to be a rock star, but learning guitar is hard. Try this 5 button fake guitar, now you've got talent! So of course mastering the up, down, left, and right arrows would be hard to figure out.
Playing guitar is a life long endeavor. Comparing it to learning the rules of a single game that you may play for 50 - 100 hours is insane. Nobody thinks someone playing guitar hero has talent, but they do know they are having fun.
"Back-in-my-day-ism" is a cancer in both the consequential and the inconsequential, please really think about what you're saying when you spout it.
I tend to believe this, too - and am amazed at how Minecraft knowledge spreads. I don't believe there is any documentation, it all seems to be peer-to-peer over the web.
I'd love to figure out how to generate the interest that drives the amount of time and effort kids spend reading and watching about playing the game, outside of actually playing the game.
Well, there are a few times I'd like to have explanation on how the game work, especially on things that are not easily discoverable/understandable without a lot of experiments, like you know, mechanics that are common in CRPGs like sustained effects, criticals, effect of stats... That's the kind of things I'd want to have a manual for.
I am also glad to see Planescape: Torment as first, it was popular to spend time on the question "What can change the nature of a man?" for several pages in the forums back then.
(And as I've said back then: If a physical version is possible, I'm highly interested.)
The game itself is was fun, more than tricky (almost impossible for the 9 or 10 we were at the time) and there aren't many games which combine all it's best elements. As the book says, the custom spell rune system was a treat. Creating a spell which shot a missle which exploded and also fired other missles around it was really fun.
(Print copy - yes!)