Vintage Games Almost Done

Matt Barton's picture

Good grief. It looks like Bill and I might actually be handing in the completed draft of Vintage Games tonight. Even as I write this, Alyx is finishing up the last few chapters (then we'll need to make the necessary changes). It's been a long, slow, grueling process, but I think you're going to be impressed with the book. I'm not going to claim that every part is brilliant, but there is definitely going to be some pleasant surprises in store for you.

Of course, what's going to make or break this book is the pictures. I hope to the flying spaghetti monster that this publisher will get the damn pictures right. We've worked our asses off to get screenshots and photos for this book, and the bit is going to hit the fan if they muck up the brightness and contrast. I'm sure it's a non-issue given the 4-color pages, but damn...I'm making double sure that this book looks great.

So, what can you expect from this book? Definitely a lot more analysis than you might expect. We're really trying to explain why each of these games is special and why they were so influential. That required us to really get deep, but I think the results speak for themselves. Hell, Bill even had to a come up with his own vocabulary for one chapter! Whether you agree or not, I think you'll have to appreciate the mental work that went into this. This isn't just a list with a bunch of b.s.; this is hardcore stuff.

There's also going to be tons of pictures from Bill's collection, so you may be reading along, see some screenshots, and then --boom--there's a shot of the actual box and maybe even the game playing on the vintage hardware. Those are the money shots for sure. Anybody can take a screenshot, but I daresay only Bill has the ability to take so many shots from his personal collection. I've been looking at his pics and thinking that a professional took them. Hell, they are professional! He's got the right equipment and has learned how to put together a great shot.

Is this a book that you're going to want on your shelf? Definitely. I honestly can't imagine anyone interested in gaming who wouldn't want a copy of this! So, plan to buy one for yourself and whoever else you think may enjoy it. Heck, we can even autograph it for you if you want.

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Bill Loguidice
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Dedications, Signings, etc.
Matt Barton wrote:

I'm wondering about how the autographs might work. It'd get pretty expensive to ship it to Bill, to me, and then back to you. I guess you could send the money for the book to Bill or me, we sign it, ship it to the next person, etc. I'm not really sure how this would work in a cost-effective manner, to be honest. Any ideas?

I was thinking about that too and honestly don't know the answer right now either. We'd lose the pittance we got for writing the book pretty fast if we paid shipping costs ourselves, but media mail is actually a pretty cheap shipping method, so it's certainly possible for someone to send us the book with enough postage to send it on to the next guy and then back to the sender, without it being too much cost to the reader. I'd be happy to do pretty much anything to accommodate anyone, short of spending my own money... ;-)



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Bill Loguidice
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DVD bundles in Europe
Matt Barton wrote:

Yeah, the Europeans got some kind of special DVD deal, where all the games were on a DVD for a good price. I didn't see that for the U.S. when I checked, but it's been several months. Mark is always carrying on about how the Europeans get access to this stuff so much faster and cheaper than over here in the U.S. :P

I think GoGamer.com tends to carry European product like that for dirt cheap, even though they're a US store. I actually order from them sometimes when they have those super cheap boxed games for sale (.99 sometimes) every other week. It's too bad I could never get their affiliate program working.



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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Baldur's Gate Saga
Bill Loguidice wrote:
Matt Barton wrote:

Yeah, the Europeans got some kind of special DVD deal, where all the games were on a DVD for a good price. I didn't see that for the U.S. when I checked, but it's been several months. Mark is always carrying on about how the Europeans get access to this stuff so much faster and cheaper than over here in the U.S. :P

The latter is because our malls are smaller and therefore the shelves are shorter -> faster turnaround cycles ;-)

Quote:

I think GoGamer.com tends to carry European product like that for dirt cheap, even though they're a US store. I actually order from them sometimes when they have those super cheap boxed games for sale (.99 sometimes) every other week. It's too bad I could never get their affiliate program working.

This is increasingly OT but here's one serious piece of advice: Be extra careful what you buy!

In Germany they recently re-published the complete Baldur's Gate & Icewind Dale series in one box with several DVDs for 15 Euros has one major flaw (apart from the understandably omitted printed manuals):
The Baldur's Gate 2 expansion "Throne of Bhaal" is German language only!
If you install it on an English install of BG2 everything gets translated to German! I had to use some massive patches from the net to get everything in English (to install mods to hack the screen resolution and fuse BG1 into BG2) and even then it's not perfect.

So get at least a British release if one exists!

take care,
Calibrator

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Matt Barton
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I think there may be some

I think there may be some way to print out UPS labels or the like, then we could just stick it on the package, address it, and off it goes. Only problem is that it'd need two--one for us to get it to each other, then another to ship it back to the person.

I have a student who works at the UPS store, so I'll ask her today and see what she recommends.

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Bill Loguidice
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Raw Book Data

This is prior to copy editing and layout. I'd love to share the chapter list with dates and sub-titles, but for now, it needs to remain a competitive secret. ;-)

Amount of raw data: ~1GB

Number of chapters: 34, plus an Acknowledgments page and a Preface

Number of text only pages (with comments and captions): ~221 (Times New Roman, 11pt)

Average chapter page count, text only (with comments and captions): ~6.4

Number of images: ~600



Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Mark Vergeer
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I am soo looking forward to this book! / German video games

Cool!

On German releases of Video games, unless you speak the language you could be in for a spill of 'green blood' too. :-)



Editor / Pixelator - Armchair Arcade, Inc.
www.markvergeer.nl

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yakumo9275
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I picked up the baldur's

I picked up the baldur's gate collection DVD package off ebay for $10 :) two dvds (main programs) and two cd's (the expansions), all official and proper.

-- Stu --

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Chris Kennedy
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...

Maybe you guys should just take some time off and do a book tour, and we'll just meet you there.

I wonder if it would be helpful if you were to get a tally of the people that want a signed copy first, one of you signs those and then does a bulk ship to the second one (potentially heavy...but media mail still helps). The second would have to mail those separately, but perhaps we would save with the bulk shipping from Bill to Matt or Matt to Bill. Knowing in advance how many people want the book will help get a better estimate for shipping dimensions and weight. This may get us closer to a book + total shipping cost up front.

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Bill Loguidice
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Interesting thoughts
CkRtech wrote:

Maybe you guys should just take some time off and do a book tour, and we'll just meet you there.

I wonder if it would be helpful if you were to get a tally of the people that want a signed copy first, one of you signs those and then does a bulk ship to the second one (potentially heavy...but media mail still helps). The second would have to mail those separately, but perhaps we would save with the bulk shipping from Bill to Matt or Matt to Bill. Knowing in advance how many people want the book will help get a better estimate for shipping dimensions and weight. This may get us closer to a book + total shipping cost up front.

Interesting thought and one worth exploring, but my first thought is that I'd rather do it on an individual basis so we can genuinely personalize the signature and dedication, particularly to the guys mentioned in the book. I don't think it would save THAT much money anyway. What we COULD do though is if somehow Matt and I were to get together at some point, just to have the books shipped by a certain date and we could do it all once. Who knows. Lots of options I guess, but I suppose we can cross that bridge once we get closer to February. Maybe even the publisher might have some ideas.



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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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Bit of a stretch here, but

Bit of a stretch here, but again if we knew how many people wanted them, perhaps Bill or and I could order them ourselves, sign them, ship them, and the last person could sell them. Maybe we could work this out and put a number of them on ebay? I know it's cheap to mail books if you use media mail. I think ckrtech is right about the bulk being exponentially cheaper.

Do we know how many personal copies we're getting from the publisher? If it's a lot, maybe we could just use those, assuming only 2-3 people are requesting the autographs. That would at least save the postage to get the book to one of us. I got 10 free copies of D&D, btw, which was more than enough for my zero friends and a few stray copies to colleagues. :P

Maybe we could work a deal with the publisher for signed copies as prizes for another "contest," though of course we know how that's gone in the past.

They put one of them in the English dept. book case, which looks very nice I must say.

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