Vintage Games book: Double the page count!

Bill Loguidice's picture

Well, this is probably not the greatest of news, but here it is anyway... According to the publisher, we're at DOUBLE the estimated page count of 352 pages, so obviously that's not going to fly and will require some cuts. Hopefully between a combination of layout restructuring by the publisher and us dropping a number of images, we can get closer to the original and required estimate. For those who don't recall, here are the estimated stats on the deliverable to the publisher, which apparently translated to the 700+ pages when formatted, which are obviously impractical for a mainstream book, particularly a full color one. On the plus side, right now it looks like the images that were cut and their companion captions will make it to a special password-protected Website from the publisher so readers will not miss out on the full experience. As a final, more positive update, we got some amazing testimonials in from people whose opinions really carry some weight, including from a legendary game designer, so the buzz is starting out very good already!

Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time, is now available for pre-order from Amazon (only $23.07 at the moment!) and many other locations you'd expect:

Keep in mind that the expected release date is roughly February or March 2009 (the publisher wants it for GDC 2009). Thanks for all your support and we'll continue to keep everyone updated.

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Bill Loguidice
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Books
Matt Barton wrote:

The only question now is, what to write next? I know Bill is working with Christina on a project, so I'm back to the drawing board thinking of viable single-authored books. A few that have been circulating is "War of the Wikis," which would look at wikis and things like wiki leaks and what-not; "Hackers, Slackers, and Shackles," would be a book-length treatment of my classic AA piece, and "Floyd Lives!," a history of adventure games. Any one of these would be a lot of work, but I'm leaning towards the Hackers one, just because it's been awhile since I've been immersed in that topic.

Christina and I are up for "Wii Fit for Dummies" against another team, but that's unlikely to happen and may not even be something we hear about this year.

The other book of course is the one for Hiive that needs to be started again and finished. If you wish to pass on that, you should let me know, because we will have to get on that again soon.

Personally, if I did another book, I'd love for it to be on a single linear topic. After "Vintage Games" and what will become the Hiive book, I'm tired of these loosely tied together "mini-book" collections...

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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What's really to do with the

What's really to do with the Hiive book? I thought it was pretty much a done deal.

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Bill Loguidice
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Hiive Book
Matt Barton wrote:

What's really to do with the Hiive book? I thought it was pretty much a done deal.

What do you mean by a done deal? The book itself done? Nope. There are no images and each chapter needs to be punched up/refreshed (and I think three or four still remain to be written).

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Calibrator
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Floyd Lives!

What a sweet, sweet title for an history of adventures book!

take care,
Calibrator

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Bill Loguidice
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Titles
Calibrator wrote:

What a sweet, sweet title for an history of adventures book!

take care,
Calibrator

I'd be shocked though if a publisher bit on a title like that, though, as they're usually quite conservative with such things. It makes perfect sense to us, but I'm sure a publisher would be concerned about market confusion and sales.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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Hey, Bill, we should chat

Hey, Bill, we should chat over email about the Hiive book, since there's still some details to work out there concerning percentages and what not.

I like the name "Floyd Lives" a lot, too, but am worried about that book a bit. Many people consider it to be dying genre, so it might be hard to find a publisher who'd really do it justice. It'd really neat to have full-color images to do the topic justice, especially once it gets into graphic adventures. At any rate, I wouldn't want to do another D&D with all those slogs through obscure games. I'd be content to stick with only the breakthroughs, best-sellers, and best-known games this time round. I'd probably build it around five key games: Advent/Colossal Cave, Zork, King's Quest, Maniac Mansion, and Myst. Of course there'd be discussions of the games floating around those, such as Planetfall (obviously), the various "Quest" games, Monkey Island and other LucasArts greats, 7th Guest and CD-ROM era, etc. I just don't want to take the catalog-approach, but spend more time talking about interfaces, narratives, and maybe get into questions like what makes a good puzzle, plot, or memorable character. I think I'd take the approach of "telling stories with computers" and show how the different games embody different methods of performing that task, with certain limitations and creative possibilities. A theoretical approach would definitely be more challenging, but may end up being more successful than the slog approach.

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Mark Vergeer
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I would love the 'extra'

I would love the 'extra' content to be on a magazine or downloadable pdf instead of one some publisher's website that will probably not outlive the book and it's content.



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

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Bill Loguidice
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Let's see
Mark Vergeer wrote:

I would love the 'extra' content to be on a magazine or downloadable pdf instead of one some publisher's website that will probably not outlive the book and it's content.

Well, I don't know what the publisher's policy is, but since Focal is part of Elsevier, one of the biggest publishers in the world, I don't think it's an issue with it really going anywhere. With that said, if anyone is concerned, it should be simple enough to print and/or convert once you get access.

No doubt excerpts will be run from the book as well, at places like Gamasutra. We'll see how this all goes.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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That's a great idea about

That's a great idea about the PDFs, Mark. I'd personally like to see the whole book available as a PDF that you could download with a special code after buying the book. That way, if you wanted, you could read the whole thing on a Kindle or what not. Even if they just make the bonus chapters PDFs, though, that'd be easy enough to deal with, and you could print them if you so desired. Heck, there might even be an online service somewhere that would take the PDFs and bind them into a nice book for you! Imagine that!

Bill--this might be worth bringing up to the publisher.

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Bill Loguidice
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Other thoughts
Matt Barton wrote:

That's a great idea about the PDFs, Mark. I'd personally like to see the whole book available as a PDF that you could download with a special code after buying the book. That way, if you wanted, you could read the whole thing on a Kindle or what not. Even if they just make the bonus chapters PDFs, though, that'd be easy enough to deal with, and you could print them if you so desired. Heck, there might even be an online service somewhere that would take the PDFs and bind them into a nice book for you! Imagine that!

Bill--this might be worth bringing up to the publisher.

We can bring it up later in the process. I think it should only be applicable to just the online chapters, if any, simply because it would be too easy to spread the book around then. We have to give people some incentive to want the book. At the same time, if the book sold enough, there's no reason that that same online area for readers of the book couldn't make the whole book available as a PDF down the line once it crossed a certain threshold.

As for the Kindle or Sony Reader, I would LOVE our book to be made available in those formats directly for sale, but, as an owner of the Sony version, I can say with some confidence that these are not great for reading image-heavy books. These things are fantastic for text and nominal images.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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