Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time

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Bill Loguidice's picture

Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time (2009), by Bill Loguidice and Matt Barton, through Focal Press.

Vintage Games, available from retailers worldwide, is a full color, illustrated book, that explores the greatest and most influential videogames of all time, including Super Mario Bros., Grand Theft Auto III, Doom, The Sims, and many more. While each chapter's focus revolves around the game title in question, precursors, clones, sequels, gameplay and mechanics, and the genre itself are discussed, along with plenty of quotes, references and full color illustrations.

Here's just some of the buzz about Vintage Games:

"They say you can't go back again, but reading Vintage Games comes close. Open the book, and I'm back in the video arcades of my youth. Turn the page, and I'm in college again, discovering the secret joys of the early PC games. Turn the page again, and I'm back in my living room, playing Mario with my young kids. But Vintage Games is more than just a trip down memory lane, because the authors analyze each game in ways that bring fresh insights to those nostalgic memories." -Steve Meretzky, Legendary Game Designer

"An interesting and insightful trip down a gamer's memory lane, focusing on titles that have become benchmarks in videogame history." -Didi Cardoso, Managing Editor, Grrlgamer.com

Want to read more about what others think of Vintage Games? Click here!

See photos from an advance copy of the book here.

Click here for BONUS IMAGES!

Online Bonus Chapters not found in the book:
Pong (1972): Avoid Missing Game to Start Industry
Pinball Construction Set (1982): Launching Millions of Creative Possibilities
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (1999): Videogame Ollies, Grabs and Grinds
Elite (1984): Space, the Endless Frontier
Rogue (1980): Have @ You, You Deadly Z's
Spacewar! (1962): The Best Waste of Time in the History of the Universe
Defender (1980): The Joys of Difficult Games
Robotron: 2084 (1982): Running Away while Defending Humanoids
Star Raiders (1979): The New Hope

The book's Table of Contents:
Preface

Acknowledgments

Chapter 01 – Alone in the Dark (1992): The Polygons of Fear
Chapter 02 – Castle Wolfenstein (1981): Achtung! Stealth Gaming Steps out of the Shadows
Chapter 03 – Dance Dance Revolution (1998): The Player Becomes the Star
Chapter 04 – Diablo (1996): The Rogue Goes to Hell
Chapter 05 – Doom (1993): The First-Person Shooter Takes Control
Chapter 06 – Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty (1992): Spicing up Strategy in Real Time
Chapter 07 – Final Fantasy VII (1997): It’s Never Final in the World of Fantasy
Chapter 08 – Flight Simulator (1980): Digital Reality
Chapter 09 – Grand Theft Auto III (2001): The Consolejacking Life
Chapter 10 – John Madden Football (1988): Modern Sports Videogames Kickoff
Chapter 11 – King’s Quest: Quest for the Crown (1984): Perilous Puzzles, Thorny Thrones
Chapter 12 – Myst (1993): Launching Multimedia Worlds
Chapter 13 – Pac-Man (1980): Japanese Gumption, American Consumption
Chapter 14 – Pole Position (1982): Where the Raster Meets the Road
Chapter 15 – SimCity (1989): Building Blocks for Fun and Profit
Chapter 16 – Space Invaders (1978): The Japanese Descend
Chapter 17 – Street Fighter II (1991): Would you like the Combo?
Chapter 18 – Super Mario 64/Tomb Raider (1996): The Third Dimension
Chapter 19 – Super Mario Bros. (1985): How High Can Jumpman Get?
Chapter 20 – Tetris (1985): Casual Gaming Falls into Place
Chapter 21 – The Legend of Zelda (1986): Rescuing Zeldas and Uniting Triforces
Chapter 22 – The Sims (2000): Who Let the Sims Out?
Chapter 23 – Ultima (1980): The Immaculate Conception of the Computer Role-Playing Game
Chapter 24 – Ultima Online (1997): Putting the Role-Play back in Computer Role-Playing Games
Chapter 25 – Zork (1980): Text Imps versus Graphics Grues

Bonus Online Chapters
Defender (1980): The Joys of Difficult Games
Elite (1984): Space, the Endless Frontier
Pinball Construction Set (1982): Launching Millions of Creative Possibilities
Pong (1972): Avoid Missing Game to Start Industry
Robotron: 2084 (1982): Running Away while Defending Humanoids
Rogue (1980): Have @ You, You Deadly Z’s
Spacewar! (1962): The Best Waste of Time in the History of the Universe
Star Raiders (1979): The New Hope
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (1999): Videogame Ollies, Grabs and Grinds

Index

Click here for an alternative Table of Contents by year

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Vintage Games explores the most influential videogames of all time, including Super Mario Bros., Grand Theft Auto III, Doom, The Sims and many more. Drawing on interviews as well as the authors’ own lifelong experience with videogames, the book discusses each game's development, predecessors, critical reception, and influence on the industry. It also features hundreds of full-color screenshots and images, including rare photos of game boxes and other materials. Vintage Games is the ideal book for game enthusiasts and professionals who desire a broader understanding of the history of videogames and their evolution from a niche to a global market.

Vintage Games:
*Explores the gameplay, history, development, and influence of the most important videogames of all time
*Includes material from interviews, contemporary reviews, manuals, and other primary and secondary sources
*Identifies and analyzes the key concepts behind each videogame
*Features hundreds of exclusive, full-color images

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There's an Amazon Kindle edition now!

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The Italian language edition is available here!

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Focal Press Author Blog

Comments

Bill Loguidice
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Vintage Games - A Further Explanation of what the book is/n't

Check it out here: http://www.armchairarcade.com/neo/node/2650

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Bill Loguidice
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Vintage Games

Hey, Moon, thanks for checking in. It's a book on influential games, and frankly, as good and innovative as The Castles of Doctor Creep may have been, it certainly wasn't influential.

The key point to remember with the book is that the idea was NOT to mention every game ever made, but mention the 34 games that we determined to be the most influential of all time, regardless of release date and regardless of platform. Each of the 34 games acts as a pivot point for discussion of hundreds of other games, and, by extension, every other game ever made. I'll actually be making a blog post shortly to explain this in a bit more detail as a response to the Slashdot reaction.

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Moon (not verified)
Castles of Doctor Creep, anyone?

Gotta chime in with the crowd that likes the job you've done but is missing their favourite game: what about The Castles of Doctor Creep, one of the first games ever with true cooperative play?

Bill Loguidice
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Thanks everyone! Purchases and reviews...

I just wanted to thank everyone who has supported the book with a purchase and/or a review. It really helps. The book is certainly doing well, but it could be doing even better. If you haven't written a review somewhere yet - be it Amazon or elsewhere - kindly considering doing so as it really helps and will go a long way to ensuring that future books of this type get published again.

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

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Bill Loguidice
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In response to an earlier

In response to an earlier response I made, it looks like Amazon now lists our page count at 408 pages, which is roughly 58 more pages than originally budgeted. It will be interesting to see if that holds, as that would be a tremendous value at the price.

Also, Matt noticed that today, January 13, 2009, it has hit #32 in Books > Computers & Internet > Business & Culture > History, and that's two and a half months before release (it may have hit higher than that, but this is the first time we've noticed what it's at). This isn't too bad considering even in the first Gamasutra bonus chapter it's not blatantly obvious that it's attached to a book.

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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GeneralDebacle's response

GeneralDebacle's response reminded me of a funny review I wrote for Mystery House. One of these days I may have to write a book that looks at these old games from a comical perspective; I think it'd be fun.

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GeneralDebacle (not verified)
Haha

The original Castle Wolfenstein. I used to play it on the C64. Damn it cracked me up when the Nazi's used to see you and start going off! Achtung!! HALT! and the sound effects of them getting hit when you shoot at them. Oh boy, can't stop laughing here. Thanks for the reminder.

Bill Loguidice
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Length of each chapter
Quote:

So its about 16 pages per

So its about 16 pages per chapter or so?

-- Stu --

I know it's not a good answer, but it depends. Each chapter is as long as it has to be to get the job done. It's certainly not equal time to specific subjects. It's ROUGHLY 350 pages, counting the images, across 25 chapters in the book (plus preface and other pages). So with that math, that's like 13 pages per main chapter averaged out, inclusive of images. I can tell you right now that some chapters are probably half that, while others are a bit more (Super Mario Bros. for instance is a longer chapter).

The good news with the nine bonus chapters going online rather than being worked into the book is that we've had to cut nothing but approximately 90+ images from the book, which we'll make available in March. In other words, you'll be getting no compromised material, which is probably pretty rare all things considered.

The first bonus chapter, Pong, is on track for publication by Gamasutra in the middle of January.

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

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yakumo9275
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So its about 16 pages per

So its about 16 pages per chapter or so?

-- Stu --

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Bill Loguidice
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Early Reviews for Vintage Games

There are actually many, which I have to put up and link to.

EDIT: Here's the link: http://www.armchairarcade.com/neo/node/2218

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

n/a

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