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Bill Loguidice's picture

Updates on Book Projects

I'd just like to take a moment to provide an official update in response to several questions of late about when the book on the first 15 years of home videogames and computers will be coming out (the one that Gamasutra is running excerpts from). As you know, during the time from when that book was first announced 3+ years ago, Matt Barton was able to get his first mainstream book published. Unfortunately, the major publisher for the 15 years book had to pull out simply because it was taking too long to finish and they had their own internal staff changes to sort through (and other financial considerations). In short though, the book collapsed under its own ambitions. Sadly, by the time all of that was worked out and the formula perfected (again, as evidenced by the Gamasutra excerpts), the market for videogame books through normal publishing means (meaning not vanity press, subsidized or self-published) has collapsed, making publishers hesitant to bite on even a 90% completed book with proven content and testimonials from countless people who actually want to purchase it.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Review of Matt Barton's book, Dungeons & Desktops (2008), from A K Peters, Ltd.

Dungeons & DesktopsI finally received my copy of Matt Barton's Dungeons & Desktops: The History of Computer Role-Playing Games, and it was definitely worth the wait. Similar to the popular Gamasutra articles Matt wrote and the book was inspired by, the book is broken up into various Ages, such as The Dark Age, The Golden Age, The Modern Age, etc., though in a greatly expanded fashion. This is a logical and effective means of organization and helps guide the reader through the progressively more sophisticated - though not necessarily better - CRPGs over the years.

There is plenty of theory and before you get into the meat of the book, exactly what is and what isn't a CRPG is discussed in great detail. For the most part I agree with the definitions and delineations of the various related genres (adventure, RPG, MUDs, JRPGs, etc.) and I believe this can be used as the basis for future works by other authors. In short, the reader gets a clear picture of what exactly the author means by "CRPG" in its many forms and why some of the other games - even though they might exhibit several RPG characteristics - really fall under another classification.

yakumo9275's picture

Review of Dungeons and Desktops

My copy of dungeons and desktops came today!

Obviously I havn't read into it much yet but

First quick impressions;

- Nice size / weight hardback
- Pictures all b&w (which we knew)
- Unfortunately all pictures are _very dark_ in printing... :(

more to come later

Bill Loguidice's picture

Contest: Come up with the perfect title for my book!

As many of you know, for the past what, two years+ now, I've been working on a book to be published by No Starch Press and distributed by O'Reilly online and at bookstores everywhere in October 2007 (tentative, but looks likely). One of the issues I and my co-author, Matt Barton, have been struggling with with the publisher has been titling this potential opus.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Excerpt from Sid Meier's Civilization Chronicles

Civilization IV ScreenshotCivilization IV ScreenshotArmchair Arcade is proud to present an excerpt from the book contained within Sid Meier's Civilization Chronicles, the definitive Civilization collector's edition recently released by 2K. This chapter is called “One Civ, Many Worlds” in which designer/programmer Soren Johnson writes about the Civ community and its positive impact on the evolution of the game. Johnson, who works at Firaxis, 2K's world-renowned development studio, was the lead designer for Sid Meier's Civilization IV and he programmed and co-designed Sid Meier's Civilization III.

Sid Meier's Civilization Chronicles for PC is available for a MSRP of $69.99. For more information please visit

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The following is an excerpt from Sid Meier's Civilization Chronicles

Bill Loguidice's picture

Commodork: Sordid Tales from a BBS Junkie

Commodork book coverCommodork book coverRob O'Hara's new book, Commodork: Sordid Tales from a BBS Junkie, has recently been restocked and is available again directly from his Website.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Preview of Sony Reader - Some Thoughts

PC Magazine has a very limited preview of a pre-production version of Sony's upcoming PRS-500 E-Book Reader, here. It has a six inch screen and is about the size of a thin paperback book. What's most intriguing about the device though is that uses the much touted, but little seen to this point, "E Ink" technology. "E Ink" essentially allows for using power ONLY when changing pages, so keeping a page displayed takes no energy. This is important, as it means battery life is not an issue with even casual recharging and any page you have up on the screen stays up on the screen, not requiring the device to go into a power saving mode or turn its screen off like current devices do. This increases its reference value/usefulness tremendously, and, along with its high resolution, places such a device in more of a competitive balance with print on paper, which of course is the ideal text display "device" to this point.

Retro Gaming Hacks is Worth a Look

I just finished reading Chris Kohler's new book Retro Gaming Hacks and I have to say I enjoyed it a good deal. Topics range from how to run a variety of emulators on your PC to how to do introductory level programming for the GBA. While a lot of the information is rather basic, I learned a few things about older consoles and PCs from the book.

The writing in here is noticeably better than in Kohler's other book, Power Up!, though part of this might be because large portions of the book are written by other contributors. Kohler's writing is more confident and has a nice playful tone that is not unlike the style of writing done for this very site.

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