books

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Matt Barton's picture

Matt and Bill's Excellent Adventure - A Feature Film Documentary on Videogames

Do I have some big news for you! Your very own Matt and Bill are set to write and produce a feature film--a documentary based on Vintage Games, among others! We're still working out the ins and outs, but you're basically looking at 90 minutes of gaming goodness wrapped around a historical narrative. It's going to be most excellent!

Matt Barton's picture

Matt's Review of Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts

When I first about Rob Smith's new book Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts, I knew almost instantly that it'd be a valuable book for those of us concerned with videogame history. LucasArts (known earlier as LucasFilm Games) is one of the most important and influential of all videogame developers. While many, many people fell in love with classic graphic adventures like The Secret of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Sam & Max, Full Throttle, and my personal favorite, The Dig, earlier aficionados will remember the equally revolutionary Koronis Rift and Ballblazer. The task Rob Smith set for himself with Rogue Leaders was to give us an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at how all these games got made--and, without question, the man succeeded brilliantly. The only way you could immerse yourself more deeply in this topic would be to jump in a time machine and get a job at LucasArts Games yourself!

"When you want to publish the first announcement of a new LucasArts game, you pull out all the stops," writes the author in his introduction. One might very well apply that to "the first book about LucasArts." Smith has pulled out all the stops to create one of the best books I've seen yet on my favorite topic: videogames!

Matt Barton's picture

Rogue Leaders: MUST BUY

I just got my review copy of Rogue Leaders. I intend to write a full-length review in the next week or so, but I can definitely say right now that this is a book that NO, I repeat, NO, fan of LucasArts games will want to miss. It's beautifully produced; top quality, and jam-packed with amazing images, game design plans, interviews, photos of all kinds...You'd have to basically be nuts not to order this one right away. I'm very impressed (blown away, really) and can't wait to delve more into it.

Matt Barton's picture

Dungeons & Desktops Nominated for Front Line Award

Hello, all. I thought you might like to know that my book Dungeons and Desktops has been nominated for the prestigious Game Developer Front Line Award. It's up against some very steep competition, but I'm honored just to be nominated! Please keep your fingers (and pointy tails!) crossed for me.

The book has continued to sell reasonably well and was recently featured in a review by Matthew S. S. Johnson for the Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds. Dr. Johnson really liked the book and said some very nice things about it. If you get a chance, check out the journal and the review.

Matt Barton's picture

Wisdom of Crowds

Lately, I've been reading a very exciting book called The Wisdom of Crowds, authored by James Surowiecki. I don't usually write about books here at AA, but this one is just as good as Donald Norman's The Design of Everyday Things, another must-have if you do any reading whatsoever on technical topics.

Matt Barton's picture

Dungeons & Desktops on Slashdot!

Thanks to Bill L. for letting me know that my book is now on Slashdot Book Reviews. The reviewer, Mr. Michael Fiegel, does an excellent job covering the book's, well, coverage, and says that he finds it informative and entertaining. While he doesn't give the book a perfect score (again, the subject of the muddy screenshots rears its ugly head), he still recommends the book to anyone who likes fantasy and RPGs. On more personal notes, I recently received my first official fan email from a guy living in Greece, who says he loved the book because it brought back so many memories to him of playing these games as a teenager.

Matt Barton's picture

Book Extract Published on Gamasutra!

UltimaUltimaGamasutra has just published an extract from my book, specifically the Silver Age chapter that covers the early home CRPGs (Ultima, Wizardry, etc.) If you don't have the book, by all means head over there, but even if you do, you might like seeing the screenshots in all their full-color glory. I'm very proud of this book and hope you are, too! Without the support of my fellow gaming nerds this project wouldn't be possible.

Link via Gamasutra Industry News.

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.

Matt Barton's picture

Pre-Order Dungeons & Desktops Today!

Dungeons & Desktops: Pre-order your copy today!Dungeons & Desktops: Pre-order your copy today!I have great news for everyone who enjoys CRPGs (computer role-playing games): Dungeons & Desktops is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com, and, as a bonus, if you pre-order now you'll get 5% off the $34.95 price tag. As you all know, I've worked very hard on this project and think the end result is truly worth your attention. I know of no other book (or website, for that matter) that has attempted to cover the subject in this level of detail and accuracy--much less in a form that's fun to read and thought provoking. Although we've talked about the book a lot here at AA, I'll recap some of the main features so you'll know what you're getting:

Matt Barton's picture

CRPG Book in the Works

UPDATE: Dungeons and Desktops is now available from Amazon and many other booksellers! Buy your copy today!

Good news! The publisher A K Peters has accepted my proposal for my upcoming book about the Computer Role Playing Game. We're still in talks about the title (though leaning towards "Dungeons and Desktops" with Mat's permission), but if anyone has any good ideas, let me know. At any rate, I should be able to expand the coverage considerably and go into much more detail (we're tentatively capping it at 200 pages).

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