The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures - new book

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Morkin
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The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures - new book

Post by Morkin » Wed May 18, 2011 7:26 am

Just noticed this on Twitter...
Hardcoregaming101.net Presents: The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures is an ode to one of the oldest genres in electronic gaming. It is 772 pages in length, covers over 300 games and includes a number of interviews with classic game developers. It is an expansive tome, jam packed to the brim with history, criticism, and trivia. If you've ever asked the question "If I like LucasArts and Sierra games, what other games should I play?", then this book should be your bible.

As of current, the book is only available through the Createspace Store, and should be showing up on Amazon within a week or two, since it takes a little bit of time for them to register with the database. Since one of the reasons I wanted to use Amazon was due to its cheaper shipping, I've enabled a coupon code - use DN84NDUU for a $3.59 credit, which will cover the cheapest shipping to the US. It will ship internationally, and the prices aren't too bad - it looks to be about $7 to Europe or so, before the discount. I'll update to links to Amazon when they become available. The Kindle version isn't yet available, since the whole book requires drastic reformatting for it to look proper - it uses tables for the "info boxes" with the box cover, which unfortunately the Kindle seems to hate!
http://hardcoregaming101.net/book.html

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Will definitely be placing an order for this one. :D

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Re: The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures - new book

Post by Antiriad2097 » Wed May 18, 2011 1:36 pm

Thanks for the heads up, this is a must buy for me.
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Re: The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures - new book

Post by paranoid marvin » Wed May 18, 2011 3:14 pm

It has to be said that whilst it looks appealing , the games featured on the cover are all point'n'click and not text adventures. Which is a shame.
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Re: The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures - new book

Post by Antiriad2097 » Wed May 18, 2011 5:11 pm

Yup. They've got the title of the book wrong, its about point n clickers not graphic adventures, but I'll let them off given the actual content is so appealing.

Tried to order, now waiting for it to reach Amazon as there's no Paypal option and I can't be bothered digging my credit card out for some obscure site I've never used before.
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Re: The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures - new book

Post by hydr0x » Wed May 18, 2011 6:47 pm

Ah, yeah, adventure subgenres and wikipedia's failure to correctly classify them which leads to these errors. I could write a book about that :lol:

Looking ath the list of covered games in the book, it does seem to feature at least five subgenres of adventure games. With Point and Click being the main focus. Having said that, as they seem to cover almost every subgenre featuring graphics (as opposed to pure text), graphic adventures really isn't that wrong. They feature text driven direct control graphic adventures (King's Quest etc.), Point and Click, First Person Point and Click (Myst...), Illustrated Text Adventures (Spellcasting), Interactive Movies and Menu Driven Adventures (Deja Vu...). So yeah, basically anything that isn't a pure text adventure, even bordering on the inclusion of Visual Novels. Apart from text adventures, only Dating Sims, First Person Adventures (like the recent Amnesia), Direct Control (Monkey Island 4, Heavy Rain) and Escape the Room seem to be completely missing.

And yes, I've spent too much time working out genres for retrocollect ;)
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Re: The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures - new book

Post by hydr0x » Wed May 18, 2011 6:50 pm

Ah, wait, they DO feature Zork and Hitchhikers Guide. Now that's weird. They should have just called it "The Guide to Classic Adventure Games" then
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Re: The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures - new book

Post by discoalucard » Wed May 18, 2011 10:42 pm

Hello! I wrote most of this book here (and compiled it and so forth)!

The nomenclature of this genre is a nightmare to parse, so "classic graphic adventures" was the best I could do. Basically, any game that used something other than a solely text parser qualified, so it hits a lot of different areas. Point and click is obviously the focus, as you've noted, but there are a few direct control games in there (Monkey Island 4, Dreamfall, etc.) It's not just "adventure games" because I didn't want to cover too many text adventures or interactive fiction...no offense meant to it, of course, but it's a field so broad on its own that it could cover its own whole book.

Zork, Leather Goddesses and Hitchhiker's are Infocom titles are mostly pure text, but got in based on (A) historical importance and (B) they had sequels (or, in the case of Hitchhiker's Guide, a fan remake) that were graphical. Since the site/book covers a whole series and not just a sole game,both the earlier text and the later graphical games are covered pretty extensively. Plus, the babel fish puzzle is referenced a few times elsewhere and though it appropriate to have it spelled out to why it's so maniacal. Similarly, a few older Sierra (On-Line) text games are covered where appropriate (Wizard and the Princess when talking about The Colonel's Bequest).

There is a logic behind what games were selected, but it's a little hard to represent all of that in what's already a fairly unwieldy title. :)

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Re: The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures - new book

Post by Overheat » Wed May 18, 2011 11:46 pm

nice of you to join these forums - I really admire the work you do on hardcoregaming101 - I adore that site and its varied content :)
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Re: The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures - new book

Post by Morkin » Thu May 19, 2011 7:27 am

Antiriad2097 wrote:
Tried to order, now waiting for it to reach Amazon as there's no Paypal option and I can't be bothered digging my credit card out for some obscure site I've never used before.
No Paypal? Oh well, Amazon it is.

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Re: The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures - new book

Post by hydr0x » Thu May 19, 2011 10:53 am

discoalucard wrote:Hello! I wrote most of this book here (and compiled it and so forth)!

The nomenclature of this genre is a nightmare to parse, so "classic graphic adventures" was the best I could do. Basically, any game that used something other than a solely text parser qualified, so it hits a lot of different areas. Point and click is obviously the focus, as you've noted, but there are a few direct control games in there (Monkey Island 4, Dreamfall, etc.) It's not just "adventure games" because I didn't want to cover too many text adventures or interactive fiction...no offense meant to it, of course, but it's a field so broad on its own that it could cover its own whole book.

Zork, Leather Goddesses and Hitchhiker's are Infocom titles are mostly pure text, but got in based on (A) historical importance and (B) they had sequels (or, in the case of Hitchhiker's Guide, a fan remake) that were graphical. Since the site/book covers a whole series and not just a sole game,both the earlier text and the later graphical games are covered pretty extensively. Plus, the babel fish puzzle is referenced a few times elsewhere and though it appropriate to have it spelled out to why it's so maniacal. Similarly, a few older Sierra (On-Line) text games are covered where appropriate (Wizard and the Princess when talking about The Colonel's Bequest).

There is a logic behind what games were selected, but it's a little hard to represent all of that in what's already a fairly unwieldy title. :)
Thanks for the explanation. I can see why you went for "graphic" but I don't think leaving it out would have caused confusion. I missed the direct control examples in the list, sorry. I'm wondering why you left out modern first person adventures like Amnesia: Dark Descent or Shadowgate 64 and didn't include more Visual Novels, after all you have Snatcher in there. But overall it looks quite interesting. Your example/draft pdf link doesn't work though, which is a shame :(
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Re: The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures - new book

Post by Morkin » Thu May 19, 2011 11:21 am

It's now available on Amazon (about £22), but not Amazon UK yet.

discoalucard
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Re: The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures - new book

Post by discoalucard » Thu May 19, 2011 12:55 pm

Doh. Sample PDF is here: http://hg101.kontek.net/book/03-29-11_draft.pdf I'll be doing a fresh one shortly. The text has been slightly revised since, but it will give you a good idea of the layout. It's not fancy, but it's functional, packed with text and a picture on nearly every page.

Shadowgate 64 is in there - I'll have to put up a full list of every game covered, but if a game is listed in the table of contents, then the entire series is covered. As for visual novel-y stuff, the focus was on older (largely pre-2000, though a few newer ones snuck in for a variety of reasons), and very few of these are available in English. So I picked four of the most notable ones - Snatcher and Policenauts, since they're very well known amognst English speakers; Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom, since it was released in English way back in the NES days; and Portopia, since it was one of the first (and recently fan-translated). The DS currently has a ton though naturally, but I needed to reel the focus down to fit in the page limit. (828 pages is the absolute maximum the publisher allows, and I'm just 50-ish pages under that at 772.) This is also why Amnesia and lots of other recent adventure games aren't covered - too new. (We did stick in Gray Matter, though, since its mythical status as a followup to Gabriel Knight was warranted.)

Does Amazon take Paypal, BTW? I've heard that desire expressed around a few places. I guess I can always try selling it directly if it's an issue, but I'll have to order some spare copies and figure out the shipments costs to the UK and other EU spots. It's 4 lbs so it might not be cheap - I'm frankly baffled that the shipping costs from Createspace are so low.

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Re: The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures - new book

Post by Antiriad2097 » Thu May 19, 2011 1:29 pm

Thanks for the title explanation. It makes more sense now and I feel better for knowing that.

Oops, looks like Amazon don't do Paypal, but they've got my card details saved so its just as easy.
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Re: The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures - new book

Post by hydr0x » Thu May 19, 2011 2:35 pm

Thank your for the sample :)

So the book is black+white, yeah? Expected to be honest, too costly to do it in color. Although you could consider selling a color PDF on Lulu or something, some people might go for that.

Your explanations make a lot of sense and it seems I missed some of the included games on the list. Looks pretty comprehensive of the whole genre then.
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Re: The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures - new book

Post by discoalucard » Thu May 19, 2011 3:22 pm

The Kindle version will be in color, if your device supports it, but I'm currently wrestling with file size and compression, to make it look alright without becoming too large. I'm considering releasing a color PDF if there's a demand for it.

But yeah, B&W printing is cheap, but color is still really expensive. For this book here, I'd have to split it up into halves and charge something over $50 each volume to be profitable.

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