Update 28 – Three years later

It’s been now a bit over 3 years since the CRPG Book was released as a PDF, back in February 2018.

In this time, the PDF had over 160,000 downloads, while the hardcover book sold out and raised £18,473 for charity.

I’m extremely happy with how things turned out, Bitmap Books even asked for a reprint of the hardcover version. However, I still want to do one last, big update to the book, fixing some mistakes and oversights that really annoy me.

Goals for the updated version:

  • Add new games up to 2019 and a few older games that were missing, such as SpellForce
  • Add the long-promised section explaining what’s an Amiga, a C64, a ZX Spectrum, etc
  • Add an article on MUD & MMORPG history
  • Add a section on important RPGs that were never released in English, especially those from France, Turkey, China & South Korea
  • Update some old articles with new info, such as the Wasteland remaster and the Skyrim SE
  • Fix some mistakes of the original release, ESPECIALLY the contributor’s credits, as I made a mess and a few people weren’t properly credited 😦

Don’t expect this to be finished in 2021, but some of them are already done and can be enjoyed now, as I either post them on twitter or publish them as stand-alone articles on Medium as they get done:

The article on MUDs & MMORPGs history

Last year I wrote an extensive article on something entirely absent from the CRPG Book: MUDs and MMORPGs. While they deserve an entire book about them, it’s important to see how their evolution influences single-player RPGs.

The article on Chinese RPGs

China produced over 100 PC RPGs in the 90s and early 00s, almost all of them never released abroad. The CRPG Book has Chinese Paladin, an extremely important title that got a fan-translation, but there’s MUCH more to examine here.

Podcast interview

This week I had a fun chat with Frank Cifaldi and Kelsey Lewin at the Video Game History Foundation about the CRPG Book, how to make old RPGs accessible and the goals in updating the book. You can hear it here.

Once again, a call for reviews

As I mentioned, there’s still a few games I would like to add to the book, so we’re in need of volunteers willing to write about games like Outward, Caves of Qud, Planet’s Edge, Nioh 1 & 2, etc. You can see the full list here.


That’s it, thanks everyone for reading and for the support during all these years 🙂

Update 27 – One year later…

After almost one year of silence, I’m back with two updates:

  • First, Bitmap Books and I just did the second donation of royalties from the CRPG Book to the NGO Vocação: £5,998 pounds (33,096 Brazilian reais). This brings us to a total of £18,473 pounds donated, or 91,100 reais! And we have the receipts:

  • Second, I’m now updating the CRPG Book, adding games from 2016-2019, plus a few other goodies. Work just began, there’s no release date and I don’t know if we’ll be able to make a hardcover version again – but the original one is still on sale.

    If you want to help with a review or suggestions, you can find the list of games we are adding HERE, as well as my email for contact.

As always, thanks everyone for the support! 🙂

Update 26 – Three great news!

I’m back with three wonderful news:

  • The hardcover book raised £12.475! All this money is being donated to Vocação, a NGO in Brazil that helps children and teenagers in poor communities get access to better education. It’s a lot of money, equivalent to 64 minimum wages in Brazil!
  • The updated & proofread PDF of the book is freely available for download again! It has everything added to the hardcover version, plus hyperlinks and bookmarks, and you can download it and share it as much as you want! Grab it HERE.
  • But, if you still want a hardcover version, we’re making a limited reprint! Same rules, all my profits go to charity, and it should be out in July. You can sign in for it at Bitmap Books website: https://t.co/kMmfzYdaLU

Thanks again everyone who helped & bought the book! It has been wonderful to see so many people enjoying it, and to see all that money helping others. 🙂

EDIT: Some people asked for PDF in higher quality, so here’s a HQ Version.

Update 25 – You can buy the book now! :D

Finally, the physical, hardcover version of CRPG Book is on sale!

It will ship in March, you can pre-order it here: https://www.bitmapbooks.co.uk/collections/all/products/the-crpg-book-a-guide-to-computer-role-playing-games

As a reminder, this is still a non-profit project, ALL the money I would make from this will be donated to Vocação, an NGO that helps young people in poor areas of Brazil.

Also, as a treat, here’s the book’s full cover art, done by Jan Pospíšil:

rpgbookfinalsmall

(Here for higher resolution)

It’s included as a poster in the Collector’s Edition of the book. Both editions are limited, my contract is that I get the rights over the book back and can distribute the updated free PDF once it becomes sold out – or after a certain time has passed.

Thanks again to everyone who helped made this possible!

Update 24 – Moving the screenshot gallery

Since I began working on the CRPG Book in 2014, I took thousands of high quality .png screenshots of all the games included in the book. I also got a lot from contributors and from the amazing CRPG Addict, and uploaded all to Flickr.

Unfortunately, Flickr recently announced that they will reduce the upload limit of free accounts to 1,000 photos. 😦

As such, the CRPG Book gallery is now on Google Drive, where you can easily download over 12GB of screenshots of 488 different RPGs!

Hope you all enjoy it! And if you have .png screenshots to share, just message me. 🙂

Update 23 – Physical Edition, revealed!

Today, I’m proud to reveal the physical edition of the CRPG Book, to be published by Bitmap Books, creators of the most beautiful and polished books on video games!

This edition will be hardcover, fully proof-read, feature new reviews, several updates and the amazing cover artwork you see above, done by artist Jan Pospíšil.

This is still a non-profit work, so all these updates will be later freely available for download, and ALL the money I would make from this will instead be donated to Vocação, an award-winning NGO in Brazil that helps kids and teenagers from poor communities to advance their education and earn a job, giving them the tools to improve their lives and of the people around them.

The pre-orders will begin on January 14, with a very special limited edition also available! You can sign up here to be informed.

Cheers, and thanks to everyone who helped me take this project so far! 🙂

Update 21 – The Hardcover Book

Hello everyone, I got a few news to share today.

First, I’ve updated the book to version 1.0.4, fixing more typos, fixing issues, updating some reviews (Barkley 2 still had a 2016 release date!) and adding an article about the unreleased RPG Citadel of the Black Sun on page 509.

Second, some people have been making their own physical version of the book:

books

That’s awesome, but it won’t be needed anymore, as I now signed a deal for a limited print of the book – fully proofread and in hardcover! Of course, since this is a non-profit project, we’ll use it as a charity fundraiser! More info on this soon!

However, as part of the hardcover book deal I agreed not to release any more files while the book is being produced & sold. So 1.0.4 will be the last version for a while and I’ll be removing the files in this blog – starting tomorrow! Grab them while you can!

Once the contract ends, things return to normal and I’ll be able to freely share this new & improved version with all of you. I think that’s a fair trade. 🙂

Update 20 – Thanks, ePub & Project Files

Hello everyone,

It has been an overwhelming week! In less than 5 days the CRPG Book got over 100k downloads and it has been a blast to see everyone enjoying it. 🙂

Several volunteers appeared to help with proofreading and I’m trying to come up with a good system for this. I’ve also “patched” the book to version 1.0.2, fixing a bunch of typos, grammar mistakes and adding three contributors whose name had been left out.

A lot of people want an ePub version. This is hard to do with such complex layout, but I’ve exported it as well as I could. Please get in touch if you know how to do this better.

ePub Version

Also, some groups are now translating the book to Spanish, German, Russian and Chinese! Besides the translations, a lot of people wanted to print a copy for personal use, make “abridged” versions,  or simply check the files to see how the project was made.

So here’s a link to the full InDesign project.

The CRPG Book uses a CC BY-NC 4.0 Creative Commons license, meaning you can use it however you wish – as long as you credit the authors and don’t use it for monetary gain.

Finally, I received a few offers to publish a hardcover version! The idea is to turn it into a charity fundraiser, so I’ll keep everyone updated as things progress.

But for now, I’ll rest a bit. Thanks everyone for an unforgettable week! 🙂

Update 19 – CRPG BOOK RELEASED!

Four years ago I began a journey.

On Feb 5 2014 I posted the results of the RPG Codex’s Top 70 poll, in which we elected the best CRPGs of all time. But I felt that a simple list was too dry… more than the ranking, I was interested in WHY these games were good. From there came the idea of asking people to write a short paragraph talking about each title.

This became a updated version of the Codex’s Top 70, now with screenshots and brief descriptions of each game. That’s my favorite piece of content I ever made, but I still wanted more – more games, more screenshots, longer reviews, tips on mods, fan-made patches, etc. So I made a list of all the RPGs I wanted to cover and began recruiting volunteers for the “CRPG Book Project”.

Having done the Top 70 list in 3 months, I thought I could do 300 games in about 10 months or so. Ha, it took me four years… but it is done!

Dear reader, I present you the full release of the CRPG BOOK PROJECT!

doe

Across its 528 pages you’ll find information about over 400 RPGs, from the early PLATO games to modern AAA releases, as well as hidden gems, curiosities and even fan-translations. The reviews were written by a team of 112 volunteers from all around the globe – fans, modders, journalists, critics, indies and AAA developers.

Above all, this book is a passion project. Free, non-commercial, created by people who wanted to share their hobby and help others have fun.  I’m very proud of what we achieved, and I would like to thank everyone who helped me on this journey.

I’ll also take this chance to address some criticism & future plans:

1) Physical Edition – This is the question I’m asked the most: “Will there be a physical edition?”. I would love to have one, but it’s something very complicated to produce – especially for a 528-page color book! Most on-demand printing services won’t do something this big, and even if I cut the book down to CreateSpace’s 480-page limit, it would be a VERY expensive book, costing over $60!

Crowdfunding is another alternative, but I’m a Brazilian immigrant living in Japan on a temporary visa – the legal procedures & taxes involved are kinda uncharted territory. There are book-oriented crowdfunding services like Unbound, but you’ll notice that even veterans like Hardcore Gaming 101 and Guru Larry are having difficulty reaching their goals. I’m looking for alternatives, so if you have any ideas please message me.

2) Proofreading – The book hasn’t been proofread. It’s something I want to do (and get a lot of messages about it), especially since many reviewers (myself included) aren’t native english speakers, but it’s not easy – the book has over 310,000 words, which is about 2/3 of the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy! Since we have no money and it’s something I can’t do myself, we depend on the work of volunteers.

3) Extra content – There’s still about 10 minor RPGs I want to add to the book in the future, but couldn’t do it yet for one reason or another. E.g., I wanted a SpellForce series review, but couldn’t find any volunteers and my computer can’t run SpellForce 3.

There’s also a few extra articles I would like to include, such as a timeline on MMORPGs & MUDs and short introductions to old home computers, such as the C64, Amiga, ZX Spectrum, TRS-80, etc, which I’m guessing many readers never saw and know little about. I had a draft for the latter, but unfortunately couldn’t find enough teach-savvy volunteers to write them.

I hope to add the extra content, proof-read everything and make a “Editor’s Cut” re-release & physical edition sometime in the future, but I can’t make any promises, as I now need to focus on important personal things – like getting a work visa.

Still, I truly believe that the book is a worthwhile read as it stands. It has its shortcomings and issues, but hopefully it’s a flawed gem – like all the best RPGs are.