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!
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.