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!

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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.

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113 thoughts on “Update 19 – CRPG BOOK RELEASED!

  1. I used to work for a company called Author Solutions. They are a company handling self-publishing imprints such as Xlibris, iUniverse, and others. I would go that route. It costs money, but it would still be cheaper in the long run than what you’d originally planned. Just a thought. I only parted ways with them because I found an opportunity that wasn’t so involved in sales.

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  2. There’s a mistake on Septerra Core page (245). Specifically in this sentence :

    “You play as Maya, a scavenger from the 5th layer who saw her city destroyed by a general from the 1st layer.”

    Maya was a scavenger (“junker” as they are called in the game’s lore) from the SECOND layer.

    I’m probably the only person in the world to care about this game enough to point out that error, but well, it might just be nostalgia, but it still is one of my favourite games of all time. So I’d be really thankful if someone would correct it. Thanks 🙂

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  3. Muito obrigado! I am only a dozen pages in but already really enjoying the book. Thanks for all your time and attention to bring it to life and that of all the contributors. Growing up in Redmond, WA, (where a little company called Microsoft bulldozed our favorite BMX track to break ground on their campus) my friends and I devoured many of these early titles on sugar-fueled sleepovers…pads of graph paper and game manuals scattered everywhere. Almost 20 years later my rabid interest in the genre would lead to a job at Wizards of the Coast – who was shortly to aquire TSR. Dreams do come true!

    As my wife is from Brazil, I can certainly empathize with how difficult this book must have been for you to put together. Would love to share stories if ever our paths cross.

    Thanks again for ‘resurrecting’ many fond memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Look up Mines of Titan, one of the first, sophisticated cyper-punk games that used turn based combat with area effects of items like grenades. Mixed 3D exploration with Wasteland, top down combat.

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  5. Mines of Titan was one of my favorites, too. If I recall correctly, it was called something else overseas, though.

    This book is amazing, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. In many ways it gives me the vicarious pleasure of these games. I doubt I will ever go back and play most of them – the book does a good job of pointing out the shortcomings of yesteryear while also highlighting the strengths of the games.

    There was something whimsical, naive, magical in the design of these games that we have since lost…I hope not for good.

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  6. It’s Wondeful! Would you have a Chinese version? It may be helpful for Chinese players and students of game studies. I’d be glad to engage in translating if you like.

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  7. […] Qui trovate il post sul blog WordPress ufficiale del progetto in cui viene annunciato il completamento del progetto. Un lavoro sicuramente dettato dal cuore, per di più gratuito ed è davvero sensazionale pensando alla mole di lavoro che c’è dietro. Un lavoro davvero certosino che poteva fare solo un vero appassionato di RPG. Non ci resta che immergerci nelle 528 pagine messe a disposizione da Felipe, ringraziarlo e augurarvi buona lettura! […]

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  8. The book is great, I recalled my childhood memories. You can keep the book in digital version beacuse it is easier to keep it up to date, there is no need to print it. And pls add an entry about ELEX – the last year RPG game by Pyranha Bytes, creators of Gothic and Risen series, which were mentioned too although Risen 2 and Risen 3 are missing

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  9. Por favor! Quando houver uma copia traduzida para português, por favor me avise! Parabens pelo trabalho! Sou um grande fã de rpgs e fiquei interessadissimo em seu livro!

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  10. My only fear is losing this amazing piece of work! Is there some way to get it on wikia.com or some other collaborative content archive that can continue to update it as new pieces of history are uncovered/reviewed?

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  11. WoWwiki has over 105,000 pages of content on wikia.com and Wookiepedia starwars.wikia.com has over 140,000 pages. A 580 page book should be no problem on there. I’m pretty sure you can upload files as well, so the full pdf could be hosted there for free.

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  12. You did an amazing job compiling this list and getting this book put together and I’ve enjoyed reading through it. I’m new to game development and have been doing it for about a year now as a hobby and this book has really re-sparked my interest in creating a RPG and has given my a lot of great ideas.

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  13. Olá Felipe. Parabéns pelo excepcional trabalho. Dei uma olhada nas análises de Underrail, Fallout (1 e 2) e Mass Effect. Todas estão muito boas, mostrando a qualidade da publicação. Duas perguntas: 1) há muito tempo atrás eu joguei o demo de um cRPG australiano chamado The Omega Syndrome. Ele era bem legalzinho, mas nunca mais encontrei o jogo completo. No livro não há referência a ele. Você conhece? 2) Tem Dark Soul mas não Bloodborne? Essa foi uma escolha proposital? Abraços e parabéns novamente. Esse livro merecia impressão.

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