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.

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116 thoughts on “Update 19 – CRPG BOOK RELEASED!

  1. Congrats! I look forwarding to reading this.

    Regarding proofreading, do you have the text of the book available anywhere like GitHub where your readers could provide changes/feedback?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with deoren. Setting up some kind of space where feedback can be posted would be good. It would also let the volunteers divide the book among themselves so that you could best assure that the whole book would be proofread at least once.

      Like

    • Seriously, please do this. I would love to own a hard copy. Put the amount of money it’d cost to hire an editor to edit the book as well, since you’re concerned about errors/typos/etc. I think a kickstarter would be great for this.

      Like

  2. […] “Acima de tudo, esse livro é um projeto feito com paixão. Grátis, não-comercial, criado por pessoas que queriam compartilhar seu hobby e ajudar outros a se divertirem. Estou muito orgulhoso daquilo que conquistamos, e eu gostaria de agradecer a todos que me ajudaram nesta jornada.” – diz Felipe Pepe, em sua postagem oficial de lançamento, onde você pode também baixar o livro em pdf: CRPGBook. […]

    Like

  3. Amazing Felipe.

    I hope that you can do a Hardcover but I understand that it is not an easy task.
    But you have a great book. Maybe you can try a Print on Demand platform? It will not be cheap but maybe it will be viable.

    Like

  4. Awesome.

    If you have problems setting up a classic fundraiser, just post a Bitcoin address and let people know of your target amount for the dead tree edition. Everybody will be able to verify the donation amount via a block explorer.

    Like

  5. Wonderful news! Congratulations! I would without the shadow of a doubt buy a hardcover version. But don’t hesitate to keep the ebook free, everyone should have access to this magnificent piece of culture!

    Like

  6. excellent work. As an rpg player i feel obliged to thank you and congratulate you on your effort. I honestly hope that eventually you’ll find a way to release a physical version.

    Like

  7. Congratulations to all the people involved. Great job. As I’ve said 3 1/2 years ago, I’m in for a physical copy. If that’s something that can be done, I can wait for however long it takes.

    Like

  8. Wow what’s a great job! Thank you!

    You’ve mentioned MMORPG’s timeline as an extra job, I’m just interested why did you not put those games in the initial list? They are still RPGs…

    Like

  9. Beautiful book, I was still enjoying the earlier version of it. Great it has been released completely now, thank you for that wonderful present. I would definitively buy a printed version of it. 🙂

    Like

  10. This is truly impressive, and you should feel a surge of pride! I’m really wowed by this thing and will get tons of enjoyment out of it.

    2 notes:

    1. If you open up any formal way to submit proofreading, feel free to send me a note and I will gladly contribute. I’m going to end up reading the whole thing anyway 🙂

    2. I desperately want to contribute financially! I saw some physical copy recommendations in the Hacker News thread.. I just want to concur with the people that say that I would not balk at even more than $60 to get a physical copy and leave a little something in it for your efforts. I think it’s entirely possible that others who remember 80’s and 90’s RPG’s fondly have gotten old enough to be stable financially and splurge on something so great who scratches such a niche interest so well. You never know until you ask!

    Like

  11. Considering that my favorite genre of all time is RPGs,and WRPGs specifically,i am quite glad with this book. thanks very much man 🙂

    Like

  12. Wow, it’s here, I cannot believe the book is actually here. Thank you so much for doing this, and a bigger thanks for releasing it for free. I’ve been watching the project since the 200-page preview and I discovered so many awesome games thanks to the book, this is the most comprehensive and detailed list of crpgs I’ve ever seen, congratulations.

    Like

  13. 1. The Dark Sun: Shattered Lands text is in really bad shape.
    “was once planet” -> “was once a planet”
    “by the power hungry and mad wizards” -> “by power hungry and mad wizards”
    “another forgotten souls” -> “more forgotten souls”

    2. I noticed some articles are very heavy on story or puzzle spoilers, while others are not. I cringed at the Martian Dreams article especially. (I certainly haven’t read the whole book yet.)

    Like

  14. Congratulations. This is an epic work. And it’s all the better for being freely available. Thank you for that.

    Have you considered putting it on GitHub so people can issue pull requests with updates and corrections?

    Like

  15. I just wanted to say THANK you, this is an awesome gift for us all who love computer role playing games… I have seen at a first glance that there was Veil of Darkness and also Anvil of Dawn, and Arx Fatalis and Albion… Wonderful games I played at the time.
    Kind regards from Spain!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you for your amazing work! 🙂 Is there a source file anywhere, because I’m thinking of making a German translation of your book? Thanks for your help!

    Like

  17. 60$ for a hard copy does not sound expensive at all! Heck I’d print my own copy if I had the proper cover pages 🙂
    You should make a bit of money off this, amazing work!

    Like

  18. I would happily pay well over $60 for a hard copy and going by the other comments here and the Hacker News discussion, so would many others.

    Like

  19. fantastic stuff! scrolling through relieving the classics i played and those i missed out on .. you said you needed proof readers .. I havent actually read much but final fantasy vii page 231 .. one of the screenshot captions says “you control simples, stylized characters over per-rendered backgrounds” simple and pre are the corrections for that sentence

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Uaaaaaaaau! Acabei de ver o link num tópico do ResetEra e… pombas, um livro megainteressante como esse, capitaneado por um brasileiro? How freaking cool is that?

    Vou dar uma lida, mas o formato por si só já é uma delícia, e o volume impressionante. Meus parabéns! Vou dar uma divulgada no meu blog e espero que você consiga fazer uma edição física, eu adoraria ter um negócio desses na minha estante. Parabéns!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Holy shit man this is so awesome, as an RPG fan I will defiantly spend a load of time reading this! Without a shadow of a doubt I would defiantly purchase a physical version of the book (if you can fund raise it) and would put money towards to help fund raise for it! Keep up the good work, and to regards to proof reading is there any links or anything to help with proof reading?

    Keep up the good work! I look forward to reading this and hope to see this turn into a physical copy as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi,
    Congratulations on a job well done and in my eyes well worth the work it took. I have been wanting to make a book or website or something of similar nature to this for console RPGs for quite some time and I think this is just the motivation I needed.

    Like

  23. First things first – that collection and all the help you got is mindblowing! Congrats!

    I would volunteer to write a Spellforce I & II Review. I had the pleasure to work on both titles from the beginning and I was missing it dearly on the list.
    I have screenshots from the early beginnings and many war stories to add.

    Cheers,
    Sven Liebich (former Art Director of the Series)

    Like

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