Train2Game News The Minds Behind the Games Interviews with Cult and Classic Game Developers


Who wrote “Romeo & Juliet? Who first sang “Thriller”? Who played Captain America in the last Avengers flick? All of these questions are basic pop culture knowledge that everyone, regardless of their geekdom, knows. But who are the minds behind some of the most influential video games of all-time? Don’t know, right? Don’t use Google, either!

But here’s the bigger question: Why aren’t their names enshrined in our memories, too? Why aren’t these men and women’s names just as synonymous in pop culture lore as those in music, film and literature?
“The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Game Developers” is the first video game book of its kind to get access to some of the most iconic and unique video game developers from the past 40 years, from the Atari 2600 to the PlayStation 4 and even failed consoles the likes of the Ouya and NEMO. 

Didn’t know those consoles existed? It’s just another reason to read this behind the scenes look at the industry, which also features all-new exclusive interviews with everyone from Yars’ Revenge creator Howard Scott Warshaw to NBA Jam mastermind Mark Turmell and Mortal Combat co-creator John Tobias. 

Written by award-winning journalist and educator Patrick Hickey Jr., the book contains profiles of 36 of the coolest video games ever created. 

“We know so much about video games, but we know so little about the amazing people that made them,” Hickey said. “That was the main reason I decided to write this book. Imagine 36 episodes of VH1’s Behind the Music. That’s what this book is- an unaltered, behind-the-scenes look at some of the coolest, infamous and unique games ever made.”

Seeing a problem that desperately needed to fixed, Hickey reached out to some of the most iconic video game developers David Crane (Pitfall), Garry Kitchen (Donkey Kong) and Rob Fulop (Night Trap, Missile Command) and many more- the end result was a passion project that would finally give the greatest minds in video games their due.

“We all carry such fond nostalgia for the things that delighted us in our younger years,” Fulop said. “This lack of portability to the future is not true with the written work, with a song, a television show, or a movie. One can read Tom Sawyer as a kid, and your kid can read the exact same book. Or see the Wizard of Oz, my daughter is just as frightened by the Wicked Witch of the West as I was 50 years ago. I Love Lucy is just as funny as when my parents enjoyed it 50 plus years ago. And my daughter can still enjoy all of these things in their original form.  Yet she can’t play Dogz. At least not without a serious amount of effort on my part. And that’s just sort of sad, the fact that interactive entertainment is linked to a specific technology, which is always obsoleting itself, remains an often overlooked black mark in the development of the entire genre of interactive games.”

However, while classic developers have their say in the book, developers from the modern era were thrilled to be a part of the project as well.

“It’s great to be part of a book that taps into such a varied history of gaming. Some of these games have been a direct influence on me and can be used to map my years growing up in life.” -Mike Skupa, Developer Bully, Sleeping Dogs

Additional Praise for ‘The Minds Behind the Games’:

“Fantastic. One-part serious journalism and another part a love letter to the gaming industry.”-Anthony Frisina, Author, The Regulator

“This book will make your inner gamer do the time 8-32-bit warp again and again.”-Chris Butera, Editor-In-Chief, Bonesaw Online Magazine, former WWE.com writer

“NHLPA 93 was the first game I owned for the Sega Genesis and I played it nonstop for a month. I truly believe my favorite player as a kid was Jeremy Roenick simply because of this game. Patrick does a terrific job encapsulating the history, emotion and drama of the early days of this series.” –Arda Ocal, MSG Networks

“From arcade rats to indie developers, Hickey gives an intimate look at the personalities behind gaming with the passion of a fanboy and the attention of a scholar.” – Cesar R. Bustamante Jr., Digital Producer and Book Reviewer, New York Daily News

I love the WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game chapter, which perfectly captures the aura surrounding that title — its development and release during such a transitionary phase for Wrestling — and how it smartly serves as a fun and exemplary reminder of the game’s uniqueness in being a fighting game at heart, hybridized … and stylized with mystical, whimsical gimmick-specific elements effectively creating a “game for everyone,” during a time when that was an impossible task.- Extreme Championship Wrestling Legend Joel Gertner

“The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Game Developers” is currently scheduled for a late 2017/early 2018 release. 

Train2Game News Video Game Development The Rock and Roll Years

Never before has a book been written about the reality of working for computer games companies, from the early 8 bit days onwards, until now.
This book, Video Game Development – The Rock and Roll Years – By Shaun McClure, is a warts and all account of what it was really like; frequently not getting paid, living under desks, dealing with addiction, and self harming. This book is a first hand account of working on games for some of the biggest companies in computer game history.

Shaun McClure had his first artwork published in computer games whilst still at school, growing up in Yorkshire, in the mid 1980’s. He progressed from working from his bedroom to fulltime employment, all around the UK’s fledgling games industry companies, meeting a few of the more famous game developers of the time along the way, and working on some of the best, and worst, games of that era.

The book is available on Amazon as either a kindle download, or paperback. It is 250 pages long and is packed with some of the original illustrations, game designs, photos, and magazine articles from the era.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Video-Game-Development-Years-Pixels/dp/1521085595
https://www.amazon.com/Video-Game-Development-Years-Pixels-ebook/dp/B071YC3FL1

Train2Game News Artcade The Book of Classic Arcade Game Art

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Funstockretro.co.uk, Europe’s no.1 retro destination, are proud to announce that pre-orders for Tim Nicholl’s new illustrative book (published by Bitmap Books),  Artcade – The Book of Classic Arcade Game Art, are now being accepted.

This stylish yet informative book has been painstakingly put together by Tim Nicholls and provides forty years of Arcade marquee artwork in a glorious A4 Landscape hardback book that’s presented in a protective spot varnished dust jacket. Each marquee illustrated in the book has been scanned from the original source material and digitally restored to their former glory to create the ultimate arcade visual experience.

As part of this book readers will be able to re-experience their favourite arcade marquees from iconic titles such as Pac-Man, Q-Bert, Defender and Punch-out. Alongside these digitally restored marquee’s is also a selection of interviews with artists Larry Day and the late Python Anghelo.

Artcade – The Book of Classic Arcade Game Art is a collectors dream for fans of classic arcade gaming.

Key Features:

    Published by Bitmap Books; creators of the Visual Compendiums
    Contains 40 years of Arcade Marquee artwork across 324 pages
    Features interviews with Larry Day and the late Python Anghelo
    Hardback book with a protective spot varnished dust jacket

Where to get it:

Artcade – The Book of Classic Arcade Game Art is available to pre-order at:  http://www.funstockretro.co.uk

Train2Game News A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming

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A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming includes everything you need to gain a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the modern era of the videogame industry, all in one book.

A year in the making, and benefiting from over 25 years of accumulated knowledge and insight, A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming is out and available now on Amazon, Kindle, and digital distribution service Gumroad.

Written by videogame industry professional Olivers Snyders, A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming includes a treasure trove of information on videogames, the people behind them, the industry surrounding them, the culture that nurtures them, important trends of today, and exciting technologies of the future.

Anyone new to this wonderful, weird, amazing, heart-warming, thought-provoking, awe-inspiring, and at times loathsome world will gain an immense understanding of who makes games, how they’re made, and which six major groups contribute to the growth and evolution of the industry, while learning about the eight major life cycles that a videogame must go through to become a product ready for fans to enjoy.

Even if you’ve been following videogames for years, A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming will help you to expand your appreciation of the industry with detailed, sub-surface answers to questions about what makes a game fun, successful, addictive, and even ‘great’ in the eyes of fans, while spotlighting important trends of today that will dramatically impact future innovations. The book also discusses how the world will react to new technologies, like virtual reality, and how new online services and a few young upstarts are slowly revolutionising how we play, buy, and discuss games in the future, leaving traditional publishers, developers, retailers, and press outlets to struggle to adapt and survive.

And just what are videogames, anyway? What are they today – for better or worse – and what does their potential allow for them to become? And how will the fans themselves radically affect the course of the industry over the next four years?

No matter your familiarity, if you’re curious to learn more about videogames, A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming contains everything you need to begin, continue, and enjoy that journey.

For more information, and to read a lengthy excerpt from the book regarding what makes a game ‘fun,’ visit the official A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming website:

www.AGamersGuideToGaming.com

Train2Game News Dungeon Hacks book

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A book detailing some early RPGs is being released to give aspiring developers and fans a look at where these games came from.

PressStart Press is proud to announce the release of Dungeon Hacks: How NetHack, Angband, and Other Roguelikes Changed the Course of Video Games in paperback as well as on Kindle, iBooks, and other popular e-reading platforms.
                                                                                            
Written by Stay Awhile and Listen author David L. Craddock, Dungeon Hacks whisks readers back in time to the computer labs where seminal roguelike role-playing games (RPGs) such as Rogue and Moria originated. Roguelikes are beloved among their fans, who tout grueling difficulty, a wide breadth of character types, and procedural algorithms that generate brand new levels every time players begin a new quest as defining characteristics of the genre.

Dungeon Hacks has earned acclaim from visionary game designers like Warren Spector, director of Deus Ex and Disney’s Epic Mickey. “The design of roguelike classics still resonates today, inspiring many modern game designers. Read this book and you’re understand how and why,” Spector said. Torchlight and Rebel Galaxy designer Travis Baldree echoed Spector’s enthusiasm, praising the book for “capturing the human element behind the games—the particulars of the people, the context, and the time period.”

Dungeon Hacks was assembled from years of research and interviews with developers such as Michael Toy, Robert Koeneke, Thomas Biskup, and the architects of NetHack, which TIME magazine commended as one of the best 100 games ever made. Dungeon Hacks is available now in paperback, as well as on popular e-reading platforms. An audio release will be made available later this month.

Alongside Dungeon Hacks, PressStart Press is publishing two additional books. One-Week Dungeons: Diaries of a Seven-Day Roguelike Challenge follows programmers of varying skill levels as they race the clock to design a game in a single week. Angels, Devils, and Boomsticks: The Making of Demons with Shotguns tells the story of an aspiring programmer who must conquer his fear of math if he wishes to realize his dream of making games. Both books are available now on Kindle, iBooks, Nook, and other popular e-reading storefronts.

Train2Game News Sinclair ZX Spectrum art book

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Bitmap Books is very proud to announce the third instalment in their visual compendium series of retro gaming pixel art books.

Over the past 12 months, the publisher has released books on the  Commodore 64 and the  Commodore  Amiga. These books have  received universal praise and this latest book in the  compendium series aims to continue this impressive legacy. The book recently launched on Kickstarter and reached its funding goal in a matter of hours.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum: a visual compendium will focus on the visual side of the computer; from in-game pixel art to game maps to box artwork, the book will be crammed full of beautiful high-resolution, full-colour pixel art and photography. The ZX Spectrum is a true British icon and at the time boasted cutting-edge product design. This unique and iconic image is something that will be captured; the ultimate aim is to produce a book which proudly pays homage to this classic home computer.

Each spread in the book will focus on a different game, each represented with a striking visual, along with short reviews, developer quotes, and behind-the-scenes trivia. Contributors to the book include Ste Pickford (Binary Designs), Bob Pape (R-Type/Rampage), John Heap (Denton Designs), Julian Gollop (Laser Squad), Matthew Smith (Manic Miner/Jet Set Willy), Steve Turner (Graftgold), David Darling (Codemasters) along with many other developers and journalists.

The text will be edited and overseen by industry legend Steve Jarratt, a veteran computer games journalist who has edited countless best-selling publications including Crash, Commodore Format, Amiga Format, Total!, and EDGE. The foreword will be written by ex-Binary Design graphic artist Ste Pickford, one half of the legendary duo The Pickford Bros., who made their name creating the artwork and designing classic games such as Zub, Glider Rider, Amaurote, 180 and Feud.

As with the C64 book, Sinclair ZX Spectrum: a visual compendium will showcase the awesome and iconic artwork by Oliver Frey. His legendary covers for Crash magazine will be printed in all their full-colour glory!

Additional features within the book will include professional product photography, artist interviews, developer profiles, classic magazine showcases and also a visual look at the Russian Spectrum homebrew scene.

There are also some great stretch goals including an Allister Brimble remix CD which will be exclusive to backers only and some funky polystyrene 48K-style packaging for the book.

For more information on the Kickstarter campaign, visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2146199819/zx-spectrum-a-visual-compendium-by-bitmap-books