January 2009

Ages ago I was asked to answer some questions about the book, its background, my background, etc. for Chronicle Books (the publisher). I forgot to mention that it’s up and available to peruse at your leisure should that kind of thing tickle your fancy.



Gamasutra–the web-site for games industry professionals of all stripes–has posted a chapter excerpt from the book. It’s actually one of my favorite stories in the book, the background to the development of a project called Habitat, which was essentially the first online social networking/massively multiplayer game. And it was developed for the 300 baud modem for the Commodore 64!

It’s a great story illustrating the kind of innovation being fostered at the company in those early days, and though Habitat in its original design doc format never made commercial release, the fact that so many of its design features (and even use of words, such as avatar to describe your in-world character) live on today is testimony to its true visionary status.

You can read it all at:



Missed this before the break, but the excellent online thinking man’s videogame magazine, The Escapist, posted a quick write-up about the book, and I’ll pick out one specific–and very short–piece of the review: “a gem.”

That is all!

Read the full thing at:

Since the book shipped just before the holidays, and a number of people have stopped me to say “Hey, I got your book for Christmas!” If that’s the case, thanks for either adding it to your Wish List, or to your friend/family member who thought you might like it. In that spirit, reviews have started appearing on Amazon, generally positive.

To address the 1 star commentary, at least he states that if the price were cheaper the content would be worth a few more stars! Related to that, a couple of other reviews have appeared at respected online videogame sites. One very thorough study at Adventure Gamers — http://www.adventuregamers.com/article/id,962/ — comments on the lack of detail in the book about several games. It’s a fair comment that I didn’t delve into the minutae of every game. There simply wasn’t the space in the spec that we sketched out for what we thought the book should be. By the same token, I hoped that the balance of commentary on the numerous games reflected the overall direction of the company. I believe it did that, and if the balance was perceived to fall away from the classic adventure games towards Star Wars universe games, then I think it was an accurate macro level portrayal of the company’s progress.

Anyway, if you have read the book at all, would love to see your reviews and comments. All of them!