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Posts tagged “books”

Fictional Dragon Age dwarf publishes actual real novel

Varric Tethras, co-star of both Dragon Age 2 and Inquisition, was never your usual swords & sorcery dwarf. Clean-shaven, bare-chested, playfully roguish and broadly disinterested in the usual Dwarven concerns of mining and industry. Beyond his core defining 'sexy dwarf' trait, he also had one other notable quirk: He was an author, and throughout Dragon Age: Inquisition, you could find excerpts from his noir thriller,…

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Burly Men at Sea head for bookshelves

Burly Men At Sea's [official site] was one of my Games Of The Year for 2016. The developers, Brain&Brain bill it as a quiet adventure and I tend to describe it as an interactive storybook. You're in charge of the voyages of the Brothers Beard and your choices and interactions guide them through tiny adventures at sea. But now you can have one of those…

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Feature: Game artbooks just get better and better

The RPG Scrollbars: Artbooks Of Adventure

I'm a big fan of artbooks, which is quite lucky since not only are there plenty of them around right now, the quality of them has never been better. Forget the scrappy little affairs that used to be used to bolster out the Collector's Editions of games, much as concept art used to fill in for interesting secrets to unlock. Today's artbooks are typically huge,…

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Feature: Usborne, Yesterday

The RPG Scrollbars: Usborne Origins

Earlier this month, Usborne re-released something very special - its iconic 80s books on game programming. Talk about nostalgia in PDF format. I remember these so well, particularly the two that my junior school had back in the day - Write Your Own Fantasy Games and Write Your Own Adventure Programs. They're a genuine slice of UK game development history, not so much because of…

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Feature: And seven runners-up too

The 10 Best Games Based On Books

Books! They're like films without pictures, or games that are all cutscene. Old people and hipsters really like them, teenagers think they're like totally lame, and quite frankly we should all read more of them. There are countless games inspired by books - most especially Tolkien, Lovecraft and early Dungeons & Dragon fiction - but surprisingly few games based directly on books. Even fewer good…

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Borges ‘Em Up: Intimate, Infinite

If I were to recommend one author to people wot like games, it'd be Argentine short story writer Jorges Luis Borges. Oh sure, video games crib from loads of fantasy and sci-fi authors, but that's all set dressing. Borges is closer to what games are. His stories are often systems--rules, puzzles, and riddles--and concepts as much as they are narratives, all supporting each other. And,…

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Feature: Just Great Guys Who Love Videogames

Wot I Read: Blizzard Biography ‘Stay Awhile And Listen’

Stay Awhile And Listen: How Two Blizzards Unleashed Diablo And Forged A Videogame Empire is David L. Craddock's ebook unofficial biography of... well, it's in the title, isn't it? Consisting of reminisces from Blizzard staff, design insight and a document of how the then-games industry worked, it's the tale of how plucky start-up Condor Inc became Blizzard North and created the grandaddy of action RPGs.

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Feature: Flare Path is swinging the lead. Back next week.

Wargames – From Gladiators To Gigabytes review

Have you ever stopped to consider the origins of wargaming? Have you ever contemplated wargaming's constantly changing relationship with the slavering hellbeast that is War? Martin van Creveld, an Emeritus Professor at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, has. He's been thinking about questions like these for the last 25 years. The result is a new book called Wargames: From Gladiators to Gigabytes. I've read it and…

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Feature: An Alternate History Of PC Gaming

Wot I Read – YOU: A Novel by Austin Grossman

They're clearly lacing the drinking water at Arkane with Creative Itch Juice, as both Dishonored's co-lead Harvey Smith and one of its writers, Austin Grossman, have put out novels in the last couple of months. Of course, both are esteemed games industry figures from long before that, having worked in the fabled Looking Glass/Ion Storm mines and contributed to some of the most-respected titles in…

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Feature: Booker

Wot I Read – BioShock Infinite: Mind In Revolt

Matters are rather different for the third BioShock game than they were for the first. While Irrational's original had to grab attention from a machinegun-crazed mass audience, their next one comes with built-in renown, potentially affording the studio more opportunity and freedom to indulge themselves in other aspects of the game. Where BioShock's undersea city of Rapture was, in hindsight, much more of a concept…

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Feature: Quake II: The Unofficial Novelisation

Wot I Read: Christopher Brookmyre’s Bedlam

There have been many novels about videogames, as a visit to the Halo- and Mass Effect-strewn shelves of your local bookshop's sci-fi and fantasy section will reveal, but rather more rare are the novels about videogaming. Bedlam, a new sci-fi novel by renowned Scottish crime author Christopher Brookmyre, both is and isn't about videogaming. While it is centred around a high-concept take on the PC…

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Feature: 50 Shades of Greys

Wot I Read – X-COM UFO Defense, A Novel

Somehow, I wasn't aware that there was an official novelisation of 1993 strategy/everything game X-COM until just last month. Given my decades-long fixation with X-COM, this was rather like discovering that there was a book about my mum that had passed me by completely. Diane Duane's slim text X-COM: UFO Defense - A Novel, published in 1996 by game guide firm Prima, has long been…

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Escaping, Or Taking Refuge?

Professional gaming academic Ted Castronova has been talking about his new book, Exodus to the Virtual World: How Online Fun Is Changing Reality, and he's been saying the kinds of things that have been playing on my mind a whole lot in recent months. How valuable is our gaming escapism? And what does it mean to spend so much time in virtual worlds? Ted's book…

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Rapture’s Required Reading

I love things like this. I've got into some of my favourite things via creators of things I've loved recommending them - following the trails to interesting places. Because if they've inspired something you've loved, they've got to be pretty good, yeah? That thought process has lead me to everything from Vonnegut to the Buzzcocks to Nethack. Anyway, Gametap asked Ken Levine for his list…

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