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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Graphic Adventures, the Book

Early last year after reading a book about Lucasfilm, I wanted much more information on my beloved games like Maniac Mansion, Secret of Monkey Island or Loom. I ended up browsing Wikipedia for info on these titles, and that in turn gave me the idea of turning the Wikipedia articles into a book of its own. I’ve started the project with Google Docs but after hitting the usual limits, went to offline HTML editing and setting up several tools to get the formatting right, and then started a Lulu self-publishing project for this.

What I did was edit the Wikipedia articles through heavy or light rewriting, depending on what I figured the article would need to look good in book form. I then went to find additional information from other sources where I felt having more could be fun, and I added screenshots. And then I conducted interviews with many people who were involved in producing the classic graphic adventures. I interviewed creators like Al Lowe of Leisure Suit Larry, Lucasfilm’s David Fox, and Michael Bywater, who worked with Douglas Adams on the game Starship Titanic. The book took much longer than expected... the original idea after all was to merely compile an encyclopedia from Wikipedia, a book for perhaps a small but dedicated group of fans like me. But after sending myself the first draft version, I realized much more editing was needed to have something really fun.

To make a long story short, the book is now available at Amazon and Lulu and also got a page of its own here! It’s called “Graphic Adventures: Being a Mostly Correct History of the Adventure Game Classics By Lucasfilm, Sierra and Others, from the Pages of Wikipedia”, and includes games like Maniac Mansion, Labyrinth, Time Zone, Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Zork Nemesis, Myst, Indiana Jones, Monkey Island and Grim Fandango.

50% of the book revenues will be donated back to Wikimedia. Your feedback as usual is welcome. I’m not the author but just the editor or compiler of the info – the authors are everyone who ever edited Wikipedia, and by Wikipedia’s rules the full copy of the book can also be downloaded for free in an editable version. This book is a project of love for the genre of graphic adventures, so if you were or are a fan of that too, I hope this fan project will also give something to you.

[Thanks to all who helped with the book through Wikipedia editing, getting interviewed, providing screenshots, or giving feedback and other help!]


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