And now, GameSpite Quarterly 2

I was going to wait until Monday for this, but you know how it is when you finish something and you’re excited about it. You want to share it, you know? It’s why I can never seem to build up a bunch of blog content to post over a period of time, because as soon as I finish writing something I want to publish it right then. That anxious impatience is simply amplified many times over when it comes to a project as big as GameSpite Quarterly. A month of weekends spent hard at work has reached its culmination, and while I know I should probably wait until Monday when people are actually using the Internet and this news has a better chance of getting some notice, I couldn’t hold off. GameSpite Quarterly 2 is GO.

You can use the Blurb shop to pick up the standard edition or the hardcover deluxe edition. As before, the hardcover has quite a bit of additional content over the regular version: 37 pages, to be precise. This is not a filthy ploy to convince people to buy the more expensive book, though. It’s just that the cost of a hardcover print-on-demand book is so high that I want to make sure anyone who wants the nicer edition feels more like they’re getting their money’s worth. The bonus content — and in fact all content — will be online before the next issue is released, so there’s no need to even buy a copy at all if you have enough patience. The print version simply exists for those of you who are like me and want something nice and tangible to hold on to in this world of digital distribution. (And the deluxe volume only exists because I prefer to own books in hardcover format whenever possible. It’s the definition of a vanity press project.)

You’ll probably notice that the standard edition is a dollar more expensive than the previous issue. This is also not some sort of gougery. The new book is 20 pages longer than GameSpite Quarterly 1, which bumped it up to the next folio size and thus added a buck to the actual cost of goods. I’ll try to keep things more compact in the future, but I can’t make any promises; the thing is, we like writing about games, even when it causes a bit of overflow. (The actual cost to produce the hardcover also increased due to the higher page count, but I decided we could stand to take a smaller profit on that in order to keep its already excessive price from creeping any higher.)

Of course, since this is print-on-demand, there’s no real hurry on any of this. I intend to make all our publications available indefinitely, so there’s no need to worry about buying a copy of this before it goes out of print. This is pretty much evergreen content, and the drawbacks of producing through Blurb are offset by the fact that this material need never go out of print. And since one significant drawback is that the shipping fees that Blurb charges tend to be pretty unreasonably expensive (for which I apologize, but it’s out of my control), you may wish to take advantage of our perpetual publications and buy in batches. If you’re the sort of person who wants to pick up multiple issues of the magazine, you might be better off waiting until more volumes are released further down the road and ordering several items all at once to save on shipping fees. I’m hoping to publish Year One, Vol. 2 in October, barring unforeseen complications, so maybe you should wait for that.

I guess I’m probably not doing a terribly effective job on selling you on this product, huh? But selling isn’t what this is about. This issue of the book contains 40 (or 48, depending) essays on the games that Talking Time voted its collective favorites of all time, and everyone who contributed to GSQ2 poured their hearts into celebrating some truly great creations. Whether you read these articles in one go via print or piecemeal as they’re posted online, I hope you will read them. Because they’re great, they really are. I could point out which articles made me smile and think, “That was brilliant,” as I was editing, but then I’d be here all day. The full list of contents (and eventually the full collection of articles) is available on the issue’s index page, and it’s easier to simply point you there, because each and every essay is thoughtful, heartfelt, and entertaining. You can actually read about 25 pages of the issue’s content on Blurb’s site by clicking on each edition’s preview feature, so you can see for yourself that I’m not just blowing smoke up your hindquarters.

Please enjoy! The online edition will debut within the next few days. In the meantime, do feel free to promote the hell out of this publication.

47 thoughts on “And now, GameSpite Quarterly 2

  1. Select the 2-day shipping option and enter coupon code “hpfreeshipping” during the checkout process and Blurb will give you the shipping for free. That’s a $9 savings.

    Disclaimer: coupon code may expire at any time. It works as of the time I posted this.

  2. Link’s Awakening placing so high, even if it was still supplanted by LttP, does my heart good. I am a little disappointed to see the lack of Yoshi’s Island, Mario Kart (Super or DS), or any other notable Castlevanias.

  3. I can’t wait to read it. After taking a look at which games are in the top 40 and who is writing each article I am ecstatic.

  4. The Super Metroid piece ended up being a 5000-word elegy about everything that I love about games. I don’t know that it’s a great piece of writing by objective standards, but by the standard of heartfelt sincerity it’s pretty much the culmination of what I’ve been doing on this site for the past however many years.

  5. I love the idea of these books. However having characters on the cover of the “standard edition” that aren’t in the book is pretty off-putting.

  6. It looks like you can only use that coupon once. But I had no trouble creating a new account and applying it to my order.

  7. daverhodus: Ah well… I didn’t know what would been included in the hardcover when I drew the cover. I was shooting for a mix of characters across the list and tried not to focus on too many from one system or genre. I did sneak in three characters from Earthbound though as it is my favorite.

  8. I hadn’t really thought about the cover issue, but it’s a fair complaint. It’s just the seat-of-our-pants nature of the publication, though. I didn’t realize we’d be splitting off the bottom 8 entries until after the art had been comped.

  9. I love the cover. I just wish both versions could have the same content. I’m a big fan of what gamespite is doing. Hopefully I can save up for the deluxe edition. Thanks for the explanation.

  10. There’s a second reason the standard edition doesn’t have all the content (actually, it’s the primary reason): if it were as long as the deluxe edition, the cost would have gone up another dollar. $13 is already more than I’m comfortable with, and $14 was out of the question. I very nearly split this issue into two separate books, actually, but ultimately decided to use this compromise instead.

  11. This is how shameless of a Sonic fan I am: once I saw that a Sonic 3 article was in the deluxe edition content, I immediately dropped 40 bones for it. Sigh. Oh well. I need to complete my hardcover GameSpite book collection anyway.

  12. Ordered one, I found that I could save a few bucks on the price if I changed the currency to pound instead of dollar or euro. I guess the sterling is in the shitter right now.

  13. I just ordered my copy of the deluxe edition–the stuff in there is too good to pass up. I really, really can’t wait to read this!

  14. just wanted to point out that the text in the book is all wonky… it’s not even aligned correctly and leaves huge gaps to the right side of the paragraph.

    the book would look really nice with that addressed.

  15. I noticed the text thing too, and am worried that the book will be nigh unreadable.

    I’m also disturbed by the book’s lack of index, epigraphs and a built-in battery-operated hand-warmer should I ever desire to read it in the middle of winter while waiting for a bus.

  16. It’s not wonky, it’s called “right-ragged alignment.” And it looks a lot better than justified text, because the spacing between letters and words remains consistent. People who use justified alignment generally think Comic Sans is a pretty sweet typeface, too.

  17. I made the mistake of ordering Quarterly 1 in softcover. Now I might make the same mistake with this one since it’s so much more expensive in hardcover (and would clash with its predecessor).

    The extra articles will be online though, right? I’d hate to miss them all!

  18. I ordered it before reading the comments and as such missed out on free shipping. I also ordered up a copy of Vol. 1. They will sit on my bookshelf next to my Toastyfrog Fanzines. (Wow, Firefox spell check actually recognized Fanzines.)

  19. parish, if you’ve ever used programs specialized for this like pagemaker, indesign, you’ll notice there’s a handy little option for justified text, but with no rivers or widows. it automatically sets them to a natural spacing, while retaining the justified part.

  20. I checked the comments first before ordering and got free shipping. Learned my lesson from last time. I’m going to have to keep the converting it between dollars/pounds/euros to see if the price is cheaper for next time.

  21. Parish…why not put the free shipping promo code in the main body of the blog post? I hate to see people spend $8-$9 on shipping when they don’t have to.

  22. Jeremy has said before he doesn’t want to “officially” advertise the free shipping code because, well, it’s technically someone else’s promo code. But if other people happen to keep mentioning it, so much the better. Pity we have to keep making new accounts to milk it, though.

    Honestly, if Blurb offered a *reasonable* slow shipping option (like, say, book rate?) I’d just go ahead and pay it.

  23. I ordered mine yesterday, and I got the free shipping this time having overlooked it the last. I went for the standard version. I’d pay a little more for more content, but not as much as the deluxe version. But I can read them eventually on the webpage, so no real biggie. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the book!

  24. I know this isn’t really the place for it (and correct me if I’m wrong) but isn’t there still some hardcover bonus content from the first quarterly that hasn’t made its way online yet? I don’t recall seeing articles on Super Mario Bros DX or the Oracles games.

  25. I see Blurb will take PDFs for publishing now, so if Parish feels like learning a new program, he can get fancier than with Blurb’s software.

  26. I just ordered mine. I can’t wait until I receive that 2′ x 3′ pizza box in the mail with a small paperback book in it.

    If only the text was center aligned in 10pt Goudy Stout and 1.325″ left and right margins and a 0.5″ footer then I would have one less thing to complain about.

  27. Oh, doh, I guess putting in those internal GameSpite links made me look like a pron spammer. I’ll spell out the URLs phonetically instead:

    aitch tee tee pee colon slash slash double-you double-you…

    just kidding. They’re there, and not too hard to find.

  28. Reading through the contents page (online) makes my heart flutter, really. But I’m going to hold off on my purchase right now as shipping to Australia is even more costly, despite the Aussie dollar rockin’ pretty hard right now.

    I always enjoy reading the critiques. It’s up lifting to read material that has been written with not just personality and love, but also an ability to critically understand how the game achieves whatever the writer wishes to argue it achieves. There are too many bloggers who claim themselves to be at the forefront of games writing, yet only dribble academia, rarely discussing the game itself. This stuff is different though, really down to earth and only ever about the games. Keep writing and publishing.

  29. I wouldn’t mind paying $1 more for the rest of the hardcover content in the paperback. For whatever reason I have a “I need all of the content no matter how much it costs” gene/disorder that I’m pretty sure is very active for me as a gamer. I know it got me to spend a good 24 more dollars to upgrade to the hardcover version of GSQ1, and I’m really not too particular about whether the book is soft or hardcover. I’m probably not going to go poor ordering a $36 book every 3 months, but I’m already thinking that I don’t want to take the plunge and spend $36 quite yet, which made me hold off on the first issue for a month or so. Is it possible to sell a “deluxe paperback” version alongside the regular paperback and hardcover?

  30. @ Laser Sanchez

    Agree. I have no idea why Jeremy complains that $12-$13 is too much money for a quality paperback. It’s not. Look at any quality paperback on Amazon on the subject of video games and you’ll see that they all list between $15-$20.

    Anyways, mine shipped and should be delivered by FedEx on Tuesday. It’s funny how when I choose standard shipping, the book dispatches in 2-4 days. When I choose 2-day shipping, the book takes 6 days to dispatch. That completely negates any speed advantage from the expedited two-day shipping.

  31. @ Jet Pilot

    I was wondering about the 2-day shipping option. I used it last time because I used the hpfreeshipping code, which covered up to $10. Still, it ended up taking a week to get it to me. Perhaps I’ll just order the book and end up wanting it by the time it’s delivered :)

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