This is not the cover to GameSpite Quarterly 3

The press proof for GameSpite Quarterly 3 arrived yesterday — much sooner than I expected, in fact. The near-final product looks pretty good, and it’s crazy dense. I’m talking 300+ pages. It’s a lot of text.

Unfortunately, I hate the cover. The idea was pretty good, I think: Since this issue focuses on 8-bit game characters (specifically, heroes), I wanted to use original sprites for a sort of Retro Gamer-looking creation. And the layout of Nintendo’s NES Tetris struck me as a perfectly fitting visual metaphor, since Tetris is a wildly popular 8-bit game, the stats box in the upper-right is perfectly placed to hold the magazine flag, and the I-Block is one of the characters detailed in the issue. So why not have the I-Block poised to clear a stack of 8-bit characters all jumbled up?

Not a bad idea at all. Unfortunately, the execution… well, it sucks. So, this won’t be the cover to the issue. It’s ugly and kind of embarrassing and I certainly wouldn’t expect people to spend their hard-earned money on something this tacky. So I worked up something else — something classier, simpler, cleaner, and weirdly enough designed in a flash of inspiration this afternoon when I bought a piece of cheesecake to take home to my finacée and looked at the bag it came in. You can have a look after the jump.

Much better. And! I’ve decided what to do about the cost/content problem: As you can see, there will be three versions of this issue, each with a different cover. (They are not intended to be collector’s items, so please don’t think I want you to buy all three. God, no. Just one. One is enough.)

The hardcover version, as usual, will contain all content and be fairly expensive, because, well, it’s hardcover. They don’t make those for cheap. The paperback version, however, will come in two variants. For the frugal, a 150-page edition that sells for the GSQ target price of $12. It will focus on well-known characters, leaving obscure heroes like Jay McCray and Steve Hermann and the like on the cutting room floor. For the spendier types who don’t want to sink cash into the hardback, there will also be a complete paperback edition minus some of the extra articles — probably about 280 pages — that will sell for somewhere between $16-18.

The book will go on sale on Black Friday. It’ll be done sooner, I imagine, but this gives me a slightly relaxed deadline for doing copy editing and finishing up photography and such. So please look forward to next week.

41 thoughts on “This is not the cover to GameSpite Quarterly 3

  1. Which cover goes with which version? I dig the Dragon Quest one, but I know I’ll end up with the hardcover book regardless.

  2. I clicked on the ‘more’ link expecting to be left after the great original cover. But these are pretty great. Has to be the Megaman one for me, though. Undetailed Mario looks bald & weird, and I wouldn’t have even known the middle one was Dragon Quest.

  3. Nice. Did you try with the character’s silhouettes only? I would look too plain probably and you would have to add more to the background.

  4. Yeah, I didn’t recognize that as Dragon Quest either. Thought it was a Zelda baddie. But then I noticed the Slime in the corner. Very nice touch, on all of them.

    I actually really like the first cover, except for the Tetris maze in the background.

    Whichever one ends up being final, good work!

  5. I just noticed the logo in the top right. The megaman baddy looks a lot less iconic than the DQ one. Now I’m torn!

  6. Damn I’m loving the Dragon Quest one, looks amazing. The other 2 look good as well, but I dunno just feel bland. Looking forward to th book coming out and then paying the amazingly high shipping costs to get it to Australia.

  7. Yeah, that cover is obnoxiously busy, glad you’re not going with it. I like the cheesecake covers.

  8. I always come late to these posts, leaving my comment to be ridiculously non-relevant anymore. So Ditto to what everyone else has said, these are awesome.

    Also, the fact that the issue will be available on the same day I get paid is more or less ensuring I spend the most money. Well played, Jeremy. Well played indeed.

  9. I tried several different treatments with each character and ultimately settled on these as a good halfway point between “indistinct” and “copyright-infringingly obvious.” I hate that Mega Man even has outlines, but he loses his visual identity without them.

  10. I like how you chose a less-than-iconic Simon Belmont sprite from the original Castlevania – is that Dracula on the left of the ‘bad’ cover, too?

    Yeah, the other cover is a bit weird – sprites from different games tend to look weird next to each other when they’re presented in different resolutions and pixel scales.

  11. Scratch that comment about Dracula – I forgot how much Alucard in Castlevania III looked so much like his daddy.

  12. I’m sad that you decided to make a blue volume the one time (so far) when I’m not contributing anything to it. I do so love blue.

  13. The Tetris one looks bad because it’s too charged with stuff. The green is too dark and there are too many tetris block lines in the background.
    If the green was a bit lighter and the tetris block lines removed, it would look much cleaner and easier on the eyes. It kinda looks like what that Famicom game (Hoshi wo Miru Hito AKA Stargazers) tried to do :P
    Check HG101 for the game if you’ve never seen it.

  14. I would have been proud to have no less than four of my characters on the cover, using the same sprites I captured. The revised version is of course superior, though.

  15. Yeah… Custer didn’t make the final cut. I came to my senses and realized that maybe it’s a bad idea to present a game character who exists exclusively to commit rape as a hero.

  16. I’m crossing my fingers so hard that the hardcover edition will be the Dragon Quest one. Parish, don’t let a brother down.

  17. I would also kill… well, at least maim to make the Dragon Quest version the hardcover one.

  18. I’ll bet the Angry Video Game Nerd uses the cluttered cover as one of his title cards some day. By the way, guess who used Parish’s favorite word in his latest Castlevania video?

  19. Aw, no metroid :'(

    I guess I’ll have to find a 3-sided coin.

    But considering your original theme was tetris, why not choose a tetrinome silhouette? It won’t need an outline like Mega Man. Okay just kidding–my sarcasm doesn’t come off well on the internet. It must be the cables…

  20. vaterite: No, the Angry Video Game Nerd used it. But since he said it politely and not in one of his toilet rants, it probably won’t become famous.

  21. Incidentally, I finally have the money to spare and just barely put in my order for Quarterly 2. Hopefully there won’t be such a delay on my part for Q3.

  22. @Pombar: Less iconic? Dude, it’s a Metool. They’re as ubiquitous as the Silver Spike of Death.

  23. @MojoBox: Far be it from me to dissuade people from buying our stuff, but at this point you really should’ve waited a couple weeks to get them both together and combine the shipping. In the long run that’ll save you way more money.

  24. Can not wait for another GameSpite Quarterly! I still love my physical media and the first two were such little treasures. Thinking of picking up an additional copy for a Xmas present for best friend.

  25. Ah, it’s not that much money, and I can’t wait anymore. I’m so happy to have actual printed videogame articles to read :)

  26. Why oh why did you not give a price for the hardcover? I would like to know how much I need to pump into my Paypal account, please. Or is it the same as the last two?

  27. Wait, which version is which? Are they in order of price? Meaning if I want all of the main content but am collecting the paperback versions, I’ll be getting the DQ one, correct?

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