Remember back in April or so, how I converted my Anatomy of a Game books, and Game Boy World 1989, into a format that could be sold on Amazon.com? And then how I haven’t published anything new since then? Well, there’s a reason for that. Once I completed those projects, which were quite quick and simple to arrange, I decided to take a stab at converting some GameSpite Journal issues into an Amazon-friendly format as well. Looking over the list of the older books, the one that made the most sense to change over was GameSpite Journal 5, the NES issue. After all, the NES turns 30 this year, right? So of course that would be timely and sensible.
Unfortunately what I discovered upon cracking open that volume for the first time in years is that (1) the large feature articles were great and (2) most of the smaller blurb articles, at least the ones I wrote, were facile and stupid and not worth reprinting. Furthermore, the older GameSpite books were printed in a pocket-sized format whose pages are literally half the size of the format I’ve been using on Amazon. Suddenly I realized that converting the book—the biggest of all the GameSpite volumes—was going to be a time-consuming chore. I didn’t quite realize how time-consuming, though, but here we are about three months later and I’m still not done.
Why? Well, because I’ve revamped the layouts about five or six times, fine-tuning the book’s appearance repeatedly. And also because there’s going to be at least 50% more content in the revised version, probably more than that… all new, all written by me. I started with a 540-page pocket book, turned that into about 200 pages of the larger format, and now currently it sits at 318 pages. So yeah. This has been my quiet, all-consuming evening and weekend side project for the past few months, and it’s very nearly done. I’m really happy with how it’s turning out, and my hope is to have it up and available for purchase by the NES’s actual anniversary (October 18). We’ll see, but I think I can make it happen. At the very least, Patreon backers can expect to have the PDF version by then, 100% guaranteed.
To explain exactly how I’m revamping this book, I figure it would be easier to just show a spread:
These two pages will sit side-by-side, FYI. Hence it being a spread, see?
Please ignore the minor graphical errors, sloppy grammar and sentence constructions, and of course any typos — this content has not been proofed yet and is strictly in first-draft condition. Even so, this spread demonstrates the approach I’m taking with the new volume.
1. New material
Burai Fighter did not have an entry in GameSpite Journal 5. It has one here. So do other notable games we missed the first time around, like Bucky O’Hare, Dragon Warrior IV, and a couple dozen more.
2. Supplemented contributions
The tiny game write-ups other writers contributed to the original book—in this case Abadox—only filled up about half the allotted text space in the new format. Rather than try to expand their writing (and thus put words in their mouths), I’ve simply added additional information as a clearly separated footnote to their entries.
3. Expanded write-ups
As I said, some of my own small entries were painful to read. They also were only about half as long as they needed to be for the new format. So, I’ve revisited every single small entry I wrote in the original book and doubled its length, in some cases completely rewriting the entire entry. The text us now much richer, more informative, and more even-handed. I even tried to be nice about stuff like Donkey Kong Jr. Math.
There are quite a few new elements as well. Like color. The older book was black and white, and color has been a major area of focus for me as I try to make the book colorful but not overwhelming or sloppy-looking. I originally themed the book around the NES color scheme, but that was grey, black, and red, which looked terribly dull. So I bent the thematic rules slightly and went with a Famicom-inspired maroon, gold, and white scheme instead.
There’s also a running chronological checklist of all official, licensed NES releases (not Famicom, just NES). When I say chronological, I mean I went and cross-referenced Nintendo’s official list of NES release dates with a couple of other sources, then further organized games released here in the U.S. within the same month by the order of their original Japanese dates whenever possible. A little obsessive, I guess, but it’s a pretty good arrangement in my opinion.
Anyway, I’m hoping to get this pretty much wrapped up this weekend. Wish me luck, eh? I just hope it doesn’t end up costing like $80 through Amazon… I can’t actually get a price estimate until I upload the stupid thing.