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The CRPG Book – Collector's Edition sample arrives!

The CRPG Book – Collector's Edition sample arrives!

This week, we received a printed sample of the Collector's Edition of The CRPG Book. This is a pre-production sample of the book that we sign off before the full amount of books are bound and shipped to us. The Collector's Edition is very limited edition, and there are around 200 left as of today. Once they're gone – the Collector's Edition will not be printed again.

Below are images of the book, slipcase, dungeon map pad, postcards and pencil. Enjoy!

The CRPG Book: A Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games is currently available for pre-order. Stock is limited and selling fast so we advise placing a pre-order before they all sell out.

Pre-order here

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An interview with Felipe Pepe – The CRPG Book

An interview with Felipe Pepe – The CRPG Book

Felipe Pepe loves Computer Role-Playing Games. Growing up in Brazil, he would often use CRPGs to escape to fantastical worlds and meet exotic characters; his affection for the genre ultimately led to him creating The CRPG Book Project in 2014. Originally begun as a collaborative, non-profit resource devoted to celebrating the history and impact of these amazing games, it is being taken to the next level via a collaboration between Pepe and Bitmap Books.

Keen to learn a bit more, we sat down with Felipe to discuss the origins of the project, his love of CRPGs and how the physical print copy is shaping up.

Could you give us a little background into how you got into gaming, and how you became acquainted with computer-based RPGs?

I'm Brazilian, and when I was a child we were forbidden by the military dictatorship to import computers or games. We were supposed to use only Brazilian hardware and software. However, my father was an engineer and smuggled in an Amiga 500 from the US, along with some games like Chessmaster 2000 and Lemmings. In 1992, we were finally allowed to import computers, but the country was in a massive crisis – we had an impeachment and 1,119.1 percent of inflation that year – so few could actually afford them. Eventually, things got better and my father got a Windows 95 PC, with games like The Secret of Monkey Island and Betrayal at Krondor. I loved playing them, but the language barrier still prevented me from making any real progress.

It was only around 1998 that everything clicked into place; we had a computer, I knew English enough to play games, and I found a copy of the original Fallout. That game changed everything. To this day I think it's one of the best RPGs ever made, and it made me an RPG fan for life.

When did you decide to turn your love of the genre into a book? What was the motivation behind the project?

It began in 2014, when I organized a poll at the RPG Codex to find out the 50 best RPGs of all time. After the voting was done, we asked people to write short reviews about each game, explaining why the game was so good. This became a very popular list, so I decided to expand it, adding more games, more screenshots and turning it into a well-presented ebook. The original idea was to expand it to 100 RPGs, but over the years it kept growing in scope, until it reached the current count of over 400 CRPGs.

The motivation has always been to compile the information that's spread across countless websites, forums, magazines and interviews and present it in a more accessible form. The CRPG genre is more than 40 years old now, so a newcomer trying to understand its history would have a very hard time without a proper guide. That's why the book is written by over a hundred contributors, each one talking about games they know a lot about, explaining the gameplay, story, historical context and influence of each one. It's the book I wish I had when I began playing CRPGs.

What is it about the CRPG genre that you find so appealing?

I think it's the genre that comes closest to simulating life and human interaction. They are games about choices, be it dialogue choices, morality, equipment, party composition, exploration methodology or resource management. In a good RPG, those choices will have consequences that will affect you and the world around you, and will even reveal more about yourself in the process.

I always remember playing Fallout 2 with my brother back in 1999 and being shocked at how different our playstyles were, and how the game adapted and changed to that. Now, 20 years later, we live very different lives on opposite sides of the planet. People have different goals, personalities and approaches, and I love the concept of games adapting to that; I think it's the medium's real strength. I can have an adventure in several types of games, but only CRPGs make it feel like it's my adventure.

It's hard to choose, but if pushed, what would you say are your top 5 all-time favourite CRPGs?

Fallout
Baldur's Gate II
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Tales of Maj'Eyal
Dark Souls


Why did you choose to collaborate with Bitmap Books on this new edition, and what has Bitmap brought to the table?

I'm not a professional editor, designer or even a native English speaker; I needed someone with experience to help properly finish the book, proofread everything, prepare it for printing and distribute it globally. And after working so many years on this project, I really wanted a nice hardcover version of the book – not only for the readers, but for myself as well. I own the gorgeous Commodore Amiga: a visual Commpendium by Bitmap Books, so it was a no-brainer to contact them.

What aspect of the book are you most pleased with?

It is something relatively simple, but I love the developer quotes. I read hundreds of interviews and tried to select the quote that best represents the game, shows its relevance or helps complement the article. They really highlight the core belief that drove the developers, and it's interesting to see how they interact with each other, as if they were debating among themselves if combat should be turn-based or real-time.

Do you have any other projects on the horizon?

There are still CRPGs being released, so I guess sometime in the future I will need to make a new version of the CRPG book!

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The CRPG Book: A Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games is currently available for pre-order. Stock is limited and selling fast so we advise placing a pre-order before they all sell out.

Pre-order here

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Running sheets for The CRPG Book have arrived!

Running sheets for The CRPG Book have arrived!

Pre-orders are now live for CRPG Book: A Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games and the reaction has been fantastic. As expected, the Collector's Edition in particular has been very popular with only a couple of hundred copies left. If it's anything like the Collector's Edition of The Art of Point-and-Click Adventure Games, this item will be incredibly sought after and desirable. 

Throughout the printing process, we like to keep everyone updated by sharing printed proofs and samples where possible. This week we received flat running sheets of the book which are looking incredible! The Jan Pospíšil cover art in particular with the metallic gold logo is looking so good. Also impressive is the jet black slipcase with the metallic gold branding which looks really premium and collectable. The actual text pages also look great and the various screenshots all look bright and colourful – something not easy to get right when the majority are of dungeons! Below are some photos of the running sheets for you all see which I hope gets you excited too! Next milestone will be receiving an actual physical sample of the bound book to approve. More on that soon!

If you'd like to pre-order CRPG Book: A Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games to secure your copy, visit our US site if you reside in the United States and visit our UK site if you're outside of the United States.

 

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The CRPG Book: A Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games

The CRPG Book: A Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games

Bitmap Books is proud to announce it will be publishing a new title called The CRPG Book: A Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games in early 2019. 

The CRPG Book Project was begun back in 2014 by editor Felipe Pepe as a collaborative, non-profit effort to create a free, easily available eBook covering the history of Computer Role-Playing Games. The reception was overwhelming, which inspired Pepe to expand the list into a full-blown online book, covering the entire history of Computer Role-Playing Games. After numerous calls for a physical hardback version from fans and 100,000 downloads, Bitmap Books was approached to bring the project to life in physical form. 

Spread over more than 500 pages, CRPG Book: A Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games reviews over 400 seminal games from 1975 to 2015, covering the role-playing classics we all know and love such as Ultima, Wizardry, Fallout and Mass Effect – all brought to life with vibrant and engaging in-game images. Each entry also shares articles on the genre, mod suggestions and hints on how to run the games on modern hardware. The book is completely by written by fans, AAA developers, indies, journalists, modders and industry personalities such as Chris Avellone, Ian Frazier, Scorpia, Ferhegón, Richard Cobbett, Brian ‘Psychochild’ Green, Durante, George Weidman and Tim Cain, to name but a few. 

As you’ve come to expect from Bitmap Books, this won’t be a straight printing of the digital book. We’ve commissioned fantasy artist Jan Pospíšil to create the cover and have devised two separate editions of the book, including a very limited collector’s edition that includes a bespoke slipcase and desirable collectables, such as an A2 poster and a dungeon map pad. 

In line with the project's non-profit nature, all of the author's profit will be donated to the Vocação charity in Brazil, where Felipe comes from. Vocação helps kids and teenagers from poor areas to get education and employment, who then go on to help others around them to do the same, changing the community for the better.

Pre-sales will open in mid-January. Sign up here to be alerted when they open.

Bitmap Books (November 2018)

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Bitmap Books get set to launch stateside

Bitmap Books get set to launch stateside

We’re delighted to announce that on Saturday 1st December, we will be launching our US-based web store. This new website - www.bitmapbooks.com - will sit alongside our main website - www.bitmapbook.co.uk - but will be dedicated purely to North American customers. Where possible, this new site will carry all of our available titles.

The good news is that the site will be in dollars as opposed to pound sterling, so there will be no more annoying currency conversions. The exact same packaging standards will be applied on the new store and, as expected, all books will come with plastic corner protectors so when they arrive with you, they're in pristine condition.

Shipping costs will certainly be much cheaper as we're using the USPS Media Mail service. While this isn’t super fast (it takes about 4 to 5 days), it’s tracked and very reliable.

If you’re thinking of placing an order with us and you happen to reside in the US, we suggest holding off until the new US store opens - if you can endure the wait, of course! In the meantime, we will continue to offer DHL tracked shipping to the US from our UK store.

Shipping from the US to Canada and South America doesn't actually represent a saving so we will have to keep this UK-based.

Thanks for your past, present and future custom, and please do give us a shout if you have any questions.

Bitmap Books
hello@bitmapbooks.co.uk

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