Wednesday, 29 August 2018
My next book: introducing Shareware Heroes: Independent Games at the Dawn of the Internet
Exciting news! We've just launched the Unbound project for my next book, Shareware Heroes: Independent Games at the Dawn of the Internet. Here's a link to the campaign page, which has the pitch video, an excerpt from the first chapter, and a summary: https://unbound.com/books/shareware-heroes/
The short version is that it's about how the shareware marketing and business model subverted, shook up, and reshaped the video game industry, and how it helped to keep independent game development alive through the commercial consolidation of the 1990s. Think id Software, Apogee, Epic MegaGames, Ambrosia Software. But also Scorched Earth, Action SuperCross, Dungeon of Doom, Glider, Skunny Kart, Cybernetix, and many more (do let me know what your favourites were!).
The idea is to do something very similar to The Secret History of Mac Gaming, where it's mainly concentrating on the stories behind the people/games/companies/trends, based on a mix of interviews and archival research, but with a few tweaks to the structure and a platform-agnostic focus (so I'll be covering things that were happening on DOS/Windows, Amiga, Atari ST, Mac, Apple II, and everything else that had shareware games on it).
We're going much less ambitious this time around with the design and layout, but I think we've still got an awesome mockup of the cover and basic text layout. (Yes, there will be images and photos in this one too.)
I'll leave it there for now. But please do check out the Shareware Heroes project and make a pledge if you're interested -- and share it with friends and followers either way!
And let me you what you think. I'd love to hear everyone's memories of the old shareware days.