The Secret History of Mac Gaming

By Richard Moss

The untold story of a creative, innovative, fiercely-independent gaming scene that was serially ignored by the outside world

Monday, 12 September 2016

Progress report: entering the final writing sprint

Hey folks,

I thought it was about time I posted an update to let you know how everything's going.

I've been chipping away at writing, researching, and last-minute interviews for the past month or so. Just had a few days holiday in Uluru late last week, and now have entered a two-week sprint to try to finish the manuscript. At the moment I have four chapters finished, two of which will be overhauled (the introduction and one that had been titled Life After World Builder but which will morph into something like Interactive Movies since I decided it's the best place for talking about Journeyman Project and Spaceship Warlock (in addition to Bill Appleton's 1990s game development efforts with Titanic, Creepy Castle, et al, which is already in there)). I also have several chapters partially drafted and two with detailed outlines, and Craig Fryar has his two chapters (one on Spectre, the other on Mac game evangelism) coming along nicely, while everything else is at the basic outline stage. There's some 25-30 chapters in all, so we've got a lot of work to do, but I think it'll come together quickly now that it has my complete attention.

So I'm spending pretty much 12 hours a day, 6 days a week (maybe 5-6 hours on the seventh day) for two weeks to whip this thing into shape. The goal is to have a complete manuscript ready for Unbound to look over by the end of the month.

I haven't checked how many interviews I'm at now, but I'm sure it's over 70. Still hoping to squeeze in a few last-minute interviews with key figures who haven't been available previously, but fully prepared to make do without them. I'll put together a list of people interviewed for you to peruse in the next update in a week or two. On that note, I hope to get regular updates out from now on. I'll keep you in the loop every step of the way from here through to publication, and maybe even beyond, and I'll start sharing more information about the contents of the book. (If you're a non-backer reading this, note that most future updates will be visible for supporters only.)

One final thing: I'm currently in the process of gathering material to decorate the pages of the book, to help the words really come to life — photos, box art, screenshots, press releases, e-zines, magazine ads, letters from fans to developers, Apple copyright release forms, design sketches, official (and possibly unofficial) artwork, and so on. If you have anything we could use, let me know either here in the comments or via email (rich.c.moss at that gmail thing).

EDIT: Actually, two more things. I forgot to mention that Ars Technica just published an article I wrote about people who are still using Mac OS 9 or earlier as either their primary computer or a key part of their workflow. And I got word on Twitter that Scarlet Swordfish is going to do a livestream of the Ambrosia-published minimalist and kinda quirky 3D shooter Avara, which attracted a small but highly-passionate following after its release in 1996, on September 17 from 6-8pm US Eastern Time. That sounds like fun. I'll try to drag myself out of bed on Sunday morning (it's at 8am Melbourne time) to watch it. I hope you'll all join me.

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