On to the next

I wanted to do some writing (professional and personal) on my flight home from E3 yesterday, but I’m getting old and find that events like that really wipe me out. I hate being too mentally exhausted to form words, but what can ya do? That’s mortality for you. So I ended up working on playing 7th Dragon III for review (so glad one of those games finally received a localization), reading some comics, and… messing around with layouts for my next book. The Good Nintentions 1985 video series is nearly complete now….

… and I hope to have a book along not too far after. I know, I know, there are a ton of NES-themed books in the works this year. I feel like this one is going to be very different, though. At least I hope it is. Less a pretty piece of coffee book eye candy than a resource, focused not on big splashy layouts of exploded emulator screen shots but rather on text and photography. There’ll be some screenshots, but they’ll all be taken from the same reference footage I use for the videos: Recorded from real hardware in HD and upscaled. There’ll be some visual artifacts, like the subtle diagonal banding that showed up in the bright blue backgrounds of Kung-Fu. It’s not perfect, but I like that. Seems more grounded that way.

There’ll be the usual sequential, chronological series of articles on games and hardware, along with new sidebars (e.g. a photo breakdown of the Famicom adapters that appeared in a lot of first-wave NES releases, etc.) and whatever else I can scrape up to be of interest.

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And, thanks to always-awesome and ever-generous friend of game historians Steve Lin, who lent me a huge selection of games to photograp, I’ll also be including a supplemental gallery of 1983’s Famicom releases to create a sort of compare-and-contrast between the system’s first year of life in Japan versus its first year in the U.S.

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(No, I’m not sure where that extraneous parenthesis in the game’s title came from… gotta fix that.)

The book looks like it’s going to clock in around 150 pages (at same dimensions as the Game Boy World books), depending on how lengthy the Super Mario Bros. and hardware write-ups turn out to be, and hopefully should be wrapped and ready to go by the end of the summer. I’m really happy with how it’s turning out so far. It can be tough to get a read on the actual experience of a book with little layout thumbnails like this, but at proper size it’s really eye-catching, with vivid colors against dark backgrounds… something I can’t really do with the Game Boy books, obviously.

This venture will be sitting on the back burner until I wrap up the Retronauts DVD (which hopefully will happen this coming week!), but as always, I can’t wait to hold this thing in my eager little mitts. There’s nothing like seeing months of hard work taking physical form — it feels like a legitimate payoff.