May 17, 2019
Game Engine Black Books Update
Here are a few updates about the Game Engine Black Books.
- All reported errata have been addressed.
- High-quality, premium colors printouts are available.
- Both books are available as 300dpi PDFs.
- Spanish and Korean translations are in the work. –>
- I am releasing the LateX source code of the books so you can compile them and see how they were put together.
Details of what is new:
- DOOM v1.1: All errata fixed, John Romero added a foreword (same as his anniversary post Reflections on DOOM’s Development), updated Saturn VDP1/VDP2 analysis, and better SNES dithering screenshot.
- WOLF v2.1: All errata fixed.
They are available at the following locations and formats:
- Amazon, matte paperback (DOOM, WOLF). –>
- Gift what you want, free high-res PDFs (DOOM, WOLF).
- TheBookPatch, glossy paperback with 80g coated paper and premium colors (DOOM, WOLF).
- Google Play DRM free eBook (DOOM, WOLF).
Unfortunately, I was not able to update the books on Amazon. Kindle Direct Publishing portal is rejecting my pdfs despite accepting the three previous revisions. Their tech support could not tell me what was wrong after two weeks and multiple emails. Lesson learned.
Hardcover and High Quality paper version
Ever since publishing with CreateSpace on Amazon, I wondered how the quality compared to other printing services. After a quick survey, I ended up with three printers able to handle the Black Books peculiar dimensions.
I also gave a try to hardcover with Ingram since they were the only shop supporting it in 7’5″ x 9’25” format. The $45/book listing fees and their reputation got my hopes up but the results were disappointing.
Ingram books were damaged upon arrival, the folding lacked polish, the customer service had room for improvement and more importantly, even premium colors looked washed out. As a result, hardcover was abandoned.
I was pleased with TheBookPatch quality and professionalism. The books were well protected and in pristine condition upon arrival. Their used high-quality 80g paper. Colors were crisp so every single pixel were discernible on all screenshots.
Even in difficult scenes such as those rendered by the SNES, TheBookPatch did an impressive job. The achievement is striking when placed side by side with other printers where individual pixels are blended together and the dithering is not visible.
I also experienced with changing the books cover. Out of the box, the matte cover looked gorgeous but rapidly turned into an off-putting fingerprint magnet. Many readers complained about it so I decided to switch to glossy which solved the problem.
Prices are set to I make $0.01 for each copy sold (the minimum allowed). Individual prices are $58.67 for DOOM and $44.11 for WOLF. Too bad I did not find this printer when I first got started since ordering 1000 copies entails a 30% discount. The prices could have been $41.06 for DOOM and $30.87 for WOLF. This made me regret not creating a kick starter when I got started. Something to keep in mind if I ever write an other book.
The books are being translated to Spanish and Korean. I look forward seeing “El libro de DOOM” and “게임 엔진 검은 예약” completed.
If you are curious about how the Black Books were written, here is the LateX source code:
Each book can be compiled with a single command:
All work was done on MacOSX with mactex library and Inkscape but I am confident it could build on a Linux system with minor tweaking. It is probably not very good code but it got the job done. If you have suggestions on how it could have been done better, I would be curious to hear about it.