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The Expanded CRPG Book is out!

felipepepe

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It is finally here: https://crpgbook.files.wordpress.com/2023/01/crpg-book-expanded-edition_3.6a.pdf

Now with 680 pages and 56 new reviews, with the help of many new faces, including Mandalore!

Huge thanks to all the Codexers than helped with this, this expanded edition is something I've been working in the past 2-3 years, to address most issues I had with the original book.

Stuff like:
- Missing important games like Adventure Construction Set, Dragon Wars, SpellForce and Boiling Point.
- Missing non-English games that were never translated, from French-only Ubisoft RPGs like Fer & Flamme to Turkey's İstanbul Efsaneleri and the massive Chinese & Korean scenes.
- Not having anything about MUDs, Online RPGs and MMORPGs. Now there's a nice 10-page timeline on them.
- Spellchecking EVERYTHING.
- Not having a cover gallery.

There's still things I would've liked to add, like a section showing what an AMIGA or a C64 looked and played liked, but hardware is not my forte and there's better sources on that already.

As such, I'm now satisfied, this will be the last version of the book. Will still work with Bitmap Books on making a printed version in the future, but they're full until 2023, so if you notice any huge issues please tell me and I'll "patch" the book in the meanwhile.

Thanks again everyone who came along, this book would've been impossible without all of you.

:love:
 
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Feyd Rautha

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Fantastic!

I think you need to take a look at the last paragraph of the Expeditions: Viking review. It was probably written before the release of Expeditions: Rome and the recent events involving Logic Artists. As it reads now it appears a bit outdated.
 

Infinitron

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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
https://crpgbook.wordpress.com/2022/02/07/update-29-the-expanded-edition-is-released/

Update 29 – The expanded edition is released!

header3.jpg



The CRPG Book Expanded Edition brings 152 pages extra pages, 56 new game reviews, several new articles, a lot of revised content and a glorious cover art gallery! The total: 680 pages!

You can freely download it here: DOWNLOAD THE CRPG BOOK PDF

The road so far
Eight years. It’s been now eight years since that poll at the RPG Codex to determine “the best RPGs ever”, which then became a massive list with 72 RPGs, until evolving into a book with over 400 titles.

Overall, I’m extremely happy and grateful for everything that happened – I met a lot of amazing people, the PDF got over 160,000 downloads and the physical book raised £20.992 for charity!

And people are also happy with it – look at the reviews on Goodreads!


It was Eurogamer’s Editor’s Choice, calling it “The New Standard”, and was featured on many websites, videos and podcasts! Hell, we even have a team of volunteers doing a Chinese translation of the book! (BTW, they’re looking for Traditional Chinese volunteers)

Still, I’m very critical of its shortcomings, which led to this update.
Expanding the book – and the video game canon
This new edition adds new games from 2017-2019, but the goal of this project was never to keep up with recent releases. This update is all about fixing the flaws of the original release – errors, typos and important games that I missed, like Tunnels of Doom, Adventure Construction Set, SpellForce and Boiling Point – but also entire scenes or historical events that I overlooked or didn’t even know about.

For example, some might be surprised that I included Swords and Sandals: Gladiator in the book.


But it was a big mistake to not skip it before – an RPG that has been played over 350 million times!

During these past years, I came across many situations like these – important or extremely popular games that exist outside of the traditional “video games canon”. Some are small but influential, such as BBS ‘door games’ or the early French RPG scene, others are absolutely massive, such as Flash games or the hundreds of RPGs only available in Korean or Chinese.

I was quite ignorant about these when creating the first edition of the book. I added Chinese Paladin as a curiosity, I had no idea that it was one of the oldest and biggest RPG series in the world – so influential that it managed to impact the world of cinema, TV shows and novels in a way no western RPG ever did.


The people I met, the games I played and the excellent books (Video Games Around the World, Video Games in the Global South and Gaming the Iron Curtain) that came out in these past years showed me how biased and limited our image of video game history truly is – and how the book was echoing this same distorted image.

As such, the main goal of this new version is to expand the video game canon. We already had a nice chronicle of the main RPG titles, but now it’s complemented by more Mac-only titles, Flash RPGs, RPG Maker games, MUDs, Online RPGs, untranslated RPGs, etc. I couldn’t go in-depth into them without derailing the book, but I hope they help expand our perception of the genre and lead to more in-depth explorations in the future.

What we currently understand as “video game history” is but a tiny fragment of what people are actually playing all across the world. We should celebrate efforts like the translation of 80s Slovak PC games, the Primeiro Contato podcast that explored the Brazilian game industry or the Russian Video Game Comrade channel, and I humbly suggest people write more about their local scenes – make videos, scan boxes and magazines, take screenshots, help fan translations, or simply write your memories about things like playing ShacraMUD in Chile, creating IGM’s for Legend of the Red Dragon, running a game BBS in Egypt, playing Czech adventure games, going to a PC Bang in Korea, etc…

These might sound like basic things for those who lived them, but it’s shocking how little information we have in English about some games that are cultural landmarks or sold millions of units.

A new printed version & a final appeal
Finally, yes, I am working with Bitmap Books to produce a printed version of this update, once again sold as a charity fundraiser. But due to production schedules, it won’t be available until 2023.

In the meantime, if you download the PDF and enjoy our work, please consider donating. I don’t ask for donations to myself, but rather to Instituto Dara, an NGO that helps families get access to food and support during this time of crisis: https://dara.org.br/en/conheca/quem-somos/sobre-nos/

I know that the last 2 years have been hard for everyone, but Brazil is in a frightening economical and political crisis, and even 5 dollars is a significant amount when converted to local currency.


If you donate, please send me a PM or email with a receipt and I’ll include your name in a special thank you page for the printed version & accompanying PDF.

Thank you for reading, hope you enjoy the book. Stay safe!
 

Feyd Rautha

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In the Fallout review you recommend Falllout: FIXT as a mod pack. But why not recommend Fallout Et tu instead which brings Fallout 1 onto the Fallout 2 engine while also fixing the bugs of the original? Recommending FIXT seems a bit outdated as a suggestion. At least recommend both.

The recommended mods for Fallout 2 also needs a look at. Both Olympus and Nevada are translated now for example. Sonora is available in Russia and there's a new project, UP and RPU, that has made Killaps Path redundant.
 
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felipepepe

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In the Fallout review you recommend Falllout: FIXT as a mod pack. But why not recommend Fallout Et tu instead which brings Fallout 1 onto the Fallout 2 engine while also fixing the bugs of the original? Recommending FIXT seems a bit outdated as a suggestion. At least recommend both.

The recommended mods for Fallout 2 also needs a look at. Both Olympus and Nevada are translated now for example. Sonora is available in Russia and there's a new project, UP and RPU, that has made Killaps Path redundant.
Good points. I'm doing a "Day 1 patch" of things people are noticing are wrong, I'll change that too, thanks for pointing it out.

I think you need to take a look at the last paragraph of the Expeditions: Viking review. It was probably written before the release of Expeditions: Rome and the recent events involving Logic Artists. As it reads now it appears a bit outdated.
Eh, this I don't care about so much. A book will inevitably become outdated, and I think the side note about the game getting positive reviews but Logic Artist disbanding to make NFT kinda contrasts well to the review still hopeful for the future.
 
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Good points. I'm doing a "Day 1 patch" of things people are noticing are wrong, I'll change that too, thanks for pointing it out.

I am 100% certain that Fallout 1 in Fallout 2 engine mod does some subtle changes to content like shifting loot around. Also problem with mods X1 in X2 engine is that they do not provide an original experience, even in in the best case scenario where changes are positive.
 

felipepepe

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Good points. I'm doing a "Day 1 patch" of things people are noticing are wrong, I'll change that too, thanks for pointing it out.

I am 100% certain that Fallout 1 in Fallout 2 engine mod does some subtle changes to content like shifting loot around. Also problem with mods X1 in X2 engine is that they do not provide an original experience, even in in the best case scenario where changes are positive.
I get what you mean, but "original experience Fallout 1" is really hard to get today... all version on sale now come with HD resolutions already.
 
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Good points. I'm doing a "Day 1 patch" of things people are noticing are wrong, I'll change that too, thanks for pointing it out.

I am 100% certain that Fallout 1 in Fallout 2 engine mod does some subtle changes to content like shifting loot around. Also problem with mods X1 in X2 engine is that they do not provide an original experience, even in in the best case scenario where changes are positive.
I get what you mean, but "original experience Fallout 1" is really hard to get today... all version on sale now come with HD resolutions already.

HD resolution is one thing, but changing content is completely different beast. Changing content is not ok.
 

Lexx

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ettu barely changes content. It fixes a shitton of bugs, especially some that were introduced by Fixt (it also REVERTS lots of changes that were done by Fixt). It adds some Fo2 weapons, but the generic player won't even notice that shit. Every other feature can be disabled, and due to my autism I tried very fucking hard to make it feel like the original Fo1. Hell, we even hacked the fucking render pipeline to bring red dots back to the worldmap screen. This is something that many considered as impossible™ for the past 20 years.

I feel like people who QQ about ettu "changing content" didn't even played it.
 

gurugeorge

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Strap Yourselves In
It is finally here: https://crpgbook.files.wordpress.com/2022/02/the-crpg-book-expanded-edition_3.1.pdf

Now with 680 pages and 56 new reviews, with the help of many new faces, including Mandalore!

Huge thanks to all the Codexers than helped with this, this expanded edition is something I've been working in the past 2-3 years, to address most issues I had with the original book.

Stuff like:
- Missing important games like Adventure Construction Set, Dragon Wars, SpellForce and Boiling Point.
- Missing non-English games that were never translated, from French-only Ubisoft RPGs like Fer & Flamme to Turkey's İstanbul Efsaneleri and the massive Chinese & Korean scenes.
- Not having anything about MUDs, Online RPGs and MMORPGs. Now there's a nice 10-page timeline on them.
- Spellchecking EVERYTHING.
- Not having a cover gallery.

There's still things I would've liked to add, like a section showing what an AMIGA or a C64 looked and played liked, but hardware is not my forte and there's better sources on that already.

As such, I'm now satisfied, this will be the last version of the book. Will still work with Bitmap Books on making a printed version in the future, but they're full until 2023, so if you notice any huge issues please tell me and I'll "patch" the book in the meanwhile.

Thanks again everyone who came along, this book would've been impossible without all of you.

:love:

Extraordinary piece of work.
 

lightbane

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Cool! This new edition covers games that were sadly forgotten about before, such as West of Loathing, which is totally underrated. Unfortunately seeking help of Mandalore the Wannabe Canceller is pure fail.
Oddly enough you also give one page to LISA, and barely a few lines to Omori, even though the latter has minor C&C at points, which makes it more of a CRPG.
What about Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass? It's a JRPG sure, but better than Omori.
At least you don't shove LISA into the JRPG category like the Codex does.
 
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ettu barely changes content. It fixes a shitton of bugs, especially some that were introduced by Fixt (it also REVERTS lots of changes that were done by Fixt). It adds some Fo2 weapons, but the generic player won't even notice that shit. Every other feature can be disabled, and due to my autism I tried very fucking hard to make it feel like the original Fo1. Hell, we even hacked the fucking render pipeline to bring red dots back to the worldmap screen. This is something that many considered as impossible™ for the past 20 years.

I feel like people who QQ about ettu "changing content" didn't even played it.

What changes were introduced in Fixt?
 

Lexx

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Lots of minor stuff, such as dogs in Shady Sands barking in rainbow colors, more items added to certain NPCs (Khans got extra Psycho, Gizmo has more Stims and ammo), etc. There's many smaller changes which I'm not sure why they were done in the first place. Even the "purist" version has plenty (if not all, not sure right now) of those.
 

Konjad

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Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Codex+ Now Streaming! Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Cool. Glad to see PtD finally made it in.

I'd love to buy updated printed version.
 

visions

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I've been reading the new articles and have noticed two mistakes so far.

The Dragon Quest XI article states that all mainline Dragon Quest games are straightforward team-based rpgs, which isn't technically true since you have no team in the first Dragon Quest. I guess it's a bit pedantic of me but I was annoyed by this statement.

Also the Outer Worlds article mentions VtM: Bloodlines as a 2003 game, but Bloodlines came out in 2004. The Temple of Elemental Evil was the Troika game that came out in 2003.
 

felipepepe

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Ok, I've updated the Fallout mods. Fixt is still there, but Et Tu is the recommended option. Also fixed the Bloodlines date and changed "straightforward team-based RPGs" to "straightforward turn-based RPGs" in DQ.

Oddly enough you also give one page to LISA, and barely a few lines to Omori, even though the latter has minor C&C at points, which makes it more of a CRPG.
LISA has a lot of C&C. You can betray friends, kill NPCs, let an entire region of the map be destroyed, sacrifice companions, lose body parts, etc... also, it's a far more interesting game IMO.

What about Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass? It's a JRPG sure, but better than Omori.
There's other RPG Maker games better than Omori, but that section is a timeline of important games. Omori is huge, with over 30,000 reviews on Steam. Jimmy is pretty niche in comparison.
 

RPK

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This is awesome. can't wait to settle down with a cup of hot chocolate and page through this!
 

Kev Inkline

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A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
I bought the 1st edition and will buy a hardcover of this later edition too.

That being said, I think you're in a danger of excess proliferation of pages. It just may become a too voluminous a book if you try to and include a bit of everything. Say, for example, the section about MUDS - I've played MUDS for more than any other form of games, but could have happily lived without their history being discussed.
As PDF, that is not so much a problem as you won't run out of estate, but the content is on the verge of becoming a bit too parsimonious and dispersed - I would prefer a in-depth look in a certain genre (that of western rpgs) instead of giving a several types of rpgs just a brief treatise.
rating_mca.gif


Why not make it a two volume set instead?
sweatonmybrow.png
 

felipepepe

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That being said, I think you're in a danger of excess proliferation of pages. It just may become a too voluminous a book if you try to and include a bit of everything. Say, for example, the section about MUDS - I've played MUDS for more than any other form of games, but could have happily lived without their history being discussed.
As PDF, that is not so much a problem as you won't run out of estate, but the content is on the verge of becoming a bit too parsimonious and dispersed - I would prefer a in-depth look in a certain genre (that of western rpgs) instead of giving a several types of rpgs just a brief treatise.
rating_mca.gif
That is a very fair point, and one that other people already mentioned. Honestly, I know that the book is really fucking big. There could be a more concise and in-depth version of the CRPG Book with just like 50 or 100 games.

The problem is that I have somewhat of a trauma of people getting books like that and going "ok, that's it then, it's all here!". And people do this all the fucking time. In Brazil's video game history there's an big episode like that: a bunch of people put out a "catalog of Brazilian games" that supposedly told the history of game development in the country. However, they only featured "commercial games", so the entire scene of hobbyist clubs & magazines in the 80s & 90s was erased from history. For almost 20 years that catalog was the main reference on all writing about BR game history, all repeating the same mistake. Only last year a dude actually redid the research, found the hobbyist, interviewed them and recorded their history.

This is an extreme example, but how many "normies" know about MUDs? Hell, how many times you see even game youtubers mention them? Would they buy a book, read an article or watch a video on MUDs? That section is a message: "there's more out there". A lot of the book is that... the section on foreign games, RPG Maker, the several books, interviews and podcasts linked across the book, etc... Those spread pages full of French, Korean & Chinese games and box arts are meant to scream "look at all this cool shit you know nothing about! Go and check it out!". So that even most casual guy who got the PDF just to read about Mass Effect might now be aware that such things exist.

Did that make the book even larger? For sure, but I felt too much responsibility to skip it. Also, I have no intentions of updating it again with even more pages on more recent games, I'm done with this project. That can be a second volume, managed by someone else.
 

felipepepe

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lightbane

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LISA has a lot of C&C. You can betray friends, kill NPCs, let an entire region of the map be destroyed, sacrifice companions, lose body parts, etc... also, it's a far more interesting game IMO.
True, never said otherwise (although there's only one ending). I was making fun of Jewitron's decision to move the LISA thread to the JRPG subforum.

here's other RPG Maker games better than Omori, but that section is a timeline of important games. Omori is huge, with over 30,000 reviews on Steam. Jimmy is pretty niche in comparison.
Fair enough, but you already cover all possible niche games. Jimmy is the last Earthbound clone after LISA, Utale and Omori, so I thought it would be fitting to have it as well.
 

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