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Thread: My first book released on Amazon! Free preview chapter inside!

  1. #1
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    Default My first book released on Amazon! Free preview chapter inside!

    I am excited to say the short book I wrote on my childhood in gaming has been approved for release by Amazons digital Kindle marketplace! Also, Amazon has approved a physical version of the book as well! This is a short book, only 7000 words long, and the physical version is only 36 pages. It is priced appropriate, at .99 cents for the digital version or 3.99 for the physical version. Also (pending physical version release) if you get the physical version, you should receive the digital version free. I am posting a portion of the book in this thread, so if you like what you see, feel free to check out the full version! Roughly the first sixth of the book is below, posted exclusively here at RGR!



    Foreword

    My name is Chris, and I am telling my story of how I became a gamer, and my personal gaming memories over my childhood up to today. I have titled this book Afterglow because in my early childhood, I spent many nights in front of a small television, with the glow of it being the only light. The definition of Afterglow is light or radiance remaining after a sunset, or good feelings after a success or a victory. Both of these are an accurate representation of my late-night gaming.

    I hope me re-telling stories of gaming from my youth can bring a smile to your face, and encourage you to remember happy moments and stories from your own childhood. Gaming can be a solo experience, but it is much better as a social experience, and I hope you will also share your stories, be it on forums, in writing of your own, or just talking about it to others.

    Chapter 1: Pre-Gaming and Atari 2600

    My first gaming system came when I was six or seven years old. My family had moved to a tiny country town called Glezen in Indiana. The only non-residential areas in this town were a couple of churches and a small diner. At the time our family was working to build ourselves up financial, so money was tight and both of my parents worked all the time. I didn’t even know of home gaming systems at the time, yet I had a fascination with games already, thanks to sometimes going to my mothers workplace after school to do homework while waiting for her to get off work and take me home or for my father to come pick me up.

    She worked at a small diner about ten miles out of Glezen in a town called Winslow. After doing my homework (and getting a candy bar as a treat if I was lucky) I would go towards the back of the diner, which had some arcade games. I can still distinctly remember which games they were today.

    The game I only played once, and never really enjoyed, was Super Dodgeball. It was actually one of the two newer games the diner had. I liked looking at the graphics of the games attract mode, but I couldn’t understand the intricacies of the gameplay. The sprites were very pretty compared to some of the other games I had seen, and it was always entertaining watching the attract mode and seeing the small characters pelt themselves in the face with the ball. I played it once, and only lasted a few minutes. I just couldn’t understand how to do the moves in the game.

    The second game was my mother’s favorite, as well as one I got quite good at. Joust is considered one of the classic games from the Golden era of the arcades, and for good reason. I could make it a few stages on a single play. You control an Ostrich-like creature that is mounted by a man with a jousting pole. The goal was to knock into the other jousters with your pole higher than theirs, and grab the eggs before they hatch into new jousters. It was a very simple game, with just a control stick and a single button to flap the ostrich wings for elevation. However, although the controls were simple, the game is very hard to master. On top of your opponents, there are also obstacles in the game like a hand that grabs you from a lava pit, or a pterodactyl that tries ramming into you. Both me and my mother spent a lot of time (and quarters) on this game.

    However, the game I enjoyed watching the most was Street Fighter. Before Capcom made the popular Street Fighter 2, the original was a game that fascinated me. The digitized speech made it sound like the game was (poorly) talking to you, and the many buttons that controlled your fighters attacks were also impressive to my young self. I played it, and sometimes could get past the first opponent, but never the second. However, one day I was in the diner and saw two pros going at it on the machine. Seeing them know the controls for special moves like the Hadouken and Shoryuken blew my mind! I tried to figure out how to do those moves I had seen them do in the game, but unfortunately it would be a few years before I threw my first hadouken.

    I believe it was that summer after we had moved that I went to stay with my Grandfather in Lafayette, Indiana for a couple of weeks. That’s where I discovered the gaming system that remains my favorite to this day, the Nintendo Entertainment System. My grandfather had a stepson who was in his early teens and was a huge gamer. During that vacation, we played lots of Mega Man 2 and Metal Gear Solid, and rented Mega Man 3 from the small grocery store that had a corner for movie and game rentals. Mega Man 3 became my favorite game I played. When I went back home, they gave me an incredible gift: an Atari 2600 with tons of games. I can’t remember exactly how many, but there was a box full of games. It was a new gamers dream.

    When I got home, my parents let me hook it up in their bedroom on a black and white television. Many times during the winter I would sleep in their room since it was the warmest in the house. That winter we had a major snowstorm come through, and I had an extended period where school was cancelled. I spent many nights cooped up in the bedroom playing Atari all night.

    I don’t remember all the games I had during this time, but I did have some favorites I still remember today. Pitfall was one of my favorites. It had a playstyle similar to Super Mario Brothers (another game I played a bit at my grandfathers), but instead of jumping on foes you jumped to avoid them. The goal was to take your character as far as you could, gaining treasure along the way. It was great fun swinging over lakes on vines, or timing your jumps on alligator heads and trying to avoid becoming that gators lunch!

    Space and the universe has always been a subject that interested me, and that followed through to video games. Space Invaders spent a lot of time in my console, firing at a massive number of aliens as they slowly made their way down to take over the planet. Asteroids was another favorite, as I envisioned my tiny ship journeying across the cosmos being required to fire upon a massive amount of asteroids (and the occasional UFO) to protect the ship from being annihilated. In Missile Command, I protected my cities from missile attacks for as long as I could. Atlantis was similar to Missile Command, but the enemies were aliens instead, moved faster, and seemed to target your weaponry more often. Moon Patrol had me exploring an alien landscape in my rover, dodging pits and obstacles. Finally, Defender had me going from world to world, protecting its life forms from invading aliens that wanted to abduct them for their nefarious needs.

    I also enjoyed games that others hated. Pac-Man in the arcade was a classic, but the Atari port was abysmal in comparison. Still, the gameplay was similar enough to where I spent many hours with my Pac-Man gobbling pellets while dodging ghosts. ET was another title that everyone seemed to hate, but to me it was one of the deepest games on the system. I enjoyed hunting down the phone parts and escaping earth before being discovered by the FBI, and to this day I don’t understand the hate the title has garnered. Many people claim the pits are almost impossible to escape, but I can manage to get out of one perfectly every time (the trick is to not release the button after you get out, but instead move your character over before releasing it).

    There were a few other classics I enjoyed. Dig-Dug involved your character going into subterranean earth, and defeating foes by inflating them with an air pump. Combat was mostly for two players, attacking each other with planes, tanks, or jets until they got a shot on their opponent. However, it could also be played single player, with the opponent mirroring your moves.

    I spent a lot of time enjoying the Atari, and my parents noticed. I had gotten a small color television as a gift for helping watch my little sister, and finally got to enjoy my Atari games in full color. However, the bigger surprise was to come later in the year.
    Last edited by Leathco; 16-05-17 at 06:50. Reason: Text formatting

  2. #2
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    Congrats Chris.
    Before you insult a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you insult him, you'll be a mile away, and have his shoes.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks. I was pretty surprised when Amazon approved a physical version, as it is a fairly short read (around 30 pages or so, but all text). Still pretty glad with how it came out. Right now I am working on a History of Star Trek Gaming book. The old Star Trek Gamers site is apparently gone now, and I am working on (re)documenting the gaming history of the franchise. It's a bit tricky since there are numerous copyrights involved, although the info in the book should all be legal under Fair Use. I think making sure that everything is legally good to go is harder than actually finding the info for the book itself!

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