Generation 64 is a hardback coffee table book that tells the story of how the Commodore 64 influenced an entire generation of Swedish gamers in the 1980s.
This generation of gamers, demo sceners and crackers then went to earn huge success within the games and technology sectors - going on to form and work for household names such as King (Candy Crush Saga), Spotify (music streaming) and Digital Illusions (Battlefield) to name a few.
Their inspiration to get into their chosen industry? The Commodore 64.
Generation 64 will make you laugh, remember, ponder, and shake your head. No matter if you grew up in Sweden or not – It’s for those who had a Commodore 64, and felt like a part of something bigger but did not know exactly what.
Originally released in Sweden in 2014, Generation 64 has been met with critical acclaim natively in Sweden, and even throughout Europe. It has attracted a large amount of press attention within Swedish media and also calls for an English translation outside of Sweden.
Currently, Generation 64 only exists in Swedish and this amazing story deserves to be told the world over. This Kickstarter campaign is to fund the English translation and printing of the book.
The finished book will come in hardback with a loose leaf dust cover. It will be 213mm x 249mm in size and be 188 pages long. It will be printed lithographically onto a high quality heavy uncoated paper for a luxurious feel. The book contains 50,000 words and is packed full of beautiful nostalgic imagery associated with the Commodore 64. The finished book will also come with a protective dust cover.
The design of the book is by Kenneth Grönwall and all text is written by book author Jimmy Wilhelmsson.
Generation 64 already exists in Swedish and is a hugely popular publication. This campaign is purely to fund the English translation and a print run of the book. We believe that this amazing story will resonate with Commodore 64 fans, no matter where you are in the world.
What's new in the English version?
A few content changes will be made for the English version of Generation 64. These changes will mainly be made to make certain aspects more relevant to non-Swedish audiences. These changes will mainly include adding in some more household name interviewees and swapping them for ones than will be lesser known to non-Swedes.
I am over the moon to announce that Julian 'Jaz' Rignall will be editing the English version of Generation 64. Jaz first made his name on Zzap!64 magazine and is a very well known and respected writer. He's a huge Commodore 64 fan so that will show through in his writing.
DICE and Chuck Peddle
The foreword will be written by the founder of Digital Illusions aka DICE! The Father of the personal computer; Chuck Peddle will then write an introduction to the book talking about how he created the MOS Technology 6502 microprocessor or in other words - the brain of the Commodore 64. Without the invention of the 6502, the Commodore 64 would not be what it is today.
Spanning 188 pages, Generation 64 takes the reader on a story of how the Commodore 64 became so popular in Sweden during the 1980's. The book will cover all aspects of this story, from the beginning in 1983 and how the C64 came to Sweden and how it exploded with popularity. Also covered will be sections on games, the demo scene and crackers.
A huge part of the book will be a series of roughly 30 interviews with well known Swedish personalities. All the interviewees were influenced by the Commodore 64 and went on to do amazing things in their chosen career.
Here are a selection of the people who are interviewed for the book:
- Karl Hörnell – games developer at Interceptor who cofounded PokerRoom.com, which was later sold for 450 million pounds.
- Fredrik “Watcher” Liljegren – cofounder of the demo group, The Silents, and later games developer, DICE, creators of “Pinball Dreams”, the “Battlefield” series, and coming “Star Wars: Battlefront”.
- Kim “Creeper” Nordström – graphic maker in Censor Design, part of the Sony team that built the PlayStation 4 – and now head of studio at King, creators of “Candy Crush Saga”.
- Oskar “Flamingo” Stål – former coder in Light and now Chief Technical Officer of the music streaming service, Spotify.
- Martin Walfisz – founder of games developer Massive Entertainment, creators of “Ground Control” and coming “Tom Clancy’s: The Division”.
- Lars Hård – cofounder of Greve Graphics, Sweden’s very first games studio – with titles like “Blood and Guts” and “Soldier One”. Today, successful entrepreneur in Silicon Valley.
- Founders and prominent members of Swedish legendary demo and cracker groups, Fairlight and Triad.
- Stories of notorious C64 sceners from Sweden; like Mr.Z, Strider, Ixion, Xerox, King Fisher, Mahoney, Bacchus, The Sarge, Gollum, and many more...
But Generation 64 is not just a book full of words - it is also packed full of nostalgic Commodore 64 imagery. This imagery ranges from game sprites and screenshots, photography, game box art and old advertising.
The £25,000 target will be used to translate the 50,000 words into English. This will be done undertaken and then professionally edited for the book. The remaining funds will be used to print the books, postage, packaging and to produce the perks.
Each book comes with a FREE 'I am Generation 64' laptop sticker. By pledging more you can get a series of rewards that include:
- A set of postcards each featuring a still from the book
- 'I am Generation 64' t-shirt
- Book signed and numbered by the Author.
- A signed copy of Commodore 64: a visual Commpendium.
Machinae Supremacy are a Swedish heavy metal/rock band that use actual SID music within their music. Their stuff is fantastic and the lead signer, Robert Stjärnström features in the book.
I have managed to get hold of 100 copies of their Overworld album with will be signed by the band. This new perk will be £40 including the book.
Here is the album:
You can also add the t-shirt to your chosen pledge as an extra by 'over pledging'. Add £15 extra to your pledge to get the 'I am Generation 64' t-shirt. This choice will then be captured at the end via the backer survey.
If overfunded, we have added some stretch goals to the campaign.
Postage within the UK will be a small nominal fee of £2. For peace of mind, book postage to Europe and ROW will be tracked to avoid books going missing.
Design and translation of the books is due to be finished in late 2015 and will be printed and ready for postage in February 2016.
About Bitmap Books
Bitmap Books specialise in high quality books all about computer games. Launched in early 2014, Bitmap Books already have two published books to their name; Commodore 64: a visual Commpendium and Commodore Amiga: a visual Commpendium with Sinclair ZX Spectrum: a visual compendium due for release in late 2015.
Risks and challenges
Bitmap Books have successfully delivered Kickstater campaigns before (on time). Backing this project is not a gamble on whether it will ever happen as we have consistently delivered in the past. Bitmap Books have a reputation for producing books of the highest quality.
Bitmap Book is run by Sam Dyer - a graphic designer with 12 years experience. We are perfectly placed to oversee the design, print and product of this book and have experience from other Kickstarter campaigns in how to successfully run a campaign.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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