Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 4, 2012.

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High Score is out of print. We need your help to bring it back - new, improved and expanded!

This Kickstarter project is all about producing a third edition of High Score: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games, a combination of great history with coffee table visual appeal. 

Currently, High Score is out of print, but I have a new publisher who wants to release a 3rd edition, with improvements throughout, as well as expanded coverage and insight into the period roughly from 2000-2011. Much has changed in the games, the industry, the audience and the way we play. Now we not only have PCs and consoles, but mobile devices, social and casual games and great innovation still happening all the time.

I started this Kickstarter project to help me fund the research and development of High Score: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games 3rd Edition, which not only will require my full-time efforts for 4-6 months, but it may also require some travel. Your support will allow me to complete the work that needs to be done, secure the images and the interviews, and put it all together into a fun, informative and visually stunning book full of your favorite games and the stories behind them.

So far, as I'm writing this, fourteen of the industry's veterans, pioneers and icons have agreed to meet with some of you in exchange for your support for this project. People like Will Wright, Trip Hawkins, Lorne Lanning, John Romero, David Perry, Steve Meretzky, Bill Budge... and more are joining almost daily. Hopefully, the strong support I have from these people says something about the quality of High Score, and the value of bringing an improved and expanded version into print.

Of course, I'll also send signed and autographed books to 25 donors, and I am working on getting a few very special editions and get them signed by some of the pioneers of the industry. 

Speaking of pioneers, In my video, I also mention my goal of putting on an event - call it a Pioneer's Party - next year at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Because sometimes Kickstarter projects do get overfunded, that's what I would use any extra funds for - and anyone who contributes $10 or more to the project will be invited to attend, and anyone who contributes $25 or more will have their names listed in the back of the new edition.

Something I didn't mention in the video is the collection of images gathered through my research. I can only print a fraction of them in the book, and I'm considering creating a website devoted to the extensive collection of box shots, screenshots, concept art and photographs that were never printed. I think you will enjoy the show.

Please help me realize these goals, and give whatever you can to the project. 

Thank you,

Rusel DeMaria

We solemnly pledge 5% of the profits from the finished product back to the Kickstarter community to help fund other people's dreams.

http://kickingitforward.org

FAQ

  • Please add $15 or more to your pledge. If you have pledged for one of the tiers that offers a physical reward - in this case a book - please add at least $15 to your pledge. These books will be heavy and international shipping will be costly. Thank you.

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  • I tried to leave the meeting information open ended to allow the most flexibility on the part of the person donating their time, but people have suggested that it would be very helpful to know, so here is my best guess. These are the most likely locations based on where that person spends most of their time.

    SF Bay Area

    John Romero, Brenda Brathwaite, Lorne Lanning, Rebecca Heineman, Trip Hawkins, Will Wright, Steve Meretzky, Bill Budge, Greg Johnson, Carter Lipscomb

    Los Angeles Area

    David Perry, Tommy Tallarico (but he travels a lot)

    Seattle

    Chris Taylor, Ed Fries, Rusel DeMaria

    Austin, Texas

    Gordon Walton

    Las Vegas

    Louis Castle

    Eugene, Oregon

    Jeff Tunnell

    Washington DC area

    Eugene Evans, Sid Meier (Maryland)

    London

    Peter Molyneux

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  • At first, I limited the option to obtain a book for donations because I didn't know how much support I would get from the publisher, and I figured I would have to pay for the books and also the postage and handling. I have changed that with two new options, one for the book alone at $50 and another to have it autographed by me at $60.

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  • I am grateful to the people who are donating their time to support this project, but I am also aware that they are all very busy and doing me a big favor. I will ask them if they can set up a time and date for the meal and update the rewards for any who do. I will post any changes as updates to the project.

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  • I fully intend on changing the cover image for the new edition. I never was happy with the cover we ended up with. It doesn't satisfy my gamer mentality. I am considering running a contest for the cover image. More on that later.

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  • I am not sure what I'll do. I may try again, now that I've learned from some of my mistakes. This is my first Kickstarter project, so I'm still learning.

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  • I am exploring ways to do a great ebook of High Score, but given its intensely graphical nature, there are some challenges to doing it right. If I do an ebook, I hope to have active links and possibly even videos in it. That may end up being another project on Kickstarter. At present, I don't think it would be appropriate to offer it as a reward since I don't know if I'll be able to do it.

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  • Yes. I will send a book to any donor who backs one of the meals with industry folks.

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    19 backers

    PARTY TIME! If we receive enough extra funding, we will put on a great party event next year in San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference. If you donate $10 or more, you will receive an invitation to attend the event. (Anyone who contributes $25 or more will have their names listed in the back of the new edition.)

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    9 backers

    LIVE BLOGGING! I will be blogging throughout the research and writing of the 3rd edition of High Score, including full interviews - not cut down to fit into the book - a complete chronicle of what I have to do to make the book, and exclusive previews of some of the cooler content.Anyone who donates $10 or more will have access to this blog. It should be fun.

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    PDF version of the special High Score game history comic donated by 2DCloud. Have fun digitally with history!

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    A limited edition video game history comic book created by four talented comic artists and donated by 2DCloud. Have fun with history!

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    26 backers

    We are grateful for any and all donations. (Anyone who contributes $25 or more will have their names listed in the back of the new edition.)

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    25 backers All gone!

    We'll send you a copy of High Score: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games - 3rd Edition.

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    5 backers

    T-SHIRT: I am creating a special commemorative High Score donor T-Shirt. It will be cool and I'll put the image in an update soon. Still working on it.

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    13 backers

    EBOOK: My publisher has informed me that an ebook edition will be available after the book is published. I will still have to purchase copies from them, so I can't offer them at an extremely low amount, but people have asked for an ebook option, and now I can offer it.

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    132 backers

    Based on the feedback I've received, I'm offering unlimited books for a donation of $50. All donors will also be personally acknowledged in the book.

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    25 backers All gone!

    We'll send you an autographed copy of High Score: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games - 3rd Edition.

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    43 backers

    I will send an autographed copy signed by Rusel DeMaria, and you will be acknowledged personally in the book.

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    28 backers

    For this donation, you get an autographed book AND a commemorative High Score T-shirt!

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    30 backers All gone!

    We'll send you a copy of High Score: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games - 3rd Edition signed by some of the pioneers of the game industry - to be determined.

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    2 backers

    Some people have suggested that I offer a meeting with me (Rusel DeMaria). I was reluctant to do so because I can't compare myself with the other people offering their time, but I would be happy to meet with anyone who wants to share some time with me and support this project as well. Meetings would have to take place in or around Seattle unless I am traveling and can arrange something else. There is no limit to this offer, and I will also kick in a signed book AND a T-shirt.

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    NEW! Up to five people will share a meal with former head of Microsoft Games, Ed Fries. Ed is one of the most connected people in the industry and very generous with his time and help, especially to indie developers. He has been a great friend to me, and has offered his time to help fund High Score 3. The location, time and date will be determined after the Kickstarter project is completed. You will be responsible for all of your own expenses. Likely location: Seattle

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    Up to five people will share a meal with game pioneer David Perry. David started designing games in the British Isles as a teenager, created Shiny Entertainment and has designed and shipped dozens of great games. David knows the industry as well a anyone, so if you have questions, he's got answers. The location, time and date will be determined after the Kickstarter project is completed. You will be responsible for all of your own expenses.

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    Up to five people will share a meal with Chris Taylor. Chris burst on the scene with the RTS Total Annihilation and went on to found Gas Powered Games and release more great games, including the Dungeon Siege series. Chris is outspoken and has a great sense of humor. Don't miss the opportunity to share some face time with Chris Taylor. The location, time and date will be determined after the Kickstarter project is completed. You will be responsible for all of your own expenses.

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    Up to five people will share a meal with Lorne Lanning. Lorne founded Oddworld in 1994 with his partner Sherry McKenna. Together they brought us several amazing games, starting with Abe's Oddysee. Lorne is a true visionary and will give you a great perspective on the game industry. He's always super busy, so this is a rare opportunity to get to know the man behind Oddworld. The location, time and date will be determined after the Kickstarter project is completed. You will be responsible for all of your own expenses.

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    Up to five people will share a meal with Carter Lipscomb. You may not know Carter, but that's your loss. He's one of the nicest guys in the industry, with an impressive history in major companies. He's currently a VP at Sony Computer Entertainment. Carter is always fun to be around, so I can just about guarantee that a meal with him will be unforgettable. The location, time and date will be determined after the Kickstarter project is completed. You will be responsible for all of your own expenses.

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    NEW! Up to five people will share a meal with Tommy Tallarico, video game composer and creator of the amazing Video Games Live show. If you've never met Tommy, you have a treat in store. He's a live wire and a great raconteur. He makes everything exciting, so don't miss the opportunity. The location, time and date will be determined after the Kickstarter project is completed. You will be responsible for all of your own expenses.

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    Up to 5 people will share a meal with Steve Meretzky, whose history in video games goes all the way back to the Infocom days. He worked with Douglas Adams on the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game, and continues to be an active designer, currently with Playdom. Perhaps you can challenge Steve to some board gaming. The location, time and date will be determined after the Kickstarter project is completed. You will be responsible for all of your own expenses.

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    5 backers All gone!

    Up to five people will share a meal with John Romero, one of the original designers of Doom and Quake and a a really great person as well. John in an icon in the industry and continues to explore games in different ways. He's very knowledgeable about game history, too. The location, time and date will be determined after the Kickstarter project is completed. You will be responsible for all of your own expenses.

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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Up to five people will share a meal with Bill Budge, one of the original superstars of Electronic Arts. Bill created the Pinball Construction Set was pioneering computer games during the 80s and 90s. If you're interested in the early days of EA, Bill will be a great person to ask. The location, time and date will be determined after the Kickstarter project is completed. You will be responsible for all of your own expenses.

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    Up to five people will share a meal with Greg Johnson. Greg is the co-designer of one of what I think is one of the funniest games ever - ToeJam & Earl. He's a great guy and has lots of stories. You'll really enjoy meeting him and quizzing him about what ToeJam and Earl do in their spare time. The location, time and date will be determined after the Kickstarter project is completed. You will be responsible for all of your own expenses.

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    Up to five people will share a meal with industry veteran and icon, Louis Castle. Lou has been there and done that! Starting co-founder of Westwood, Lou has a long history and many games under his belt, including helping usher in the Real-Time Strategy (RTS) genre with the awesome Dune II and Command & Conquer.He's still going strong, and you shouldn't miss the opportunity to learn from him.

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    Up to five people will share a meal with Eugene Evans. I've known Eugene for at least 20 years, and he's been in the game industry much longer than that. Eugene can tell you a lot about game development in the U.S., but he also was part of the early British game scene. Another great guy and fabulous storyteller. The location, time and date will be determined after the Kickstarter project is completed. You will be responsible for all of your own expenses.

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    Up to five people will share a meal with Jeff Tunnell. Jeff is another iconic veteran of the industry. He was one of the founders of Dynamix and later started Garage Games. He knows the game industry and has lots of stories to tell. He's in Eugene, Oregon - a great town - so people in the Pacific Northwest might want to look him up. The location, time and date will be determined after the Kickstarter project is completed. You will be responsible for all of your own expenses.

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    Up to five people will share a meal with Gordon Walton. What can I say about Gordon? He is a perennial leader in the game industry, having worked as an executive in a staggering number of major companies, such as Konami, Origin, Maxis, Sony Online, Bioware and most recently, Playdom. He started designing games in the 1970s, so this is a guy who has literally been there and done that and has the T-shirts to prove it. He's also a great person to know. The location, time and date will be determined after the Kickstarter project is completed. You will be responsible for all of your own expenses.

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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    NEW! Up to five people will share a meal with the multifaceted game industry veteran Rebecca Heineman. Becky, who sometimes goes by the nickname "Burger," is a fascinating and multi-talented programmer and writer, currently Chief Software Architect at Sony Computer Entertainment. She has generously offered her time to help the High Score project. The location, time and date will be determined after the Kickstarter project is completed. You will be responsible for all of your own expenses.

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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Up to five people will share a meal with the legendary founder of Electronic Arts, 3DO and Digital Chocolate - Trip Hawkins. Trip needs no introduction, and I can only say that five lucky people will get to spend some time with this icon of the industry. This will occur in or near San Mateo, California - time and date will be determined after the Kickstarter project is completed. You will be responsible for all of your own expenses.

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    4 backers Limited (1 left of 5)

    Up to five people will share a meal with Will Wright. Will needs no introduction. If you don't know who he is, you aren't a gamer. Will is also one of the most interesting people I know. Every conversation with Will is fascinating. Don't miss this opportunity. The location, time and date will be determined after the Kickstarter project is completed. You will be responsible for all of your own expenses.

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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    NEW! Up to five people will share a meal with legendary game designer Sid Meier. Sid is an amazing thinker and designer and is rarely accessible in public, so this is a great opportunity to meet a legend and hear his stories first-hand. The location, time and date will be determined after the Kickstarter project is completed. You will be responsible for all of your own expenses.

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    NEW! Up to five people will share a meal with legendary game designer Peter Molyneux. Peter is one of the most fascinating designers in the industry, and the originator of the "god game" genre with Populous. He really doesn't need an introduction. Do yourself a favor and spend some time with him. The location (likely in England), time and date will be determined after the Kickstarter project is completed. You will be responsible for all of your own expenses.

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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    John Romero and Brenda Brathwaite have generously offered to meet with up to 10 people for a dinner at a gourmet Mexican restaurant - and it's their treat! That's right, they'll even buy you dinner. I can't thank them enough. More details to come.

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    0 backers

    If you are able to donate $1000 or more, we will include your name at the front of the book as a Patron Donor.

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    2 backers

    Angel Donor: If you are able to donate $2500 or more to the project, we'll put your name AND picture at the front of the book at an Angel Donor.

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    0 backers

    CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP. For this donation, I will supply 25 books, 25 T-shirts for your employees, plus a logo and brief company description at the front of the book. I will, of course, want to interview you, as well.

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Funding period

- (30 days)