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A beautifully produced, fully illustrated history of the pioneering Macintosh game scene
A beautifully produced, fully illustrated history of the pioneering Macintosh game scene
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293 backers pledged £14,292 to help bring this project to life.

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£14,292

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A beautifully produced, fully illustrated history of the pioneering Macintosh game scene. Spanning over 400 pages, this exhaustively researched book documents the landmark hits and arcane wonders that defined this much loved gaming platform.

Case rendering of The Secret History of Mac Gaming, featuring a specially commissioned illustration by JJ Signal, to be printed in two Pantone inks
Case rendering of The Secret History of Mac Gaming, featuring a specially commissioned illustration by JJ Signal, to be printed in two Pantone inks

The story

Mac gaming led to much that is now taken for granted by PC gamers, including mouse-driven input, multi-window interfaces, and even online play. The Mac birthed two of the biggest franchises in video game history, Myst and Halo, and it hosted numerous ‘firsts’ for the medium. 

It allowed anyone to create games and playful software with ease using programs like World Builder, HyperCard, and SuperCard. It also gave small developers a home for their wares in the increasingly hostile games market of the ’90s and early 2000s, before the iPhone and the rise of digital distribution services such as Steam enabled indie development to return to the broader industry. Mac gaming welcomed strange ideas and encouraged experimentation. It fostered passionate and creative communities who inspired and challenged developers to do better and to follow the Mac mantra ‘think different’. 

Page rendering of the book’s introduction
Page rendering of the book’s introduction

 

Page rendering of Chapter 2: Nineteen Eighty-Four
Page rendering of Chapter 2: Nineteen Eighty-Four

The book

The Secret History of Mac Gaming is the story of those communities and the game developers who survived and thrived in an ecosystem that was serially ignored by the outside world. It's a book about people who made games and people who played them — people who, on both counts, followed their hearts first and market trends second. How in spite of everything they had going against them, the people who carried the torch for Mac gaming in the ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s showed how clever, quirky, and downright wonderful video games could be.

Page rendering of Chapter 25: Durandal
Page rendering of Chapter 25: Durandal

 

Page rendering of Chapter 6: Macintosh Arcade
Page rendering of Chapter 6: Macintosh Arcade

The work draws on archive materials as well as 60+ new interviews with key figures from Mac gaming’s past, including:

Craig Fryar, who is co-authoring several chapters (former Mac game evangelist, Spectre co-creator)

  • Robyn and Rand Miller (Cyan Worlds) 
  • Patrick Buckland (Crystal Quest) 
  • John Calhoun (Glider)
  • Andrew Welch (Ambrosia)
  • Ben Spees (Harry the Handsome Executive, Ferazel’s Wand)
  • Matt Burch (Escape Velocity)
  • Ian and Colin Lynch Smith (Freeverse)
  • Steven Tze (Freeverse)
  • Mark Stephen Pierce (Dark Castle)
  • Jonathan Gay (Dark Castle, Airborne, went on to design what later became Adobe Flash)
  • Bill Appleton (World Builder, Creepy Castle, others)
  • Steve Capps (Alice/Through the Looking Glass, Amazing, co-created The Finder)
  • Charlie Jackson (Silicon Beach Software)
  • Peter Cohen (Tikkabik/MacGaming.com, editor at Macworld 1999-2009)
  • Trey Smith (GraphSim)
  • Dave Marsh (Shadowgate, Uninvited)
  • Joe Williams (Delta Tao)
  • Brian Greenstone (Pangea)
  • Craig Erickson (Déjà Vu/MacVenture system)
  • Rick Holzgrafe (Scarab of Ra, Solitaire Till Dawn)
  • Chris De Salvo (MacPlay, Apple GameSprockets)
  • Ray Dunakin (Ray's Maze, Another Fine Mess, A Mess O’ Trouble)
  • Cliff Johnson (Fool’s Errand, 3 In Three, At the Carnival)
  • Glenda Adams (Westlake Interactive, Aspyr)
  • Rebecca Heineman (Interplay/MacPlay, Logicware)
  • Eric Klein (former Mac game evangelist, Bungie)
  • Marc Vose (MacSports/gamedb)
  • Yoot Saito (SimTower)
  • Alex Seropian (Bungie) 

and many more...

Just a few of the book’s specially commissioned pixel illustrations by game artist JJ Signal
Just a few of the book’s specially commissioned pixel illustrations by game artist JJ Signal

The package

The Secret History of Mac Gaming will be a substantial and beautifully crafted book, spanning 100,000+ words and 150+ images, including in-game screens, box art and photography.

Each chapter opener is punctuated with an illustration by game artist JJ Signal, faithfully mimicking the distinctive style of the platform’s Mac Paint art software.

The pages of the book will be accented with bright blue edges, matching the outer case illustration and topping off a distinctive and characterful item.

Page rendering of Chapter 12: Mysterious Worlds
Page rendering of Chapter 12: Mysterious Worlds

 

Page rendering of Chapter 6: Macintosh Arcade
Page rendering of Chapter 6: Macintosh Arcade

 

Some of the iconic box artwork and advertising imagery included in the book
Some of the iconic box artwork and advertising imagery included in the book

 

Why Kickstarter?

The Secret History of Mac Gaming has been created thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign conducted by UK publisher Unbound. Having developed the book over the past three years and now nearing production, we wanted to offer our limited, high specification edition to a wider audience. We think Kickstarter is the perfect platform to reach Mac gaming fans who might have missed this project the first time around.

*** After this Kickstarter campaign closes, this edition will not be made available again, or reprinted. ***

Page rendering of Chapter 11: Peninsula Gameworks
Page rendering of Chapter 11: Peninsula Gameworks

 

Page rendering of Chapter 1: A Serious Machine
Page rendering of Chapter 1: A Serious Machine

Specification

  • Hardcover
  • 230mm x 158mm
  • Printed on uncoated, wood free, cream stock 140gsm art paper
  • 416 pages
  • 150+ images
  • Bright blue sprayed page edges
  • Printed at art book specialists Novaprint, Barcelona 
Design sketch from Glider, Soft Dorothy Software, 1988
Design sketch from Glider, Soft Dorothy Software, 1988

The author

Richard Moss has written extensively about the history and culture of videogames for over a dozen leading games and technology publications, including Ars Technica, Edge, Eurogamer, Mac|Life, Polygon, Rock Paper Shotgun, USgamer, and several others. 

In his spare time, Richard edits the classic gaming websites MacScene.net and Archive.vg. Richard also contributes to new and emerging technology news site Gizmag and to Intel’s iQ blog, where he covers the latest developments in science and technology for a general audience. And he produces the podcast Ludiphilia, which shares stories related to how and why people play. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, in a house ruled by a bengal cat named Max.

Page rendering of the book’s afterword by Craig Fryar
Page rendering of the book’s afterword by Craig Fryar

 

Page rendering of Chapter 15: Quintessentially Mac
Page rendering of Chapter 15: Quintessentially Mac

The designer

The Secret History of Mac Gaming has been designed by Darren Wall, founder of Read-Only Memory and designer/editor of celebrated video game history titles Sensible Software 1986–1999, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works and The Bitmap Brothers: Universe.

Darren Wall’s previous video game history books
Darren Wall’s previous video game history books

 

 

Risks and challenges

We are currently prototyping the book with a trusted and experienced printer in Barcelona, Spain. Given Unbound’s experience in creating high end, illustrated books since we founded our company in 2010, we expect this process to run smoothly.

Each copy will feature the names of the backers from our first 2016 crowdfunding campaign, which enabled Richard to write the book.

Given we are at the end of the production process, we don't foresee any problems. Should we experience any issues whatsoever, we’ll inform all backers promptly via our regular project updates.

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    Art by Glider Pro creator John Calhoun

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    VIP Tour of MADE (Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment) in Oakland, California, plus a first edition of the hardback, plus the ebook. Transport not included.

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Funding period

- (28 days)