A narrative history book about the politics, warfare, betrayal, and culture that shaped the first decade of Eve Online. Read more
This project was successfully funded on May 25, 2014.
About this project
765% Funded! Thank you for your support!
If you came across this page after the funding period ended - or if you needed a way to pay without a credit card - you can head over to EveHistory.com and place a pre-order.
Updated with deluxe hardcover tier!
More than just a simple hardcover this new tier will be closer to a coffee table book than simply a reprint of the soft cover with a firmer front page.
I’ve hired a professional designer to take the helm on art and layout, and the hardcover will be designed from the ground up to be a unique book. It will be printed in full color, and filled with strategic maps, art, and real propaganda posters created by in-game factions to rally support for their cause.
I've also hired a professional artist to create artistic representations of important battles when adequate images aren't available. You can read more about the new tier in this update post that’s viewable to everyone (not just backers.)
"As a freelance reporter for WIRED, Andrew Groen came in highly recommended and I found him to be a diligent, talented writer." -- Chris Kohler, WIRED.com.
"Andrew is one of the few writers who can tackle subjects as large as EVE Online in a way that's both entertaining and profoundly human." -- Ben Kuchera, Polygon.com.
"I've enjoyed talking with Andrew about the history of nullsec, and am looking forward to the final book." -- The Mittani, CEO Goonswarm Federation.
"In Andrew, we found someone that was uniquely talented at breaking down a concept and finding an entertaining way to tell a story. For me, I can think of no more appropriate subject matter for Andrew to tackle than EVE Online." -- John Davison, 1UP.com, EGM, GamePro.
"We've heard plenty about this game. Now it's time to hear from the game. And I don't know anybody better suited to tell those stories with authority, humor, and respect than Andrew Groen." -- Logan Decker, former Editor in Chief of PC Gamer.
"I've never met a writer more fascinated with internet spaceship pilot shenanigans." -- Helicity Boson, internet space scoundrel.
What is this book about?
A History of the Great Empires of Eve Online is a history book about the epic tale of what's been happening for the last ten years in the sci-fi MMORPG, Eve Online.
It's a story about war and politics and betrayal and of course, internet spaceships. Beyond that, I've searched extensively and I believe this may be the first history book ever written about humans living in a digital world.
Eve's game world consists of nearly 8000 star systems for players to do just about anything they can think of, but the 3500 or so systems in the outer rim are unique in that they can be taken over by the players. To conquer these systems players form armies consisting of thousands of people. To control those systems they form governments, entire local economies, and regional alliances.
There are dictators and deposed rulers, soldiers and generals, lies and propaganda, mercenaries and peacemakers, grand speeches and shady backroom deals. The book will focus on this portion of the game, known by the players as "nullsec" or "0.0 space."
The full story of the untamed frontiers of Eve is one of the great mysteries in video game history and I'm committed to making it understandable and accessible to everyone whether you've never heard of Eve or if you're a hardcore player.
This book will take readers from the very first day the servers switched on to the formation of the first regional alliances, through the Great Wars of 2004, 2007, and 2008, and into the modern era of huge power blocs of coalitions. It's a journey through the politics, warfare, and culture that have shaped Eve into the game we read about in the headlines today.
My name is Andrew Groen, and I've been a writer and reporter in the video game industry for over seven years. I've worked as a freelance reporter for WIRED and the Penny Arcade Report, and I've written dozens of features and reports for many different publications. My writing was also nominated for the 2012 Games Journalism Prize, and I was awarded "Best News Reporting" by Good Games Writing.
I'm a casual Eve Online player, and have never had any biases or allegiances to any alliance, corporation, or group within Eve. I'm also not affiliated with CCP Games. I've spoken with CCP about this project just to make them aware of it, and we both agreed that CCP can't and shouldn't be involved in editing or approving the content of this book in any way. That said, CCP has been very supportive, and have offered to serve as a liaison to help me get in touch with difficult-to-contact sources.
Some samples of my previous Eve Online reporting:
-Baptism by Fire: How a nuclear scientist learned to command 150 ship fleets in Eve Online
-The Machine War: How an Eve Online pirate inadvertently started a war for the purity of the game
Why am I writing this?
First and foremost I'm writing this because it's an amazing story that deserves to be told in an accessible way.
I'm also writing this because this history has never been written down before. As time moves on, key players and memories of the early days of this universe have started to fade, and we risk losing the history of one of gaming's most unique communities who inhabit one of humanity's first true virtual worlds.
As much as I want this to be a great book for people to enjoy today, I also want it to serve as a time capsule for future generations to understand what life was like in one of the first virtual worlds.
I'm writing this because there is simply no way for people to learn the history of Eve, and it's getting more difficult every day. You can spend weeks reading through the Eve wikis, but they are largely incomplete, filled with jargon, and often written by people who are obviously writing a slanted, one-sided version of history. In Eve as in the real world, history is written by the winner, and winners make terrible historians.
What will funding go toward?
I've worked on this in my spare time for the last six months gathering research materials and doing interviews to better understand Eve's history. Up until now it's been a labor of love, but now I need your help to get this book finished, printed, and distributed.
After talking with printers, editors, and designers I determined that I'll need $12,500 to get this book finished and to print and ship 1000 copies which is the minimum count needed to secure a decent price-per-book from a printer.
I only have two backer tiers because that helps keep the Kickstarter goal as low as possible, and also because it allows me to stay focused on creating a great history book. Too many goals can often lead to delays, cancellations, and a lack of focus on the original project.
Eve has a long history of co-opting old propaganda posters in their war campaigns to rally the troops and draw new recruits, and I have a personal love for Russian-style propaganda artwork.
My vision for the cover is based on this old poster featuring Joseph Stalin commanding WW2-era Russian forces into battle. I'm currently working with a designer to bring this image to life with an Eve spin.
In my vision of it there are mirror images on the front and back covers of famous Eve warlord rivals The Mittani and Sir Molle (in place of Stalin) commanding legions of starships to charge at one another.
Risks and challenges
Deception: I've been warned by members of the Eve community that there are some who will attempt to deceive me into writing their own version of events to make their organizations look better. The Eve wikis are proof of this fact as they're often rife with hyper-partisan history. The only way to counteract this is through extensive reporting and interviewing. Only by getting multiple perspectives on situations can you dig through partisanship. I've dedicated myself to doing dozens of interviews to make sure all information is as balanced as possible.
Jargon: When discussing the high-level events of Eve it's easy to get bogged down in jargon that the average person - and even many committed Eve players - don't understand. Some accounts of Eve history are so riddled by jargon that they're illegible to anyone without years of in-game experience. In my work, I always place an emphasis on making sure everything is understandable for everyone without dumbing things down or making writing boring for experienced players. To that end, I'll be working with a team of editors from both Eve and non-Eve backgrounds to ensure I'm getting a variety of input before publication.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
Pledge $10 or more
The digital version of the book (.PDF or Kindle compatible.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or more
Both soft cover and digital versions of the final book.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $50 or more
The deluxe hardcover version of the book plus the digital version.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
- (31 days)