I'm writing a book!

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Spikey
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I'm writing a book!

Post by Spikey » Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:35 am

Hey folks,

Considering seriously writing a Sierra music book, with a Kickstarter campaign to go underway Q1 2021. There will likely be vinyls as rewards and other cool things. :)

More information to come, and will explain further if anybody's interested.

goatmeal1
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Re: I'm writing a book!

Post by goatmeal1 » Tue Nov 03, 2020 5:59 pm

That's great!

~Goatmeal

jaffa225man
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Re: I'm writing a book!

Post by jaffa225man » Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:21 am

It's not everyday that a book that so perfectly matches my esoteric interests gets written. That's not to say that it wouldn't be fun for general audiences too. I'm looking forward to it, thanks!

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Re: I'm writing a book!

Post by Spikey » Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:03 am

Thanks for the replies, guys. Slightly more detailed post this time. (BTW, Jaffa, Gary, are you on Facebook?)

I am planning (not announced or decided yet) to write a Sierra music book, with a Kickstarter potentially in Q1 of next year.

Some information:
For those unfamiliar with me personally, hi! I am Alistair from the Sierra music website Sierra Music Central (see link below). I have been involved in studying, recording, archiving and collecting Sierra game music for the last 20 years. You're always welcome to contact me, whether to say hi or talk Sierra. πŸ™‚

Given the recent proliferation of books on Sierra topics, I thought of telling a story that hasn't been told - writing the stories, interviews and knowledge I've been privy to down in a sort of compendium, a kind of sister book to Stephen Emond's wonderful Collector's Quest series that recently concluded on Kickstarter. (Which you should buy if you haven't already!)

The idea at present (subject to change!) is a book covering primarily 1988-1995, the Sierra "MIDI years", with bookends covering previous and later years (PC Speaker and later CD audio) briefly. It would be detailed about the major releases (i.e. SQ, KQ, LSL, QFG, PQ etc) with more summary information about other releases (note: Just because a series isn't a flagship one doesn't mean minimal info! Willy Beamish, for example, will have detailed info).

Chapters for the "MIDI years" would each cover a year, or possibly two year period, with the aforementioned detailed information about games and their music released in that year. That is, what was it composed for, who composed it, who did the sound effects, who did the music conversions for Adlib/etc. Also stories from devs and musicians about the game and its music where possible.
Some questions:

- Are you interested in such a book?
- Would you buy it? If not, is there anything I could do differently to get your purchase, while understanding that this is a specialty/niche book? (If no to both, don't reply πŸ˜‰ )
- What would you like to see in it, beyond what's covered already?
- Can you help with it? (I.e. do you know things about the MIDI games beyond playing them, did you work at Sierra or know folks who did, or know detailed knowledge of Roland synthesizers, knowledge of obscure titles like Coktel games or non Sierra/Dynamix games, etc?)
- What stretch goals or rewards would you like to see?

Thanks for taking the time to read/reply :) You're helping me work towards making a project we can all enjoy.

- Alistair
Sierra Music Central
http://www.sierramusiccentral.com

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Re: I'm writing a book!

Post by goatmeal1 » Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:36 pm

Hey, Spikey.

No, I'm not on Facebook. And aside from being a fan of the music, I can't really help out in any way... :oops:

But I'd support the book, though! :D

~Goatmeal

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Re: I'm writing a book!

Post by Spikey » Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:55 am

Goatmeal, you've done plenty. :)

jaffa225man
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Re: I'm writing a book!

Post by jaffa225man » Wed Nov 11, 2020 4:03 am

Spikey wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:03 am
Thanks for the replies, guys. Slightly more detailed post this time. (BTW, Jaffa, Gary, are you on Facebook?)
Yes, but I don't login often, as I prefer the relative feeling of freedom of regular forums. :)
Spikey wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:03 am
Given the recent proliferation of books on Sierra topics, I thought of telling a story that hasn't been told - writing the stories, interviews and knowledge I've been privy to down in a sort of compendium, a kind of sister book to Stephen Emond's wonderful Collector's Quest series that recently concluded on Kickstarter. (Which you should buy if you haven't already!)
I hadn't, so thanks for making me aware of it. It's too bad I want the physical color books, so I'll have to wait until I have the funds.
Spikey wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:03 am
- Are you interested in such a book?
Yes!
Spikey wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:03 am
- Would you buy it? If not, is there anything I could do differently to get your purchase, while understanding that this is a specialty/niche book? (If no to both, don't reply πŸ˜‰ )
Yes! (If affordable enough for me.)
Spikey wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:03 am
- What would you like to see in it, beyond what's covered already?
Maybe stories of people's first impressions of the games or experiences playing them, when new, since I got into them well after their releases.
Spikey wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:03 am
- Can you help with it? (I.e. do you know things about the MIDI games beyond playing them, did you work at Sierra or know folks who did, or know detailed knowledge of Roland synthesizers, knowledge of obscure titles like Coktel games or non Sierra/Dynamix games, etc?)
I doubt I'm that informed on these games, really, although I enjoy the music. That's all the more reason for me to buy the book. My knowledge of the MT-32 family of synthesizers is only due to queststudios/midimusicadventures/nerlypleasures, philscomputerlab on youtube & the Roland manuals, along with experimentation. I guess when I built my inline atmega8 SysEx delays/capital-tone-fallback device (I call the transMIDIfier) it was a neat discovery to first hear the "Beneath A Steel Sky" alarm noise on the MT-32 (old). It was after that, that I heard the helicopter noise on the CM-64 replace it. I haven't tried the MT-32 (new) there, but I'm sure it would be that alarm noise too. It was really fun for me to make something with such a clear, yet, unexpected result: A noise where there had been none. Certain game's developers tried hard for universality. In this case, it's just too bad they didn't delay their SysEx, although that made it a fun discovery for me. :)
Spikey wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:03 am
- What stretch goals or rewards would you like to see?
I really don't know.

Thank you! :)

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Re: I'm writing a book!

Post by Spikey » Fri Nov 13, 2020 4:19 am

Yes, but I don't login often, as I prefer the relative feeling of freedom of regular forums. :)
Can't say I blame you. Facebook is unfortunately where most Sierra discussion happens now.. :(
I hadn't, so thanks for making me aware of it. It's too bad I want the physical color books, so I'll have to wait until I have the funds.
Probably worth it!
Yes! (If affordable enough for me.)
While I haven't looked at costing yet, I'm going to predict it won't be an expensive book. I mean, it is designed for a niche audience, but still, it won't be a hundred buckazoids or anything crazy. Rewards I have no idea.
Maybe stories of people's first impressions of the games or experiences playing them, when new, since I got into them well after their releases.
Not sure quite how this relates to music, although I like the concept!
I doubt I'm that informed on these games, really, although I enjoy the music. That's all the more reason for me to buy the book. My knowledge of the MT-32 family of synthesizers is only due to queststudios/midimusicadventures/nerlypleasures, philscomputerlab on youtube & the Roland manuals, along with experimentation. I guess when I built my inline atmega8 SysEx delays/capital-tone-fallback device (I call the transMIDIfier) it was a neat discovery to first hear the "Beneath A Steel Sky" alarm noise on the MT-32 (old). It was after that, that I heard the helicopter noise on the CM-64 replace it. I haven't tried the MT-32 (new) there, but I'm sure it would be that alarm noise too. It was really fun for me to make something with such a clear, yet, unexpected result: A noise where there had been none. Certain game's developers tried hard for universality. In this case, it's just too bad they didn't delay their SysEx, although that made it a fun discovery for me. :)
If you haven't been there, I would check out the VOGONS forums, which is a wealth of potential knowledge. There's also information and some misinformation in the sources you listed, so be careful. :)

I suspect you know a lot more about the synths than I do, so maybe I'll ask you some questions at some point. :)

The book will have a game and music interaction focus, less about the hardware itself, although it will be mentioned.

jaffa225man
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Re: I'm writing a book!

Post by jaffa225man » Fri Nov 13, 2020 6:17 pm

Spikey wrote: ↑
Fri Nov 13, 2020 4:19 am
Can't say I blame you. Facebook is unfortunately where most Sierra discussion happens now.. :(
Ah, well it's nice there's more discussion somewhere. I may check into it, but I feel plenty busy as-is.
Spikey wrote: ↑
Fri Nov 13, 2020 4:19 am
While I haven't looked at costing yet, I'm going to predict it won't be an expensive book. I mean, it is designed for a niche audience, but still, it won't be a hundred buckazoids or anything crazy. Rewards I have no idea.
I wasn't meaning to pressure you. ;)
Spikey wrote: ↑
Fri Nov 13, 2020 4:19 am
Maybe stories of people's first impressions of the games or experiences playing them, when new, since I got into them well after their releases.
Not sure quite how this relates to music, although I like the concept!
Yeah, it doesn't. You should probably just keep it focused on your intent.
Spikey wrote: ↑
Fri Nov 13, 2020 4:19 am
If you haven't been there, I would check out the VOGONS forums, which is a wealth of potential knowledge. There's also information and some misinformation in the sources you listed, so be careful. :)
Oh yes, I forgot to mention VOGONS, but that's one of the best sources nowadays. I wasn't aware of misinformation in the sources I did list, but I take everything with a grain-of-salt.
Spikey wrote: ↑
Fri Nov 13, 2020 4:19 am
I suspect you know a lot more about the synths than I do, so maybe I'll ask you some questions at some point. :)

The book will have a game and music interaction focus, less about the hardware itself, although it will be mentioned.
That's fine with me, but I can't promise I'll know the answers. :)

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