1st Edition

Vintage Games 2.0 An Insider Look at the Most Influential Games of All Time

By Matt Barton Copyright 2017
    376 Pages 242 Color Illustrations
    by A K Peters/CRC Press

    376 Pages 242 Color Illustrations
    by A K Peters/CRC Press

     Super Mario Bros. Doom. Minecraft. It’s hard to imagine what life would be like today without video games, a creative industry that now towers over Hollywood in terms of both financial and cultural impact. The video game industry caters to everyone, with games in every genre for every conceivable electronic device--from dedicated PC gaming rigs and consoles to handhelds, mobile phones, and tablets. Successful games are produced by mega-corporations, independent studios, and even lone developers working with nothing but free tools. Some may still believe that video games are mere diversions for children, but today’s games offer sophisticated and wondrously immersive experiences that no other media can hope to match.

    Vintage Games 2.0 tells the story of the ultimate storytelling medium, from early examples such as Spacewar! and Pong to the mind blowing console and PC titles of today. Written in a smart and engaging style, this updated 2nd edition is far more than just a survey of the classics. Informed by hundreds of in-depth personal interviews with designers, publishers, marketers, and artists--not to mention the author’s own lifelong experience as a gamer--Vintage Games 2.0 uncovers the remarkable feats of intellectual genius, but also the inspiring personal struggles of the world’s most brilliant and celebrated game designers--figures like Shigeru Miyamoto, Will Wright, and Roberta Williams. Ideal for both beginners and professionals, Vintage Games 2.0 offers an entertaining and inspiring account of video game’s history and meteoric rise from niche market to global phenomenon.

    Credit for the cover belongs to Thor Thorvaldson.

    Chapter I The Innovators

    1.1 Spacewar!: It’s Rocket Science

    1.2 Pong: Easy to Learn, Hard to Master

    1.3 Space Invaders: The Japanese Invasion

    1.4 Zork: Sticking Graphics Where the Sun Don’t Shine

    1.5 MUD: Swords with Friends

    1.6 Rogue: Procedural Generation

    1.7 Maze War: The First First-Person Shooter?

    Chapter 2 The Early Adopters

    2.1 Pac-Man: Gamers Just Want to Have Lunch

    2.2 Donkey Kong: Miyamoto’s 800-Pound Gorilla

    2.3 Pole Position: Where the Raster Hits the Road

    2.4 Pitfall!: Activision’s Fearless Fortune Hunter

    2.5 Flight Simulator: The Sky’s the Limit

    2.6 Elite: The Stellar Sandbox

    2.7 Pinball Construction Set: The Game of Games

    2.8 King’s Quest: From Peanuts to Palaces

    2.9 Wizardry: A New Perspective on Computer

    Role Playing

    2.10 Ultima: The Virtues of an Avatar

    Chapter 3 The Early Majority

    3.1 Super Mario Bros.: Mario and the Mushroom Kingdom

    3.2 The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Future

    3.3 Final Fantasy: Console Games Get a Level Up

    3.4 Tetris: The Perfect Video Game?

    3.5 Street Fighter II: The Arcade Comes Back Swinging

    3.6 SimCity: A City of Silicon

    3.7 Civilization: Just One More Turn

    3.8 Pool of Radiance: The Gold Box Games

    3.9 Wasteland: Hot, Mean, and Radioactive

    Chapter 4The Late Majority

    4.1 Dungeon Master: Real Time Hits the Big Time

    4.2 Myst: Creating Worlds, One Tent at a Time

    4.3 Doom: Profound Carnage

    4.4 John Madden Football: The Greatest Play

    4.5 Sonic the Hedgehog: Faster than a Portly Plumber

    4.6 The Sims: The World’s Most Profitable Ant Farm

    4.7 Diablo: Click Click Boom

    4.8 Starcraft: The ESport Zerg Rush

    4.9 Pokémon: Gotta Catch’em All

    4.10 Ultima Online: Persistence Pays Off

    4.11 Super Mario 64: No Disc, No Problem

    4.12 Tomb Raider: A 3D Platformer with Legs

    4.13 Final Fantasy VII: The Legend of the Square Disc

    4.14 Metal Gear Solid: Lights, Camera, Inaction!

    4.15 Ocarina of Time: Miyamoto’s Finest Hour

    Chapter 5 The Laggards

    5.1 Dance Dance Revolution: Konami Shakes Its Money Maker

    5.2 Grand Theft Auto III: The Industry’s Bad Boy

    5.3 Halo: Combat Evolved: Spartans Never Die

    5.4 Call of Duty: Wars with Friends

    5.5 Half-Life 2

    5.6 World of Warcraft: An MMORPG for the Masses

    5.7 Wii Sports: Let Grandpa Teach You

    5.8 Angry Birds: Slingshot to the Top

    5.9 Minecraft: Let Them Build It, and They Will Play


    Matt Barton

    "Matt Barton knows how to tell stories, and he knows how to tell stories across the spectrum of media. 

    Barton's interview style, a laidback, conversational tone that encourages developers to dig into the nitty-gritty of their experiences, made the jump to Vintage Games 2.0, his latest and best book that delves into the histories of the names you know and ones you don't but should.

    Best of all, Barton draws deep from first- and secondhand sources to emphasize intimate details about—and in cases where he pulls from his vast archive of interviews, anecdotes from—the developers who made games like Space Invaders, Elite, Super Mario Bros., Rogue, Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto III, and more."

    -David Craddock