Press Release: Wario Land 4 dissected in new eBook “A Game Design Companion”, unravels videogame design and player interaction
December 16th, 2013
Finally, after 3 years of talking about it, my Wario Land 4 book will be released this Wednesday. Unfortunately, Adventures in Game Analysis Volume #1, my new games analysis bookazine, has been pushed back to early next year. I also have another (completed) project that’ll be coming out in January and possibly another one shortly after that…but alas, it’s Wario’s time to shine, so read on.
New eBook “Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4″ dissects the classic platformer, unravels game design and player interaction
Adelaide, Australia – 16th December, 2013 – Stolen Projects today announces the forthcoming release of Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4, an exciting new eBook from game design analyst and former GameSetWatch columnist, Daniel Johnson.
Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 takes under-appreciated gaming gem, Wario Land 4 (2001) for the GameBoy Advance, and splays the meat and bones of videogame design and structure across nearly 600 print pages to understand their influence on player experience.
Author Daniel Johnson, in a radical departure from contemporary videogames discussion, examines Wario Land 4 in its totality—including mechanics, psychology, education, level design, and game feel—calling on evidence-based analysis to understand the player’s subjective reactions to videogames.
Says author Daniel Johnson:
“A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 is unusual in its approach as we begin to understand videogames through evidence-based analysis rather than socio-cultural critique. I’m hoping this book will push against the accepted norms of ‘games criticism’ and open up new avenues for analytical discussion.”
Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 is essential reading for fans of Nintendo, side-scrolling platformers and retro videogames, curious players looking to better understand the games they play, and provides games designers a new approach for discussing their craft.
Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 will be available to purchase in digital formats through Stolen Projects from Wednesday 18 December. Retailing at $7.99, Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 will launch at a special introductory price of $4.99, lasting until January 31. Readers receive copies of Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 in both .pdf and .epub formats compatible with most computers, mobile phones and tablet devices. Kindle editions of Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 are planned for future release.
Early release editions of Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 are available to media on request to email@example.com.
Daniel Johnson is available for comment and interview via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information and resources related to Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 please visit the web portal at danielprimed.com/warioland4
About Daniel Johnson
Daniel Johnson is a former GameSetWatch columnist now writing long-form analysis of games that have fallen out of the current release cycle.
About Stolen Projects
Stolen Projects is a design studio and publishing house producing and distributing books valuing videogames, art, design, illustration and other topics of an interesting nature. Stolen Projects is owned and operated by Daniel Purvis, professional illustrator and designer with clients including Kill Screen Magazine, Polygon.com, Hyper Magazine and Clemenger BBDO Adelaide.
Stay tuned as early next year as Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 will be followed up by Daniel Johnson’s new boogazine series, Adventures in Game Analysis with subjects ranging from Metroid to WipEout. More information to come in 2014.
For any media inquiries, please contact
Daniel Purvis at email@example.com or via phone on +61 433 788 717
November 15th, 2013
So, here’s the cover for Rethinking Games Criticism. It was illustrated by Harry Plane. You can find more of his work here. I came up with the concept and Daniel (Purvis) recommended Harry for the piece. You can click on the image for a larger size. Hope you guys like it.
The book is basically ready to publish in all digital formats, but we still need to work on Adventures in Game Analysis Volume I, the bookazine I mentioned previously. I want to publish both items together, so you’ll have to hang on for a while longer, unfortunately. Thanks for your patience.
October 3rd, 2013
Finally, yes, finally, I can reveal some details as to what’s going on with the release of Rethinking Games Criticism: An Analysis of Wario Land 4 and the mysterious “Book #2”.
Both titles are being done through Stolen Projects, the same outfit who did Brendan Keogh’s Killing is Harmless book last year and Alphabent, the world’s first glitch art book. I’ve known Stolen Project’s one-man-band creative, Daniel Purvis, since about 2008 when he penned a blogged called Graffiti Gamer. He actually used to comment a bit on Richard Terrell’s Critical Gaming blog back then and he helped get an article that I wrote on Dragon Quest IV into Australian e-zine Pixel Hunt. Over the past few years he’s been doing illustrations and graphic design work for various gaming publications, including Polygon, Hyper magazine, and Kill Screen. This lead him to start Stolen Projects and become independent. The reasons why it’s taken so long to get this project moving is that although I finished writing the Wario book in February, I had to wait until June before I could get back to Adelaide to start running though the details with Daniel, who’s been busy transitioning full-time into Stolen Projects.
Daniel is overseeing the layout, cover illustrations, and publishing of the two books. Both books will be released as ebooks for all formats and I may do a limited print run some time in the future. Although they should be finished sometime this month, I’m probably going to release the two books, both individually and in a pack, in November so as to work around my forthcoming wedding…
..in anycase, I better tell you about book #2 now. It’s called Adventures in Game Analysis Volume 1. It’s a 100-page bookazine featuring long-form essays on:
- Uncharted 2 (gameplay narrative, education, mastery, repair)
- Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story (narrative, folded level design, and RPG elements)
- Metroid: Other M (combat dynamics)
- Wipeout (racing theory and the racing process)
- DK: King of Swing (dead space in core game mechanics)
- Animal Crossing (how the social simulation draws is so engrossing)
- Wario Land 3 (exploration, includes free Twine game)
- Designing Games for Twine (includes free Twine game)
- Classroom Games Analysis (I post-mortem my best classroom games)
- …and more
I’d been thinking of doing some sort of games analysis magazine or anthology for some time. After finishing the Wario Land 4 book in February, I had amassed a mountain of notes from games I’d played over the 2 year writing period. Some of those turned into short-form articles for the blog, many of them became bookazine articles. So I spent February through to July clearing out my notes and this is the result. I want the bookazine, which I will try to continue releasing at an infrequent rate, to act as a midpoint between the writing of the major books, like Wario, and the stuff I post on my blog or discuss on the Nextwork, a game design group that I frequent. Everything in volume one is high grade—like the Wario book, it’s my best work—so get all hyped and stuff.
Over the next week or so, I should have the online portals for both Rethinking Games Criticism and Adventures in Game Analysis Volume 1 up and ready, so you’re welcome to have a sneak peak at the reference material and other links. Also, expect to be hearing more from me from now through to the end of the year as I should have a bunch of book-related content and other goodies going up on the site. I can’t wait to show you all what I’ve been working on for all this time.