Posted 20 hours ago

Dice Men: The Origin Story of Games Workshop

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BUT, as I did read it through in one sitting and didn't want to put it down until I finished then I am "of a certain age" and revelled in the memories. It’s a bit art-book in feel, too; in theory it’s nearly 300 pages long, but a substantial portion of that is taken up with pictures. Pure nostalgia, although I suspect that if you aren't "of a certain age" where the names and games and atmosphere of this book are directly relevant to your life then you will find this less than exciting. It doesn’t exactly smack of a text that was overburdened and had to shed some weight, especially with its particular publication method which surely allowed the author as much freedom over content and page count as he could have cared to utilise, and if you were going to cut for space you probably would not look first to drop the bits about goings-on in Nottingham. I was excited when the Unbound project was initially announced, happy to be a supporter prior to publication, and gleefully received my signed copy once the finished product made its way into readers hands.

The idea to start our own company first cropped up during one of our many 'beer and a board game' sessions after work at our flat. This third party is Asgard Miniatures, Bryan Ansell’s original company, an established manufacturer based in Nottingham – and that location foreshadows events to come. In 1982 he co-wrote The Warlock of Firetop Mountain with Steve Jackson, the first title in the Fighting Fantasy gamebook series which went on to sell 20 million copies worldwide. In 1982, with Steve Jackson, he wrote the first of the Fighting Fantasy™ Gamebooks which eventually sold over 15 million copies in 23 languages. With decades of weight behind it the name now feels inevitable, but it clearly wasn’t at the time; photos here include the jotted-down notes of a brainstorming session with such incredible suggestions as “Cosmic Overflow Games” and “The Quasigamic Expedition Inc.

My thanks to to Ian and Steve for sharing their memories; I’m now eagerly awaiting the followup just announced covering the Fighting Fantasy years. Having read the first thirty or so pages of Dice Men I realise I need to tell things the way I remember them. A minor complaint - the timeline jumps around a bit, focusing on the chapter subject more than the chronology. I feel strongly that Dice Men almost completely ignores my pivotal role in those early times, not only with conceiving the name, but also the crucial financial contribution I made in the first twelve months, producing wooden games for sale and thereby funding our fledgling business.

I don’t think this will have particularly wide appeal, but then I’m also not sure it was really intended to.I gave it 4 stars just because of the lack of more information about W40k, and the ending was way too abrupt.

Not long after, the whole company – one born in and run from London for a decade – relocates up to Nottingham. Important: Your credit card will NOT be charged when you start your free trial or if you cancel during the trial period. It’s a nice touch, and it highlights just how many people’s contributions served to make something special out of humble beginnings. Perhaps unsurprisingly for a man who would later play a significant role at Eidos, Livingstone is a huge early fan of computer games.Naturally, the unremarked-upon Naismith quote is followed by a lengthy discussion of the Fighting Fantasy plastic range, a set of 54mm miniatures which was a complete flop and merits attention only as a point of historical curiosity as Citadel’s first plastic range – their contribution seems to have consisted of Citadel learning what not to do. Se echa de menos que no se detallen más los orígenes y la historia de algunos de los títulos esenciales de la compañía.

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