The wait is over! My most eagerly awaited book of the year, Sensible Software 1986–1999, goes to print today. Created by graphic designer, sculptor, music lover, and art director Darren Wall, the book is part of a new publishing project called Read-Only Memory, a series of books on classic and not-so-classic videogames and their makers. To produce this Sensible homage, Wall launched a killer Kickstarter campaign and was able to raise $39,493 in just a month (6 September - 7 October 2012). Juicy spin-off and tie-ins include a 12” heavyweight vinyl EP compilation of Sensible’s greatest hits - exclusive audio and video material is available to stream at SoundCloud. Available as a jacketed paperback, the book features 340 pages on pioneering British games company Sensible Software, which produced "some of the most fondly-remembered games ever to grace a home computer – including Sensible Soccer, Cannon Fodder and Wizball" between 1986 and 1999. Read Only Memory is a fantastic initiative, which we support in toto. After all, Sensible Software is one of the most important videogames in history, a landmark which fully belongs to the Digital Game Canon.
Additional details in the press release:
"Read-Only Memory is delighted to announce that its Kickstarter- funded biography of Sensible Software is out now. The book – which raised over $39,000 (£24,000) during its funding campaign in September 2012 – is written by games industry legend Gary Penn and produced in collaboration with Jon Hare of Sensible Software.
It is the definitive history of the pioneering British games company. Between 1986 and 1999, Sensible Software produced some of the most fondly-remembered games ever to grace a home computer – including Sensible Soccer, Cannon Fodder and Wizball. The book chronicles the rise of Sensible from its humble C64 beginnings, through its million-selling Amiga heyday in the early ’90s, to its ultimate demise at the hands of the console revolution.
Interviewees include Jon Hare, Stoo Cambridge, Jools Jameson, Chris Chapman, Martin Galway, Peter Molyneux, Gary Whitta, Mike Montgomery and Dominik Diamond.
Alongside the written history is an exhaustive visual retrospective, including game imagery, photographs, archive material, design documents and never-before-seen inklings of unreleased games – all packaged in a stunning high-spec book with a fold-out jacket. This is the flagship title from Read-Only Memory, which aims to publish considered, high-end books on gaming history.
“It takes you back to that moment in time when video games really were the new rock ’n’ roll and the British development scene was on top of the world...” Jon Hare. The book is available to pre-order now at readonlymemory.vg" (ROM)
Last, but not least:
1. The contract for SWOS was signed on top of Jon Hare's car after a particularly heated golf game involving Mike Montgomery of The Bitmap Brothers.
2. Sensible co-founder Chris Yates once gave programmer Jools Jameson his salary in £5 and £10 notes poured over his head from a briefcase.
3. In 1991 – four years before GTA made its first appearance – Sensible abandoned plans for a road rampage drive 'em up called 'Mirror, Signal, Manslaughter'.
4. The initial tests for Sensible Soccer were built in the Mega Lo Mania engine, so the game began life as a kickabout between warring cavemen.
5. Jon Hare hasn't bought a Remembrance Day poppy since 1993, when Sensible had to pay the Royal British Legion £500 for using a familiar flower on the cover of Cannon Fodder.
Sensible Software 1986–1999 - Written by Gary Penn - Published by Read-Only Memory
LINK: Read Only Memory
Submitted by Matteo Bittanti