Sometimes I find it hard to get a 300-word news post done, and I get paid for it, so it’s astonishing to me that Felipe Pepe and 115 other volunteers just released a 528-page history of computer role-playing games for free. The CRPG Book Project: Sharing the History of Computer Role-Playing Games, is a massive tome that covers the CRPG from its historical roots and the first games of the genre in the mid-1970s all the way until today.
This is not an amateur production either. The CRPG Book Project is a gorgeous tome with professional grade writing and formatting. For those who have only recently gotten into PC gaming, the CRPG might seem like a strange beast, but there was a time when it was king. In addition to the familiar isometric titles, The CRPG Book Project’s scope widens to include a host of other types of RPG released for the computer. So you’ll see entries for Baldur’s Gate and Arcanum, but you’ll also get some great info on games like Jade Empire and Mount & Blade.
I’ve only had the chance to flip through the book so far, and I recommend it highly. Not only is it free, but it also has some exciting entries (especially about older titles), and is a great starting point for those who are just getting into CRPGs or long-time fans of the genre that just want a nostalgia bath. As an bonus, the volume very much embraces the fact that it’s an e-book, so there’s plenty of links to the supplementary material along the way if you want to read further about a particular subject.
I absolutely love these kind of fan projects, and I’m so appreciative that the collaborators on The CRPG Book Project put in so much work. You can get a copy from the project website, or check it out in-browser in the embed below.