Although somewhat unrelated to this thread, I would like to comment on something mentioned in one of the now-dead “old-school” threads in regards to publishing a sort of “Street Fighter history” book:
In 2004, I started working in earnest on a “History of Fighting Games” book, I even posted a thread here at SRK at the time stating my intent. This started as a purely personal and fan-based project, and at the time I had little or no intention of taking it any further than that. Although I was never a major tournament player (my sloth-like reaction times probably contributing to my reluctance here), I have been playing SF steadily since WW, and have been a fan, a collector and a major enthusiast of fighting games ever since this time.
In terms of research, I had tons of old articles and guides to fall back on (I believe I still have every SF2 guide released to date, all in great condition), and was hoping to getting in touch with some of the vets for interviews, as I currently live in SoCal and didn’t think travel would be a major issue (if necessary).
Anyway, after doing some initial groundwork, I began writing so fast that the book virtually wrote itself. Such was my enthusiasm that I began e-mailing various gaming book publishers, hoping for a slim chance that one of them would be equally enthusiastic about the project.
As it turns out, I was shot down at every turn (big surprise, considering I was a first-time author with absolutely no credentials), except by one publisher; BradyGames. I’d told them that another gaming history book of theirs (the excellent Power-Up, which focuses mainly on the influence of Japanese gaming design on modern culture) had inspired me to author my own book, which was more or less true. I was put in touch with their editor-in-chief (I believe that was her title), Leigh Davis, who told me that while the Power-Up book was a sales disappointment, she believed that there may be a large enough hardcore fanbase to warrant a book on the history of fighting games.
As you can imagine, this news sent my enthusiasm for the project through the roof, and I began devoting most of my spare time toward researching and writing up a decent draft. (BTW, I figured I would go through the time and expense of setting up old-school player interviews if the book was actuallly green lighted. After all, there’s no doubt in my mind that such a book would be incomplete without them.)
After several weeks of correspondence with Leigh (who was unbelievably helpful every step of the way), I finally put together what I considered was my best shot at a book proposal and sent it off to their corporate offices in Indianapolis. As it turns out, the book was ultimately rejected, the reason given that the folks there had decided another gaming history book might equal another flop in the sales department. (Or maybe my book just sucked, and they were being gracious about it. )
In any case, my final draft topped out somewhere around 44,000+ words, and that was before interviews. So as you can see, I’d put a lot of effort into the project in hopes that it might actually make it to bookshelves.
Why bother mentioning any of this here? Well, I guess the old-school respect that keeps popping up every now and then on these forums reminds me of my own respect for all things fighting game related. And for those who are interested, it seems that there is a chance of such a book getting published somewhere down the line, perhaps by someone far more qualified than myself. My own interest in the project petered out after the first rejection (plus I have a full-time job and a family to raise these days, so my spare time is limited), but I know it’s not uncommon for authors to resubmit several drafts to a publisher in hopes of getting a deal.
So for anyone else out there who is inclined to document the history of fighting game – especially the competitive scene in the early Nineties – I wish you all the best, hopefully you can produce something vital and interesting that will expand all of our knowledge about this great era in gaming history. After reading some of these threads, it certainly seems as though the interest is out there.