Crowdfunding Campaign Launches for 'Rocket Jump' Book About Quake, Origin of FPS Games

Shacknews' first mega-sized book is being funded for publication as a hardcover by crowdfunding platform and publisher Unbound. Publish it for Shacknews!


Published on Shacknews last December, Rocket Jump: Quake and the Golden Age of First-Person Shooters book-sized mega feature is being crowdfunded on Unbound. If funded, Rocket Jump will be made available in hardcover and digital formats compatible with e-readers, smartphones, and tablets.

Unbound is a crowdfunding platform and publisher based in London, built exclusively for books. Like other crowdfunding platformers, Unbound lets users pledge financial support in exchange for rewards such as autographed copies of books. Representatives from the publisher approached me about publication last year after Rocket Jump gained traction on social media following retweets from current and former id Software developers including co-founders John Carmack and John Romero.

"I couldn't be more excited to publish Rocket Jump," said Beth Lewis, commissioning editor at Unbound. "This book is a fascinating look at the origins of an entire gaming genre, directly from the people who created it. I've been a gamer most of my life and I've never read such an in-depth, impeccably researched and well-written exploration of such a key area of the videogame industry."

Rocket Jump explores the making of id Software's Quake series and other foundational shooters made during the genre's golden age. The first two chapters of Rocket Jump are free to read for all Shacknews visitors, while the full book is available online as an exclusive to Shackers who subscribe to Mercury, Shacknews' subscription service that offers access to longreads, add-free browsing, and more.

"Not many websites are willing to spend the time and effort to create long-form content like Rocket Jump and I want to thank all of the folks who participated in the creation of the mega feature," wrote Shacknews CEO, owner, and editor-in-chief Asif Khan in an open letter following Rocket Jump's publication. "I also want to thank our Shacknews Chatty community for supporting us during the past few years, and I look forward to showing everyone our vision of the future of the Shack."

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
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    February 16, 2018 11:50 AM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Crowdfunding Campaign Launches for 'Rocket Jump' Book About Quake, Origin of FPS Games

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      February 16, 2018 11:57 AM

      Backed, although the $25 for shipping was a bit much.

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        February 16, 2018 1:05 PM

        The book will ship from London, but I promise it'll be worth it!

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      February 16, 2018 12:00 PM

      Oh hell yes

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      February 16, 2018 1:25 PM

      That's cool. But still no Kindle version?

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      February 16, 2018 2:18 PM

      Gonna hit this up when I get home. I've been waiting for this since the article was posted.

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      February 16, 2018 2:19 PM


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      February 16, 2018 2:33 PM

      I'm in but there better be some motherfucking QUAKE on the cover!

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      February 16, 2018 3:22 PM

      up to June 2018's Stairway to Badass: The Making and Remaking of Doom 2016, oh?

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      February 16, 2018 3:23 PM

      Honestly asking, is there any new content that isn't readily available through the internet over the years?

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        February 16, 2018 3:28 PM

        Yep, a ton. I got firsthand accounts on the making of and culture during Quake 2-Live, including the inside story of how Adrian Carmack sued id Software over his termination and proved his case against id's other owners in court; development of an unannounced project called Quest; the frustrating juxtaposition of Tim Willits' brilliant level design balanced against the political tactics he used to get rid of designers he saw as competition; and truckloads of design details.

        Rocket Jump is as much a story about how the culture at id was both its greatest strength and most destructive weapon. Nearly everyone I talked to said it was the best and worst place they'd ever worked. I didn't go in with the intention of digging into drama, but it's impossible to separate that drama with how incredibly successful id Software became. The drama was as responsible for that success as factors such as level design and tech.

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        February 16, 2018 3:31 PM

        Dude, it's a ton. I have a dozen Quake t shirts and memorabilia around the house and have been going to Quakecon for 20 years and I didn't know most of what's in the book. Keep in mind most of the information was gathered recently so it's not taken from the 90s time period it's more retrospective and full of information that has not been previously out there.

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          February 16, 2018 4:11 PM

          Dude... IVE been going to quakecon for 20 years...

    • rms legacy 10 years mercury super mega
      February 16, 2018 4:59 PM

      Backed! (Just digital though)

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      February 16, 2018 11:50 PM

      Nobody knows what "fecund" means.

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      February 17, 2018 12:48 AM

      Cool, I'm in for digital. I hope this keeps getting posted for visibility!

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      February 17, 2018 3:11 AM


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