Tag Archives: Empires of EVE

Empires of EVE Vol II Kickstarter

While I was sleeping in a bit this morning EVE Online Fanfest was kicking off in Iceland.  Expect a pile of EVE Online news to show up from various outlets.

The first bit of news I caught was Andrew Groen’s announcement that he was launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund another book about EVE Online.  Called Empires of EVE: A History of the Great Wars of EVE Online Volumne II, it picks up where the last book left off.

Book Title

I am really excited to see this come out because this gets into my era of null sec.  The first book was about null sec forming into factions and having its first great war.  After that is the era of fallout from the war, changing alliances, as well as the biggest battles and wars seen in the game.

Definitely of personal interest to me as I was in some of those wars and many of those battles.

Of course, Andrew Groen knows his stuff, both when it comes to writing such a book and promoting a Kickstarter campaign.  Having announced the campaign on stage at Fanfest earlier today, the modest $12,500 goal, as SynCaine noted, was reached very quickly, then doubled, and is past being tripled as I write this, with 28 days left to go.

That is how you get it done, parade it out in front of the core audience.  If that World of Warcraft Diary Kickstarter campaign from last month had been announced on stage at BlizzCon it might have succeeded even at its rather aggressive funding level.

Anyway, I was in with a pledge as soon as I could for a hardbound copy of the book.

This comes at a point when I was wondering what Andrew Groen might be up to.  The first Empires of EVE book was a success, selling over 15,000 copies in various formats, with the audio book version coming out last summer to help bolster that number.  (I own it as a hardback and an audio book, so put me down for 2 copies I guess.)  Not bad for a book about a niche title in a niche genre.

Since the book first shipped he has talked about other projects.  There was an Empires of EVE Lectures podcast series that was going to fill in some of the gaps left by the book.  Between September of last year and January of this, that put our five episodes then stopped.  There was talk of a project to expand it scope, to maybe talk about other games, but I never saw anything come of that.  So I was wondering if he had finally had enough of New Eden.

I guess not.

Now for the worst part, waiting for the book to be done.

Coming Soon – Empires of EVE History Lectures

As I mentioned in my look at the audiobook version of Empires of EVE, the author Andrew Groen was looking for a way to continue telling the tales of New Eden.  Yesterday there was an announcement as to how that might go forward as a podcast.

Coming Soon…

The idea is to tell the stories of EVE Online in a more dynamic way.  As I noted about the audiobook of his work, Andrew Groen reading his book is not as engaging as Andrew Groen talking about the game in front of an audience.  The hope, I gather, is to try to capture some of what is special about seeing him speak in a podcast.

The details were shared as an update to the Kickstarter page for the book.

There is already an Empires of EVE area over on SoundCloud, which I have dutifully followed.  I am sure it will be available via other sources as well.

I am really looking forward to seeing how this plays out.  The stories of EVE Online, the player made lore of the game, is one of the most interesting aspects of the game, so I am always keen to see somebody learning it to save and re-tell.

Empires of EVE in Audiobook Format

Empires of EVE started off back in 2014 as the Andrew Groen Kickstarter project to write a book about the null sec wars of EVE Online.

I was in as a backer, as were more than three thousand other people from the EVE Online community.

Two years later, the book was out and I had my nice hardback copy, which is currently sitting on the desk beside my keyboard.  The title, originally A History of the Great Empires of EVE Online, had been slimmed down to Empires of EVE, but the content was in no way trimmed.

How much more black could it be?

The book follows the formation of the first null sec corporations and alliances from the launch of the game in 2003 through what is called The Great War and the eventual downfall of the Band of Brothers alliance in 2009.

The book went out to the backers of the Kickstarter as well as going up for sale in both physical and ebook formats.  At last update, Andrew Groen has sold more than 12,000 copies of the book.  Not bad for a book about an obscure game with an odd name in a small segment of the video game market.

To promote the book Andrew Groen has given presentations at various gaming event, such as PAX.  If you get a chance to see one of his presentations, you should go.  He is an engaging speaking and remains enthusiastic on the topic.

So I was quite happy to hear that he had produced an audiobook version of the work and that he was the narrator.  It is available from Audible.com.

Audible.com is a subsidiary of Amazon

Having had an “any two titles” per month subscription with Audible.com since 2000, I put it in my queue and picked up a copy with my August titles and just finished listening to it.

It is not perfect.  Having seen Andrew Groen present about EVE Online and Empires of EVE, the book does not live up to that sort of experience.  This is not Andrew in front of an audience gushing about a topic in which he is invested, this is Andrew reading a book in a measured and even tone.  That was a minor disconnect for me, though I did get used to it quickly enough.  It just doesn’t seem like him.

Then there is pronunciation, something that plagues just about every audiobook.  How do you pronounce things in New Eden?  I remember during the Casino War being confused to find that CCP pronounces the region of Deklein as if it were the work “decline” and not “Deck-lynn” as I had always heard it pronounced.  In Andrew’s case, among other things, he pronounces the region Venal, which I always say as though it were the sin (which seems appropriate for null sec), as though it rhymes with the word “fennel.”

Also, hearing a written work read aloud tends to call attention to awkward phrasing and word repetition.  That is why it is an oft used self-editing technique.  At one point Andrew uses variations of the word “history” three times in a single sentence.  Reading that to yourself you might not notice it, but on hearing somebody say it aloud and it draws a cringe and an audible correction from me.  I talk back to my audiobooks in the car.

Then there is the recording itself, which is not optimal.  It was not recorded in a professional studio by my estimation, given the minor echo that runs throughout the book.

Finally, with the audiobook you do not get any of the maps of visuals included with the physical book.  The reason that my hardcover copy is next to me was that I pulled it out a couple of times to look at maps. (I also spent time at DOTLAN looking at regional maps.)

Still, these are not insurmountable issues.  And there is something very helpful or comforting about having somebody telling you about these events as opposed to reading the text off of a page.  The events wash over you and the threads and overall arc of the story become more important than whether or not a fight too place in the system C-J6MT.

I burned through the book in a few days, mostly while playing Minecraft or doing things in EVE Online like tend my PI farm, move ships, and rat.  The work is solid and enjoyable.

Furthermore, the work maybe be just the start.  Andrew Groen wrote in his update about the audiobook production of Empires of EVE that it was a learning process as much as anything with an eye towards being able to tell more such stories in the format.  So this may be the start of something.

Anyway, my gripes all summed up were minor while my enjoyment of the book in audio format was huge.  I recommend it, and I look forward to what might come next.

Two Books about EVE Online

Recently two books about EVE Online have become available for purchase, so I thought I would take a moment to gesticulate in their general direction.

Empires of EVE

The first is Andrew Groen’s opus about the Great War in New Eden, Empires of EVE.

How much more black could it be?

How much more black could it be?

The product of a Kickstarter campaign almost two years back that funded almost immediately and went on to exceed all expectations, the result is a wonder.  It is a compelling read, a story well told that doesn’t require knowledge of EVE Online to enjoy. The only way to surpass the book is to hear to Andrew Groen talk about it (as I got to at EVE Vegas), as his passion for the topic clearly comes through.  And there are even a couple of screen shots I took as illustration, including one of my favorites on page 145.

Burning to the titan

Burning to the titan

The screen shot was from the DBRB fleet to attack Raiden capital ships in BWF-ZZ back in 2012.  Unfortunately, in the book, it is mis-captioned as a Machariel fleet when it is a Hurricane fleet.  But who am I to complain about minor errors?  I make more than my share.

Anyway, now that the Kickstarter backers have received their copies, you can get your own copy of the book.  There is a site setup that lets you purchase the book through Amazon.  I assume there is some benefit to Andrew in the purchase being referred from his site, so I would use that if only to encourage him to work on a volume II, because if there is a single problem with the book, it is that it leaves you wanting more.

There is also a video to go along with the release of the book about the siege of C-J6MT.

The book is available in hardcover, softcover, and Kindle format.

So we have that.  But wait, there is more.

Internet Spaceships are Serious Business

Launched a bit more quietly than Empires of EVE, this is a more academic look at EVE Online.

Serious business indeed

Serious business indeed

If Empires of EVE is the tale of a war, Internet Spaceships are Serious Business is a guide to what the game is about and the motivations of people who put enough into the game to make something like the Great War come about.

I grabbed the Kindle version over the weekend and started in on it.  It is welcoming to those uninitiated to New Eden and doesn’t assume you know much as it builds, chapter on chapter, about the game.

As with Empires of EVE, it is available in hardcover, softcover, and Kindle format over at Amazon.

So if you don’t necessarily want to play EVE Online but enjoy reading about it, here are a couple of chances to get immersed in the topic without even having to download the game.