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 News::A Short History of Game Manuals
It's not everyday (in fact, it's almost never) that you see an article on game manuals. So when I saw this one I felt it was my duty to share it with rdocs visitors. It's an article discussing the past, present, and future of game manuals with examples of companies that have treated game documentation as an essential part of the package and an art form unto itself.

Full article at Edge Online
Read/Post Comment: 6bysleepyonThursday 06 November 2008 - 06:45:05printer friendly
 

Comments

 
bulletSimonU
Comments: 19
Registered: 11 Apr 05 : 23:17Location: Australia
\06 Nov 08 : 14:28

One of my favourite manuals is the 320 page effort for Combat Flight Sim 2. Others are Indiana Jones & the Emperor's Tomb, Just Cause, and the 258 page manual for European Air war.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


bulletSimonU
Comments: 19
Registered: 11 Apr 05 : 23:17Location: Australia
\06 Nov 08 : 14:30

And the WORST company for manuals would have to be EA Games. Pissy little gray-scale efforts printed on recycled toilet paper.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


bulletAreala
Comments: 31
Registered: 13 Jun 08 : 19:35Location: Inside your bra.
\06 Nov 08 : 19:33

I have to second Simon. EA is notorious for their insanely low-quality manuals. From grey-scale graphics to an utter lack of anything even resembling creativity when it comes to manual design, these days you're lucky to get anything better than a 6-page document out of them, two pages of which are legalese and warranty information.

Rockstar, on the other hand, is great for creativity in their manuals. It's been said before that a great instruction manual doesn't just tell you how to play the game, it's also great fun to read. And I think it's quite simple to pick up a Rockstar manual and just flip through it and have a laugh or two in the case of the GTA series, or a little shiver at the in-universe style of their Manhunt manuals.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Please note: I cannot send manuals via e-mail to anyone. Requests for me to do so will cause my old computer and my dial-up connection to laugh at you.


bulletRRS
Comments: 1
Registered: 19 Apr 05 : 15:09
\07 Nov 08 : 06:40

I also loved "Indiana Jones & the Emperor's Tomb" manual, which looks like a diary - handwritten notes, photos, even things like fake ads from 1930s that appear to be torn out from a newspaper.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


bulletNeuromanser
Comments: 4
Registered: 17 Sep 07 : 10:12
\18 Nov 08 : 16:12

Blizzard also has kickass manuals. The Starcraft one is especially nice

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bulletadf
Comments: 6
Registered: 13 Apr 07 : 03:19
\26 Nov 08 : 21:43

this article is literally quite short, I would like to see a LONG history of manuals someday.. since I begin video gaming late I missed out many early quality manuals. Yes, Microsoft Game Studio has made some impressive ones, like MechWarrior, CFS etc. Sometimes I download manuals of games I don't own just for the fun of browsing

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



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