Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw wears many hats in addition to his stylish trilby. He creates his own freeware adventure games. He runs a video game bar with his mates in Australia. And he is probably best known for his scathing and foul-mouthed video game reviews delivered with a rapidly speaking style on The Escapist. Now come the end of August 2010, he gets to wear the hat of a published author with the publication of Mogworld though Dark Horse Books.
His video game review series Zero Punctuation already has a huge fan base in the thousands, which likely means plenty or people ready to read his novel. Those who think that Yahtzee is a cursing one trick pony in his Zero Punctuation video game reviews series need only look a bit beyond the foul language. Before Zero Punctuation, he gained a good reputation as an independent games designer with his Chzo Mythos series. The point and click horror adventure game showed off wonderful storytelling and character development-two key things needed for writing fiction. Yahtzee alrady has a couple of free online novels on his blog.
Mogworld is set as a comedic fantasy novel where a guy named Jim is brought back to life after sixty years of death at a magic school accident thanks to a renegade necromancer. On paper it sounds like the generic medieval fantasy novel. But the big twist here is that the setting is actually a MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) and Jim is a minor character who just wants to rest in peace. Given Yahtzee’s perchance to criticize and mock games, it would not be very surprising to see lots of observations into the various faults and cliches of the MMORPG genre. For all we know, the necromancer in question is hatching a plot to drain the lives and souls of every known MMORPG player in the world and is named Blizzard.
Anyone interested in Mogworld can browse through an excerpt of the novel on The Escapist courtesy of Dark Horse Books. I would have preferred to read the first chapter of Mogworld before deciding to order my copy of the book. Flipping through the excerpt, one notices the novel mainly takes place though Jim’s perspective in the MMORPG world. While players will ooh and ah at the MMORPG elements they are used to playing in, Jim will notice how absurd they are as someone who actually has to trudge through it. Citizens can only spout out the same few lines when he talks to them. The financial transactions in shops and inns are illogical. And worst is when Jim finds himself suddenly spewing out lines of chat between players for odd reasons.
Mogworld is scheduled for release August 31st and will be available in popular bookstores like Borders, Barnes & Noble, and even Amazon.com