Acorn – A World in Pixels - Extended Edition now available for pre-order

 

When we first published Acorn - A World in Pixels, we were delighted by the reaction and thrilled when we started to hear from other notable people who we missed first time around, who also had a story to tell from the inside of the industry.

 

So, when the first edition sold out, we decided rather than simply re-print the book in its original form, we would produce an extended edition that adds those stories, additional games, some beautiful new artwork and many other new features.

  

We have ended up with a glorious 600-page book that captures even more of the spirit of the era. We have added new content, spread across an additional and updated 170 pages, including (and the exact adds are further down in full detail):

  • A full 18-page talking-heads retrospect on Acorn Computers with founders Hermann Hauser, Chris Curry, Sophie Wilson, Steve Furber and Chris Turner;
  • Over 30 new interviews with programmers and publishers (see below for the full list);
  • A fascinating 8-page “making of” of Ultimate’s famous games including Knight Lore, Alien 8 and Sabre Wulf, from the heart of their BBC versions' production;
  • Superior Software’s Richard Hanson talks directly to a number of his collaborators spread across 14 pages including Superior co-founder John Dyson;
  • Extended features on
    • the full story behind the BBC's Micro Men Acorn/Sinclair documentary with producer Andrea Cornwell and other contributors;
    • Citadel and Elite source code recovery and analysis;
    • How the modern day BBC emulators are created;
    • Level 9’s classic adventures;
  • More new stunning artwork from Micro Power, Alligata and Superior Software, some never seen before;
  • Over 25 additional games are featured;
  • And much more.

 

If you have already purchased the first edition, we are pleased to be able to offer a discount code giving you £7.50 off the RRP of the physical edition, if ordered from our store before end of November 2021. A discount code has been emailed to all previous customers. If you purchased the book via Amazon, please get in touch with us.

 

We also understand some people may just want the new/updated content as a Digital Download and we are pleased to make this available also at a low price. The digital download does not contain the full book, just the additional and updated content. The digital download will be released just after the physical product is distributed, which is expected to be by December 10th 2021. You will receive an email link at that time to download the content. The digital download can be ordered here.

We did contemplate creating a volume 2 just for the new content, but due to the economics of book printing and distribution (high fixed cost), the best way in the end was to include the content in a single extended edition, and provide this discount code for those who have the first edition - so the net price you pay if you have the first edition already is essentially the same as you would have paid if we had produced a standalone volume 2. We include free UK delivery in our pricing and international customers only pay the difference above the UK postage cost. Or there's the Digital Download option.

 

The new physical edition is limited to only 1,000 copies and available now for pre-order for £34.99 with free UK postage and can be ordered here. We expect to distribute the book by December 10th 2021.

  

New contributions from:  

Acorn ComputersChris Curry; Steve Furber; Hermann Hauser; Chris Turner; Sophie Wilson

Programmers - Michael Archer (W.A.R); Mike Bryant (Gnome Ranger and many other Level 9 adventures); Ian Collinson (Perplexity); Neil Davidson (Ricochet); Ross Goodley (Blagger); Trevor Harwood (Commando); Angus Hughes (Uridium); Robin Leatherbarrow (Jet Boat); David Lovekin (Space Pilot and other Superior games); David Lloyd (Winter Olympaid ’88 and many others); Tony Monckton (Chipbuster); David Parsons (Hobgoblin); Simon Phipps (Jet Power Jack); Tony Racine (Kissin’ Kousins); Nick Reeves (Tetrapod); Kevin Reid (Acornsoft's Snooker); Graeme Richardson (Nevyron); Sean Scarff (Moon Cresta); Michael St Aubyn (Imogen); Martin Sykes (Karate Combat); Julian Todd (Cosmic Kidnap); Richard Warner (Pole Position); Stephen Wileman (Palace of Magic); Jamie Woodhouse (Qwak!); Dave Woodhouse (Jet Boot Jack)

PublishersJohn Dyson (Superior); Mike Goldberg (MRM); Austin family (Level 9)

 

And here's the very precise details of what we have added to the edition, so you can make a fully informed choice between Digital Download and Physical Edition:   

Art

Cover art updated to include the Addictive’s Boffin character, to differentiate the two editions, whilst retaining the consistency.

Feature

Acorn Computers – In Their Own Words – 18 page “talking heads” feature, where Chris Curry, Hermann Hauser, Sophie Wilson, Steve Furber and Chris Turner talk us through the history of Acorn Computers from start to finish.

Art

New double page spread of BBC Computer render, created especially for this book.

Art

Beautiful, re-created artwork as used for Micro Power’s The Mine release, originally created by Ellis Ives Sprowell, single page. Text unchanged.

Art

Beautiful, re-created artwork as used for Micro Power’s Ghouls release, originally created by Ellis Ives Sprowell, single page. Text unchanged.

Feature

Richard Hanson Talks With – Richard Hanson personally interviews five people who contributed to the significant success of Superior Software, spread across 14 pages. Interviews with John Dyson (co-founder), Ken Campbell (sales manager), Chris Hart (compatibility expert), Matthew Thompson (gamers), Ian Rees (designer and coder). Features Hunchback and Road Runner games.

Publisher

New MRM double-page feature, with Mike Goldberg interview. Features Castle Assault, Diamond Mine, 3D Munchy, The Sorcerer, Bananaman and Nightmare Maze.

Publisher

New Level 9 double-page feature, with Pete Austin interview.

Publisher

New Firebird double-page feature.

Art

Beautiful, re-created artwork as used for Felix in the Factory, across double pages with game feature. Text unchanged.

Art

Beautiful, re-created artwork as used for Swoop, across double pages with game feature. Text unchanged.

Game/interview

Interview with Julian Todd, illustrated with Micro Power’s Cosmic Kidnap game graphic. Also wrote Combat Lynx.

Game commentary

Author Nick Pelling expands on his recollection of the game Zalaga, accompanying the game. Replaces original text.

Game/interview

Interview with author Kevin Reid, illustrated with Acornsoft’s Snooker graphic.

Game commentary

Exile author Peter Irvin new ½ page recollection on his legendary Starship Command. Game graphic unchanged.

Game commentary

Author Trever Hall expands on recollection of the game Twin Kingdom Valley. Game graphic unchanged.

Game/interview

Interview with author Ross Goodley, illustrated with beautiful, re-created artwork for Alligata’s Blagger, spread across double page.

Game/Interview

New double-page interview with David Lovekin, who partnered with prolific Peter Johnson to co-author a number of his games.

Also David's new recollections of Superior Software’s Space Pilot. Replaces previous gamer text.

Game/Interview and Art

Interview with Simon Phipps, illustrated with beautiful, re-created artwork for Micro Power’s Jet Power Jack, spread across double page.

Feature

Exploring Elite Today – A fascinating 4-page feature by Mark Moxon on his exploration of the Elite source code and insight into how Braben/Bell created their masterpiece.

Game/Interview

Tom Jones of publisher Starcade new recollections of the game Savage Pond. Replaces previous text.

Game/Interview

Interview with Tony Racine (co-author) and illustrated with existing English Software’s Kissin’ Kousins graphic on a single page.

Game/Interview

Interview with Dave Woodhouse (co-author) and illustrated with existing English Software’s Jet Boot Jack graphic on a single page. Existing text retained as well.

Game/Interview

Interview with author Robin Leatherbarrow and illustrated with Software Invasion’s Jet Boat graphic across double page.

Game/Interview

Interview with author Richard Warner and illustrated with Atarisoft’s Pole Position graphic across double page. Richard also talks about his work on the Welcome tape.

Graphic update

Frak! main graphic expanded to full page, given the iconic nature of the art. No text changes.

Game/Interview

Interview with author Nick Reeves and illustrated with Acornsoft’s Tetrapod graphic on a single page.

Graphic update

Inclusion of the Knight Lore loading screen across a double page, introducing the Ultimate Filmation section.

Feature

The Making of Ultimate’s BBC games – a ‘fly on the wall’ feature on the creation of the BBC Micro versions of Lunar Jetman, Sabre Wulf, Knight Lore, Alien 8 and Nightshade by one of Paul Proctor close friends, spread across 6 pages. Really fascinating (our favourite addition to this edition).

Graphic update

Alien 8 full isometric map, made up of screen shots, spread across double page, replacing the original Alien 8 graphic.

Graphic update

Magic Mushrooms graphic updated, using different level. 

Game/Interview

Interview with author Tony Monckton and illustrated with Software Invasion’s Chipbuster graphic across a double page.

Art

Inclusion on Repton Around the World poster artwork within the Making of Repton feature as a single page. No text additions.

Game/Commentary

Arcana’s Powerplay added across double page, with very short commentary from author Adrian Stephens

Graphic addition

Double page spread of 6 screens from Addictive’s Boffinacross double page

Game commentary

New commentary from Peter Johnson on the making of Superior Software’s Deathstar, replacing the original text.

Art

inclusion of Micro Power’s Doctor Who and the Mines of Terror poster art on single page.

Game commentary

New half-page commentary from author Gary Partis on the making of iconic Micro Power’s Doctor Who and the Mines of Terror, to replace the limited text on the game in first edition.

Game/Interview

Interview with author Trevor Harwood of Catalyst Coders and illustrated with Elite’s Commando graphic across double page.

Graphic update

Ultimate’s Nightshade now presented across double page with multiple screen shots to capture their full beauty.

Game/Interview

Interview with author Sean Scarff and illustrated with Incentive’s Moon Cresta graphic across double page.

Game/Interview

Interview with author Martin Sykes, replacing the original text for Superior Software’s Karate Combat, across double page. No change to graphic.

Game commentary

Half page commentary from Michael St Aubyn on Micro Power’s Imogen and its up-to-date remake.

Game commentary

Short commentary from Stephen Wileman, co-author of Superior Software’s Palace of Magic, replacing original text.

Art

Beautiful, re-created artwork as used for Superior Software’s Galaforce, across double pages with existing commentary from game author, Kevin Edwards.

Feature

Kevin Edwards tells all about copy protection – three-page feature by Kevin Edwards on his copy protection, used to protect many classic games.

Game/commentary

Double-page game graphic on Software Invasion’s Street Machine and gamer commentary.

Art

Beautiful poster artwork for Superior Software’s Stryker’s Run, across double pages with game graphics, to introduce game feature.

Graphic

Two double spreads featuring a complete play through of theSuperior Software’s Stryker’s Run Master 128k version of the game, with its beautiful game graphics.

Game/commentary

Interview with Michael Archer, author of Martech’s W.A.R, and accompanying game graphic as double page spread.

Graphic update

Domark’s Star Wars loading screen replaces plain game graphic used in first edition, across double page. No change to text.

Graphic update

Double-page graphic map of circa 50% of Superior Software’s Codename:Droid.

Game/commentary

Interview with Angus Hughes, co-author of legendary Hewson Consultant’s Uridium on double page spread.

Game/interview

Double-page interview with Mike Bryant, author of many of their famous adventure games, featuring graphic from Level 9’s Gnome Ranger.

Art

Poster artwork for Electric Dream’s Firetrack, on single page accompanying the game. Game commentary updated with short text from author Nick Pelling.

Art

Beautiful, unreleased airbrush art intended for Superior Software’s Pipeline, which was rejected post the Piper Alpha disaster, and the basis of the game re-worked, spread across double page

Graphic update

New double-page zoom in on Superior Software Exile’smap, for better context to introduce the Making of Exile feature.

Art

Beautiful, re-created artwork as used for Superior Software’s Spycat, across double pages, replacing original game graphic. Maybe our favourite art in the book. Peter Scott commentary expanded.

Game/interview

Double-page interview with prolific David Lloyd nee-Croft, featuring alongside Tynesoft’s Winter Olympiad’88graphic. David talks about many of his other games like Phantom and Ian Botham’s Test Cricket.

Game/interview

Interview with Jamie Woodhouse, accompanied by graphics from Superior Software’s Qwak! on a single page.

Game/interview

Interview with author Neil Davidson, accompanied by graphics from Superior Software’s Ricochet across a double page.

Game/interview

Interview with author Ian Collinson, accompanied by graphics from Superior Software’s Perplexity across a double page. Ian also talks about Impact’s Zenon.

Game/interview

Interview with author David Parsons, accompanied by graphics from Atlantis’ Hobgoblin I and II across a double page.

Graphic update

New double page graphic of Superior Software’s Cyborg Warriors to replace the original graphic, which fits better to the page design. No text changes.

Game/commentary

Full isometric map of 4th Dimension’s Inertia, with gamer commentary.

Game/interview

Interview with author Graeme Richardson, accompanied by graphics from 4th Dimension’s Nevyron, spread across four pages. Graeme also talks about his work on the Acorn Archimedes.

Graphic update

And not to forget - double-page graphic feature where we feature 30 screen shots of games that didn’t make it into the book, but we felt should not be forgotten. We’re sure even post that selection, there are some games we should have included!

Interview

Double page interview with prolific game reviewer Jon Revis, whose reviews featured in The Micro User and Electron User.

Feature update

The very last Bob and Trev is now the very, very last Bob and Trev, where Bob adds a few additions to his original letter post lock-down.

Feature

The Making of Micro Men – six-page feature on Micro Men, where we interview Andrea Cornwell on the making of this classic comedy-drama of the battle for greatness between Sir Clive Sinclair and Chris Curry.

Feature

Saving The Crown Jewels – double page feature by the Acorn Preservation Society’s Chris Evans on the recovery of Michael Jakobsen’s Citadel source code from the author’s aging disks.

Feature

A Beeb in a Browser – double page feature by Matt Godbolt on creating a Beeb emulator that runs in a browser, and is now the engine that allows gamers to play all the classic games on bbcmicro.co.uk.

Interview

A double page interview with 0xC0DE, a talented coder of Acorn games in 2021.

Index

Perhaps the most requested addition. Yes finally, you can find all the content much easier than before with an index!

Art update

Updated pencil drawing by Ste Pickford, with the Boffin character added.

 

 

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