Posted 20 hours ago

Dice Men: The Origin Story of Games Workshop

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To my understanding the book is now on general sale, but it was originally funded through Unbound, a crowdfunder for boutique publishing like this. The thing that jumps off the page with every mention of his name is his single-mindedness and clarity of vision. A great collection of stories about the different trials and tribulations that a group of friends went through as they struggled to grow their new business, and on more than one occasion, struggled to get a roof over their head not just for the business, but for themselves as well! I mentioned the page count earlier, but the meat of the thing is in the section from pages 15 to 268, roughly 253 pages (not accounting for chapter breaks – which are fairly frequent at approximately 14 pages per chapter).

The format lends itself to this kind of picture-gallery stuff, though it isn’t necessarily the style you’d want for reading an in-depth history. Pure nostalgia, although I suspect that if you aren't "of a certain age" where the names and games and atmosphere of this book are directly relevant to your life then you will find this less than exciting. I have to mention that another review here comments on the disappointingly "flat" writing style, which baffles me. They’re not of the right social class for it, but the phrase that keeps coming back to me to describe the two remaining Dice Men is “gentleman amateurs.

I was intrigued enough by the premise to fund it and you can find my name in the back in the list of supporters, which feels like a disclosure I should make at the start of a review like this.

Having read the first thirty or so pages of Dice Men I realise I need to tell things the way I remember them. I don’t think this will have particularly wide appeal, but then I’m also not sure it was really intended to. It wasn’t too hard to convince him to stay on by promising him we would back him when the time came for us to step down on condition that he was willing to be part of an enlarged operating board in the short term. Second, that it's clear from the text that Livingstone was - and is - clearly a businessman first and a gamer second. He is the former Executive Chairman of video games publisher Eidos where he launched blockbuster titles Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Hitman.It doesn’t exactly smack of a text that was overburdened and had to shed some weight, especially with its particular publication method which surely allowed the author as much freedom over content and page count as he could have cared to utilise, and if you were going to cut for space you probably would not look first to drop the bits about goings-on in Nottingham. Then, they started publishing their own games magazine, White Dwarf, that was similar to Dragon magazine at the time in that it was full of role-playing articles and scenarios. A point I want to mention in Livingstone’s favour here is that this could easily be a hardscrabble story about two captains of industry making it big with nothing but a dream and gruelling work. Make your own decision but I think there are a lot of people who are going to enjoy this, overall I did.

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