For tier four backers, I've got a special reward of two non-Reverse-Design books. The first book is one that Iíve wanted to write for a few years now. Itís called The Broken Mirror, and itís a book about the Squaresoft cult classic Xenogears. The book deals with two topics on the game. First, it looks at how the storytelling techniques of an idiosyncratic game like Xenogears differ from those of film and novels. That section of the game deals a little more broadly with storytelling in JRPGs. This is a topic I've wanted to work on for a while now, but which didn't always fit the voice of the Reverse Design series. The second part of the book looks at how the game synthesizes Gnosticism, kabbalah tradition and Freudian psychology into a deeply meaningful story about becoming whole.
The second book is called The Myth and Metaphor of Magic. After writing books on two Final Fantasies and Chrono Trigger, I wanted to write a book about the artistic evolution of JRPGs in the 1990s. The book looks at how magic systems in the heyday of JRPGs went from being a set of combat skills to being a way of conveying meaning, idiosyncratically. The book will also look back to the tabletop days and examine at how golden age JRPGs influenced later titles.
These two books will be a little shorter and lighter on graphs than the Reverse Designs, but I think my audience will still like them quite a bit. These two eBooks will be exclusive to backers forever.