Tonight saw the launch of Yahtzee Croshaw's book Mogworld at The Mana Bar in Brisbane. Being a part owner of The Mana Bar and video game critic, most famously known for his Zero Punctuation reviews, Yahtzee has jumped back into his former world before fame and bars to emerge with an adult novel. We got to sit down and chat with him before the big release to hear his thoughts on everything Mogworld.
For everyone out there, what is Mogworld about?
"It is a discovery of a role in life and set around an NPC in a sophisticated near-future MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) world and the book is basically around him transcending the role he has been given and experiencing the oddities about the world and eventually learning the truth behind it."
Has this been something you have wanted to do for awhile?
"Yes. I have wanted to write novels ever since I was a small child. I used to try and write them then, precociously. I think the first adult book I read was The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and it made me realise that adult books are fun and that is what I wanted to do. So I have basically been in a state of writing a novel ever since, but it is only this one that got published."
So it is set in an MMO, did you take any influence from other games?
"It’s not based on any existing MMO. Well... I did take some influence from the obvious World of Warcraft, because I played it for about 3 months a few years ago and that is what made me start thinking about the book.
"I started wondering about the way the story was working in World of Warcraft, because up to then, they had a changing story in all the real time strategy games, and that background was present. In World of Warcraft the MMO, time there was basically frozen and all the new players had to play the available missions, so nothing ever changed. Kill something, it comes back to life – complete a mission, the next guy can complete the mission.
"So I started wondering if any of the characters in the game had noticed these things. I started writing a couple of things along those lines and then it became Mogworld."
Are you glad to finally see the release of your first book?
"Yes. Although the big moment for me was when I actually got my first physical copy of the book in my hands. I took several photos of the entire envelope opening process and I just flicked through it all afternoon going 'these are my words... in a book'. So I am comparatively relaxed for tonight.
"I also know that a lot of people who ordered it won’t be getting their copies in for awhile as we sold out of the first printing, so might be awhile before we see any reviews online and that is probably what I am most nervous about."
Will the story continue to a new book? Or is there another on the way?
"No. Mogworld was not written with sequels in mind and I have slagged off enough game developers for making a sequel when there wasn’t a sequel in mind, that I didn’t want to be seen a hypocrite. My publishers did ask if I wanted to write one, I said no. But I am keen to write more books so for my next book that I am working on now is based on a minor character from Mogworld but set in the real world, so obviously has a different plot."
Will we be seeing that soon?
"Well Mogworld took 3 to 5 years to complete, however it would be easier now that I have a publisher onboard. I am currently working on the first draft and trying to write two pages a day. So I’m hoping to finish that in the next few months and after the whole editing process it should take up to another year or so."
If people couldn’t make it to tonight’s launch event, where can they pick up a copy?
"Any good online book retailer like Borders, Amazon, Angus & Robertson, thingsfromanotherworld.com or check the Dark Horse website for all the details."
Any last comments?
"Buy the book you sods... in the nicest possible way."
After the interview the preparations kicked into gear and for the rest of the night, with Yahtzee set up in a corner to sign the limited 100 copies that The Mana Bar had available for sale. It was an enjoyable night, with even a line forming before the bar opened just to get their hands on one of the first copies of Mogworld!
Congratulations to Yahtzee Croshaw for fulfilling a lifelong dream - and good luck with the launch of the book and future titles!
For more pictures of the night' events head over to The Mana Bar facebook page or website. Mogworld is available at all good online book stores however stocks and printing is limited so you may need to wait a little while for your copy.