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Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts Hardcover – November 26, 2008

3.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

THEFORCE.NET
Fans of the classic LucasArts games (Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, etc) will not be disappointed.

GAMESRADAR.COM
...this is the best possible kind of fan service: That which is richly deserved

MANIA.COM
Selected as one of 2008's Best Non-Fiction Genre Books!

QUICKSTOP ENTERTAINMENT
The book is packed with info and concept art, and is in many ways a nice blast from the past.

THE OFFICIAL STAR WARS BLOG
Coffee table books are sadly rare for us gamers, and one as well-crafted as this deserves a place in any gamers home.

About the Author

Rob Smith is the editor-in-chief of PlayStation: The Official Magazine. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

George Lucas is the creator of the Star Wars saga and the Indiana Jones series. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (November 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811861848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811861847
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,310,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Having been a long-time fan of LucasArts's greatest and most original games (The Secret of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, et al), it's somewhat disappointing to learn that I know more about the titles than the author. While it is wonderful to see glimpses of rare production art, design documents and concepts for unfinished games, it's also a shame that the original content is light and even sometimes incorrect.

Rogue Leaders typically spends two pages per game. That could be enough room if the type size and line-spacing was that of a normal book or magazine article, but unfortunately here it amounts to little more than 300 words per game for bigger titles, like 'Day of the Tentacle' or 'Sam & Max', and even less for games like 'Loom'.

Major milestones, like 'The Secret of Monkey Island' get a mere 500 words, which means anecdotes, like the fact that the designers had to help package the first printing of SOMI themselves in order to make the shipping deadline, are unfortunately missing.

The book doesn't really have much of a narrative, either, and instead favours segmenting each game into its own mini-article. There is some attempt at the beginning to tell the story of the companies origins, but this seems to quickly evaporate once the company gets going.

This segmentation really works against trying to weave LucasArts's growth into a coherent tale, and the book often feels a bit confused as to where to turn next. You'll read about Monkey Island 1 (1990), its sequel (1991), Loom (1990), Day of the Tentacle (1993) and then Fate of Atlantis (1992) -- in that order.

There are also mistakes to found here, too.
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Format: Hardcover
I agree whole-heartedly with J.C. Walker's review - it's spot on. It's a beautiful book that's attractive and fun to look at, but the amount of actual information is spotty and in many places, poorly researched. I worked at LEC from '92 to '97, and then at Larry Holland's Totally Games after that for 6 more years, so I had a hand in many of the projects that are featured. It seems that very few people from those days were interviewed, and those interviews lean heavily toward the producer/project leader side of things. If Mr Smith had cast a wider net (and those who were with the company back then are quite easy to look up and contact), many glaring omissions and inaccuracies could have been avoided.

I certainly don't want this to sound like sour grapes at all. It's a beautifully done book and I would recommend it to any fan of LEC's games. Just be aware that it's a lightweight compendium rather than a historical document of the company. I wish more artists (far beyond myself) had been interviewed for the book, but then I suppose it might have ended up a few hundred pages fatter than its already ample 250 pages.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a good, comprehensive look at LucasArts. As someone who has played all of their point & click adventure games and some of their Star Wars ones, this book is a fascinating archive of storyboard/visualization artwork, background stories, domestic/international packaging artwork, posters, photos, and other internal documents.

If you're a reader of RetroGamer, you're probably accustomed to the lengthy "Making Of" articles which goes in depth and behind the scenes on classic games. The opposite is true of this book. Instead of the lengthy article with the tiny photos, you'll find less behind-the-scenes stories on a particular game and pages of large, beautiful production artwork. This book aims to provide a comprehensive view of LucasArts through the years rather than focusing on a particular game. You'll even see a few pages of canceled games like a Full Throttle's sequel and a few paragraphs on that hated Sar Wars fighting game (Masters of Teris Kasi or whatever it was called). It covers everything from the start through 2008 (Lego Indiana Jones, Clone Wars, Star Wars Unleashed).

The $40 Amazon price makes this an affordable, fun gift for anyone who has played the classic LucasArts games. Once this book goes out of print, prepare to watch the selling price of this book jump (just like those CD collections of LucasArts games).

I'm not sure what to make of George Lucas' foreword. I've never been a fan of the recent direction of LucasArts (No point and click adventure games. Two cancellations of a Full Throttle sequel. Oversaturation of Star Wars games. Unavailability of any classic games as WiiWare, on Xbox Live, PSN, etc). So I would have preferred a book that didn't have his stamp of approval on it.
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Format: Hardcover
I grew up playing LucasArts games, and found this book to be a slap in the face. LucasArts games were known for their detail, innovation, humor, and great design. This book is an anti-thesis to all of that. The writing is poor, the information is sparse, the layout is about the worst I've ever seen, and what should be centerpiece information is sometime confined to a off-handed paragraph or a postage-stamp-sized image.

This book fails on so many levels, that I have since avoided Chronicle Books because of it. That's just HOW BAD it is. I do a lot of design work, and that this passed editing and was published has to be some major mistake. Like other reviews said in much better detail, there is better information available on fan websites, and anyone who's played these games already knows more than the author.

Never buy this book, ever.
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