Yahtzee's Mogworld Released Today

Australia's biggest gaming celebrity is now a novelist as well, as Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw's new book, Mogworld, is released today. But you might have a hard time getting your hands on it anytime soon...

In Yahtzee's own words, "Mogworld is a comedic fantasy novel about a young man gradually discovering his role in life and the nature of his world. Specifically he's a low-level undead NPC in a near-future MMORPG. The AI has become self-aware without the programmers realising."

For years now, Yahtzee has been dishing out harsh, humorous criticism in his Zero Punctuation reviews. But now that he's pushing his own paperback, the often cynical Brit can expect some criticism of his own.

"I wouldn't say it's specifically aimed at [ZP fans] , but they'd certainly enjoy it, since it's about video games and my writing voice isn't dissimilar to ZP's style," says Yahtzee. "Really, I like to think anyone who likes fantasy, sci-fi and humour will be able to pick it up."

"I think building up my knowledge of games has helped, and all the time I spent writing ZP has given me a gift for colourful analogies which there are plenty of in the book. There's actually a very brief bit of Mogworld that's written as a game review, and my ZP voice switched on quite naturally as I wrote that."

But it's not all silly sword & board antics...

"I like to think it touches on some deep existential themes in between all the funny bits and monster fights."

Yahtzee has as big a following as anyone can hope to have in this little industry of ours - yet if a book set entirely within a game world can succeed, it says something about how big gaming has become.

And with Amazon's first print sold out, and Angus & Robertson projecting over four weeks in printing and shipping to get your hands on a copy, it would seem Mogworld's demand was underestimated. So was it hard to get published?

"Sure, if you count the actual act of writing it," he says. "It's very easy to start writing a book, and quite easy to finish writing one too, it's just all that stuff in the middle that becomes a slog. Getting it published was the easy bit. Dark Horse Books actually came to me asking if I wanted to write a book, and I just happened to have the first completed draft of Mogworld on hand, so there we go."

At the moment Mogworld is available for around $12.95, depending on where you shop. If you live in Brisbane, there's a launch event at the Mana Bar tonight, where you'll be able to grab a signed copy for $12.

So after making games, succeeding as a critic, owning a bar, and now writing a novel, what's next for Yahtzee?

"Making games again, probably, so it comes full circle. Novels were the life goal up to now, so I guess the new life goal is current-generation game development. There are too many committee-designed cash-counting mainstream games these days, I want to be in a position where I can be a true auteur, realise some visions, and help prove that video games can be an artist's medium. That's the dream, I guess."


    He's like a video gamer version of Maddox.

    Love his ZP stuff. Hope he keeps up with it unlike the Best Page in the Universe's decline.

      Dude, that's pretty harsh.

      Yahtzee's great!


        I did say I love Zero Punctuation.

    I am hoping there will be an eBook option!

    Somebody should do a yahtzee style review of it :)

      I agree! It's finding a copy that's the hard part, heheh.

        Went straight to my local Angus and Robertson here in Launceston, Tasmania. They said they won't be ordering it in and I'd have to go online to buy.

        So I went to birchalls and told a guy in there about Lord Yahtzee and his work and he said he would order a few in and if they sold 5 copies they would order more in. :) Sucks to be waiting so long. 4-5 weeks wait for them to get here. :O

          Nice work Scott! I will send the missus into Birchalls tomorrow to put my name down on one of those copies. Can you remember the name of the person you spoke to?

            No I don't remember his name, bald guy behind the middle counter.

            The more attention he said it gets, like any book, the more they get it in if it sells :D Great work on their part. Seeing as no one else will order it in. :)

    Good on him for getting something published. he's been writing for fun years on his blogsite, and clearly works his arse off. Its always nice for an individual to see a reward for working hard.

    on a slightly related topic... what ever happened to Game Damage ?

      It came out almost 2 years ago(?) and only seems to have about 430,000 views on Youtube. I think they either let it go or are busy doing other things. I mean, they own a bar which is soon to expand business and write reviews all the time. Gotta make cuts somewhere.

      That's quite a lot of views! I know people who make a living uploading regular videos with less than a quarter of those views.

      But seeing as two out of three of the GameDamage crew started the Mana Bar, that's taken priority and they've all been quite busy since.

        Yeah, Mana Bar has taken a bit of a priority for myself and Yahtz ... we tried pitching GameDamage to TV networks all over the world, but didn't end up getting much interest.

        I kid you not, most networks said they weren't interested because they thought video games directly competed with TV.

        Idiots :P

          Probably a good idea, you guys didn't have any personality what so ever. Junglist on the other hand would have been great for game damage,

          :( I liked it. Had lots of laughs, especially the cough in the second Duke Nukem Forever scene. No offense to Good Game, as I like it, but it was nice to see a mature video game show and would like to see more of it.

          Branch out Mana Bar already


          Like in Sydney.

            Nooo! Don't take our Drunk Yug away from us, we need his reviews! And of course Jung translating.

          yo how many copies do you have at the mana bar tonight might scoot down and pick up a copy if it only 12 dollars

          oh by the way on while we are on the topic when does the event start

          They kinda do, don't they?

            Video games competing with TV, I mean.

        Good Game is bad enough just pure garbage. Thank god GameDamage never took off it was just as bad if not worst than good game we dodged a bullet boys and girls lets just pray he never tries again.

    :D Yahtzee

    Bugger. Missed my chance to get over there to mana bar tonight.

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