The world of video games has many titles that have marked a before and after in the industry. Sagas which have elevated each genre to excellence, which over time have been consolidated as clear references. In this, the fathers of the saga Grand Theft Auto (Rockstar) have “something” of experience, a background that no one doubts.
It was in 1997 that the first part of the successful sandbox of the North American company, began its journey. in what would be a future open world revolution. But, how well do we know the history of Rockstar Games? Spanish author Sofia Francisco, was tasked with bringing us a little closer to what we knew about the company in his new book. Published by Dolmen Editorial, is a work that is sure to please Rockstar fans and other gamers.
It is not very common to find a work with these characteristics, especially if it is “made in Europe”. It is Rockstar: the video game star, an exciting tale of some of the great titles we’ve always loved. Recent history and not so many of those games that we all have or have all included at some point in our collections. Without further ado, we leave the interview to you, and remember that if you want your copy, you can buy one. here.
From Total Recall to Rockstar Sandbox
To locate those people who don’t know you, where does your love for video games and, as in this case, literature come from?
My love of video games comes from a very young age, when I was only seven or eight years old. My dad had an NES where we played the game of Total recall, a very complicated title that did not allow backups. We used to challenge each other between my dad, my sister and me, how far we could go in the game without dying.
Then he would take me and my sister to these cyberclubs so much was distilled at the beginning of the 21st century and we played all kinds of games: I remember Counter strike as good as Mario party. Of course with Pokemon I bought my first portable console and as a teenager, when I was fourteen, I fell more deeply in love with video games thanks to GTA IV. It was then that I took the step from “girl to woman” in the world of video games.
In the case of literature, I have always been a girl very interested in reading. It is true that the first books they made me read in school and high school prevented me from seeing their potential at first, however, they were the ones that the Harry Potter books were read (sometimes without a lot of order, I must say) and after, Growing up, I became interested in many subjects: politics, history, novels, fiction, autobiographies.
In reality, It was at university that I started to get interested in writing in a thousand different ways: at the beginning of poetry and prose (with a self-published book), then I adapted it to the world of video games until I put the bug of writing video game books.
A matter of taste
What must a game have to catch you and what are your favorite genres?
Recently I had the pleasure of listening to a lecture by Ramón Méndez, video game locator, where he dissected the main elements of video games. When it came to talking about storytelling, he said it was getting more and more important and gamers demanded a story even in video games where, maybe, they didn’t fit so much.
In my case I think it is precisely this element that sets me apart from one video game over another. and makes me “catch”. Therefore, my favorite genres are usually games of open world or Sandbox which have primary and secondary missions. A gameplay that could be described as a “ messenger ”, since, I am a person who likes to feel like he is accomplishing feats in the game, although sometimes I am “ repetitive ”. I’m a little weird, I know.
A wide turn
Is “Rockstar: The Video Game Star” your first book? Are there other similar projects underway?
No, actually has published several self-published video game books. The first one at the end of 2018 (although it was written between 2016-2017) was called: “Ludonarrative dissonance in video games”. The second self-published book was in 2019 called “Walking simulators: exploration turned into a video game”. At the start of 2020, I also published: “Gamification in the company: design and applications” with editor Ra-Ma. And finally, in November 2020 I published “Rockstar: the video game star” with Dolmen Editorial.
I have another video game book in mind and I will present the project once it is built. As ideas are terribly vulnerable, for now, I’m keeping the theme of the book to myself and my friends.
Beyond the legendary Rockstar sandbox
Besides the famous Grand Theft Auto saga, what content can fans expect from your new book?
The book is a volume Complete enough. In the first part of the book you will know the rockstar story, The studies that compose it, as well as the increased popularity of the study of the 21st century. So i do one shell from each set of GTA: GTA, GTA II, GTA III, GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas, GTA IV and GTA V. And after the two RDR: Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption II. At the end of the day, I make some conclusions and some thanks.
All the games I’m talking about have their own sections: not only on the story or the gameplay but also on legacy, controversy, soundtrack (aspects which are not always taken into account). The prospect of all this kind of information this is not a personal analysis
That would be the million dollar question, and we already know that the video game industry is huge, but despite that, why choose Rockstar and not another company?
Rockstar is the big star of video games, and not because it “sounds good”. There are a lot of players who insist they don’t see it that way, that they’re “number one”. Someone might call me a ‘fan’ believe me there have been people who have rated me this way and I’m proud to say I’m a Rockstar fan.. I made this book out of love and admiration for each of your works. Because as much as it can be for some people, Rockstar has always been on our shelves, in the posters of major capitals during a launch, in the impact on the industry when a game is released.
In addition, personally his games have always been my favorite. Specific, GTA IV, from which I learned a lot and with which I started my career to continue playing, researching, writing about video games.
The fruit of perseverance
How did the development of “Rockstar: The Video Game Star” go? Has being such a well-known brand been a setback, in terms of licensing?
The development of the book has been excellent. We’re talking about a time when it wasn’t easy at all. I had two interruptions in the way I wrote and distributed the book. So the first It’s a gesture, for me, to know that I can handle this and everything that comes in the future. I showed myself that I could, despite the criticisms I always had on a daily basis.
Fortunately, it’s not like that anymore and I’m happy with this independence. I created a live channel Tic and one Patreon clean with good reception. And I’m happy to have achieved all of these accomplishments in the context where there were days when I didn’t even want to get up.
On another side, as a job, working with Dolmen is always a pleasure. He had already collaborated with the Manual magazine which comes from the same publisher, which he always opened his doors to me for the proposals I made and which were reflected in some of its issues in which I participate.
The development of the book was super easy and dynamic. Taking into account COVID, which everything was virtual, via phone calls and e-mails, I am very proud of the work we have done. Regarding the licenses, I do not understand these problems, but there was no problem. The book has been polished under other margins in particular to give the best possible content so that it reaches the hands of all readers.
Rockstar present and future
Rockstar is still one of the main industry benchmarks, but GTA V’s long three-generation journey, coupled with Dan Houser’s departure and the current pandemic, has put some fans off. Do you appreciate the current situation of the company? Are you waiting for the return of other sagas like Bully or Max Payne?
Rockstar will continue to amaze us, They are in a transition phase, but I’m sure they will continue to be number one. I would love it to come back Brute, I loved the first one, more I wish there was a remake of some of their games (perhaps the most feasible would be the first Red Dead Redemption after the spectacular nature of its prequel). As for GTA VI I would love to see that happen: it would be a success, since we are waiting for it like water from May.
“Courage now for that”
Today, fans have more facilities, not only to find literary works dedicated to the world of video games, but also to bring their own projects to life, what advice would you give to those who want to take the plunge?
Above all, they listen to each other. Listen to yourself and think for yourself. No matter the external criticism, no case. You write, don’t fall for ‘impostor syndrome’ we are here to make a great book. Think about it, the darker days of writing. In this bad summer we had I was comforted by the idea of the blanket which, I must say, looked exactly as I imagined it in my dreams.
Seeing my mother smile or my current partner feeling proud and kissing me in front of the FNAC booth where my book is located is the greatest pleasure I have had in this life. I made my friends proud of the great project that I carried out. To anyone who wants to write about video game books, I would tell them to think about a friend, a mother, a partner. And may these people be proud of the publication of their project.
Maybe that sounds cheesy or too “intense”, but it is. Try to write something that hasn’t been written beforeDo several chapters then try to send it to a publisher dedicated to the world of video games. Hope you are lucky and can share your work with others. I would just tell her that cheer up.