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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

May 12, 2005, 02:31 AM

Call For Proposals: AI Game Programming Wisdom 3

Once again Charles River Media and series editor Steve Rabin are looking for game developers to share their wisdom in the next brand new volume of the groundbreaking AI Game Programming Wisdom series. Anything that an AI game programmer would typically deal with is fair game, including pathfinding, animation control, scripting, learning, and various decision-making techniques. Selected authors will have several months to write and will share in a portion of the book's royalties. Proposals for 8-20 page articles are now being accepted until June 1st at

Steve Rabin


May 12, 2005, 06:50 AM

Talking about yourself in third person is creepy...


May 12, 2005, 11:50 AM

IronChefC++ doesn't think so.


May 12, 2005, 12:23 PM

Yep, talking is. In writing however it is just being formal.

Christer Ericson

May 12, 2005, 05:02 PM

Selected authors will have several months to write and will share in a portion of the book's royalties.

I don't want to put a hamper on contributions to the book, but I think it's important to make people aware that it appears Charles River Media are utterly screwing their book authors on the royalties on their books.

A typical book deal has the author receiving royalties on the order of 10-15% of the money that the publisher receives for selling the book to a bookstore. However, Charles River Media is known to have been using a contract clause wherein they will only pay the author HALF of the royalties for so called "deep-discounted" books, that is, those that the publisher sell to the bookstore at a 45% or more discount.

That doesn't sound so bad until you learn that is a deep-discouted bookseller and that typically stands for over 90% of the sales for this kind of technical book! In other words, an author signed with Charles River Media will effectively only receive HALF of the royalty rate he (or she) thought he was getting!

That's incredibly bad style and IMO anyone thinking of writing a book should think twice before doing business with Charles River Media for that reason. There are plenty of choices of publishers that do not use underhanded clauses like that. (I, fortunately, happen to be with a publisher that doesn't.)

This is not so much a warning for contributing to a "Gems" style book of this kind (for which your monetary compensation is basically zero anyway; you'd make more money sending your article to Game Developer magazine) but to those considering authoring a book in full.

Obviously there are many reasons people write books other than for money, but I still hope someone will find this little tidbit of information interesting.

Christer Ericson


May 12, 2005, 06:02 PM

Btw, God Of War is amazing! Congrats! :P


May 25, 2005, 04:40 AM

Unfortunately, Christer is mistaken about the royalty arrangement for contributors to Gems-style books. However, I'll be the first to admit that no one should contribute to these books for the money. The money is a nice bonus, but I only want authors who are passionate about sharing their ideas and wisdom with other game developers. These are highly respected books because of the passion and quality of the authors.

Let me describe three reasons why people would want to write for these books:

1. It's easy to contribute. Writing ten or so pages takes about a week of work and then it's done. You're likely writing about something that you know like the back of your hand, something you invented or perfected, so the words and ideas should flow easily.

2. You'll make a difference. Your ideas will get to 10,000+ game developers and academics over the next 10+ years. These books sell very well, reach a large audience, and stay in bookstores for a very long time. Others will quote and refer to your work, since it appears in a book. It's also sort of a bonus that physical books have the potential to last 100+ years, sort of archiving your ideas for a very long time, and certainly a keepsake for your parents or children.

3. A little bit of fame is nice. Your name will be printed on the back of the book, a bio inside the book, and of course your name above your article and in the table of contents. The book will be in every Borders bookstore and Barnes and Noble, so you can stroll right in, grab the book and point to your name on the back. The books are also translated into other languages and sold all over the world: German, Korean, Japanese... It's quite a trip seeing your article in Korean in a book that you're holding!

For such little work, this is an incredible result. I hope a couple of you can come aboard and share your wisdom.

The deadline is June 1st and all you have to do is come up with a proposal - two paragraphs describing what you're going to write about. All of the details are here:

Steve Rabin
Editor AI Game Programming Wisdom series

Erik Faye-Lund

May 25, 2005, 04:50 AM

not to bash you or anything, but did you actually READ the post you just replied to? it seems to me like you only read the first three sentences.

Christer Ericson

May 25, 2005, 11:16 AM

SteveRabin wrote: Unfortunately, Christer is mistaken about the royalty arrangement for contributors to Gems-style books.

If you bothered to read my post in full you would have noted that I didn't comment on the royalty arrangement for Gems-style books, thus I'm hardly mistaken about it.

It was a general warning for people considering authoring a book (in full) for Charles River Media to carefully read over the contract CRM provides in that they have been known to sneak in a clause that will effectively cut your royalties in half. I wasn't claiming they do this in general; I don't know that. However, I do know they have included such clauses in the past, which is sufficient reason to be extremely wary in dealing with them. Nowhere did I relate my comment to their Gems-style books.

How much clearer can I get?

Christer Ericson


May 25, 2005, 11:59 AM

Nice to know part 3 is coming.

I received books 1 and 2 today and I really like the article
on building a navigation mesh in ai-1... now I'm off reading
the other articles :)


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