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It’s been some while since I’ve written anything on here. There’s (what I consider) a good reason for this: I’ve been working on a book.

Well, I’m working on 3 or 4 books, actually, although a couple of these aren’t anything more than ideas at the moment. Here’s what I have planned for them all, if you’re interested (If you’re not, then stop reading, obviously!)

The book that is almost finished is called ‘50 Tips for Playing Better Diplomacy.’ It’ll be published through Leanpub. When I’ve published it, I’ll include a link to the book below.

All the books I’m working on – like this blog – focus on the online game and, even more specifically, on Webplay – playing Diplomacy through a website such as Playdiplomacy or webDiplomacy. I’d like to hope, however, that there’s something for everyone in the book.

50 Tips…‘ aims to do what it says on the cover – offer tips to improving your Diplomacy game. There are seven chapters, each offering seven tips on seven different topics:

  • Chapter 1 is for novices
  • Chapter 2 is about understanding the game
  • Chapter 3 about planning
  • Chapter 4 about opening strategy
  • Chapter 5 about communication
  • Chapter 6 about understanding the stab
  • Chapter 7 seeks to take advice from the The Art of War and apply it to Diplomacy

That makes 49 tips, I know; so there’s Chapter 8, which is about having fun with the game.

It’s probably worthwhile saying that there aren’t 50 tips in the book. I’ve revisited some tips regularly. For instance, communicating is such a huge part of the game that it’s difficult to keep it limited to just its own chapter! What I tried to do was adapt the tip to the chapter’s subject. It is also due to the fact that there are some little tips within each section of the chapter that I simply didn’t count.

So how many tips does ‘50 Tips…‘ contain? I haven’t counted. It’s just a nice title.

The other book that I’ve been putting a lot of work into recently is ‘Across the Whole Board‘. This is a wide-ranging book across a lot of different topics and, as I’m writing this post, I admit to being a little worried about just how big a project it is becoming! Still, it’s something I’ve dallied with for a long time so I’m going to press ahead with this as I’m working on other books and the blog.

Then there are two projects that are little more than development ideas, frankly. The first is called ‘50 Problems to Solve in Diplomacy‘. This book is going to have a chapter for each power and will examine some of the problems players have to solve when playing this power. Following the pattern I’ll look at seven problems for each power… and then add chapter 8 which will be one over-arching problem.

And finally the project I’m not sure I’ll carry through. It hasn’t even got a title yet (yes, I know the advice on writing is to choose the title when the book has evolved, so that isn’t a problem). The working title is ‘Pseudo-DIplomacy‘. The idea of this book is to look at some of the ideas that have been around in the Dip Hobby that are not ideas that were part of the design of the game.

I’ve also flirted with a different title for this book: ‘The ABC of Diplomacy‘ and I quite like that title, to be honest. It’s an homage to the game’s designer, Allan B Calhamer. There are potentially three sections to the book: Authorities, Blasphemies and Contestables. ‘Authorities’ would be about where the ideas of the game can be found, such as Calhamer’s articles, the rules, etc, and would establish what I believe the game should be about. ‘Blasphemies’ would include some of the ideas that are completely against these ideas, the anathema of Calhamer’s design. ‘Contestables’ would be those aspects that are perhaps anti-Calhamerian but which don’t really stand out as being completely false to his design.

So perhaps I’ll go with ‘The ABC…‘ but, frankly, I’m not overly happy with ‘Constestables’ as the title for the final section; maybe I’m too picky. But I also think ‘Pseudo-Diplomacy‘ is too negative a title, especially as the book isn’t just about the anti-Calhamerian aspects. Honestly, this book could easily turn into a negative work, and that isn’t really what I want it to be.

Anyway, it’s time to spend some more time on the blog. So here I am again.

Published by Mal Arky

I'm a Diplomacy nut... if you haven't guessed. I write about the game Diplomacy, mainly as played online on websites, such as Playdiplomacy, webDiplomacy and Backstabbr. I write books on Diplomacy, too. First one to be published soon!

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