Dan Birlew

Las Vegas Web Developer, Designer, Programmer, and Author

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Can I Purchase Your Books?
What Other Type of Writing Do You Want to Publish?
Why are there Mistakes in a Guide You Wrote?
Will You Send Me the Artwork from a Guide?
Can You Help Me Become a Game Guide Author?
I Have a Question or Comment Regarding the Silent Hill/Silent Hill 2 Plot Analysis.
Did You Write a Plot Guide for Silent Hill 3?
Did You Write the Silent Hill 4: The Room Official Strategy Guide?
Will You Write a Plot Guide for (Recent Silent Hill Game)?
Can I Have (An Asset) from Silent Hill Sanitarium?
Did You Write the Guide for .hack?
Why Does My Contact Form Submission or E-mail Become Your Property?

Where Can I Purchase Your Books?
BradyGames.com, GameStop.com, Amazon.com, WalMart.com, BestBuy.com, to name a few. Try calling or stopping by most anyplace video games are sold.
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What Other Type of Writing Do You Want to Publish?
I’m currently rewriting a thriller for ‘tweens and teens with some paranormal elements. I’m also plotting a murder novel set in a high school, but it’s probably more for adults. I also write some light sci-fi and full-on horror. I want to publish something along those lines.
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Why are there Mistakes in a Guide You Wrote?
The main reason for almost all mistakes in game guides is the fact that we write from pre-release versions of the game, also known as “Alpha” versions or “Beta” versions depending on how playable our build is. While we write the guides from the software we receive, the developer continues working on the game. They tweak statistics, move items and objects, and sometimes change flags for entire scenario events. Sometimes we don’t get the final gold master of a game until several days after the book has already shipped to the printer; too late to make corrections then! This is frustrating to everyone involved. But most of the time, we publish a great book with completely valid data. After all, everyone in the business really wants to provide reliable sources of information for video games.
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Will You Send Me the Artwork from a Guide?
While working on a guide I am in charge of text and screenshots, and I mark the maps if needed. I am not in charge of the layout, and do not receive or have access to any artwork used in any of my guides. And even if I did, I sign NDAs (Non-disclosure Agreements) that prevent me from sharing corporate confidential materials with the public. This applies regardless of whether the guide is already available to the public or not. Furthermore, my publishers will not provide you with layout artwork either, because A) they abide by a similar agreement with software developers, and B) they do not retain artwork after a project is completed.
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Can You Help Me Become a Game Guide Author?
As an author, I cannot. You want to go higher on the food chain, so to speak, and contact an editor. Where can you contact an editor? Much like the publishing business you’ll want to try and meet one face to face. The best way to do that is to follow the major guide publishers on Facebook and Twitter and at their websites, learn what conferences and trade shows they’re attending, and try to meet them there. PAX has traditionally been a good option. Prior to that I recommend you have your portfolio in shape and have a few official or unofficial guides under your belt and accessible online or in print; nothing fancy necessary, just your resume and one page of your basic, un-formatted text should be sufficient (your ability to capture screenshots and videos is taken as a given, and is not to be considered a “strong suit”). Finally, when you do get to meet an editor, keep it professional and don’t say anything weird: I’ve been near too many situations that have gone sour quickly because a potential author wanted to prove how geeky or unique he was. Just like any other line of the publishing business, game guide editors are professionals, and they are looking for competent people.
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I Have a Question or Comment Regarding the Silent Hill/Silent Hill 2 Plot Analysis.
I have not played either of those games in many years. I find it hard to discuss anything outside what I already set down in my plot analyses for the games. You can send me a query, but chances are I no longer have the ability to answer or debate.
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Did You Write a Plot Guide for Silent Hill 3?
Yes, it was included in the Silent Hill 3 Official Strategy Guide. I don’t know where to buy the book anymore, so please check a search engine or eBay.
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Did You Write the Silent Hill 4: The Room Official Strategy Guide?
Nope. Please redirect any questions you have about that guide to the publisher.
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Will You Write a Plot Guide for (Recent Silent Hill Game)?
Wish I could, but I really do not have the spare time.
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Can I Have (An Asset) from Silent Hill Sanitarium?
Below are the old downloads from Silent Hill Sanitarium, my old fan shrine:
Silent Hill 1 Icons (77Kb)
Silent Hill 2 Icons (26Kb)
Custom Wallpapers (4Mb)
Silent Hill 1 Screensaver (3.8Mb)
Silent Hill 2 Screensaver (4.6Mb)
Silent Hill 1 Game Maps (1.8Mb)
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Did You Write the Guide for .hack?
I started the project and wrote several parts of it, but then the game was delayed and the project halted, and later reassigned to Doug Walsh. The attribution is due to several online retailers not updating the product data.
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Why Does My Contact Form Submission or E-mail Become Your Property?
Simply put: protection. I instituted the contact form as a means for both fans and industry professionals to find me and contact me. My copyright policy protects me in case individuals suggest book ideas or assignments via the contact form or e-mail that eventually come to fruition merely by circumstance. For instance, a visitor might send me a message suggesting that I write the “Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions Official Strategy Guide.” If I happen to be assigned to write such a book, even though I have no control over such matters, then the individual who submitted the idea to me could attempt to claim that my writing of the book was their idea and that I owe them royalties. My copyright policy basically protects me from frivolous claims such as this. Any non-publishing industry person sending me any format of message containing any convention of an “idea” or a “pitch” will result in immediate deletion without response, and I will claim rightful ignorance of any such proposal. I instituted this web site as a means for readers and industry professionals to find me and contact me, but I cannot allow this medium to be abused. Therefore, by your use of this site and any e-mail accounts connected to this site, you agree that any and all messages submitted to DanBirlew.com by any method become the property of Dan Birlew, to use or dispose of at his discretion.
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