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Old 06-05-16, 19:40   #1
Laralicious
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Talking Tomb Raider Encyclopedia

-------------------- 2021 Update!! --------------------

Hello everyone.

On this important day, we'd like to release the Second Edition of the Tomb Raider Encyclopedia.

What's New?
Well we've added Shadow of the Tomb Raider entries and its novel 'Path of the Apocalypse', there's new entries for the 2018 movie and basic information on any new crossovers as well as a few miscellaneous entries. There's been a ton of corrections and alterations too, which can be seen in the Additions and Corrections document included.

What is Included in the Download?
The Encyclopedia and Ready Reference is separate (see point below) but we've added in a few other documents: Maps doc, Relics doc, Documents doc, Transcripts doc, an Additions and Corrections doc and a list of new Entries doc

Anything Else?
- Yep, sadly, this will be the final release as the Encyclopedia and Ready Reference documents have become so big and strenuous on Microsoft Word that it now crashes, the documents become faulty and some entries have even gone missing. Thank goodness we kept frequent back-ups!
- Feature Pages have been removed. We didn't feel that these met the high standard that we wanted.

Download Link ~ Mediafire

A big thank you to all those for your continued interest once again and for those who download this second edition, we hope that you enjoy reading it!



-------------------- Archive of 2016 Release Post --------------------

I'd like to share a big project that my sister and I have spent the last four years creating. As you might have noticed by the title, we have written an encyclopedia dedicated to Tomb Raider, our first and favourite franchise. Coincidentally as it is now nearing completion, it has lined up with the 20th anniversary of the franchise quite nicely, and that is why we have decided to release it publicly. We're super nervous to do so but we are really proud of how it has turned out.

Release Date:
If everything goes to plan, we are aiming to release this on Friday 25th November 2016.


How the project started:
Back in 2012, we had purchased the Assassin’s Creed Revelations Animus edition, which came with its first encyclopedia. Although it was different to how we expected, it was a wonderful read and a great item to own but then we came to thinking, what if the Tomb Raider franchise had its own encyclopedia? And so I set about creating a test document, which had a very basic title page and contents page and the first pages were split into 2 columns and contained a letter as the title and then a load of ‘blah blah blahs’ set out into entries. We looked at it and thought ‘yeh, that could be cool’, so I set about to filling it with basic entries, ‘Croft, Lara ~ The lead character in the Tomb Raider franchise...’ The more I added to it, the better it got.

So the next stage was to sit down and work out what exactly was to go inside. We have had many meetings (with cups of tea and biscuits) and as we went along, more was added. To make a long block of text easier, we have made an FAQ.

FAQ
Why Only Mention it now?:
Well this project was originally only created for our enjoyment. If it wasn’t for it nearing ‘completion’ in 2016 and coinciding with the 20th anniversary, then we would never have announced/released it. Because of the sheer amount of content that it covers, it will be nice to share it with others to read.

What programs are you using to create it?:
We have been using Microsoft Word to create the encyclopedia. Sadly there were no free book making programs available when we started, and if there are any now, it is too late to change. With all that said, using Microsoft Word has its drawbacks. We are limited to the formatting of that program and it is going to be difficult to add fancy graphics. But this doesn’t bother us at all. We wanted our encyclopedia to be something that Lara would have in her library; something that Lara would use. We feel that Lara is old fashioned when it comes to researching and she would use books rather than look up something on the Internet.

What is included?:
We will have to answer this question in two parts. The encyclopedia contains everything from the first Tomb Raider game from back in 1996, to Rise of the Tomb Raider in 2015/16 and everything in-between. We have done a lot of research! We have scoured a lot of fan sites, new and old; we have bought books, we have bought any games that we were missing and have played them and the games that we could not play- the Gameboy and mobile games- we have watched playthroughs and read walkthroughs. There is very little that did not make it into the book. However there were always things that we were not adding in: cosplayers, TRLEs, fan art and fanfiction. For most of them, there are too many to list and we do not want to show favouritism. Also we have not included tomb raider merchandise as there is so much out there that it would be impossible to complete. We have however, started a Tomb Raider merchandise tumblr to try.

The Ready Reference had to become its own separate document as it also got too big a file. It contains a page for every game, movie and comic. This is to serve as the ‘go to’ place if you forget the name of a pick-up or an enemy for example. You find the name on this page and then you can search it up in the encyclopaedia. Ideally, anything that is in the ready reference can be found in the encyclopaedia. Also included are a list of Lara’s outfits, weapons, trivia, a glossary and a lot, lot more. We have ran into a couple of problems with this, such as not having a suitable image of Lara’s outfit in Tomb Raider (2013) or Lara’s bows or rifles from the new game. We have been using XNA Lara with this task and it is a case of waiting for people to release models of them. Sadly, not all will have images.

What format will it be released in?:
We will be releasing the encyclopedia and Ready Reference as a PDF. It is hopefully more universal (and easier to load). I also have to mention that it will be in A4 size.

When will it be released?:
Well, we are hoping to release it about the same time the PS4 gets Rise of the Tomb Raider. This is because the encyclopedia (naturally) contains the story of the game etc and we don’t want to spoil it for those who have not played it yet. We ourselves wanted to buy it on the Xbox 360 to write it all up sooner. The exclusivity deal and Relic Run not being compatible with our device had made our task a bit more difficult.

What language will it be?:
British English only I’m afraid.

Why does there need to be a ‘physical copy’ of the encyclopedia when there is wikiraider?:
Well there doesn’t need to be a reason for anything, but it is nice to have. As I have already mentioned, we felt that Lara is old fashioned when it comes to researching she would turn to books first and then look up something on the Internet. We also like that the entries have been written out like a proper book and not individual web pages.

Will you release a physical copy?:
Gosh no! Firstly, in an A4 size, both the encyclopedia and the Ready Reference have at least 450 pages combined. And then I would have to buy a special paper... Or find a company to print it for you. Then of course, there are copyright issues. I would have to charge a price for shipping and printing but Square Enix might see that as us making money from their property. We have printed out test pages with two pages per sheet and it looks super cool, but there is no way that we would be able to print and bind it.

Won’t you have to keep updating and releasing this encyclopedia?:
Frankly, yes, we will but it will have to be done on a yearly basis. The comics are posing a problem as they release every month and about every 6 comics, that story arc ends. It could be the case that at the end of year 2016, there are a couple of comics to go before the story arc ends. They won’t be included but that is the way it is.

How have you had the patience to work on it for 4 years!!?:
Truth be told, it has been tough but there was two people working on it, so it made it easier. But we have also learnt a lot of new things along the way, which has surprised us because we have been fans since 1997 and didn’t believe that there were new things to discover. Secondly, nostalgia has really pushed us onwards. But if Crystal release an official encyclopedia, we will be a bit gutted.

Anything else?:
Yes, we have plans to release this encyclopedia in two other styles- 1, sorted by game, movie, comic etc and 2, sorted by category (Enemies, Allies, Weapons etc). But that could take a couple of months to complete. This is just an idea and we cannot promise it.

We have put 4 years into reading, researching and typing it all up. No entry has been copied from somewhere else; all entries have been written up by us. All sources (inc creators of XNA models etc) will included in the back of the specific book. If it is a source that we have used for the encyclopedia, then it will be in the back of the encyclopedia and the same goes for the Ready Reference.

We have remained professional when writing this. We have not included any opinions and we don’t take sides with either Core or Crystal. This is a book of knowledge, not a book about what we think. You won’t find any first person single or plural in it.

If you've gotten to the end of this post, thank you for reading!

Last edited by Laralicious; 25-10-21 at 16:10. Reason: 2021 Second Edition Update
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Old 06-05-16, 20:09   #2
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This is Amazing!

Quote:
We have been using Microsoft Word to create the encyclopedia. Sadly there were no free book making programs
You should try LaTeX. It's a language for scientific documents, easy to learn (It's not WYSIWYG like Word!)
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Old 06-05-16, 21:06   #3
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This is really amazing, congrats!
Looking forward to reading it! Sad to hear you left TRLE out, but I'm glad you wanted to avoid any favoritism! However, you think it's possible to mention it and describe how the LE community grew and how it was improved over the years? I think that would be worth mentioning and also adding a link to site with most of LE levels.. So some people who aren't into it can actually see what they're missing.
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Old 06-05-16, 21:56   #4
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Awesome. Can't wait to read it.
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Old 06-05-16, 23:17   #5
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This looks like it will be great! If you are releasing it as an A4 PDF people will be able to print their own copy if they like, maybe some people have access to a fast laser printer in their workplace they can use Binding it will be a major job though! It should be in leather covers with gold leaf and marbled endpapers I think if it is to sit on a shelf in the library of Croft Manor.

BTW if it is British English, shouldn't it be "calibre" instead of "caliber"?

I think Word is ok for this kind of thing though I prefer Open Office for book projects. The important thing is to be organised with named styles that you can apply to everything in an easy and consistent way without having to apply all the formatting manually. Open Office encourages an organised approach to styling and sections etc whereas I always feel the style management features in Word were a bit of an afterthought even though it is capable of similar things if you are careful.

If you are interested in a free DTP program, Scribus seems to be well regarded. I downloaded a copy recently but haven't had time to try it yet.

Incidentally in the "Of Myths and Monsters" article on p227 there are a couple of typos in the last but one paragraph: "stuck down a large it in the ground" (pit) and "tried her rope to" (tied) and "absail" (abseil).

Very interesting stuff though, I never knew Lara had got involved with Chupacabras until I read that page!
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Old 07-05-16, 03:47   #6
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Looks so gorgeous. D:
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Old 07-05-16, 10:47   #7
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This sounds and looks very impressive! Reminds me a lot of the Final Fantasy guide books where all the enemies and items and their stats are listed. Best of luck with this ambitious project!
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Old 07-05-16, 10:49   #8
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This sounds amazing! I can't even imagine the amount of hard work that must have gone into this encyclopedia. I can't wait to read it!
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Old 07-05-16, 11:22   #9
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Thank you very much everyone for your kind words. They really do mean a lot to us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TR-Freak View Post
This is Amazing!

You should try LaTeX. It's a language for scientific documents, easy to learn (It's not WYSIWYG like Word!)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiroyuki View Post
If you are interested in a free DTP program, Scribus seems to be well regarded. I downloaded a copy recently but haven't had time to try it yet.
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll have a look into those programs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raider99 View Post
This is really amazing, congrats!
Looking forward to reading it! Sad to hear you left TRLE out, but I'm glad you wanted to avoid any favoritism! However, you think it's possible to mention it and describe how the LE community grew and how it was improved over the years? I think that would be worth mentioning and also adding a link to site with most of LE levels.. So some people who aren't into it can actually see what they're missing.
We do have an entry for TRLE; we couldn't leave it out because it does play a silent but very important role in the history but also the community of this franchise. However it is a basic entry, so thank you for your suggestions. I will stick that onto the to-do list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sardoc View Post
Awesome. Can't wait to read it.
Thank you! Even if you don't sit for hours on end to read it from front to back, it's great to just dive in and pick a random page. The letters C and T naturally have a lot of Croft and Tomb Raider entries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiroyuki View Post
This looks like it will be great! If you are releasing it as an A4 PDF people will be able to print their own copy if they like, maybe some people have access to a fast laser printer in their workplace they can use Binding it will be a major job though! It should be in leather covers with gold leaf and marbled endpapers I think if it is to sit on a shelf in the library of Croft Manor.
We have printed out some tester booklets with only 10 pieces of paper, Word allows you to print a booklet, where it is scaled down to A5. It looks cool but the binding would be almost as big a task as actually writing the encyclopedia!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiroyuki View Post
BTW if it is British English, shouldn't it be "calibre" instead of "caliber"?
Ah, that is an entry for Tomb Raider Anniversary if I remember correctly. For entry titles, we have kept to however the game/ movie/ novel etc spells them so that a viewer can go straight to the encyclopedia and find it. In this case, it wouldn't be much of a difference but there is a relic in Tomb Raider (2013) that has 2 different spellings. One is a mistake but I can't remember the details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiroyuki View Post
I think Word is ok for this kind of thing though I prefer Open Office for book projects. The important thing is to be organised with named styles that you can apply to everything in an easy and consistent way without having to apply all the formatting manually. Open Office encourages an organised approach to styling and sections etc whereas I always feel the style management features in Word were a bit of an afterthought even though it is capable of similar things if you are careful.
If we can convert it to any other formats, we'll give it a go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiroyuki View Post
Incidentally in the "Of Myths and Monsters" article on p227 there are a couple of typos in the last but one paragraph: "stuck down a large it in the ground" (pit) and "tried her rope to" (tied) and "absail" (abseil).
Thank you very much for pointing that out. I may be British but after staring at a block of text for a while, it starts to look a little foreign. We do plan on proof reading at the end, a long job but at least everything else would be done. And if anyone else spots any more errors, feel free to say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiroyuki View Post
Very interesting stuff though, I never knew Lara had got involved with Chupacabras until I read that page!
I am glad that you have read something that you didn't know before- this is the purpose of the encyclopedia and a reason why we have made it public, because we have also learnt new things along the way. We've had to bulk up our TR merch collection (which is always a good thing!) to cover everything in the TR world. Comics, handheld games etc. These include things that I would never have known or really even concerned myself with if it wasn't for the encyclopedia. Buying a Gameboy colour and the TR games are quite a task however as they are still so popular.


Quote:
Originally Posted by larafan25 View Post
Looks so gorgeous. D:
Thank you. The fact that you say this when it is just in a basic MS formatting is really lovely. We will be trying to add graphics at a later time but we have been trying to keep to Lara colours- turquoise green and browns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanglyph View Post
This sounds and looks very impressive! Reminds me a lot of the Final Fantasy guide books where all the enemies and items and their stats are listed. Best of luck with this ambitious project!
Thank you! Yes, well we adored the AC Revelations encyc and we do actually have a collection of about 5 or 6 encyclopedias to take inspiration from.

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Originally Posted by indigo15 View Post
This sounds amazing! I can't even imagine the amount of hard work that must have gone into this encyclopedia. I can't wait to read it!
Thank you!
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Old 07-05-16, 14:12   #10
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I think the uncluttered layout style is perfect for an encyclopedia, it looks more authoritative than if it were done in some fancy way. Similarly keeping the colour scheme simple makes it look more sophisticated than if it had garish headings etc.

Like you say, 450 pages is a lot to proofread without going crosseyed, you could farm out groups of pages to volunteers to proofread, I don't mind checking through a few more since it's interesting reading material!
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