Interview: Punch-Out!! Encyclopedia Mastermind Daniel Lanciana

We recently had the chance to sit down with Daniel Lanciana, the man responsible for publishing the unofficial Kickstarter-backed Punch-Out!! Encyclopedia. Topics included the difficulty of publishing a book, crowd funding and future projects. If you’re on the fence about pledging or want to know more about the book you’ve already snagged, give it a read.

[Hardcore Gamer] What inspired you to create this book?

[Daniel Lanciana] I did it as a side project for myself – because I like the game and large-format “coffee table” books.

[HG] Is this the first video game-related project you’ve been a part of?

[DL] Yes, but hopefully not the last!

[HG] Do you feel Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! to be the definitive Punch-Out!! Experience?

[DL] Hard to say because I haven’t spent much time playing the other Punch-Out!! games. There is no denying it’s the most iconic title in the series – and is a lot of fun to play.

[HG] Weighing in at a whopping 240 pages, the book is sure to be packed with content. How long did it take to complete? Were there challenges along the way?

[DL] It was originally 343 pages!! The book took about 1.5 years from the time I started gathering info until I had a printed copy in my hand. The main challenge was publishing inexperience, which resulted in a lot of rework – I think every part of the book was done at least 3 times!

[HG] How many people contributed to the project? Were they compensated or was it a labor of love?

[DL] A friend of mine, Alex Sahhar, did a large portion of the graphic, design and layout. Other friends helped with the editing. I also worked closely with Matt Turk and Sinister1 from the MTPO community to verify and provide missing information. They will all be compensated with a complimentary copy of the book.

[HG] Do you foresee any difficulties obtaining copyright permissions from Nintendo?

[DL] It’s an uphill battle, but I’m hopeful they will like it and let it be published unofficially. We will wait and see…

[HG] How were you able to track down all the assets in the book? Surely pictures of action figures and collectibles aren’t easy to come by.

[DL] 99% of the images used in the book are on the internet for anybody to find, which I spent about 3 months collecting. The other 1% was higher-quality photos of the arcade cabinets and some screenshots – especially Arm Wrestling (try finding a screenshot of “Alice & Ape”!).

[HG] Will the hardcover be a limited, one-time run, or will more copies be printed down the line if successful?

[DL] Who knows? It would be great to get the green light and have a proper publisher behind it – then it could sell for $50 instead of $125.

[HG] Have you preferred using Kickstarter as a funding platform versus more traditional ways of publishing?

[DL] If my alternative was traditional publishing, I wouldn’t have bothered. Kickstarter is great for generating publicity and gauging the market. If the project is approved by Nintendo (and others), I firmly believe it would be because of Kickstarter.

[HG] If the Punch-Out!! Encyclopedia proves successful, are there other games you’d like to tackle in a similar format?

[DL] My goal is a bookshelf of titles! Whether the books are public or just for personal use doesn’t really bother me, but it will be decided by this first attempt. I’ll probably keep picking titles that are about to celebrate their 25th anniversaries.