Doug Walsh spent 18 years writing video game guides for both BradyGames and Prima, and he oversaw a ton of titles in that time. In an interview with Kotaku, Mr. Walsh discusses how guide-writing changed over the years.
Back in the PS2 era, guides would rarely take more than three or four weeks to write. The books were shorter—typically less than 160 pages—and so were the games. My very first time on-site at Nintendo was for Banjo-Tooie. The book was 144 pages and we wrote it in two weeks. Compare that to our Super Mario Odyssey guide which was 352 pages and took nearly two months. Those shorter games (and guides) meant we could get started later in the development process, typically after the games had “gone gold.” And BradyGames, who I started writing for in 2000, only needed the text from me a month before the game’s release.