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Game Development and Production (Wordware Game Developer's Library) Paperback – 30 Dec 2002

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 412 pages
  • Publisher: Wordware Publishing Inc.; Pap/Cdr edition (30 Dec. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556229518
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556229510
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 2.5 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 730,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This title includes book and CD. This is the first handbook for game development with detailed coverage of both team management topics, such as task tracking and creating the technical design document, and outsourcing strategies for contents, such as motion capture and voice-over talent. Detailing the process from reconciling the first versions of the game with business parameters through production and on to post-release, this book covers every aspect of game development.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an easy to read book, and still gives you a lot to think about.
Well written, with examples from the authors career. It does however lack example documents and or templates on the CDRom.
Well worth getting if you are not going to develop a game on your own, and even if you are.
Easy intro into UML.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa07b6ca8) out of 5 stars 11 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa07c4714) out of 5 stars Eric Bethke has written the book I wanted to write 7 April 2003
By J. Fristrom - Published on
Format: Paperback
Eric Bethke gives us the actual battle-tested techniques his team uses to develop games. Most of his wisdom I completely agree with, and he makes some points that had not occurred to me that I will have to think long and hard about. His central, recurring "less is more" thesis is persuasively argued. He has confirmed my suspicion that we may have to rethink our plan for the current game we're working on. I recommend everybody in game development read this book and take it either as a springboard for developing their own methodology or as a sounding board on the quality of their methodology, if one is already in place.
So why only four stars? I have the feeling that Erik isn't being completely honest with us. On my team chaos is the norm even though we scored an AA on Erik's "Game Project Survival Test." Erik makes his team sound like a smoothly running factory, and I have trouble believing it's due to those extra ten points his team is getting on the test. Give it up, Erik: either admit that business is chaos and let us reconcile ourselves to that cold truth, or tell us the deep dark secrets that makes your team work so well.
Also, stuff is missing here: how do you hire great talent? How do you prevent your team from breaking the build on a regular basis without slowing them to a crawl? (That's the question that has been keeping me up nights.) How can you be productive if you're waiting until alpha to fix all your bugs? I bet Erik has some insight into these questions, but he didn't get it on the page.
Still, don't let my nitpicking stop you from reading this book. I'm going to try to make everyone on my team read it. And I'll be eagerly awaiting a sequel.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa14b57dc) out of 5 stars Unique in the world of Game Dev literature 28 Mar. 2003
By Ian Stocker - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book provides an excellent resource from a veteran game developer. Have a game idea and wonder what it'll take to bring it to life? Running a small game dev startup and want the honest truth about what will make or break your project? Already in the field and want to know more about the process of bringing a game from concept to completion? I would highly recommend this book.
GD&P serves as a guidebook to game development, covering all aspects of the design and development process. Here you will find an overview of essentially every job type in the industry, and a detailed look at the jobs more prominent in the development process.
Bethke's text is also adorned with sage advice on some basic principles of designing a successful game, as well as some advice for the industry as a whole. This brings some excitement to a book that, while informative, would be little more than an instruction manual for the game biz. His writing style kept me interested from start to finish.
Buy this book for the opening chapters alone. They are filled with straightforward advice on how to design a successful game (of any budget), but beware: the cold, hard truth may have you thinking twice about your chances of making the next Quake killer on your own in the next two months. GD&P is decorated with the battle scars of a tough industry and pulls no punches in its presentation of success & failure. That said, the text is overall very positive and you will find yourself, as I did, wanting to put the book down just to rush off and start working on the various design documents outlined herein.
Buy this book if you want to start making games, and not just play them.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa30081cc) out of 5 stars Game Development & Production by Erik Bethke: A Review 2 April 2003
By jualdeaux - Published on
Format: Paperback
Erik Bethke, CEO and co-founder of Taldren, has written a book about the design and development of a game. According to Erik and others, this is one of the first, if not the only book that discusses the over-all design, planning and production of a game. I am sure you can find many other books that deal with specific parts of game programming, like using Lightwave, but this is the first one that talks about the actual business and production part.
In his book, Erik talks about many different elements of the business. One of which is the question of should you or should you not make a game. Do you really want to go to the hassle of finding funding, developing the game and then trying to find a way to get it to the market? If you decide you want to, then he gives examples of the different steps to making a game and what they require. An example of this is his lengthy discussion of the planning and design aspects and how the more in depth and specific your planning is, the better the chances will be that your game will turn out well. One topic that is threaded throughout the book is different management techniques that are used at Taldren. An example of this is how he gets people motivated and focused on the different tasks that are necessary for proper completion of the game.
There were a number of areas that really stood out to me personally. There are a lot of topics that I have studied in my college career that Erik covers in this book. One example is how Erik discusses that in every project, there are three main areas or constraints that need to be considered: Time, Scope and Performance. A project leader is good to achieve one of these constraints and very fortunate if they achieve two. If you get all three, you need to write a book on how you did it because there are many people that would love to hear about it. ;-) Also Erik discusses Unified Modeling Language (UML), Use Cases, tools like Rational Rose and other techniques that are useful in designing a game. These tools are also used in many other industries and I found that the examples clarified and enhanced what I have been taught throughout my education. The book also discusses when and what to outsource. Should you outsource coding, sound, video, design or any other part of the project? All of these are topics that I have studied somewhere, sometimes more than once, in my undergraduate and graduate career.
There is much more than what I've talked about here in the book of course but I'm not going to take the time to list everything. :-)
To me, the book was very interesting, well written and easy to follow. When he talks about technical issues, such as UML, the explanations are clear, straight forward and usually come with an example, if not several examples, to help illustrate the concept. This helped because I have not studied or used some of the concepts in a long time and needed the extra visualizations to aid in my understanding.
Who would I recommend this book to? I would suggest that those who have a burning desire to create a game take a look at this and then decide if you really want to go to the hassle. I'd also recommend this book to those who work on other types of software projects who might find a pearl of wisdom that they can put to use. Students who are studying MIS or Project Management like I am should enjoy reading the book, if only for examples of how to use different tools and techniques that are useful for running a project.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa07c49f0) out of 5 stars If you feel like you're in over your head... 26 May 2004
By N. Paul - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently started a game development enterprise program at my school (Michigan Tech) and we had no clue where to start. This book is great if you feel like I did. I felt there was no way we were going to be able to pull this off in a resonable time. This book gives us the guidance we need. Although we may not take all the suggestions in the book, it still is great and helps you produce a great game. It includes detail on the many preproduction documents, outsourcing, and even a chapter on how to start a company. Well done, just what I had expected from the Wordware Game Developer's Library.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa07ca2b8) out of 5 stars Good start 8 Oct. 2003
By Aaron McGowan - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book provides a good start for someone who has yet to dive into the highly competitive world of entertainment design and software. It does seem to lean more towards 3D games and reflect on personal experiences; but over all is a good guide to game development. Experienced developers and designers will most likely have devised their own systems that work best for them, not to mention would already know about 75% of the material listed within.
Once again, I would only really recommend this book to a beginner in game development. Experienced users may find some good information, but most likely can spend a lot less money finding it out on one of the hundreds of game development websites out there.
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