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Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design [Paperback]

Scott Rogers
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
RRP: 24.99
Price: 18.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design
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Book Description

14 Sep 2010
Design and build cutting–edge video games with help from video game expert Scott Rogers! If you want to design and build cutting–edge video games but aren’t sure where to start, then this is the book for you. Written by leading video game expert Scott Rogers, who has designed the hits Pac Man World , Maxim vs. Army of Zin , and SpongeBob Squarepants , this book is full of Rogers′s wit and imaginative style that demonstrates everything you need to know about designing great video games. Features an approachable writing style that considers game designers from all levels of expertise and experience Covers the entire video game creation process, including developing marketable ideas, understanding what gamers want, working with player actions, and more Offers techniques for creating non–human characters and using the camera as a character Shares helpful insight on the business of design and how to create design documents So, put your game face on and start creating memorable, creative, and unique video games with this book!

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Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design + The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses
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Product details

  • Paperback: 514 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (14 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047068867X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470688670
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 18.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

After discovering that game designers have more fun, Scott Rogers embarked on a 16-year-(and counting) career in video games. He has helped design many successful video games including: Pac-Man World, the Maximo series, God of War, Drawn to Life series and Darksiders. Scott is currently a creative manager for THQ and lives just outside nuclear strike range of Los Angeles with his lovely wife, two children and many, many action figures.

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Want to learn how to create cutting–edge video games? Need some advice to improve your current game? Then get ready to Level Up! Scott Rogers, the video game designer behind hits such as Pac–Man World, God of War TM , the Maximo Series, and SpongeBob SquarePants, shares his years of knowledge and experience with you on how to make video games great. Learn how to: Create what gamers want Bring compelling (and playable) characters to life Build game levels that tell stories and challenge players Design everything from controls to cutscenes to combat Structure your game documents for success Pitch your game like the professionals Level Up! has been written with all levels of game designers in mind. Over 400 drawings illustrate design concepts and common pitfalls of game design, making Level Up! an indispensible guide for video game designers both ′in the field′ and the classroom. So what are you waiting for? Grab this book and prepare to Level Up!

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book 18 Nov 2010
By R. Tait VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm approached this book as a web designer in the process of creating a number of game concepts for the web - so I needed some authentic and directly useful direction and ideas. I genuinely appreciate the author for writing this.

There are 478 pages, each packed with concise, readable and detailed info. Topic detailed include the story, character development, and controls, as well a esoteric concepts like 'fun'. There's more detail and wisdom than I know how to summarize. Each double page spread has at least one picture (a minimal, cartoony drawing) which works brilliantly to explain each point, and makes it handy to navigate the book by flicking rapidly through it.

The concepts are so fundamental that I believe this is useful if you're creating the next Call of Duty, or making a modest Flash app for the web. I also think this book will be interesting to gamers who care about the thought processes behind making games.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gets you thinking about level design! 5 Nov 2010
By Mr. R. Brown VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The first thing to make clear about this book, if it's not already from the description given above, is that it does not contain a single line of programming code. Instead, this is all about what should be going on before the programmer sits down at the keyboard and starts merrily tapping away!

Being a bit of an amateur game-maker myself, I've really enjoyed this book and recommended my son (who has similar ambitions) read it next. I've aborted too many little projects because I've become caught up in feature-creep or been unable to add specific features that I believed were required. The common thread in all these aborted projects was that I didn't have a clear design in mind before starting. They all started with a "Can I do...?" question and progressed from there, with that question eventually being answered with a "No I can't!".

Armed with this book I am compiling a clear and concise design document and will soon be hacking away with the Unreal Development Kit to see if I can finally make my dreams a reality!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By P. M. Fernandez VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a good book, well and engagingly written, about (surprise, surprise) the process of designing video games. I say this to highlight the fact that it is not about programming or creating video games - no attempt is made to suggest a suitable platform, or programming framework. I don't think any real effort was made to contrast gameplay on (say) Facebook with gameplay on a PS3. If you want to gain some experience of putting a game together, you need to start elsewhere. However, it does comprehensively set out the process of moving from the concept to the final version. This has its place, of course - most of the places on the internet which invite you to experiment with games programming don't leave you with anything terribly satisfying, compared even to the most casual Flash-based game. This book helps you to understand the work that goes into the sort of game that people would be willing to pay for.

Basically, if you have a really good idea for a game (I have had several! - well, at least in my mind...) then reading this book will probably persuade you that unless you already work for a game programming company, the idea will probably not get any further than that. This is rather a gloomy analysis, but at the end of the book, I really didn't feel more inclined to write up my designs in the suggested format - the gap between concept and implementation turns out to be substantially bigger than I'd imagined.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Well Written Introduction 14 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As a gamer myself, I was intrigued by this book and the insights it might lend into the process of designing a game. Having received the book, I was not disappointed. It is an enlightening and interesting introduction to the creative side of a blossoming industry.

The guide is well written with a humorous touch, occasionally lightening up what might be rather dry subject matter. The book takes you through the numerous areas to which a game designer must pay careful attention, often using examples from the modern game industry as illustration. The book covers all bases and even offers up examples of some of the important documents that must be produced in the process of designing a game.

As a teacher, I can see this book being useful as a textbook in the classroom either for ICT or for Media Studies - or even English as there is a wealth of information on writing narratives for video games that could be an excitingly different project for students than some of the more usual creative writing projects.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a very useful book 30 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent book with a good basic layout and teaching. Easy to follow with lots of tips which is what is needed with such a large subject i am Currently working through it

using the book as a useful help manual/reminder once you have got started doing video game design

good balance has been struck to get you started with all the key features and grasp an overall understanding of video games design,
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5.0 out of 5 stars I've not even finished and it's awesome 25 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm on 'level 3' of this book so far, and already it's absolutely fantastic. Chock full of invaluable bits of information from virtually every post within the gaming industry. He focuses mostly on designing (being a designer himself) which is of great interest to me as it's what I'd love to do. But even if you don't want to be a games designer, he has such a huge amount of knowledge on so many different posts within the industry that you'll be able to get use out of it regardless of what you want.

I thoroughly recommend this for anyone who wants to get into the gaming industry in any capacity, or even if you're just interested in how the video games process works.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Product
Does exactly what it says on the tin. Good buy. You couldn't really go wrong with this product. Recommend it.
Published 4 months ago by Colin
2.0 out of 5 stars Not that good as I thought
Review from a working game designer - from whole book only 5-10 pages are actually useful in my opinion. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Yuriy
5.0 out of 5 stars Covers everything....EVERYTHING
Whilst this book covers a lot more than I personally need, I do find it very well presented and the drawings add a level of humor, that when combined with the author's writing... Read more
Published 10 months ago by McNubn
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Concepts
Contains many sections, a little long winded at points but overall a brilliant book.

Great sections and things that can be implemented into actual game design. Read more
Published 10 months ago by U. Sule
3.0 out of 5 stars A heavy read but not much has been missed out
Was going to give it 4 stars but there's just enough wrong to knock it down. First off, the content itself is very comprehensive and there's not much about the fundamentals of game... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Don. Load
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for the aspiring game designer
I purchased this book because I want to be a game designer myself and it looked interesting. Furthermore Scott Rogers has been involved with the development of some of my favourite... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Kasper Adolph
2.0 out of 5 stars Just no...
If you're a amateur game developer/designer looking for a source of inspiration then stay clear of this book. You want to overcome writer's block? Read more
Published 11 months ago by RWilson
5.0 out of 5 stars educational book
A found this book informative . Is written in a clear humerous way, with good illustrations.
It will be kept and used as reference in my Game design and provide me with help... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Donna
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, informative
I bought this book after getting into Construct 2 and having issues creating AI for wandering bad guys. Read more
Published 17 months ago by TonyS
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, but slightly too focused
It's a nice book, full of very nice information, detailed examples, a lot of insight.

It's well written and fun to read, has nice pictures detailing the author's... Read more
Published on 27 Feb 2012 by Alessandro Ricci
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