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VINE VOICEon 18 November 2010
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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VINE VOICEon 5 November 2010
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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on 29 May 2013
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 design that aren't covered. You can learn a lot from this book.

The problem is that it's bloated with so much text to read I struggled to get through it and with the presentation being quite basic it made me feel like I was reading a novel. It took a lot of motivation to pick it up off my desk and carry on reading. The Author has the very page consuming ability of using 1000 words when 100 would have conveyed the same point. And this is it's biggest problem, there's so much to read about even the simplest of concepts that much of it gets lost or you find yourself speed reading through it.

Sure, there are silly little drawings all the way through to break things up but they are mostly irrelevant or don't make sense unless you read a whole page of boring text. And the authors constant use of footnotes to tell you nothing of any use gets a little tedious.

It's a shame because, as I said, it has plenty of good info and the author has worked on enough big games to make him very credible. This book could have been half the size and still packed in all the same points.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 July 2011
If you are a programmer and want to read a book about games programming, stop reading this review and do another search. This book has absolutely nothing to do with the programming side of gaming. However, if you want a book that goes through the fundamentals of game design in a readable manner then keep reading because this book is for you.

Its starts off giving a history of games. I skipped this as I already know this - although there are a couple of useful nuggets in there. Each chapter is actually called a level (keeping the theme) and that one is called Welcome Noobs. From that I think you can probably gather that there is a good degree of humour within these pages. It covers design elements, character design, HUD design, icons, idea generation and how to sell your game amongst other things. But its always shot through with a practical element and advice that should be beneficial to anyone reading. I'll give an example of this that should give you an idea. A small section is entitled 'Walking is never, ever gameplay'. This goes through the idea that walking is for lazy game designers and that you should avoid the player walking for an extended period. It then gives some advice on alternatives (Jumping, sneaking, swinging etc). Very practical. And yes it might be common sense but some of the advice makes you step back and think.

You probably won't read it cover to cover, thats not the point. But as a good guide to design mechanics with advice this really is a very good source book.
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on 2 June 2013
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.

Note: This is completely from a designers point of view talking about documenting the game and presenting the idea. If you're a programmer like me it is still helpful but will not teach you in depth into things like layouts, colour schemes etc.
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on 8 November 2012
I bought this book after getting into Construct 2 and having issues creating AI for wandering bad guys.

Its not a book about programming, as such, but it touches on (probably) all aspects of game design, its proved quite illuminating and has given me much to think about as I continue my hamfisted attempts to make some humble games.

Not only has it proved a great, and inspiring read, I am sure it will be a reference point in the future, its stuffed with ideas and help for pretty much any game genre you can think of.
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on 25 July 2013
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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on 30 July 2013
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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VINE VOICEon 23 November 2010
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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on 17 May 2013
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 games so the purchase of this book seemed like a no-brainer.

The book is well written and it is riddled with humour and fun quotes which makes it an entertaining read. The numerous drawings serve to make the points presented even clearer and the "Level XX's universal truths and clever ideas" section at the end of each chapter (level) is a nice touch that sums up each chapter fairly well.

While the book in general is well thought out (e.g. the order of the chapters makes perfect sense in a learning and development point of view) the layout could use some work. Often the drawings are on separate pages from their accompanying text and the same goes for the titles/headlines for some sections of the chapters - often only one or two lines and on some occasions zero lines of text are present beneath a title and the text begins on the next page. But these are only minor gripes and the book as a whole is excellent. If the layout is fixed in a future version I'll definitely give it five stars.
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