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Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design Paperback – 9 May 2014
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Top customer reviews
The prose is fine, but its word count could be cut by about 70% or more - I skimmed it in an afternoon. Most of its content could be condensed to a maybe four or five infographics.
Considering sending it to my mother who for years has keept asking me to re-explain what it is I actually do for a living.
For those not into sitting through a 1 hour video to choose a book, all you really need to know is that this guy did game design for stuff like God if War and Soul Blade/Soul Calibur.
In this book, he goes through the entire game design process (that is, everything other than the coding and graphic design). So we are talking about story, character and controls, game UI, level design, combat and balancing, cut scenes, and all the other things that need to be designed before a game stops being an extended graphical demo and becomes something playable and compelling.
The trouble is that most people thinking about writing a Mobile or Desktop game tend to think about the other stuff first: coding and graphic design. If you want to make a successful game though, you probably need to look at Level Up, because it talks about all the things that will help give your code and graphics the illusive thing we call 'good gameplay'.
The book itself is an entertaining read, with lots of common sense and logical, down-to-earth advice. In fact, Level Up is so good that I'm pretty sure it will become a standard text on game design. Can't say better than that!
I had worked previously in the industry (content approvals & licensing), but not as a designer and after an absense from work I was lucky enough to get a job interview - to prepare, i had to write my own short Games Design Document.
I had read many GDDs in my previous roles, but now I had to write my own. From scratch - It turns out that the first blank page of a word document is pretty daunting, especially when you have an important deadline such as real as a job interview!
So I picked up a copy of Scott Roger's Level Up. It's a great book that breaks down the process of writing (and creating, two different things BTW) a GDD - from the high level concept document to a rough draft and the final, usable living document that it becomes. If you are interested (and serious) about becoming a game designer, then you should get a copy of this book.
I got the job and in spring 2015 I was lucky enough to visit GDC in San Francisco. To my suprise and delight attend a session (and join the panel!) with Scott himself. So, put simply, without this book - that would not have happened.
It's not comprehensive enough in itself to stand alone, but when used in conjunction with other key titles on game design it would make an excellent addition to a bookshelf for the aspiring game developer.
I'm pleased to say that I was far out with my original assumptions about it. Though it does cover the industry, it is a mine of information packed full of useful tips and inspirational writing. Though it is geared somewhat towards those with eyes on the industry, a lot of the book applies to any game--and there is so much info here. It uses examples from many different games (not just modern ones, but older games like Sonic too), so you will be able to relate it to your own games, whatever your reason for reading it.
I'd fully recommend it to anyone with any interest in designing games.
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