Top positive review
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A standard text on the subject
on 4 August 2014
This book is derived from a well-received lecture that resulted in the publisher inviting Scott Rogers to write something for them. You can get to the lecture by Googling `Everything I learned about Level Design, I Learned from Disneyland Scott Rogers' and clicking on the first YouTube video result. If that lecture looks interesting to you (noting that the sound gets a lot better 5 minutes in), then this book is definitely for you.
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!