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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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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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VINE VOICEon 23 December 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I got this as my 10 year son has just discovered Scratch.

It is a really really good book. You don't need to be technical or actually be wanting to write video games for this book to be a winner! It is clearly set out, concise, well written and full of explanations, tips and words of wisdom. It is not a technical (programming) book; it doesn't mention software as far as I could see. What it does do is take you through the process of designing a good game and this it does with wisdom and wit. It is very good at setting out that good games are not just about good technology; there are lots of other things to be done to create your game before you even put finger to keyboard. In fact I think it would be a very good book for aspiring writers, film makers and even entrepreneurs to read as much of the common sense practical advice would transfer across to all these areas. This book will not become redundant with the next upgrade to your software or technological innovation, it transcends all theses things. It is a book for Nerds to help them with the bits they find difficult (ie the non tech stuff) and it is a book for NonNerds as it shows you how to create a computer came without getting bogged down ion the tech stuff!! Fantastic
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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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on 7 March 2011
I wanted a book to help with the essential element of game design that is often over-looked, that being the reason for a game,the character development, its environments, the emotions even evoked by the game in relation to the player.
This ISN'T a book about coding, it's about thinking what you want to use your coding to make, and as such it works well, aiding defining a universe your game can inhabit. It's friendly, with funny little illustrations re-inforcing text.
You won't be able to create a game after reading this, but in all fairness, it doesn't try to say it'll do that. However, you will be able to create the world your coding can make. Imagination is the key, not technical ability.
I'd recommend this to all people who want to think about what they're creating, too many mac-monkeys don't have any imagination. Read, yes read a BOOK (!!) and learn WHY you're doing what you're doing.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book gives a readable, intelligent overview of video game design that will appeal to a wide spectrum of readers.

I initially ordered this title for my 11-year-old son, who is obsessed with creating video games and he loved the book, but it is equally suited to the non-specialist adult reader who wants to get a straightforward overview of the subject. So many books on this topic are aimed at the supergeek, who already has a high level of knowledge. This title manages to simplify a complex subject without patronising the reader, rather like the "For Dummies" series.

If you already know (almost) everything there is to know about video game design, this book isn't for you. But if you're taking your first tentative steps into this area and want to understand the background to the industry, this is an excellent introduction.
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VINE VOICEon 23 December 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
While I'm sure many of us would love to be games designers, we will never get the chance - but they say everyone has at least one good idea! This book takes you right the way through the design process of your game idea from its very concept to actually putting it all together. Thankfully the book is really insightful so even though most of us will never grace the design room, after reading this you'll feel like you know a whole lot more about the birth of a game. It's entertaining, name drops games in for references and those references come from thin air. It's really as much a gaming enthusiasts book and I've found this book so much more enjoyable than the mediocre 1001 video games to play before you die.

Want into games design? Grab this.
Want an enjoyable narration about how something is created? Grab this too!
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on 19 July 2011
Scott Rogers does a great job of offering information that is easy to understand, while also being applicable to those with vast amounts of game design experience and to those with next to no knowledge of the subject at all.

The book is set out in a way that breaks "Game Design" into chunks (which can be returned to for reference). You will be taken through the steps of understanding how to create a game design document, level design, character and enemy design, music and many other features. There is even section on Pitching your game.

I very much enjoyed reading "level Up" and found the footnotes to be some of the funniest bits. If you are looking for a game design book this is the one you should get. If you are not looking for a game design book then get it anyway as it has a great recipe for chili.
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on 4 July 2011
Even after I went on a university course for game design I still found this to be packed full of things I didn't necessarily think of straight away. It gives advice on every topic imaginable, from basic enemies to music ideas. Where examples are needed, examples are given. There are illustrations as well as sample documents from Scott's work.

It's also entertaining and easy to read. Larger and more complex terms are given definitions and even some simple but odd terms are explained. Every aspect of game design is considered and explained. The "rules" set out in this book are also easy to follow and can even help companies who normally produce less-then-stellar experiences get a good game out.

Overall, BUY BUY BUY!
And Scott, hope I get to work with you sometime!
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