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Creating Emotion in Games: The Craft and Art of Emotioneering Paperback – October 11, 2003

ISBN-13: 007-6092023531 ISBN-10: 1592730078

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders (October 11, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592730078
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592730070
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 1 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #356,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"David Freeman is one of the few people I know who has successfully bridged the emotionally rich world of linear media and story with the structurally demanding world of interactive games."
- Will Wright, creator of "The Sims"

"I can't imagine a developer who wouldn't benefit from learning the lessons Freeman offers in these pages."
- Warren Spector, Studio Director of Ion Storm, developer of "Deus Ex" and "Deus Ex: Invisible War"

"David Freeman brings to bear the tools of a writer expert at his craft, providing a blueprint for taking video games to the next level. This is an important and valuable book for any game designer."
- Raph Koster, Chief Creative Officer of Sony Online Entertainment; Creative Director of "Star Wars Galaxies"

About the Author

Coming from a background as a Hollywood screenwriter and screenwriting teacher, David Freeman has become one of the world¹s authorities on bringing emotion into games. David, along with his game design and writing consultancy The Freeman Group, is currently working, or has worked, as a designer and/or writer on games for Electronic Arts, Vivendi Universal Games, Atari, Activision, Microsoft Game Studios, Ubi Soft, 3D Realms, and others. In "Beyond Structure," his renown writing course, he has taught executives and game designers from many of the world's top game publishers and development studios--as well as the writers, producers, and key players behind such films and TV shows as "Lord of the Rings," "Austin Powers," "Good Will Hunting," "Minority Report," "The X-Files" and many others. As a writer and producer, David has had scripts and ideas bought or optioned by MGM, Paramount, Columbia Pictures, Castle Rock, and many other film and television companies.


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Customer Reviews

Buy this book if you want an expensive ad for David Freeman.
gameboy
I'm glad Mr. Freeman decided not to keep all these techniques to himself, but instead share them anyone who wishes to design emotionally engaging games.
"apex1211"
I keep trying to read this book, hoping to get something out of it, but can't get more than 20% into it before giving up.
M. Breault

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Ebrey on February 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book has about 10 anonymous, 5 star reviews that all sound the same. I'm VERY suspicious that these are fake reviews.

I've read parts of this book and I understand why most of the non-anonymous reviewers have problems with it. While it has some interesting aspects, it doesn't go very in depth and the amount of ridiculous buzzwords (like Emotioneering) make it hard to swallow.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By M. Breault on October 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm surprised by the reviews from people claiming to be game industry veterans who say they've found this book to be useful. Either they're not really in the game industry (possibly PR flaks?) or they haven't learned much in their time here.

General comment on content: Between the massive amounts of interior artwork, the big body type, the big (and frequent) headers, unusually wide margins, and lots of white space, there's probably only about 75 pages of actual information in this "500-page" book. Think of it as more of a booklet.

Mr. Freeman's credits are hard for me to verify. Web searches turn up some titles he's gotten credit for contributing to, but none of them were AAA titles. And there's no way to know for sure how much he actually contributed to them. Having been both a freelancer and internal writer/designer, I know outside writers who've been completely useless to games' development, so a claim of credit doesn't mean much, IMO. I have no clue what expertise he has with movies or other media, but I'm not too hopeful after reading his book on game writing.

One big problem I have with his book is the jargon he insists on excreting everywhere. This isn't game industry jargon, movie jargon, or any sensible jargon that I know of. It's jargon he seems to have made up to try to claim writing techniques and mechanics as his own. And he really, really likes to capitalize the (sometimes excruciatingly long) names of "his" techniques.
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68 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Beyrak Lev on February 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
If books had a dressing contest, this one would surely take first place. It applies every imaginable gimmick for the sole purpose of impressing the reader. There are many pictures in it, all of which are sensational adolescent fantasy material, many filling a full page and sometimes in color. The text is broken up in various ways, with intervening boxes and sidebars in incosistent shapes and sizes, as if designed specifically to distract you. Its "techniques" are trademarked under the bombastic name "Emotioneering", and worst of all, the author makes a point of repeatedly flaunting his screen(game)writing prowess.

But what are these "Emotioneering" techniques? has freeman actually invented a set of technical rules which applies to drama? No, that would be Aristotle. If you're really interested in the rules of drama, that's whom you should read. What Freeman refers to as "Emotioneering" are nothing more than a pile of bad screenwrting practices you can pick up in any second rate screenwriting book - except for two differences; first, in this sorry book they are given mind-blowing names like "technique stacking" and "Emotionally Complex Moments and Situations Techniques", and second, the examples used are said to be taken "from games" instead of from films, but, of course, all of these "games" have been imagined by Freeman for the purpose of the book (which he expressly admits), because there IS no real world game that would serve his purpose - he is really talking about films.

But when it comes to films, Freeman seems to think the The Lord of the Rings trilogy is about the best you can get. Ask any amateur screenwriter and they'll tell you that the one award these films honestly deserve is Worst Screenplay.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
I've had a handful of screenwriting classes, and some limited practical experience with making games. I thought this book delivered on what it promised, yet at the same time I felt there are many problems with the way its written.
Freeman uses what seems to be a highly methodological way of dealing with the 'soft' issue of emotion in games. You'll find countless references to elaborate terms such as "NPC Toward Player Relationship Deepening Techniques", "Emotionally Complex and Situation Techniques" and so on. Some very specific examples even get their own designated capitalized label. Structured as this seems, it actually only helps to make things confusing. A lot of the "hundreds" of techniques are quite similar, and without a clear overarching framework, things get very convoluted.
Some great knowledge and insights are contained in this book, mind you. I personally found some of the hypothetical games and game scenarios that are presented valuable. However, the knowledge is fragmented and disorganized. Freeman quickly jumps from one thing to the next, without a clear underlying logic as to how all the information is distributed among the chapters. The book especially emphasizes quantity - Freeman even refers to things beyond the scope of the book, i.e. "this would take way too long to explain, but let me give you the short version". I think the book would be a lot better if the information were better organized.
The book leaves a lot to be wanted in terms of focus and clarity. This book needs a new edition, or someone else needs to come along and tackle this (very important) subject from a different angle.
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