Game writers have a hard lot. In order to compete, they're expected to write fantastic works of art and action that feature spectacular visual and physical effects, and which can render those effects with great speed. If they don't write for the latest hardware (which is often barely stable), the designers end up with something that looks antiquated. In the end, as well, there is the target market: Mostly males between the ages of 15 and 30, who have sharpened their volatility of taste to a fine edge. Game Architecture and Design
is a protracted meditation on what makes a game (and a game development company, and a game developer) good.
This is not a programming book; it is a design book. Andrew Rollings and Dave Morris do talk about game architecture, and pick apart some top games with state diagrams and sketches of class hierarchies, but that sort of content is in the minority. Mostly, the authors provide informed opinions about bigger engineering decisions, such as the question of whether to use Microsoft DirectX or OpenGL, or how to spread processor cycles across artificial intelligence and rendering operations. They make frequent reference to successful (and failed) games, explaining why each might have worked out as it did. --David Wall
Topics covered: How to write good games, and other entertainment software. Overall, emphasis is on developing an idea into a product, with long and carefully considered digressions into architectural decisions (such as gameplay and visual effects), implementation choices (languages, libraries, and algorithms), and team management.
From the Back Cover
Game Architecture and Design: A New Edition is a revision of the classic that you have been waiting for! This is a detailed guide to game design and planning from first concept to the start of development, including case studies of well known games. Originally published in 1999, Game Architecture and Design, has been updated by the original authors Andrew Rollings and Dave Morris. They tap back into what they teach so well and update this classic with skills and techniques found in the industry today. With more than just re-usable code, it's a comprehensive study that deals specifically with the issues of game design, team building and management, and game architecture. Through the use of real-world experiences and case studies, Andrew and Dave share it all. They show you what's worked and why as well as what to avoid and how to fix any errors. This intelligent and well-argued book is a glimpse into the often-disordered world of game development. Readers will gain solid advice and know-how that can bring some order to the often-chaotic world found in game development.