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Game Development Essentials: Game Interface Design Paperback – November 2, 2006

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Product Details

  • Series: Game Development Essentials
  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning; 1 edition (November 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1418016209
  • ISBN-13: 978-1418016203
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,199,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kevin D. Saunders, a game designer and producer for 13 years, has worked on projects with Atari, Electronic Arts, Lucas Arts, Nexon, Obsidian Entertainment, Sega, Square Enix, and Westwood Studios. He has been credited on eight shipped video games, with an average composite review score of 81%. Kevin was the lead designer and producer of Shattered Galaxy, which swept the 2001 Independent Games Festival and was recognized by GameSpot as the Most Innovative Game of the year and the Best Multiplayer Strategy Game of the year. Kevin is Creative Director at Alelo, a serious game company that focuses on communication skills training. Kevin has Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees from Cornell University, where his research work included the development of natural language processing systems. Kevin and his family live in Orange County, California.

Jeannie Novak is the lead author and series editor of the widely acclaimed GAME DEVELOPMENT ESSENTIALS series (with over 15 published titles), co-author of PLAY THE GAME: THE PARENT'S GUIDE TO VIDEO GAMES, and co-author of three pioneering books on the interactive entertainment industry--including CREATING INTERNET ENTERTAINMENT. She is also co-founder of Novy Unlimited and CEO of Kaleidospace, LLC (dbaIndiespace), providing curriculum development and consulting services for corporations, educators, and creative professionals in games, music, film, education, and technology.Novak served as director of the Game Art & Design and Media Arts & Animation programs at the Art Institute Online and has taught game courses at UCLA, Art Center College of Design, DeVry University, Westwood College, ITT Technical Institute, and the Academy of Entertainment & Technology at Santa Monica College. She holds a B.A. in mass communication/business administration from UCLA and an M.A. in communication management from the Annenberg School at USC. She also serves on the Online Gameplay Committee for the Academy of Interactive Arts &Sciences and has served on the executive boards of the International Game Developers Association (Los Angeles) and Women in Games International. An accomplished composer and performer, Novak was chosen as one of the 100 most influential people in technology by MicroTimesmagazine and has been profiled by CNN, Billboard Magazine, the Sundance Channel, Daily Variety, and the Los Angeles Times.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dmitry Nozhnin on April 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is very colourful, well written, structured and history extensive book.

But within those 271 pages only last 16 are about design. Other 255 feed you with obvious information well known to any gamer.

Such book might be great for some artists who never played any computer or console games. Everybody else should keep away from it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. J Roberti on August 3, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. For those of us one and two-man programming operations as hobbyist programmers, we don't always have the artistic skill or aesthetic intuition to just whip up a GUI. This book explains concepts behind an interface SPECIFICALLY FOR GAMES. THIS is what I found awesome. All the books and articles I've looked up have been for interface design FOR WEBSITES, or stupid, dry, tasteless business-app type programs. This book focuses on game interface design ONLY.

It cites examples of interfaces in games you've played most likely, from the ancient consoles and computers of yesteryear (Atari 2600, colecovision, intellivision, commodore 64) to the more modern consoles (PS, Dreamcast, N64, PS2) and cites examples of what makes a good interface and a bad interface.

They make some good points too, such as interface design for the disabled. (This cool example they gave was for a healthbar that only changed color. What happens if the player was color blind? If the bar went from green to red, the color blind user would have nothing to gauge his health by; so they reccomended making the bar shorten, and/or change color.)

THERE IS NO SOURCE CODE. This book only focuses on concepts and design ideas. Its nice and abstract. It's made to push push push the ideas into your head, even if it is a bit repetitive.

Bottom line is, if you're already Joe Game Programmer for a big company, don't buy this book. Have your art department and UI design team make your game interface for you.

If you're like me, a hobbyist programmer of a small team with dreams of making it big someday, GRAB THIS BOOK. The more resources you can get, the better.

This book doesn't disappoint.

Get it.

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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. Rasmusson on July 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is written for people who have never played computer games, have no ideas what computer games are, and want to catch up with the rest of the world.

It contains no real substance and offers nothing in the way of real insights for people who are looking to learn more about game interface design.

Overall, quite disappointing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Descent book but its kinds padded like every other one in the series with history lessons and examples that don't really apply to the subject in my opinion. Not bad read though for the price. I believe there are newer or revised editions of this book out but I refuse pay 40-50 bucks for something with padded pages. So I buy them when they hit 20 dollars or less.
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