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The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design Paperback – January 8, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1580650663 ISBN-10: 9781580650663

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The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design + The Game Maker's Apprentice: Game Development for Beginners + The Game Maker's Companion (Technology in Action)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Lone Eagle (January 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781580650663
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580650663
  • ASIN: 158065066X
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Flint Dille and John Zuur Platten’s company, The Bureau of Film and Games, develops original games for next-generation platforms. They co-wrote Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, which GameSpot called "superb…one of the year’s best action games." Flint Dille’s credits include Dead to Rights and Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu. John Zuur Platten’s credits include Red Ninja and Scooby-Doo 2005. The authors live in Los Angeles.

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Customer Reviews

These guys wrote this book for the people looking to write and help design games.
Death is real
This book is important to read, practically a MUST if you are interested in becoming a video game designer/writer.
awog
This books is very helpful for understanding how to approach writing for video games.
JimmyHoffa04

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Adam Moore on October 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
Overall, the book is a well written introduction to writing for video games. Calling this book an "ultimate guide" is a bit of an exaggeration, but it's a good jumping-off point for an aspiring game writer.

Unfortunately, the book is lacking in content on design. I can't really fault the authors on this one... their experience is primarily in writing, not game design.

The final part of the book contains realistic advice on breaking in to the industry and surviving once you get in.

The book also contains several creative exercises (called "Action Items") peppered throughout. Although they weren't the focus of the book, the action items were (in my opinion) one of the best parts of this book. If I buy this book, it will be because of the exercises.

I recommend picking up this book at your local public library if you're looking to break into the game industry and work as a script writer for games. If you're already writing for games, then chances are that you already know most of what this book has to teach.
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115 of 131 people found the following review helpful By Everett D. Arey on March 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
When I read The Ultimate Guide to Videogame Writing and Design I was expecting quite a lot from a title like that. As a well read veteran game designer with over 34 million units sold to date, as well as game design professor at USC, I thought I had seen every element and angle in game development. Not only that, at USC we have developed a pretty robust curriculum on how to build great narrative into a solid game. To my amazement, my high expectations were not only met, but exceeded by a wide margin with this book! Ultimate Guide is extremely well thought out and presented in a no nonsense manner, with many excellent examples, points, and tips on not only writing, but also how to survive and prosper in the game industry. I guess it comes as no surprise since this book is practically a FedEx straight from the front lines, as these authors are still writing top games, and have written a number of "Story of the Year" games over the last five years. These guys have written for both film and interactive, and they know how to bring solid storytelling craft into the game space. I recommend this book to all my students as well as colleagues as a must read. You will not find a more straight forward and to the point book packed with real world examples anywhere. This is more than a "how to" book, but also a "how come" as it focuses down precisely on the challenges and pitfalls of game design and writing today from a variety of angles. I guarantee it will provide insights and value to both new and veteran game writers, as well as designers who are looking to bridge the gap between solid storytelling and great gameplay. I wish I'd had this book when I was starting out! But I'm sure glad I have it now!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas DiMucci on August 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a screenwriter, I wanted to dive into the challenges of writing for video games as I believe that it is the future medium of choice for storytelling and entertainment. Taking the advice of the many other consumer reviewers before me on Amazon, I bought this book and I haven't looked back since. It is very complete and helpful covering almost every aspect of game design and writing, but more importantly, how writing for games is a totally different craft than writing for film or literature, and how to tackle the many different challenges involved. The book takes you into the psyche of an average gamer and deconstructs what they're expectations are, and should be.

I believe it helps greatly to have some storytelling experience, preferably screenwriting, to make the most use of this book and to understand it better. Otherwise, you might feel a bit confused and left out if you have never written narrative storytelling before.

A great book for noobs and pros alike!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By S. C. Spelman on June 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Though I've been mostly interested in writing for animation and comics, while playing video games I questioned who came up with it's stories. Many games have little to no stories and focus mostly on mindless entertainment...which isn't always a bad thing. But some video game stories really touch the viewer (Half Life 2, Final Fantasy, Bioshock, etc. come to mind.)

On a whim I bought this book and have enjoyed it immensely. Both the authors provided much more than I was hoping for. Both are seasoned game writers/designers who have worked on many games you know, and are still working on games. Stuff like UNCHARTED - DRAKE'S FORTUNE, CRIMSON SKIES, PROJECT ORIGIN, and FRANK MILLER'S SIN CITY - THE GAME. These guys know what they are doing.

The book breaks down not only how to write for games, but what that entails, hardships you will find along the way (both with writing and people), they provide sheets you can fill out to create your own game bible to pitch. And as an added bonus they occasionally have writing exercises to help you hone your craft or understnad a point better.

Leave no stone unturned and that's what these two have done. It has my highest regards! Buy it and truly educate yourself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Morales on May 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is an excellent introduction to the subject of video game writing. And with there being no intermediate or advanced book on the topic, this book is the best on this topic. As some other reviewers pointed out, there is not much about game design in here. So don't be misled by the title.
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