- Series: Prima Tech's Game Development
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR; 1 edition (April 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0761531653
- ISBN-13: 978-0761531654
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.8 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,984,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Game Design: The Art and Business of Creating Games (Prima Tech's Game Development) 1st Edition
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About the Author
In 1989, Bob co-founded Legend Entertainment and served as its President until the company¿s 1998 sale to GT Interactive (now Atari). He continued as Legend¿s Studio Head and as an active game designer/producer until the studio closed in January of 2004. Bob is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events, and he is also the co-founder and organizer of the Game Designer¿s Workshop, an annual invitation-only conference attended by many of the top storytelling game designers in the business. Bob is the author of one of the industry¿s bestselling books on game development, "Game Design: The Art and Business of Creating Games" (Premier Press/Course PTR), which is currently being used as a textbook by several colleges and universities. He is also the editor of the "Game Developer¿s Market Guide" (Premier Press/Course PTR) and "Game Design, Second Edition".
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
4.6 THE HEROS JOURNEY
In the end, your game should be your heros story. Sure, you have to
be careful not to screw up what makes a good game in the first place,
but you can still make the gameplay experience even more interesting
by wrapping a good story around it.
Each genre is restrictive weve got conventions we must observe, and it might seem that there is little room for creativity but they are certainly less hidebound than the genre of the Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy, which is what Shakespeare was faced with when his producer told him to sit down and bat out the play he eventually called Hamlet.
But its not good enough to understand how to tell a story; you also need a story worth telling.
Dont sell this short. You cant just say, Hey, it would be cool to have this villain kidnap the heros sister and now he has to go rescue her. This can be where you end up, but it should not be where you start.
Where do you start?
You are the author. Your job is to have a vision, a purpose, a greater truth. You have the job of any artist. You need to think of yourself as a hero not a Lawrence of Arabia-kind of hero but a Joseph Campbell-kind of hero. Every author and every artist must make what Campbell calls the heros journey. You must step outside conventional society or philosophy and look back at the way things really are, or perhaps the way you think they should be. You must go beyond the boundaries of the known and accepted in search of something new and important.
What you acquire on the Journey is the Heros Prize. It is that thing which only you know. Many of you have probably already taken that journey. You have a vision of your own, a personal slice of reality, something that you know in your heart is true, even though the rest of the world doesnt believe it.
When you find it, you must bring it back to us so that we will all benefit from it. That is what a hero does. That is what you must do.
If you take that journey, that piece of knowledge will become imbedded in your story. Not in a preachy way it will just be there.
So before you sit down to write a story game, think hard about that thing which only you know. If you do, it will subtly inform all the design decisions you make in your game. It will be the thing that sustains your interest across the eighteen months to two years you will be working on the project. Eventually, it will become the thing that your game is about. And that story will be one worth playing.
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"Game Design" covers all of the concepts on how to think critically about making a good game and also how to plan around how players think. It discussed the major genres of games and the advantages and disadvantages of each, what they should offer players, and what specifically it takes to create a good game in each genre. It also lists major examples of the best games from each genre.
There is a good amount of time dedicated to writing stories, designing puzzles around the story, and character development. This is interesting because it is so important to a game's success, yet some games don't spend a lot of time in this department. Even if you are not planning on being a designer or a story/quest writer, you should know this information and it can help any department to make their own work more compelling.
I am a particular fan of the "Project Cycle" and "Breaking In" chapters. In Project Cycle, you will learn the scenario of a typical game production. The book informs you of all of the milestones and each cycle that a company will organize its teams around in order to create a finished product. You will learn everything from Pre-Production, Beta, and Gold.
My favorite section of all, albeit somewhat short, is the "Breaking In" chapter. It describes how to create a portfolio, where to apply for jobs, and which cities you can expect to be traveling to for work. It will also advise you into which software you should know for each particular field.
If you are interested in game development and don't know where to start, this is the best book to read to find out which career path that you would be most interested in. I would even suggest that you read this before you go a college that specializes in game development. That way, you know what to focus on and which classes to take that will be custom-tailored to your specialization. Some of the information is a little outdated, since the examples are specific to certain types of games and software that was used to make games a decade ago. I would use this as a basic informative guide but you may want to seek information elsewhere as to the current trends of the industry.
Author, How to Get a Job in Video Games
I found it broad and deep and most of all, up-to-date but there isn't anything particularly insightful here, unless game design is totally new to you.
I've also read "Game Design: Theory and Practice" by Richard Rouse which suffers mainly from being dated, although you could call it "classic". I'd place Bate's book over Rouse's for this reason alone but both are probably worth reading.
It covers every aspect of the game design process, including how to get your idea published and even ways to get into the business yourself.
In fact, after reading this book, I've secured a potential job as a game developer, making a port of a PC game to the Xbox console.
This will supply you with the knowledge needed to be successful in the game design industry, and I believe it is a book that every shelf needs.
5 stars go out to this essential book. It is absolutely up-to-date, and will provide you with the power to become a better game designer.
But the biggest problem is that while Bob talks about game theory and business in a very shallow way (great for beginners), he support his theories with examples from big game companies (where nobody is a beginner anyway).