Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
The Game Inventor's Guidebook: How to Invent and Sell Board Games, Card Games, Role-Playing Games, & Everything in Between! Paperback – November 1, 2008
|New from||Used from|
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
About the Author
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I *want* to give this a 3... I really really do. This book would be good for perhaps my mother, or as like a gift a parent gives an aspiring teenage game designer. It's poorly edited, and feels like you are reading a college thesis or perhaps a compiled blog made into an e-book.
There is a strange fanboy naivete to Tinsman's "interviews" in this book. Clearly Tinsman is an insider, and likely seen as some sort of game design wunderkind by his heroes, but the questions he asks are the sort a highschool student might ask and not very deep or insightful into the game industry.
A good solid reading of the latest designer content on BoardGameGeek.com would be more insightful, but it doesn't make the book worthless.
Instead of being called the Game Inventor's Guidebook, it should perhaps be called Essays on Modern Game Publication.
The last straw for me where I had to set the book down was page 96, when for the THIRD time Tinsman once again tells me about Magic the gathering. Yes, I heard you the first two times, and the time you interviewed Richard Garfield (aside: whom I once met peeing in the bathroom at GenCon).
I will still continue to like Brian Tinsman, but I would only recommend this book to mothers of intelligent unfocused teenagers, and not to anyone serious about game design. It felt like a layman's book, and not a professional's guidebook like I was expecting and hoping from the other reviews.
The book opens with short descriptions of some of the success stories of the past couple decades:
* Trivial Pursuit
* Magic: the Gathering
* Dungeons & Dragons
* The Pokemon Trading Card Game
If you're not familiar with the stories behind these games, they make very interesting reading, especially for indies. With the exception of the Pokemon TCG, these are stories of dedicated individuals pursuing a dream and not giving up when things get tough.
After that, the book describes how the game publishing industry works, and provides summaries of the companies and games that a would-be "game inventor" should be aware of.
More useful than the birds-eye view of how the industry works are the frequent interviews with publishers and game designers. These are probably the best part of the book. Such modern "name" game designers like Reiner Knizia (Lord of the Rings, Tigris & Euphrates & many, many more), Brian Hersch (Outburst, Taboo), Mike Fitzgerald (Mystery Rummy, Wyvern), and more, discuss how they got started and how they approach game design. Equally informative were the interviews with publishers such as Mike Gray of Hasbro, Peggy Brown of Patch, Mike Osterhaus of Out of the Box, and others.
Because of the costs associated with games of this nature, the book several times cautions against self-publishing your game ideas, recommending that the would-be game inventor go through a publisher. Despite this advice, the book also points out that such major successes as Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, and even the perennial Monopoly were created and made successful by determined self-publishers before a major publishing company picked them up.
The book does provide 4 chapters discussing what's involved with self-publishing games. Like most of the book, though, the chapters are at a very high level, providing more of a broadbrush overview than details. Still, the chapters cover the topic quite well.
One point that the book stresses over and over is that all game design should begin by first deciding on your audience. If you don't care about the marketability of your game, then you can start where you wish and enjoy creating and playing your game. But if you want to appeal to a segment of the population bigger than "You and People Just Like You", you have to pick who you want to appeal to. Once you know who you're making the game for, you can adjust and refine to better appeal to those people.
All in all, The Game Inventor's Guidebook provides an entertaining and educational look at the non-computer game industry and its current markets. If you are serious about game design, and want to learn about all aspects of game design, and not just within the computer industry, this book provides a good place to start.
Whether you're trying to launch a family-friendly game for mass-market consumption or a geek-fest for a handful of comic shops, this fine reference will serve you well.