Indie Game Development Survival Guide (Game Development Series) Paperback – August 14, 2003
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About the Author
David is the author of The Indie Game Development Survival Guide (Charles River Media; ISBN:1584502142) and was a contributor to Game Design Perspectives (Charles River Media; ISBN:1584500905) on the topic of online community. He has written articles about game development, and covered the Game Developer Conference and the Indie Games Conference for GameDev.Net (http://www.gamedev.net). He has also written role-playing game articles (http://www.davidrm.com/rpg/) and designed his own (unpublished) dice-and-paper RPG rules system. Finally, David has been the editor and primary contributor for the monthly newsletters of both The Journal (http://www.davidrm.com/thejournal/newsletter/) and Artifact (http://www.samugames.com/artifact/news.shtml).
- Paperback : 408 pages
- Item Weight : 2.25 pounds
- ISBN-10 : 1584502142
- ISBN-13 : 978-1584502142
- Dimensions : 7.5 x 1 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Charles River Media; 1st edition (August 14, 2003)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,982,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This is a very very practical book. It doesn't go into technical details about how to make a game or write programs or whatever, but what it does do (in a fashion which is still relevant despite it being a few years old now) is spell out step by step by step exactly what you need to do to go from an idea to a plan to development to testing to finishing to marketing to selling and beyond. It puts in place very sensible structures and plans and rules for what to do to stick with the plan and when not to etc. It outlines in detail a wide variety of aspects of indie game development and where it all fits in the process of developing a game, finishing it and making money from it. Unlike many books that you might get bored with as the book goes on, leaving you wanting to skip lots of pages, I was amazed that even after getting 2/3rds of the way through it there were STILL really useful and relevant chapters with great advice and information to learn from. From beginning to end, the entire book is like a godsend for any indie developer with serious dreams of being successful as a game developer.
Until I read this book, I was adrift in a land of unlimited ideas and little organization. There is one place in this book where the author mentions briefly how many indie's constantly try to reinvent the wheel and start from scratch and do everything themselves just to `do it the way I want it done`. That had been my story for years. Unfortunately as the book said, it leads to despair, exasperation, incredible frustration and absolutely no success. When I read that I actually cried because it was like a revelation - sad that I got so caught up in unlimited ideas running wild and never sticking to anything long enough to see it to completion, yet at the same time relieved and hopeful that there is in fact a much, much better way to proceed that can actually work. I would find it hard to believe that anyone using this book as intended would fail to design, build, finish and sell a game successfully. It's so filled with practical advice, and best of all it lays it all out in such sensible language, very organized and well structured. This kind of organization and structuring and planning is *essential* to being successful as game maker and I'm very grateful to now know that this is the approach I must take.
I am much more optimistic about my future prospects as a game developer having read this book than I felt before. It's like I'd been lost and alone for a long time, thinking there was no hope and that there was no way to be successful, only to have someone reach in with an entire book that is not only on the very subject of something I love but at the same time reassures me to know a) I am not alone, b) there are a whole host of techniques that can help me be successful, c) someone has written them all down in a really easy to understand manner, and d) there is hope at last to actually be a successful game designer. It's like being given a key to a new home that unlocks an entirely new future.
I am really glad this book is available and I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend it to all independent game developers. I've already made good progress on a design document and development plan and am making much more progress from sticking to it than I ever did before. What indie developers need and maybe they don't know it is advice on how to manage a project from start to finish and beyond, and this book provides exactly that guidance.
This book is like an older brother reaching in with a wealth of knowledge and experience, taking you by the hand and helping you to understand how to do what the grown up's do. It's highly educational, extremely useful and very encouraging to read. Part of me is like `oh my God, someone out there actually knows about this stuff and has written a book about it`, which sheds such incredible light on a subject that I thought for a long time was such a personal and unpopular struggle. Thank you, author.
Personally I prefer books with less background story and concise advice and step by step guides on how to achieve your goals. Much more focus on marketing, game concepts and developing a community around your game, would have made this a much better read. A book on creating creative projects should be inspiring - unfortunately this book failed to inspire me.
The process of creating a Game Design Document, for instance, is invaluable information and this book gives near step-by-step directions in how to do so; creating this document has laid the foundation for development of my team's first game project.
Highly recommended for those who are truly independent, as well as for teams like mine who have worked in a similiar industry and are branching out into the game genre.
The language used in the book is clear and concise. My favorite thing about this book (something most people may not notice) is that every important paragraph ends with a single sentence of instruction that clearly summarizes all of the points covered within that paragraph. This makes it very easy to understand and very easy to read. I would wager that if someone simply read only the last sentence in every paragraph in this book, they would still learn 80% or more of what this book teaches.
I cannot recommend this book enough.
Top reviews from other countries
It does not explain technical skills such as how to code or do artwork, it's advice on managing the game such as choice of game, how to promote, profit sharing and other such stuff.
It is very down to earth and practical and goes to great lengths to take into account the limited manpower and resources available to indie developers and how this will effect what you can develop. This is very important advice when you take into account the number of newbies that think their going to make the new Quake or Crysis and fail miserably with nothing to show for all their work.
It's only basic tho, you may need to do more research in certain areas. If you're trying to make games and don't understand how the industry works this book is a must read, but for people with experience you would already know most of what's here already.
The coolest thing however, the book give you answers. Unlike any other book, where the writer discusses the problem and sometimes you don't get a clear conclusion or answer. And the end of every chapter you get bullet point conclusions, in case you didn't find or understand the answers given in the chapter.
Again, this is a must buy book,